Album Reviews

  • Master Boot Record - Floppy Disk Overdrive (2020)

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    Unleashing a very refined futuristic release, today we have Italy’s one-man band Master Boot Record and their latest release “Floppy Disk Overdrive”. Besides the massive geekiness of the band’s name, concept and the album’s song names, this instrumental release is quite enjoyable and engaging. With the current state of affairs in the world, it is refreshing to be able to escape into a dystopian world with the songs in this release.

    Opening with the Blade Runner-esque “ANSI.SYS”, the mood is set to be a very dynamic and engaging one. For those that are not followers of Video Game Metal/Nintendocore, bands like Vomitron and others have been releasing similar 8-bit/MIDI inspired music, but Master Boot Record takes it to a whole new level with additional influences and a bigger and more bombastic theatrical vibe, as shown in songs like “EDIT.COM”, “DEFRAG.EXE” and “DISPLAY.SIS”.

  • Dawn of Ouroboros - The Art of Morphology (2020)

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    Unleashing a very unique musical concoction of Progressive elements mixed in with Death/Black Metal, today we have Bay Area’s newcomers Dawn of Ouroboros and their full-length release “The Art of Morphology”. With over 40 minutes of crafty music, this release showcases plenty of musical talent and creativity paired with a high-octane delivery and intensity. If you are a fan of creative music that blends genres together and delivers high-replay value, this is the album for you.

    Opening with the dreamy intro to “Revivified Spirits”, the band quickly shifts into 5th gear with brutal onslaughts of harsh vocals, violent drumming and intense riffing, showing off their versatility from the start. With a certain jazzy and proggy vibe, “Pinnacle Induced Vertigo” is one of those playful tracks that nicely transitions into the mood setting instrumental “Gateway to Tenebrosity”. Fronted by Chelsea Murphy, the band’s sound is perfectly suited for her mixed use of demonic harsh screams and angelic clean vocals as the ethereal “Lunar Cathexis” contrasts.

  • Aevum - Multiverse (2020)

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    Hailing from Italy, today we have the superbly lively Symphonic/Power Metal release “Multiverse” from the band Aevum. Delivering nearly one hour of high-octane music, this release will certainly brighten your day and infuse neck-pain inducing headbanging onslaughts. Recommended for fans of bands like Sonata Arctica, Avantasia and Rhapsody, this album is both bombastic and well crafted.

    The release kicks off with the dynamic opener, “The Pilgrim”, this track showcases most of the band’s tricks as it combines clean female and male vocals, harsh screams and dramatic guitar leads. Not losing the momentum, the band continues with bombastic tracks like “Spark of Life”, “Tair”, “The Time Machine”, which feature excellent arrangements, crafty vocal melodies and superb instrumentation. Showing a darker side, we have one of our favorites “Black Honeymoon”, a mellower and more sinister song than the first ones.

  • Telepathy - Burn Embrace (2020)

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    Perfectly combining Post-Rock with Sludge Metal influences, today we have UK’s Telepathy and their third full-length release “Burn Embrace”. Creating a cinematic aura with their instrumental music, this outfit delivers over 40 minutes of melancholy. Highly recommended for fans of bands like Mono and The Ocean, this band creates a very unique middle point between those two bands with their expansive style.

    Opening with the darkness of “Eternal Silence”, the band creates a very mysterious and yet intoxicating atmosphere. The band’s heavier side comes into light with the relentless guitars and drums of “Aonaran”, creating a more dynamic and textured atmosphere. The band hits their stride with the crafty “Black Earth” and show their Sludginess on the Amenra-esque “Pariah”, both different and yet very engaging tracks.

  • Igorrr - Spirituality and Distortion (2020)

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    As a very fitting soundtrack to the current global chaos, Gautier Serre’s Igorrr unleashes their most chaotic and yet brilliantly crafted release to date: “Spirituality and Distortion”. Featuring an amalgamation of completely disparate elements like Baroque and Classical Music, Metal and Electronic Music, this release delivers nearly one hour of crazily addictive music. For those that have not been initiated into Igorrr’s madness, this album will definitely blow you away, if you have an open mind.

    The album opens on a very mystical note, as it slowly transitions into heavy riffs and the angelic vocals of Laure Le Prunenec. The male vocals are nicely handled by Laurent Lunoir, who turns into a very unique beast-like performer on their live shows, and perfectly adds dynamism to the bands music. Listeners do not have to wait longer to hear Igorrr at its finest with the mesmerizing “Nervous Waltz”, a track that blends lush vocal arrangements, dramatic instrumentation, and electronic madness to perfection.

  • Häxanu - Snare of All Salvation (2020)

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    From the endless creativity of Alex Poole, today we have the ravaging Black Metal outfit called Häxanu. Focusing on brutality and atmosphere, this band delivers over 44 minutes of relentless music in “Snare of All Salvation”. Very few debut releases have the quality and teeth that this one has, so if you are a BM connoisseur, this is an album you cannot miss.

    After setting a very mysterious mood with the intro, “Materia Prima” delivers dramatic atmospheric keyboards and waves of pummeling riffs. This track, while basic in nature, it is quite brutal and effective. Vocalist’s L.C. shrieks are quite ravaging and perfectly fit the intensity and brutality of the music. Both “Sulfur, Salt, Mercury” and “Smaragdina” show a more melodic side of the band, with brilliant headbanging passages crafted by tight drumming and crushing riffing.

  • Glaciation - Ultime éclat (2020)

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    As a surprise to a lot of people and behind some controversy, today we have the return of Glaciation with the savage “Ultime éclat”. Re-formed by Hreidmarr, and without permission from Valnoir, this incarnation of the band delivers one of the most intense and ravaging Black Metal releases of the year. Focusing only on the music and not the drama, this album delivers seven brutal pieces of music that perfectly deliver that 90’s French BM vibe and bring back memories of outfits like Anorexia Nervosa.

    Leading with the album title track, the band sets a very macabre vibe as it layers guitars and blistering drums around the intense vocals of Hreidmarr. The different instruments come together perfectly to deliver a blend of brutal melancholy that is incisive and violent, as tracks like “Le rivage” punish the listener with relentless aural attacks, mixed in with dramatic melancholic passages. Oozing melody, other tracks like “Et puis le soufre” magically weave back and forth from pummeling rawness and somber vocal arrangements.

  • Burning Witches - Dance with the Devil (2020)

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    Creating quite a stir in the Metal world since their inception in 2015, Burning Witches are a Heavy/Power Metal band unlike no other. Formed by five lovely women, this band kicks some serious ass thanks to their high-octane no-holds-barred music filled with catchiness and technical proficiency. Easily compared to the likes of Judas Priest, Helloween, Stratovarius, etc., this outfit is here to have you headbanging from the nearly one hour duration of this crushing album.

    After the traditional intro piece, “Lucid Nightmare” sets a furious pace with dueling guitars, hyper-crafty drumming, and the soaring vocals of new singer Laura Guldemond. If this intense opener was not enough, the shredding on “Dance with the Devil” creates an epic opening to a superbly melodic track filled with expert craftsmanship and an intense hard-rocking attitude. Sending shivers through the listener’s spines, “Wings of Steel” and its epic chorus section reminds us of bands like Iron Maiden.

  • Aeonian Sorrow - A Life Without (2020)

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    Perfectly fitting for a dark and gloomy day, today we have Aeonian Sorrow’s latest EP: “A Life Without”. As the title indicates, this release is full of melancholy and gloom, delivering exactly what the fans of the band and the genre expects. For over 30 minutes the band explores cavernous atmospheres filled with crushing riffs, demoralizing growls and angelic female vocals.

    The album slowly builds up with the opener “The Endless Fall of Grief”. Instead of the traditional long instrumental intro, this track quickly unravels brutal growls and heavy guitars, creating a very imposing and commanding mood since the first few minutes. Ville Rutanen (Red Moon Architect) handles all growls, perfectly contrasting them from Gogo Melone’s sultry female vocals, a brilliant example of this is the emotional “One Love” and its dramatic guitar leads and ‘beauty and the beast’ vocal interchanges.

  • Lychgate - Also sprach Futura (2020)

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    Unleashing a truly unique level of aural abuse, today we have UK’s Lychgate and their new label debut EP “Also sprach Futura”. If you think you have heard weird stuff before, this release will re-define the concept for you. Featuring four tracks of pure madness, this band combines elements from Doom/Jazz/Progressive/Brutal Death Metal, and pretty much everything else into an amalgamation of sonic abusive tracks.

    The release opens with the cirquesque “Incarnate”, incorporating brutal guitar riffs with chaotic tempo changes and funky organ/mellotron atmospherics. Taking this track over the top are the throat singing moments that just add more confusion and madness between the Black Metal-ish harshness and funky atmospherics. Things settle down a bit on the interesting “Progeny of the Singularity”, where the band starts with brutal onslaughts and slowly evolves into an eerie sickening atmospheric passage , just as the brutality returns to close this magically weird piece.

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