Hell Militia - Hollow Void (2022)

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There is certain magic when a band’s last release was nearly a decade ago, and yet they return with the same vicious and piercing sound, just as no time has passed. This is the best way to explain how Hell Militia’s latest opus “Hollow Void” sound. Filled with hate and punishment, this release unravels nearly 45 minutes of decadent Black Metal that has not changed with time.

Leprous - The Ocean - Terminal West, Atlanta, GA - 3/16/2022

It has been more than two years since we had attended a show at home, in Atlanta, Georgia, so we were quite excited to have The Ocean and Leprous mark this momentous occasion. As one of Atlanta's smaller venues, Terminal West is a cozy place for intimate shows, and the perfect stage for The Ocean’s wall of sound and Leprous crafty and emotional performances.

Kaamos Warriors - Spirit from the Void (2022)

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Always keeping us posted of new and up-and-coming bands from the flourishing Finnish Metal scene, today we have Kaamos Warriors and their fourth full-length release “Spirit from the Void”. As a band from Mikko Ojala of Dark the Suns fame, this outfit creates a very interesting sounding mixture of Symphonic/Gothic Metal elements with a Dark/Black Metal core.

The atmospheric side of the band is laid out quite thick since the opener “In Blood And Spirit”. However, this atmosphere is not your standard one as it has some slight Industrial and even Gothic Metal undertones, creating a very unique vibe when complemented with the growls and Doomy tempo. Things continue to get more dynamic and engaging as tracks like “Vapus”, “The Flames of the Dragon” and “Varjojen Vaeltaja” are introduced.

Aesthus - Hänen temppelinsä varjoissa (2022)

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Hailing from Finland, today we have Black Metal newcomers Aesthus and their debut full-length release “Hänen temppelinsä varjoissa”. Delivering over 38 minutes of furious and frosty music, this band further extends the dominance of Finland as one of the countries that produces uncompromising and crushing BM releases.

Opening with the incisive album title track, we are treated to a hefty dose of blistering drumming alongside piercing and melodic riffing. The band’s two guitars onslaught is brilliantly balanced around hellish shrieks and a throbbing bass guitar line, with tracks like “Vihani alttarilla”, “Kuolonpolku”, and “Jälkeläinen” being perfect examples of this.

Αχεροντας - The Seven Tongues of Δαημων (2022)

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Unleashing an early candidate for best Black Metal album of 2022, today we have Greece’s Αχεροντας and their highly impressive release “The Seven Tongues of Δαημων”. Featuring over 42 minutes of high-octane music, this release visits all depths of hell with its dramatic arrangements and unparalleled musicality.

The release starts with the furious “Lucifer - Breath of Fire” and its crafty layered guitars, perfectly paired with explosive vocal onslaughts and intense drumming. Immediately overwhelming the listener with a wall of sound, the melodic tempo changes are what keeps the listener on its toe as the release is quite varied and engaging, as pieces like “Leviathan - The Fervent Scales in Reverence”, “Belial - The Enn of Beliya’al”, and “Satan - Exaltation of Unbeing” showcase.

Saklas - The One Who Swallowed God (2022)

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Crafting nearly 40 minutes of truly unique and intense Black Metal, today we have Saklas and their latest EP “The One Who Swallowed God”. Split into four tracks, this release is far from linear, introducing some quite unique and unconventional elements to a very punishing and ravaging musical core.

The release delivers its first swift blow with the pummeling “Mastering The Chaos Meditation”, a track that has some undertones of bands like Behemoth and Hate, but with an interesting tempo change near the end. The weirdness begins with the instrumental “Empty Realm”, which sets the mood for the avantgarde-ness of the album title track. This track features a jazzy unconventional pace and destructive vocal onslaughts, it also has a funky treat after a brief pause.

Cailleach Calling - Dreams of Fragmentation (2022)

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Delivering a highly atmospheric brand of Post-Black Metal, today we have Cailleach Calling and their debut full-length release “Dreams of Fragmentation”. Featuring Tony Thomas (Botanist/Dawn of Ouroboros) handling all guitars/bass/and synths, alongside Chelsea Murphy (Dawn of Ouroboros) in vocals and Yurii Kononov (ex-White Ward) on drums, the band unleashes nearly 40 minutes of relentless music with a certain cosmic/urban vibe unlike no other.

Immediately laying down some thick atmospherics, “Phosphenic Array” kicks off the release with brutal harsh screams and superbly crafted blistering drumming. While the intensity varies, the atmosphere is made even richer with powerful synths. Reminding us a bit of Frozen Ocean and Lustre, this epicness continues into the sultry “Bound by Neon” a piece with a more desolate futuristic urban vibe, which features some intense tempo changes and elegant melancholic interludes.

E-L-R - Vexier (2022)

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Unleashing waves of trance inducing music, today we have Switzerland’s E-L-R and their sophomore release “Vexier”. As it is to be expected from a Prophecy Productions release, this album goes beyond atmospheric and into hypnotic territories with a brilliant mixture of Doom, Shoegaze, and Post-Metal elements. For around 46 minutes, the listener is nicely transported by the intricately crafted expansive music in this release.

Opening with the dreamy “Opiate the Sun”, the band slowly unravels a 12-minute piece filled with haunting atmospherics and powerful distorted guitars. Think of The Ocean paired up with some Tide From Nebula and some sprinkles of SubRosa, as other tracks like “Three Winds” and “Seeds” further enshroud the listener into the band’s unique and expansive sound.

Non Est Deus - Impious (2022)

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As a side project of multi-instrumentalist Noise of Kanonenfieber fame, Non Est Deus delivers waves of superbly catchy Black Metal with a certain retro vibe. With nearly 40 minutes of music distributed in 8 crushing songs, this one-man battalion perfectly brings a nostalgic vibe that has been missed for a while.

The release kicks into full gear with “Save Us”, a crafty piece that creates a piercing atmosphere alongside furious riffs and tight drumming. We particularly like the subtle extra elements that add depth and atmosphere to this piece. Screaming 90’s BM catchiness, “Burn it Down” is one of those tracks that gets stuck in your head thanks to its chorus section, while “Fuck Your God”, “Celebrate The Selfdestruct”, and “Hexenwahn” inflict violent waves of tremolo picking ala Horna.

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