Bhleg & Nechochwen - Split (2019)

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We rarely review Split releases and EP’s, but with this one we had to make an exception. Featuring two extraordinary Folk Metal artists, Nordvis Produkt unleashes one hell of a split release that will captivate the listener. One band hailing from Sweden, the other from North America, however there is an unwritten cohesion behind both band’s approach at making lush and engaging songs.

Side A of this split contains “Sorlande Sky”, a 7 minute song that expertly crafts a very intense and misty atmosphere. The harsh screams are nicely contrasted by dreamy clean vocals and as the song delivers punishing riffs and fast drumming. The track ends on a very hypnotic note and it seems to very nicely bleed into Side B’s music.

Imperium Dekadenz - When We Are Forgotten (2019)

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Delivering a hefty dose of melody, melancholy and atmosphere, today we have German duo Imperium Dekadenz and their latest release “When We Are Forgotten”. Invoking the early days of Vried and Thyrfing, we are treated to one hell of a Black Metal release that will have you headbanging from start to finish.

The release opens with the grandiose album title track, gaining momentum as the layered guitars craft a punishing and yet very melodic atmosphere. Horaz vocals have a slight Immortal-esque edge, allowing them to perfectly complement the intensity of the music, as “Bis Ich Bin” demonstrates. The band’s ability to switch gears and unleash their melodic brilliance in dramatic interludes or more somber tracks like “My Solace I (Choirs Of Solitude)” makes them one of the more exciting bands in the scene these days.

Aureole - Alunar (2019)

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Backed by a killer production, “Wanderers” is one hell of a great sounding quality Symphonic Metal album. We have been huge fans of the band since their early days and all the line-up changes, however, with this release they show they are back, firing on all cylinders and the scene better watch out for them. If you like expertly crafted Symphonic Metal songs that are both intense and highly emotional, look no further and give Visions of Atlantis a chance.

The album kicks off with the haunting “I: Citadel Alunar”, a track that slowly builds up momentum with its mellow riffs and hellish screams. Perfectly mixing dramatic synths with tense drone-ish moments, this track creates a chilling vibe. In tracks like “II: The Voice of Nebular Flame” and “III: The Senility of the Hourglass”patience rewards the listener with slow and intricate build-ups and crafty transitions.

Dold Vorde Ens Navn - Gjengangere i hjertets mørke (2019)

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Featuring members and ex-members of bands like Satyricon, Ulver, Dødheimsgard and Ved Buens Ende, Dold Vorde Ens Navn is a Norwegian super band playing some truly unique retro Black Metal. Featuring four tracks and around 20 minutes of music, “Gjengangere i hjertets morke” has that raw old-school vibe of Norwegian Black Metal from the 90’s and its brilliant naivety.

Opening with the bizarreness of “Den Ensomme Dod”, we are reminded of the days of Ved Buens Ende and Fleurety. The guitars are powerful and the Norwegian BM core is there, but the odd clean vocals and funky tempos allow the song to create a very unique and haunting atmosphere. The band’s Black Metal pedigree is clearly present as “Drukkenskapens Kirkegard” unleashes its fury.

Visions of Atlantis - Wanderers (2019)

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Opening with “Renegades - A Lost Generation”, we get a Wintersun-esque oriental-influenced opening that transforms into a full on headbanging jam. The band’s style is as catchy as always, but quite different. The dramatic keyboards and catchy riffs are quite engaging and powerful. Mixing in some clean vocals and epic chorus sections, “Tornado” continues with a high-octane vibe and very polished melodic arrangements. With “Himmel Und Feuer” the band keeps up the lively atmosphere with yet another hyper catchy tune that will be stuck in your head for days to come. Just think of a mixture of Laibach, Wintersun and hints of VNV Nation mixed together.

The album starts very strong with the lush “Release My Symphony”, the longest and most dramatic song in this release. We particularly love the mood changes throughout the song and the very engaging chorus section. Having a certain early Nightwish vibe, the album is designed to highlight the masterful orchestrations and vocals. As tracks like “Heroes of the Dawn” and “A Journey to Remember” make their way, the band nicely plays with the level of intensity of the music, allowing listeners to settle into the journey brought forth in this release.

Equilibrium - Renegades (2019)

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German Melodic Metal outfit Equilibrium is poised to take fans by surprise with their latest release “Renegades”. Featuring a very lively and catchy sound, this album delivers over 40 minutes of highly melodic music that is very far from their Epic Folk Metal days, but still commands attention and glory. With more electronic and even Industrial elements thrown into the mix, this album is superb on its own, but it might turn off the band’s earlier fans.

Opening with “Renegades - A Lost Generation”, we get a Wintersun-esque oriental-influenced opening that transforms into a full on headbanging jam. The band’s style is as catchy as always, but quite different. The dramatic keyboards and catchy riffs are quite engaging and powerful. Mixing in some clean vocals and epic chorus sections, “Tornado” continues with a high-octane vibe and very polished melodic arrangements. With “Himmel Und Feuer” the band keeps up the lively atmosphere with yet another hyper catchy tune that will be stuck in your head for days to come. Just think of a mixture of Laibach, Wintersun and hints of VNV Nation mixed together.

Tenebrae In Perpetuum - Anorexia Obscura (2019)

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Unleashing a completely abusive Black Metal aural assault, today we have Tenebrae In Perpetuum and their first full-length release in over ten years titled “Anorexia Obscura”. Delivering over 40 minutes of misanthropic BM, this two person outfit has one of the harshest and rawest sounds we have heard coming out of Italy. Filled with haunting vocals, savage riffs and dissonant atmospherics, this release will keep you on the edge of your seat.

Opening with the violet screams of “Dissonanze mentali'', the album’s pace is set with furious riffs and hyper intense drums. The music is quite basic, but direct and relentless, reminding us of old-school Black Metal from the 90’s. Completely changing the pace of things, the album title creates a very ritualistic and suffocating vibe, thanks to the crushing bass guitar line and eerie riffs. The sickening mid-tempo that is crafted by the band is unreal, as it allows for tracks to be truly immersive.

Theatre of Tragedy - Remixed (2019)

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It has been nearly ten years since Theatre of Tragedy ceased to exist, but they still find themselves in our regular playlist. During their career, the band changed styles multiple times and released seven full-length releases that for the most part were pretty good. In “Remixed” we get a nice selection of the band’s hits, remixed by artists like Das Ich and VNV Nation. While this definitely will not be the cup of tea of fans of the earlier style of the band, it should appeal to fans of their Industrial/Electronic phase.

The album kicks off with a weird remix of “And When He Falleth” by Das Ich. The tempo is oddly shifted and sounds a bit odd, something that fans of this great song will definitely not like. Das Ich does a bit of a better job in adding some spunk to “Black As The Devil Painteth”, making it somewhat enjoyable. We find Icon Of Coil’s remix of “Lorelei” quite catchy and enjoyable, so we decided to keep listening to the full album.

Asagraum - Dawn of Infinite Fire (2019)

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Unleashing what is probably one of the top three Black Metal albums of 2019, today we have Asagraum and their sophomore release “Dawn of Infinite Fire”. Fronted by multi-instrumentalist Obscura, this compact outfit delivers an imposing sound filled with hate and brutality. For over 46 minutes, the band ravages through nine tracks of sheer intensity and well crafted melodic passages, keeping the listener at the edge of their seats clamoring for more.

Opening with the dissonant “They Crawl from the Broken Circle”, Asagraum sets a furious standard with pummeling drums, incisive riffs, and a violent bass guitar line. Just like a brick to the face, “The Lightless Inferno” continues the ritual with more brutality and hellish vibes. Delivering a masterful typical melodic BM passage on “Abomination’s Altar”, the band showcases their knack for killer headbanging sections mixed in between their most brutal elements.

Ardours - Last Place on Earth (2019)

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From the minds of Mariangela Demurtas (Tristania) and Kris Laurent, Ardours is a very unique band mixing Gothic Rock, New Wave and 80’s influences in a very mellow and engaging style that will certainly appeal to all fans of bands like The Gathering, Tristania, Theater of Tragedy, etc. Delivering ten tracks and over 40 minutes of superbly catchy music, “Last Place on Earth” is a killer debut release from this very promising outfit.

The album leads with the lush 80’s/New Wave synths of “What Else is There”, and as the guitar come on, the listener is fully drawn into the band’s unique musical world. Building up on the opener’s momentum, Mariangela’s vocals are a perfect fit for the overall gothic vibe built in songs like “Catabolic” and the extremely catchy album title track. Just imagine a band like Lacrimas Profundere with a bit of Depeche Mode and Solar Flake mixed in.

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