Album Reviews

  • Austere - Beneath the Threshold (2024)


    After a long hiatus, the masters of melancholy and one of the initiators of the Depressive Black Metal sound, Austere finally returned last year with a killer release. Not even one year has passed and they are now back with another demoralizing album with “Beneath the Threshold”. Featuring six tracks and around 40 minutes of music, this Aussie duo unleash more depressive vibes filled with melancholy and some crafty musicianship.

    Opening with “Thrall”, we get a slow burning piece that nicely unleashes dissonant guitars in a very mellow tempo alongside harsh and mournful vocals. The duality of the clean and harsh vocals alongside the subtle keyboard atmospherics creates a thick and soul crushing atmosphere, the thing we most enjoy from this band. Both “The Sunset of Life” and “Faded Ghost” masterfully induce more misery thanks to their crafty tempo changes and very solemn atmospheres.

  • Funeral Oration - Antropomorte (2024)


    Capturing a very unique style of old-school Melodic/Symphonic Black Metal, today we have Italy’s Funeral Oration and their latest effort “Antropomorte”. Inducing a feeling of going back in time a couple of decades, the band unleashes seven tracks and around 40 minutes of highly theatrical and very engaging music. If you were ever a fan of Limbonic Art, Tartaros, and Charmand Girmloch, then this is the release for you.

    Opening with “PLenus Larvarum”, we are immediately treated to old-school BM riffs and to some extent a slight Punk-ish vibe, this all quickly changes as the playful keyboards come around and the whole vibe changes to a more theatrical style. Perfectly blending incisive riffs with superbly catchy interludes and solid harsh vocals, “Amor Obsessio”, “Cloaca cattolica”, and “Il Serpente della Genesi”, keep things intense and yet full of lush and elegant atmospheric arrangements.

  • Fall of Serenity - Open Wide, O Hell (2024)


    Delivering a swift and brutal, old-school Melodic Death Metal with some heavier touches, today we have Germany’s Fall of Serenity and their crushing “Open Wide, O Hell” release. In their first full-length release in nearly 17 years, the band shows a very interesting mixture of elements to create excellent songs to headbang and mosh from start to finish.

    The release kicks-off with the leveling “Thy Pathway” and its crafty melodic riffing, there is a certain Dissection-esque vibe that immediately got our attention. Things gradually get heavier and catchier as tracks like “Darkness, I Command”, and “I Don’t Expect I Shall Return” lead with superb guitars alongside crafty drumming and very engaging tempo changes. The band’s Melodic Death Metal is definitely on the heavier side, as you won’t find many Insomnium-esque passages.

  • Leaves’ Eyes - Myths Of Fate (2024)


    After touring extensively on their “Last Viking”, 2020 release, Leaves’ Eyes marks their return with a new full length release titled “Myths of Fate”. With their well refined folky Symphonic Metal, the band delivers eleven tracks and nearly 50 minutes of superbly catchy and epic sounding music. This release is as epic and melodic as they come, thanks to the perfect balance between excellent songwriting skills, masterful musicianship, and lush vocal arrangements.

    Opening with “Forged by Fire”, the band sets a very regal epic atmosphere from the start. The band’s sound is as bombastic and dynamic as ever, with epic orchestrations, crafty heavy guitars and Elina Siirala’s soaring vocals. Alexander Krull and company have been at this for a while and tracks like “Realm of Dark Waves”, “Who Wants to Live Forever”, “Hammer Of The Gods” have that perfect balance while delivering tons of head banging passages.

  • Hamferð - Men Gu​ð​s hond er sterk (2024)


    As one of the most expected releases of 2024, “Men Gu​ð​s hond er sterk” marks the return of Hamferð and their highly melancholic and fatalistic Melodic/Death Doom Metal. Featuring eight tracks and nearly 45 minutes of heartbreaking music, this release oozes waves of melancholy and misery. Perfectly blending emotive clean vocals, doomy riffs, and deep growls, this release is the perfect medicine for those of us that don’t want winter to be over.

    The release quickly sets a powerful atmosphere with the piercing riffs of “Ábær”, immediately followed by deep growls and a punishing sense of aggression that suddenly transitions into melancholy thanks to the clean vocals. Perfectly balancing light and darkness in their songs, pieces like “Rikin”, “Marrusorg”, and “Glæman” masterfully weave fast paced passages with more melodramatic interludes of minimalist percussions and weeping lead guitars.

  • Sylvaine - Eg Er Framand (2024)


    Being huge fans of Sylvaine since their beginnings, we are quite excited to hear Kathrine Shepard taking a risk and releasing a very different release with “Eg Er Framand”. This EP features six tracks and nearly 30 minutes of dreamy Folk music, with absolutely no elements of Metal, showcasing a very different and raw side to Kathrine’s talents.

    The release opens with the solemn “Dagsens Auga Sloknar Ut”, and its very minimalist instrumentation that surrounds Kathrine’s clean vocals. If the organ didn’t create enough tension for you on the first track, “Arvestykker” introduces some excellent vocal layering alongside “Eg Veit I Himmelrik Ei Borg”, which features a bit more instrumentation and somber atmospherics.

  • Alestorm - Voyage of the Dead Marauder (2024)


    There is nothing like starting the day with some lighthearted and silly Pirate Metal, thankfully, Alestorm has been feeding our cravings for over 15 years. With “Voyage of the Dead Merauder”, the band unleashes five extremely playful and hilarious tracks of their signature music. The band has constantly polished their sound over the years and have gotten their craziness to a science, with all tracks being funky, funny, and expertly crafted and executed.

    Opening with the EP title track, we get a very lively Folky piece, featuring Patty Gurdy on the hurdy-gurdy and vocals. This track has a big Eluveitie vibe, however, the band’s pirateness is nicely embedded into the piece. Up next we have the superbly silly “Uzbekistan”, a tale of pirates in a landlocked country. This is a quite hilarious and well crafted piece with the band’s signature tempo changes and crazy festive heabanging/moshing passages.

  • Dragonforce - Warp Speed Warriors (2024)


    Needing no introduction, Dragonforce has been delivering waves of high-octane Power Metal over the years with a high emphasis on flair and technical brilliance. With “Warp Speed Warriors”, the band returns with their playful and superbly catchy style to deliver ten tracks and nearly 50 minutes of expertly crafted epic music filled with soaring vocal arrangements and technical wizardry.

    Opening with the engaging “Astro Warrior Anthem”, we quickly get Herman Li and Sam Totman racing off with soaring guitar leads alongside Gee Anzalone’s tight drumming. Thanks to Marc Hudson’s soaring lead vocals, tracks like “Power of the Triforce”, “Kingdom of Steel”, and “Burning Heart”, nicely have that superbly epic and intense vibe that is the signature style of the band. Filled with intricate details and a crystal clear production, all songs in this release are an aural experience on their own.

  • Oblivium Regnum - Zrádce (2023)


    It has been a while since we received a physical promo CD, and luckily for us it was from this promising Czech band Named Oblivium Regnum. With their EP titled “Zrádce”, the band showcases four diverse and equally engaging tracks. Showing that the Czech Republic is not only good at making beer and having some awesome festivals, shout out to Brutal Assault, they have some very interesting bands that nicely combine old-school elements with a raw and direct take to unleash some crafty Melodic Death Metal songs.

  • They Came From Visions - The Twilight Robes (2024)


    Creating a very captivating blend of Black Metal with Post-Metal/Rock elements, today we have Ukraine’s They Came From Visions and their sophomore release “The Twilight Robes”. Featuring seven tracks and nearly 45 minutes of elaborate music, this release perfectly delivers waves of fury alongside moody melodic passages, creating uniquely haunting and desolate atmospheres.

    Opening with the folky mood setting “Lughnasadh”, the album kicks into gear with the blistering riffing of “Equinox Ablaze”, a very crafty track that while having some of that 90’s Black Metal luster, it also features lush clean interludes filled with dreamy vocals and guitars. Our personal favorite track has to be the furious “Burning Eyes Blackened Claws” and its intense opening, and then perfectly transitioning into more melodic territories alongside pummeling drums.


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