Album Reviews

  • Uerberos - Stand over Your Grave (2020)

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    Delivering a blistering onslaught of crushing Death Metal, today we have Uerberos and their brutal sophomore release “Stand over Your Grave”. Hailing from Poland, this outfit delivers crushing intensity paired with a crystal clear production that makes these nearly 40-minutes and nine tracks feel like a bag of bricks to the head.

    Roaring at the listener since the first song, “Levitation”, the band’s intensity delivers waves of punishing chugging riffs, catchy hooks and firm growls. With great finesse and ravaging brutality tracks like “Ruthless Execution”, “Beautiful Crimson of Your Blood”, and “Flaming Darkness”, deliver a masterful combination of hectic drumming, a pulsating bass guitar line, and tons of brilliant moshing moments. It is quite refreshing to hear such a young band deliver expertly crafted songs that are both engaging and destructive.

  • POET - Emily (2020)

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    Usually Doom Metal releases are best for cold and dark days, however, POET will turn your August days quite dark and gloomy with their gargantuan release “Emily”. Delivering over 44 minutes of soul-crushing Doom, this album has a ‘classical’ Death-Doom/Funeral Doom vibe as it spews six anthems of darkness and despair. As one of the densest albums of this summer, this self-released album is a breath of fresh air amongst all the crappy stuff coming out these days.

    Opening with throbbing guitar riffs, the first track, “I”, slowly builds up and delivers waves after waves of slow and delicious distortion. The band’s edge comes in the way of the use of truly demoralizing Violin, Viola, and Cello’s through this album, paired with Brighid Wagner’s haunting female vocals. Think of early My Dying Bride with some sprinkles of Sub Rosa thrown into the mix as “II” and “IV” slowly progress.

  • Eremit - Desert Ghouls (2020)

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    Hailing from Germany, today we have Doom/Sludge Metal wizards Eremit and their two-song EP “Desert Ghouls”. Aimed at fans of the ‘power of the riff’, this release delivers nearly 20 minutes of crunchy guitars and a sluggish pace. For fans of bands like Conan, Bongripper, and Sleep, this release showcases an up-and-coming band with enough chops to make it.

    This 10” vinyl release opens with the crafty riffing of “Beheading the Innumerous”. For around 8 minutes and change the band unleashes a warm and fuzzy riffing barrage that is nicely complemented by Moritz Fabian snarls. On side B we get treated to “City of Râsh-il-nûm” and its hypnotic opening that suddenly transforms into a headbangers paradise with incisive guitars, engaging guitar leads, and superbly crafted drum patterns.

  • Moonlight Haze - Lunaris (2020)

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    Unleashing a bombastic and lively Symphonic/Power Metal release, today we have Italy’s Moonlight Haze with “Lunaris”. Delivering almost 56 minutes of high-octane music, this band borrows from the greats to create a very lively and personable sound of their own. Highly recommended for fans of bands like Sirenia, Nightwish, Delain, etc., this release features both intensity, a hard rocking attitude, alongside catchiness and excellent musicianship.

    The album kicks off with the soaring vocal arrangements of “Till The End”, the band’s vocalist Chiara Tricarico nicely provides a signature staple to the band’s sound while showing the versatility of changing between classical style to a more playful typical heavy metal style singing. This versatility is what allows tracks like “The Rabbit Of The Moon”, “Lunaris”, and “Under Your Spell” to deliver a wide spectrum of styles, as the band crafts effective power ballads and catchy heavy guitar laden pieces.

  • Aversio Humanitatis - Behold the Silent Dwellers (2020)

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    Unleashing waves of oppressive Black Metal, today we have Spain’s Aversio Humanitatis and their sophomore release “Behold the Silent Dwellers”. Featuring over 35 minutes of crushing music, this release is both atmospheric and punishing, with a similar take on the genre as bands like Weapon, Necros Christos and Arkhon Infaustus. If you like your BM to be firm, atmospheric and yet demoralizing, this is a release to acquire.

    Opening with waves of brutal riffs and mysterious deep growls/snarls, “The Weaver of Tendons” sets a very powerful and mystery shrouded mood. The band’s no-frills musical core allows them to craft intricate and incisive songs like “The Presence in the Mist” and “The Sculptor of Thoughts”, filled with piercing guitar work, a pulsating bass guitar line, and crafty drumming, keeping listeners engaged with a thick and immersive atmosphere.

  • Serment - Chante, Ô Flamme de la Liberté (2020)

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    Just when you think that 2020 can not get any better in terms of Black Metal releases, today we have Serment dropping their majestically bombastic “Chante, Ô Flamme de la Liberté”. For nearly 40 minutes the band creates an immersive and superbly dramatic atmosphere that is fiercely pierced by ravaging onslaughts of hellish Black Metal onslaughts. As a side project of Moribond of Forteresse fame, this release delivers intensity, rawness, and melancholy in droves, making it one of the most pummeling releases of the year.

    Seconds after the lush opener “Ouverture”, “Sonne, le Glas Funèbre” will fill your speakers with frosty synth arrangements and blistering drumming. The underlying catchiness of this track is perfectly captured as both harsh and clean vocals adorn the dramatic atmospherics, making it one intense opening for this release. Continuing to set the mood, “Par-Delà Collines et Rivières” and “Flamme Hivernale” keep the frosty atmosphere intact with waves of over-the-top arrangements flanked by violent screams and an overall apocalyptic feeling.

  • Hail Spirit Noir - Eden in Reverse (2020)

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    For some reason a band like Opeth and their newest Progressive/Psychedelic antics, while great sounding, they usually put us to sleep. Contrastingly, Greece’s Hail Spirit Noir and their latest newfound Psychedelic/Progressive endeavors incite a great level of curiosity and engagements from us. Unleashing “Eden in Reverse”, the band delivers a mixture of their weird avant-gardeness of their earlier days and trippy Proggy/Psych brilliance, perfectly delivered in seven tracks and nearly 45 minutes of captivating music.

    The album opens up with the more traditional old-school Prog/Space rock of bands like Hawkwind and Magnum on pieces like “Darwining Beasts” and “Incense Swirls”. While catchy, we didn’t really get turned fully into the release until “Alien Lip Reading” comes in with a certain weird Solefald sounding angle, creating captivating guitar melodies and hypnotic vocal arrangements. This track nicely turns the release into a very interesting and completely trippy experience as it sounds like your old prog/space rock, but with a fresher and more dynamic edge.

  • Fellwarden - Wreathed in Mourncloud (2020)

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    As a side project of Fen’s members The Watcher and Havenless, Fellwarden is one of those bands that delivers a sound so hypnotic and sublime that you get completely immersed into their atmosphere. In “Wreathed in Mourncloud”, the band elevate their Atmospheric Black/Folk Metal sound to a whole new dimension. For nearly 55 minutes the band unleashes what can be best described as a mixture of early Fen with Empyrium, split into six lush songs that are set to never leave your music player for the rest of the year.

    The mysterious “Pathmaker” opens up with lush percussion and delivers a glimmer of light between the darkness. The clean vocals are nicely flanked by melodic guitars and crafty drumming, creating a very regal and yet dreamy atmosphere, just imagine Alcest meets Fen. The band’s aggressive side comes at the listener in full force with the ravaging “Scafell's Blight” with its moody tempo changes and dreamy interludes.

  • Eye of Nix - Ligeia (2020)

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    Creating a truly unique and immersive sound, today we have Seattle’s Eye of Nix and their latest full-length opus “Ligeia”. Borrowing elements from every single band we know, this band crafts a very dense atmosphere that is flanked by Black Metal, Doom and even some Progressive onslaughts. Only for those that like to dissect music and listen to an album on repeat non-stop for a few weeks, this band rewards patience with unparalleled musical brilliance.

    The album sets out with a very mellow progression as “Concealing Waters” slowly warms up the listener with crafty percussions and Joy Von Spain dreamy clean vocals. However, the pace quickly picks up with furious Black Metal onslaughts thrown into the mix. This interesting interplay of very aggressive passages with dreamy interludes gives the band a dynamic sound that keeps the listener always on the edge, as on brilliant tracks like: “Pursued” and the haunting “Tempest”.

  • Förgjord - Laulu kuolemasta (2020)

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    As yet another killer release out of Finland’s underground, today we have Förgjord and their latest opus “Laulu kuolemasta”. Spewing over 45 minutes of raw and frosty Black Metal, this three-man battalion delivers both intensity and that old-school lo-fi sound that purists of the genre are always looking for. Released via Werewolf productions, this marks yet another stunning release from this label that offers a window to some of the most punishing and exciting bands in the genre.

    The band’s full effect is instantly felt with the riveting “Laulu Murtuvan Niskan” and its punishing intensity. The band’s hyper fast and raw style reminds us of the early days of BM with bands like Fimbulwinter, Isvind and Tsjuder. Perfectly blending incisive guitar devilness with crafty tempo changes and an overall chaotic harshness, songs like “Ihtiriekko”, the mysterious “Surman Virta”, and the sinister “Kostonhetki”, have that old-school vibe and naivety that the genre has been missing for a while.

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