Hailing from the Bay Area, today we have Mountaineer and their very unique and emotional mixture of Doom/Sludge influences with dreamy Post-Rock/Shoegaze passages. Featuring members and ex-members of bands like Lament Cityscape, Lycus, and Secrets of the Sky, this outfit delivers a very solid two song EP as their debut release.
Opening with the crushing Doom riffs of “Come Fever”, you instantly get My Dying Bride-esque flashbacks. However, once the clean vocals appear, you know you are in for a completely different experience. Perfectly contrasting emotive vocals with punishing guitars, this track slowly moves into more ethereal atmospheres with Post-Rockish vibes and soaring weeping guitars.
Just went you think a band can’t get any better, Harakiri for the Sky unleashes their third full-length release “III: Trauma”. Featuring an even more depressing and more refined sound, this Austrian duo delivers nearly 75 minutes of majestic music. Further expanding and perfecting their melancholic Post-Black Metal sound, the band keeps blowing our minds with their excellent musicianship and brilliant song writing abilities.
Opening with “Calling the Rain”, we instantly get an opus that sounds like a combination of Alcest and Katatonia, without being a rip-off of them. The band’s pace allows their music to grow and deliver waves of melancholic onslaughts as only a handful of bands can do these days. Not settling for one particular musical influence, “Funeral Dreams” moves into more melodic Death Metal territories with some similarities to October Tide… if they played with Black Metal inclinations.
As one of the few bands we get to listen to from Iran, The Unknown is a very promising Atmospheric Doom /Post-Rock outfit that has managed to craft a very impressive 40-minute debut release titled: “In Search of the Unknown”. Featuring a guest appearance by Thomas Helm, this release is filled with surprises and a very unique progression. If you like highly atmospheric and very melancholic music, you will find yourself lost with this release.
As the album single track opens, the music is framed by dramatic orchestrations and heavy riffs. This suddenly changes into a brilliant spoken word passage with a very eerie vibe. This part reminded us of Anathema in their “Eternity” days. Luckily for us it lasts for quite a while and creates a very unique tension. Moving closer to the last minutes, the release turns into a lush Post-Rock piece with very lively guitars and lush piano sections. The transitions between sections are quite well crafted and create a very unique musical journey.
Arriving from Germany, today we have one of the most disarming releases in the last few years with Thränenkind‘s “King Apathy”. Filled with emotional bleakness, this release features 46 minutes of brilliant music that will evoke an emotional response from the toughest Metalhead out there. Completely intense and gratifying from start to finish, this is one of the best albums of 2016.
Setting the mood with the crushing opener “Desperation”, we are instantly immersed in the band’s unique mixture of Post-Metal/Black Metal thanks to the incisive riffs and mournful vocals. Expertly contrasting brutality with melody, the band delivers an intense performance filled with raw passion. As the album slowly progresses, the songs keep getting darker and darker as “King Apathy” and “Ghosts” storm the listener.
Continuing her highly atmospheric and dreamy musical direction, today we have one-woman outfit Sylvaine and her sophomore release “Wistful”. With a style similar to a mellower Alcest and Les Discrets, we are completely intoxicated by the fragile nature of the songs presented in this release. Instantly enchanting the listener like the mythological chant of a siren, Sylvaine will captivate you with this release.
Opening with the 10-minute “Delusions”, the mood is perfectly set with the opening folky vocal section, reminding us of Kari Rueslåtten in her early days. The song quickly progresses into more familiar territories with dreamy guitars and intense atmospherics bringing memories of Alcest’s “Les Voyages de l'âme”. Showcasing some ethereal shoegaze and dream-pop influences, “Earthbound” provides an interesting contrast between angelic clean vocals and hash Black Metal screams, both performed by Sylvaine herself.
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.