Unleashing their most mature and crushing release to date, today we have Germany’s King Apathy with “Wounds”. Perfectly blending melancholy and melody with aggression, the band’s sound is quite unique and captivating. Distributing over 45 minutes of music in 9 heavy hitting tracks, the band guides the listeners through a devastating and quite punishing aural journey. If you like dreamy music that is both oppressive and raw, this is certainly the album for you.
The album kicks off with the mysterious “Civilization Kills”, a track that sets a very desolate mood thanks to its crushing bass guitar line, perfectly paired with incisive riffs. The explosiveness of “The Scars of the Land” fits perfectly with the harsh vocals and the crafty drumming patterns. This track also features a very dreamy Post-Rock/Shoegazey passage that nicely changes the pace of the song. Slowly building up with a certain Doomy vibe, “Cleansing” is one of our favorite tracks, thanks to the soaring guitar leads and very intense tempo changes.
Being huge suckers for heavily atmospheric releases, we instantly liked Maestus full-length release “Deliquesce”. Magically combining Atmospheric Doom Metal elements with Funeral Doom and some Black Metal influences, this release is an aural delight from start to finish. With four tracks delivering over 50 minutes of music, each song crafts an oppressive atmosphere that slowly chokes the listener with its sonic intensity.
Opening with the album title track, we have a 15-minute behemoth that opens with a ray of light as the lively atmospherics lead into gargantuan riffs and crushing growls. The band brilliantly knows how to mix repetition with atmosphere to create a very crushing mood. With all the elements of an old-school Funeral Doom masterpiece, “Black Oake” blends in dramatic tempo changes, lush synths and plenty fo head banging passages for any fan of the genre.
Unleashing a very unique amalgamation of sounds, today we have Esben and the Witch and their latest effort “Nowhere”. Featuring a darker tone than their previous releases, this album perfectly contrast the fragility of Rachel Davies vocals and the commanding presence of heavy guitar riffs and hypnotic drumming. Blurring the lines between several genres and influences, this release is certainly one to digest after a good amount of listens and with undivided attention.
Slowing building up their atmosphere in “A Desire for Light”, the band nicely shuffles elements around to create a very powerful and direct song. The band’s sound while simplistic in nature, allows them to play around with the song tempos while crafting memorable tracks that keep you guessing and engaged. The best example of this is the exploratory nature of “Dull Gret” with its heavy guitar riffs, and the dreamy folky piece “Golden Purifier”, which mostly focuses on subtle percussions and solemn guitar leads.
Unleashing one of the early candidates for best album of 2019, today we have Downfall of Gaia and their crushing masterpiece “Ethic Of Radical Finitude”. Slowly perfecting their trade, this German outfit deliver six brilliant songs filled with unrivaled melancholy and sheer power. With over 40 minutes of majestic atmospheric sludginess, this release perfectly combines Post-Metal elements with Sludge, Crust and even some more traditional Post-Rock passages.
After the opening intro, “The Grotesque Illusion of Being” wastes no time in unleashing brutal vocal onslaughts perfectly framed by dreamy guitars and blistering drums. The band has perfected the ability to unleash both brutal and melancholic pummeling onslaughts. Moving into more crafty territories, “We Purse the Serpent of Time” starts of with ritualistic percussion as the riffs slowly build up to create a crushing wall of sound, the signature style from the band. The clean vocals here add extra depth and mystery to an already pretty impressive song.
Making our start of 2019 a lot more gloomier, today we have SLOW and the re-recording of their 2015 release “IV - Mythologiæ”. Helmed by the multitalented Déhà, this outfit delivers some of the most painful and crushing Atmospheric/Funeral Doom to ever exist and with this release they unleash nearly 60 minutes of monolithic bleakness. Only for fans of bands like Thergothon, Shape of Despair, etc., this music will certainly strike a nerve with its sheer raw power.
The album kicks off with the desolate soundscape painted by “The Standing Giant”. This track starts with minimalist atmospheric elements and weeping guitars that slowly progress to powerful riffs and deep growls. The pace of this song makes it just magical, allowing the listener to be at the edge of their seat for over 10 minutes. The build-up is one of our favorite elements of the genre and on “The Drowning Angel”, we get a majestic one that takes nearly half the song but unravels into demoralizing brilliant as the song comes to a climax.
After a busy 2018 with live appearances, Saor return with yet another brilliant Atmospheric/Folky Black Metal release with “Forgotten Paths”. Filled with magical and lush melodic passages, this album delivers over 38 minutes of intense and mystical music. With a very busy touring schedule in 2019, this is the perfect album to conquer hordes of new fans and followers.
Opening with intensity, the album title track leads way for a musical experience filled with crafty guitar melodies and very dreamy atmospherics. There are even moments that Saor dwells in more Alcest-like passages in this lush and quite intense piece. The buildup on songs like “Monadh” is just brilliant, showing the listener just little peeks of what is to come as the track comes unraveled through its moody tempo changes and expert instrumentation.
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.