Twin Temple - Bridge City Sinners - The Masquerade, Atlanta, GA - 10/6/2022

It’s been a while since we have attended two shows in one week, but this fall season in Atlanta has way too many great tour packages making their way through the city. As the second show of the week, Twin Temple and Bridge City Sinners made their way to one of our favorite venues in Atlanta: The Masquerade (Heaven). While not usually our traditional cup of tea, these two bands have unique styles that we wanted to experience live and neither disappointed with excellent and engaging sets.

Epica - Sabaton - The Tour To End All Tours - Tabernacle, Atlanta, GA - 10/4/2022

With live shows finally getting back to normal, one of the most impressive packages to come to North America in 2022 had to be the triumphant return of Sabaton on their The Tour To End All Tours with special guests Epica. We have been attending Sabaton's shows over the years since their support band days to their killer headlining tours. Epica has also had an equally impressive trajectory over the years, so seeing them both in a single show is a very unique opportunity.

Ravenoir - In the Womb of Sin (2022)

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Unleashing a nice old-school Death Metal vibe, Ravenoir delivers over 40 minutes of catchy and engaging music with “In the Womb of Sin”. With a sound more akin to Grave, Dismember, and Entombed than current DM outfits, the band perfectly balances atmospheric elements with melody and crunchy guitars. Featuring a couple of members of the defunct Root and other Czech outfits, this release is full of nostalgia and craft songs for any fan of the genre.

After setting a mysterious and yet imposing mood with the opener “The Ecstasy of Desecration”, the band’s excellent riffing sets the album’s more sinister tone with the brilliant album title track. Changing gears into more traditional and punishing territories, “The Cold of Casemates” and “The Scene Obscene” have that vicious edge that makes this band standout from the rest, particularly when combined with the subtle atmospherics and the intense guitar leads.

Lorna Shore - Pain Remains (2022)

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Unleashing one of the most punishing releases of 2022, today we have Lorna Shore and their highly anticipated release “Pain Remains”. Further refining and sharpening their razor-sharp sound, this release blasts away with over 60 minutes of brutal, and yet melodic Deathcore music unlike anything you have ever heard before. Yes, there are elements of bands like Black Dahlia Murder, Fallujah, etc., but this American outfit takes them to a whole new level with the perfect blend of blasting aggression, crafty tech proficiency, and dramatic atmosphere.

Our first introduction to the band was this summer during their European festival run at Brutal Assault. With an unusually high amount of security guards in the photo pit, we were not prepared for how as the band hit the stage, waves of people started crowd surfing and moshing to the band’s relentless music (see some of our pics here). The album wastes no time in establishing its dominance with the piercing opener “Welcome Back, O' Sleeping Dreamer”, which nicely builds up with atmospheric arrangements until it blasts open with crushing drumming and Will Ramos insane vocals. This track, and most of the album, has a very unique vibe as it feels like a mixture of Cradle of Filth/Dimmu Borgir and The Black Dahlia Murder, but on its own level of intensity.

Décembre Noir - Pale Serenades (2022)

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Showcasing a very different side of their music, today we have Germany’s Décembre Noir with their latest EP “Pale Serenades”. Featuring a re-interpreted version of an individual track of each of the band’s previous releases: "The Renaissance Of Hope", "Autumn Kings", "Forsaken Earth" and "A Discouraged Believer", the listener is treated to a more naked and direct approach from the band, creating a very unique and powerful experience.

The release opens with “A Swan Lake Full of Tears”, a very solemn and melancholic track which also features Nick Moss on guest vocals, adding that extra punch to make the song even more special. Next up, we have the fragile “Barricades” with lush and dramatic piano arrangements alongside Aaron Stainthorpe’s mournful guest vocals. This is certainly our favorite track of the release.

Catacombes - Des glaires et des briques (2022)

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We are constantly impressed on how Sun & Moon records always manages to find very interesting underground bands like Selbst, Blaze of Sorrow, etc. The label has done it again with the incisive Catacombes and their crafty and engaging Black Metal on their sophomore release “Des glaires et des briques”. The band’s music is raw and direct, with a certain Peste Noire meets Monarque approach that will lead to plenty of weird headbanging sessions.

After a mood setting opener, “Cathédrale” creates a very decadent and moody atmosphere with fierce guitar riffs and hellish vocals. The pace is not always intense, allowing the atmosphere and tempo to accommodate more experimental and even Doomy passages. However, not all tracks are the same as pieces like the album title track and “Face à Godasses” are commanding and pummeling from start to end. The band can easily switch gears and they are not afraid of showing it.

Ellende - Ellenbogengesellschaft (2022)

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Completely blowing us away, today we have Ellende’s latest opus “Ellenbogengesellschaft”. As one of the most anticipated releases of 2022 for us, this album delivers nearly 50 minutes of highly melancholic atmospheric Post-Black Metal unlike anything you’ve heard before. L.G manages to improve the band’s sound by introducing additional elements while keeping its raw core untouched.

The elegant intro “Ich bin” nicely sets a solemn mood that is quickly elevated with “Unsterblich”. In this relentless track we get our first dose of the band’s signature blistering aggression nicely adorned with subtle atmospherics and dramatic tempo changes into lush melodic passages. The mood of the track completely changes when it transitions to weeping guitar leads and dreamy choral arrangements.

Moonspell - From Down Below - Live 80 Meters Deep (2022)

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Celebrating their 30th anniversary, today we have Portugal’s best Metal export: Moonspell, and their very unique and intimate live release “From Down Below - Live 80 Meters Deep”. Filmed during the COVID-19 pandemic days in a cave in Portugal, this is by far one of the more striking live releases ever recorded. Showcasing the band’s last release “Hermitage”, this release captures a very unique moment in the band’s storied career and brings it home to fans that have not been able to experience one of the band’s energetic live shows.

In a very interesting setting, 80 meters below in a cave, the band delivers a very intimate show with not many visible participants all wearing headphones and face masks. This truly captures the essence of the years of the COVID-19 pandemic and the challenges facing musicians and concert goers due to all the restrictions and uncertainty of the time. This to us is one of the interesting elements of this release as it is not captured on video for posterity.

Wyrms - Sarkhral Lumænor - La lueur contre les fléaux (2022)

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Unleashing one blistering barrage of punishing Melodic Black Metal riffs, today we have Wyrms and their fourth full-length release “Sarkhral Lumænor - La lueur contre les fléaux”. Other than having one of the longest album titles in 2022, this album perfectly blends unparalleled intensity with sinister BM foundations, creating a very Windir/Vreid meest Atmospheric/Suicidal BM atmosphere.

Immediately setting a hellish pace, “La messe de l épée” slowly transitions from dreamy atmospherics into all-out Black Metal onslaughts filled with intense guitar work and ravaging drumming. This level of intensity is perfectly on display on pieces like “Fort blanc et bêtes noires” and “Entre gueux et rats”, where the melodic aspect of the band's sound nicely creates a very effective and direct mixture that will have listeners furiously headbanging.

Epoch of Unlight - At War With the Multiverse (2022)

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Seemingly frozen in time, today we have, after 17 years, Epoch of Unlight's latest opus “At War With the Multiverse”. We were huge fans of the band back in the early 2000’s and their fresh thrashy Melodic Death Metal music, which was echoed by bands like Estuary of Calamity and Sacramentum to some extent. In this new release, the band unleashes around 42 minutes of catchy and well-crafted music that has a certain nostalgic retro sound, but will please anybody that is a fan of Death/Black Metal with melodic tendencies.

The opening riffs of “The Anthropocene”, bring us back to the early days of North American Death Metal, namely Suffocation, Incantation, and similar outfits. However, the special Epoch of Unlight sauce lies in the melodic passages in songs like “The Numbing Stillness”, “Wrath of the Cryomancer”, and “An Amaranthine Line”, which perfectly switch between neck-snapping chugging sections, to clean and blistering guitar leads and solos.

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