Creating the perfect soundtrack to induce nightmares, today we have Decline of the I with their latest effort “Johannes”. Featuring a new lyrical concept and band members, this release builds on the band’s unique and demoralizing brand of highly atmospheric Black Metal and elevates the listener’s experience to a whole new level. With over 50 minutes of cavernous and bone chilling music, this release is highly recommended for fans of bands like The Ruins of Beverast and Blut Aus Nord.
Opening with the hellish “A Selfish Star”, the listener is treated to very crafty atmospherics featuring spoken word ramblings and haunting clean singing. This atmosphere is further exacerbated by the layered aggressive guitars and harsh screams, and nicely shocked into tranquility by some dreamy slower tempo passages. The cinematic experience bleeds into the punishing “The Veil of Splendid Lies” and its superbly crafted drum patterns alongside dramatic guitar leads and haunting choral arrangements.
When it comes to weird and out of the ordinary music, we are always on looking for the next weirdest thing. Today, via Agonia Records, we have Shadows and their self-titled debut EP. Led by Alex Bouks of Incantation and Goreaphobia fame, this band unleashes a very intoxicating and unique release with a blend of musical styles within Metal and bordering with Rock and Goth elements.
Opening with the somber “Ghosts of Old”, we get an interesting mixture of crafty drumming, firm riffs and a very moody tempo. The clean vocals remind us a bit of the band EverEve, with a certain twang added to them. The album’s atmosphere is quite dark and enjoyable as tracks like “Shadows”, “Night of the Goat Winter Moon”, and “Elders” have a nice mixture of warm and fuzzy psychedelic distortion with engaging tempo changes and very solemn vocals.
Delivering a swift, short, and sweet EP, today we have Australia’s premiere Technical Death Metal unit Pyscroptic and their crushing EP “The Watcher of All”. Perfectly maturing over time, the band’s sound is as tight as ever with even some Thrash elements thrown into the mix to create a very high-octane set of tracks that will generate great expectation within their fan-base.
The release kicks off with the crafty “A Fragile Existence” and its intricate guitar work. The band’s technical proficiency does not get in the way of catchiness as this track is both engaging, complex and perfect for headbanging. The mixture of screams and growls is well balanced, creating an intense atmosphere. The album title track starts off with a certain Testament-like vibe as it rages through intense riffing, superbly crafted drum patterns and a total balls-to-the-wall vicious intensity.
Perfectly blending hyper fast Death Metal brutality with Black Metal hellishness, today we have Azarath and their latest offering: “Saint Desecration”. Building up on their transition into Blackened DM territories over their last releases, this album unleashes nearly 40 minutes of swift aggression and crushing speed, leaving the listener’s ear ringing for a couple of hours after it is over.
The band’s ‘new’ vocalist/guitarist Skullripper (Marcin Sienkiel) perfectly fits in the band’s energetic style and wastes no time to make his presence felt in the furious opener “Death-at-will”. While some might expect more Behemoth-styled because Inferno’s drumming, the band forges their own signature style with a pummeling and firm Death Metal core that turns Blackened in certain occasions thanks to the riffs or some screams, like on “Sancta Dei Meretrix” and “Let Them Burn”.
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.
Keeping the Swedish Death Metal flag flying high, today we have another gargantuan release from legendary Centinex titled “Death In Pieces”. While the band went through a full line-up change before this album, Martin Schulman has pulled together a great cast and delivers the goods in the ten songs unleashed in this release. If you like older Grave, Entombed, and the usual Swedish suspects, this album will certainly bring back some good memories.
As the horns blow on the opening track “Only Death Remains”, we are instantly transported to the 90’s with the band’s timeless sound. In your face drumming and crafty riffs are just what the doctor ordered as tracks like “Derelict Souls” and “God Ends Here” continue to flow as an initial blast of energy. The band does not fuck around, and their craftiness is clearly demonstrated with the superbly catchy and traditional chugging riffs of “Tomb of the Dead”, one of our favorite tracks.
Consistency is the name of the game for the Norrman’s brothers October Tide band. With “In Splendor Below”, the band continues to deliver classic Melodic Death/Doom Metal filled with superb guitar work, dark atmospheric passages and plenty of headbanging opportunities. Featuring over 43-minutes of music, this release continues the band’s legacy as one of the best in the genre.
The album opens with “I, the Polluter”, a song that features the band’s signature riffing and mid-tempo pace. There are some more direct Death Metal elements thrown into the mix, but the track always keeps that old-school Swedish Melodic Death Metal vibe going. The playful “We Died In October” shows a more funky and crafty atmosphere with intricate drum patterns and very engaging tempo changes.
With Poland’s underground scene reaching maturity with the acclaim of acts like Mgła and Batushka, other outfits like Blaze of Perdition have not gone unnoticed. Delivering their fourth full-length release with “Conscious Darkness”, the band unleashes a very oppressive and ravaging release that will rattle your senses. Crafted around a thick and punishing atmosphere, this is one release you do not want to miss.
Opening with the ravaging riffing onslaught of “A Glimpse of God”, the release sets a very dark and demoralizing mood. The mixture of piercing guitar work with punishing vocals create a very dense and effective atmosphere that sets the pace for this release. Kicking off with a blistering first few minutes, “Ashes Remain” unleashes furious drumming and sickening atmospheric elements paired with more violent vocals, makes for a demoralizing 15-minute behemoth of a track.
Delivering one of the craftiest exercises in brutality, today we have Origin and their latest full-length release “Unparalleled Universe”. As the band’s 7th release, this album is filled with over 40 minutes of highly technical and extremely brutal Death Metal that never gets dull and hits hard from start to end. Not for the faint of heart, this release will leave your eardrums rattling for a couple of days.
The release kicks off with the intricate guitar work of “Infinitesimal to the Infinite”, a song that instantly sets a very hectic mood and showcases some of the most intense drumming of 2017. This mood and approach bleeds into the onslaughts brought forth by “Accident and Error” and “Cascading Failures, Diminishing Returns”. Band’s drummer, John Longstreth, is definitely a beast behind the kit providing some of the most intense and intricate drum patterns in the genre.
Hailing from Sweden, one-man battalion Svartsyn returns with a crushing and demoralizing release titled “In Death”. Featuring seven anthems of foul and deathly Black Metal, this release is as punishing as it gets. Delivering over 46 minutes of music, this release has a very oppressive vibe to it while leveling listeners with their violent riffing and hellish vocals. If you like dark and sinister BM from bands like Weapon, Watain, Nightbringer, etc., this is the album for you.
The album kicks off with the ravaging intensity of “Sevenheaded Snake”, where the band’s sole member Ornias showcases great intensity and brutality. After such an onslaught, we move into more atmospheric territories with the chilling “Dark Prophet”, a very well-paced piece that oozes that brilliant Scandinavian Black Metal vibe. Bringing back the intense pace, “With Death” is one of our favorite tracks in this release thanks to the relentless drumming of guest Hammerman and the sickening tempo to it.