Album Reviews

  • 夢遊病者 - Ѫ (2019)

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    Better known as Sleepwalker (夢遊病者), this international band formed from people from multiple corners of the world like Japan, Russia and USA unleashes the latest EP with “Yus” (Ѫ). Combining Black Metal with unique elements and crafted very bleak atmospheres, it feels like Darkthrone and Kayo Dot had a very odd bastard child.

    Side A delivers an atmospheric opening which sets a mystical backdrop, only to quickly evolve into dissonant madness. This track perfectly transmits a feeling of helplessness with its odd atmospheric elements and brutal onslaughts. The harsh screams seem a bit distorted, but create a unique vibe that when paired with the rest, create a very uneasy vibe.

  • Molasses - Mourning Haze/Drops of Sunlight (2019)

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    Born as a commissioned ‘project’ from Roadburn Music festival, Molasses brings back Farida Lemouchi and her old The Devil’s Blood bandmates to craft a very unique body of music that serves as a way to move on from the death of Selim Lemouchi and TDB days. Not being a tribute to TDB, we were quite excited to hear if Molasses would even resemble their older material or just sound completely different, luckily for us there are certain hints of their old style with newer elements thrown into the mix.

    This two song single release through Ván Records is all we will get for now, especially the ones that missed out on Roadburn 2019. Opening with the amp fuzziness of “Mourning Haze”, we are quickly transported to the days of Psychedelic Rock and its trippiness. Featuring a very accommodating pace and beautifully adorned with playful guitar leads and groovy synths, this opening track is pure magic and a very powerful way to open this release.

  • Myrath - Shehili (2019)

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    Hailing from Tunisia, Myrath has gained popularity and critical acclaim thanks to their very lively Progressive Metal sound beautifully adorned with Middle Eastern Folk elements. Gradually refining their style and songwriting skills, with “Shehili” the band delivers one of their most complete and fun albums to date. Featuring over 47 minutes of superb music presented in 12 lush tracks, the band creates a very unique and engaging atmosphere that is hard to imitate.

    After setting a very mystical and exotic mood with the intro “Asl”, the band fully shines with the dramatic “Born to Survive”. Providing a cinematic experience, Myrath quickly immerses the listener into their own world. Not used only as a gimmick, the band’s unique Middle Eastern elements are ingrained into the music’s DNA, like on the dramatic percussions and keyboards of “You’ve Lost Yourself”, or the tempo and adornments of “Dance”, and the soaring vocal arrangements of “Wicked Dice”. Similarly to Orphaned Land, the band perfectly brings something from their culture and heritage into their music, creating a very lively and engaging sound.

  • Oceanwake - Lights Flashing in Mute Scenery (2019)

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    Unleashing a truly unique amalgamation of Doom Metal with Progressive/Post-Metal influences, today we have Oceanwake and their latest opus “Lights Flashing in Mute Scenery”. For 45 minutes this outfit delivers seven tracks filled with traditional elements unconventionally arranged. Particularly appealing for those of us that like to be challenged by music, this release has a high replay value as you will always discover something new with each listen.

    The album starts with the dreamy intro to “Radiant Nightbreak”, which transforms into a moody clash between clean and harsh vocals. With crushing riffs and a very depressive atmosphere, the album continues with “The Occult”, a piece that starts heavier and then it turns into a lush atmospheric Post-Rock-ish composition, only to close strong with a crushing Post-Metal/Hardcore onslaught.

  • Erancnoir - Erancnoir (2019)

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    It is not very usual to receive promos from bands from countries like Iran, so today we are quite excited to review Erancnoir’s self-titled third full-length release. This one-man outfit delivers over 40 minutes of punishing Atmospheric Black Metal with similarities to bands like NONE and Lustre. With a thunderous approach to the genre, this release is certainly a very interesting contribution to the genre that fans should not miss out on.

    With only two tracks covering the album’s duration, the first piece clocks in at 25 minutes and it is certainly a punishing and excruciating journey through dark and sinister worlds. This title track slowly builds up into hellish shrieks of pain and droning riffs that increase in intensity. The atmospheric keyboards are subtle enough to create a magical aura and perfectly complement a ravagingly raw musical core.

  • Óreiða - Óreiða (2019)

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    Unleashing a 34 minute dose of Atmospheric Black Metal, today we have Iceland’s latest export: Óreiða. In this self-titled debut release, this one entity outfit delivers a dissonant Black Metal sound filled with hatred and brutality. While not as raw as your typical BM bands, the music presented here is crafted to incite discomfort and repulsion… in a good way.

    Opening with the pummeling “Dagar”, we get a powerful wall of sound crafted by the hellish distorted guitars and the furious pace. The guitar layering gives this track that extra punch to incite unrest. The violent onslaught continues with the raw brutality of “Draumar”, a track that slowly builds up by adding some atmospheric elements and creating a more dramatic aural assault.

  • Dead to a Dying World - Elegy (2019)

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    After taking the scene by surprise with their amazing sophomore release “Litany”, Dead to a Dying World is back after four years with an even more impressive and masteful release with “Elegy”. Perfectly blending elements of Doom/Sludge/Black Metal with very emotional vocals and dramatic viola arrangements, this band crafts a very unique sound that is both intoxicating and ravaging. Focusing on creating immersive atmospheres and melodramatic moods, this outfit has created a near perfect release.

    Opening with the dreamy western-eques “Syzygy”, the band creates a very martial and enigmatic end-of-time mood. Quickly shifting into 5th gear, “The Seer’s Embrace” delivers crafty guitar riffs and intense vocal arrangements. The mixture of heavy guitars and viola sounds a lot like late 90’s band Forty Days Longing, as it creates a very unique and powerful contrast. The band focuses on crafting unique melodic passages, as this track evolves into many different up and down moods.

  • Lost in Kiev - Persona (2019)

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    Unleashing a masterful aural experience, today we have France’s Lost in Kiev and their latest opus “Persona”. Featuring nine tracks and over 44 minutes of lush Atmospheric Post-Rock music, this band is set to dominate audiences with their keen sense of melody and crafty tempo progressions. Being fans of Post-Rock music, it is quite interesting to hear how bands create an even more immersive experience with heavier atmospheric elements like in this album.

    The release sets a very lively mood with the futuristic album title track. Crafting a very dense atmosphere, the band creates the perfect backdrop for their intricate guitar work and song development. Tracks like “Lifelooper” and the magical “The Incomplete” showcase the band’s focus in creating lush and expansive soundscapes, while dropping crafty tempo changes to keep things interesting.

  • Allegaeon - Apoptosis (2019)

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    Riding high from their 2016 opus “Proponent for Sentience” and their countless tours, Allegaeon finally returns with new music in “Apoptosis”. Featuring eleven tracks of neck snapping Technical Death Metal, this release improves on their last effort while delivering catchy and highly memorable songs. With heavy competition from European bands, Allegaeon clearly establishes themselves as one of the premiere Technical DM outfits in the world thanks to this killer release.

    The album opens with an acrobatic bass guitar line that slowly transforms into a more melodic piece in “Parthenogenesis”. This track is the perfect lead-in to the crushing “Interphase // Meiosis”, a track filled with crushing growls and very dreamy melodic passages. Blending intensely melodic passages with technically proficient acrobatics is the band’s specialty and on “Extremophiles (B)” we get treated to a good dose of it. With songs being short and direct to the point, the band’s sound is quite brutal in nature as you can hear from “The Secular Age”.

  • Vargrav - Reign in Supreme Darkness (2019)

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    Bringing back memories of the simpler days of Melodic Black Metal, when bands like Limbonic Art, Emperor, ...and Oceans added keyboards and orchestrations to the genre, today we have Vargrav and its sophomore release “Reign in Supreme Darkness”. Delivering over 40 minutes of lush arrangements, solid BM core elements and crafty songwriting, this one man unit unleashes a timeless sounding release that should not be overlooked.

    After the traditional intro, Vargrav goes full steam with the lush “The Glory of Eternal Night”, a brilliant old-school sounding track that reminds us of Emperor’s classic “I am the Black Wizards”. The pacing and intricate tempo changes make this song quite enjoyable and a very strong opener. As “Dark Space Dominion” and “In Streams from Great Mysteries” roll in, we find ourselves impulsively headbanging thanks to their ravaging and yet playful nature. Both tracks are filled with majestic atmospheric arrangements, perfectly offset by catchy riffs.

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