Mournful Congregation – The Incubus of Karma (2018)

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Unleashing one of the most misery inducing releases of all time, today we have Mournful Congregation and their latest opus “The Incubus of Karma”. Seven years have passed since the band’s last release and all that anticipation is instantly erased with the level of grandeur the band reaches with their sound in this release. Featuring six tracks and nearly 80 minutes of music, this release is by far one of the most soul crushing albums of 2018.

The band sets a very bleak mood with the weeping guitars of the opener, “The Indwelling Ascent”. Once you think the big and crushing riffs are coming, the changes gears a bit and introduce a sad and solemn piece in “The Incubus of Karma”, which greatly contributes to the highly emotional vibe and sets a very somber tone. The gargantuan riffs finally arrive with the demoralizing “Whispering Spiritscapes”, a 15-minute piece that instantly feels like a foot down your chest.

Messa – Feast for Water (2018)

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Unleashing one of the Doomiest and most intoxicating release of 2018, today we have Italy’s Messa and their sophomore full-length release “Feast for Water”. Featuring around 50 minutes of highly mysterious and intricately crafted music, the band perfectly combines Doom and Sludgy undertones with enchanting female vocals and oppressive atmospheric elements. If you are a fan of Jex Thoth, Jess and the Ancient Ones, Bohren Und Der Club Of Gore, and similar bands with very apocalyptic vibes, this is certainly an album for you.

After opening with the mood setting Ambient/Drone-ish “Naunet”, the band instantly makes a splash with “Snakeskin Drape” and its incisive riffs. Sara’s sultry voice instantly captures the listener’s attention thanks to its commanding presence and how it shines through the very moody music. Her unique vocals can be said to be a certain mixture of Jex Thoth, Jess from Jess and the Ancient Ones and Farida Lemouchi from The Devil’s Blood, creating a fierce presence that magically brings songs to life like jazzy “Leah” and the funky “The Seer”.

Ancst – Ghosts of the Timeless Void (2018)

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Unleashing a very unique amalgamation of different styles, today we have Germany’s Ancst and their crushing release “Ghosts of the Timeless Void”. Blending Black Metal with Hardcore and Crust elements, the band crafts a very punishing and direct sound that is not for the faint of heart and weak of mind. Delivering over 41 minutes of music, this release will have you listening to it over and over to discover all the intricate layers build on-top a very aggressive foundation.

Opening with the melodic guitars of “Dying Embers”, the band quickly escalates the situation with blistering drums and hyper aggressive vocals. The complexly crafted brutality is quite interesting and it allows the band to explore multiple combinations of genres in a very chaotic and yet directed way. While songs like “Shackles of Democracy” have melodic undertones, the punkishness of “Concrete Views” allows the band to pivot from what the listener expects into what they are most comfortable doing.

Novareign – Legends (2018)

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Unleashing one of the best debut releases we have heard in a long time, today we have Novareign and their super release “Legends”. Featuring nine killer tracks of highly refined Progressive/Power Metal, this band kicks some serious ass with their over-the-top energy and musicianship. If you are fan of bands like Dragonforce and Stratovarius, this release will certainly keep you entertained.

Opening with the killer guitar work of “Call On the Storm”, the band quickly sets a very intense pace. Perfectly blending extreme musical skills with a good sense of melody and song structures, the band in an instant captures your full attention, particularly in marathonic songs like “Mace of a Fist”. David Marquez vocals are the perfect fit for such a dynamic and engaging sound, as we can hear in the intense “Beyond the Cold”, and the rest of this killer release.

Killing Gandhi – Aspirations of Failure (2018)

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Hailing from Denmark, today we have the most promising new kids on the Melodic Death Metal block: Killing Gandhi. With a highly refined and effective sound, this band unleashes upon us their sophomore release “Aspirations of Failure”. Mixing everything we love from bands like Dark Tranquility, Children of Bodom, (old) In Flames, Kalmah, Omnium Gatherum, etc. the band delivers nearly 40-minutes of neck breaking music that is definitely one of the best releases of the genre in quite a while.

After the obligatory atmospheric intro, the band quickly gets down to business with the intense “Let Me Tell You”. This track starts off with killer catchy riffs and energetic vocals, and while there are tons of influences there, the band has their own unique signature style. With some futuristic keyboards, “Dark Hours” and “Hollow Paintings” are definitely some of the highlights of this release, blending tight drumming with intricate riffing and a very upbeat tempo.

Yhdarl – Loss (2018)

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From mastermind Olmo Lipani (AKA Déhà), today we have a truly terrifying and unique release with his band Yhdarl. With “Loss” we are treated to three ravaging (and long) tracks that border in the edge of sanity, and delivers some unique experimentation between Black/Death/Doom Metal and some Drone elements. Not for those that like well-defined genres, this release is a truly haunting experience.

Opening with the spiraling madness of “Ignite – Ashes”, the duo behind Yhdarl sets a very chaotic and intense tone. The vocals are truly deranged, a la Bethlehem circa “Dictius Te Necare” times. This song mostly delivers killer Black/Death Metal passages with an excellent atmosphere, we are reminded at times of Ancient and even Dissection.

Spectral Lore / Jute Gyte - Helian (2018)

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As one of the most interesting split releases of this young 2018, today we have Spectral Lore and Jute Gyte’s split “Helian”. Featuring two tracks and over 40-minutes of intense (and highly experimental) Atmospheric Black Metal, this release demonstrates the two ‘bands’ different takes and musical translation of Georg Trakl’s poem. Which each outfit delivering a chilling and unique experience, this release is certainly not for the faint of heart.

Jute Gyte kicks off the release with a very dissonant opening that slowly transitions into a trance-like state with disparate guitars and funky atmospherics. The vocals are quite disturbing, as they capitalize on the weird atmosphere generated by the repetitive riffs and dense distortion. As the track progresses, it feels like we are descending into madness as it just keeps getting more and more chaotic and bizarre. Truly unique and interesting first ‘half’ of this release.

Veiled – Black Celestial Orbs (2018)

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Hailing from the USA, today we have Atmospheric Black Metal duo Veiled and their ravaging full-length debut release “Black Celestial Orbs”. Perfectly blending melancholic passages with the ravaging intensity of the USBM sound, the band unleashes nearly 40 minutes of masterful music that will instantly gain them recognition among the underground BM bands in the USA.

Opening with the intensity and violence of “Luminous”, we get a very Ash Borer-like layering of guitars and intricate drums that sets the bar quite high for this release. Coming off from the opening track’s high, “Portal” slows things down a bit before furiously pummeling the listener with crushing riffs and hellish vocals. The band’s music is a whirlwind experience of crushing passages and well-timed tempo changes that further contribute to the oppressive atmospheric experience created, as one can listen to in “Enshrouded”.

Interview with Harakiri for the Sky - Matthias Sollak (2018)

In the eve of unleashing their latest album, we managed to have a conversation with Harakiri For the Sky's Matthias Sollak about "Arson". In this interview we discuss the ideas behind the release and the very exicting future plans for the band. To listen to this interview please click on the player below this text.

Avslut – Deceptis (2018)

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Completely catching us by surprise and blowing us away, today we have Sweden’s Avslut and their debut release “Deceptis”. With a name like Avslut (audio/visual slut, average slut - as defined by urban dictionary), we were quite skeptical about this release, but since the moment it started we were totally wrong. Released by Osmose productions, this band delivers over 43 minutes of lush melodic Black Metal similar to outfits like Dimmu Borgir (minus the fluffy stuff) and the brutality of Dark Funeral.

Opening with “Pestilens” the band viciously smacks the listener with intense drumming and intricate riffing. The atmosphere crafted is instantly chaotic and quite destructive, with hellish vocals and a blistering pace. Perfectly mixing superbly fast passages with more melodic and crafty riffs, the band pummels through tracks like “Förlorad” and “Existensens skugga” with such grace and demoralizing brutality.

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