Unleashing over 44 minutes of highly versatile Black Metal, today we have Germany’s Kankar and their debut release “Dunkle Millennia”. Borrowing bits and pieces of bands like Uada, Mgła, Inquisition and Gaerea, this duo ravages through 11 superbly catchy and well crafted tracks. If you like, melodic, firm, and yet crafty music, this is one release to explore.
Setting a very punishing and explosive mood with the opener “Gier”, the band nicely focuses on creating incisive melodic onslaughts that are catchy and aggressive as tracks like “Krater in Sarx”, “Zerfall des Lichts”, and “Vergeltung” level everything in their path. The Mgła-esque buzzing guitars and tempo, allow tracks like “Thüringer Schwarzmetall” and “Der Schütze”, to unleashe furious heabanging sessions as they are equally melodic and brutal.
Mysterious entity “Escumergamënt” delivers one of the most punishing and dense Black Metal debut releases of all-time with the piercing “...ni degu fazentz escumergamënt e mesorga…”. Featuring over 44 minutes of high-octane Black Metal filled with gaudy old-school atmospherics, this album creates very interesting and demoralizing atmospheres as it barrelsdown your speakers.
Featuring members of Stilla and Setherial, this release starts with eerie atmospherics in “Of Old Night And Winter”. This track slowly transforms into heavier territories with crafty drumming and completely crushing shrieks of pain. The band’s riffing is quite intense and perfectly fits that old-school vibe they are going for on songs like the opener, “To Envy The Corpses” with its catchy passages, and blistering onslaughts of “Antediluvium”.
Mixing up Technical Death Metal with Progressive and ‘Video Game’ Metal elements, today we have a very intense and exciting band from the USA called The Beast of Nod. With comparisons to bands like Dethklok, Powerglove, and similar outfits, “Multiversal” delivers over 50 minutes of playful high-octane music that is extremely technically proficient, fun, and greatly engaging.
Opening with the magical “Flight of the Quetzalcoatlus”, we instantly get that Proggy/Techy vibe with intricate guitars, crafty drumming and playful tempo changes. The vocal styles vary between growls and shrieks, allowing for the music to change moods and intensity quite nicely, as the jazzy “Contemporary Calamity” showcases.
As one of the first impressive singers in the early days of Symphonic/Gothic Metal, Helena Iren Michaelsen has always been one of our favorite singers since her days in Trail of Tears. Unleashing a double album with Imperia, we are treated to over 72 minutes of lush Symphonic Metal with “The Last Horizon”. With tons of different elements ranging from rock to folk, this release has certainly something for everybody.
Opening with the lively, “Dream Away” sets a very epic and engaging vibe that is further developed and enhanced with killer songs like “Starlight”, the Doro-esque “To Valhalla I Ride”, and the explosive “Flower and the Sea”. Featuring dramatic arrangements, heavy riffs, and crafty atmospheric elements we are instantly attracted to dynamic songs like “Blindfolded” and “Only A Dream”.
After their crushing 2020 release “En Ergô Einai”, Aara showcased their blistering brand of Atmospheric Black Metal, making this album one of the highlights of the year. Wasting no time and keeping their momentum going, this Swiss trio now unleashes “Triade I: Eos” with nearly 45 minutes of even more impressive and commanding music. If you like furiously paced guitars and lush atmospherics filled with intensity, this is one release you can’t miss.
Setting a somber atmosphere with the first few minutes of “Fathum”, the band suddenly explodes with a very ferocious into all-out onslaught of piercing riffs, crushing drums, and shrieking vocals. The intensity delivered is nicely contrasted by subtle atmospheric and melodic elements, creating a very unique and powerful experience that nicely bleeds into “Tantalusqual”. One of our favorite tracks has to be the haunting “Naufragus” and its majestic atmospheric keyboards, giving us that Symphonic Black Metal vibe of bands like Limbonic Art and early Emperor.
One man entity, Nachtig is ready to unleash misery to the masses with its second full-length release “Der stille Wald”. As yet another brilliant Black Metal project from V. V. (Cosmic Burial and Valosta Varjoon), this outfit explores the more atmospheric and depressive corners of the genre. Unleashing over 54 minutes of crushing music, this release is perfect for anybody looking for bands similar to Mortualia with some sprinkles of Heretoir.
The album title track opens the proceedings with fury and melancholy. Featuring mid-tempo drumming alongside piercing riffs and hellish vocals, a very oppressive and excruciating mood is quickly established. Perfectly pairing subtle atmospheric keyboards with weeping guitar riffs, the vibe continues to be misery-inducing as tracks like “Im Hohen Gras” and “Berg und Tal”. There are some hints of modern Post-Black Metal elements, making the songs lush and delicate while retaining the band’s core rawness.
Led by the extremely busy Lars Are Nedland, White Void is an old-school Psychedelic/Occult Rock outfit that should not be missed. Unleashing their debut “Anti”, the band delivers over 46 minutes of majestically crafted and completely intoxicating music from start to end. If you are a fan of bands like Jess and the Ancient Ones, Purson, Sabbath Assembly, plus can’t get enough of Lars vocals in the latest Borknagar release, this release perfectly combines both.
Oozing grooviness, “Do. Not. Sleep.” opens with release with commanding style and a very warm and fuzzy retro vibe. The ripping guitar leads and crafty drumming nicely bleeds into the darker “There is No Freedom but the End”, as Lars' voice takes an enigmatic tone and the fuzzy synths create a very embracing atmosphere. The mood nicely varies between tracks as “Where You Go, You'll Bring Nothing” takes a more introspective pace and “The Shovel and the Cross” keeps things enigmatic with a hectic pace alongside the catchy guitars and synths.
Delivering their traditional high-octane Power Metal, today we have Germany’s Orden Ogan and their seventh full-length release “Final Days”. Featuring 50-minutes of superbly catchy and expertly crafted music, the band delivers one of their most epic and lively releases to date. Highly recommended for fans of bands like Stratovarius, Blind Guardian and Powerwolf, this is one of the highlights of the genre in 2021.
Opening with the catchiness of “Heart of the Android”, the band quickly sets a very engaging and epic atmosphere. With Niels Löffler switching to guitars and the addition of guitarist Patrick Sperling, the band sound is more dynamic and delivers a good amount of brilliant guitar leads and catchy passages, as we can hear on songs like “In the Dawn of the AI” and “Inferno”. As one would expect, the band’s epic vocal arrangements are a centerpiece of their sound and perfectly exploited in epic songs like “Let the Fire Rain”.
Unleashing one hell of a crushing debut release, today we have Sulpur and their debut release “Embracing Hatred and Beckoning Darkness”. Delivering over 43 minutes of pummeling old-school Black Metal, this outfit perfectly captures the aggression and rawness of the 90’s with five blistering compositions. If you like old Immortal, Marduk, Horna, and Satanic Warmaster, this is one release you can’t miss.
Opening with the mysterious intro/title track, the band sets a very dark and sinister mood as waves of punishing riffs and harsh screams quickly take over the sonic landscape. The band’s vicious style is perfectly delivered by the intense guitar work alongside some crafty tempo changes, reminding us of Immortal’s “Pure Holocaust” days. On tracks like “Blessed By Foul Magick”, the listener is abused by its sheer brutality, perfectly balanced between highly melodic passages.
There is nothing like well executed Black Metal to lighten up our days. Luckily for us, Germany’s Sarkrista delivers some of the most piercing traditional BM that we have heard in quite a while. With “Sworn to Profound Heresy” the band unleashes their third full-length release and definitely one of their best. Featuring nearly 50 minutes of music, the band’s brand of raw and in-your-face BM is a force to be reckoned with, as it reminds us of Horna, Sargeist and similar outfits.
After a regal intro piece, the band’s ravaging ferocity quickly delivers its first blow with the album title track. Abusing blistering guitars and pummeling drumming, the band unleashes their fury as tracks like “Lair of Cursed Remains” and “Ablazing Ritual Torches” lay waste to the listener’s ear drums. We particularly enjoy the subtle and minimal atmospheric elements thrown into the mix alongside crafty tempo changes.