Atlases - Woe Portrait (2020)

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Delivering a fresh and quite engaging take on Post-Metal, today we have Finland’s Atlases and their sophomore release “Woe Portrait”. While many bands are staying within the confines of the genre, this band expands its boundaries with a very melancholic and melodic approach, filled with lush vocal arrangements, and additional atmospheric elements to create a very cohesive and expansive sound. As always, releases from LifeForce records continue to amaze us by their creativity and uniqueness, and this one is no exception to the rule.

The release opens with the punishing riffs and growls of “Dreadlight”, a very typical and powerful opening that gradually transforms into a completely pummeling riffing contest, setting a very hectic mood. “Halos” and “Eternia” change the pace a bit with a more hypnotic approach with lush clean vocals that suddenly merge with very aggressive onslaughts. These tracks have more of a Post Rock vibe with very interesting and powerful contrasting elements thrown in the mix, keep things heavy and dreamy at the same time.

Draconian - Under A Godless Veil (2020)

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Oozing an incredible amount of melancholy and misery, today we have Draconian and their latest opus “Under A Godless Veil”. In what is one of the band’s strongest releases to date, over 62 minutes of music create a lush and apocalyptic atmosphere filled with punishing growls, weeping guitars and the enchanting and at times demoralizing vocals of Heike Langhans. If you like the punishing atmosphere of bands like Shape of Despair and the harrowing vocal dynamics of My Dying Bride, this is the perfect release for you.

The band wastes no time in setting a very depressive mood with the haunting “Sorrow Of Sophia”, a track that beautifully combines fragile female vocals and dreamy guitars that even take a certain Post-Rock-ish vibe. Anders Jacobsson growls continue to be some of the best in the game, as they perfectly create those ‘beauty and the beast’ duets on songs like "The Sacrificial Lame" or the masterful "Sleepwalkers".

Mors Principium Est - Seven (2020)

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Lucky number “Seven” is the latest release by Finnish Melodic Death Metal outfit Mors Principium Est. Delivering their signature catchy, crafty, and blistering melodic music, the ‘band’ unleashes over 48 minutes of intense headbanging music. For the fans of Kalmah, Omnium Gatherum, and Finnish Melo DM in general, this release will keep you entertained and fully engaged.

Shifting from a band to a duo since a few years back, Mors Principium Est fully maintains their high-octane approach to the genre, while embedding subtle atmospheric synths and crafty technical details. The opener, “A Day For Redemption”, is a clear example of the band’s perfect balance of aggression, melody, and guitar acrobatics. Permanent guitarist, Andy Gillion, is one of the best in the biz and delivers some killer guitar leads on tracks like “Lost in a Starless Aeon”, which create a very melancholic vibe in this excellent song.

Insidious Disease - After Death (2020)

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Unleashing a very engaging barrage of old-school Death Metal sickness, today we have all-star band Insidious Disease and their sophomore release “After Death”. Featuring Tony Laureano, Shane Embury, Silenoz, Marc Grewe, and Terje Andersen, this band takes you down memory lane with crunchy DM antics filled with crafty guitar work and excellent drumming, I mean, what can you expect with such a stacked line-up.

The band quickly chugs away with the catchy “Soul Excavation”, instantly reminding the listener of the old days of bands like Morgoth and Asphyx, but with a slightly sharper production. The riffing onslaught, courtesy of Silenoz and Cyrus, perfectly creates that mean and punishing attitude of earlier Death Metal as heard on the pummeling “Betrayer” and “Divine Fire”. For those looking into dramatic leads, “Unguided Immortality” gives a bit of Swedish DM flair, similar to bands like Grave and Centinex, with a slightly more melodic and headbanging edge.

Six Feet Under - Nightmares of the Decomposed (2020)

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In the last few years we stopped writing bad reviews, as we receive more promos than we can write about, we pick our battles and only write about the good stuff. However, sometimes, there comes a release so terrible that we are just pissed about having listened to it, and want to vent about it. Today the honor belongs to Six Feet Under and their latest ‘effort’ “Nightmares of the Decomposed”. While we loved the band in their heyday… like 10-15 years ago, their quality of their latest albums has gradually decreased.

The album starts with one of the salvageable tracks in this release with “Amputator”, while nothing revolutionary, it captures the band’s old-school ferocity and catchiness. The sluggish “Zodiac” delivers some of the most dubious vocals in this release as they just sound completely uninspired alongside grungy riffs. The album continues on a downward spiral until the terrible “The Noose” comes along, delivering one of the most boring and badly crafted songs we have heard in quite a while, even though it has some nice heavy riffs, Chris Barnes sounds completely bored in an attempt to rhyme.

Sulphur Sun - Placodemic Heraldry (2020)

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Hailing from Switzerland, today we have Sulphur Sun and their very interesting EP titled “Placodemic Heraldry”. Featuring a weird amalgamation of Death Metal with progresisve/technical DM elements, this release delivers a very promising 10 minute teaser for a uniquely weird band. If you like weird music that is both crafty and a bit chaotic, this is the EP for you.

Opening with the madness inducing “The Temple of Dunkleosteus”, the band delivers intricate riffs, hellish vocal arrangements ranging from hypnotic throat singing to growls, and a very playful drum track. The band’s style is instantly hard to categorize as the song goes over multiple moods and styles. The chaos continues with the sinister “Trilobite Thief”, featuring some Satyricon-esque sounding guitars and more blistering drumming and odd tempo changes, all working in strange unison.

Anaal Nathrakh - Endarkenment (2020)

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Unleashing what is their most mature and yet completely devastating release to date, Anaal Nathrakh returns with the relentless “Endarkenment”. Featuring a more focused and equally crushing sound, this album delivers over 41 minutes of balls to the wall aggression mixed with interesting vocal arrangements and the band’s signature chaotic style. If you liked the band’s previous releases, you will love the brutality and craftiness behind this one.

Opening with the album title track, we are instantly flooded with the band’s superior aural abuse thanks to waves of guitars, blistering drums, and completely chaotic (and yet quite soothing) multiple vocal styles. There is an underlying level of melody that we haven’t seen before, allowing the band to create more ‘breathing’ passages between brutal onslaughts. As the duo continues to pummel through this release, songs like “Thus, Always, to Tyrants” and “The Age of Starlight Ends”, keep the intensity to the max, while unleashing some interesting vocal theatrics on this last song.

Chrome Waves - Where We Live (2020)

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Dropping one of the most surprisingly awesome releases of 2020, today we have Chrome Waves and their latest amalgamation of Post-Black Metal with all kinds of extra genres, under the title “Where We Live”. Featuring nearly 45 minutes of brilliantly intricate and nicely layered music that will appeal to fans from bands like Deafheaven, Abigail Williams, to Mountaineer or Alcest.

Opening with the dramatic “Hallow Dreams”, the band leads with lush instrumentation and suddenly escalates to dreamy riffs and catchy passages, all rounded up by harsh vocals. This track instantly showcases the band’s unique musical proposal as the vocal harmonies further elevate the already imposing atmosphere. This bleeds into “Gazing Into Oblivion”, a track that gives us that playful and in a way a bit pop-ish sound of bands like Amesoeurs.

Morwinyon - Pristine (2020)

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Featuring members of Falaise, Morwinyon is an Italian outfit crafting soothing Atmospheric Black Metal tunes in the same vein as Saor and similar bands. With “Pristine”, the band unleashes nearly 40 minutes of atmospheric brilliance divided into four powerful tracks. While this genre is getting a lot of competition in the last few years, bands like this one clearly stand out from the rest thanks to their creative musical ideas and excellent execution.

The release opens with the dreamy “The Intangible Void”, a song filled with mystical synths and a good dosage of incisive riffs. The atmospheric components are a bit overpowering in the production of this release, but they still allow the ‘heavier’ elements to shine as this mid-tempo track unleashes a good amount of harsh screams alongside the very hypnotic vibe. “Sea of ​​Stars” takes a more dramatic and darker turn with crafty drumming and some very solemn and effective passages that provide respite from the overpowering atmosphere, similar to what is found on releases by Lustre.

Kosmovorous - Glorification Sermons (2020)

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Always delivering the sickest and unique releases, I, Voidhanger unravels Kosmovorous and their punishing EP “Glorification Sermons”. Perfectly suited for those that love the black arts and enjoy Black Metal that is both chaotic and bloodcurdling, this release delivers 22 minutes of unparalleled brutality. Filled with atmosphere and chaos, this release will keep you at the edge of your seat.

The madness begins with the brutal “The Perilous Flesh And The Devouring light”, a track that sets a very chaotic and devastating tempo from the first minute and never lets go. Mixing hellish growls and desperation screams, this brand of BM does not require your typical shrieks. The massive drums and guitars create a very cavernous and intense vibe, with blistering riffs and incisive guitar leads as this track pummels through nearly 11 minutes of total aural destruction.

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