Cranking up the level of melancholy to 11, today we have Bay Area’s Mountaineer and their debut full-length release “Sirens & Slumber”. After blowing us away with their two song EP back in 2016, this band formed by ex-Secrets of the Sky’s guitarist Clayton Bartholomew, continues to further develop their highly atmospheric sound by moving into Katatonia-esque territories. Delivering nine brilliant tracks, this is definitely one of the releases to get in 2017 if you are a fan of deeply melancholic music.
Opening with the dreaminess of “Foam”, the band sets a very ethereal mood with such a lush opener. Taken from the band’s first 2-song 7” release, “Coma Fever” leads with ripping Doom riffs and the contrasting vocals of Miguel Meza. The album continues with this lively pace on tracks like “Measured Breaths” and “Womb”, the band excels a wrapping a ton of atmosphere around heavy Doomy riffs.
Hailing from France, today we have Post-Rock newcomers Saar and their solid full-length release “Sol”. Featuring seven tracks and around 45 minutes of music, the band manages to capture the listeners attention with their polished songwriting skills and brilliant execution. Highly recommended for fans of bands like God is an Astronaut, Tides of Nebula, Ef and related.
Opening with the moody “Rise”, the band sets slowly progressing tone with this lush and emotional track. Things get a bit more intense with the minimalistic percussions of “Lux” and its subtle guitar work; we particularly love these kinds of songs that set you in trance. The intensity picks up on “On My Skin”, a track that shows a heavier and darker side of the band thanks to the powerful guitars and well-defined bass guitar line.
After a killer debut EP with “Waves” Owler returned in 2016 to unleash “Soil”, a highly melancholic collection of five songs that showcase more maturity and creativity from these Finns. Clocking in at around 30 minutes, this release takes all the elements of their first release and further refines them and integrates them into the band’s own signature style. This music is still highly recommended for fans of bands like Insomnium to The Man Eating Three.
Opening with the soaring vocals of “Storm”, the release kicks off with a very theatrical piece that fully takes advantage of “Juha Simola’s melancholic clean vocals. Things turn a bit darker and doomier with the heavy atmospheric and crushing riffs of “Amend”. We really enjoy how the subtle atmospheric keyboards set the mood for the harsh vocals and slower tempo.
Continuing with their impressive momentum after the release of “Moonlover”, Ghost Bath returns on a bigger label and with a more expansive sound in “Starmourner”. Delivering over 70 minutes of soul crushing music, the band continues to evolve with a richer and more diverse sound. Equally pleasing for older and new fans, this release is a perfect continuation of the band’s path.
After the mood setting intro track, the band gets down to business with the incisive lead guitars of “Seraphic” a highly emotional and ravaging track. The onslaught continues with the sheer brutality of the opening of “Ambrosial”. Here we have the traditional shrieks being outlined by pummeling drums, and before you know it the song turns highly melodic and hypnotic with some truly outstanding passages.
Unleashing their most mature work to date, today we have Iceland’s Dynfari and their fourth full-length release “The Four Doors of the Mind”. Delivering over 48 minutes of majestic music, the band finds itself transitioning into more atmospheric and dreamy music than before while retraining some of their aggressive roots.
Opening with the dreamy album title track, the mood is set with a very martial pace and very interesting spoken vocals. The album continues its build-up as “1st Door: Sleep” slowly picks up the pace and the clean guitars give way for heavier distorted riffs, harsh vocals and pummeling drums. Keeping up the intensity, “Sorgarefni segi eg þér” delivers seven-minutes of killer tempo changes and lush melodic passages.
Hailing from Finland, today we have a band that perfectly combines elements from Post-Rock/Post-Metal with traditional Finish Melodic Death Metal. Delivering over 25 minutes of melancholic music, this band could be described as a mixture of The Man Eating Three with Before the Dawn.
The EP starts with the lush “Throes”, a track filled with melancholic clean vocals and dreamy guitars. At first glance, the guitars seem a bit heavier than usual for this type of music, but they do an effective job at preparing the listener for what is to come. As “Distance” kicks off we are instantly reminded of Before the Dawn during their “Soundscape of Silence” years. The mixture of growls and clean vocals is very effective and they perfectly contrast the ethereal keyboards and weeping guitars.
Delivering one of the dreamiest releases of 2017, today we have Last Leaf Down and their latest release “Bright Wide Colder”. Brilliantly combining Shoegaze with Depresive/Atmospheric/Post Rock elements, the band manages to produce 13 mesmerizing tracks that will hypnotize you for the duration of this release. If you like bands like Katatonia, Slowdive, Alcest and Les Discrets, this is definitely an album you don’t want to miss.
Opening with “Purple Skies”, the band sets a very atmospheric mood with dreamy guitars and emotional clean vocals. This mellow mood is nicely continued by excellent tracks like “Ghost Trails”, “Blind Mind”, and the cathartic “Deaf Heart”. The band does a brilliant job in crafting unique songs filled with melancholy and superbly catchy moments.
From Harakiri for the Sky’s vocalist, today we have Karg, a one-man battalion delivering highly atmospheric Black Metal/Post-Black Metal. Featuring eight tracks and over 70 minutes of dreamy music, “Weltenasche” is a very soothing and yet demoralizing release that will certainly appeal to all fans of Depressive Black Metal to Post-Black Metal.
Opening with the incisive “Crevasse”, we are treated to a very moody and diverse track filled with tempo changes and heavy atmospheric elements. The album continues to perfectly juxtapose aggressiveness and melody as we can hear in the progression of “Alles wird in Flammen stehen”, which some parts remind us a bit of Dornenreich. The band’s raw emotions are instantly felt in songs like “Le couloir des ombres” which has a certain Alcet-like vibe, but with the Karg imprint dominating.
Making their triumphant return after their mostly Post-Rock only release “Shelter”, today we have Alcest and their latest effort “Kodama”. Stepping a bit back into their darker and ‘heavier’ days, this release delivers 48 minutes of the band that so many Metal heads secretly love. The band’s magical sound returns with seven songs that feature a bit of an ideological change into Japanese culture.
The album opens with the whimsical “Kodama”, a very ethereal piece that brings back memories of “Écailles de lune” and “Les Voyages de l'âme”. The dreamy vocal arrangements are made even stronger with guest vocals from Kathrine Shepard of Sylvaine. Continuing in the same vein, the quintessential Alcest shoegazy riffs open “Eclosion”, a piece that nicely builds up while delivering goose bumps. This track marks the return of Neige’s harsh vocals, something that fans thought “Shelter” was missing.
Arriving via Pellagic Records, today we have Sweden’s pg.lost and their latest opus “Versus”. Featuring seven track of intoxicating Instrumental Post-Rock, this release takes the listener into a sidereal journey thanks to the band’s ample musical creativity. Highly recommended for fans of bands like God is an Astronaut, EF and Tides from Nebula.
Opening with the mysterious “Ikaros”, the band starts their journey with a trippy and spacey vibe in this track. Brilliantly changing the tempo of the release, “Off the Beaten Path” picks up the pace and delivers a punchy bass guitar line that is nicely enveloped by catchy percussions and heavy atmospherics. The band does a great job in delivering tracks that slowly build up and peak nicely with crushing moments of heaviness like both “Monolith” and “Versus”.