Insomnium - Songs of the Dusk (2023)

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Just a few months after unleashing the melancholic masterpiece “Anno 1696”, Insomnium returns with a three song EP titled “Songs of the Dusk”. Featuring over 20 minutes of music, the band exploits their moody and doomier side in the release. As expected, filled with melancholy and gloom, this Finnish band continues to surprise listeners with high quality music and brilliant execution.

Netherdom - Forsaking, Forseeking (2023)

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Unleashing an extremely raw and powerful Black Metal, today we have France’s Netherdom and his solo release titled “Forsaking, Forseeking”. Featuring three songs and over 40 minutes of demoralizing music, this release is dense, punishing, and very visceral, instantly creating a feeling of unease and despair. If you are looking for something sinister, brutal, and yet quite atmospheric, look no further and get a copy of this release.

Amorphis - Queen of Time - Live at Tavastia (2023)

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Polishing their live shows over the years, Amorphis now a well oiled machine that can deliver a killer show to a packed arena, but also face-melt the crowd on more intimate club shows. For those that haven’t been able to catch the band live, their latest release: “Queen of Time - Live at Tavastia”, perfectly captures their intensity and precise delivery of their crafty music. Recorded during COVID-19 times, this live album is a testament to the bands tenacity and brilliant live showmanship.

On Thorns I Lay - On Thorns I Lay (2023)

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Slowly inching their way to a bigger label like Season of Mist, today we have one of the best Greek Death/Doom Metal bands: On Thorns I lay. Unleashing their eponymous release, the band’s 10th full-length effort has them delivering a dark and cohesive sound that is heavier and more sinister than their earlier efforts (“Orama”, “Angeldust”), still features the band’s signature approach to the genre.

Opening with the punishing “Fallen from Grace”, the band delivers a good mix of atmosphere and incisive guitar riffs. The band’s sound is heavy, like really heavy, with a certain Septicflesh vibe to it on most tracks, particularly the longer ones like the opener, “Crestfallen”, and “Among The Wolves”. However, the band’s signature sound can still be heard on pieces like “Newborn Skies” and “Raise Empires” that have the melancholic riffing alongside crafty keyboards.

Nebelkrähe - Ephemer (2023)

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Hailing from Germany, today we have the strange but quite awesome Nebelkrähe and their first release in ten years “Ephemer”. Combining elements from bands like Eisregen, Pensées Nocturnes, Devil Doll, The Vision Bleak, User Ne, etc., this outfit delivers seven tracks and over 50 minutes of catchy, melodic, and yet odd music. Full of blistering onslaughts alongside a wide range of different instruments like saxophone, harp, dulcimer, the band creates a very melancholic atmosphere that is quite bleak and exciting.

Opening with “Tumult auf Claim Abendland”, the band sets a dissonant mood thanks to its lush acoustic opening that suddenly tours dark and sour with the distorted guitars and harsh snarls. With the band singing exclusively in German, the vocals sound harsher than average, reminding us of Eisregen. While not being soft or too melodic, tracks like “Nielandsmann” and “Ephemer” have a very theatrical vibe, with lush melodic passages alongside creepy clean vocals creating a doomy atmosphere.

ONI - The Silver Line (2023)

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Delivering a guest-appearances filled full-length release, today we have Canadian ONI and their return “The Silver Line”. As a brainchild of Jake Oni, the music created is an interesting mixture of Progressive/Djent Metal with some Metalcore elements. Featuring nine tracks and 30 minutes of music, this release has quite enjoyable and epic songs that are quite dynamic and engaging.

Opening with “Silhouette”, we get a nice contrast between powerful distorted guitars, clean soaring vocal harmonies, and crafty atmospheric synths. The songs are well written and all have catchy hooks, what makes the release even more enjoyable is the assortment of guests used like Sueco on “Spark”, “Underneath my Skin” featuring Kellin Quinn, and “Aura” with Jost Gilbert and Howard Jones. They all bring a different edge to each track, keeping things fresh.

Heretoir - Nightsphere (2023)

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Unleashing one of the best Post-Black Metal releases of 2023, today we have Heretoir and their crushing third full-length release “Nightsphere”. Showing great promise with their earlier “Wastelands” EP, this release delivers on that promise clocking in at 42 minutes and five masterful tracks. Filled with dreamy and bleak soundscapes, this release will please any fan of the genre and the band.

Opening with the dramatic “Sanctum - Nightsphere Part I”, we get an elegant piece oozing melancholy thanks to its lush vocal arrangements (both harsh and clean) and its very crafty pace. For those looking for more typical pieces, “Twilight of the Machines” has that mid-tempo brilliance the band is known for, with blistering onslaughts mixed in between atmospheric passages. The band’s weeping lead guitars are to die for, and this release provides plenty of them.

October Tide - The Cancer Pledge (2023)

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Since leaving Katatonia in 2009, the Norrman brothers reactivated their melodic Death/Doom Metal outfit October Tide and have been releasing killer albums since then. On “The Cancer Pledge”, the band unleashes over 45 minutes of crafty melodic music with a hefty dose of heaviness. The band’s sound is quite timeless, as they have continued to add minor tweaks and refined it over the years.

Linus Klausenitzer - Tulpa (2023)

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Delivering over 52 minutes of intricate Technical/Progressive Death Metal, today we have German virtuoso Linus Klausenitzer. As one of the best 6-string fretless bass guitar players (the other has to be Jeroen Paul Thesseling), Linus manages to craft ten very engaging, and diverse tracks, that while they always highlight his staple instrument, they are very well rounded with tons of guest guitar solos, variety of vocal styles, and Hannes Grossmann on drums. If you like proggy/jazzy extreme metal, and are a fan of bands like Obscura, Obsidious, etc. this release will blow you away.

Opening with acoustic guitars and quickly jumping into incisive riffs, “King of Hearts” sets the stage for a very engaging and crafty release. The bass guitar lines are superb, as to be expected, but instead of just banking on this ability, Linus has composed very intricate tracks like “Axiom Architect”, and the extremely catchy “Our Soul Sets Sail”, which has a certain Soilwork-esque vibe. Other pieces like “Sister in Black” are quite playful and exploratory, creating a sultry atmosphere, while delivering insane technical proficiency.

Nervosa - Jailbreak (2023)

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Unleashing one of the most intense and crushing Thrash Metal releases of 2023, today we have Nervosa and their latest opus “Jailbreak”. Prika Amaral and company return with a vicious vengeance and deliver over 45 minutes of crazy fast and extremely crafty music, filled with epic riffs, blistering drumming, and hellish vocals. Perfectly balancing an old-school Thrash vibe with a modern and clean production, this album sounds like a million dollars while beating the listener into submission.

Opening with the thunderous “Endless Ambition”, the band means business from the start. Filled with fast Thrashy riffs alongside crushing drumming, and Prika’s aggressive vocals, this track nicely sets a high-octane tone that is greatly amplified by intense pieces like “Suffocare”, “Ungrateful”, “Seed of Death”, and the blistering album title track that fires on all cylinders. The band perfectly brings an element of melody and explosiveness to the genre that only a handful of bands can deliver, as heard on “Sacrifice” and “Behind the Wall”.

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