Windfaerer - Breaths of Elder Dawns (2021)

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Hailing from New Jersey, Windfaerer is one of those bands that has a very European sound and has been turning heads with their intense and yet emotional brand of Black/Folk Metal. With “Breaths of Elder Dawns” the band showcases their highly refined style with over 60 minutes of lush music featuring the perfect blend of musicianship, aggression and melancholy. Highly recommended for fans of bands like Ensiferum, Equilibrium, and Eluveitie.

Opening with the lush string instruments of “Oxalá”, the band quickly transports the listener to a different realm and time. We love that this genre always creates majestic soundscapes and this outfit is one of the best at it. The band is no stranger to playing fast and melodic as the epic “Depletion” showcases this balance alongside some killer guitar leads and dramatic tempo changes.

Unreqvited - Beautiful Ghosts (2021)

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Slowly evolving over time, Unreqvited has always pushed the boundaries of Atmospheric Black Metal/Post-Black Metal with its lively and expertly crafted music. With “Beautiful Ghosts”, this one-man project nearly achieves Nirvana, thanks to the unparalleled liveliness and emotiveness of this excellent release. With a very positive and uplifting nature, the seven tracks and 42 minutes of music in this release are plain brilliant.

Opening with the moody “All is Lost”, we get a bit of the band’s previous style with more lush and ‘bright’ atmospherics. The mixture of harsh screams with dreamy arrangements is top notch, but the simplicity of the guitar work and drumming is what really separates this opener. Focusing more on the atmospheric part, “Autumn Everley” builds slowly into some killer aggressive cathartic moments adorned by a subtle piano track.

Remah - Une Main (2021)

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Unleashing a harrowing Black Metal experience, today we have mysterious French duo Remah and their full-length release “Une Main”. Mixing truly eerie atmospherics with ravaging BM onslaughts, this release delivers over 35 minutes of highly emotional and yet disturbing music unlike anything else on the scene.

After the atmospheric framing of the beginning of “Des rêves sales”, the duo quickly unleashes all hell with furious onslaughts of intense riffing and crushing vocals. However, there is more than meets the eyes, or ears in this case, as the song evolves into a more introspective atmospheric piece with lush arrangements and a sultry sax. This duality is brilliantly exploited as tracks like “III” are both punishing and haunting thanks to their mood changes.

Fluisteraars - Gegrepen door de geest der zielsontluiking (2021)

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If you thought that “Bloem”, was an impressive release, Fluisteraars returns with an even more visceral and ravaging opus with “Gegrepen door de geest der zielsontluiking”. Recorded in a very unconventional way: one track per day, one take per instrument, no synths, and no overdubs, this track is more punishing and raw than anything the band has ever released before. That being said, this release is a 35 minute journey of raw decadence.

The release kicks off with the violent outbursts of “Het overvleugelen der meute”, an 8-minute track filled with pummeling riffs, intense drumming and some of the most ravaging vocals in the genre. The band’s musical approach is both direct and punishing, while encoding melancholy and introspection in the slower passages. We particularly love how the band’s sound is still eerie in the more minimalist sections of the track.

Netherbird - Arete (2021)

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Having released one of our top Melodic Black Metal releases of 2019, today we have Netherbird with their latest opus: “Arete”. Further refining their already crafty and elegant sound, this release unleashes nearly 45 minutes of majestic music, up to the quality level of bands like Dimmu Borgir, Old Man’s Child with a mixture of Uada. Perfectly crafted for fans of melody and aggression, this Swedish outfit have managed to outdo themselves with this highly impressive release.

After the traditional atmospheric intro, the release opens with the blistering “Towers Of The Night” and its incisive guitar work. Both guitarists, Pontus Andersson and Tobias Jacobsson are at the top of their game, creating expertly layered foundations for impressive tracks like “Infernal Vistas” and “Carnal Pentiment”. The overall sense of melody thanks to the dramatic arrangements on pieces like “Void Dancer”, greatly distance the band from the competition as it is perfectly blended with the more aggressive elements.

Solitude - Exogenesis (2021)

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Unleashing over 37 minutes of stylish Melodic Death Metal, today we have Solitude and their latest release “Exogenesis”. Hailing from Mexico, this outfit perfectly blends elements from bands like Soilwork, Dark Tranquillity, old In Flames, etc. to create a very dynamic and engaging style. Filled with epic headbanging moments, this release is highly recommended for any fan of the genre.

Exploding with the album title track, the band quickly delivers waves of catchy riffs, intense harsh vocals, and crafty drumming. The album’s mood is quite lively and engaging since the start, allowing tracks like “Arbitrium Incorporea”, “Descending into Flesh”, and “Of Though and Blood” to build on that momentum and unleash maximum melodic catchiness. The inclusion of clean vocals nicely balances the impact of the harsh screams alongside the sweeping melodic passages.

Fárbauti - Hulderdans (2021)

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Hailing from Norway, today we have an interesting mixture of Ambient Black Metal with some Death Metal influences, creating a very disturbing and different release. Featuring four tracks and nearly 20 minutes of run time, this EP is the brainchild of Gjøran Sæther. For those that like cavernous atmospheres and sprinkles of old-school BM influences, this release makes for an interesting listen.

The release starts with the atmospheric “Nakne Føt På Råtten Lyng”, a track that starts quite conventionally and then it just gets weird. Odd tempo changes make this track trippy, but not in the best of ways. Experimentation is definitely one the central ideas of this one-man project, and as the slow and eerie atmosphere leads us to “Berget Må Åpna Seg”, a more somber and straightforward piece that could be benefitted by actual drums or better drum production at least.

Lesotho - Summer Wars (2021)

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Hailing from Boston, USA, today we have Lesotho, an intense trio playing some lush and expansive mixture of Post-Rock with Post-Metal flair. For fans of bands like Caspian, This Will Destroy You, pg.lost, and Tides from Nebula, this release is filled with cinematic aural experiences that are both dreamy and yet intricate and complex. If you are in the market for mellow and introspective music, this is a great place to start.

This EP starts with the momentum builder “Plusone/Timestwo”, a track that slowly evolves into heavy but dreamy territories thanks to engaging distorted guitars and crafty tempo changes. We particularly enjoy the shoegazey cathartic feeling of this track as it peaks. Our favorite track in this release has to be the engaging “Altar Fire”, and its crafty manipulation of expectations with heavy distorted riffs nicely lined up against sweeping guitar leads and very dramatic crescendos.

Agrypnie - Metamorphosis (2021)

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As one of our favorite bands in the Post-Black Metal space, Agrypnie is finally back with the punishing “Metamorphosis”. Featuring nearly 70 minutes of highly intense music, this release continues the band’s musical evolution with a more defined and electrifying sound. While some Post-Black Metal bands focus on making things a bit too mellow or melancholic, this band achieves the melancholy part with droves of punishing guitars and instrumental passages.

Opening with “Wir Ertrunkenen”, the first part is an orchestral prolog that suddenly turns dark as Torsten’s hellish vocals nicely weave between punishing riffs. However, this is not the only thing to digest, as the tempo changes keep things fresh. After a pummeling start, “Verwuestung” has a more introspective nature as it slowly evolves into more aggressive and yet melancholic moods. For those looking for the band’s faster and more ‘traditional’ BM side, tracks like “Am Ende der Welt - Teil 1” deliver the goods.

Ophidian I - Desolate (2021)

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Unleashing a brutal feast of technical proficiency and crushing aggression, today we have Iceland’s Ophidian I and their sophomore release “Desolate”. In the same vein as bands like Obscura, Hour of Penance, Persefone, etc. this band is ready to kick major ass with the boost of being signed to a label like Season of Mist. If you like speed, technicality and craftiness, this release will blow your mind.

Wasting no time to turn up the intensity to 11, “Diamonds” unleashes blistering guitars and pummeling drums as it waves back and forth musicianship and brutality. The band’s ability to seamlessly transition between crafty guitar leads and neck-snapping tempo changes is quite brilliant, as one can hear in “Spiral to Oblivion”, “Storm Aglow”, and one of our favorites “Unfurling the Crescent Moon”. Not leaving any brutality to the side, the harsh growls and aggressive drumming nicely round things up.

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