Atmospheric

  • An Abstract Illusion - Woe (2022)

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    It has been a while since we got an album that we have to drop everything we are doing in order to pay full attention. Luckily for us, An Abstract Illusion’s sophomore release “Woe” is one of those rare gems. Unleashing nearly one hour of highly melancholic Atmospheric/Melodic Death/Progressive Metal, this band will turn heads with their excellent songwriting skills and brilliant delivery. Just think of Cynic meets Bel’akor meets Countless Skies, as this release is both explosive and bombastic.

    Opening with the crafty “The Behemoth That Lies Asleep”, the band sets a magical and dreamy mood with dramatic guitar leads and ethereal atmospherics. Reminding us a bit of Andora’s Persefone, “Slaves” perfectly balances agression with lush instrumental passages and crafty arrangements. Clocking in at 11 minutes, “Tear Down This Holy Mountain” is one blistering piece that expertly builds momentum with dramatic tempo changes, including some magical jazzy passages.

  • Herbstlethargie - Melancholie im Blattfall (2022)

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    Hailing from Germany, Herbstlethargie is an Atmospheric/Depressive Black Metal one-man outfit, is set to deliver one crushing debut release with “Melancholie im Blattfall”. Taking elements from bands like Heretoir, Winterfylleth, Saor, and many others, this release unleashes around one hour of highly emotional and expertly crafted music. Carving its own niche, Herbstlethargie is one of the most promising projects to watch in 2022.

    Setting a very dreamy and yet desolate vibe with the opener “September”, the band unleashes its ode to autumn with waves of crafty guitar riffs paired with intense drumming and engaging tempo changes. We particularly enjoy the band’s versatility to go from all-out aggression as in the opening of “Umschwung” to the hypnotic and subtle melodies of “In unendlichen Himmeln”.

  • Elegeion - Plight of the Heretic (2022)

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    Unleashing a monolithic piece of highly engaging and melancholy oozing music, today we have Elegeion, with their first full-length release in 17 years, and “Plights of the Heretic”. Hailing from Australia, Elegeion was one of those bands that we got introduced to via the Modern Invasion Music label, the other band was a personal favorite: Chalice. Continuing exactly where they left off, but with a mostly new line-up, we are treated to 49 minutes of heart-wrenching melancholic music.

    The release starts with the album title track featuring some engaging and mysterious momentum building percussion. Around the second and third minute of this song, the Elegeion signature melodic riffs and guitar leads come in alongside Kindabah’s solemn and excellent vocals. The band’s sound is quite unique to them, and its creator Anthony Kwan, but for the uninitiated, it's highly melancholic and yet straightforward. The somber melancholy perfectly bleeds into the excellent “Dust” and its lush string arrangements paired with harsh vocals and a very Doomy tempo.

  • Daidalos - The Expedition (2022)

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    Today we have one-man battalion Daidalos and their extremely dynamic and engaging Atmospheric/Symphonic Dark Metal sound. Creating a very cinematic and over the top aural experience, “The Expedition” is one hell of a debut release with elements from bands like Dimmu Borgir, Therion, and Fleshgod Apocalypse, just to name a few. However, the 52+ minutes of music here take a life of their own as they come to life with very lively arrangements and crafty tempo changes, giving Daidalos a signature extreme music sound.

    Slowly building momentum with the dramatic opener “Expedition”, we see the band crafting a very cinematic experience by perfectly layering atmospheric elements with crushing guitar riffs and massive drumming. As the album progresses to pieces like “Icewind” and “Sail into the Stars”, it is quite magical how immersive the music feels. The production is top notch, perfectly highlighting elements that need to shine across the well layered ‘Metal’ foundation.

  • Karl Sanders - Saurian Apocalypse (2022)

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    The mastermind of Brutal Death Metal outfit, Nile, Karl Sanders, is ready to come back with its third solo full-length release “Saurian Apocalypse”. It has been 13 years since his last solo release, and here the listener is treated to ten mostly instrumental pieces that have some of the Middle-eastern vibe of Nile, but in a more exploratory and atmospheric way, and of course without the growls.

    Far from the thunderous riffs and intensity of his main band, Karl Sanders shows a very mellow and enjoyable atmospheric side to his craft with pieces like “The Sun Has Set on the Age of Man”, “The Disembodied Yet Slither Among Us”, and “The Evil Inherent in us All”, while still keeping that somber and ritualistic edge of his other band. There is a very relaxing and experimental feeling to the music in this release, showing more range and a variety of moods.

  • Ardours - Anatomy of a Moment (2022)

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    Led by the talented Mariangela Demurtas of Tristania fame, and multi-instrumentalist/producer Kris Laurent, Ardours is one of those rare unique bands that manages to perfectly blend all kinds of cool elements from Gothic Rock to Metal to 80’s new wave. With “Anatomy of a Moment” they hone in on the strengths of their debut album and unleash nearly 45 minutes of superbly catchy music filled with soaring vocal melodies, lush atmospheric arrangements and a hefty dose of funky beats.

    Opening with the magical futuristic atmospherics of “Epitaph For A Spark”, one could immediately think the band turned into another Amaranthe, but as soon as the soothing guitars and Mariangela’s vocals come on, the whole vibe changes into a completely different beast. The band’s ability to create different moods, some darker or more playful than others, is their biggest strength as they deliver songs like “Insomniac”, “Identified”, and “Secret Worlds”, which range in styles but still feature a cohesive core of solid guitar work, crafty drumming and soaring vocal leads.

  • Saor - Origins (2022)

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    Unleashing one of the most majestic and expertly crafted mixtures of Atmospheric/Folk and Melodic Black Metal, today we have Saor and their latest release “Origins”. As the brainchild of Andy Marshall, this outfit has continually gotten better over the years and with this release they reach the pinnacle (for now) of their craftsmanship and songwriting abilities. Featuring six tracks and nearly 42 minutes of music, this is definitely one of the top releases of 2022.

    Opening with the regal “Call of the Carnyx”, we get the band’s signature melodic riffing alongside crafty atmospheric and very ethereal clean vocals. As the track progresses more Folk elements are baked into the mix, perfectly leading to the lively “Fallen” and its graceful guitar leads intertwined with harsh screams and killer tempo changes. Never leaving the Folky and mystical nature of the band’s sound behind, “The Ancient Ones” is a magical piece where all these elements perfectly work together to create a very intense mood.

  • Kardashev - Liminal Rite (2022)

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    Completely blowing us away with their EP “The Baring of Shadows”, earlier this year, we now have Kardashev’s sophomore full-length release and it is even more grandiose than their EP. Featuring almost one hour of music, this release delivers the perfect balance between aggression, technical proficiency, atmosphere and melancholy, in one very unique and explosive package.

    After setting a very mysterious and imposing mood with the spoken words and atmospherics of the opener, “Silvered Shadows” shows the band at its element with a lush mixture of Progressive/Death-core/ and Post-Metal. This amalgamation of styles creates a very sublime and dreamy atmosphere, nicely bleeding into pieces like “Apparitions in Candlelight”, “Lavender Calligraphy”. Which nicely combines a mix of dreamy clean and crushing growls.

  • Stjärnfält - Lapporten (2022)

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    Unleashing a highly engaging and extremely well crafted mixture of futuristic atmospherics and harsh Black/Post-Black Metal onslaughts, Stjärnfält returns with its second release “Lapporten”. As a one man-project now based in Sweden, M delivers four masterful tracks that have some elements of Germ, Galaktik Cancer Squad and Angst Skvadron.

    The release opens with the sidereal journey of “Kebnekaise”, a 14-minute piece that slowly eases the listener into the band’s magical world. Masterful atmospheric synths are nicely paired with melodic riffs that quickly incite headbanging while the harsh vocals are introduced and tempo changes brilliantly shift the pace of things. After that magical opener, “Bruskleden” keeps the listener impressed with its lush atmospherics and very dynamic pace, creating a truly engaging and exciting listening experience.

  • Satyricon - Satyricon & Munch (2022)

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    Released entirely by surprise on digital platforms first, Satyricon’s commissioned piece for the Edvard Munch museum, titled “Satyricon & Munch”, is a piece full of promise that never really delivers. We understand that this music was supposed to be the backdrop of the exhibit in the new museum, but while putting in context with Edvard Munch’s art there is some cohesion, the 57 minute piece never really builds up to much.

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