• Brume - Marten (2024)


    Featuring a very sultry and jazzy sound, today we have Bay Area outfit Brume and their latest full-length release “Marten”. Featuring eight tracks and nearly 50 minutes of music, this release has a very hypnotic and enigmatic pace, nicely mixing Doom/Occult Rock with more experimental influences. If you are looking for something unique with a chill vibe, but with some heaviness to it, this is a very interesting release to check out.

    The release opens with the magical “Jimmy”, a six-minute piece filled with moody tempo changes and hypnotic doomy riffs. Susie McMullan’s vocals are quite sultry and perfectly fit the loungey nature of the music, with tracks like “New Sadder You” and its magical cellos, “Faux Savior” and its melancholy, or the dreaminess of “Otto's Song”, showcasing the bands versatility and uniqueness of their style.

  • Vástígr - The Path of Perdition (2024)


    Hailing from Austria, today we have mysterious one-man band Vástígr with a very tense and crushing brand of Atmospheric Black Metal. While most bands in the genre sound alike these days, “The Path of Perdition” has a certain unsettling uniqueness thanks to its darker and more sinister take. Featuring four tracks and nearly 45 minutes of crushing music, this release is definitely worth the attention of any fan of the genre, and Black Metal in general.

    Opening with the ravaging “Plunge”, Thomas Anzinger quickly creates a very thick and punishing atmosphere with intricate guitar work and deep growls. Far from linear, the track suddenly changes tempo to more melodic and equally sinister passages. Continuing the onslaught “Chasm” starts off showcasing crafty tempo changes ranging from Doom-ish interludes to more straight up Black Metal power. The band’s unique ideas nicely create a very demoralizing and yet highly effective style of its own.

  • Acathexis - Immerse (2024)


    Featuring members of bands like Mare Cognitum, Los Males del Mundo, SLOW and Wolvennest, today we have Acathexis with a truly unique and demoralizing release titled “Immerse”. Featuring four tracks and nearly 56 minutes of music, each song is a tour de force when it comes to tempo changes and raw emotions. Not unexpected from such a stacked line-up, this release is probably one of the most underrated albums of 2024.

    The release starts with the dreamy opening to “Dreams of Scorched Mirrors”, a track that immediately delivers a big punch to the face with its piercing vocals and intense riffing. The vocals in this release are insane, perfectly covering different styles and levels of intensity, and they are courtesy of Dany Tee of Los Males del Mundo and Those Endless Eyes fame. Aside from the insane vocals, the music creates a very thick and moody atmosphere that has tons of layers that need more than a few spins to discover.

  • i Häxa - Part 1 (2024)


    Unleashing a short but very interesting release, today we have i Häxa and the chaotic and yet lush “Part 1”. Featuring four songs and over 16 minutes of music, the listener is taken on an aural journey that weaves between ambient, darkwave, avant-garde, and highly atmospheric passages. If you like weird and yet cohesive and engaging releases, with no Metal elements whatsoever, give this one a spin.

  • Olhava - Sacrifice (2024)


    Perfectly balancing fragility and raw aggression, today we have Olhava and their latest opus “Sacrifice”. Featuring members of Trna, this duo unleashes eight tracks clocking in at nearly 87 minutes of music. Filled with magical soundscapes and crafty songwriting ideas, this album is highly intoxicating. Recommended for fans of bands like An Autumn for Crippled Children, Heretoir, Show Me a Dinosaur, etc. this release is quite dreamy and hypnotic.

    Opening with the sixteen minute “Forever With You”, the band sets a very atmospheric and immersive mood with lush keyboards alongside a wall of distortion. Setting the mood between the album’s longer tracks, we have a number of enigmatic atmospheric instrumentals called “Ageless River VI-IX”. These tracks provide a nice and varied transition between the more cathartic and crushing pieces.

  • Vemod - The Deepening (2024)


    Unleashing a mesmerizing first release in over a decade, Vemod delivers nearly 50 minutes of highly dynamic and engaging Atmospheric Black Metal. With parallels to Agalloch, Fen and similar artists, there are six lush tracks in this release with plenty of memorable passages and arrangements. Far from straightforward and predictable, this album is surely going to make plenty of best of 2024 releases.

    After the mood setting intro, “Der guder dør” fiercely delivers incisive riffs alongside a very hypnotic tempo and masterful vocal arrangements. Creating a very powerful and demoralizing atmosphere, the band perfectly weaves dramatic instrumental passages with more aggressive and brutal onslaughts. With an even stronger pace, “True North Beckons” has a certain Borknagar in the “Olden Domain” days vibe mixed in with a more modern Blackgaze edge to it, and even some jazziness is thrown into the mix.

  • SLOW - Ab​î​mes I (2023)


    Setting a very slow and mournful pace, today we have Belgium’s SLOW and their latest demoralizing release “Ab​î​mes I”. Mastermind Déhà has a knack for unleashing gargantuan releases filled with crushing riffs, vocal extremes, and always a heavy atmospheric component, with this band Funeral Doom is as excruciating and punishing as it gets. With four tracks and nearly 44 minutes of music, this release is as dense as they get, evoking memories of other bands like Shape of Despair and the OGs Thergothon.

  • Dismal Aura - Imperium Mortalia (2023)


    Seemingly a straightforward Black Metal outfit, Dismal Aura is a lot more than that as “Imperium Mortalia” showcases. Released via Avantgarde Music, this release delivers around 30 minutes of atmospheric and well crafted Black Metal with subtle influences from the Post-Black Metal scene. With similarities to bands like Saor, Winterfylleth, and Advent Sorrow, this release is quite melancholic and aggressive at the same time.

  • Welmoed - Ask & Embla (2023)


    Crafting a truly unique and powerful mixture between heaviness and dreaminines, today we have Dutch project Welmoed and their debut release “Ask & Embla”. Featuring five tracks and over 33 minutes of Atmospheric Post-Black/Shoegaze Metal/Rock music, this release creates a very engaging and fragile atmosphere thanks to ethereal keyboards and dramatic vocal arrangements.

    The album sets a very hypnotic pace with the shoegaze-y opener “Naga'' and its dramatic tempo changes alongside crafty instrumentation. While the opener is pretty good, one starts thinking that this will be just another one of those Post-Black Metal releases as the intense tremolo picking sets in. This impression continues as “Ask & Embla” continues the release, until a magical change happens as angelic female vocals are introduced and the whole vibe instantly changes.

  • Urbain - A Soul Purged (2023)


    We sometimes wonder how the guys over at Hypnotic Dirge Records have such a similar music taste to us. From highly melancholic, to extremely experimental releases, this label has landed another winner with Urbain’s release “A Soul Purged”. Hailing from Texas, this band feels like a mixture of Vesperian Sorrow, Limbonic Art, with some splashes of Dimmu Borgir. With nine brilliant and high-octane tracks, this release is one of our early candidates for album of the year for 2023.

    Opening with the release with the dramatic atmospherics of “Perception”, the mood is set very efficiently as the ravaging intensity of the guitar riffs is introduced alongside piercing shrieks and lush melodic passages. With an atmospheric transitioning track between each song, the band nicely changes the tempo and mood while preparing themselves to unleash aggressive onslaughts with a hearty balance of melody as we can hear in excellent songs like “Without Conscience” and “A Soul Purged”.


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