Atramentus - Stygian (2020)

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Unleashing three gargantuan slabs of soul crushing Funeral Doom Metal, today we have Canada’s Atramentus and their epic “Stygian”. Perfect for the coming months of winter, this release delivers killer atmospheric misery paired with demoralizing growls and some crafty experimentation. Highly recommended for fans of bands like Shape of Despair, Mournful Congregation, etc., this release will turn even the brightest day, completely bleak.

Opening with the 16-minute beast “Stygian I: From Tumultuous Heavens… (Descended Forth The Ceaseless Darkness)”, the band does not fuck arround and quickly establishes riff dominance with punishing slow guitars. The mixture of clean and harsh vocals creates a very eerie contrast that works magically with such a lush and depressive backdrop. The interlude is provided by the noise-ish/atmospheric piece “Stygian II - In Ageless Slumber (As I Dream In The Doleful Embrace of The Howling Black Winds)”.

Svnth - Spring in Blue (2020)

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Unleashing a highly emotional and expertly crafted release, today we have Italy’s Svnth and their third full-length release “Spring in Blue”. Mixing the raw aggression of traditional Black Metal with the subtle intricacies and melody of Post-Rock, this release delivers one hour of hypnotic music. Recommended for fans of bands like Alcest, Deafheaven, Heretoir, etc.

The release opens with the doomy “Who is the Dreamer?”, a song that creates a very depressive and powerful atmosphere with its distorted guitars. After a dreamy intro on “Erasing God's Towers” the band transitions into heavier territories with weeping guitar leads and harsh screams, reminding us a bit of the American band 40 Days Longing from back in the day. The band expertly weaves back and forth aggressive onslaughts and crafty instrumental passages, creating a very chaotic and enjoyable mood.

Déhà - A fleur de peau - III - A Fire That Does Not Burn (2020)

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Unleashing yet another outstanding release this 2020, today we have multi-instrumentalist Déhà with “A fleur de peau - III - A Fire That Does Not Burn”. Featuring over 35 minutes of excruciatingly effective atmospheric/depressive Black Metal, this release creates a very chaotic and yet hypnotic atmosphere that features some cool guest appearances and a very unique feeling of urgency/desperation.

The release starts with the pummeling “The Tree and the Death”, featuring a very melancholic pace combining aggressive harsh screams and dreamy clean vocals. This track also adds the angelic female vocals of Natalie Koskinen to add additional layers of atmosphere and contrast. The saxophone in “Hope for Twilight” makes it a very unique aural experience, as it is nicely added to create a very dynamic contrast to the guest vocals of Tim Yatras (ex-Austere, Germ).

Panzerfaust - The Suns of Perdition II: Render Unto Eden (2020)

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The evolution of Canadian Black Metal has kept us quite intrigued in the last few years, with bands like Monarque, Forteresse, etc. delivering some of the most killer releases in the genre. Today we have Panzerfaust and their mysterious and highly atmospheric music, similar to the defunct Weapon but with their own brand of viciousness. Unraveling over 40 minutes of chaotic music, “The Suns of Perdition II: Render Unto Eden”, picks off where the band left off last year and continues their devastating path.

Leading of with the crushing “Promethean Fire”, the band creates a very oppressive wall of distortion that is further complemented by a harsh vocal duet with Masha Arkhipova from Arkona (Russia). The vicious guitars create the perfect contrast to the chaotic pace of the song. Continuing the onslaught with the ravaging “The Faustian Pact”, the band unleashes a very unique and harsh combination of intricate drum patterns and demoralizing screams. This track has a very hypnotic and ritualistic vibe that is quite hard to shake off, making it truly captivating.

Veonity - Sorrows (2020)

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Hailing from Sweden, today we have Power Metal outfit Veonity and their exciting fourth full-length release “Sorrows”. Featuring a bare-bones style that flavors traditional elements over the current over-the-top and extremely bombastic stuff, the band delivers over 45 minutes of old-school high-octane music. Recommended for fans of older Stratovarius and Sonata Arctica, this release is superbly crafted and incredibly catchy.

After the traditional instrumental intro, the band quickly sets a very energetic pace with “Graced or Damned”. While there are some atmospheric keyboards, the band’s guitar-drum-bass guitar code is what makes this track standout, with their playful interplay alongside Anders Sköld’s charismatic vocals. Like a blast from the past, “Back in to the Dark”, reminded us of early Stratovarius thanks to the lush guitar leads paired with a hypnotic bass guitar line and dreamy vocal harmonies.

Vermilia - Keskeneräisiä tarinoita (2020)

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One of the few benefits of working from not being able to travel the last few months is that we have extra time to dig up more promos that make it to our inbox. Back in May we missed the release of Vermilia’s stunning EP “Keskeneräisiä tarinoita”, filled with lush atmospheres and a good eye for crushing aggression as contrast. If you like bands like WITTR, Agalloch, but with a more Pagan/heavier edge, this is a release to check out.

The EP leads off with the very dramatic “Hauras, Kuollut, Kaunis”, a track that slowly builds up with a certain folky vibe and deep clean vocals, creating a very dark and somber atmosphere. Not being shy from heavy riffs and blistering drumming, “Taivas Hiljaa Huutaa” quickly changes the pace to a lively Pagan/Folk Metal style led by firm clean female vocals that suddenly transform into harsh screams. The variety of elements makes this song be quite enjoyable and diverse, while delivering an extra level of catchiness.

Oneiric Celephaïs - The Great Flood (2020)

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Delivering a swift Progressive Death Metal debut EP, today we have Oneiric Celephaïs with “The Great Flood”. Hailing from Italy, this technically proficient foursome unleashes over 24 minutes of superbly crafted music, perfectly balancing brutality and craftiness. Delivering a balance between Obscura and Persephone, this release is highly recommended for fans of the genre.

Leading with the elegant and dreamy opening of “The Eldritch Dark”, the band slowly eases the listener into their musical world. “The Aeon of Death” delivers the first doses of heaviness with perfectly weaved in onslaughts of intense riffs, a playful bass guitar line, and engaging drumming. The band’s Death Metal core is nicely complemented by the proggier guitar leads and intricate tempo changes, allowing their sound to be instantly catchy and engaging.

Writhing - Eternalised in Rot (2020)

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There must be something in the water in Australia that is helping the produce some killer Death Metal bands like Psycroptic and Writhing. Introducing themselves with a crushing two-track EP, Writhing delivers “Eternalised in Rot”, a short but sweet release that showcases the sheer power and brutality behind the band’s music.

Opening with the pummeling “Void of Derision”, we get the typical chugging riffs, extremely crafty drums, and hellish growls. There are certain proggy/technical DM elements that are nicely blended into the music's regular course of brutality and devastation. Rounding up the EP, we have the blistering “Eternalised in Rot”, a very lively piece with brilliant headbanging moments and a creative interplay of crushing guitars and a blistering drumming.

Selbst - Relatos de Angustia (2020)

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Unleashing one hell of a demoralizing onslaught, today we have Selbst with their sophomore full-length release “Relatos de Angustia”. Featuring the band’s characteristically savage sound, this release shows that their debut album was no fluke and that the band is quickly pushing up the Black Metal ranks with their intense and high-quality sound. Slowly building up their underground reputation and sound overtime, Selbst is ready to unleash their black arts to the wider audience through Debemur Morti Productions.

The opener, “Praeludium”, immediately transitions from cavernous atmospherics to completely sinister Black Metal riffs in a very moody tempo. Oozing melancholy and malice, this track sets a very punishing mood that is only exacerbated by the rest of this release, on blistering tracks like “Deafening Wailing of the Desperate Ones” and “The Depths of Selfishness”, both filled with ravaging guitar riffs, hyperfast drums and a very vicious edge.

Aleynmord - The Blinding Light (2020)

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Unleashing a behemoth filled with creativity and interesting ideas, today we have Aleynmord and their 35-minute opus “The Blinding Light”. Creating a very unsettling and yet experimental atmosphere, this four track release explores the depth of hell with unique crafted chaotic passages that are elegantly contrasted by rich instrumental interludes. If you are looking for a combination of Elend with a heavier side and less arrangements, this release is the one for you.

Setting a very mysterious and dissonant opening, “Spores of Possession” slowly builds through intricate guitars and harrowing vocals. After plateauing, the track dwells in weirdly calming acoustic explorations reminding us of bands like Urfaust and The Ruins of Beverast. As “Wounded Monolith” enshrouds the listener with its unique atmosphere, dramatic guitar leads and doomy melodic passages build up the track. Just when you think you have the band figured out, lush clean vocals and even more cathartic moments will sneak up on you.

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