Hypocrisy - Fleshgod Apocalypse - Aenimus - Atlanta, GA - 3/27/2019

Shows on a Wednesday night are usually a tricky proposition, being hump day many people tend to skip them. In Atlanta however, all metal-heads usually always turn up for killer line-up regardless of the day of the week. With the 'geezers' turning up for Hypocrisy and the younger crowd for Fleshgod Apocalypse and Aenimus, this was set to be a killer show.

Armagedda - The Final War Approaches (2019)

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This re-issue of the Black Metal classic “The Final War Approaches”, showcases Armagedda and their raw sound that inspired legions of BM bands to this day. Originally released in 2002, this release has aged very well as we still get 20-30 albums a year that try to capture the grittiness of such old-school albums. Armagedda has long split-up, but this debut release is a testament to their contributions to the early days of Black Metal.

Opening with the intense “Deathminded”, we instantly get that old-school European Black Metal rawness with its intense riffing and hellish vocals. The signature punk-ish drumming on tracks like “Sign of Evil” and “Skogens mörka djup” keeps the songs tight and engaging. The songs in this release perfectly combine speed and all-out destruction with more moderate melodic passages, similar to bands like Satyricon and Enslaved (early days). Vintage songs like “Unholy Sacrifice” are the types of tracks that got us into BM back in the day, and are still effective in delivering the genre’s aggressive message.

Latitudes - Part Island (2019)

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Unleashing a truly contrasting and quite engaging release, today we have Latitudes and their latest opus “Part Island”. Perfectly blending Sludge, Post-Metal and even some Black Metal-ish elements with dreamy clean vocals, this release will weird you out at first, but will captivate you by the second track. With over 43 minutes of music, the band creates six intricate tracks that feel like you are listening to Amenra or The Ocean with and incorrect vocal track.

Opening with a folky build-up, “Underlie” creates the perfect mood to blow the listener away as the wall of distortion creeps up with thundering riffs. This big transition introduces the band’s pummeling sound in whole and will completely catch the listener off guard. This lush mixture of dreamy vocals and pummeling guitars is perfectly developed in pieces like “Moorland Is The Sea”, were the band slowly builds up an ethereal atmosphere that shifts moods with the heavier onslaughts.

Nordjevel - Necrogenesis (2019)

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Taking the scene by storm, Nordjevel has been destroying stages with their ravaging Black Metal assaults in the last couple of years. With “Necrogenesis” they unleash 47 minutes of intense music that puts them on the level of bands like Old Man’s Child, Dark Funeral and Marduk. With vicious intensity and a knack for melody, this Norwegian band’s sophomore release is very refined and highly stylistic, blowing past any expectations.

The album kicks off with the savage “Sunset Glow” and its intricate riffing. The band quickly makes a statement with the sheer intensity delivered by the aggressive guitar melodies and crushing harsh vocals in this opener. The onslaught continues with the violent riffing of “Devilry”, a track that reminded us of early 2000’s European Black Metal. The Dimmu Borgir-esque “The Idea of One-Ness” is definitely one of our favorite tracks, thanks to the crushing atmosphere created and the blistering drumming.

Laster - Het wassen oog (2019)

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Completely taking the boundaries of Black Metal for a spin, today we have Laster and their latest effort “Het wassen oog”. Featuring over 44 minutes of truly bizarre and yet completely intoxicating music, this release will have you listening to it over and over and over to discover all the little weird and quirky details baked into their music. If you like outfits like Mord'A'Stigmata and Fruze, you will find this band amazing.

Opening with the dreamy and intense “Vacuüm ≠ behoud”, the band opens a can of weird after the first couple of minutes. This track features a very comfy pace and dreamy guitars, flanked by a mixture of intense harsh vocals and ethereal clean vocal sections. The overall atmosphere is quickly established to be kind of dreamlike and very trippy, thanks to the throbbing bass guitar lines and the funky jazzy elements thrown into the mix, like the piano arrangements of “Schone schijn”.

Aoratos - Gods Without Name (2019)

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From mastermind Naas Alcameth (Nightbringer, Akhlys), today we have a very interesting Black Metal/Dark Ambient release titled “Gods Without Name”. Under the moniker of Aoratos, this outfit unleashes nine highly atmospheric pieces to comprise their debut release. Full of ideas perfectly executed, this release is in the vein of experimental BM bands like Blut Aus Nord as well as Mysticum and with some hits of Diabolos Rising thrown in the mix.

After setting a very hellish ambiance with “Parallax I”, the band slowly drifts into heavier territories with the ravaging “Holy Mother of Terror”. The band unleashes a commanding aural onslaught filled with dissonant riffs and blistering drumming. Paired with hellish vocals, the attack continues as “Of Harvest, Scythe and Sickle Moon” unravels. The band’s sound is both raw and punishing without the need to sound like it was recorded on a shed, allowing the listener to experience it at full blast and not damage their speakers.

Helevorn - Aamamata (2019)

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Getting over 50 promos a week, sometimes we miss excellent releases like Helevon’s “Aamamata”. Hailing from Spain, this Gothic/Doom Metal outfit took around 5 years to unleash their latest effort, but it was definitely worth the wait. With nearly an hour of music, this release further evolves their sound into more atmospheric and epic territories. If you are a fan of bands like My Dying Bride, The Foreshadowing and similar outfits, this release should be in your collection.

The release opens with the lively riffs of “A Sail to Sanity”, in this opener, the band has their older more direct Death/Doom Metal style, delivered with a catchy bass guitar line and solid tempo changes. The band steps up their efforts with the gut-wrenching “Goodbye Hope”, perfectly blending clean and harsh vocals with subtle piano elements and clean guitars. Josep Brunet signature vocals brilliantly infuse songs like “Blackened Waves” with raw emotions.

Malokarpatan - Cesta podzemnými sálami Kovovlada (2019)

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Hailing from Slovakia, Malokarpatan delivers a re-issue of their 2018 EP via Sun & Moon Records. While we don’t really subscribe to the hype behind the band, this 7” presents us two conceptually related tracks that continue to push the boundaries of the genre, as the band has set to do since their origins a few years ago.

The release opens with an instrumental/atmospheric side A track that sets a very sinister and engaging mood. Not too much else to talk about here. Side B gives us a proper old-school Black Metal piece, sounding like Master’s Hammer and Tormentor, but with thicker and more punishing atmosphere. The riffing and vocal’s give this track a very raw and punishing vibe, thanks to the contrasting underlying melodic nature of the track.

Siculicidium - A halál és az iránytű (2019)

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Béla Lugosi and Pestifer are back with this short but sweet 7” Siculicidium EP titled “A halál és az iránytű”. Always crafting a truly unique and foul sound, this Romanian outfit unleashes two powerful tracks that will generate expectations of what is to come in the future.

Opening with the clean intro of “A halál”, this tracks slowly builds up to a cool Black’n’Roll-ish guitar section that gives a certain twangy vibe to the song. Béla Lugosi’s deep vocals perfectly fit the funky tempo of this track, mostly marked by the Punk-ish drum patterns.

Ataraxie - Résignés (2019)

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Unleashing a dense and punishing Funeral Doom/Death Metal release, today we have Ataraxie and their latest effort “Résignés”. Featuring four tracks and over 80 minutes of music, the listener is in for monumental 20 minute tracks that slowly unravel to unleash heaviness and brutality. Blending old-school Death Metal elements into their Funeral Doom composition, the band creates a very unique and ravaging aural assault.

The album leads with the pummeling “People Swarming, Evil Ruling”, as heavy crunchy riffs lead the way to traditional growls and an overall feeling of helplessness. We particularly enjoy the dreamy interlude that breaks the song in two, just before more brutality is around the corner. Our version of the release continues with the album title track, a song that combines the rawness of Thergothon with the weeping guitars of Mournful Congregation in a crushing package.

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