Unleashing one of the most punishing Black Metal releases of 2022, today we have Chile’s Ad Finem Omnia and their debut full-length release “No Peace - No Dawn”. Featuring founding members from Sol Sistere Pablo Vera and Ricardo Araya, this release focuses on direct, raw, and pummeling Black Metal, reminding us of outfits like Horna, Délétère, and similar outfits. Highly recommended release for genre purists that are looking for waves of crushing riffs and relentless intensity.
Opening with “Vultures”, the band wastes no time in punishing the listener with piercing guitars, savage screams, and crafty drumming. The band’s intensity is on par with any European counterpart, but the subtle melodic elements that tracks like “The Abyss”, “Solve: Route To Extinction”, and “Coagula: Promethean Fire” feature, perfectly create intense moments of furious headbanging alongside a very immersive and well-rounded sound.
It has been a while since we got an album that we have to drop everything we are doing in order to pay full attention. Luckily for us, An Abstract Illusion’s sophomore release “Woe” is one of those rare gems. Unleashing nearly one hour of highly melancholic Atmospheric/Melodic Death/Progressive Metal, this band will turn heads with their excellent songwriting skills and brilliant delivery. Just think of Cynic meets Bel’akor meets Countless Skies, as this release is both explosive and bombastic.
Opening with the crafty “The Behemoth That Lies Asleep”, the band sets a magical and dreamy mood with dramatic guitar leads and ethereal atmospherics. Reminding us a bit of Andora’s Persefone, “Slaves” perfectly balances agression with lush instrumental passages and crafty arrangements. Clocking in at 11 minutes, “Tear Down This Holy Mountain” is one blistering piece that expertly builds momentum with dramatic tempo changes, including some magical jazzy passages.
Hailing from Germany, Herbstlethargie is an Atmospheric/Depressive Black Metal one-man outfit, is set to deliver one crushing debut release with “Melancholie im Blattfall”. Taking elements from bands like Heretoir, Winterfylleth, Saor, and many others, this release unleashes around one hour of highly emotional and expertly crafted music. Carving its own niche, Herbstlethargie is one of the most promising projects to watch in 2022.
Setting a very dreamy and yet desolate vibe with the opener “September”, the band unleashes its ode to autumn with waves of crafty guitar riffs paired with intense drumming and engaging tempo changes. We particularly enjoy the band’s versatility to go from all-out aggression as in the opening of “Umschwung” to the hypnotic and subtle melodies of “In unendlichen Himmeln”.
Starting out as a ‘for fun’ band, Bloodbath has actually released some killer releases in the last decade and continues to bring back that nostalgic old-school Swedish/Florida Death Metal vibe. With “Survival of the Sickest” the band blows almost any other band out of the water with nearly 45 minutes of piercing and chugging DM. Unleashing the sickest and most neck-snapping release in the genre, this is an album you can't miss out on.
Quickly setting the mood with “Zombie Inferno” and “Putrefying Corpse”, the band quickly establishes superiority with incisive chuggy guitar riffs paired with crafty leads and pummeling drumming. Anders Nyström and Tomas Åkvik are on point delivering that old-school razor sharp distortion while keeping a modern and clean edge on things. We love how the band goes from a track like “Dead Parade” to “Malignant Maggot Therapy”, mixing both elements of the Swedish and the Florida DM scene, creating a very engaging and heabanging infusing style.
After changing vocalists on the last two albums, against all odds, Fallujah has come on top in both occasions. In “Empyrean” the band welcomes Kyle Schaefer, while continuing to dabble even more in Progressive Death Metal territories. The band’s transition over the years has been quite interesting and for over 50 minutes they unleash a very crafty combination of Progressive elements and Technical Death Metal wizardry.
Delivering a blistering and swift opening, “The Bitter Taste of Clarity” hits the listener hard with punishing riffs, inhuman growls, and a crafty tempo changes, reminiscent of a mixture of bands like Persefone, Obscura, and Hour of Penance. The technical wizardry continues with excellent pieces like “Radiant Ascension”, the proggy and moody “Embrace Oblivion” with some dreamy clean female and male vocals thrown into the mix, and one of our favorites with the highly melodic “Into the Eventide”.
Clearing our backlog of releases after our run covering and attending summer festivals after 3 years of COVID-19 hiatus, today we have Pencey Sloe and their dreamtastic release “Negelect”. Being huge fans of Shoegaze/Dreamgaze music, this release delivers 40 minutes of very ethereal and engaging music filled with hypnotic vocals and crafty guitar work. Highly recommended for fans of bands like Alcest, Tides From Nebula and EF.
The release opens with the expansive “What they Need'' and its moody vibe, created via dreamy guitars and the fragile vocals of Diane Pellotieri. Things gradually get a bit more elaborate with pieces like “Smile to Zero” and the album title track building momentum and further mesmerizing listeners with their subtle craftiness. Perfectly creating unique tempos and allowing the music to have a certain exploratory nature, Clément Hateau’s drums/percussions make songs like “Mirror Rorrim” be a cinematic experience.
Unleashing raw darkness, today we have Portugal’s Armnatt and their latest full-length release “Immortal Nature”. Not for the faint of heart and refined in taste, this release delivers nearly 40 minutes of crushing rawness with a rudimentary sound and a savage execution. This album is a perfect homage to the old-school brutal Black Metal sound of the early days.
The release sets a cavernous vibe with the atmospheric opener “All is Silent”, only to quickly deliver the first punch with the rudimentary and crusty riffs of the album’s title track. The band’s sound is not fancy, or very crisp, however, it is quite raw and direct, like a head-on hit from a bag of bricks, like “Imponent Ruins” quickly demonstrates.
If 2022 wasn’t already a great year in terms of Symphonic Metal releases, Edenbridge returns with another brilliant album titled “Shangri-La”. Featuring their signature high-octane and cinematic sound, Lanvall and company deliver nearly one hour of extremely well crafted immersive music. With each release being a journey on its own, this album perfectly blends Power Metal with lush symphonic arrangements, crafty story telling, and killer vocal arrangements.
Leading with the explosive “At First Light”, the band sets in motion an elegant musical journey, while paying equal attention to both the Symphonic and Metal side of things. We have always been quite impressed with Lanvall’s engaging compositions, and how they are brought to life by band members: Sabine Edelsbacher on vocals, Dominik Sebastian on guitars, Johannes Jungreithmeier on drums, and Steven Hall. Songs are dynamic, explosive and quite engaging as we can hear from “The Call of Eden”, “Hall of Shame”, and the melodramatic “Savage Land”.
Unleashing a monolithic piece of highly engaging and melancholy oozing music, today we have Elegeion, with their first full-length release in 17 years, and “Plights of the Heretic”. Hailing from Australia, Elegeion was one of those bands that we got introduced to via the Modern Invasion Music label, the other band was a personal favorite: Chalice. Continuing exactly where they left off, but with a mostly new line-up, we are treated to 49 minutes of heart-wrenching melancholic music.
The release starts with the album title track featuring some engaging and mysterious momentum building percussion. Around the second and third minute of this song, the Elegeion signature melodic riffs and guitar leads come in alongside Kindabah’s solemn and excellent vocals. The band’s sound is quite unique to them, and its creator Anthony Kwan, but for the uninitiated, it's highly melancholic and yet straightforward. The somber melancholy perfectly bleeds into the excellent “Dust” and its lush string arrangements paired with harsh vocals and a very Doomy tempo.
Blowing us away in 2020 with their self-titled debut release, Germany’s Might returns with an even more intricate and captivating sophomore release titled “Abyss”. With a fitting album title, this release feels like an exploration of levels of the abyss with tons of extra ideas and eerie atmospherics mixed in with the band’s rudimentary (and crushing) Doom Metal foundation. While less straightforward than their first release, this album is ready to turn some heads thanks to its uniqueness and crafty execution.
The album opens up with the ominous and creepy intro “Naked Light”, slowly transitioning with crushing riffs and a very imposing momentum that is nicely picked up with “Lost”. The first couple of tracks are the most ‘traditional’ ones with “Abysses” having those classic Doom elements that we all love. We particularly enjoy the mixture of clean male and female vocals with hypnotic percussion and enigmatic guitar leads.