After taking the scene by surprise with their crushing 2021 debut full-length “Godslastering: Hymns of a Forlorn Peasantry”, Hulder returns with a more refined and equally brutal release with “Verses In Oath”. With over 40 minutes of music, this release is packed with powerful atmospherics, crafty execution, and very engaging tempo changes that keep the songs fresh and sinister.
Blasting away with the piercing “Boughs Ablaze”, you immediately feel the band's firepower with pummeling drumming, fierce riffing, and subtle atmospheric keyboards. These elements create a very unique European Black Metal vibe, that merges Folky melodies with raw power. The production, while raw and direct, is clean and effective, keeping the band’s sound intense while being tidy, perfect examples of this are “Verses In Oath”, “Cast Into The Well Of Remembrance”.
20 Buck Spin
Unleashing a gargantuan slab of Funeral Doom Metal, today we have Australia’s moodiest outfit Mournful Congregation with part two of “The Exuviae of Gods”. Clocking in at nearly forty minutes of excruciating misery inducing music, this release features three highly demoralizing tracks. If you like your Doom to be slow, painful and soul-crushing, you know that there is no other band better than these guys, and with this release they continue to up their game.
Delivering over 45 minutes of highly enigmatic and atmospheric Doom Metal, today we have Canada’s Tribunal and their debut release “The Weight of Remembrance”. Perfectly blending crushing riffs and haunting cello arrangements, this release is sort of a mixture of My Dying Bride and SubRosa to some extent. Highly recommended for fans of the genre, this album creates an oppressive atmosphere while delivering a few surprises.
The release quickly sets a moody tone with the powerful “Initiation” and its slowly crushing riffs alongside Soren Mourne’s hypnotic vocals. Similar to Jex Thoth, Soren’s deep and enigmatic vocals give a very eerie and solemn tone to the music, as heard on pieces like the crushing “Of Creeping Moss and Crumbled Stone” and the desolate “Apathy's Keep”. The band’s ability to craft truly haunting and sinister atmospheres is top notch as each track delivers its own unique magic.
It’s been almost four years since Mournful Congregation’s last release and they have been some very doomy years indeed. Luckily for fans of Funeral Doom Metal, the band returns with a ‘short’ EP titled “The Exuviae of Gods - Part I”, which of course clocks in at 37 minutes and unleashes three piercing tracks. Needing no introduction, this Aussie band is about to make your day a whole darker and gloomier with this crushing release.
Making Black Metal trippy with their Doom/Psychedelic influences, Oranssi Pazuzu returns with another brilliant deconstruction of the genre in “Värähtelijä”. Delivering over 60 minutes of madness, this release captures the listener’s attention and imagination since its first riff and never lets go. If you are a fan of the unconventional, this is an album you can’t miss.
The release slowly opens with the atmospheric piece “Saturaatio” that presents us with a powerful guitar onslaught and some trippy keys. The harsh vocals suddenly appear to add an extra level of heaviness to an already very crafty song. Changing the mood into darker and more sinister territories, “Lahja” features a very hypnotic tempo. This track while different than the opener, continues the underlying dark and mysterious atmosphere of this release.
Australian Funeral Doom masters have returned with another release that will crush your soul and spirit, and you will be begging for more. In “The Book of Kings”, Mournful Congregation present four tracks clocking in at an impressive 76 minutes of morale-crushing Funeral Doom Metal, the stuff nightmares are made of. If you are a fan of the genre, be prepared to burn all your previous Funeral Doom CD’s and only listen to this gem for a few years (until the band releases something else).
With the band’s traditional three guitarist approach, the album opens up with the gut wrenching, 19 minute “The Catechism of Depression”. Not only does this track has an epic title, it also features excellent and depressive guitar riffing, a tempo so nicely set up that you could listen to this until you grow old, and a very emotional flow. This monumental opening track features a nice mixture of distorted guitar sections (tuned very low of course) and some acoustic passages that add to the emotional charge of this song.
Funeral Doom Metal is certainly an acquired taste, but once you can enjoy behemoth 10 to 20 minute songs; this is one of the most satisfying genres of Metal. The Aussies of Mournful Congregation have been delivering crushing 10+ minute songs since 1993, and have engineered some of the most epic tracks of pure depression and desolation. With only three full-length releases under their belt but with several splits and compilation, the band is truly an underground phenomenon to be reckoned with.
Lucky for American fans, 20 Buck Spin is releasing “The Unspoken Hymns”, a compilation album featuring one ‘new’ song (a remix) and several other tracks only available in hard to find Vinyl split releases. This is a great opportunity to checkout some of the less known but equally devastating tracks of this legendary band. Opening with the “Left Unspoken” remix version, from the “Four Burials” split CD, the band quickly establishes its very slow and agonizing pace with crushing guitar riffing and monumental slowdowns.
Hailing from the USA, today we have Vastum and their old-school Death Metal revival sound that will evoke comparisons to Grave, Centinex, and other Swedish DM greats. The band does a great job in bringing back that old-school sound paired with modern production values, making “Carnal Law” have a dominating sound.
While there is no originality in the band’s approach, their music is good enough to make us overlook this factor. Since the opening track “Primal Seduction”, the band delivers powerful and catchy riffs, inhuman vocals, and very effective drumming. We particularly like the melodic section and solos near the end of the song.
After receiving “Ganjahovahdosed” from The White Mice last October, we can’t really know what to expect from the label 20 Buck Spin. This month we got an equally cool, but completely different release with Christian Mistress “Agony & Opium”, the band’s long-awaited debut album. Featuring 6 hard rocking Heavy Metal tracks, you will surely be blown away by the band’s effectiveness in creating catchy and powerful melodies.
Coming from Olympia, Washington (also the label’s headquarters), Christian Mistress is surely set to take the American Heavy Metal by surprise with their guitar driven songs. The bands dueling guitarists do an awesome job in crafting the perfect back bone for Christine Davis raspy vocals. With less than 30 minutes of music the band makes a great introductory statement with this brilliant release.
Featuring members of the company that developed the Rock Band and Guitar Hero games, Megasus had even some tracks featured in those games before dropping their self-titled debut album “Megasus”.
And while the guys might be talented game developers (if they had any direct involvement in the games) they are not very talented at writing music. Hiding behind a very rudimentary sounding distortion this band has nothing else going on for them.