Hamferð - Men Gu​ð​s hond er sterk (2024)


As one of the most expected releases of 2024, “Men Gu​ð​s hond er sterk” marks the return of Hamferð and their highly melancholic and fatalistic Melodic/Death Doom Metal. Featuring eight tracks and nearly 45 minutes of heartbreaking music, this release oozes waves of melancholy and misery. Perfectly blending emotive clean vocals, doomy riffs, and deep growls, this release is the perfect medicine for those of us that don’t want winter to be over.

The release quickly sets a powerful atmosphere with the piercing riffs of “Ábær”, immediately followed by deep growls and a punishing sense of aggression that suddenly transitions into melancholy thanks to the clean vocals. Perfectly balancing light and darkness in their songs, pieces like “Rikin”, “Marrusorg”, and “Glæman” masterfully weave fast paced passages with more melodramatic interludes of minimalist percussions and weeping lead guitars.

Sylvaine - Eg Er Framand (2024)


Being huge fans of Sylvaine since their beginnings, we are quite excited to hear Kathrine Shepard taking a risk and releasing a very different release with “Eg Er Framand”. This EP features six tracks and nearly 30 minutes of dreamy Folk music, with absolutely no elements of Metal, showcasing a very different and raw side to Kathrine’s talents.

The release opens with the solemn “Dagsens Auga Sloknar Ut”, and its very minimalist instrumentation that surrounds Kathrine’s clean vocals. If the organ didn’t create enough tension for you on the first track, “Arvestykker” introduces some excellent vocal layering alongside “Eg Veit I Himmelrik Ei Borg”, which features a bit more instrumentation and somber atmospherics.

Alestorm - Voyage of the Dead Marauder (2024)


There is nothing like starting the day with some lighthearted and silly Pirate Metal, thankfully, Alestorm has been feeding our cravings for over 15 years. With “Voyage of the Dead Merauder”, the band unleashes five extremely playful and hilarious tracks of their signature music. The band has constantly polished their sound over the years and have gotten their craziness to a science, with all tracks being funky, funny, and expertly crafted and executed.

Opening with the EP title track, we get a very lively Folky piece, featuring Patty Gurdy on the hurdy-gurdy and vocals. This track has a big Eluveitie vibe, however, the band’s pirateness is nicely embedded into the piece. Up next we have the superbly silly “Uzbekistan”, a tale of pirates in a landlocked country. This is a quite hilarious and well crafted piece with the band’s signature tempo changes and crazy festive heabanging/moshing passages.

Dragonforce - Warp Speed Warriors (2024)


Needing no introduction, Dragonforce has been delivering waves of high-octane Power Metal over the years with a high emphasis on flair and technical brilliance. With “Warp Speed Warriors”, the band returns with their playful and superbly catchy style to deliver ten tracks and nearly 50 minutes of expertly crafted epic music filled with soaring vocal arrangements and technical wizardry.

Opening with the engaging “Astro Warrior Anthem”, we quickly get Herman Li and Sam Totman racing off with soaring guitar leads alongside Gee Anzalone’s tight drumming. Thanks to Marc Hudson’s soaring lead vocals, tracks like “Power of the Triforce”, “Kingdom of Steel”, and “Burning Heart”, nicely have that superbly epic and intense vibe that is the signature style of the band. Filled with intricate details and a crystal clear production, all songs in this release are an aural experience on their own.

Oblivium Regnum - Zrádce (2023)


It has been a while since we received a physical promo CD, and luckily for us it was from this promising Czech band Named Oblivium Regnum. With their EP titled “Zrádce”, the band showcases four diverse and equally engaging tracks. Showing that the Czech Republic is not only good at making beer and having some awesome festivals, shout out to Brutal Assault, they have some very interesting bands that nicely combine old-school elements with a raw and direct take to unleash some crafty Melodic Death Metal songs.

They Came From Visions - The Twilight Robes (2024)


Creating a very captivating blend of Black Metal with Post-Metal/Rock elements, today we have Ukraine’s They Came From Visions and their sophomore release “The Twilight Robes”. Featuring seven tracks and nearly 45 minutes of elaborate music, this release perfectly delivers waves of fury alongside moody melodic passages, creating uniquely haunting and desolate atmospheres.

Opening with the folky mood setting “Lughnasadh”, the album kicks into gear with the blistering riffing of “Equinox Ablaze”, a very crafty track that while having some of that 90’s Black Metal luster, it also features lush clean interludes filled with dreamy vocals and guitars. Our personal favorite track has to be the furious “Burning Eyes Blackened Claws” and its intense opening, and then perfectly transitioning into more melodic territories alongside pummeling drums.

Aborted - Vault of Horrors (2024)


With almost 30 years of existence, Sven de Caluwé’s Aborted is one of those quintessential Death Metal bands that while it has kept their sound fresh, it also delivers chugging tracks that will leave your neck sore from all the headbanging. With “Vault of Horrors” the band plays homage to horror movie classics in a well crafted manner. Clocking in at 40-minutes, this release delivers ten tracks of sheer brutality that any fan of the genre will enjoy.

Opening strong with the intricate drumming/riffs combo of “Dreadbringer”, the album sets a very high-octane tone and never really lets go. The band enlisted one guest vocalist per track, giving Sven’s vocals that extra kick and allowing their sound to have a more diverse range, as tracks like “Condemned to Rot”, “Brotherhood of Sleep”, “Hellbound”, and “Death Cult”.

Merrimack - Of Grace and Gravity (2024)


Unleashing one of the finest Black Metal releases of the last few years, today we have Parisian outfit Merrimack and their crushing return “Of Grace and Gravity”. As their first album in seven years, the band returns with thirst for vengeance and delivers over 40 minutes of excruciatingly brutal music that any fan of the genre will go nuts for. If you like incisive and punishing music with a perfect balance of atmosphere and swift brutality, this is the release for you.

The release kicks off with a bang with the demolishing “Sulphurean Synods”, a track that blasts off with ravaging guitars, pummeling drums, and hellish vocals. There is certain rawness to the band’s approach that is quite savage and direct. With the intensity of “Sublunar Despondency”, the band has that viciousness of 90’s Norwegian Black Metal, giving a certain Satyricon edge that works wonderfully within the band’s aggressive style.

Sonata Arctica - Clear Cold Beyond (2024)


Over the years, Sonata Arctica continues to defy time by keeping their sound engaging and fresh. With “Clear Cold Beyond”, the band delivers their signature high-octane Power Metal with ten tracks and nearly one hour of superbly catchy music. Delivering a mixture of playfulness and masterful musical execution, this release is certainly a fun one from this Finnish outfit.

The album kicks off with the lively “First in Line” and its playful keyboards perfectly paired with Tony’s staple vocals and a very upbeat and engaging tempo. The band’s ability to crank out catchy and yet technically engaging songs is clearly showcases on pieces like “California”, “Shah Mat” and “Dark Empath”. We have always loved how the band’s music is upbeat and sometimes to some degree a bit cheesy, but equally enjoyable.

Isenordal - Requiem for Eirênê (2024)


Unleashing one of the most powerful and disarming releases of 2024, today we have Isenordal and their latest opus “Requiem for Eirênê”. Filled with melancholy, this release features five tracks and over 50 minutes of majestically crafted music that transports the listener with mysterious and bleak soundscapes. Filled with lush instrumentation and perfect execution, this is one of our early candidates for best release of the year.

Opening with the 15-minute behemoth “A Moment Approaches Eternity”, we get a slow atmospheric progression adorned by solemn viola accents, just until the moment when crushing Doom riffs lead way to harsh screams. The level of bleakness induced by the weeping guitars and the masterful tempo is unparalleled, and it only gets better as the track progresses with even more dramatic instrumentation and some hellish aggressive passages.


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