Album Reviews

  • Týr - Hel (2019)

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    Unleashing the first candidate for album of the year, today we Týr and their mesmerizing eight full-length release “Hel”. Featuring nearly 70 minutes of superbly catchy and yet very intricate and crafty music, this album elevates the band’s sound to new heights and further cements their legacy as one of the best in their genre. Perfectly combining their signature elements from their early releases with more playful and free flowing elements, this release appeals to fans both old and new from this Faroese band.

    Opening with “Gates of Hel”, the band’s charismatic front man, Heri Joensen, unleashes the perfect balance of guitar wizardry and catchiness to create a very engaging and heavy track. We are fans of the band’s usage of multiple layers of vocals and the opener nicely blends them with some harsher screams. As “All Heroes Fall” rolls in, we can instantly feel the band’s traditional proggy magic, mastefully paired with tight drumming patterns and blistering solos. For those looking for the Folkier side of the band, “Ragnars kvæði” has that “Hold the Heathen Hammer High” epic vibe, but on a more somber and dramatic tone.

  • Children of Bodom - Hexed (2019)

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    Swiftly recovering from a spell of forgettable releases, CoB continues their return to form with the scorching “Hexed”. Unleashing over 45 minutes of melodic brilliance, the band delivers 11 fast-paced songs that feature their signature style and instrumental wizardry. Incorporating new guitarist Daniel Freyberg, to the fold the band focuses on crafting memorable tunes filled with killer solos and melodic passages.

    Wasting no time, the high-octane opener “This Road” unleashes a barrage of pummeling riffs and a very playful tempo. The subtle atmospheric keyboards make sure this is a signature CoB anthem, but the pace is what incites moshing and excitement. The dueling keyboards/guitars are in top form as “Under Grass and Clover” rolls in, we are suckers for musical acrobatics and Janne Warman and Alexi Laiho don’t fail to the deliver in this release, as we can also hear in “Glass Houses”.

  • Candlemass - The Door to Doom (2019)

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    Epic Doom luminaries Candlemass finally return with “The Door to Doom”, their first full-length release in nearly seven years. With the return of Johan Längquist on vocals, the band delivers one of the most quintessential releases in this genre, filled with heavy riffs, and a old-school Doom antics. Delivering over 47 minutes of music in eight tracks, this album will certainly resonate with new and old fans of the band.

    Leading with the crushing riffs of “Splendor Demon Majesty”, the band sets a timeless vibe thanks to their methodical approach to the genre. Johan’s vocals perfectly complement the crafty guitar work and the overall heavy and slow mood of the track. One of our favorite things in this release has to be the brilliant guitar leads, showcases on tracks like “Under the Ocean” and with the guest appearance of Tony Iommi on the superb “Astorolus - The Great Octopus”.

  • Abyssic - High the Memory (2019)

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    Unleashing a monumental symphonic/atmospheric Doom Metal release, today we have Norway’s Abyssic and their sophomore release “High the Memory”. With some members being quite active in the Norwegian Metal scene, this band crafts a very unique and sinister vibe that is quite eerie and oppressive in nature. If you are looking for a Doom version of Fleshgod Apocalypse or similar symphonic outfits, Abyssic is the closest you will get.

    The album creates a monstrous atmosphere with the opener “Adoration”, a track that features prominent guitar riffs and crushing growls, courtesy of band’s mastermind Memnoch. Things get heavier and even more atmospheric as the album title track rolls in with its 20 minutes of sweeping brutality. This track is expertly adorned with fragile keyboards and dramatic orchestrations, creating a very powerful contrast between the growls and the lush atmospherics.

  • King Apathy - Wounds (2019)

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    Unleashing their most mature and crushing release to date, today we have Germany’s King Apathy with “Wounds”. Perfectly blending melancholy and melody with aggression, the band’s sound is quite unique and captivating. Distributing over 45 minutes of music in 9 heavy hitting tracks, the band guides the listeners through a devastating and quite punishing aural journey. If you like dreamy music that is both oppressive and raw, this is certainly the album for you.

    The album kicks off with the mysterious “Civilization Kills”, a track that sets a very desolate mood thanks to its crushing bass guitar line, perfectly paired with incisive riffs. The explosiveness of “The Scars of the Land” fits perfectly with the harsh vocals and the crafty drumming patterns. This track also features a very dreamy Post-Rock/Shoegazey passage that nicely changes the pace of the song. Slowly building up with a certain Doomy vibe, “Cleansing” is one of our favorite tracks, thanks to the soaring guitar leads and very intense tempo changes.

  • Delain - Hunter’s Moon (2019)

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    Keeping to their tradition of intense and bombastic releases, Delain unleashes “Hunter’s Moon” a very lively EP which features four new tracks and ten live songs. As a small taste of what is to come, this release showcases the band firing on all cylinders as their music continues to mature and evolve. While capturing the band’s live energy, the live songs in this release cover some of the band’s greatest hits with the help of Marco Hietala on vocals.

    The album leads with the first single, “Masters of Destiny”, a track that showcases Charlotte’s characteristic vocals in a very dramatic and fantasy-like setting. We particularly love how the band contrasts dramatic orchestral/choral arrangements with commanding riffs, creating a very epic and immersive sound. Things transition into heavier territories with the album’s title track, featuring harsh vocals and a faster and more dynamic pace. Showing the band’s versatility and perfect balance between heaviness and melody.

  • Maestus - Deliquesce (2019)

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    Being huge suckers for heavily atmospheric releases, we instantly liked Maestus full-length release “Deliquesce”. Magically combining Atmospheric Doom Metal elements with Funeral Doom and some Black Metal influences, this release is an aural delight from start to finish. With four tracks delivering over 50 minutes of music, each song crafts an oppressive atmosphere that slowly chokes the listener with its sonic intensity.

    Opening with the album title track, we have a 15-minute behemoth that opens with a ray of light as the lively atmospherics lead into gargantuan riffs and crushing growls. The band brilliantly knows how to mix repetition with atmosphere to create a very crushing mood. With all the elements of an old-school Funeral Doom masterpiece, “Black Oake” blends in dramatic tempo changes, lush synths and plenty fo head banging passages for any fan of the genre.

  • Rotting Christ - The Heretics (2019)

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    The ever changing and always improving Rotting Christ return this 2019 with yet another brilliant release. Further developing the Melodic BM sound with dramatic vocal arrangements and subtle atmospheric elements, “The Heretics” delivers over 45 minutes of expertly crafted music that is both engaging and brilliant for a long head banging session. If you have been following the band’s music progression, this release takes their sound and makes it even more grandiose and expansive.

    Fully immersing the listener into the band’s dark world, “In the Name of God” starts the album with the signature Rotting Christ melodic riffing. The band crafts a very eerie atmosphere in this track (and release) thanks to the choral arrangements that brilliantly contrast Sakis Tolis harsh vocals. The addition of female vocals on “Vetry Zlye” creates a very unique vibe that is well complemented with dramatic arrangements and tight drumming.

  • Hexvessel - All Tree (2019)

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    With three years passing since their last release, today we have Hexvessel with their darkest and craftiest album to date: “All Tree”. Combining elements from their earlier releases, this album shows the band’s progression into fragile and more subtle territories with over 45 minutes of music. Moving away from the Psychedelic elements of “When We Are Death”, allows this release to be dark and mystic while keeping the same vibe through the whole release.

    After setting a very folky mood with the opener, the band casts a magical spell on the listener with the enigmatic nature of “Son Of The Sky”. Relying on a very basic structure, this track nicely incorporates lush vocal arrangements and crystal clear string instruments. As the we go through “Old Tree” and “Changeling”, we get shivers down our spine thanks to the very martial and somber atmosphere crafted by the minimalist use of instruments and McNerney’s penetrating vocals.

  • Yerûšelem - The Sublime (2019)

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    Unleashing a truly psychotic and bizarrely mesmerizing release, today we have Yerûšelem and their debut release “The Sublime”. Helmed by Vindsval and W.D.Feld of Blut Aus Nord fame, this release blends Industrial elements with chilling atmospherics and sinister guitar riffs, sounding unlike anything you have heard before. This album creates a whole new dimension of music, which could be described as a mixture of Mysticum, Diabolos Rising and Manes, but with a completely different direction.

    The title track opens the release with a hypnotic pace, thanks to a drony vibe with subtle electronic elements and eerie guitars. The aural madness continues with the intoxicating beats of “Autoimmunity”, a song that nicely contrasts odd vocals with a catchy tempo and punishing guitar riffs. Other tracks create a very awesome discomforting claustrophobic atmospheres like the dissonant “Eternal” and the creepy “Joyless”.

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