Black Oath - Emeth Truth and Death (2022)

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Unleashing an impressive barrage of crushing Doomy riffs, today we have Black Oath and their latest full-length release “Emeth Truth and Death”. Perfectly crafted for those of us that are worshipers of gargantuan Doom riffs, this Italian outfit perfectly blends elements from traditional Doom with more modern influences, and pairs them with a crispy production to further rattle your speakers.

Establishing dominance with the pummeling riffs of “Truth and Death”, the band sets a very engaging mood as the sound is quite dynamic with tons of melodic elements thrown into the mix alongside soaring vocal arrangements. Far from static, songs like “Serpent of Balaam” and “Children of Babalo”, deliver dramatic guitar leads and massive headbanging passages, reminding us of bands like Yearning.

Solipsism - Our Night Never Ends (2022)

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Always uncovering some very interesting underground bands, Sun & Moon Records present us today with Solipsism and their debut full-length release “Our Night Never Ends”. Unleashing nine tracks and around 46 minutes of fierce Black/Post-Black Metal, this Slovakian outfit makes a very good first impression with a well balanced mixture of harshness and melody.

The release opens with the dissonant “Becoming the Void” and a very crafty melodic riffing onslaught that quickly escalates into full-on Black Metal mode. While this is heavy, there is also a certain duality as the band dabbles in more melancholic Depressive BM/Atmospheric BM territories with its bleak screams and subtle keyboards as tracks like “(V)Zostup tragédie”, “Solus Ipse”, and “Don't Follow Me, I'm Lost” move the release forward.

Saphath - Ascension of the Dark Prophet (2022)

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Creating a very unique mixture of Black/Death/Gothic Metal, today we have Russia’s Saphath and their debut full-length release “Ascension of the Dark Prophet”. Delivering over 44 minutes of music, the ten tracks in this release nicely blend elements from bands like Behemoth, Moonspell, Epica, Dark Tranquillity, and creates a very bombastic and engaging listening experience with tons of hidden details to discover.

Opening with the lush “Children of the Night”, the band delivers vibrant guitars alongside a mixture of aggressive vocals and crafty tempo changes. The music is heavy, but with enough room to incorporate melodic passages and fierce guitar solos. This more melodic and bombastic nature comes front and center in pieces like “Outcast of Eden”, the gothic “Darkness Unleashed”, and the Moonspell-esque “Broken Mirror”. All tracks blend their influences quite well, and still manage to deliver a certain modern Metal edge as shown in “The Daughter of Ice Pains”.

Tome of the Unreplenished - Earthbound (2022)

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When there are seemingly endless amounts of Atmospheric Black Metal bands that all sound the same, it is quite nice to hear outfits like Tome of the Unreplenished and their take on the genre. In “Earthbound”, this originally a project, now a full fledged band, delivers over 46 minutes of captivating music filled with eeriness and interesting ideas.

The opener “Tellurian” unleashes furious riffs and blast beats, more typical traditional Black Metal that slowly transforms into more melodic and atmospheric soundscapes. Particularly a certain epic/folky vibe thanks to the clean vocal arrangements. The band’s style is more of a mixture of Saor and Windfaerer, as tracks like “Unbound” and “Tryst at the Gales of Cyprus” brilliantly mix atmosphere and melody.

Crystal Viper - The Last Axeman (2022)

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We have been on a long streak of mainly having Black Metal releases in our review queue, but today we end it and write our impressions of Heavy/Power Metal outfit Crystal Viper and their latest EP “The Last Axeman”. Delivering a mix of re-recorded, covers, and recorded live in a studio pieces, the band showcases their old-school Metal chops with great guitar work, killer vocals, and an overall kick-ass attitude.

Bâ'a - Egrégore (2022)

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Hailing from France, today we have Black Metal outfit Bâ'a and their intense sophomore release “Egrégore”. Featuring Rms Hreidmarr on vocals, this trio delivers 42 minutes of ravaging music with some resemblance to Au Champ des Morts and Anorexia Nervosa minus the over-the-top arrangements. Each track being more intense and punishing than the previous one, this is one of those releases that will leave the listener begging for mercy while asking for more at the same time.

The release immediately takes over the listener’s speakers with the ravaging “In Umbra et Luce” and its mysterious opening guitar, which quickly transform into a relentless barrage of pummeling riffs. There is a certain sinister pace to the band’s sound that borders into melodic territories as tracks like “Domitor” and the fierce “Bellum”.

Abbath - Dread Reaver (2022)

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Everytime people count Abbath out, he comes back with a vengeance, and with “Dread Reaver” he returns to silence all haters. Showcasing his signature style with a more mature and Heavy Metal edge, nine tracks and 40 minutes of music unleash a barrage of riffs alongside his signature snarls. Not slowing down one bit, this release is as savage as anything he has released in the past.

Wasting no time to inflict aural domination, “Acid Haze” quickly pummels the listener with Abbath’s signature frosty riffs alongside killer guitar leads and blistering drumming. Firing on all cylinders, the band victoriously marches like an unstoppable bullet train with tracks like “Scarred Core”, “Dream Cull”, and the old-school Heavy Metal infused “Myrmidon” anthem, one of our favorite tracks in this release.

Interview with Sylvaine (2022)

As one of Sylvaine's biggest fans, "Nova" marks the band's best release to date with a very mature and refined sound. In the weeks after the album's release and excellent reception, we managed to have a conversation Kathrine. Listen to us discuss this release and her exciting upcoming North American tour alongside Amorphis and Uada in the following interview.

Aethyrick - Pilgrimage (2022)

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Releasing their third album in three years, Finnish mysterious duo Aethyrick show no limits to their creativity and melancholic sound with “Pilgrimage”. Featuring 42 minutes of bleak and desolate Melodic Black Metal, the band’s sound continues to get refined and streamlined perfectly delivering highly emotional pieces with a compact core sound.

The aural journey begins with the incisive “The Turning Away” and its piercing subtle atmospherics, perfectly paired with intricate guitar work. Those minimalist keyboards work wonders when used to accent a well written track. As the band settles into this release, “In the Chapel of One Spirit”, “Threefold Resurrection”, and “Winds of the Wanderer” brilliantly shift the mood from blistering to more introspective and melodramatic as in the latter track.

Chaos Invocation - Devil, Stone & Man (2022)

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Unleashing woe and devastation, today we have German Black Metal outfit Chaos Invocation and their crushing latest release “Devil, Stone & Man”. Featuring nearly 45 minutes of punishing music, this release showcases a band at the top of their game, far superior than most outfits in the genre.

Opening with the blistering “Strike of the Dominator's Fist”, the band sets a pummeling rollercoaster in motion thanks to the piercing riffing barrage alongside hellish snarls and crafty tempo changes. The band’s relentless onslaught turns more sinister as pieces like “A Stranger's Pale Hand” and “Diabolical Hammer” inflict some deeper wounds thanks to their slower and more incisive pace.

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