• Neurosis – Honor Found In Decay (2012)


    As one of the most versatile and influential bands in Metal, Neurosis returns with yet another amazing release that tests the sonic limits of Metal (and all the other influences they merge) for over 60 minutes of brilliantly crafted music. With their creativity intact, “Honor Found In Decay” marks another outstanding release by Neurosis that even after a five-year absence (since their last record that is) they sound as fresh and as current as ever.

    Opening with the excellent “We All Rage in Gold”, the band delivers their characteristic Sludge-infused guitar riffs but with an interesting Post-Metal/Rock-ish guitar layers. The bass guitar is very present and nicely guiding alongside the perfectly crafted drumming. After setting the mood brilliantly, Neurosis continues with the mysterious “At The Well”. In this track we have a slower start to things that is greatly carried by the combination of vocals from Scott Kelly and Steve Von Till. The riffing erupts and when combined with tribal-esque drumming we get the traditional Neurosis sonic brutality in full swing. Constantly changing tempos really make this song quite a delightful experience.

  • Melencolia Estatica – Hel (2012)


    Making their entrance to the totally weird and completely random category today we have Melencolia Estatica and ‘their’ latest release “Hel”. This one-woman band from Italy has a very unique sound that while at times is extremely chaotic and totally random sounding; it is actually quite intoxicating and interesting to listen to.

    Often feeling like a nightmare, “Hel” provides a unique ride through waves of brutal Black Metal, crushing growls, and crazy orchestrations that flow very chaotically, but in a way they are quite enthralling. Opening with the deranged “Hel I”, this release quickly unleashes a wave of brutal sections complemented with very melodic and enigmatic passages full of layers of vocals. We have to say that the band’s sound is very unique, and after you get over the initial shock of how much is being thrown at you, Melencolia Estatica will quickly grow on you.

  • Kolp – The Outside (2012)


    Providing a hefty dose of Black Metal structures with some punishing Doom/Sludge riffs, today we have Hungary’s Kolp and their sophomore release titled “The Outside”. Delivering eight tracks clocking around 40 minutes, the band leaves a deep wound with their razor sharps songs filled with interesting tempo changes and cavernous atmospheres.

    If you like to jump into conclusions, one would immediately discard this band as another run of the mill raw and kvlt BM band with the opening moments of “There Was No Place to Hide”, the first song of this release. Upon further inspection, the guitar distortion sounds a bit off if we are thinking of regular BM, and the Doom/Sludge vibe that suddenly inundates this song makes it quite interesting to listen to. The following tracks keep up with this style, nicely shifting from BM hellish sections into droning passages of powerful riffing and martial drumming.

  • Nox Illunis – Metempsychosis (2012)


    Two years have passed since the release of the excellent “In Sideris Penumbra” and today we finally get Nox Illunis latest release titled “Metempsychosis”. Keeping up with their brutal mixture of harsh Black Metal with a heavy dose of melodic elements, this is one release you do not want to miss. Hailing from Italy, this band impressed us with their previous record, and they have surely improved with this one.

    Firing away on all cylinders, this release opens with the crushing “Sfera Prima: Del Risveglio Dal Sonno”. This very brutal track immediately starts with a massive wall of sound built by the demonic drumming and powerful riffing. The vocals are as oppressive as always and they give that extra level of brutality to the already super aggressive music. However, it is the perfectly placed melodic passages that make this song (and album) one fine piece of work.

  • Chaos E.T. Sexual – Ov (2012)


    Arriving from France, today we have a very unique record titled “Ov” that mixes all kinds of different influences ranging from drone/doom to Industrial to Trip Hop in a very tight package that is very sexy and intoxicating. Chaos E.T. Sexual is a three-piece from France that has a very hypnotic sound that relies on distorted guitars (shoegaze-ish at some points), catchy beats, and some drone-ish elements that are all perfectly timed and combined to create engaging songs that never get boring.

    Opening with the powerful “Kolmogorov Falls”, this track establishes a very intoxicating mood thanks to its enthralling Trip-Hop elements. The band never loses sight of the heavy side of things and the guitars nicely pummel their way through most of the duration of this track. The dynamic “La Moneda” allows things to move a bit faster and with even catchier sections, this track really engages the listener and hooks him to the band’s sexy sound.

  • Spectral Lore / Locust Leaves – Split (2012)


    Keeping busy this 2012, the one man project Spectral Lore delivers another excellent Black Metal release with their split album with fellow Greeks Locust Leaves. Continuing with their highly refined brand of music presented in their latest full-length “Sentinel”, they deliver a crushing 15-minute track that covers half of this excellently packaged release on Order of Theta Records.

    Immediately delivering their aural assault, Spectral Lore opens the split release with a crushing track titled “Duty”. For the span of fifteen minutes the band’s excellent guitar work gives us that Primordial vibe, but with a heavier Black Metal orientation. The singing is as brutal as ever, but it’s the small details the song structure that makes this track engaging. With a several tempo changes, epic atmospheric keyboards, and a pulsating bass guitar line, the band shows again their strength in crafting restless tracks that are very diverse and engaging.

  • Atrocity – Die Gottlosen Jahre (2012)


    Celebrating their 25 years in the Metal music scene, today we received a copy of Atrocity’s epic DVD/CD set “Die Gottlosen Jahre”. Featuring 300 minutes of video content, this two DVD package delivers one of the most in-depth and comprehensive documentaries about Metal music with a particular focus on Atrocity’s revolutionary trajectory since the early days of German Thrash/Death Metal to their latest incursion into the Ethno/Folk of “After The Storm”.

    The documentary DVD lasts around 3 hours and features a plethora of interviews with the main players of the Metal scene during the times Atrocity was revolutionizing and breaking boundaries. Starting since the good old days of tape trading when Atrocity first came into the picture, it is quite interesting how they interview people that have been there for the band since the very beginning and have some of the craziest stories about them.

  • Midnight – Complete and Total Hell (2012)


    After not getting enough of Midnight with their debut full-length release “Satanic Royalty”, this compilation delivers 21 catchy songs that spawn all their pre full-length debut years (eight years and several EP’s and splits). Hailing from Cleveland (WTF), this band is one of the catchiest and most engaging Black/Speed/Heavy Metal bands these days, no other Black’n’Roll band comes close to them.

    Covering their complete early catalogue (minus few tracks), this release shows an interesting progression in the band’s sound (and recording quality). Track like “All Hail Hell”, “I Am Violator”, “Long Live Death”, and “Endless Slut” have that nasty sound and a very sleazy vibe to them, just like one would expect from a truck driver hanging out at a high-school female volleyball game.

  • Red Moon Architect – Concealed Silence (2012)


    After blowing us away with their youtube trailers for this album, we had to reach out to the band’s label and try to get hooked up with this release to enjoy its excellence and communicate it to the masses. Red Moon Architect’s debut full-length titled “Concealed Silence” could not come at a better time when similar bands like Swallow The Sun, Black Sun Aeon, Insomnium, etc. are paving the way for more Finish Melodic Death/Doom acts to get recognized.

    This one man project headed by Saku Moilanen of RoutaSielu fame, opens with the commanding “Abscond”. This very Doomy track features very powerful riffs and killer growls courtesy of session musician Frans Aalto. While the first track is short and sweet, it crates the right momentum with its melodic sections giving a very Insomnium/Swallow the Sun vibe but with its own direction and uniqueness.

  • Silent Leges Inter Arma – Silent Leges Inter Arma (2012)


    Hailing from Germany, today we have a very interesting sounding Black/Death Metal band named “Silent Leges Inter Arma” and their self-title debut release. While this band has no ‘fancy’ elements on their music, their song writing abilities makes their sound be old school and brutal while still having some modern elements that makes them very unique sounding. If this sounds weird, just imagine Sepultura circa “Morbid Visions” with modern BM elements.

    Starting with a very average track titled “We Are”, the band kind of has a pattern in the opening songs of this release of one average track followed by a good one, seems weird it turned out this way (or we liked the album this way). “Falcon-Headed One” delivers quite powerful growls and very interesting guitar work. Here you can perfectly notice the band’s weird and unique sound that makes them different from the rest, maybe comparable to bands like Secrets of The Moon and such in terms of their guitar work.


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