The highly productive Déhà is back with his Atmospheric/Funeral Doom Metal project SLOW and their latest masterpiece of sorrow with “VI - Dantalion”. Crafting monolithic atmospheres around soul crushing riffs, this release unleashes nearly 80 minutes of powerful music. Just when you think the boundaries of the genre cannot be pushed further, an album like this comes along and shatters them completely.
Warming up the listener with the bleak soundscapes of “Descente”, the album slowly gets fired up as you come across the 17-minute behemoth of “Lueur”. The slow growls lead to monumental riffs and tense atmospherics, creating a very unsettling mood. The dramatic arrangements created by the synths perfectly complement the ravaging guitar structures. However, what really captures the listener is the dramatic tempo changes and mood swings within songs like the later and “Futilité”. Alternating a ‘shorter’ song between 10+ minute pieces, Slow explores darker territories with the harsher vocals and more sinister atmosphere of “Géhenne”.
Unleashing incomparable misery, today we have Belgium’s Imber Luminis and their latest full-length release “Same old Silences”. This one-man band from Déhà, of Clouds and SLOW fame, definitely creates one of the most oppressive and bleakest Atmospheric Black Metal atmospheres every recorded. While not technically complex or over the top, the masterful use of bleak keyboards paired with chaotic screams of desperation creates a very unique vibe that will crush your hopes and dreams.
Opening with the behemoth album title track, divided into three movements, the band unleashes 24 minutes of pure misery. Weaving back and forth between excruciatingly bleak passages of clean vocals and simple piano to inhuman growls and shrieks of desperation adorned by punishing riffs, this track completely transports the listener into the bowels of hell. The Doomy elements perfectly blend with the aggressive BM influences crafting a very powerful amalgamation of styles.
One man Australian battalion Midnight Odyssey is finally unleashing their newest full-length release “Biolume Part 1 - In Tartarean Chains”, that is by far one of the most captivating Ambient Black Metal releases of 2019. Taking the listener into a sidereal journey with his mastery of atmosphere and pace, Dis Pater delivers over 70 minutes of lush and hypnotic music.
The album kicks off with the spacey and dreamy atmospherics of “Hidden in Tartarus”. This track crafts a very unique ambiance thanks to doomy riffs and very ethereal clean vocal arrangements. Sending chills through your spine, this atmosphere is continued on the heavier “Forever Silenced”, a track with more Doom-ish undertones and contrasting harsh vocals. This song reminded us a bit of the earlier days of Therion, just when they started getting into the Symphonic days of their career.
The ever changing Blut Aus Nord returns with their most impressive release to date with “Hallucinogen”. Everybody knows the band’s releases always push sonic boundaries, but with this opus, Vindsval and W.D. Feld take their sound to completely new cosmic dimensions. For over 48 minutes of music the band explores uniquely melancholic and ethereal territories with an interesting blend of lush atmospherics and intricate guitar work. Unless something drastically changes, we can almost be sure that this album will be our top release of 2019.
Opening with the mesmerizing “Nomos Nebuleam”, the band sets a very dreamy and highly atmospheric mood. The dramatic guitar work perfectly blending with the intense drumming to create a very powerful vibe. Combining the intensity of Progenie Terrestre Pura and the sci-fi-esque edge of Frozen Ocean, Blut Aus Nord crafts some very intense moments on tracks like “Nebeleste” that are both punishing and highly inspired. The clean vocal arrangements are quite unique and adds to the music’s overall weirdness and atmosphere.
Constantly getting better with time, Cult of Luna is ready to unravel their latest non-collaborative release: “A Dawn to Fear”. Featuring nearly 80 minutes of demoralizing music, this release showcases the band’s evolution into one of the most versatile and complex bands in the world. Picking up where they left off on their “Mariner” collaboration, the band creates lush soundscapes full of intricacies and magical details, making their music highly enjoyable and engaging.
The band wastes no time in setting up a very hypnotic mood with “The Silent Man”. Weaving back and forth between crushing guitar riffs, a trembling bass guitar onslaught and the band’s signature harsh vocals, this track perfectly prompts the listener to strap down to their seats and enjoy the ride. With the ritualistic “Lay Your Head to Rest”, the band sets a trance-like mood that bleeds into the more mellow album title track. We particularly enjoy how the band perfectly times the tempo changes, while keeping things fresh and interesting.
Australia is a place were some pretty interesting bands like Austere and Germ have spawned. Finally breaking into the global scene a few years back, Advent Sorrow delivers brutal Depressive Black Metal to the masses with their incisive and nihilistic style. “Kali Yuga Crown” is the band’s sophomore full-length release and with the wide release through Werewolf Records should propel the band to new audiences.
The album is all atmosphere start to finish, and it perfectly sets a very sinister and melancholic mood with the dramatic opener “Verminblood”. Unleashing intricate guitar melodies and a mournful bass guitar line, this track unleashes the band’s pain to the listener. Not settling for only one particular style, “Wolfhook and Weapon” showcases the band’s more upbeat and intense side, with an old-school sounding Black’n’Roll-ish style.
Backed by a killer production, “Wanderers” is one hell of a great sounding quality Symphonic Metal album. We have been huge fans of the band since their early days and all the line-up changes, however, with this release they show they are back, firing on all cylinders and the scene better watch out for them. If you like expertly crafted Symphonic Metal songs that are both intense and highly emotional, look no further and give Visions of Atlantis a chance.
The album kicks off with the haunting “I: Citadel Alunar”, a track that slowly builds up momentum with its mellow riffs and hellish screams. Perfectly mixing dramatic synths with tense drone-ish moments, this track creates a chilling vibe. In tracks like “II: The Voice of Nebular Flame” and “III: The Senility of the Hourglass”patience rewards the listener with slow and intricate build-ups and crafty transitions.
Canadian label Hypnotic Dirge Records certainly has one of the best underground Metal rosters with very unique bands, and now it has partnered with American outfit Sertraline to help them spread their very emotionally charged and powerful music. Delivering three tracks and nearly 20 minutes of lush Atmospheric Post-Metal, this release creates a very powerful atmosphere that is nicely delivered via crushing guitars and crafty percussions.
Opening with the dramatic “Hours of Avarice”, the band slowly builds up into a trippy Post-Rock/Metal tune with subtle dreamy guitars and hypnotic drumming. While the music is lush and mysterious, the vocals come off a bit weird, not really a shriek, not really a growl, they sound odd when layered on top of the instrumentation. However, they are not too distracting and still allow the band’s melancholic elements to ooze out of their music.
Originally hailing from Mexico, Sadness is a one-man project that delivers harrowing Blackgaze music in the same vein of bands like Alcest, Heretoir, Falaise, etc. Cranking out more than a five releases in the last couple of years, this outfit is as productive as Cold World and many others. With over 37 minutes of music divided in five tracks, this release is a good addition to anybody’s Blackgaze collection.
Opening with “Eye of Prima”, the band unleashes their best song with a lively and yet bleak track filled with a subtle atmosphere and very engaging clean vocals. This track slowly progresses in to more aggressive territories with harsh screams and a darker pace. Our personal favorite is the dreamy “Cerrien”, a track that is quite intoxicating thanks to its funky atmospheric keyboards and the odd pace. The Shoegazey parts of “Lana”, make it a very entertaining song and quite a delight to hear.
Better known as Sleepwalker (夢遊病者), this international band formed from people from multiple corners of the world like Japan, Russia and USA unleashes the latest EP with “Yus” (Ѫ). Combining Black Metal with unique elements and crafted very bleak atmospheres, it feels like Darkthrone and Kayo Dot had a very odd bastard child.
Side A delivers an atmospheric opening which sets a mystical backdrop, only to quickly evolve into dissonant madness. This track perfectly transmits a feeling of helplessness with its odd atmospheric elements and brutal onslaughts. The harsh screams seem a bit distorted, but create a unique vibe that when paired with the rest, create a very uneasy vibe.