After unleashing one hell of a release last year with “Gnosis”, Finland’s mysterious duo Aethyrick swiftly returns with the lush and crushing “Apotheosis”. Delivering over 41 minutes of highly Atmospheric Black Metal, this release builds up on its predecessor while further refining the band’s immersive sound. Featuring the perfect blend of melancholy and harshness, this release quickly establishes itself as one of 2021 finest.
Opening with a chaotic and ravaging intro in “The Starlit Altar”, the band sets the mood via their layered guitar work and hectic drumming. With a commanding pace and hellish scorn behind it, “Rosary of Midnights” is one of those tracks that incites melodic headbanging while it weaves back and forth furious onslaughts and devilish screams. The atmospheric elements are quite subtle, yet strong enough to pierce through the distorted guitars and deliver an ethereal feeling.
From the mind of Naas Alcameth (Nightbringer, Aoratos, etc.) today we have an exercise in atmospheric brutality and madness Akhlys third full-length release “Melinoë”. Creating an unrivaled oppressive atmosphere since the opener, this release unleashes over 45 minutes of misanthropic music both punishing and ritualistic. If you think Nightbringer and Aoratos are intense, wait until you get a peek at the sheer power behind this release.
Setting a very macabre tone, the opener, “Somniloquy” creates a relentless atmosphere filled with pummeling drums and brilliantly layered guitars, unleashing a very oppressive vibe. Naas Alcameth’s signature vocals greatly enhance the sinister ambiance and nicely create hellish passages on tracks like “Pnigalion”, adding an extra layer of eeriness to an already highly atmospheric musical foundation.
Dramatically balancing brutality with sheer beauty, today we have Exitium Sui and their debut release “Ad Personam”. Mixing elements of Black/Death Metal with lush atmospherics and excellent vocal arrangements, this release delivers over 35 minutes of excellently crafted music. One-man projects usually allow musicians to craft exactly the music they want, with no compromises, and this release shows a very personal and crushing aural experience.
The release kicks off with the punishing “Eviscerate My Withered Soul”, which has a more traditional Death/Black sound but with a calmer pace and an intriguing and very subtle atmospheric undertone. The vibe continues to get bleaker in songs like “The Long Return To Nothing” and “Into The Conflagration”, while delivering a hefty dose of harsh growls and crushing guitars. It is quite interesting how the release slowly builds up its atmospheric components and turns darker as the minutes pass.
With the state of affairs in 2020, music has been a great escape for many. With “Another World”, Light Field Reverie beautifully transport the listener on a highly ethereal journey with their captivating music. Featuring both members of Draconian and Sojourner, this release unleashes over 40 minutes of majestic music that incorporates tons of different elements outside of the normal Metal music scope.
Opening with the dreamy “Ultraviolet”, we are greeted with the sultry vocals of Heike Langhans and very moody atmospheric elements ranging from electronic beats, to dreamy synths. Alongside the atmospherics, we also have a well defined Doom-ish structure of heavy guitar riffs and crafty drums, creating a very piercing and yet enigmatic sound, as tracks morph between highly emotional passages to heavier counterparts, like on “The Oldest house”.
Always delivering a truly hypnotic and ritualistic aural experience, today we have Dark Buddha Rising and their latest opus “Mathreyata”. Hailing from Finland, this outfit continues to captivate audiences with their piercing and ritualistic compositions, unleashing nearly 43 minutes of music in four tracks. For those that like heavy distorted guitars, trippy percussions and tempo changes, alongside a good dose of Drone, Sludge, and Pysch, this release is face melting.
Opening with the trippy “Sunyaga”, the listener is faced with a barrage of pummeling riffs alongside a psychedelic undertone. Vocalist Marko Neuman is one of those weird forces that seems to unleash multiple personalities while singing, creating a very mysterious and yet brutal aural. Feeling already numb and subdued, the second track “Nagathma” takes the eerie atmospherics to a whole new level thanks to some superbly creepy elements paired alongside crafty drum patterns and spacious guitars.
Atmospheric Black Metal is one of those genres where bands can either deliver excellent and chilling releases or just completely shit the bed. Luckily for us, Boreal’s debut full-length release “The Battle of VOSAD” is quite good, providing a solid experience to the listener. For fans of bands like Limbonic Art or Mysticum, this release creates a haunting and yet magical vibe.
Opening with the lush intro of “The Battle”, the band sets a very regal and fantasy-like ambiance before hitting the listener with a Mysticum-esque Industrial-ish sounding Black Metal with powerful vocals and solid riffs. The drums, which sound more like programmed drums, but you never know these days as software has gotten quite good, set a very martial and hypnotic pace, keeping the atmospheric elements flowing effectively and elegantly.
Unleashing a very unique and auraly abusive release, today we have experimental/atmospheric Black Metal duo Shaidar Logoth and their gargantuan “Chapter III: The Void God” release. Featuring a mix of traditional USBM with more esoteric atmospheric/ambient elements and a splash of Post-BM elements, this release delivers over 47 minutes of creepily captivating music.
The release opens with the multi-layered “Nest of Pigs”, a track that slowly builds up with a very ethereal feeling thanks to the Post-BM-ish guitars in the first few minutes. The band’s aggressive side is not to be trifled with as this opener reaches a high point with blistering BM aggression through intense riffing and drumming. The band’s more atmospheric/ambient influences help transition this track into the cavernous “Anguish Cradle”. This song creates a very unique and effective oppression sound with a slow drawn melody and a chaotic ending.
France has been on the forefront of pushing Black Metal to new auditory levels with bands like Blut Aus Nord and Throane. Today we have the latter’s new effort: “Une Balle Das Le Pied” a one-track, 13-minute 7” release that continues Dehn Sora’s musical exploration with plenty of unique elements. Not for the close-minded, this short but sweet release encapsulates a very unique concept alongside hellish music.
Unleashing a hellish attack on your senses, the juxtaposition of Industrial elements and trance-inducing Dark Ambient influences creates a very thick and chaotic atmosphere, similar to what Yeruselem crafted last year but with a more punishing and hypnotic edge. The song is divided into three main movements separated by eerie interludes. However, every single part delivers relentless aggression with harsh screams and crushing guitars.
Dropping one of the most surprisingly awesome releases of 2020, today we have Chrome Waves and their latest amalgamation of Post-Black Metal with all kinds of extra genres, under the title “Where We Live”. Featuring nearly 45 minutes of brilliantly intricate and nicely layered music that will appeal to fans from bands like Deafheaven, Abigail Williams, to Mountaineer or Alcest.
Opening with the dramatic “Hallow Dreams”, the band leads with lush instrumentation and suddenly escalates to dreamy riffs and catchy passages, all rounded up by harsh vocals. This track instantly showcases the band’s unique musical proposal as the vocal harmonies further elevate the already imposing atmosphere. This bleeds into “Gazing Into Oblivion”, a track that gives us that playful and in a way a bit pop-ish sound of bands like Amesoeurs.
Featuring members of Falaise, Morwinyon is an Italian outfit crafting soothing Atmospheric Black Metal tunes in the same vein as Saor and similar bands. With “Pristine”, the band unleashes nearly 40 minutes of atmospheric brilliance divided into four powerful tracks. While this genre is getting a lot of competition in the last few years, bands like this one clearly stand out from the rest thanks to their creative musical ideas and excellent execution.
The release opens with the dreamy “The Intangible Void”, a song filled with mystical synths and a good dosage of incisive riffs. The atmospheric components are a bit overpowering in the production of this release, but they still allow the ‘heavier’ elements to shine as this mid-tempo track unleashes a good amount of harsh screams alongside the very hypnotic vibe. “Sea of Stars” takes a more dramatic and darker turn with crafty drumming and some very solemn and effective passages that provide respite from the overpowering atmosphere, similar to what is found on releases by Lustre.