Storming the listener with waves of melancholy and aggression, today we have one-man project Oerheks and their 2023 demo “Landschapsanachronismen”. Delivering nearly 25 minutes of music in two crushing tracks, this release showcases a very promising band with excellent ideas and a knack for oppressive atmospherics paired with lush interludes.
Creating a truly haunting and crushing release, today we have Germany’s Fvnerals and their devastating release “Let the Earth Be Silent”, which we are sure the earth will be after listening to this towering album. Presenting an amalgamation of Doom/Post-Metal and Ambient elements, this release unleashes over 40 minutes of highly intoxicating and yet bone-chilling music.
Opening with the masterful “Ashen Era”, we are quickly led down a dark and sinister path thanks to the punishing riffs and eerie atmospherics. As soon as Tiffany Ström’s vocals come into play, the vibe is weirdly shifted with eerie dreaminess but still delivering its dark nature. This overall feeling of helplessness is perfectly maintained as “Descent”, “For Horror Eats the Light”, and the enigmatic “Annihilation” pass by making their mark.
Delivering a very interesting concept of covering tracks from each other, today we have Norwegian artists Frøkedal and Sâver. In this split release we get two very unique pieces, one highly atmospheric, the second with a Folkier edge, creating a dark and engaging release that we found ourselves playing in repeat a few too many times.
Hailing from the USA, today we have one-man outfit Dreams of Gray presenting us with their debut EP “The World After”. Featuring three songs of catchy and engaging Melodic Metal that incorporates elements from Thrash, Doom, Heavy Metal, this release is quite a solid, but short, introduction to the band.
We are extremely glad that the band that got us into Symphonic Black Metal in the 90’s is back in full form and has stayed away from their weird Techno/Industrial phase. …and Oceans delivered two brilliant releases in the late 90’s, then dropped two super weird and ahead of their time releases only to mostly disappear for almost a decade. With “As in Gardens, So in Tombs” the band showcases a lush and evolved sound filled with epic melodies and crafty atmospherics.
Opening with the album title track, the band’s retro approach to the genre perfectly balances furious guitar work over playful keyboards. While most bands these days make the keyboards overbearing, this Finnish outfit uses them to complement their core sound as they never feel over the top. Tracks like “The Collector and His Construct”, “Within Fire and Crystal”, and “Carried on Lead Wings” have that old Tartaros and Limbonic Art vibe adorned with ‘new’ vocalist Mathias Lillmåns of Finntroll harsh scream onslaughts.
Unleashing waves of old-school Symphonic/Melodic Black Metal, today we have one-man battalion Inherits the Void and and ‘their’ sophomore full-length release “The Impending Fall of the Stars”. Mixing elements from the early days of bands like Old Man’s Child and Dimmu Borgir, with the raw melody of Immortal, this release delivers 43 minutes of intense music.
Opening with the album title track, we instantly get waves of crushing riffs, a la Galder style, perfectly adorned with subtle but lush keyboards and hellish screams. The immediate vibe is quite retro, but with crisp production values. As “Palingenesis”, “Where the Oceans Lost their Might” and “Sullen Laments of the Wanderers” roll by, the listener will find itself headbanging to the expertly crafted melodic core of the band’s sound.
With all the killer reviews coming out in January, we almost missed “Into Sorrow Evermore”, the epic seventh full-length release of Germany’s Imperium Dekadenz. Featuring around 50 minutes of melodic and highly atmospheric Black Metal, this release feels like a mixture of Vreid with Der Weg einer Freiheit. If you like atmospheric stuff, this is probably one of the best in quite a while.
Opening with the engaging “Into Sorrow Evermore”, the band nicely sets a moody vibe as the wave of blistering guitar riffs and furious drumming sets in. We like this tempered approach as the band’s sound slowly expands and envelops the room very effectively. The headbanging continues with the crushing “Truth under Stars” and it nicely mellows out with the solemn opening of “Aurora”.
Unleashing a very interesting compilation of some of their earlier digital material, today we have A Diadem of Dead Stars with “Emerald Sunsets”. Hailing from Greece, this band has a very unique and at times gritty sound that perfectly blends influences from bands like early Ulver, Empyrium, and more modern Atmospheric Black Metal elements from outfits like Heretoir and Saor.
Opening with the blistering “The Furrow of Woes”, we quickly get aggressive BM guitar riffs and a moody tempo. This track nicely evolves into some eerily magical (early) Ulver-esque passages of clean vocals and powerful guitars. There is a certain Doom-ish magic to the band’s sound that nicely keeps things interesting and different, as we can hear in songs like “And Swallows Flew Away From This”.
This 2023 is starting with a bang with tons of new releases from well established bands, luckily for us, Katatonia was also one of them. Being huge fans of the band, “Sky Void of Stars” is just your typical excellent release, filled with crafty vocal arrangements and sorrowful melodies. Featuring ten tracks and 45 minutes of magic, this release will please any fan of the band’s more modern Alternative Rock/Metal side.
Opening with the epic “Austerity”, Jonas Renkse belts out his signature vocal melodies alongside crafty guitar work from Anders Nyström and Roger Öjersson. The band’s moody tunes like “Colossal Shade”, “Opaline”, and “Birds” are filled with excellent melodic passages alongside well-timed tempo changes and brilliant drumming. The band is a well-oiled machine when it comes to perfectly mixing melancholy with heavy guitars and catchiness.
Some releases are just too awesome to have a digital only release, and thanks to Avantgarde Music, today we have Moonlight Sorcery’s latest EP “Nightwind: The Conqueror From the Stars” available in different physical formats. Featuring a very interesting mix of old-school Black Metal with a heavy Melodic edge, this band perfectly captures that 2000’s vibe when the genre was pumping out excellent releases.
Hailing from Finland, this outfit quickly sets a hectic tempo with the magical “Ancient Sword Of Hate” and its uncompromising melodic riffing. Filled with furious lead guitars and blistering drumming, this track is quite punishing and yet highly engaging. With a thrashier edge, “Yötuulten Kutsu” has a certain early Children of Bodom-meets-Alghazanth vibe and we totally love it. Definitely one of the best tracks in this release.