Me and that Man - New Man, New Songs, Same Shit, Vol.2 (2021)

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After unleashing one of the weirdest and yet totally awesome unconventional releases of 2020, Nergal and company, Me and that Man, are back to one-up their previous release with an even wilder follow-up. Featuring more over the top guest, more catchiness, and the same occult and kick-ass attitude, “New Man, New Songs, Same Shit, Vol.2” is one hell of a ride that everybody that liked the first one, should not miss out on.

The release opens up with the somber “Black Hearse Cadillac”, an awesome bluessy opener that features Hank Von Hell (RIP) and Anders Odden as guests. Keeping the mood high Tobias Forge guests on the superbly catchy western-like “Under the Spell”. While we could name drop this whole review as tracks like “All Hope Has Gone” feature Metal luminaries like Blaze Bailey and Gary Holt, or pieces like “Losing My Blues” deliver an all-out party mood with people like Olve Abbath Eikemo, Frank The Baptist and Chris Holmes involved, we particularly like the odd songs like “Witches Don't Fall in Love” featuring Garm of Ulver fame.

Nightland - The Great Nothing (2021)

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With the barrage of promos we get each month, it is easy to lose track of under the radar releases that are quite interesting. Luckily for us, Nightland’s latest album “The Great Nothing” popped in our queue and hasn’t left after more than a dozen spins. Mixing Progressive elements with a Symphonic Death Metal core, this release unleashes over 47 minutes of highly polished and very engaging music that will appear to fans from bands like Sculptured, Fleshgod Apocalypse, Septicflesh, and Arcturus.

The release opens with the crafty “The Conjunction of Benetnash” and its intricate guitar lines paired with dramatic choral arrangements. This opener sets a very intriguing mood as the band’s sound is still yet to fully unravel. With a more mellow approach “For Once My Name” introduces a nice mixture of harsh and clean vocals, having a very epic feeling, a bit like bands like Arcturus, but with a cleaner and more ethereal purpose.

Abysmal Grief - Funeral Cult of Personality (2021)

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Unleashing a pretty interesting combination of Doom Metal with Horror Punk/Metal vibes, Italy’s Abysmal Grief delivers their latest opus “Funeral Cult of Personality”. With over 50 minutes of music, this release is both eerie and catchy, perfectly blending genres while creating a unique signature style. If you like horror-inspired Metal/Rock and have an inclination for fuzzy Doominess, this is the release for you.

After a creepy intro filled with organs and nice atmospherics, “Funeral Cult” leads off with crunchy old-school riffs and crafty guitar leads. The old-school Doom vibe is very nicely set and carried by the enigmatic vocals of Labes C. Necrothytus. One of the signature elements of the band is the creepy and yet simple atmospheric keyboards, laid out by Regen Graves, the band’s guitarist and mastermind. Tracks like “The Mysteries Below”, “This Graveyard is Mine” and “Reign of Silence” are perfect examples as to how the atmospheric component of the band is quite unique and engaging.

Negură Bunget - Zău (2021)

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Releasing four years after the death of Negru, “Zău” is the last piece of the Negură Bunget aural saga. With the original drum track recorded by Negru years back, and all the original musical direction and ideas in place, some of the last members of the band Tibor Kati, Adrian "OQ" Neagoe, and Petrică Ionuţescu, have managed to put this mystical release together, true to its original creation. Mixing both the dreamy/atmospheric and the heavier side of the band’s sound over the years, this release is a fitting conclusion to such a unique musical outfit.

The release sets a very dreamy and ethereal mood with the opener “Brad”, a 15-minute piece featuring angelic female vocals of Manuela Marchiș, and the band’s signature tempo changes into more aggressive territories. “Iarba Fiarelor” explores richer instrumentation and longer heavier sections, with aggressive growls alongside uplifting atmospherics. The band’s signature style is present in all aspects of this release, giving it a very nostalgic edge.

Doedsvangr - Serpents Ov Old (2021)

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Unleashing all hell with 44 minutes of highly refined and punishing Black Metal, today we have International super group Doedsvangr and their sophomore release “Serpents Ov Old”. Featuring members from bands like Horna, Nordjevel, The Order of Apollyon, and a few guests like Vicotnik and Tsjuder’s Nag, this super release delivers on the promise of being one of the most devastating albums of 2021. If you like Black Metal, it won’t get any better than this release.

Kicking things off, we have the blistering album title track filled with pummeling drumming and expertly layered guitars, creating a very powerful and punishing experience. Doedsadmiral’s vocals are just perfect for this kind of music, and they perfectly compliment the talents of Shatraug on guitars and bass, as songs like “Flagelist” and “As The Rivers Bleed Their Blessings” and their sinister edge perfectly showcase. There is more than just furious tremolo picking to BM and releases like this are a fine example of it.

A Secret Revealed - When The Day Yearns For Light (2021)

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Unleashing one of the most heavy-hitting releases of 2021, today we have A Secret Revealed with “When The Day Yearns For Light”. Hailing from Germany, this quintet takes a page from bands like The Ocean and King Apathy and create their own blend of Post-Metal/Post-Hardcore music filled with raw emotions and crushing arrangements. Nearly clocking in at 40 minutes, this album is intense from the first few seconds and never lets go.

After a short melancholic opening, “As I Watch You Perish” quickly delivers waves of crushing guitars and the intense screams of Michael. The band’s style borders on many genres, perfectly mixing raw aggression, crafty tempo changes, and relentless drumming, as we can hear in songs like “No Shelter. No Hope.”, the moody “With Blind Apathy”, and the vicious onslaughts of “In Shoals”.

Solacide - Fall from Eternity (2021)

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With almost every Finnish musician playing on an average of 3 bands, we get tons of high-quality outfits like Solacide. This band features an intense Melodic Black Metal sound filled with excellent musicianship and solid songwriting capabilities. In “Fall from Eternity”, the band unravels nearly 40 minutes and seven tracks of music reminiscent of bands like Old Man’s Child, Dimmu Borgir, and Naglfar.

Opening with the album title track, the band quickly makes a statement with commanding guitars, blistering drumming and subtle atmospherics. Being far from linear, playful pieces like “Forsaken Gods” perfectly blend the band’s Symphonic BM core sound with some progressive elements thrown in the mix, alongside some killer vocal lines. Changing the pace with the instrumental “Oblivion”, the band returns with the lush, more elaborate, and slightly slower tempo “Far Beyond Reality”.

Sol Sistere - Sol Sistere (2021)

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Unleashing one hell of a crafty and emotional release, today we have Chilean outfit Sol Sistere and their eponymous third full-length release. With over 60 minutes of intense Atmospheric Black Metal / Post-Black Metal music, this album delivers waves of aggression, melancholy alongside hellish vocals and very solemn passages. While most bands in these genres sound the same, this outfit manages to carve an original style that will certainly appeal to fans of outfits like Heretoir, Alcest, Harakiri for the Sky, etc.

After an instrumental opener, “The Narrow Path” fully demonstrates the band’s powerful sound with blistering onslaughts of aggression perfectly flanked by emotionally charged layered guitars and very melodic passages. Long tracks like “Ashes” showcase Sol Sistere’s ability to weave back and forth from traditional Atmospheric BM territories into dreamier and more melancholic territories, making them quite unique and engaging.

Olio Tähtien Takana - Spectral Katharsis (2021)

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Featuring V-KhaoZ of Druadan Forest handling all instruments and Profundus of Sargeist handling the vocals, Olio Tähtien Takana aka “Creature behind the stars” is one crushing two-man battalions ready to take over the Atmospheric Black Metal scene with their full-length release “Spectral Katharsis”. With nearly 5 minutes of superbly crafted music, this band brings back memories of bands like Tartaros and old Emperor and mixes those retro-elements with more modern Atmospheric Black Metal influences.

After the traditional atmospheric intro, “Towards The Dying Moon” instantly brings that old-Emperor circa “In the Nightside Eclipse” sound thanks to its crafty guitars and playful vocal combination. As the keyboards soar alongside the incisive riffs, we get that nice retro vibe, perfectly blending into pieces like “Excrucior” and the dramatic “A Sorcery Written In Stars”. While most bands in the genre focus on adding more fluff and ‘pretty’ up their sound with more synths and cinematics, this outfit seems more focused on the harshness and aggressiveness of their sound and we love it!

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