The Howling Void – The Darkness at the Edge of Dawn (2017)

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Brilliantly mixing all kinds of Doom Metal subgenres together with outside elements from Black Metal and even Pagan Metal, today we have one-man outfit The Howling Void and their sixth full-length release “The Darkness at the Edge of Dawn”. Feeling part like an homage to bands like My Dying Bride, Katatonia, Shape of Despair, Tenhi, etc., this band crafts a very cohesive and melancholic style that is perfect for any fan of the genre, and produce five enchanting tracks in this release.

Opening with the mysterious “Distant Shores”, we get a very cool interplay between clean and distorted guitars and the atmospheric synths. The clean vocal passages remind us a bit Empyrium, however the track is more on the heavier Doom Metal side of things with even some riffs bordering in BM-territories. The mood picks up a bit with the more intense “A Seed on Stone”, a track that features very powerful drumming and it even feels at some points like Pagan Metal.

Diablo Swing Orchestra – Pacifisticuffs (2017)

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Finally returning after a five-year stint without new releases, today we have Sweden’s Diablo Swing Orchestra and their truly kooky and extremely diverse Avant-garde Metal music. With “Pacifisticuffs” we are instantly transported into the band’s unique world with thirteen brilliant tracks filled with lush instrumentation, superbly catchy melodies and chaotic creativity.

Opening with the superbly catchy “Knucklehugs (Arm Yourself with Love)”, the band makes a very quick impression with this chaotic piece that mixes everything from Punk-ish elements with Country-Western influences to Jazzy and Bluesy elements, creating a very unique song. Setting a very dark opening mood with string instruments, “The Age of Vulture Culture” leads up to some Mariachi-like passages led by the charismatic Kristin Evegård, the band’s new female vocalist. This track in particular reminds us of bands like Russkaja.

Jess and the Ancient Ones – The Horse and Other Weird Tales (2017)

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Unleashing one of the most groovy and psychedelic releases of 2017, today we have Finland’s Jess and the Ancient Ones and their third full-length release “The Horse and Other Weird Tales”. Featuring nine songs and over 30 minutes of deeply intoxicating music, this release will transport you back in time with its funky vibe and excellent instrumentation.

Opening with the killer old-school Psych Rock vibes of “Death is the Doors”, we are instantly transported into the band’s own world. While the whole Psych Rock fad has gotten mainstream in the last few years, JATO’s leading lady is one of the main elements that sets them apart from the rest. Her sultry voice is a perfect fit for such trippy and mysterious music, and if you are lucky enough to see them live, her stage presence is truly mesmerizing.

Anguis Dei – Ad Portas Serpentium (2017)

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Hailing from Japan today we have the mesmerizing debut EP of Anguis Dei, titled “Ad Portas Serpentium”. Delivering four majestic Symphonic/Melodic Black Metal hymns that remind us of the old days of Emperor, Old Man’s Child, Naglfar and Dimmu Borgir, this release is quite a musical experience for fans of the style.

Opening with the dramatic theatrics of “Maythorns Over Uroboros”, this track sets a high-octane pace for this release. The lush keyboards are perfectly contrasted with the hellish vocals and bestial drumming. We particularly love how the band handles tempo changes in order to inflict the most amounts of pain via killer guitar leads or atmospheric passages.

:Nodfyr: – In Een Andere Tijd (2017)

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Hailing from the Netherlands, today we have Pagan Metal outfit Nodfyr and their highly engaging and very promising two-song EP titled “In Een Andere Tijd”. Bringing back a certain sound and vibe that we haven’t heard since the late 90’s with bands like Yearning and a few of their Holy Records label mates. Mixing epic clean singing with lush atmospheric elements and a tight Pagan Metal core, this band will certainly catch your attention and standout from the rest.

Led by the highly distinctive vocals of Joris van Gelre (Wederganger, ex-Heidevolk), the album starts with a very basic and yet catchy melody that is perfectly enhanced by Folky guitar leads and very regal clean vocals. The additional string instruments and vocal arrangements add a very lush atmospheric layer to this track, creating a truly memorable and engaging song that will get stuck in your head for days.

Circle of Salt – Suffer the Cold (2017)

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Originally released in 2015, today we have Circle of Salt’s savagely primitive and raw debut full-length release: “Suffer the Cold”. Featuring two tracks and nearly 40 minutes of levelling Atmospheric Black Metal, this one-man battalion delivers one hell of a crushing sound that will strike fear into the uninitiated.

The release opens with the 19-minute album title track, as it creates a very martial and dense atmosphere with commanding riffs and precise percussions. The band’s sound is quite oppressive and yet simple and raw, there is a certain beauty to be able to craft such a devastating atmosphere with barbaric proportions with only a handful of instruments. Maikan’s harsh vocals perfectly adorn the desolate landscape crafted by the intensity and craftiness of this track.

Përl – Luminance (2017)

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Perfectly combining the extravagance of Cult of Luna, the fragility of Sinistro and the madness of Eths, today we have France’s Përl and their sophomore release “Luminance”. Unleashing over 30 minutes of highly intoxicating music, the band’s sound is a very unique melting pot of influences that creates a very intricate and yet refined sound unlike anything else you have ever heard. For those looking into the fringes of Post-Metal to find originality and brilliant execution, this album is definitely one for your collection.

Opening with the hypnotic buildup of “Himalaya (Deval part. I)”, the band perfectly settles into a jazzy and mellow vibe before unleashing some violent outburst of brutality that a few would expect, but everybody will love. There is something magical about listening to harsh vocals in French and the band will satisfy your craving with relentless aggressive passages in their music. With “Ka”, we explore the band’s more sensitive side with a lush loungey piece that slowly builds up but never gets to out of control, achieving a perfect balance and setting a very enjoyable mood.

Imperious – Tales of Woe – The Journey of Odysseus, Part II (2017)

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Continuing the journey of Odysseus started by Imperious sophomore release “Tales of Woe – The Journey of Odysseus, Part I”, today we have the epic continuation. Luckily as Massacre Productions is releasing both part simultaneously, we don’t have to wait a year as the original fans of the bands had to do, since this release was originally unleashed in 2015. Again, mixed and produced by Markus Stock, the grandeur of this album is perfectly capture and delivered.

Instead of opening with a short intro, the band picks up where they left off and deliver a very intricate “Of Casualties (And the further way)” filled with brilliant guitar leads and perfectly layered melodic riffs. The band’s sound is quite dynamic and rich, allowing each song to perfectly flow and deliver the goods, like we can see in “The Isle of the Solar God”.

Imperious – Tales of Woe – The Journey of Odysseus, Part I (2017)

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Unleashing one of the most ambitious and epic Black Metal releases of 2017, today we have Imperious and part one of their double release “Tales of Woe – The Journey of Odysseus”. As epic as the Iliad, this release if full of excellent atmospheric elements to accompany blistering BM tracks that perfectly convey the grandeur of Odysseus journey. Originally self-released by the band in 2015, it is great that Massacre Records is giving this epic album a proper and wide release.

After setting the mood with the mellow “At The Shores of Ilion”, the band launches the first onslaught with “To Abjure Temptation” and its intense riffing. Setting a very hectic and lush tone since the beginning, hooks the listener instantly into the bands style and approach. The Empyrium-esque “At the Cave of Polyphemus” leads way to incisiveness of “The Sharpened Pale” and the dark and sinister vibe of “Insidious Winds” and its 14-minute of devastation.

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