Better late than never, today we have Switzerland’s Almøst Human with their super catchy EP titled “Ø”. Featuring five tracks and around 25 minutes of music, this is a great business card from a band that has a highly refined sound and a the attitude to deliver Heavy songs with a certain modern flair that makes them comparable to bands like Stork, Amaranthe (minus the female vocals), and even some of the most recent Coal Chamber stuff.
Blasting things wide open with the blistering “Living Wreck”, which starts off a bit like a mixture of Linkin Park meets Devildriver. The vocals are quite engaging and very fitting for the musical style, allowing the track to go from heavy to brutal in seconds. The band settles in a bit after the killer opener with the melodic “Obey, Consume or Disappear”, which showcases a mellower and cleaner side of the band thanks to the solid vocals and guitar leads.
With very cool cover art, we got fooled into thinking this was a Black Metal or Psychedelic/Occult Rock release, but we were pleased to find out this demo contained 3 tracks of catchy and engaging Industrial Metal. Being a remix of the original version, we have to say that this demo sounds very professional and its crystal clear compared to other lesser quality releases we get.
Opening with futuristic “The Opening of the Portal”, we got a certain Dol Ammad / The Project Hate MCMXCIX vibe from it. This track serves as a great atmospheric piece with some spoken word samples thrown into the madness. In a very Industrial Metal fashion, “Into the Void Beyond the Sun” keeps things rolling with crunchy guitars and crazy vocals. Not to piss on the band’s parade, but at times they manage to sound like a more Industrial version of Static X thanks to the catchiness of their music.
Arriving today from France we have Anathème and their Japanese themed “Kodama San” release. Featuring five brilliant Post-Rock tracks, this release gets the band comparisons to Godspeed Your Black Emperor, Mogwai, Tides of Nebula, and Poland’s Lebowski. Adorned by excellent cover art, the listener gets a fully immersive experience with this album and the band’s expansive yet melancholic music.
Opening with the eloquently titled “Gizmo vs 21st Passenger”, the band uses some cool spoken vocal/samples in Japanese to set the mood as their dreamy guitars lead the way. The vocal arrangements in this track are quite hypnotic and enjoying thanks to some catchy riffs. Further developing their sound with the cascading guitars/drums in “Le Russe Blanc”, we are immediately captivated by the band’s focus on atmosphere and how skilled they are at crafting moving songs.
Arriving today from Greece, we have Bandemonic and their EP “Chains”. Playing a very traditional and well-crafted Heavy Metal, this band delivers that great old-school vibe with a certain modern context and a whole lot of attitude. At first glance, the cover of this release looks like a mixture of some Dethklok scene and the band’s logo on Iced Earth typography, however, the music is far from cheesy since it is actually pretty solid.
The EP opens with powerful distorted guitars that nicely resonate in the background as George Manthos delivers his powerful vocal lines. The song structure is quite typical of the genre, but the nice combination of catchy riffs, tight drumming, and charismatic vocals immediately command attention. The magic continues with the EP title track, providing interesting tempo changes and George showing his true Heavy Metal range in this one.
Hailing from Italy, today we have Yass Waddah and their furious Black Metal EP titled “Cities of the Red Night”. In this five song offering we hear the band’s ruthless and rather traditional Black Metal, worthy musical effort available on their bandcamp page. For those of us that like uncompromising Black Metal that is fast and heavy, this is the perfect release since it has a very direct and live-sounding feeling to it.
The release blasts wide open with the crushing opener “Invocation”. Immediately the band reminded us of Singapore’s Impiety and their raw and direct sound. Filled with crushing riffs and pushing drums, this is quite an exciting opener. After another crushing song with “B-23”, things get more interesting with the playful “Transmigrants and Receptacles”. This track features a funky opener, but then it develops into full-blown chaos with imposing vocals and very cool rhythm sections.
Rounding up Astarium’s promo package, today we have “Wyrm of Melancholy”, the band’s 2012 full-length release originally self-released and then released by Metallic Media, which is the version we are reviewing. In this 55-minute epic, we get to hear SiN fully develop a full-length release that is quite cohesive and very effective. Having only reviewed short EP’s from the band, it is quite clear now that Astarium has more than enough depth to keep somebody engaged for almost an hour with this release.
Instead of taking the traditional instrumental intro, “Unrelieved Solitude” opens up with some very creepy whispers and screams accompanied by distorted guitars. The atmospheric synths are again overpowering and very nicely set a creepy vibe. Having more ‘time limit’ freedom, the songs in this release are slower to develop, but always having very interesting and melancholic passages, like on “Kingdom of White Madness” and the minimalistic instrumental “Voices from the Night Sky”.
Arriving from Russia, today we have a very solid split release between Gmork, Astarium and In Tenebriz. All of the bands here are Russian, and they play different variations of Atmospheric Black Metal. With almost four songs each on this release, we get a very good glimpse about each band’s style and their unique features. If you are a person looking for new bands to like, this is the perfect release to get an impression of three talented groups.
Gmork opens up the release with four Russian titled tracks so we avoid the embarrassment of writing their names here, and will just refer to the by number. The first song opens with some cool spoken (in Russian) section and it slowly moves into atmospheric territory with some cool synths and very simple and effective guitars. Howling winds open the second track as it starts revealing its very regal and medieval-esque atmospheric elements. The harsh vocals make their appearance and provide a decent combination of growls and more BM-esque screams. Our favorite track from this band is their last song on the split, allowing them to show a very unified and diverse style. Combining melancholic guitars with tight drums and very enjoyable atmospheric elements, the band left a very good impression on us.
Arriving from Moodisorder, today we have Lost in Kiev and their debut full-length release “Motions”. Featuring seven lush Post-Rock tracks, this French band specializes in creating very emotional cinematic music that any fan of the genre would greatly appreciate. Heavily focusing on highly atmospheric content, this five-piece crafts very unique and powerful music that will transport you to landscapes painted by your imagination thanks to the very ethereal musical style.
The mood setting intro “>” nicely builds up to the hypnotic “A Mere Shift Of Origin”. This tracks atmosphere is greatly aided by the spoken vocals, creating a nice complementing feature that slowly explode into powerful distorted guitars. The band’s very martial approach allows the track to perfectly progress and the lush keyboards create a solid contrast in the atmosphere.
Being huge fans of Death/Doom Metal, we are pleased to be reviewing My Silent Wake and their 2012 remastered release titled “The Anatomy of Melancholy”. In this double release, the band delivers 90 minutes of soul crushing Death/Doom Metal with some Gothic influences very similar to My Dying Bride and related bands. Since the original recording is from 2007, we can clearly hear the time-stamp on their musical style and won’t be criticizing them from the ‘retro’ sound.
The band opens the first CD with the typical keyboard intro only to fully explode into Doom brilliance with the opening riffs of “Dying Things We’re Living For”. The band’s similarities to My Dying Bride are undeniable with the excellent “Heretic”. The clean vocals and riffs are superb and really nail the atmosphere created by Death/Doom releases from back in the day. Not everything is all mellow and just slow and painful, the band does a great job in also having harsh elements in their music and whipping out some very aggressive sections like on “Into Silence”.
Hailing from Austria, today we have two-man band Harakiri for the Sky and their self-titled curshing debut full-length release. Featuring over thirty minutes of music, this release nicely blends aggressive Black Metal with some melodic and Post-Rock elements to produce five high-quality songs. Being quite aggressive and direct, this release nicely stands out from the other bands that abuse dreamy guitars and effects to create atmosphere.
“Lungs Filled With Water” starts this release with commanding riffs and very powerful harsh vocals. The band’s core Black Metal influences are nicely offset by the melodic nature of the music and the overall pace. “AM, Phychosis” starts off a bit more Post-Rock-ish in nature, but it quickly develops into another epic Melodic Black Metal anthem. While a bit repetitive, this track is quite delightful thanks to its very cool melodic passages and excellent tempo changes.