Unleashing a crushing amalgamation of distorted guitars and powerful atmospheres, today we have France’s Dirge and their latest opus “Lost Empyrean”. Bordering in many genres like Slude, Doom, Post-Metal, this French outfit delivers a captivating release that is quite dense and engaging. For over 56 minutes and seven tracks, we are taken through dismal soundscapes that feel quite oppressive and showcase the band’s fresh and unique sound.
Opening with pummeling distorted guitars on “Wingless Multitudes”, the band’s wall of sound slowly builds up as the guitar layers pile up and craft a tense mood. Weaving back and forth between Amenra-esque moments and more traditional Doom passages, this track brilliantly blends into the next” “Hosea 8:7”. Masterfully maintaining the tension and overall ambiance, the mixture of clean and harsh vocals provides a nice layer to an already intricate mixture of sounds.
As the second full-length release from Unreqvited this 2018, this is certainly the most ambitious one. Mostly diverging away from the more traditional Post-Black Metal elements of their first two albums, “Mosaic I: l'amour et l'ardeur” is a lush introduction into a more atmospheric and dream-like world that is quite magical to experience. This one-man outfit does a great job in creating magical soundscapes with dreamy guitars and solemn piano elements, so be prepared to be fully immersed into Unreqvited’s musical journey.
The album sets a magical mood with the majestic “Sunrise”, a piece that is quite ethereal in nature and perfectly crafted to give that warm fuzzy sense of awe. “Dreamscape” has a distinct Blackgaze vibe, nicely created by the active guitars and a backdrop of harrowing harsh shrieks, perfectly contrasting the brightness created by the instruments. We are suckers for playful piano songs and “Radiant” delivers on this. Perfectly named, this track feels quite radiant as it shines thanks to its dramatic arrangements and masterful distorted guitars as contrast.
Unleashing one of the most harrowing Atmospheric/Experimental Black Metal releases of 2018, today we have Adaestuo and their debut full-length “Krew Za Krew” . Created by VJS of Nightbringer fame, P.E. Packain ex-Horna, ex-Sargeist, and with Hekte Zaren handling all vocals, this outfit presents a very unique aural abuse that is quite intoxicating and engaging. For over 50 minutes the listener descends into the band’s suffocating madness, making it a very excruciatingly amazing experience.
Wasting no time to make an impression, “Red Moon” creates a very tense and dominant atmosphere with hellish vocals and chilling atmospherics. The tension continues with the Ambient/Noise piece “Transcendental”, which provides some sort of an interlude to their next punishing onslaught: “Monument”. Clocking in at 10 minutes, the hypnotic riffing sets a very dire tone, but it’s the whirlwind raw Black Metal elements that brings the listener into the early days of bands like Emperor and Enslaved.
We usually don’t review re-releases but Ellende’s debut EP “Rückzug in die Innerlichkeit” is one of our favorite releases and we are psyched that Art of Propaganda is making it available to a wider audience. One-man Ellende is one of the top Atmospheric Black Metal/Post-Black Metal outfits to come out in the last few years and this album is a landmark release that deserves more attention.
The EP starts with a dreamy introduction that reminds us of the middle releases of Alcest, with moody tempo changes into very aggressive and demoralizing passages filled with harrowing vocals and punishing drumming. The atmosphere is quite oppressive and masterfully contrasted with acoustic elements. The dramatic string instruments of “Pfad der Endlichkeit” create a very solemn mood that slowly descends into some of the bleakest aural passages ever crafted. This is one of our all time favorite songs due to its dramatic atmosphere and the very raw and primitive emotions transferred by the music.
Two years have passed since their crushing release “Weltenasche”, and now Karg returns with a more refined and poignant release with “Dornenvögel”. As a one-man project from V. Wahntraum of Harakiri for the Sly fame, the band’s sound is quite melancholic with plenty of Post-Black Metal elements thrown into the mix. Clocking in at 76 minutes, this album has a lot of intricacies to be discovered before it fully unravels to the listener, making it a very rich listening experience.
Exploring the darker sides of Atmospheric Black Metal/Post-Black Metal, “Drangsal” starts off the release with melancholic weeping guitars and a very desolate vibe. This track nicely weaves back and forth between bleak soundscape and heavier sections filled with aggression and desperation. The dreamy and Post-Rock-ish passage in “La tristesse durera toujours” is definitely one of the best and most emotionally charged sections we have heard in a while.
Packed with tons of great releases, this 2018 fall also gives us a brand new Sylvaine album. Filled with her characteristic charisma and angelic vocals, “Atoms Aligned, Coming Undone” is another brilliant step in her career which features a more consolidated sound and plenty of memorable songs. The combination of fragility, craftsmanship and occasional burst of aggression make this release one of the best albums of 2018.
Opening with the album title track, Sylvaine slowly builds up with an intense bass guitar line that leads into dreamy vocal arrangements a very melancholic pace. The track continues with some brilliant instrumental passages that feel exploratory in nature, but very well fitting to the overall mood of the song. The Shoegazey/Post-Rock-y vibe arrives in full force with “Mørklagt” a very lush track that explores the more ethereal side of Sylvaine’s music, but not without some heavier sections thrown into the mix.
Only making us wait for ten years, we finally get another brilliant release from Noekk, even if its a short 7 inch one. With “Carol Stones and Elder Rock”, Schwadorff and Thomas Helm tease listeners with four tracks of their upcoming full length release. Full of lush and yet simple arrangements, this release continues the band’s legacy with some unique and mysterious songs that will certainly captivate fans of Dark/Folk Rock.
The wait is over with the somber intro track “A Loss”, which creates a very dark and yet mysterious atmosphere that brings you back to the band’s earlier work and reminds you as well of outfits like Of the Wand and the Moon and Empyrium. The transition to “Pan” is seamless and leads into a lush keyboard atmospherics and haunting string elements. The pace is quite well crafted as it creates a bit of an anxious feel, but at the same times soothes the listeners with its atmospherics.
As one of the most forward thinking and creative bands to come out of Norway, today we have Manes and their latest opus of madness titled “Slow Motion Death Sequence”. Featuring over 44 minutes of lush cinematic music filled with trip-hop, electronic, Metal, and even some synth-pop elements, this release further expands the band’s musical range. Constantly pushing the envelope, this release delivers nine intoxicating songs that demand attention and an open mind.
The release kicks off with the magical jazzy moodiness of “Endetidstegn”, a piece filled with dreamy atmospheric elements and lush vocal arrangements featuring Ana Carolina from Mounring Sun and the enchanting Anna Murphy of Cellar Darling. Things get futuristic with the catchy “Scion”, featuring some funky vocals and a very modern synth-pop-ish feeling. This song is one of the catchiest tracks in this release for sure.
Making justice to such a bleak title, today we have NONE’s sophomore release. Featuring over 50 minutes of the most demoralizing and gut wrenching music you will ever hear, “Life Has Gone On Long Enough” is a brutally emotional Atmospheric Black Metal release that any fan of Austere, Lifelover, Mortualia, etc. cannot miss.
After a moody opener, “A World, Dead and Gray” kicks off with crushingly dissonant guitars and punishing vocals. The atmosphere is quickly set to total bleakness by the pace songs’ pace and knack for very minimalist and yet effective keyboards. Bleeding into “Bed the Cold Earth”, NONE’s ability to continue its atmospheric endeavors is brilliant as the transitions are seamless and keep the listener fully immersed into the vibe of the release.
Unleashing one of the Doomiest and most intoxicating release of 2018, today we have Italy’s Messa and their sophomore full-length release “Feast for Water”. Featuring around 50 minutes of highly mysterious and intricately crafted music, the band perfectly combines Doom and Sludgy undertones with enchanting female vocals and oppressive atmospheric elements. If you are a fan of Jex Thoth, Jess and the Ancient Ones, Bohren Und Der Club Of Gore, and similar bands with very apocalyptic vibes, this is certainly an album for you.
After opening with the mood setting Ambient/Drone-ish “Naunet”, the band instantly makes a splash with “Snakeskin Drape” and its incisive riffs. Sara’s sultry voice instantly captures the listener’s attention thanks to its commanding presence and how it shines through the very moody music. Her unique vocals can be said to be a certain mixture of Jex Thoth, Jess from Jess and the Ancient Ones and Farida Lemouchi from The Devil’s Blood, creating a fierce presence that magically brings songs to life like jazzy “Leah” and the funky “The Seer”.