Haxandraok - KI SI KIL UD DA KAR RA (2019)

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Today we are almost closing 2019 with some ritualistic Black Metal from Greece, under the moniker of Haxandraok. With “KI SI KIL UD DA KAR RA” this duo delivers a highly ritualistic crushing example of punishing and yet eerily atmospheric BM. With a certain Melechesh, Nile and even Orphaned Land vibe, this release delivers over 30 minutes of engaging music that will keep the listener on a heightened state of awareness.

Opening the release with lush middle-eastern arrangements, “The Temptress of UD DA KAR RA” slowly proceeds to unleash waves of piercing riffs and creepy clean vocals. The band’s sheer power is made quite evident with the level of intensity of this track, but the crafty tempo changes are what makes the song stand out. Crafting an ambiance of decay, “Ba'al Zel Bul at the Gates of NOX” continues spewing the band’s ritualistic message with more creepy vocal arrangements, intense drumming and crafty guitar leads.

Officium Triste - The Death of Gaia (2019)

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As the days get shorter and the dark nights get longer (in the Northern Hemisphere), Officium Triste arrives with perfect timing and their bleakness inducing full-length release “The Death of Gaia”. Unleashing over 55-minutes of devastating Death/Doom Metal, we are reminded that this Dutch outfit is by far one of the best at their craft.

Opening with the misery inducing dramatic arrangements of “The End is Nigh”, the band sets a very dark and funeral-esque vibe that features some slight glimmers of hope. The interplay of Pim Blankenstein crushing growls, the incisive guitar riffs and the melodramatic keyboards creates a superb atmosphere that sets the mood for a very somber release. With some crafty percussions and melancholic headbanging passages, “World In Flames” continues that oppressive atmosphere with a plethora of weeping guitar leads and crafty tempo changes.

Death Wolf - IV: Come the Dark (2019)

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Unleashing elevent anthems of Horror Punk fare, today we have Sweden’s Death Wolf and their latest opus “IV: Come the Dark”. Featuring Morgan Håkansson of Marduk fame on bass guitar, this outfit delivers superbly catchy and yet creepy songs that are both memorable and highly entertaining. While The Vision Bleak comes to mind as a comparison, this band features a more barebones and direct sound that will pummel your eardrums.

The ripping guitars of “He Who Hates” perfectly set the mood for a high-octane release filled with catchines and intensity. Valentin Mellströ’s vocals are perfectly suited to lead a barrage of punishing guitars and intense bass guitar lines, thanks to the crystal clear production the vocals are very prevalent. With playful tempo changes and hefty atmospherics, the band pummels through tracks like “Edge of the Wood”, “Empower the Flame” and the headbanging fest “The Sword”, a song that sets a very epic vibe from the first note.

In Human Form - III (2019)

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If you can imagine what Kayo Dot, Maudlin of the Well, Ephel Duath and Subterranean Masquerade would sound all blended together, then you would get close to just how expansive In Human Form sounds. Unleashing their three-songs, 49 minute opus “III”, this band pushes all boundaries into completely new dimensions and creates some of the most unique sounding Metal we have ever heard.

The release opens with the 18-minute tour de force “Apocrypha Carrion”, where the band starts off with furious guitar riffs and a very intense pace. The screamed vocals are quite hectic and very fitting for such chaotic music, but what really draws the listener is the funky subtle tempo changes mixed in with some more drastic near full-stop switches. We particularly enjoy the jazzy elements that transition the song’s multiple movements from chaos, to lush beauty and down the rabbit hole again.

Trépas - L'héritage du monde (2019)

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Hailing from Quebec, Canada, today we have Black Metal newcomer Trépas and their debut release “L'héritage du monde”. Delivering nearly 40 minutes of relentless frosty Black Metal, this outfit unleashes quite a solid initial effort. For those fans that like a good dose of melody mixed into their BM, the six tracks unleashed in this release will satisfy your cravings.

The band blasts away with the pummeling “Rivages Sombres”, a very punishing and engaging opening track. Perfectly balancing melodic guitars, blistering drums and harrowing harsh vocals, Trépas makes a very solid first impression. The sinister opening of “L'Aube”remind us of old-school Ancient and that melodic riffing with furious drumming from 90’s BM. The level of intensity in this track is perfect for a furious headbanging session, from start to end.

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