Inferno Festival Norway 2022 - Day 1 - Oslo, Norway - 4/14/2022

Finally after multiple cancellations, Inferno is finally happening and we had to be there. For one reason or another (mostly work), we have never been able to attend this festival and were pretty psyched when everything fell into place and we would fly over to Oslo for one weekend of Metal and friends from around the world.

DragonForce - Firewind - Visions of Atlantis - Seven Spires - The Masquerade, Atlanta, GA - 4/10/2022

With European bands coming back to the USA after most COVID-19 restrictions had been lifted here, and not in their homes, we get crazy awesome bands dropping by Atlanta. With some weeks having 2 to 3 shows to cover (thought life!), we made our way to The Masquerade and their largest venue for an evening of high-octane Power/Symphonic Metal with a very stacked tour package.

Watain - The Agony & Ecstasy of Watain (2022)

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With every release, Watain manages to further refine their craft to be more incisive, sinister, and piercing, and “The Agony & Ecstasy of Watain” perfectly reflects this. Featuring nearly 50 minutes of bone-chilling music, this release blends aggression with atmosphere and musicality, to create some of the foulest and most oppressive Black Metal anthems to date.

Opening with the vicious “Ecstasies in Night Infinite”, the listener is quickly blasted with the band’s ravaging guitar work alongside Erik Danielsson’s evil snarl. This opener has a certain retro Dissection-like vibe that sets the tone for the release. We particularly love how elegant melody is infused into the band’s music on tracks like “The Howling”, “Black Cunt”, and “Serimosa”, that still have that razor sharp BM edge, but sound different than most bands.

HiddenT - Where Light Ceases to Exist (2022)

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Latin America is full of quality Black Metal bands and over the last few years Sun & Moon Records have uncovered hidden gems like Selbst, and now HiddenT. Hailing from Chile, this outfit perfectly adds unrivaled melodies and harmonies to an aggressive core, making them sound like early Borknagar and “Cainan Chronicle”-era Ancient.

The release starts with the mystical atmospheric “Last Winter Ritual” and it quickly escalates with the punishing album title track. There is a certain magical balance between the fierce riffing onslaughts and the eerie clean vocals that grace melodic passages. This nicely bleeds into songs that have some Post-Black Metal vibes like “Delirium Tremens” and our favorite, the headbanging anthem “Under a Shadow Reflection”.

Darkher - The Buried Storm (2022)

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Unleashing one of the most haunting releases of 2022, today we have Darkher and her truly eerie brand of Doom Metal. In “The Buried Storm”, Jayn Maiven continues to create highly atmospheric pieces perfectly blending just the right amount of distortion and tempo to create a very suffocating and yet liberating experience.

The album slowly builds its momentum with the sparse “Sirens Nocturne” and its tense atmospherics combined with lush vocal arrangements. Next up, “Lowly Weep” increases the tension with eerie cellos and the gradual introduction of distorted guitars alongside cathartic vocal arrangements. For those into folkier flavored Atmospherics, “Unbound” is a track to enjoy.

Pact - God Only Knows (2022)

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Unleashing an hour of hellish old-school Black/Death Metal, today we have Pact and their latest full-length release “God Only Knows”. Featuring an assortment of traditional Black/Death Metal tunes and some more sinister and atmospheric songs, this release nicely shakes things up when they start to get a bit repetitive.

Black Oath - Emeth Truth and Death (2022)

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Unleashing an impressive barrage of crushing Doomy riffs, today we have Black Oath and their latest full-length release “Emeth Truth and Death”. Perfectly crafted for those of us that are worshipers of gargantuan Doom riffs, this Italian outfit perfectly blends elements from traditional Doom with more modern influences, and pairs them with a crispy production to further rattle your speakers.

Establishing dominance with the pummeling riffs of “Truth and Death”, the band sets a very engaging mood as the sound is quite dynamic with tons of melodic elements thrown into the mix alongside soaring vocal arrangements. Far from static, songs like “Serpent of Balaam” and “Children of Babalo”, deliver dramatic guitar leads and massive headbanging passages, reminding us of bands like Yearning.

Solipsism - Our Night Never Ends (2022)

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Always uncovering some very interesting underground bands, Sun & Moon Records present us today with Solipsism and their debut full-length release “Our Night Never Ends”. Unleashing nine tracks and around 46 minutes of fierce Black/Post-Black Metal, this Slovakian outfit makes a very good first impression with a well balanced mixture of harshness and melody.

The release opens with the dissonant “Becoming the Void” and a very crafty melodic riffing onslaught that quickly escalates into full-on Black Metal mode. While this is heavy, there is also a certain duality as the band dabbles in more melancholic Depressive BM/Atmospheric BM territories with its bleak screams and subtle keyboards as tracks like “(V)Zostup tragédie”, “Solus Ipse”, and “Don't Follow Me, I'm Lost” move the release forward.

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