Korpiklaani - Rankarumpu (2024)


The always lovely and enjoyable music of Korpiklaani is usually on our drinking party rotation. With the band releasing an album almost every three years, “Rankarumpu” arrives just in time when we need some new party songs. The band’s style has been well refined over the years and they are completely dialed in producing some superbly catchy and lively music, over 43 minutes in this release. If you are a fan of the genre or the band, this album does not disappoint.

Led by the charismatic and talented vocals of Jonne Järvelä, the band’s Finnish folk tunes onslaught starts strong with the perkiness of “Kotomaa” and “Tapa sen kun kerkeet”. The band’s instrumentation is always quite diverse and engaging, with cool intricate details and a very epic folky vibe on songs like “Aita”, “Saunaan”, and “Mettään”. With the band always keepings things catchy and engaging, each song has its own unique soul and magic.

Vesperian Sorrow - Awaken the Greylight (2024)


Our favorite North American Symphonic Black Metal band, Vesperian Sorrow, is finally back with the excellent “Awaken the Greylight”. Being the band’s six full-length, and after shedding/gaining a few new members since their last one, we were afraid this one would suck. However, we are glad to be completely wrong as this release delivers 54 minutes of some of their finest music to date.

The release quickly explodes with “As The Pillars Were Raised”, a very typical track for the band thanks to its intense drumming and dramatic keyboards, something not surprising as Christopher Nunez still handles those duties in this release. The interesting part comes with the soaring clean vocals that alternate between the harsh one, giving the band a certain Mercenary-esque edge, thanks to new vocalist, Orlando Logan Olivero, tracks like “Antediluvian - Proceeding the Unshaping”, “An Epistle to the Prime, Vivified”, and “Traverse The Vorthonian Passage” have an even more epic vibe to them.

Acathexis - Immerse (2024)


Featuring members of bands like Mare Cognitum, Los Males del Mundo, SLOW and Wolvennest, today we have Acathexis with a truly unique and demoralizing release titled “Immerse”. Featuring four tracks and nearly 56 minutes of music, each song is a tour de force when it comes to tempo changes and raw emotions. Not unexpected from such a stacked line-up, this release is probably one of the most underrated albums of 2024.

The release starts with the dreamy opening to “Dreams of Scorched Mirrors”, a track that immediately delivers a big punch to the face with its piercing vocals and intense riffing. The vocals in this release are insane, perfectly covering different styles and levels of intensity, and they are courtesy of Dany Tee of Los Males del Mundo and Those Endless Eyes fame. Aside from the insane vocals, the music creates a very thick and moody atmosphere that has tons of layers that need more than a few spins to discover.

Ad Mortem - In Honorem Mortis (2024)


Delivering a swift and brutal onslaught of Black Metal sickness, today we have Germany’s Ad Mortem and their debut full-length release “In Honorem Mortis”. Filled with piercing guitars, hellish screams and crafty drumming, this release contains eight tracks and over 43 minutes of intense music. Highly recommended for fans of Horna, Sargeist, Bexehen, etc., this album is one of the most punishing and yet refined releases of 2024.

Things escalate quite quickly with the atmospheric opening of “Von hohen Himmeln”, that swiftly transforms into all-out war with intense riffing and blistering drumming. E. Aggressor’s vocals are your traditional BM harsh creams, perfectly fitting to the tremolo picking ways of the band. As “Größer als das Leben”, “Labyrinth”, and “Der letzte Feind”, roll around, the band also has a certain melodic edge to their sound with some crafty melodic interludes that quickly erupt into more crushing passages.

Darkestrah - Nomad (2024)


Unleashing a masterful atmospheric epic, today we have Darkestrah and their latest effort “Nomad”. Instantly transporting the listener to unknown lands and taking them on adventures, this release perfectly blends Pagan and Folk influences with a Black Metal core to deliver a lush listening experience. Hailing from Kyrgyzstan and having a few members of Iran in their ranks, this outfit has mastered the skill of blending in unconventional instruments, in Metal music, into heavy and punishing compositions.

Setting the mood with the desolate “Journey through Blue Nothingness”, things quickly escalate with the lush atmospherics of “Kok Oy”, a track filled with crafty melodic guitars and ravaging tempo changes. Things get catchier and more Folkish on the album title track and dramatic instrumentation and hypnotic vocal arrangements. The epic “Destroyer Of Obstacles” brilliantly continues this flow of lavish instrumental arrangements around very melodic distorted guitars that are frantic at times.

Givre - Le Cloître (2024)


Unleashing a very expansive and diverse set of exploratory sounds, today we have Canada’s Givre and their latest opus “Le Cloître”. Featuring six tracks and over 41 minutes of music, the band explores six songs which each corresponding to a holy woman from Christian history. With a different take in each track, the band explores expertly crafted moments of total chaos that weave back and forth between dissonance and melody.

Opening with “Marthe Robin (1902 - 1981)”, the band starts creating a very atmospheric and dense vibe with shoegazey elements that quickly transition into punishing Post-Metal/Blackgaze passages. The mood slightly shifts into more chaotic territories with the pummeling “Louise du Neant (1639 - 1694)” and its furious onslaughts of piercing riffs and hellish harsh vocals. “Sainte Therese d'Avila (1515 - 1582)” rounds up the first half of this release with fierce dissonant guitars and masterful tempo changes.

Austere - Beneath the Threshold (2024)


After a long hiatus, the masters of melancholy and one of the initiators of the Depressive Black Metal sound, Austere finally returned last year with a killer release. Not even one year has passed and they are now back with another demoralizing album with “Beneath the Threshold”. Featuring six tracks and around 40 minutes of music, this Aussie duo unleash more depressive vibes filled with melancholy and some crafty musicianship.

Opening with “Thrall”, we get a slow burning piece that nicely unleashes dissonant guitars in a very mellow tempo alongside harsh and mournful vocals. The duality of the clean and harsh vocals alongside the subtle keyboard atmospherics creates a thick and soul crushing atmosphere, the thing we most enjoy from this band. Both “The Sunset of Life” and “Faded Ghost” masterfully induce more misery thanks to their crafty tempo changes and very solemn atmospheres.

Funeral Oration - Antropomorte (2024)


Capturing a very unique style of old-school Melodic/Symphonic Black Metal, today we have Italy’s Funeral Oration and their latest effort “Antropomorte”. Inducing a feeling of going back in time a couple of decades, the band unleashes seven tracks and around 40 minutes of highly theatrical and very engaging music. If you were ever a fan of Limbonic Art, Tartaros, and Charmand Girmloch, then this is the release for you.

Opening with “PLenus Larvarum”, we are immediately treated to old-school BM riffs and to some extent a slight Punk-ish vibe, this all quickly changes as the playful keyboards come around and the whole vibe changes to a more theatrical style. Perfectly blending incisive riffs with superbly catchy interludes and solid harsh vocals, “Amor Obsessio”, “Cloaca cattolica”, and “Il Serpente della Genesi”, keep things intense and yet full of lush and elegant atmospheric arrangements.

Fall of Serenity - Open Wide, O Hell (2024)


Delivering a swift and brutal, old-school Melodic Death Metal with some heavier touches, today we have Germany’s Fall of Serenity and their crushing “Open Wide, O Hell” release. In their first full-length release in nearly 17 years, the band shows a very interesting mixture of elements to create excellent songs to headbang and mosh from start to finish.

The release kicks-off with the leveling “Thy Pathway” and its crafty melodic riffing, there is a certain Dissection-esque vibe that immediately got our attention. Things gradually get heavier and catchier as tracks like “Darkness, I Command”, and “I Don’t Expect I Shall Return” lead with superb guitars alongside crafty drumming and very engaging tempo changes. The band’s Melodic Death Metal is definitely on the heavier side, as you won’t find many Insomnium-esque passages.

Leaves’ Eyes - Myths Of Fate (2024)


After touring extensively on their “Last Viking”, 2020 release, Leaves’ Eyes marks their return with a new full length release titled “Myths of Fate”. With their well refined folky Symphonic Metal, the band delivers eleven tracks and nearly 50 minutes of superbly catchy and epic sounding music. This release is as epic and melodic as they come, thanks to the perfect balance between excellent songwriting skills, masterful musicianship, and lush vocal arrangements.

Opening with “Forged by Fire”, the band sets a very regal epic atmosphere from the start. The band’s sound is as bombastic and dynamic as ever, with epic orchestrations, crafty heavy guitars and Elina Siirala’s soaring vocals. Alexander Krull and company have been at this for a while and tracks like “Realm of Dark Waves”, “Who Wants to Live Forever”, “Hammer Of The Gods” have that perfect balance while delivering tons of head banging passages.


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