France has been on the forefront of pushing Black Metal to new auditory levels with bands like Blut Aus Nord and Throane. Today we have the latter’s new effort: “Une Balle Das Le Pied” a one-track, 13-minute 7” release that continues Dehn Sora’s musical exploration with plenty of unique elements. Not for the close-minded, this short but sweet release encapsulates a very unique concept alongside hellish music.
Unleashing a hellish attack on your senses, the juxtaposition of Industrial elements and trance-inducing Dark Ambient influences creates a very thick and chaotic atmosphere, similar to what Yeruselem crafted last year but with a more punishing and hypnotic edge. The song is divided into three main movements separated by eerie interludes. However, every single part delivers relentless aggression with harsh screams and crushing guitars.
A bit outside of our regular reviewing domain, today we have electronic music project Bergeton and their debut release “Miami Murder”. Formed by Morten Bergeton Iversen (Teloch) from Nidingr and Mayhem fame, this one-man outfit crafts a unique mixture of video game-like music with more traditional electronic elements, and of course some heavy distorted guitars thrown into the mix. If you are the type of Metal head that enjoys Ulver and similar outfits, then this release will certainly appeal to you.
Kicking off with the hypnotic “Arabian Nights”, “Depeche Load, and “Fort Apache Marina”, we are instantly transported to the times of 8-bit music from Nintendo and old-school computer games. However, Bergeton adorns this style with more lush and rich electronic elements to these tracks and some nice ripping guitars to the former track. The playful nature of the music is quite engaging and far from linear, tracks like “Lambo” have a cohesive and yet differential feeling to them, keeping the album interesting and fresh.
Dropping one of the most surprisingly awesome releases of 2020, today we have Chrome Waves and their latest amalgamation of Post-Black Metal with all kinds of extra genres, under the title “Where We Live”. Featuring nearly 45 minutes of brilliantly intricate and nicely layered music that will appeal to fans from bands like Deafheaven, Abigail Williams, to Mountaineer or Alcest.
Opening with the dramatic “Hallow Dreams”, the band leads with lush instrumentation and suddenly escalates to dreamy riffs and catchy passages, all rounded up by harsh vocals. This track instantly showcases the band’s unique musical proposal as the vocal harmonies further elevate the already imposing atmosphere. This bleeds into “Gazing Into Oblivion”, a track that gives us that playful and in a way a bit pop-ish sound of bands like Amesoeurs.
Crafting one of the richest and most unique musical experiences of 2020, today we have Iceland’s Cult of Lilith with their debut full-length release “Mara”. Surrounding their Death Metal with tons of unique atmospherics, different instruments, and weird thematic elements in some songs, this is one of those Extreme Metal releases that are hard to classify, but very familiar to enjoy. If we had to name a similar band, we could say that this band is a Death Metal version of Fleshgod Apocalypse with some additional folky/baroque elements.
Opening with the brutal “Cosmic Maelstrom”, the listener quickly gets a Brutal Death Metal/Deathcore vibe thanks to the screams/growls combination and the intense riffing, but the atmospheric elements quickly set the band apart. As the album progresses, the Stranger Things-esque opening of “Purple Tide” and dreamy opening to “Atlas”, show the band’s unique ability to craft intricate and aggressive pieces with lush contrasting elements and still deliver their signature brutality.
Always releasing superbly interesting stuff, Hypnotic Dirge Records unleashes Moonworshipper and their ‘EP’ “13 Fullmoon Nights of Loneliness”. Featuring a truly chaotic, experimental, and yet lush sound, this release pretty much takes elements from almost every genre of music and mixes them together in a very melancholic and tormentous release. If you are a fan of Manes, Lethe, Ulver, and similar outfit, this release is right up your alley.
Starting with some cavernously Doomy guitar riffs, the single 24-minute track in this release hints at a very heavy and punishing journey. The crushing guitars and rhythmic drumming is perfectly offset by hellish vocals and crafty tempo changes. This is until the band switches things up with hauntingly eerie piano/atmospheric passages and the introduction of sultry female vocals. Note that at this stage the guitars and doomy vibe are still very present as the band continues to dabble in some Depressive/Suicidal BM influences mixed into jazzy and noir-esque female singing.
Creating a truly unique and immersive sound, today we have Seattle’s Eye of Nix and their latest full-length opus “Ligeia”. Borrowing elements from every single band we know, this band crafts a very dense atmosphere that is flanked by Black Metal, Doom and even some Progressive onslaughts. Only for those that like to dissect music and listen to an album on repeat non-stop for a few weeks, this band rewards patience with unparalleled musical brilliance.
The album sets out with a very mellow progression as “Concealing Waters” slowly warms up the listener with crafty percussions and Joy Von Spain dreamy clean vocals. However, the pace quickly picks up with furious Black Metal onslaughts thrown into the mix. This interesting interplay of very aggressive passages with dreamy interludes gives the band a dynamic sound that keeps the listener always on the edge, as on brilliant tracks like: “Pursued” and the haunting “Tempest”.
From the ashes of Lifelover, today we have Kall and their very unique and somber mixture of Depressive Rock with Black Metal. With their sophomore release “Brand”, the band continues their exploration of obscure and depressive sounds while crafting six brilliant tracks that slowly uncover a very decadent and poignant style. For nearly one hour we are treated to some very chaotic and yet lush compositions of madness and despair, a journey you don’t want to miss out on.
The release starts with a certain Bluesy vibe as “Rise” slowly builds up to crafty guitars, a lively bass guitar line and hellish vocals. The combination has a very unique Katatonia-meets-90’s Bethlehem vibe that is both sinister and quite chilling. The band’s craftiness allows them to develop songs like “Fervour”, where the tempo slowly builds while the atmosphere chokes up the listener, particularly when the solemn saxophone comes into play.
As one of the most fitting soundtracks for weird times, today we have Asofy’s latest release “Amusia”, which takes the listener into a highly experimental and chaotic journey. For nearly an hour, the listener gets transported into this one-man outfit’s world, filled with abstract textures and a highly melancholic atmosphere. If you like weird, this is one of the weirdest (and yet good) of 2020.
Opening with the moody “Agnosia”, we get some Jazzy glimpses with crafty percussions, subtle guitars and trippy vocals. The song feels very free flowing as it progresses between different moods. Continuing with the captivating “Palinodia”, we get a darker and more moody side of the band with minimalist arrangements and very eerie atmospherics. For those looking into heavier and creepier sounds, the album title track has a good kick as it eases into the harrowing madness of “Residuo”.
One of the very few advantages of the COVID-19 pandemic is that we can now work from home and listen to music non-stop. As one of the more interesting releases to creep into our inbox, today we have Forlesen and their two song, 36 minute release “Hierophant Violent”. Featuring members of Lotus Thief, Kayo Dot, Botanist, Maudlin of the Well this band creates a transcendental musical experience with a very powerful and carefully crafted sound.
Kicking off the release with the hypnotizing atmospherics of “Following Light”, the band creates a very dreamy mood as the song progresses into magical ethereal interludes and very cathartic moments. The guitars and drums are perfectly leveled with the atmospheric elements, allowing a very unique interplay between these elements and the haunting male and female vocals.
With the volume of promos we get every day, we rarely look into the ones that contain singles. That being said, when the name Manes popped into our inbox, we had to drop everything else and pay undivided attention. As one of our favorite genre-bending bands, this Norwegian outfit continues to push the boundaries of music with their creative exploits and “Young Skeleton” is no different. If you like a mixture of Rock/Metal and tons of atmospheric elements, then Manes is definitely a band to explore.
Opening with the title track, we get a somber track that slowly builds up with very subtle elements until Tom Engelsøy guest vocals perfectly lead this piece. The song has a very nice progression as the lush atmospherics slowly complement the minimalist percussion. Delivering a more complex and layered approach, “Mouth of the Volcano” unleashes the full Manes sound with brilliant guest vocals from Anna Murphy (Cellar Darling) and Ana Carolina Skaret (Mourning Sun) paired with regular vocalist, and alongside eerie atmospherics. Creating a chaotic and yet lush experience, this track gives us a bit of a mix between Manes and Lethe.