Necrowretch - Swords of Dajjal (2024)


Unleashing over 37 minutes of pure hell, today we have France’s Necrowretch and their latest release “Swords of Dajjal”. Spread over eight tracks, the band delivers swift and well crafted onslaughts of Black/Death Metal brilliance, with a style similar to outfits like Necrophobic and Destroyer 666. However, these guys are far from a carbon copy of the previously mentioned bands as they add their own sinister twists to their music.

Amaranthe - The Catalyst (2024)


Always keeping things catchy and intense, Amaranthe returns with another bombastic release with “The Catalyst”. Featuring their signature brand of pop/alternative Metal, Elize Ryd and Olof Mörck keep the band’s legacy by delivering thirteen tracks and around 40 minutes of engaging songs filled with explosive chorus sections, crafty guitar leads and an overall high-octane vibe.

The release immediately blasts off with the excellent album title track and its extreme catchiness. The band’s mixture of distorted guitars, electronic elements, and the diverse vocal styles create a very dynamic and explosive mix that Amaranthe has been refining over the years. New harsh vocalist, Mikael Sehlin, does a pretty solid job in adding to the contrast between the singing styles of Elize and Nils Molin, as heard on pieces like “Insatiable” and “Liberated”.

Ihsahn - Ihsahn (2024)


Delivering his most ambitious album to date, today we have Ihsahn and his eponymous release, the eight full-length album of his solo career. After a couple of EP’s in between releases, Ihsahn blends cinematic orchestrations with his already quite refined and yet constantly evolving Proggy Black Metal. Featuring both a ‘Metal’ version, and a purely orchestral version, this release is quite the musical journey and a stop above the excellent quality we always expect from Ihsahn.

After the mood setting orchestral opening, “The Promethean Spark” brings us back to more familiar territories with crafty tempo changes and Ihsahn’s signature mixture of clean and harsh vocals alongside playful riffs. While the ‘Metal’ side of things is familiar, the interplay with the classical instrument arrangements is quite engaging and intoxicating. Tracks like “Pilgrimage to Oblivion” and the lush “Twice Born”, showcase a very unique blend of heaviness with fragility and a splash of vibrancy that is rare to find in Metal.

Persefone - Lingua Ignota: Part I (2024)


After their very impressive 2022 release “Metanoia”, expectations were sky-high from Andorra’s Persefone. Since that release, the band went through a major change, losing vocalist Marc Martins Pia. However, one would imagine with the main core of the band that this EP, “Lingua Ignota: Part I” wouldn’t be too far from a departure from their original style.

Hulder - Verses In Oath (2024)


After taking the scene by surprise with their crushing 2021 debut full-length “Godslastering: Hymns of a Forlorn Peasantry”, Hulder returns with a more refined and equally brutal release with “Verses In Oath”. With over 40 minutes of music, this release is packed with powerful atmospherics, crafty execution, and very engaging tempo changes that keep the songs fresh and sinister.

Blasting away with the piercing “Boughs Ablaze”, you immediately feel the band's firepower with pummeling drumming, fierce riffing, and subtle atmospheric keyboards. These elements create a very unique European Black Metal vibe, that merges Folky melodies with raw power. The production, while raw and direct, is clean and effective, keeping the band’s sound intense while being tidy, perfect examples of this are “Verses In Oath”, “Cast Into The Well Of Remembrance”.

Borknagar - Fall (2024)


After blowing everybody away with their 2019 release “True North”, Borknagar is back stronger and even catchier than ever. The band has always distinguished themselves as one of those Folk/Viking/Black Metal with signature Progressive and melodic elements, and with “Fall”, the band takes them even further. If you like any of the band’s previous releases, this one has a bit of everything from all their stylistic changes over the years.

Opening with the epic “Summits”, this track has all the Borknagar staples: soaring clean and harsh vocals, crafty drumming, proggy guitars, and atmospheric magic. As the first single of this release, the band fires in all cylinders and creates a very powerful and dynamic atmosphere. As you can expect the deadly combination of clean vocals from both Lars and Vortex, makes this band the equivalent of having two of the best players, of any sport, on the same team.

Olhava - Sacrifice (2024)


Perfectly balancing fragility and raw aggression, today we have Olhava and their latest opus “Sacrifice”. Featuring members of Trna, this duo unleashes eight tracks clocking in at nearly 87 minutes of music. Filled with magical soundscapes and crafty songwriting ideas, this album is highly intoxicating. Recommended for fans of bands like An Autumn for Crippled Children, Heretoir, Show Me a Dinosaur, etc. this release is quite dreamy and hypnotic.

Opening with the sixteen minute “Forever With You”, the band sets a very atmospheric and immersive mood with lush keyboards alongside a wall of distortion. Setting the mood between the album’s longer tracks, we have a number of enigmatic atmospheric instrumentals called “Ageless River VI-IX”. These tracks provide a nice and varied transition between the more cathartic and crushing pieces.

Funeral Winds - 333 (2024)


Delivering a swift and brutal onslaught of pummeling rawness, today we have Funeral Winds with “333”. Featuring eight tracks and nearly 40 minutes of music, this album is not for the faint of heart as it is as raw and punishing as they come. Almost releasing one album every year after their long hiatus between 2007 and 2018, Hellchrist Xul keeps things powerful and down to basics.

Lucifer - Lucifer V (2024)


Keeping the Psychedelic/Occult Rock/Metal revival going, today we have Lucifer and their fifth full-length release. Featuring a very accomplished line-up of members like Nicke Andersson (Entombed, The Hellacopters) and Johanna Claudia Sadonis (ex-The Oath), this release delivers nine tracks and nearly 40 minutes of catchy retro doomy heavy music.

Opening with the high-octane “Fallen Angel”, we get a nice dose of traditional Heavy Metal riffs with engaging vocals and a catchy chorus section. The band’s music is designed to be crafty, and guitar driven, making for some very interesting and memorable pieces like “At The Mortuary”, “Slow Dance in a Crypt”, and “Riding Reaper”. The mixture of Doom, Heavy Metal with Psychedelic/Occult rock elements is quite well crafted and makes for some very entertaining songs.

Vemod - The Deepening (2024)


Unleashing a mesmerizing first release in over a decade, Vemod delivers nearly 50 minutes of highly dynamic and engaging Atmospheric Black Metal. With parallels to Agalloch, Fen and similar artists, there are six lush tracks in this release with plenty of memorable passages and arrangements. Far from straightforward and predictable, this album is surely going to make plenty of best of 2024 releases.

After the mood setting intro, “Der guder dør” fiercely delivers incisive riffs alongside a very hypnotic tempo and masterful vocal arrangements. Creating a very powerful and demoralizing atmosphere, the band perfectly weaves dramatic instrumental passages with more aggressive and brutal onslaughts. With an even stronger pace, “True North Beckons” has a certain Borknagar in the “Olden Domain” days vibe mixed in with a more modern Blackgaze edge to it, and even some jazziness is thrown into the mix.


Recent Image Galleries