Delivering a furious 2-track promo, today we have newcomers Wall of Water from the USA. As the brainchild of Cullen Toner (ex-Abazagorath) and Shawn Eldridge (Disma), this band aims to merge the good old Black/Death Metal style with more modern and crafty Post-Metal/Rock influences. Not for the faint of heart, this is a release that brilliantly achieves their goals and delivers 13 minutes of very solid music.
Opening with the mysterious “Exposure”, the band starts very mellow, setting a very atmospheric mood in the first few seconds. The first outburst of brutality is similar to a more Post-Metal version of Anaal Nathrakh filled with multiple vocal styles and crushing riffs. Perfectly blending old-school elements with more edgier and modern influences, this track sounds familiar, but yet fresh and different.
Hailing from Austria, today we have Anomalie and their sophomore release “Refugium”. Started as a one-man battalion by Marrok of Selbstentleibung and Harakiri for the Sky (live) fame, this outfit crafts a very melancholic blend of Black Metal that is very rare and extremely addictive. Traversing over 52 minutes of music, this album takes its time to fully develop and to explore its deepest and darkness corners it requires patience and understanding.
Opening with Katatonia meets Post-Black Metal “In Fear of Tomorrow”, we are instantly hooked on the band’s very melancholic and yet intense sound. The hypnotic clean vocals will haunt you after this track is over. As “Spiritual Dimension” and “Untouched Walls” roll around, we start to notice some resemblance with bands like Agrypnie in terms of the vocals/riffing, but quickly stray away from this when the atmospheric passages go by.
Hailing from Hungary, today we have a very energetic outfit named Perihelion. Seamlessly blending Post-Rock and Progressive Metal elements with soaring vocals, this band delivers a very melancholic release with “Zeng”. All sung in Hungarian, this release is quite unique as it constantly changes between styles at the exact moment you think you have figured them out.
Opening with the dreamy “Tündöklés”, the band nicely moves around from a very atmospheric and Post-Rock-ish pace to a faster and more aggressive stance at the end of the song, which seamlessly blends into the second track “Vég se hozza el”. You can clearly hear some Alcest/Post-Black Metal worship here in the guitars, but they are interestingly contrasted by the soaring clean vocals of Gyula Vasvári. Things even get a bit folky in “Felemészt a tér”, a track that reminds us of another Hungarian band Dalriada, but with a male vocalist.
After being quite intrigued by the band’s 2011 release “Antimatter”, this band released the lukewarm “Ansia” back in 2013. Fast forward two years, now we have their latest EP “Our Hearts Slow Down” which features three songs and around 30 minutes of Post-Metal/Post-Black Metal songs. Not too much better than their 2013 release, this album sees the band move away almost entirely from their Avant-garde influences into the fertile Post-Metal/Post-Black Metal realm with three so-so songs.
Opening with the hypnotic “The Mantra of Anguish”, we are presented with very powerful riffs and a bleak landscape. The band keeps things simple by attacking the listener with ravaging guitars and spacey drum. There are some brilliant melodic passages that make the track more interesting, but still fails to fully impress. Things get a bit more hectic and enjoyable with the chaotic “Those Above” and its high-intensity drums. The riffing in parts is more on the traditional Black Metal side, making this track quite crushing and powerful.
Arriving in a beautifully hand-crafted package, today we have “im draußen bricht sich das drinnen” from the German band O Graceful Musing’s Burden (OGMB). In this very atmospheric release, we are treated to around 50 minutes of very emotional and magical music. Perfectly blending Post-Rock soundscapes with some Folk and Post-Metal/Post-Black Metal outburst, the band continues to refine their very unique sound with the powerful release.
Opening with the expansive “Nuboeiro Acrarante”, the band slowly builds tension with very sparse drums and playful guitar licks. With some parts in this track having Post-Black Metal levels of viciousness, the band manages to perfectly carve a unique listening experience through all their musical influences in under 16 minutes.
Marking the end of Les Discrets metal/rock musical era, today we have their “Live at Roadburn” release. Having been lucky enough to be at the show in person, I have to say that this magical occasion was very well captured for eternity in this live release. Featuring eight songs from the set the band delivered that day, the crystal clear audio from this release brings shivers to my spine just by listening to it.
Opening with “Linceul d'hiver” the atmosphere is instantly set with such a majestic piece. The band’s sound has always had a very unique aura around it and when I have seen them live its perfectly translated. With a lineup boosting Fursy Teyssier (on vocals/guitar) and Alcest musicians Neige (bass guitar), Zero (guitars / vocals) and Winterhalter (drums), unknowingly that was the last time that Les Discrets would sound like this. The tempo picks up with the lush “L'Échappée”, one of our favorite songs and most epic pieces of atmospheric music ever written.
Always expecting the unexpected from Code, the band takes a huge musical leap with “mut”. Usually characterized by playing intricate and unconventional songs, the band will surely puzzle their listeners with this Post-Rock/Progressive Rock album that keeps the band’s unique sinister atmosphere present, but with a different packaging.
The album starts off with the trippy and jazzy “On Blinding Larks” and “Undertone”, two tracks that are quite atmospheric and while different to what one would expect, they are quite engaging. The guitar work led by Aort and Andras is spot on, reminding us a bit of a jazzier and darker version of Anathema. Wacian further showcases his vocal magical powers with a very diverse and full of surprises performance through the album, but in particular tracks likes “Dialogue” and the deranged “Affliction”.
With a very engaging sense of experimentation and lush Post-Metal/Prog influences, today we have Ashen Waves and their debut album “Premonitions”. Being from the USA, the band brings some of that European ingenuity into their music with a very diverse blend of musical genres cohesively put together to deliver 10 tracks of solid music.
Opening with the Amorphis/Vintersorg influenced “Whispers”, we are treated to a very promising opener that perfectly blends multiple genres. We particularly enjoyed the upbeat keyboards and crafty mixture of clean and harsh vocals. The band’s next musical exploration is the surprising “Enmity” that delivers a healthy mix of Doom/Sludge riffs with dreamy Post-Metal/Proggy passages. While this style might sound odd, the band gracefully pulls it off.
Hailing from Switzerland, today we have Last Leaf Down and their dreamy Post-Rock/Shoegaze. Sounding like a combination of Katatonia, Tides from Nebula, and some sprinkles of Slowdive and Alcest, this band delivers a very unique and ethereal sounding release with “Fake Lights”. Clocking in at 51 minutes, buckle up for a very dreamy and ethereal ride with this one.
As the intro bleeds into “In Dreams”, the dreamy shoegazing galore starts. The band’s sound is very atmospheric and melancholic. Benjamin Schenk vocals are quite hypnotic and they perfectly fit to the album’s overall pace. The Katatonia influences, while on their experimental ‘alternative’ phase, are very clear in tracks like “In These Waters” and “Giant”, we particularly love this last one and its weeping depressive guitars.
Ever since their debut full-length “The Malediction Fields” Fen has always had a very clear and unique sound that has nicely transformed over the years. With “Carrion Skies”, the further elevate their musical magic in six brilliantly composed tracks. Perfectly blending atmosphere with aggression and desolate instrumental passages, this UK trio continues to blow everybody out of the water in terms of Atmospheric Black Metal.
Opening with the tour-de-force tow-part track “Our Names Written in Embers”, the band delivers 18 minutes of their signature atmospheric music paired with a few Post-Rock/Jazzy passages that nicely complement the aggressive vocals and furious riffing onslaughts. On part two, the band nicely crafts playful guitar melodies that are perfect for some melodic headbanging.