Fallujah - Undying Light (2019)

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Moving away from the lively Progressive/Technical Death Metal from their last release, Fallujah returns with the atmospheric “Undying Light”. Having lost long-time vocalist Alex Hofmann and guitarist Brian James since the last release, has made Fallujah turn into uncharted territories with their sound. Featuring 10 tracks and over 44 minutes of music, this release feels a bit too atmospheric and experimental to be digested easily. The sound is crushing and commanding at times, but at other times it just feels lost and unguided.

Opening with “Glass House”, we get that sweet Melodeath riffing from French bands like Hacride, but with extra kick and aggression thanks to new vocalist: Antonio Palermo. Some Deathcore elements are back and they sound ok when mixed in with semi-proggy passages, as in “Last Light”. For those looking for sheer brutality and catchiness, “Ultraviolet” achieves this with superb drum patterns and solid riffs. On the other hand, we have tracks like “Dopamine”, which feel a bit too convoluted with too many things going on at once and not really engaging the listener. The dreamy guitar leads are great, but the vocals kind of ruin the mood on this track.

Interview with Anna Murphy of Cellar Darling - 2019

On the eve of the release of Cellar Darling's sophomore album, "The Spell", we managed to have a conversation with the band's driving force: Anna Murphy.

In this interview we discussed the process of writing and recording this release, as well as the lyrical concept behind the album. We also candidly talked about Anna's experience recording the bonus audio book feature of this release.

Cellar Darling - The Spell (2019)

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After their brilliant and lively debut “This is the Sound” back in 2017, Cellar Darling quickly established themselves as one of the most promising up-and-coming Folk Metal/Rock bands in the scene. With “The Spell”, the band builds up on their earlier sound and turns into more Progressive territories with 13 superbly crafted tracks. Featuring a wide variety of folk elements , the super talents of Anna Murphy on vocals, and proven song-writing capabilities, the band delivers one of the best releases of their genre in 2019.

Opening with “Pain”, we notice and instant shift into darker and more progressive territories. The band continues to deliver their signature lush vocal arrangements, but in a more conservative and yet engaging manner. As “Death” and “Love” roll in, the band’s sound feels like a combination of Kari Rueslåtten’s folkier works with Anneke van Giersbergen’s charisma and sense of melody. This is quite a killer combination we have to say, however, of course Cellar Darling imprints their own ideas and style in the mix.

Parting Gift - Ensom (2019)

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Unleashing a very unique an dreamy EP, today we have UK’s Parting Gift with “Ensom”. Featuring five tracks and around 18 minutes of music, this release blends Post-Rock/Shoegazey elements with moody vocal arrangements and lush atmospheric elements. If you are into Post-Rock, Dream Pop, Shoegaze and have a sweet spot for Alternative rock, this is certainly a release that will appeal to your senses.

The album kicks off with the dreamy intensity of “Pale”, a track that instantly showcases the band’s moody vocals and excellent guitar work. This track feels a bit heavier than it sounds, as the guitars could pass on for Melodic DM, but the vocals and overall atmosphere change the vibe to a mellower one. With “3:07 (Moonlight)” the band opens the song in an Alcest-like manner with a very subtle atmosphere, as the vocals nicely elevate the song and complete the moody atmosphere.

Misery Index - Rituals of Power (2019)

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Unleashing over 35 minutes of crunchy modern sounding Death Metal, today we have Misery Index and their latest release “Rituals of Power”. Masterfully combining raw brutality with craftiness, the band pummels through nine tracks filled with intricate guitar work and inhuman growls. With their fifth full-length release, this American outfit is ready to get the crowds moshing and prepared for devastation.

First and powerful, “Universal Untruths” delivers waves of crushing guitars and crafty drumming, setting a very punishing and intense vibe since the beginning. As the band steamrolls through “Decline and Fall” and “The Choir Invisible”, we notice how they deliver signature DM elements with a modern and fresh take, allowing their sound to be both classic and yet fresh. For those of use craving intensity, “New Salem” is the perfect example of abusive guitar work brilliantly paired with meaty hooks and an intense tempo.

Chrome Waves - A Grief Observed (2019)

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Unleashing one of the most demoralizing and punishing Post-Black Metal releases of 2019, today we have Chrome Waves and their debut full-length release “A Grief Observed”. Formed by members and ex members of USBM bands like Twilight, Abigail Williams, Wolvhammer, this outfit crafts some truly harrowing songs filled with emotions and contrasted by savage Black Metal undertones. Presenting brilliantly atmospheric and moody songs, Chrome Waves makes a huge splash in the Post-Black Metal/Blackgaze scene with this release.

Opening with “Burdened”, we instantly get the vibe of bands like Old Silver Key, Grey Waters, thanks to the mixture of dreamy clean vocals and harsh screams. The instrumentation in this opener is quite dramatic with solemn atmospheric passages that perfectly change the tempo of the track. Keeping things heavy and melodic, “Past the Lights” delivers catchy riffs and tight drumming, creating a very powerful and yet melancholic vibe. Again, there is some magic to the way the clean vocal arrangements contrast the pace and intensity of this track, creating a very trippy dreamy depressing vibe.

Týr - Hel (2019)

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Unleashing the first candidate for album of the year, today we Týr and their mesmerizing eight full-length release “Hel”. Featuring nearly 70 minutes of superbly catchy and yet very intricate and crafty music, this album elevates the band’s sound to new heights and further cements their legacy as one of the best in their genre. Perfectly combining their signature elements from their early releases with more playful and free flowing elements, this release appeals to fans both old and new from this Faroese band.

Opening with “Gates of Hel”, the band’s charismatic front man, Heri Joensen, unleashes the perfect balance of guitar wizardry and catchiness to create a very engaging and heavy track. We are fans of the band’s usage of multiple layers of vocals and the opener nicely blends them with some harsher screams. As “All Heroes Fall” rolls in, we can instantly feel the band’s traditional proggy magic, mastefully paired with tight drumming patterns and blistering solos. For those looking for the Folkier side of the band, “Ragnars kvæði” has that “Hold the Heathen Hammer High” epic vibe, but on a more somber and dramatic tone.

Children of Bodom - Hexed (2019)

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Swiftly recovering from a spell of forgettable releases, CoB continues their return to form with the scorching “Hexed”. Unleashing over 45 minutes of melodic brilliance, the band delivers 11 fast-paced songs that feature their signature style and instrumental wizardry. Incorporating new guitarist Daniel Freyberg, to the fold the band focuses on crafting memorable tunes filled with killer solos and melodic passages.

Wasting no time, the high-octane opener “This Road” unleashes a barrage of pummeling riffs and a very playful tempo. The subtle atmospheric keyboards make sure this is a signature CoB anthem, but the pace is what incites moshing and excitement. The dueling keyboards/guitars are in top form as “Under Grass and Clover” rolls in, we are suckers for musical acrobatics and Janne Warman and Alexi Laiho don’t fail to the deliver in this release, as we can also hear in “Glass Houses”.

Candlemass - The Door to Doom (2019)

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Epic Doom luminaries Candlemass finally return with “The Door to Doom”, their first full-length release in nearly seven years. With the return of Johan Längquist on vocals, the band delivers one of the most quintessential releases in this genre, filled with heavy riffs, and a old-school Doom antics. Delivering over 47 minutes of music in eight tracks, this album will certainly resonate with new and old fans of the band.

Leading with the crushing riffs of “Splendor Demon Majesty”, the band sets a timeless vibe thanks to their methodical approach to the genre. Johan’s vocals perfectly complement the crafty guitar work and the overall heavy and slow mood of the track. One of our favorite things in this release has to be the brilliant guitar leads, showcases on tracks like “Under the Ocean” and with the guest appearance of Tony Iommi on the superb “Astorolus - The Great Octopus”.

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