Album Reviews

  • Ossuaire - Premiers Chants (2019)

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    Canadian Black Metal has been surprising us in the last few years with excellent bands like Monarque, Délétère, Csejthe, and countless others. Ossuaire is the latest addition to this wave of blast beats and tremolo picking from the North. With their debut release “Premiers Chants”, the band unleashes 40 minutes of ferocious music that reminds us of bands like Au Champ Des Morts, Vanum, Anorexia Nervosa and Glaciation amongst others.

    Jumping at the listener’s throat, the album starts furiously with the pummeling drums and intense riffing of the album title track. The band’s sound is very well defined and nicely produced to sound devastating and yet melodic in nature. With “La Procession des Flagellants”, the band takes a darker approach filled with highly precise guitar melodies and Hérésiarque’s hellish vocals, just the perfect mix of a growl and a shriek, allowing them to be quite commanding and intimidating.

  • Úir - Óenach Tailten (2019)

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    We receive over 40 album submissions each weak, so it is quite tricky to find what exactly to listen to and what to unfortunately discard. Luckily for us, we recently stumbled upon Úir’s second EP titled “Óenach Tailten”. Creating a very unique and dense Atmospheric Black Metal sound, this EP delivers three brilliant tracks that showcase the band’s raw power and boundless talent. Featuring members of unique bands like Haar and Úlfarr, this outfit is a band to keep an eye out for.

    Opening with the sinister riffing of “V.S.F.P.A.”, the band sets a very hypnotic and cavernous early mood with a slow build-up. With a very martial pace, this track delivers powerful distorted guitars intertwined with a playful bass guitar line and hellish Watain-esque screams. After a devilish opener, the metalic sound of the guitars opening “Deiwos” is just perfect. This track turns a bit more hectic with a more defined wall of sound and ravaging onslaughts of total madness, thanks to the versatility of the vocals, which sound very mournful and haunting at times.

  • Violet Cold - kOsmik (2019)

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    Embracing the contrast between dreaminess and aggression, today we have Azerbaijan’s one-man battalion Violet Cold and his latest full-length release “kOsmik”. Perfectly blending elements from Shoegaze, Post-Black Metal, Post-Metal, with very interesting more mainstream elements, the band’s releases are always very interesting to dissect since you will spend days trying to peel all the layers to be found. Clocking in at 36 minutes, this album will fly by very quickly, but it just means you get to start it again.

    Creating a very soothing and uplifting mood with the opener “Contact”, this vibe transforms with the heaviness of “Black Sun”. The Shoegazey guitars are nicely contrasted with harsh vocals as this track travels between atmospheric passages, somber female vocals and an overall more aggressive and hectic pace. Creating a very Alcest-like heavenly mood, “Mamihlapinatapai” is definitely one of the most magical and engaging songs in this release thanks to its vocal arrangements and overall pace.

  • Mord’A’Stigmata - Dreams of Quiet Places (2019)

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    Slowly building up, “Void Monolith” starts the performance with an introduction to craft psychedelic extravagance thanks to the warm and fuzzy distorted guitars and trippy synths. The madness truly begins with the chaotic “The Shamanic Vision” and its crushing drumming. The deranged vocals make this song even more terrifying thanks to their unique range and style. The underlying melodies of songs like “Seeker’s Reflection” and “Journey to the Center of Mass” are quite intoxicating with a certain jazzy vibe, and perfectly crafted around trippy tempo changes.

    Opening with the intricate atmospherics of “Between Walls of Glass”, the track sets a very hypnotic and ritualistic vibe that slowly builds up as the electric guitars come into play. Evoking the psychotic rhythmic powers of bands like Oranssi Pazuzu, the band sets a very unique vibe to this release. Keeping the weirdness going with its odd tempo changes, “Exiles” gives more of a Post-Metal vibe paired with hellish screams and pretty intense drumming.

  • GOLD - Why Aren’t You Laughing Now (2019)

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    Hailing from the Netherlands, GOLD is a band that has been on our radar for quite a while since we saw them at Roadburn festival in 2013. Playing a interesting mixture of Dark Rock with Post-Metal/Punk/etc. elements, this band has a very unique and crafty sound that instantly makes them recognizable. With the current wave of bands playing Psychedelic Rock and all variants, GOLD is one that stands above the rest thanks to their crafty music and interesting amalgamation of styles.

    As soon as “He is Not” opens, we get a certain mysterious vibe and then the sultry vocals of Milena Eva take over the driver’s seat. As one of the signature elements of the band, Milena’s vocals are the perfect mixture of enigmatic and intoxicating. After the opening track ends with a Post-Rock-ish passage, the band changes pace to a more mellow lounge-ish tempo in “Things I Wish I Never Knew”. The guitar work is quite excellent and there are definitely more than a few layers to digest.

  • Waste of Space Orchestra - Syntheosis (2019)

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    Luckily for those of us unfortunate to Waste of Space Orchestra at Roadburn, Svart Records releases a perfect quality recording of this event with “Syntheosis”. For the uninitiated, this project is a collaboration between Oranssi Pazuzu and Dark Buddha Rising, two of the most exciting genre-bending bands to ever come out of Finland. Clocking in at 65 minutes, this a unique musical exploration that transports the listeners to a bizarre plane of existence.

    Slowly building up, “Void Monolith” starts the performance with an introduction to craft psychedelic extravagance thanks to the warm and fuzzy distorted guitars and trippy synths. The madness truly begins with the chaotic “The Shamanic Vision” and its crushing drumming. The deranged vocals make this song even more terrifying thanks to their unique range and style. The underlying melodies of songs like “Seeker’s Reflection” and “Journey to the Center of Mass” are quite intoxicating with a certain jazzy vibe, and perfectly crafted around trippy tempo changes.

  • NONE - Damp Chill of Life (2019)

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    There are good releases and then there are those albums that crawl under your skin and make you crave for more. NONE has continuously delivered some of the most punishing and bleak Atmospheric/Depressive Black Metal releases since its inception and “Damp Chill of Life” is yet another brilliant addition to their discography. Filled with haunting atmospheric elements and just the right amount of heaviness, this release is one of the best in the genre for 2019, so don’t miss out.

    After the atmospheric opener, the album title track kicks off the release properly with an enigmatic pace and punishing distorted guitars. Additional atmospheric elements create a very vast and desolate soundscape that will immerse you in misery and sorrow. If the previous song was not punishment enough, the minimalist opening to “Cease” sets a very grievous mood with sparse piano notes to warm up. The song’s climax comes with heavy distorted guitars, crushing vocals and a killer slow pace.

  • Eluveitie - Ategnatos (2019)

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    Unleashing one of the most lively and engaging Folk Metal releases of 2019, today we have the legendary Eluveitie with “Ategnatos”. With the ‘new’ band members settled, this release delivers a more cohesive and in a certain way exploratory sound that further improves the band’s catchiness with more upbeat and exciting elements. Featuring over 60 minutes of music, this is a release that all fans of the band will love and enjoy.

    Leading with the album title track, the band quickly starts telling their story and sets a very ‘medieval’ mood with their lush instrumentation, rich vocal arrangements and powerful distorted guitars. The band’s uncanny abilities to perfectly mix their Melodic Metal side with intricate arrangements of folk instruments is top not as we can hear in the multi-faceted “Deathwalker”. For those looking for the folkier side of things, this release does not disappoint with excellent tracks like “Black Water Dawn”, “The Silvern Glow” and “Trinoxtion”.

  • Armagedda - The Final War Approaches (2019)

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    This re-issue of the Black Metal classic “The Final War Approaches”, showcases Armagedda and their raw sound that inspired legions of BM bands to this day. Originally released in 2002, this release has aged very well as we still get 20-30 albums a year that try to capture the grittiness of such old-school albums. Armagedda has long split-up, but this debut release is a testament to their contributions to the early days of Black Metal.

    Opening with the intense “Deathminded”, we instantly get that old-school European Black Metal rawness with its intense riffing and hellish vocals. The signature punk-ish drumming on tracks like “Sign of Evil” and “Skogens mörka djup” keeps the songs tight and engaging. The songs in this release perfectly combine speed and all-out destruction with more moderate melodic passages, similar to bands like Satyricon and Enslaved (early days). Vintage songs like “Unholy Sacrifice” are the types of tracks that got us into BM back in the day, and are still effective in delivering the genre’s aggressive message.

  • Latitudes - Part Island (2019)

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    Unleashing a truly contrasting and quite engaging release, today we have Latitudes and their latest opus “Part Island”. Perfectly blending Sludge, Post-Metal and even some Black Metal-ish elements with dreamy clean vocals, this release will weird you out at first, but will captivate you by the second track. With over 43 minutes of music, the band creates six intricate tracks that feel like you are listening to Amenra or The Ocean with and incorrect vocal track.

    Opening with a folky build-up, “Underlie” creates the perfect mood to blow the listener away as the wall of distortion creeps up with thundering riffs. This big transition introduces the band’s pummeling sound in whole and will completely catch the listener off guard. This lush mixture of dreamy vocals and pummeling guitars is perfectly developed in pieces like “Moorland Is The Sea”, were the band slowly builds up an ethereal atmosphere that shifts moods with the heavier onslaughts.

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