As one of the most forward thinking and creative bands to come out of Norway, today we have Manes and their latest opus of madness titled “Slow Motion Death Sequence”. Featuring over 44 minutes of lush cinematic music filled with trip-hop, electronic, Metal, and even some synth-pop elements, this release further expands the band’s musical range. Constantly pushing the envelope, this release delivers nine intoxicating songs that demand attention and an open mind.
The release kicks off with the magical jazzy moodiness of “Endetidstegn”, a piece filled with dreamy atmospheric elements and lush vocal arrangements featuring Ana Carolina from Mounring Sun and the enchanting Anna Murphy of Cellar Darling. Things get futuristic with the catchy “Scion”, featuring some funky vocals and a very modern synth-pop-ish feeling. This song is one of the catchiest tracks in this release for sure.
The Canadian Black Metal scene is now flourishing with intense Black Metal bands that easily rival their counterparts from any part of the world. Today we have Quebec’s Délétère and their sophomore release “De Horae Leprae”, and it is quite a strong showing for this young and promising outfit. Delivering over 60 minutes of intense riffing, bestial drumming and an overall impressive sense of destruction, this release is geared for those of us that love relentless BM with a sense of melody and brutality.
Quickly steamrolling through the listener with the opener: “Teredinis Lepra” the band sets a fierce pace while adding some enticing atmospheric elements that keep things fresh and quite crafty. The band’s brutality is unquestionable after the brilliant “Sagina Caedendis”, where the sinister guitar layering works wonderfully well with the harsh and punishing vocals. With member Thorleïf handling the vocals, we are treated to an intricate mixture of traditional BM screams and deeper somber passages that perfectly contrast and create very unique haunting atmospheres as found in “Ichthus Os Tremoris”.
Always bringing to the listeners the most unique underground Metal bands, today we have LifeForce Records one-man project Bonjour Tristesse and their sophomore release “Your Urban Nightmare”. Perfectly blending elements of Post-Black Metal with influences from bands like Heretoir, Alcest, Austere, etc., this release unleashes over 44 minutes of intense and highly emotional music.
Opening with the album title track, we start with a very intense barrage of hectic riffs and solid harsh vocals that slowly blend into more melodic territories. The band’s musical approach while similar to other bands in the genre, explore more melodic and atmospheric passages, crafting a very unique and disharming sound.
Finally returning after all the legal battles with Abbath over the band's name and legacy, today we have Immortal and their latest frosty release "Northern Chaos Gods". Unleashing eight tracks and 42 minutes of traditional Immortal-style Black Metal, Demonaz and company keep the flame alive with superbly catchy tracks filled with an unstoppable barrage of riffs.
Starting strong with a powerful album title track, Immortal sets sails on their melodic icy journey with the brilliant "Gates To Blashyrkh" track, which immediately brings back memories from their "Battles of the North" era. The album's production is top notch, with songs like "Grim and Dark", sounding like a million bucks, everything down to the smallest detail makes the band's music have their timeless sound and with a modern edge to it. Handling all guitar duties, Demonaz unleashes a wide array of killer riffs on songs like "Called to Ice" and the exhilarating "Where Mountains Rise". By also handling the vocals, Demonaz shows he is the main engine and heart and soul behind Immortal.
After catching everybody by surprise with their dreamy 2017 debut, “Sirens & Slumber”, Bay Area’s Mountaineer returns with a more mature and equally aurally pleasing release titled “Passages”. Divided into two four-track sections, this album further expands the band’s dreamy Post-Metal/Post-Rock/Shoegaze sound.
The first movement, “Hymnal”, opens with the very moody and dreamy “Passage I”. The band sets a very light and emotional opening that quickly escalates into Post-Metal territories with lush guitar riffs and the visceral raspy screams of vocalist Miguel Meza. The battle between dreamy and crushing passages reaches its climax as “Passage III” intertwines both styles very skillfully and “Passage IV” slowly winds down a very emotionally intense first part of this release.
Unleashing one of the most epic releases of 2018, today we have Germany’s Powerwolf and their killer release “The Sacrament of Sin”. While widely known in Europe, and not so very much in the USA, this outfit delivers epic Power Metal in the vein of Sabaton but with themes around werewolves, dark myths and religion with a humorous twist. For the non-converted, this release features the band’s quintessential energy and vibe that will rock your core and make you an instant fan.
Opening with “Fire & Forgive”, the band sets an epic mood thanks to their magical choir arrangements and killer guitar work. Not wasting any time, the band’s vocalist Attila Dorn leads this outfit with very dynamic vocal melodies and a high-octane vibe, as we can hear in the catchy “Demons are a Girl’s Best Friend” and “Killers with the Cross”.
Unleashing one of the most ravaging Thrash Metal releases of the last few years, today we have Brazilian Nervosa and their third full-length release “Downfall of Mankind”. With extremely punishing brutality, the band unleashes over 45 minutes of demoralizing music. Rapidly climbing the ranks of the genre, this trio is poised to make a run to the top with the extreme quality and intensity behind this release. If you are a Thrash Metal fan, this is definitely one of the most brutal releases of 2018 that you don’t want to miss.
Opening with “Horrordome”, right after an intro, the band goes for the yugular with intense riffs, bestial drumming and crushing vocal onslaughts by Fernanda Lira and Prika Amaral. As far as violent and intense opening tracks, it can’t get any better than this one. Settling into their crushing intensity and ravaging musicianship, we are treated to demoralizing tracks like “Never Forget, Never Repeat” and “Enslave”. There is a magical clarity into the album’s crystal clear production, which allows you to enjoy every single detail, from the complex drum patterns to the ripping guitar leads from tracks like “Bleeding”, “Vultures” and the chunky “Kill the Silence”.
Unleashing one of the most inventive and catchy Progressive/Technical Death Metal releases of 2018, today we have Burial in the Sky and their sophomore release “Creatio Et Hominus”. Filled with lush instrumental passages and highly crafty pummeling sections, this release perfectly balances the best of two worlds to deliver seven expertly crafted tracks that will keep you entertained for hours at a time.
Opening with the dreamy jazzy sax of “Nexus”, the band sets a mysterious tone while intoxicating the listener with their atmospheric intro. This peaceful mood quickly changes into growls and crushing drumming with “Tesla”. This track reminds us of a mixture of Cynic and Fallujah, as the moody bass guitar line perfectly contrasts the aggressive guitar riffs and blistering solos. Perfectly dancing between lush atmospheric passages into more technical brutality, the band tiptoes through tracks like “Nautilus’ Cage” and the playful “The Pivotal Flame”.
Fronted by Daniel Neagoe (Clouds, Shape of Despair), today we have Funeral Doom outfit Eye of Solitude and their latest opus “Slaves to Solitude”. Just fresh from their North American West Coast mini-tour, this band unleashes one of the most misery inducing Funeral Doom releases of the last few years. Up with Mournful Congregation, Clouds, and Shape of Despair, this band creates uniquely melancholic crushing songs that will extinguish your will to live.
The album kicks off with the dreamy “The Blind Earth”, a song that takes a while to build up, but once it reaches the 7 minute mark it becomes increasingly punishing. Daniel’s inhuman growls perfectly complement the bleak and desolate atmosphere created. With Mark Antoniades and Steffan Gough handling the guitar dutties, tracks like “Still Descending” perfectly deliver that brilliant Doomy sound of weeping guitars and well-timed heavy riffs.
Hailing from France, today we have dark post-punk/rock outfit Varsovie and their latest full-length release “Coups et Blessures”. Filled with moody songs and superbly catchy and somber arrangements, this release is definitely one of the ‘non-metal’ highlights we have heard in 2018. Recommended for fans of bands like Spiritual Front and similar outfits, Varsovie does a great job delivering a hard rocking release that is captivating and engaging.
Opening with the bluntness of “Coups et Blessures”, the band sets a very lively tone with catchy percussions and interesting guitar leads. The mood is quite somber and yet very raw, allowing emotions to easily flow through brilliant tracks like “Revers de l’aube” and our favorite “Va dire à Sparte”. While not even close to Metal music, these last two tracks feature some very powerful and engaging riffs that make them quite memorable and perfectly fitting for the band’s overall attitude.