Anaal Nathrakh - A New Kind of Horror (2018)

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Continuously working on punishing their listeners eardrums, today we have Anaal Nathrakh and their latest opus of madness “A New Kind of Horror”. As one of the most brutal bands in the world, this British twosome deliver ten ravaging tracks that blend elements from Industrial/Death/Black Metal with Grindcore aggression in a way they will have you asking for mercy after 5 minutes. If you are a fan of their destructive ways, this release should perfectly please your need for some extreme music.

The aural assault starts with the bone-crushing “Obscene as Cancer” with massive drums and harrowing vocal arrangements that will haunt you for life. We particularly love how the band adds the clean vocals as a contrast to their demoralizing music, giving them a certain Borknagar-esque vibe but in a completely different, and more brutal, context. If you are not punished enough, “The Reek of Fear” features some creepy atmospherics that we equate to the trumpets of the rapture.

Stratovarius - Enigma: Intermission II (2018)

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Serving as an intermission between full-length releases, today we have Stratovarius with “Enigma: Intermission II”. Not settling for a typical EP, the band features three brand new songs, four orchestral tracks, and nine bonus tracks that have either been unreleased in Europe or are considered rare. If you are a fan of the band, this is definitely one unique opportunity to have all these rare tracks and new material in one single package.

The new tracks are spread out through this release and we will talk about them first. With “Enigma” the band picks up when they left with their last album, “Eternal”, and deliver a very engaging and dynamic piece filled with their signature soaring vocals and intricate guitar melodies. On “Burning Ground” we get lively tempo changes and a superbly catchy chorus section that is as typical Stratovarious as you can get. The futuristic “Oblivion” nicely movies into atmospheric territories with lush keyboards and a pulsating bass guitar line. This track is on the Power Metal-ballad side of things, allowing the listener to fully embrace the band’s musicality and creativity.

Wolfheart - Constellation of the Black Light (2018)

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Consistently over the years Tuomas Saukkonen has written plenty of engaging and gripping Melodic Death Metal songs with his bands/projects like Beyond the Dawn, Black Sun Aeon and Dawn of Solace. Finally focusing 100% in Wolfheart, he has managed to deliver great album since “Winterborn”, with “Constellation of the Black Light”, the band ups the ante with over 40 minutes of haunting music. In the vein of bands like Omnium Gatherum, Insomnium, Dark Tranquility, etc. this release is by far their best… to date.

Opening with the ten minute epic “Everlasting Fall”, we get that moody melodic vibe that develops into a brilliant atmospheric piece of music. Instantly we get a frosty Finnish Melodic Death Metal atmosphere that is perfect for head banging or enjoying while hiking in the woods. Throwing a curveball to the listener “Breakwater” has a brutal start, filled with heavy Death Metal riffs and intense drumming, courtesy of Joonas Kauppinen. Contrasting at first, this track nicely mellows out into lush dual vocal passages and Insomnium esque guitar sections that round up a very unique song.

The Forest Seasons Tour: Wintersun - Ne Obliviscaris - Sarah Longfield - 9/17/2018 - The Loft - Atlanta, GA

As one of the most interesting touring packages this fall, today we made our way to The Loft for a killer show with Wintersun and Ne Obliviscaris with opener Sarah Longfield. With the summer not relenting in Atlanta, it was very welcomed that the venue, The Loft, has some nice ice-cold AC too keep all metalheads frosty while waiting for the guitar virtuosity of Sarah Longfield to kick off the night.

Unleashing some very crafty and engaging compositions, her set was quite engaging and kept most of the attendees quite excited from start to end.

Dark Sarah - The Golden Moth (2018)

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Led by the charismatic and highly talented Heidi Parviainen, today we have Dark Sarah’s third full-length release “The Golden Moth”. Completing “The Chronicles” trilogy, this cinematic/symphonic Metal album is full of bombastic arrangements and very dramatic instrumentation creating a magical atmosphere. Going bigger than in the past, the band instantly immerses the listeners into their lyrical context and provides a truly engaging experience.

Opening with “Desert Rose”, there is a certain mysterious mood that frames the beginning of this story very well and creates great expectation on the listener. New permanent member, JP Leppäluoto, delivers a solid vocal performance as Dragon, complementing Heidi’s angelic chants. With the band’ further setting the mood with songs like “Trespasser” and “Wheel”, the immersion feels deeper and deeper. The Jurassic Park-esque atmospheric elements of “My Beautiful Enemy”, make for a very grandiose and ear catching tracks that is quite hard to get out of your head.

The Unity - Rise (2018)

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Unleashing over 55 minutes of superbly catchy hard rocking music, today we have Germany’s The Unity and their sophomore release “Rise”. Featuring members of Gamma Ray and Love.Might.Kill, this release delivers a very interesting mixture of traditional Hard Rock with Power Metal elements, allowing for the band to delivering brilliant technically proficient passages, while maintaining a lively mood and a high level of catchiness. If you like bands like Stratovarius, Warlock, Helloween, etc., but also like something more easy to digest and to sing along, then definitely check out this release.

After a dramatic atmospheric opener, “Last Betrayal” instantly cranks up the intensity and the catchiness up to 11. This track kicks off with dramatic vocals by Jan Manenti and a very hectic pace. The chorus sections are just brilliant, allowing this track to be stuck in your head for a while after the first listen. The first standout track is the intoxicating “You Got Me Wrong”, which is definitely one of the most engaging and memorable songs we have heard in quite a while.

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