Album Reviews

  • Illudium - Ash of the Womb (2021)

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    Unleashing one of the most emotionally charged and disarming releases of 2021, today we have Illudium with “Ash of the Womb”. With a very difficult sound to define, the band mixes elements from acts like Kate Bush, Pencey Sloe, all the way to ISIS and Alcest, creating a very dreamy and yet powerful amalgamation of melancholic sounds. If you are looking for dark, dreamy, but with a hefty dose of fuzzy heavy riffs, this release is one you can’t miss.

    Opening with the moody “Aster”, the band creates a very overpowering atmosphere with heavy distorted guitars paired with Shantel Amundson’s emotionally charged vocals and a slow but steady progression. As “Sempervirens” comes along, the mood shifts into a livelier Post-Rock/Metal territory with a wide variety of guitar progressions, crafty drumming and a solemn bass guitar line. We particularly enjoy how the band transitions between levels of melancholy, while keeping their signature elements intact.

  • Sepultura - SepulQuarta (2021)

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    Featuring guest appearances from the likes of David Ellefson to Devin Townsend, Sepultura unleashes the most star-studded release of 2021 with “SepulQuarta”. Conceived during the COVID-19 pandemic, this release features 15 Sepultura songs with a wide range of guests, creating a very unique and once-in-a-lifetime production. If you are a fan of the band, this release will be a very special addition to your collection.

    The release quickly sets a very high bar with David Ellefson playing bass guitar on one of our favorites, “Territory”. If that wasn’t enough, Scott Ian plays on “Cut Throat”, Danko Jones in “Sepulnation”, and Phil Rind in “Inner Self”, this sets a very nice trip down memory lane for some of us, while enjoying uniquely different versions of these songs. Pieces like “Hatred Aside” are very nicely enhanced by multiple guests, leaving them at some times even better than the original.

  • Carnifex - Graveside Confessions (2021)

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    Unleashing one of the most punishing and oppressive releases of 2021, today we have Carnifex and their latest opus “Graveside Confessions”. With all the pent up energy of not being able to tour during the pandemic, Scott Lewis and company return with a vengeance striking with 15 tracks and over 63 minutes of crushing Deathcore. What makes this release standout is that it is beyond brutal, something the listeners will certainly appreciate.

    Opening with the album title track, the band unleashes a brutal onslaught of harsh screams, pummeling drums, and incisive riffs that will rattled the listener off his seat. The heat is on as tracks like “Pay for Peace”, “Seven Souls”, and “Cursed” continue the violence, but with some interesting atmospheric elements thrown into the mix, making the band’s sound have more depth and variation. For example, “Carry us Away” has a very melancholic edge to it, while the typical Deathcore aggression is front and center.

  • Anguish - Doomkvädet (2021)

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    Hailing from Sweden, today we have Anguish and their perfectly excruciatingly doomy release “Doomkvädet”. Unleashing a gargantuan slab of 49 minutes of heavy riffs, this outfit has that old-school grittiness that many modern bands lack, prompting comparisons to Candlemass and similar outfit. If you are in the market for traditional Doom Metal with a harsher edge, this is one of those band’s that you will play on repeat.

    Opening with the cavernous “Herein I Burn”, the first riff is a perfect foreshadowing of things to come, as it is slow, heavy and twangy. We like the mixture of clean-ish/snarly vocals giving a more aggressive edge versus your traditional Doom clean vocals, particularly on tracks like “Consumed By The Necro Doom”, and “Deranged and Forgotten”. For non-stop headbanging, “I ett dunkel förlorad” and “Blood Veil” are our go-to songs in this release.

  • Iskandr - Vergezicht (2021)

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    Unleashing a very cohesive and emotional musical experience, today we have Iskander and their third full-length release “Vergezicht”. Perfectly flowing between six tracks and nearly 64 minutes of music, this release combines melancholy, harshness, and dreaminess in a very robust and enjoyable package. Released through Eisenwald, this album showcases a great level of maturity and expert craftsmanship from this Ducth duo.

    Opening with the lush acoustic elements of “Gezag”, there is a magical mood that is slowly set until it's nicely contrasted by heavy riffs and harsh vocals. Oozing with melancholy, songs like “Bloeddraad” and “Gewesten der Tijd” perfectly showcase the band’s range and creativity, with tons of unique tempo changes, atmospheric and dreamy passages alongside haunting vocal arrangements. However, the heavy side of the band is always present with furious onslaughts like on “Baken”, making this band comparable to a mixture of Thurisaz and Thyrfing.

  • Malignament - Hypocrisis Absolution (2021)

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    Hitting you like a bag of bricks to the face, today we have newcomer Malignament and their debut full-length release “Hypocrisis Absolution”. Unleashing over 42 minutes of razor sharp Finnish Black Metal, this band is as aggressive and in-your-face as it can be, thanks to its incisive guitars and pummeling onslaughts of brutality. When you think you have heard it all from this scene, an album like this comes along and re-shapes your perception.

    Pummeling the listener from the start with the ravaging “Thunder of Awakening”, the album makes a commanding introduction thanks to its brutality and yet melodic nature. Continuing with the merciless onslaught with “Call to Arms” and the sinister “Like Rats They Followed”, the atmosphere of this release is electrifying as you get buzzsaw-like guitars, paired with imposing harsh snarls and a very polished style and production.

  • Venues - Solace (2021)

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    Unleashing a lively mixture of Modern/Alternative Metal with some *Core elements, today we have Germany’s Venues and their latest release “Solace”. Featuring a brand new singer, Daniela ‘Lela’ Gruber, the band delivers nearly 40 minutes of superbly catchy music with soaring vocal melodies and heavy distorted guitars. Similar to outfits like Amaranthe and Sumo Cyco, this band has a more Metalcore aesthetic and edge to their sound.

    Opening with the heavy guitars and harsh vocals of “Razorblade Teeth”, the band sets a heavier mood than their previous release, however, Lela’s vocals nicely balance the band’s sound. As the band delivers pieces like “Whydah Gally”, “Rite of Passage”, and “Uncaged Birds”, the listener is presented with a masterful combination of atmospheric synths, engaging clean vocal melodies, and crafty heavier parts for moshing and non-stop headbanging.

  • Necronautical - Slain in the Spirit (2021)

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    Unraveling a very powerful and yet engaging Symphonic/Melodic Black Metal release, today we have UK’s Necronautical and their crushing “Slain in the Spirit”. Perfectly blending elements from the early days of Dimmu Borgir, Old Man’s Child, and Emperor, this release balances nostalgia with excellent craftsmanship and brilliant execution for nearly one hour of high-octane music.

    Opening with the blistering “Ritual & Recursion”, the listener is treated to pummeling drums and intense synths, creating a very hectic tempo as the harsh screams roll in. There is a certain sinister vibe that the riffing of “Occult Ecstatic Indoctrination” creates, and is nicely flanked by crafty tempo changes, piercing guitar leads and dramatic vocal arrangements. The combination of female operatic clean vocals alongside the harsh screams creates a very playful and effective dynamic.

  • Korpituli - The Ancient Spells of the Past (2021)

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    There is nothing like some good old Finnish Black Metal to start the day. Luckily for us, today we have Korpituli and his debut full-length release “The Ancient Spells of the Past”. Featuring over 35 minutes of savage raw Black Metal adorned with some subtle synths and a moody pace, this release is just the perfect blend of melody, timing, and brutality.

    Opening with the hypnotic “On Forgotten Paths”, we quickly get old Horna, Fimbulwinter, Behexen vibes thanks to the piercing tremolo picking and hellish screams. Far from linear, one-man machine S.Korpituli nicely adds a certain atmospheric touch with songs like the instrumental “At Nightfall” and “Longing for the Unheard Of”, creating a very immersive and yet demoralizing listening experience, similar to what Burzum achieved on “Filosofem”.

  • Carcass - Torn Arteries (2021)

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    As one of the most awaited releases of 2021, today we have the legendary Carcass and their latest opus “Torn Arteries”. Aging as a fine wine, the band unleashes 49 minutes of their signature Death ’n’ Roll, fully delivering the good for long time fans. While the wait was long (8 years or so since their last full-length release, Jeff Walker and company effortlessly deliver one of the most incisive and engaging releases of their career.

    Opening with the title track, the band quickly sets a very hectic and crafty mood with incisive guitars and engaging tempo changes. The traditional snarl of Jeff Walker is one of the band’s staple elements and, as always, perfectly complements the superbly catchy nature of the music, as we can hear in the playful “Dance of Ixtab” and the chugging “Eleanor Rigor Mortis”.

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