Dethklok - BABYMETAL - Nekrogoblikon - The Masonic - San Francisco, CA - 4/25/2024

With several shows happening during a short span of time, the Metal scene in San Francisco was in for a treat with Dethklok and BABYMETAL playing not one, but two shows at the amazing The Masonic theater. Sadly we missed the first show, with the band’s pairing with Dragonforce on their latest visit to town, however, Nekrogoblicon was up for the task on the second night.

 

Darkthrone - It Beckons Us All (2024)

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Returning with another masterclass in crafting sinister and crafty Metal music, today we have the legendary Darkthrone and their latest sickening opus “It Beckons Us All”. Fenriz and Nocturno Culto have made pushing the boundaries of Metal a regular exercise and with this release they unleash seven tracks and nearly 44 minutes of piercing and challenging music. If you've been a fan of the band’s last few releases, this one will come as a natural progression of their sound.

Opening with “Howling Primitive Colonies”, we get an instant taste of the band’s sinister riffs and unsettling atmospherics. The music is raw and direct, but it still delivers those spooky vibes the band is known for. It is quite impressive that the band can still pull new rabbits out of their hat and make the Black Metal roots present on tracks like “Eon 3”, “Black Dawn Affiliation”, and “And in That Moment I Knew the Answer”, bringing back some of those Isengard days thanks to the eerie vocals and riffs.

Amiensus - Reclamation: Part 1 (2024)

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Unleashing a very interesting and crafty Progressive Black Metal release, today we have Amiensus and their moody “Reclamation: Part 1” release. Featuring eight tracks and nearly 55 minutes of highly intricate music, this album has vibes from bands like Enslaved, Agalloch, all the way to Cynic. With each track introducing an interesting mix of ideas, this release is definitely one of the most unique and enjoyable albums of 2024.

Opening with the moody atmospherics of “Blink of the Moment'', the band sets a very Agalloch-esque vibe thanks to its engaging guitar-driven core and excellent vocal (clean and harsh) onslaughts. This dreamy atmosphere bleeds into the catchiness of “Reverie”, a more dynamic piece that features an interesting mix of Progressive elements and engaging melodic passages. The band’s ideas nicely blend different genres and elements together as the mellow “Senses Amplified” showcases.

Dödsrit - Nocturnal Will (2024)

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Creating something new and different sounding in Metal these days is quite a hard task, however, Sweden’s Dödsrit has managed to do that and pushes it to the limit with “Nocturnal Will”. Over the years the band has been refining their mixture of Melodic Black Metal, Punk, Crust, and even some traditional Heavy Metal. In this release, the six tracks and nearly 45 minutes of music showcase a high-octane sound that is quite epic, melodic, and yet heavy and powerful.

Opening with the ravaging “Irjala”, the band starts off with some very Heavy Metal sounding riffs that made us think we had put on an old Dio/Iron Maiden release. The track quickly picks up with intense drumming and a hearty sense of melody, thanks to some excellent melodic passages and exciting guitar leads. The band’s sound is nicely layered to incorporate elements that need more than a few listens to discover, as “Nocturnal Fire” and “Utmed Gyllbergens Stig” demonstrate.

Dødsferd - Wrath (2024)

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Hailing from Greece, today we have the sinister Dødsferd and their latest opus “Wrath”. Featuring ten tracks and nearly one hour of crushing Black Metal, this band shows the listener no mercy with their high-octane tracks and fierce sound. Highly recommended for purists of the genre, this album packs a lot of punch and shows that the band means business.

Waiting no time to establish a pummeling atmosphere, “Restoration of Justice” opens the release with incisive guitar work and hellish vocals, courtesy of Wrath, one of the most consistent and fierce vocalists in the scene. The band pummels through pieces like “Decay of Sanity”, “Raging Lust of Creation”, and “Spiritual Lethargy”, unleashing long tracks (up to 10 minutes long) of sheer brutality.

Demande À La Poussière - Kintsugi (2024)

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Hailing from France, today we have a pretty interesting outfit with Demande À La Poussière and their mysterious Blackened Post-Metal/Sludge music. In “Kintsugi”, the band unleashes eleven crushing tracks filled with crafty tempo changes, ripping riffs, and punishing vocals. Mixing elements from outfits like The Ocean, Downfall of Gaia, and sludgier outfits, the band creates a very piercing and unnerving unique style.

The band starts building a thunderous momentum with the crushing riffs of “Inapte”, masterfully crafting a very unnerving and yet immersive atmosphere, as it transitions to “Kintsugi” and “ La Parabole des Aveugles”, two tracks that showcase the band’s Sludginess. Weaving back and forth between hypnotic dreaminess and punishing dissonance, “Ichinawa” is our favorite track in this release thanks to its engaging tempo changes.

Tomorrow’s Rain - Ovdan (2024)

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Hailing from Israel, today we have Tomorrow’s Rain and their highly polished mixture of Gothic/Death/Doom Metal, unleashing their sophomore release “Ovdan”. Making a big impact with their debut “Hollow” and its plethora of high profile guests, with this release the band continues on a similar path, but also starts to showcase more their own style in tracks without guests.

The release kicks off with the elegant “Roads”, a Doomy song that features Andreas Vingback (Dark Funeral) and Tony Wakeford on guest vocals, creating a very sultry and jazzy vibe at times. Transitioning into “Sunrise” we get the band’s uncompromising Death/Doom core with crafty atmospherics, guitar leads, and tempo changes. In “Muaka”, the acoustic guitars give a certain Empyrium-esque vibe that transitions into distorted guitars and dramatic leads alongside Attila Csihar’s vocals.

Arð - Untouched by Fire (2024)

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After blowing us away with their debut release in 2022, Mark Deeks and Arð return with another monumental release titled “Untouched by Fire”. Perfectly mixing eerie choir arrangements with traditional Doom Metal, or monastic doom as the band has been pegged, this release is more epic, more solemn, and more dreamy than the last one. So be prepared for a truly immersive and mournful listening experience.

Opening with the crushing riffs of “Cursed To Nothing But Patience”, this outfit sets a very ethereal and regal atmosphere that only a handful of bands can create, like Hamferð and Skepticism. The lush instrumentation adds an extra layer to the music, with tons of intricate elements perfectly introduced in precise moments to capture the cinematic experience of Arð’s music, as show in the opener and other excellent tracks like “Name Bestowed”, “Hefenfelth” and our favorite, the even more melancholic “He Saw Nine Winters” and its weeping lead guitars.

Blaze of Perdition - Upharsin (2024)

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There must be something in the water in Poland that produces excellent Black Metal bands like Mgła, Kriegsmaschine, Behemoth, and Blaze of Perdition to name a few. On the subject of the latter, today we have their latest opus with “Upharsin”, a 41-minute beast filled with five tracks of punishing and hateful music. If you like intensity and nerve wrecking atmospherics, this release will satisfy your cravings.

Opening with the monster “W kwiecie rozłamu”, the band unleashes eight minutes of uncompromising brutality and harshness. While not as clinical as outfits like Mgła, Blaze of Perdition compensates with sheer intensity and crafty sinister melodies, as the powerful “Przez rany” slowly builds its momentum and creates dissonant soundscapes. The band’s execution is immersive, as tracks like “Niezmywalne” perfectly deliver blistering drumming, alongside incisive guitars and engaging tempo changes.

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