Hailing from Poland, today we have Empatic and their super catchy Thrash infused Death Metal. The band’s debut album shows a promising band with an interesting sound and potential to be even better.
The album starts with the brutal “Green Mile”, since the first 20 seconds the band let’s you know they mean business. An interesting thing to notice since this song is the band’s Melodic DM/Groove influences that make this release even more interesting to listen to. With “G.O.T.S” the band goes into full Death Metal mode and this song provides us with catchy hooks, powerful drumming and strong vocals.
With all the shit Black Metal that inundates the Metal scene this days, it is very pleasing to find (well, receive) bands like Nox Illunis and their melodic no-bullshit approach to the genre. This Italian band belts out 7 tracks of Melodic Black Metal that will crush your soul from the first minute of “In Sideris Penumbra”.
Before you discard them for being melodic and go and listen to your kvlt BM albums, bear with us for a few more paragraphs. The band’s music might be melodic in nature, but the blasts of blistering riffing and monumental drumming is what makes their melodically driven songs very appealing for ALL Black Metal fans.
Having formed around 20 years ago and never release a debut album is something that can be considered quite a feat and probably should be in Guinness book of World Records. For Anniversary Circle, this fact has only gained them more rep in the underground scene and made “Saturated Feathers” and even more special release.
With a mixture of influences ranging between Siouxsie And The Banshees, The Cure, Joy Division, Killing Joke and many others, Anniversary Circle sounds a bit dated but this is exactly what makes them very effective an appealing for us.
One of the most interesting (at least for us) German Black Metal bands has to be Todtgelichter and their near-Avant Garde Black Metal style that is not easy to fully digest. Making their highly anticipated return with “Angst”, the band dropped the kvlt BM logo for a modern ‘urban’ one and has an even weirder look than before (imagine blue man group but in full white outfits).
“Angst” takes the listener through 54 minutes of pure brilliance with perfectly interwoven influences of Post-Black Metal and Post-Rock elements alongside traditional Black Metal elements. From the first song in this release (“Café of Lost Dreams”) you can tell that this release will be special and different since it starts very Black Metal minded but the guitar work is heading in a separate direction.
Up in our review queue today we have Beyond Light and their debut full-length release “Eclipsed Sun Path”. After a few demos (available on their site), this one man band was finally given a shot through Sun and Moon Records. Featuring over 40 minutes of music, “Eclipsed Sun Path” shows an interesting band that could have done much better.
After your cliché introduction track, the album really starts with “Blackened Sunlight” a 6 minute epic that changes from Black Metal to atmospheric weirdness to more cohesive melodic section. This track also showcases some of the shortcomings of this release like the very dull drumming (probably drum machine or such) and the linear songwriting.
All the way from Romania’s Sun and Moon Records we received an album from “A Winter Lost”, a Canadian band. While the band’s style is far from original, they manage to craft 6 songs of pure unadulterated raw and grim Black Metal that will send you into a suicidal mood immediately.
For almost 30 minutes “Weltenende” will take you back to the times when Black Metal was raw and simple. The band utilizes a few atmospheric elements to add eeriness to their music like acoustic guitars and female vocals, but the overall simpleness of the music is what makes it more effective.
One of our favorite Folk Metal/Rock bands has returned with “Ardeo” and the only thing we can’t think is that 3 albums in 3 years definitely take a toll on a band’s creativity. In this release the band deliver 49 minutes of exactly the same as on “Am Rande der Welt” and “Hoffnungsschimmer”.
We don’t really care if a band does the same album 5 different ways as long as it is appealing and engaging. “Ardeo” is half and half in both departments, the band’s sound is as appealing as ever, but it sounds exactly the same as on their previous release. In terms of the appeal, there are great moments for sure, but they are drowned by uninspired repetition.
Seven Thorns, a relatively unknown Power Metal band from Denmark delivers a very solid sophomore release with “Return to the Past”. While people will be too busy bashing them for their similitude to hundreds of bands in the genre, we have to say that their music is kick ass and their sound is very professional, enough to overcome the lack of creativity.
The band quickly establishes a hectic pace with “Liberty”, a crushing track that showcases the band’s talents. The first thing you will notice is the excellent Power Metal vocals of Erik Blomkvist, probably one of the overall highlight of the album. Next up, we have the blazing fast guitars and catchy riffing that allows each of the 9 songs presented here to be completely memorable.
Today we have a very interesting (and little known) band from Norway with the name of Pictures of Pain. The band plays a very strange mix of Melodic Metal with Heavy and Death/Black Metal influences, yes, we know it sounds confusing, but they do an average job in creating a very diverse and original sound.
“The Reckoning” marks the band’s first full-length release and they managed to fill up this CD almost entirely with 67 minutes of music. Most of the band members have ‘other band’ experience, but the only name that rings any bells is Rune Fredriksen from Thundra and session for Evig Natt, needless to say, all musicians do a great job in this release.
When we first started listening to this album we noticed that it sounded a bit dated and ‘older’ for some reason, little did we know that it was originally recorded in 1999 and very limitedly released back in 2000. Taking that into consideration, we are even more amazed on what sound this band had back in those days and can’t help but wonder where it would have taken them back then.
If you are a fan of Epic Heavy Metal and you like bands like While Heaven Wept, Equinox ov the Gods, Fates Warning, etc, then Quicksand Dream will surely grab your attention. The band mixes Heavy Metal elements with some Psychedelic rock influences and the overall Epicness of the band’s sound is greatly enhanced by the vocals of Göran Jacobson.