Olde Throne - An Gorta Mór (2022)

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It is not every day we get to review a band from New Zealand, and it is definitely even better when the band is truly impressive. Olde Throne is unleashing upon the world their fierce debut full-length release “An Gorta Mór”. Featuring a very vicious pace and sinister atmospherics, this Black Metal album brings back memories of the early days of Emperor, Enslaved, and Immortal.

The release quickly strikes a punishing tone with the ravaging onslaughts of part 1 of the album title track. As the release transitions between the first track and “Knockdoe”, we get Emperor’s “Wrath of the Tyrant” vibes. Creating cavernous atmospheres, “Children of Lir” continues the brutality with a more sinister angle and subtle melodic undertones.

Kuolemanlaakso - Kuusumu (2022)

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Led by Mikko Kotamäki (Swallow the Sun), Kuolemanlaakso, a Finnish outfit, delivers killer Death/Doom Metal with some Gothic elements. With “Kuusumu” the band further expands it sound and incorporates some more modern elements alongside their highly emotional and soul crushing antics. The band’s Finnish only lyrics add an extra layer of uniqueness to their piercing sound.

Opening with the dazzling atmospherics of “Pimeys laski”, a very somber and yet lush mood is set. The combination of clean and harsh vocals alongside female vocals and harsh shrieks gives the music a very theatrical versatility, like on the Therion-esque “Katkeruuden malja”, or the punishing “Surusta meri suolainen”. Far from linear and traditional, the band’s Doom influences provide a nice contrast to faster and heavier elements thrown into the mix as “Kuohuista tulisten koskien” showcases.

Interview with Athenar - Midnight (2022)

Midnight is one of those bands filled with attitude and the perfect music to back it up. In the eve of the release of their latest opus "Let There Be Witchery", we managed to have a candid conversation with the band's mastermind Athenar. Listen to us discuss this release and their future touring plans in the following interview.

Brutal Assault have added SÓLSTAFIR and nine underground treats to the lineup!

One of the things fans appreciate about Brutal Assault is that festival aims to discover and bring artists that are new and unconventional. And that's what the current bands update is all about, with one exception - well-known and popular mood-makers SÓLSTAFIR from Iceland. Along with the enigmatic and gloomy Finns SKEPTICISM are the only bands re-appearing once again in Brutal‘s line-up. The remaining names are to be seen for the first time at BA!

Midnight - Let There Be Witchery (2022)

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Unleashing waves of intensity and playful catchiness, Midnight has always stood out from the rest thanks to their bizarre lyrics and brilliant delivery. With “Let There Be Witchery” the band takes their sound to new levels with ten pummeling tracks filled with devilish sleaziness. Perfectly blending old-school Speed Metal elements with Black Metal undertones, this band is one that no Metalhead should miss out on.

The release kicks off with the blistering pace of “Telepathic Nightmare”, a solid piece with crafty guitars and extreme catchiness. Building up momentum, ravaging tracks like “Frothing Foulness”, “In Sinful Secrecy”, and “Nocturnal Molestation”, perfectly transmit that sleazy old-school vibe that the Athenar masterfully crafts thanks to the stripped-down sound and funky lyrics.

Lord Agheros - Koinè (2022)

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Perfectly tailored to fans of music that pushes boundaries and that incorporates many disparate elements, today we have Lord Agheros and their latest opus “Koinè”. Mixing Ambient, Atmospheric and Avantgarde elements with a Black Metal core, this one man outfit continues to deliver unique and engaging releases that are varied and evocative from start to finish.

Opening with “The Prophecy”, we are treated to an Elend-esque momentum builder filled with dreamy atmospherics and crafty guitars. The musical exploration continues with the Industrial-elements of “The Walls of Nowhere”, paired with lush vocal arrangements and the doomier onslaughts of “Hold the Line”. As you can read, as the album hits the middle track, “Sow”, there are plenty of engaging elements from different genres, nicely arranged to create an immersive experience.

Valais - Valais (2022)

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Oozing malevolence and piercing riffs, today we have Ireland’s Valais and their self-titled debut release out in CD and tape format through Signal Rex. While Black Metal bands are a dime a dozen these days, there are only a handful, like this one, that bring the genre to life with gusto and a piercing precision.

A cavernous mood is nicely set with the opener “I”, a track that suddenly changes gears and delivers blistering drumming alongside crushing riffs. The hellish shrieks perfectly fit the band’s sinister nature as pieces like “III” demonstrate with a slower and creepier pace. Similar to outfits like The Ruins of Beverast and Urfaust, we particularly enjoy this style where pace, aggression, and varied vocal styles create unsettling atmospheres.

Eight Bells - Legacy of Ruin (2022)

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It is rare to find truly unique bands these days, luckily for us Eight Bells answers the call with their powerful release “Legacy of Ruin”. Featuring an extremely crafty amalgamation of Post-Metal, Doom Metal, and even some Black Metal-ish elements, this release unleashes over 45 minutes of intricate and engaging aural assaults.

Led by Melynda Jackson, the band quickly establishes their piercing atmosphere with the opener “Destroyer”, a piece filled with piercing guitars and harrowing and contrasting vocal arrangements. Creating a very sinister mood, the release is far from one dimensional as “The Well” explores calmer and yet disturbing interludes alongside faster and punishing onslaughts of heaviness.

Corpsegrinder - Corpsegrinder (2022)

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As one of the most identifiable people in Metal, George "Corpsegrinder" Fisher has made a career thanks to his punishing growls, furious headbanging skills, and bigger than life personality. Unleashing his debut solo album, Corpsegrinder delivers ten tracks and over 30 minutes of signature Death Metal with some splashes of Thrash Metal.

Featuring Charlie Bellmore and Nick Bellmore handling the instruments, the album starts with the pummeling “Acid Vat” track, which also receives some additional magic from Erik Rutan. Marching victoriously through songs like “Bottom Dweller”, “On Wings of Carnage”, “All Souls Get Torn” and “Death Is The Only Key”, Corpsegrinder showcases his usual versatility and energy alongside a barrage of chugging riffs and crafty tempo changes.

Arð - Take up my Bones (2022)

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Unleashing waves of melancholic bleakness, today we have Arð and their debut full-length release “Take up my Bone”. Perfectly crafting over 43 minutes of mournful Doom Metal, this one-man outfit takes atmosphere and doom to a whole new level with this opus. Just imagine an even more doomier and more atmospheric version of Hamferð and you can only begin to picture what this release brings to the table.

Opening with the mid-tempo “Burden Foretold”, we get a nice combination of punishing distorted riffs with elegant guitar leads and spine-chilling vocal arrangements. Self-labeled as “Monastic Northumbrian Doom”, tracks like the album title track, “Raise then the Incorrupt Body”, and “Boughs of Trees”, perfectly deliver this very unique and eerie feeling. With some of the clean instrumentation resembling elements from Tenhi and Empyrium, but sprinkled with soaring vocals and some intensely dramatic tempo changes.

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