Unleashing over 34 minutes of highly Atmospheric Black Metal, today we have one-man Lustre with “Still Innocence”. Featuring five aurally oppressive songs, this release continues the legacy of the band as one of the premiere atmospheric outfits. Filled with melancholy and catchiness, this release will certainly resonate with the listener after the first spin.
Opening with the hypnotic pace of “Dreaded Still”, Lustre sets a very ethereal and trippy mood thanks to the keyboards taking the center stage. The mood transforms into a more mysterious and eerie one with the powerful “Nestle Within”. The atmosphere of this track is quite magical as it feels like from a different realm of existence. The percussions set the tone very effectively and appease the listener.
Crafting a very disturbing and eerie dark cloud of sound, today we have Sum of R and their full-length release “Orga”. Hailing from Switzerland, this two-man outfit unleashes a very unique aural exploration that is quite minimalist and ritualistic in nature, with plenty of creepy elements. Recommended for fans of Void ov Voices, Raison D'Etre, Sunn O))), etc., this release will induce nightmares if played in the dark.
The album sets a very martial and disturbing tone with the first few tracks, “Please Ring the Bells”, “Overgrown” and “We Have to Mark This Entrance”, allowing the listener to get into a very eerie and spacey frame of mind. We were particularly disturbed (in a good way) by the funky samples at the end of the third track. The unnerving aural dissonance of pieces like “Cobalt Power” make this release quite a treat to listen to, while others like “Hypnotic State” bring back some more familiar Lustre-influenced elements.
With Agalloch disbanding recently, it is time for a new band to take the throne to the best Atmospheric Black Metal outfit in the USA. With “Lethean Lament”, Mavradoxa makes their case to the throne. Unleashing over 60 minutes of highly engaging and intricate music, this release showcases the band’s creativity while unleashing very melodic and powerful songs.
Opening with the Empyrium-esque “Cicadan” acoustic guitar/violins intro, the band settles into their main sound with the crushing guitars of “The Phantom Visages”. With some very mellow and even ‘Doomy’ riffs, this song is quite engaging and sets a very melodic and sinister atmosphere. As a two-man operation, the band gets things quite heavy when needed with the harsh vocals and blistering riffs.
Delivering one of the most engaging and crushing Death/Doom/Sludge Metal releases of 2017, today we have Jupiterian and their sophomore release “Terraforming”. Unleashing a unique mix of atmospheric elements with traditional Doom/Sludge riffs, the band has crafted over 38 minutes of music that will keep you at the edge of your seat while clamoring for more.
The release immediately sets the tone with the slowly building atmosphere crafted in “Matriarch”. Crafting a powerful wall of sound, the guitars are quite punishing and quite relentless from the start. As “Unearthly Glow” rolls around, we get a more structured Death/Doom dynamic with powerful growls and weeping guitar leads, all tucked between crushing riffs and a very tight tempo.
Making its way to our office from Canada, today we have Finland’s one-man demolition squad Kval and its self-titled debut release. Originally releasing music under the moniker Khaossos, Kval’s sole member crafts some of the most misanthropically punishing Atmospheric Black Metal we have heard in a while. Evoking the raw elements of old-school Burzum and the bleakness of Mortualia, this is one heavy release.
After setting the mood with the chilling “Usva”, the punishing distorted guitars first make an appearance on “Sokeus”. Instantly creating a wall of dissonance, the guitars perfectly blend with a trance-inducing bass guitar line and their demoralizing harsh vocals. These elements are very nicely contrasted with somber instrumental passages. The transition between songs is quite subtle and before you know it, this release is already on its third track, “Harhainen”.
Hailing from Spain, today we have Atmospheric Death/Doom quintet Evadne and their latest release “A Mother Named Death”. With the band being on our radar since their debut release “The 13th Condition”, we are quite excited to hear that they have blossomed into a very dynamic and engaging outfit. Delivering over 60 minutes of music, this band aims to take the throne of the most melancholic Spanish band from Helevorn, with this killer release.
Opening with the mellow “Adobe of Distress”, we are treated to a very traditional Death/Doom song filled with pummeling guitars and killer vocal arrangements. We particularly enjoy when a band can mix both clean and harsh vocals in a very organic and complementary way. Invoking their internal Swallow the Sun, “Scars that Bleed Again” delivers a perfect balance of sheer aggression and atmospheric magic, allowing the band to showcase their contrasting versatility.
Just when you think that Clouds can’t get any better, Daniel Neagoe and company unleash a short EP that takes the band’s sound to a whole new level. Delivering four new songs with guests like Mikko Kotamäki (Swallow the Sun), Ana Carolina (Mourning Sun), Gogo Melone (Luna Obscura), and Mihu Ilie (Abigail), this release pushes the limits of sorrow and melancholy. If you like the band’s previous efforts, this is an EP you cannot miss.
Opening with the bleak guitars and atmospheric violins of “The Wind Carried Your Soul”, Clouds instantly sets a very depressive and powerful mood. As soon as Ana Carolina’s vocals come forward, the atmosphere feels even bleaker and denser, and we have just gotten started. With “Fields of Nothingness” we are treated to Mikko’s vocals in a very lush track filled with warm vocal harmonies and masterful keyboards. Definitely one of the best songs in this EP, as the mood is quite desolate and crushing.
Continuing their magical sidereal journey, today we have Italy’s Progenie Terrestre Pura and their sophomore full-length release “oltreLuna”. Delivering over 55 minutes of highly atmospheric Black Metal with some Industrial Black Metal elements, the band manages to craft five intricate tracks that show great musicianship and ideas. If you like highly experimental/futuristic sounding Black Metal like Shade Empire or similar outfits, you will definitely enjoy this release.
Opening with the crushing riffs of “[.Pianeta.Zero.]”, we get a very Industrial BM vibe mixed with heavy atmospheric elements, making a very unique combination. As always with this band, the track takes a turn into more standard and melodic territories, showcasing the band’s versatility. Continuing the onslaught we have “[.subLuce.]” and its intense drumming, making it one of the most brutal pieces in this release. A nice touch is the dreamy female vocals thrown into the mix to create a deeper atmosphere.
Featuring a very unique mixture of elements, today we have Æra and their debut EP titled “Of Forsworn Vows”. Combining elements from 90’s Black Metal with more modern Pagan Metal elements, this release unleashes over 20 minutes of highly addictive music that is quite epic and engaging. For fans of bands like Borknagar and early Emperor to outfits like Thyrfing, this release will certainly fit very well on your collection.
Opening with the powerful atmospheric elements of “An Affirmation of Forsworn Vows”, the band makes a bit splash with tense keyboards and a very melodic core. The riffing reminds us of bands like Falkenbach, which is straightforward but very melodic in nature. The vocals are quite fitting and add that extra layer of power to this impressive song as it weaves back and forth between different tempos.
Hailing from Germany, today we have one of the best Black Metal releases of 2017. Perfectly combining furious onslaughts with moody atmospheric elements, Nemesis Sopor delivers over 57 minutes of majestically crafted music that captivate the listener. Highly recommended for those fans of very refined melancholic Black Metal, “MMXL” is one of those releases that will command your full attention as it unravels fully after more than a handful of listens.
The album opens with a ferocious 15-minute piece titled “Untertan”, which give a little taste of what is to come. This track has it all: blisteringly fast sections, solemn melancholic passages, and very powerful transitions, making this song very unique and a true tour de force performance... just to start the album. Providing a lush breather, we have the instrumental “Saat”, just before things speed up again with the expansive “Herscher”. This track delivers more incisive riffing and crushing harsh vocals paired with a very mysterious tempo and brilliant atmospheric sections.