• Between the Buried and Me – The Parallax II: Future Sequence (2012)


    As one of the most ridiculously epic Progressive releases of 2012, today we have Between the Buried and Me’s “The Parallax II: Future Sequence”. As one of the most unique and non-conforming bands in the American Metal scene, BTBM has been constantly changing over the years, but with this release they have reached the pinnacle of their career and produced and album that won’t easily be equaled, let alone surpassed.

    Mixing their own brand of Progressive Metal with some harsh elements, most of the core-crap is totally gone, the band delivers completely hypnotic tracks that will puzzle some, and amaze most. Opening with the Cynic-like “Goodbye to Everything”, the band starts hinting at a very sonically pleasing release with the instrumentation and excellent production values. This is immediately felt present with the Dream Theater-esque “Astral Body”. Borrowing from progressive greats like Yes, DT, Magus, etc., the band truly makes these influences their own and shapes them in their own weird ways to craft very intricate and engaging songs.

  • Destinity – Resolve in Crimson (2012)


    Delivering their best album to date, today we have France’s Destinity and their 8th studio album “Resolve in Crimson”. Having evolved from Black Metal to Thrash Metal to Melodic Death Metal as of recently, this band turns in nine riff-tastic tracks that will draw them comparisons to bands like Dark Tranquility, Night In Gales, and Nightrage just to name a few.

    Opening with the melodic anthem “Black Sun Rising”, the band’s riffing skills make this song shine since the first few seconds. This track delivers a healthy dosage of solid riffs and very well crafted clean vocal sections that make this song very catchy. Not losing track of their heavier side, “Reap my Scars” comes off a bit more aggressive but with equal melodic catchiness, making it another very solid momentum building track.

  • God Seed – I Begin (2012)


    Finally! After their crushing live performances in 2009, the band faded away with Gaahl’s retirement from the metal scene, but they are now back and stronger than ever. Presenting their debut full-length release titled “I Begin”, the era of God Seed finally begins. Moving past the whole Gorgoroth thing, King and Gaahl are ready to make a name for them and with a star studded cast they have crafted nine tracks that will surely puzzle some people, but that ultimately conquer the opposition.

    With members of Dimmu Borgir (live), Djerv, and Thorns, this new band has managed to deliver an album that goes beyond Black Metal with some very interesting influences that one wouldn’t have expected from King and Gaahl. Opening with the relentless “Awake”, this is more of what one would expect since they sound like Gorgoroth circa “Ad Majorem Sathanas Gloriam”, the last release were King and Gaahl worked with said band. The track features excellent riffing and very commanding vocals all surrounded by punishing drums.

  • Anaal Nathrakh - Vanitas (2012)


    Total aural destruction is probably the best way to describe Anaal Nathrakh’s latest ear-piercing sonic abuse of a release titled “Vanitas”. As one of the band’s that constantly keeps improving their abilities to abuse the listener through their extreme music, Anaal Nathrakh has done it again with this release and delivers ten punishing tracks that will make your head fall off after headbanging for almost 40 minutes.

    Blasting this release wide open with “The Blood Dimmed Tide”, the band opens with some Industrial-ish passage before heading to full-blown chaos. The vocals are as crushing as always, and the drumming is as intense as ever. The traditional deranged screams nicely make this piece very memorable indeed. Blasting into “Forging Towards the Sunset”, we are barely given any time to mellow out when the abuse returns. This track has some cool clean vocals that add a bit of an epic feeling to the song in the same way that Emperor did back in “In the Nightside Eclipse”.

  • Flagellated Seraph – Beyond Salvation (2012)


    Mysterious Swedish outfit Flagellated Seraph delivers us their debut full-length release titled “Beyond Salvation”. With six tracks of fast-paced Melodic Black Metal, this band will surely surprise you with the quality of their music. Coming from Hellthrashers Productions, we expected something totally different from this release, and we are very glad it turned out this ways since some of the songs in this album are just killer.

    Opening with a warm-up track “Reminiscence of The Serpent”, the band fully unleashes its riffing power as “He Who Bears the Mark”. While at first this might seem like your average run of the mill BM band, the song suddenly shifts into excellent melodic territories. Reminding us of older Dark Funeral, Marduk, and the likes, Flagellated Seraph has the skills to deliver extreme intensity tracks that are very well crafted. The massive drumming is one example of the band’s mystery musician’s abilities.

  • Hell United – Aura Damage (2012)


    Arriving on our latest promo pack from one the most brutal labels in the planet, Hellthrasher Productions, today we have Hell United and their sophomore release “Aura Damage”. Hailing from Poland, our first impression of this band was that they are as crushing as their fellow countrymen Behemoth. Delivering 35-minutes of high-octane Blackened Death Metal, this band is sure to turn a few heads and snap more than enough necks in the moshpit.

    Dominating since the opening track, “Aural Damage” is off to an excellent and very violent attack with “Red Limitations”. The riffing is hyper-intense, the drumming is super crushing, and the vocals are as demonic as Behemoth’s, so you know what you can expect from this relatively unknown outfit. The band does a great job in shuffling things around so the songs don’t sound like copies of each other, a problem that has blamed Behemoth in the last few years. The neck snapping action continues with the anthems of destruction: “Apostle of Plague”, “Deathlike Cold”, and “Let Sleeping Dogs Lie”.

  • Deception / Demonic Slaughter – Split (2012)


    Perfectly packed in a glossy digipack, today we have Deception and Demonic Slaughter’s split release out on Hellthrasher Productions. With both bands hailing from Poland, this 20 minute split has the feeling of a 7” release, but on an upgraded presentation. With Deception delivering three tracks of foul Death Metal, and Demonic Slaughter providing some raw Black Metal into the mix, this split release has a little for everybody.

    With apparently everything being recorded in 2011, Deception does a great job at re-creating that lo-fi sound of the past and delivers some very crushing tracks that sound raw and old-school. Opening with “Zatracenie”, the band vibe similar to early Sepultura and such, this evolves a bit for the second track “Narodziny początkiem umierania” with a more ‘melodic’ sound and less aggressive vocals. The cover of Bathory’s “Rites of Darkness” is pretty standard and well executed, but also sounds very different from the first two songs, indicating that the band didn’t really make it their own.

  • Subterranean Disposition – Subterranean Disposition (2012)


    Arriving from Canada’s Hypnotic Dirge Records, today we have a pretty solid Death/Doom Metal band named Subterranean Disposition. Unleashing their self-titled debut album, this one man band features Australian scene veteran Terry Vainoras delivering five tracks of crushing Death/Doom in the vein of bands like Mournful Congregation, Mourning Beloveth, but with a faster pace and a few surprises.

    Opening with the 9-minute epic “Between Apes and Angles” the band has all the hallmarks of a traditional release in the genre and some cool atmospheric elements. The riffs are slow and powerful, and the growls are pretty solid, nothing out of the ordinary if you ask us. However, things start getting interesting with “Prolong this Agony” and some experimental elements here and there. The pop/jazzy female vocals work quite well when introduced in a melodic passage, effectively changing the pace of the track and puzzling the listener for a bit.

  • Closed Room – Closed Room (2012)


    After their impressive EP “White Bed Sheet”, we were thrilled to know that Closed Room signed with Sun & Moon Records to release their self-titled debut album. As many of the band’s in this label, Closed Room is a very unique ensemble that mixes Trip-Hop with Post-Metal and some Shoegaze elements brilliantly and in their previous work has delivered very interesting and engaging tracks drawing comparisons to Amesoeurs and such bands.

    Setting the mood with the Post-Metal influenced “Behind the Locked Door”, the band nicely established very high expectations for a very unique sounding release. This track reminds us a bit of the experimental side of bands like Sigh and Ephel Duath. Things turn dark with the Blackgaze riffing of “Tempted to Illuminated”, then the ethereal vocals of Morena kick in and the whole atmosphere suddenly feels a bit different. This track is very well crafted and the contrast between the music and the vocals is just outstanding and works very well.

  • Lacrimosa – Revolution (2012)


    With a heavier sound than before, today we have the return of Lacrimosa with the very diverse “Revolution”. As the title indicates, this album feels a bit like a revolution between the band’s inner demons through ten very different and often puzzling tracks. Featuring guitarist Mille Petrozza (Kreator) and drummer Stefan Schwarzmann (Accept), this album crosses into Metal territory a bit more than some of the band’s previous releases.

    Opening with the lush "Irgendein Arsch ist immer unterwegs", this album starts with a 100% typical Lacrimosa track. We particularly love the elegant piano and orchestral sections, something that the band has always excellent at. “As the World Stood Still For a Day” is another very well constructed track with beautiful female vocals and a very ethereal feeling surrounded by hard-rocking guitars. Mixing the older Lacrimosa style with more aggressive guitars, “Verloren” is a very odd track that in some moments feels a bit odd and tossed together very weakly; we are not big fans of it.


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