Album Reviews

  • Warmen - Here for None (2023)

    cover

    It has been a while since Janne Warman has turned his attention to Warmen and their insanely fast and technical music. While their previous 2014 release was meh at best, their first four albums are just amazing. With “Here for None”, Janne alongside his brother and new additions Petri Lindross and Seppo Tarvainen, return with a refreshed sound that is more aggressive, (a bit) slower, and yet more cohesive and equally enjoyable.

    Opening with the catchy “Warmen are Here for None”, the band quickly unleashes their more aggressive nature with Lindross snarl and heavier/more melodic death metal-esque guitar work. However, the magic of Warmen is always present as Janne’s over the top keyboards and Antti’s guitar wizardry as songs like “The Driving Force”, “A World of Pain”, and “Too Much, Too Late” demonstrate. There are certain Children of Bodom elements in the music, but the band imprints their own spin, like one epic songs such as “Night Terrors”.

  • Dymna Lotva - Зямля пад чорнымі крыламі: Кроў (2023)

    cover

    Creating one of the more harrowing and intense releases of 2023, today we have Dymna Lotva and their third full-length release “Зямля пад чорнымі крыламі: Кроў”. With over 72 minutes of music, this album is both beautiful and demoralizing. Full with eerie atmospherics, lush arrangements and intense vocals, this release is one of the most powerful ones that Prophecy Productions has put out in quite a while.

    Opening with “Ідзі і глядзі”, we get very powerful atmospherics and crafty guitar work. The wide variety of vocal styles create a very diverse and engaging narrative, ranging from mourns to screams, masterfully paired around lush arrangements. As “Пахаваны жыўцом” and “Смерць цалуе ў вочы” roll by, the band weaves back and forth between lush Doomy passages and full-on atmospheric oppression, always flanked by piercing guitars and tempo changes.

  • Godthrymm - Distortions (2023)

    cover

    Unleashing misery and heaps of gloominess, today we have UK’s Godthrymm and their sophomore release “Distortions”. Led by Shaun Taylor-Steels and Hamish Glencross of My Dying Bride fame, this album delivers nearly one hour of majestic Epic Doom with killer riffs and crafty heaviness. As a well oiled machine, this outfit’s song writing abilities perfectly shine with some monumental headbanging sessions.

    The release quickly sets a very oppressive and doomy mood with the ripping guitars of “As Titans”, featuring a nice MDB and Mournful Congregation-esque vibe. However, the band is far from just copying others as they weave in their own signature style alongside the clean male and female vocals of Hamish and Catherine Glencross. Some Epic Doom bands overdo it on the clean vocals, but here we get a perfect balance as tracks like “Devils”, “Echoes” and “Obsess and Regress” showcase.

  • Welmoed - Ask & Embla (2023)

    cover

    Crafting a truly unique and powerful mixture between heaviness and dreaminines, today we have Dutch project Welmoed and their debut release “Ask & Embla”. Featuring five tracks and over 33 minutes of Atmospheric Post-Black/Shoegaze Metal/Rock music, this release creates a very engaging and fragile atmosphere thanks to ethereal keyboards and dramatic vocal arrangements.

    The album sets a very hypnotic pace with the shoegaze-y opener “Naga'' and its dramatic tempo changes alongside crafty instrumentation. While the opener is pretty good, one starts thinking that this will be just another one of those Post-Black Metal releases as the intense tremolo picking sets in. This impression continues as “Ask & Embla” continues the release, until a magical change happens as angelic female vocals are introduced and the whole vibe instantly changes.

  • Asphodelus - Sculpting from Time (2023)

    cover

    Bringing back the days of mid to late 1990’s Death/Doom Metal, today we have Finland's Asphodelus and their sophomore release “Sculpting from Time”. With a very retro and yet engaging sound, at least for oldtimers like us, we are transported to the time when bands like (early) The Gathering, Yearning, Anathema, Castle, Katatonia, etc. started adding atmospheric elements to Doomy music.

    Opening with the moody guitars of “Waterside”, we are magically transported to the past with a very direct and old-school production and a style we haven't heard in quite a while. Led by Jari Filppu, the band perfectly captures that gloomy vibe and delivers tracks like “Fallen Dreamer”, “Life Painted Vermillion”, and “World of Hollow”. There are also some hints of old-school Finnish Death Metal, and even some 90’s Greek Metal hints from bands like The Elysian Fields.

  • Mystfall - Celestial Vision (2023)

    cover

    Hailing from Greece, today we have an excellent Symphonic Metal newcomer with Mystfall and their debut release “Celestial Vision”. Featuring over 40 minutes of high-octane music, this release has all the staples of the genre to please even the most demanding fans. If you are a fan of Epica, Visions of Atlantis, etc., you will certainly love this release.

    Opening with a dramatic orchestrated intro, the band really shines as it transitions to “Celestial Vision”. Showcasing polish and excellent instrumentation, alongside the talented vocals of Marialena Trikoglou, this outfit unleashes dramatic arrangements and tons of catchiness as they pummel through songs like “Centuries”, “Endless”, and “Silence”.

  • Crypta - Shades of Sorrow (2023)

    cover

    Following up an epic release such as “Echoes of the Soul”, is a hard job, luckily for us, Crypta manages to not only match the intensity but also surpass it with the killer “Shades of Sorrow”. Featuring 13 tracks and over 50 minutes of high-octane music, the band keeps leveling everything in their path to greatness.

    Leading with the pummeling “Dark Clouds” after a short intro, we are instantly incited to mosh and headbang with the blistering guitar work of Tainá Bergamaschi and Jéssica Falchi. Chuggy riffs, crafty drums, and hellish vocals mark tracks like “Poisonous Apathy”, “The Outsider”, and “Stronghold”. All filled with intense tempo changes and waves of old-school DM mixed in with epic melodies and throbbing bass guitar lines.

  • Akercoke - Decades of Devil Worship (2023)

    cover

    Unleashing their characteristic levels of insane brutality, today we have UK’s Akercoke with their live offering “Decades of Devil Worship”. Like a bag of cement to the face, this release perfectly captures the band’s vicious and relentless musical onslaughts, delivering 64 minutes of some of their more hellish songs. If you never experienced the band live, this album gets you right in front of the action, making you want to start breaking things and moshing incessantly.

    After the eerie “Conjuration” intro, the band fully discharges their punishing aggression with “Hell”, “Nadja”, and “Marguerite & Gretchen”. While the band’s sound is piercing, their technicality and execution is brilliant, making sounds sound very crisp and direct, as “Zuleika” and “Il giardino di Monte Oliveto Maggiore” demonstrate.

  • Eleine - We Shall Remain (2023)

    cover

    Hailing from Sweden, today we have a Symphonic Metal band that has been gradually taking the scene by storm: Eleine. With a very powerful and engaging sound, it is quite hard to stand out in this very crowded genre, but this band has managed to do so by creating highly enjoyable songs. With “We Shall Remain”, the band’s fourth full-length release on the heels of their most recent North American tour with Moonspell and Oceans of Slumber, the band is set to reach a whole new level of acclaim.

    Opening with the powerful “Never Forget”, the pounding distorted guitars mean business as the band sets a very high-octane mood filled with catchiness. Led by the charismatic and talented Madeleine "Eleine" Liljestam, the band’s music perfectly fits her vocals, creating very powerful and diverse melodies that are sometimes flanked by harsh growls to amplify that duality of heaviness and melody. Tracks like “Stand by the Flame”, “We Are Legion”, and “Promise of Apocalypse” are perfect examples of that.

  • Urbain - A Soul Purged (2023)

    cover

    We sometimes wonder how the guys over at Hypnotic Dirge Records have such a similar music taste to us. From highly melancholic, to extremely experimental releases, this label has landed another winner with Urbain’s release “A Soul Purged”. Hailing from Texas, this band feels like a mixture of Vesperian Sorrow, Limbonic Art, with some splashes of Dimmu Borgir. With nine brilliant and high-octane tracks, this release is one of our early candidates for album of the year for 2023.

    Opening with the release with the dramatic atmospherics of “Perception”, the mood is set very efficiently as the ravaging intensity of the guitar riffs is introduced alongside piercing shrieks and lush melodic passages. With an atmospheric transitioning track between each song, the band nicely changes the tempo and mood while preparing themselves to unleash aggressive onslaughts with a hearty balance of melody as we can hear in excellent songs like “Without Conscience” and “A Soul Purged”.

Pages

Recent Image Galleries