Releasing yet another compilation album, today we have Antimatter and their latest offering “Alternative Matter”. While we like these types of compilation releases that have unreleased tracks and alternative versions, we are kind of getting tired of Antimatter taking their fans to the cleaners with 2 non-new albums after their great “Leaving Eden” back in 2007.
That being said, “Alternative Matter” comes in two different versions: the standard double-CD digipack (reviewed here) and a premium art-book edition with 3 CD’s, one DVD, and a 104 page book. Out of the 22 tracks presented in our promo version, we are mostly interested in Duncan Patterson’s remixes and some enhanced versions.
Prophecy Productions has always been a label associated with top acts in the Neo-Folk / Neo-Classical genres, and with “Whom the Moon a Nightsong Sings”, the label puts together a very comprehensive package of top bands of the genre in the shape of a two CD/LP compilation of exclusive and rare tracks. While some people might call it a money-grabbing attempt from the label, we have to recognize that every single track in this release is of the outmost quality and creates a very cohesive atmosphere around it.
Featuring exclusive songs from bands like Empyrium, Nest, Nebelung, Tenhi, October Falls, Les Discrets, and Dornenreich among others will surely make fans of the bands and the genres immediately acquire this release as a essential addition to their collection. Other might be enticed by ‘rare’ tracks such as “Synen” from Ulver, and “Apres l'Ombre” by Les Discrets. But the most important thing here is the chance of getting a wide variety of bands together in a double release that will serve as a perfect starting point for people looking into the genres.
The ever so interesting Prophecy Productions are re-releasing this 2010 one of the most interesting and deranged albums in the last couple of years: Lifelover’s “Konkurs”. Featuring a wide palette of influences ranging from Depressive Black Metal, Ambient, Gothic Metal, Post-Rock, Shoegaze, and everything in between, the band created one of the masterpieces of Experimental music and now we get to have it re-issued and hopefully can reach a bigger audience.
With the fourteen tracks presented in “Konkurs”, the band has managed to create a hauntingly majestic release that transcends the barriers of musical genres and human emotions. The overall bleak and depressive atmosphere around “Konkurs” is top notch and only bands like Lantlôs and Svarti Loghin can ever come close to it. Be it the combination of genres, or the emotional vocals, it’s left to the listener to discover how Lifelover will affect their psyche with this release.
Hailing from Germany (well, the original ‘half’ of the band is from Germany), we get today Lantlôs with their second “.neon”, the band’s second full-length release. And right of the bat, we will tell you that “.neon” is one of the best depressive Post-Black Metal releases we have ever heard. The bleak atmosphere created by this release is unparalleled.
Featuring Neige from Alcest on vocals, Lantlôs has crafted around 40 minutes of pure depressive music that will make Amélie Poulain get sad and depressed. The enchanting melodies crafted on “.neon” are greatly adorned by Neige’s sorrowful vocals, sounding sometimes similar to Alcest, but with a higher dose of jazzy elements that create an intoxicating atmosphere.
With a true Norwegian Black Metal sound, Nàttsòl has unleashed upon the world their majestic debut release: “Stemming”. The band has the true and cold atmosphere that Black Metal should have, but what makes them standout is their use of folk elements through the album, making them sound like Ulver in their “Bergtatt” and “Kveldssanger”.
Working in secrecy since 2006 Erlend Antonsen, the mastermind behind Nàttsòl, had been writing songs and required the services of top notch musicians from the Norwegian scene in order to bring his creations to life. With “Stemming” we get a very mature Black Metal album in nature, but with a brilliant shroud of mysticism and folk elements thrown into the mix.
From the brilliant minds of Markus Stock and Tobias Schönemann we get another mesmerizing release from The Vision Bleak. The band is right back on track, exactly where they left off with “The Wolves Go Hunt Their Prey”. With their bombastic Gothic Metal, this duo has managed to enthrall all fans of the genre with hauntingly brilliant hymns, and they are back with 8 more on “Set Sail To Mystery”.
As with all their previous albums, we get a first hand look at the bands unique world that is highly influenced by Horror movies and literature. The band has worked over the years in creating a demented universe that only true Horror fans can appreciate, and with their characteristic sound, we also have a perfect soundtrack for it.
Hailing from France we have Les Discrets, a very unique band that makes it nearly impossible for us to define their musical style. Featuring a rich palette of influences ranging from Progressive Rock to Post-Rock to Shoegaze to Alternative Metal with a splash of Folk, we have one of the most unique sounds to ever be signed by Prophecy Productions (and if you know your music, you know this label is responsible for acts such as Empyrium, Autumblaze, The Vision Bleak, etc).
Featuring songs the band wrote in a span of six years, you can see how this band started with a very solid musical foundation and only refined it to near perfection. “Septembre Et Ses Dernières Pensées” is one of the best albums we have reviewed in 2010. The band has done a great job in polishing their own sound and laying down some amazing tracks over the year.
After the band’s amazing first full-length release “Souvenirs D'un Autre Monde” many of us had been left wanting for more. And while there are many other bands that play similar music like Agalloch, Wolves In The Throne Room, Fen, etc. Alcest has it’s own extremely melancholic sound that is unique of them.
“Écailles De Lune” follows the band’s first release perfectly; there are plenty of instrumental passages that build expectation and melancholy. The clean vocals are heavenly and brilliantly set the mood for the furious sporadic Black Metal attacks. All the buildups leading to the band’s Black Metal elements are perfectly crafted creating a very melancholic feeling that bursts with shrieks of desperation.