Gorr - Kvit Som Snøen, Kald I Blikket (2021)

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Hailing from the frosty lands of Norway and South Carolina, today we have International duo Gorr and their latest full-length release “Kvit Som Snøen, Kald I Blikket”. Delivering over 25 minutes of raw Black Metal, this outfit unleashes an interesting mixture of rawness and mid-tempo atmospherics, creating a very unique and engaging sound. If you like Black Metal that while sounding like it was recorded in the woods, it also has a more thoughtful and melancholic edge, then you should definitely check this out.

Opening with the mellow “Innleiing”, we get a nice contrast between simple guitars and raspy harsh vocals. Skuggimaðr is the band’s vocalist and Norwegian member, whose singing style perfectly fits the duality of the band’s sound. Tracks like “Bitande Kaldt”, “Kvit Som Snøen, Kald I Blikket”, and “Ditt Uendelege Raseri”, are your run of the mill BM songs, with some Death Metal and even Doomy influences that makes them interesting and nice complement to the more atmospheric pieces like “Mørkt Føre, Mørke Bak” and “Kom Ut I Mitt Mørke”.

The Amenta - Revelator (2021)

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It has been a while since we have heard anything from Australia’s weird Industrial Metal outfit The Amenta. Returning with “Revelator”, the band continues their path of weirdness with an interesting blend of experimental elements and Industrial Metal foundations, creating a very chaotic and yet interesting sound. If you like odd and unconventional music with a good dose of heaviness, this release has some nice surprises in store for you.

The release starts with the pummeling “An Epoch Ellipsis”, a track that starts with a similar pace to Anaal Nathrakh’s music, but quickly shows that it is a completely different beast with funky tempo changes, soaring clean vocals, and some underlying industrial elements. The uniqueness of “Sere Money” nicely changes the pace a bit as the band showcases their more melodic and catchy side, with lush rhythmic sections and a nice blend of harsh and clean vocals.

Evergrey - Escape of the Phoenix (2021)

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Originally not big fans of the band, with their last few releases they have converted us thanks to their engaging Power/Progressive Metal with somber undertones and the fantastic voice of Tom Englund. In “Escape of the Phoenix”, the band builds up on the success of their previous album and delivers nearly one full hour of high-octane music with tons of mood changes and soaring vocal melodies.

The release opens strongly with the heavy guitars of “Forever Outsider”, a track that nicely sets a very dynamic mood thanks to the funky keyboards. One of the first heavy hitters is the very melodic and catchy “Where August Mourn” and its dreamy atmospherics paired with Tom’s emotive vocals. This track has some nice Dark Tranquillity vibes to it as well. After the power ballad “Stories”, the album’s best song “Dandelion Cipher” delivers waves of soaring vocal arrangements, heartfelt lyrics and very explosive instrumentation, making it an instant epic.

Empyrium - Über den Sternen (2021)

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Empyrium has a way of making fans way for long periods of time for new music, but yet when they release something, all is forgotten as the band’s sonic magic appeases even the most disgruntled fan. Just making us wait seven years, instead of twelve as in the last time, Schwadorf and Thomas Helm return with over 52 minutes of music that manages to merge the band’s original ingenuity and ferocity, with their more refined and Folky sound of their later releases.

The release opens with the solemn acoustic guitars of “The Three Flames Sapphire”, a track that slowly moves into more complex territories with the lush clean vocals of Thoman Helm and layers of additional classical elements. However, one of the most interesting parts is the introduction of distorted guitars and harsh vocals, turning the track’s mood in a completely new dimension and bringing back “A Wintersunset...” vibes, and this is just the first song.

Interview with Therion - Christofer Johnsson (2021)

With "Leviathan", Therion has managed to deliver an album full of memorable 'hit songs'. In our conversation with the band's mastermind Christofer Johnsson, we discuss the process of making such and album and what is in store for the band in the future, among other things. To listen to this interview click on the player below.

Interview with Epica - Mark Jansen (2021)

Just in time for the release of Epica's most ambitious and bombastic album to date: "Omega", we managed to have a socially distanced conversation with the band's mastermind Mark Jansen. In this interview we discuss the process behind their latest release and his impressions and experience during these COVID-19 times, which have greatly affected the music industry.

Hån - Breathing the Void (2021)

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Crafty and melodic Black Metal releases are on the rise with bands like Uada and Mgła, Switzerland is throwing their hat in the ring with Hån and their latest release “Breathing the Void”. Featuring over 46 minutes of blistering music, this release perfectly balances raw aggression with melody and a top-notch production. Highly recommended for fans of this modern approach to a timeless genre.

After an ominous intro, the album title track delivers waves of crushing guitars and intense drumming. The band does a solid job in crafting intelligent tracks that are marked by catchiness and aggression. Similar to bands like Misþyrming, the melody infused by the twin-guitar attack into songs like “Olethrus”, “Enter An Eternal World”, and “Goatman”, serves as the perfect contrast to the harsh vocals and the tempo changes.

Epica - Omega (2021)

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Unleashing one of the most explosive and bombastic releases of 2021, today we have Epica and their latest opus “Omega”. Featuring over 70 minutes of music, this release capitulates on the band’s experience, execution, and expansive sound to deliver their strongest album to date. With all of their signature elements taken into a new level, this release is exactly what all fans are expecting.

After setting a magical and mystical tone with the opening intro, the band’s explosive sound in “Abyss of Time - Countdown to Singularity” perfectly delivers their well-balanced bombastic sound with rich classical arrangements and crushing distorted guitars. One of the band’s virtues is how they can create very playful tracks while pitting the sweetness of Simone’s vocals against Marc’s growls and aggressive riffs, as crafted in “The Skeleton Key”.

Moonspell - Hermitage (2021)

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Portugese legends Moonspell mark their return with a very unique and captivating release titled “Hermitage”. Featuring over 52 minutes of very emotive and dreamy music, the band will surely surprise their fans with this melancholic Gothic/Dark Metal release. With a darker edge to their sound, this release takes a bit to sink in, but once it does, it delivers some of the finest musical moments the band has ever produced.

The release kicks off with the mysterious “The Greater Good” and its crafty drumming alongside enigmatic atmospherics and subtle layered guitars. Fernando Ribeiro’s signature deep vocals give that extra element of mystery to this track as he goes from clean passages to harsh sections. The enigmatic atmosphere continues with the hard rocking opening of “Common Prayers”, a song that slowly introduces additional atmospheric elements and a very epic bass guitar line.

Mourners - Act I: Tragedies (2021)

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Highly prolific Daniel Neagoe (Clouds) is back with another soul-crushing Funeral Doom Metal release with his new band Mourners. In “Act I: Tragedies”, the band explores the depths of misery with a very powerful and direct release. For over 50 minutes the listener is immersed in a solemn and bleak experience, making this one of the best releases of the genre in 2021.

The typical atmospheric piece, “Apparitions” sets a desolate mood while delivering a warm-up onslaught of crushing brutality. “The Way of Darkness” slowly builds up to crushing combinations of massive growls and punishingly slow riffs. Daniel’s signature vocals perfectly layer with the minimalist instrumentation and ripping guitars in tracks like “Souls Breathing Nothingness” and “Ansu Enthroned” further creating a cavernous hollowness that only bands like Thergothon, Evoken or Mournful Congregation create.

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