Unleashing a very unique amalgamation of different styles, today we have Germany’s Ancst and their crushing release “Ghosts of the Timeless Void”. Blending Black Metal with Hardcore and Crust elements, the band crafts a very punishing and direct sound that is not for the faint of heart and weak of mind. Delivering over 41 minutes of music, this release will have you listening to it over and over to discover all the intricate layers build on-top a very aggressive foundation.
Opening with the melodic guitars of “Dying Embers”, the band quickly escalates the situation with blistering drums and hyper aggressive vocals. The complexly crafted brutality is quite interesting and it allows the band to explore multiple combinations of genres in a very chaotic and yet directed way. While songs like “Shackles of Democracy” have melodic undertones, the punkishness of “Concrete Views” allows the band to pivot from what the listener expects into what they are most comfortable doing.
Unleashing one of the best debut releases we have heard in a long time, today we have Novareign and their super release “Legends”. Featuring nine killer tracks of highly refined Progressive/Power Metal, this band kicks some serious ass with their over-the-top energy and musicianship. If you are fan of bands like Dragonforce and Stratovarius, this release will certainly keep you entertained.
Opening with the killer guitar work of “Call On the Storm”, the band quickly sets a very intense pace. Perfectly blending extreme musical skills with a good sense of melody and song structures, the band in an instant captures your full attention, particularly in marathonic songs like “Mace of a Fist”. David Marquez vocals are the perfect fit for such a dynamic and engaging sound, as we can hear in the intense “Beyond the Cold”, and the rest of this killer release.
Hailing from Denmark, today we have the most promising new kids on the Melodic Death Metal block: Killing Gandhi. With a highly refined and effective sound, this band unleashes upon us their sophomore release “Aspirations of Failure”. Mixing everything we love from bands like Dark Tranquility, Children of Bodom, (old) In Flames, Kalmah, Omnium Gatherum, etc. the band delivers nearly 40-minutes of neck breaking music that is definitely one of the best releases of the genre in quite a while.
After the obligatory atmospheric intro, the band quickly gets down to business with the intense “Let Me Tell You”. This track starts off with killer catchy riffs and energetic vocals, and while there are tons of influences there, the band has their own unique signature style. With some futuristic keyboards, “Dark Hours” and “Hollow Paintings” are definitely some of the highlights of this release, blending tight drumming with intricate riffing and a very upbeat tempo.
From mastermind Olmo Lipani (AKA Déhà), today we have a truly terrifying and unique release with his band Yhdarl. With “Loss” we are treated to three ravaging (and long) tracks that border in the edge of sanity, and delivers some unique experimentation between Black/Death/Doom Metal and some Drone elements. Not for those that like well-defined genres, this release is a truly haunting experience.
Opening with the spiraling madness of “Ignite – Ashes”, the duo behind Yhdarl sets a very chaotic and intense tone. The vocals are truly deranged, a la Bethlehem circa “Dictius Te Necare” times. This song mostly delivers killer Black/Death Metal passages with an excellent atmosphere, we are reminded at times of Ancient and even Dissection.
As one of the most interesting split releases of this young 2018, today we have Spectral Lore and Jute Gyte’s split “Helian”. Featuring two tracks and over 40-minutes of intense (and highly experimental) Atmospheric Black Metal, this release demonstrates the two ‘bands’ different takes and musical translation of Georg Trakl’s poem. Which each outfit delivering a chilling and unique experience, this release is certainly not for the faint of heart.
Jute Gyte kicks off the release with a very dissonant opening that slowly transitions into a trance-like state with disparate guitars and funky atmospherics. The vocals are quite disturbing, as they capitalize on the weird atmosphere generated by the repetitive riffs and dense distortion. As the track progresses, it feels like we are descending into madness as it just keeps getting more and more chaotic and bizarre. Truly unique and interesting first ‘half’ of this release.
Hailing from the USA, today we have Atmospheric Black Metal duo Veiled and their ravaging full-length debut release “Black Celestial Orbs”. Perfectly blending melancholic passages with the ravaging intensity of the USBM sound, the band unleashes nearly 40 minutes of masterful music that will instantly gain them recognition among the underground BM bands in the USA.
Opening with the intensity and violence of “Luminous”, we get a very Ash Borer-like layering of guitars and intricate drums that sets the bar quite high for this release. Coming off from the opening track’s high, “Portal” slows things down a bit before furiously pummeling the listener with crushing riffs and hellish vocals. The band’s music is a whirlwind experience of crushing passages and well-timed tempo changes that further contribute to the oppressive atmospheric experience created, as one can listen to in “Enshrouded”.
Completely catching us by surprise and blowing us away, today we have Sweden’s Avslut and their debut release “Deceptis”. With a name like Avslut (audio/visual slut, average slut - as defined by urban dictionary), we were quite skeptical about this release, but since the moment it started we were totally wrong. Released by Osmose productions, this band delivers over 43 minutes of lush melodic Black Metal similar to outfits like Dimmu Borgir (minus the fluffy stuff) and the brutality of Dark Funeral.
Opening with “Pestilens” the band viciously smacks the listener with intense drumming and intricate riffing. The atmosphere crafted is instantly chaotic and quite destructive, with hellish vocals and a blistering pace. Perfectly mixing superbly fast passages with more melodic and crafty riffs, the band pummels through tracks like “Förlorad” and “Existensens skugga” with such grace and demoralizing brutality.
Going back to their original Death/Doom Metal roots, today we have On Thorns I Lay and their amazing release: “Aegean Sorrow”. Keeping the Death/Doom Metal flame alive, the band delivers over 45 minutes of truly demoralizing music that reminds us of their sound back in the 90’s and outfits like Celestial Seasons (early days) and Forest of Shadows. If you are looking for Death/Doom Metal, this is the album to get in 2018.
Opening with the incisive riffs and gargantuan growls of the album title track we are taken back in time to the heydays of the genre. The band however adds a certain dimension of modern Melodic Death/Doom Metal as we can hear in the melodic guitars of “Erevos” and the crushing “In Emerald Eyes”, were we get a Swallow the Sun/Hanging Garden-esque contrast of deep growls and catchy guitars.
Delivering a hefty dose of catchy and energetic Power Metal, today we have Italy’s Frozen Crown and their debut release “The Fallen King”. Featuring over 44 minutes of music divided in ten songs, the band showcases excellent songwriting skills and a great balance between intensity and melody. If you are a fan of bands like Rhapsody, Stratovarius and similar outfits, you don’t want to miss this one.
Formed by multi-instrumentalist (and vocalist) Federico Mondelli, the band quickly sets a very energetic pace with the intricate “Fall No More”. The band’s riffing is quite traditional, and allows the songs to change tempos and showcase other elements quite well. The male vocals are pretty standard for the genre, but the highlight is Giada Etro’s singing. We are familiar with her voice from her work with Ashes you Leave, but here she takes things to a completely different level in tracks like “To Infinity”, “Kings” and the superb “I am the Tyrant”.
Unleashing one of the rawest and most pummeling releases of this young 2018, today we have Finland’s Blood Chalice and their debut full-length “Sepulchral Chants of Self-Destruction”. As a joint release from Regain Records and Helter Skelter, we get 27 minutes of lo-fi bestial devastation in the shape of ten tracks. For the fans of intense Death/Black Metal, this release will keep head banging from start to finish.
Opening with the violent “The Unholy Angel of All”, the band sets a very intense pace and a ravaging sound that is quite effective for the genre. The punishing vocals deliver an unholy experience as they resonate on killer tracks like “The Passage” and the moody “Coven”. We particularly enjoy the crunchy riffing on “The Four”, a song that expertly changes tempos and pummels the listener when they least expect it.