Throane - Une Balle Dans Le Pied (2020)

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France has been on the forefront of pushing Black Metal to new auditory levels with bands like Blut Aus Nord and Throane. Today we have the latter’s new effort: “Une Balle Das Le Pied” a one-track, 13-minute 7” release that continues Dehn Sora’s musical exploration with plenty of unique elements. Not for the close-minded, this short but sweet release encapsulates a very unique concept alongside hellish music.

Unleashing a hellish attack on your senses, the juxtaposition of Industrial elements and trance-inducing Dark Ambient influences creates a very thick and chaotic atmosphere, similar to what Yeruselem crafted last year but with a more punishing and hypnotic edge. The song is divided into three main movements separated by eerie interludes. However, every single part delivers relentless aggression with harsh screams and crushing guitars.

Bergeton - Miami Murder (2020)

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A bit outside of our regular reviewing domain, today we have electronic music project Bergeton and their debut release “Miami Murder”. Formed by Morten Bergeton Iversen (Teloch) from Nidingr and Mayhem fame, this one-man outfit crafts a unique mixture of video game-like music with more traditional electronic elements, and of course some heavy distorted guitars thrown into the mix. If you are the type of Metal head that enjoys Ulver and similar outfits, then this release will certainly appeal to you.

Kicking off with the hypnotic “Arabian Nights”, “Depeche Load, and “Fort Apache Marina”, we are instantly transported to the times of 8-bit music from Nintendo and old-school computer games. However, Bergeton adorns this style with more lush and rich electronic elements to these tracks and some nice ripping guitars to the former track. The playful nature of the music is quite engaging and far from linear, tracks like “Lambo” have a cohesive and yet differential feeling to them, keeping the album interesting and fresh.

Leaves’ Eyes - The Last Viking (2020)

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As one of the most senior bands in the scene, Leaves’ Eyes has marked the path for countless others. With “The Last Viking”, the band delivers their signature bombastic music with a few additional surprises and great intensity. Featuring over 60 minutes of lush songs, this release showcases the band having fun while staying true to their lyrical and musical foundations.

Leading with the cinematic opener, “Death of a King”, the band continues with the folkier and Turisas-esque “Chain of the Golden Horn”. This very lively track unleashes masterful choir arrangements and Elina Siirala’s enchanting lead vocals. With a folkier and very dynamic guitars/drums approach, this and other tracks like “War of Kings” have a very epic and powerful sound. Our personal favorite is the dramatic “Black Butterfly” with its lush instrumentation and superbly catchy duet between Elina and Visions of Atlantis Clémentine Delauney.

Slagmark - Radical Malice (2020)

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Behind a crushing debut release, there is usually an equally inspired and punishing demo. With “Radical Malice”, Germany’s Slagmark showcases their relentless and grim approach to Black Metal that nicely transferred into their brilliant “Purging Sacred Soils” debut full-length. Now being released through Purity Through Fire, this demo unleashes nearly 20 minutes of raw and uncompromising old-school Black Metal filled with buzzsaw-like incisive guitars and hellish shrieks.

Opening with the ravaging “Behold the Raging Darkness”, the band sets a very hectic mood with bustling riffs and precise drumming. The screams are typical of such releases, but nicely round up the band’s raw and blistering aural approach. The demo title track continues the furious onslaught with another intense track filled with vicious guitars and a very desolate vibe, just perfect for unruly headbanging.

Atlases - Woe Portrait (2020)

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Delivering a fresh and quite engaging take on Post-Metal, today we have Finland’s Atlases and their sophomore release “Woe Portrait”. While many bands are staying within the confines of the genre, this band expands its boundaries with a very melancholic and melodic approach, filled with lush vocal arrangements, and additional atmospheric elements to create a very cohesive and expansive sound. As always, releases from LifeForce records continue to amaze us by their creativity and uniqueness, and this one is no exception to the rule.

The release opens with the punishing riffs and growls of “Dreadlight”, a very typical and powerful opening that gradually transforms into a completely pummeling riffing contest, setting a very hectic mood. “Halos” and “Eternia” change the pace a bit with a more hypnotic approach with lush clean vocals that suddenly merge with very aggressive onslaughts. These tracks have more of a Post Rock vibe with very interesting and powerful contrasting elements thrown in the mix, keep things heavy and dreamy at the same time.

Draconian - Under A Godless Veil (2020)

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Oozing an incredible amount of melancholy and misery, today we have Draconian and their latest opus “Under A Godless Veil”. In what is one of the band’s strongest releases to date, over 62 minutes of music create a lush and apocalyptic atmosphere filled with punishing growls, weeping guitars and the enchanting and at times demoralizing vocals of Heike Langhans. If you like the punishing atmosphere of bands like Shape of Despair and the harrowing vocal dynamics of My Dying Bride, this is the perfect release for you.

The band wastes no time in setting a very depressive mood with the haunting “Sorrow Of Sophia”, a track that beautifully combines fragile female vocals and dreamy guitars that even take a certain Post-Rock-ish vibe. Anders Jacobsson growls continue to be some of the best in the game, as they perfectly create those ‘beauty and the beast’ duets on songs like "The Sacrificial Lame" or the masterful "Sleepwalkers".

Mors Principium Est - Seven (2020)

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Lucky number “Seven” is the latest release by Finnish Melodic Death Metal outfit Mors Principium Est. Delivering their signature catchy, crafty, and blistering melodic music, the ‘band’ unleashes over 48 minutes of intense headbanging music. For the fans of Kalmah, Omnium Gatherum, and Finnish Melo DM in general, this release will keep you entertained and fully engaged.

Shifting from a band to a duo since a few years back, Mors Principium Est fully maintains their high-octane approach to the genre, while embedding subtle atmospheric synths and crafty technical details. The opener, “A Day For Redemption”, is a clear example of the band’s perfect balance of aggression, melody, and guitar acrobatics. Permanent guitarist, Andy Gillion, is one of the best in the biz and delivers some killer guitar leads on tracks like “Lost in a Starless Aeon”, which create a very melancholic vibe in this excellent song.

Insidious Disease - After Death (2020)

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Unleashing a very engaging barrage of old-school Death Metal sickness, today we have all-star band Insidious Disease and their sophomore release “After Death”. Featuring Tony Laureano, Shane Embury, Silenoz, Marc Grewe, and Terje Andersen, this band takes you down memory lane with crunchy DM antics filled with crafty guitar work and excellent drumming, I mean, what can you expect with such a stacked line-up.

The band quickly chugs away with the catchy “Soul Excavation”, instantly reminding the listener of the old days of bands like Morgoth and Asphyx, but with a slightly sharper production. The riffing onslaught, courtesy of Silenoz and Cyrus, perfectly creates that mean and punishing attitude of earlier Death Metal as heard on the pummeling “Betrayer” and “Divine Fire”. For those looking into dramatic leads, “Unguided Immortality” gives a bit of Swedish DM flair, similar to bands like Grave and Centinex, with a slightly more melodic and headbanging edge.

Six Feet Under - Nightmares of the Decomposed (2020)

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In the last few years we stopped writing bad reviews, as we receive more promos than we can write about, we pick our battles and only write about the good stuff. However, sometimes, there comes a release so terrible that we are just pissed about having listened to it, and want to vent about it. Today the honor belongs to Six Feet Under and their latest ‘effort’ “Nightmares of the Decomposed”. While we loved the band in their heyday… like 10-15 years ago, their quality of their latest albums has gradually decreased.

The album starts with one of the salvageable tracks in this release with “Amputator”, while nothing revolutionary, it captures the band’s old-school ferocity and catchiness. The sluggish “Zodiac” delivers some of the most dubious vocals in this release as they just sound completely uninspired alongside grungy riffs. The album continues on a downward spiral until the terrible “The Noose” comes along, delivering one of the most boring and badly crafted songs we have heard in quite a while, even though it has some nice heavy riffs, Chris Barnes sounds completely bored in an attempt to rhyme.

Sulphur Sun - Placodemic Heraldry (2020)

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Hailing from Switzerland, today we have Sulphur Sun and their very interesting EP titled “Placodemic Heraldry”. Featuring a weird amalgamation of Death Metal with progresisve/technical DM elements, this release delivers a very promising 10 minute teaser for a uniquely weird band. If you like weird music that is both crafty and a bit chaotic, this is the EP for you.

Opening with the madness inducing “The Temple of Dunkleosteus”, the band delivers intricate riffs, hellish vocal arrangements ranging from hypnotic throat singing to growls, and a very playful drum track. The band’s style is instantly hard to categorize as the song goes over multiple moods and styles. The chaos continues with the sinister “Trilobite Thief”, featuring some Satyricon-esque sounding guitars and more blistering drumming and odd tempo changes, all working in strange unison.

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