Like a bag bricks to the face, Fragments of Unbecoming delivers their fourth full-length release “The Art of Coming Apart”. Hailing from Germany, this band packs a mean punch with their high-octane riffing onslaught and killer vocals. Many bands try to pull-off Melodic Death Metal, but only a handful, like F.U.O, bring the pain in every single one of their tracks combining a furious pace and crafty melodic passages.
The clean opening of “The Art Of Coming Apart” nicely tricks your brain into thinking this will be a mellow track, just before blowing you away with hellish vocals and pummeling drums. The intensity of the band is the first thing that will impress you from them. Also, the ability to carve melodic sections into such brutal tracks is another excellent property of F.U.O, and can be heard in this opening track.
Today we have one-man band Lord Agheros and its latest atmospheric opus titled “Demiurgo”. Hailing from Italy, this band suffers from the one person doing too many things syndrome, and while delivering excellent bone chilling atmospheric elements, the totally craptastic programmed drums bring down the release quality in a very drastic manner. For over 17 tracks, we are treated to some creepy passages and amazing symphonic elements, making this 60 minute release quite a journey.
Warming up with “Chapter I: Prologue”, our expectations grew immensely since the atmosphere is very intoxicating. This nicely bleeds into “Eris”, a song where even the drumming is very tolerable in this song (very slow paced sections). What makes this track special is the spare acoustic guitars and string instruments that create a very desolate and eerie atmosphere when combined with the synths. With things speed up on “Styx”, is when Lord Agheros drops the ball and the horrible drumming begins. We understand that is hard to find talented drummers and that not all one-man bands call graciously pull off ALL instruments, but when the drumming sounds this fake, it makes us wonder if the person writing the music is actually listening to it.
Making its way from Singapore, today we have Cardiac Necropsy and their killer second full-length release “Shayateen”. Delivering 11 tracks of neck breaking Death Metal, this band features a crushing Death Metal sound that is very well developed and creates very groovy tracks. With a stellar production, this release is one of the best DM albums we have received from unsigned bands.
After the typical intro, the band blasts away with “Abaddon Earth”, a very powerful and engaging track. The growls are pretty solid, but the catchy riffing is what makes this song quite appealing. Moving forward with “Doomsday Architect”, we can hear the excellent drumming perfectly carry this groove-infused song. With tons of tempo changes and intricate guitar work, the band carves their own sound very creatively while staying true to the genre.
As one of the most interesting labels of this year Svart Records has managed to put out some of the most awesome releases of the year from artists like Hexvessel and Sabbath Assembly. Uhrijuhla is another band from this label that will make you confused the first time you spin their self-titled debut album. Breaking boundaries and delivering a combination of Progressive Rock with Psychedelic elements and even some Pop influences, this release packs a lot of punch under its enigmatic nine songs.
Opening with the eerie “Avaruuden lapsi”, the band really makes the statement that this release is nothing like anything you have heard before. The music is quite psychedelic and the humming greatly enhances the disturbing retro-atmosphere of this song. Things get weirder with “Se minkä maa voi antaa”, a track that features quite angelic female vocals and a very mellow pace. The chorus part of this track is quite catchy and enjoyable, making it one of the best songs in this release.
Holy shit! Who brought Cradle of Filth (circa 1996) back from the dead!. With a very familiar sound, today we have Old Corpse Road their debut full-length release “'Tis Witching Hour... As Spectres We Haunt This Kingdom”. Sounding eerily similar to CoF on their “Vempire or Dark Faerytales in Phallustein”/”Dusk…and Her Embrace” era, today we have this British band with a very explosive sound with some Folk elements thrown in to keep things a bit fresh.
Surrounded in a shroud of mysterious atmospheric elements, the opener “’Tis Witching Hour” delivers the chilling deep spoken vocal sections that we all used to love from CoF. The keyboards are extremely epic (just like on “Dusk…and Her Embrace”) and nicely set the mood for the brutal “The Cauld Lad Of Hylton”. In a very CoF-esque vibe, the band quickly delivers massive drumming sections and killer shrieks/growls combo sections. This is exact déjà vu of what CoF used to do back in the day, and we think it is awesome.
Being re-released by Apathia Records, today we have Abstrusa Unde and their debut full-length “Introspection”. In this very diverse and entertaining release, the band delivers eight tracks of brilliant Avant-Garde Black Metal with a deranged theatrical vibe to it, similar to Arcturus, Unexpect, and such bands. With ten musicians participating in this release, the listener is in for a truly exciting experience through many different musical landscapes.
Opening with the album’s title track, the band crafts a very sinister atmosphere similar to a mixture of Angizia with The Diablo Swing Orchestra. Immediately invoking the spirits of the masterpiece of Arcturus, “La Masquerade Infernale”, the band delivers the intoxicating “Hamsa Lonri”. This song features enchanting female vocals and intense string instruments. The harsh vocals mix very well with the female singing and with the crazy keyboards, creating a truly haunting experience.
Just as we got our entire facts ready for this review, we found out that the band has parted ways with a member and that this release will probably never see the light of day… commercially that is. That aside, today we have Silent Wings and an extremely awesome Symphonic Metal EP release titled “Revolution Unfolding”. Lead by the beautiful vocals of Rhea Gawlicka, this band shows unlimited potential with eight excellent compositions that are very bombastic and melodic in nature.
Similar to Within Temptation, After Forever, etc., this band is not claiming to be revolutionary or anything, they just play one mean Symphonic Metal that can compete with any of the previously mentioned bands. After a very epic intro, “Nobody’s Savior” reminds us a bit of Serenity (sans the male vocals) and its very epic and melancholic atmosphere. Marta’s vocals are just outstanding since they are firm and very beautiful, making her one of the best female vocalists for this kind of music. Further evidence of this is can be found in the very dramatic “Into the Void”, one of our favorite tracks in this release, the same can be said about the powerful ballad “Out of Hell”.
After pushing the boundaries of Black Metal with their 2010 release “Dazzling Dawn”, today we have Eclectika and their latest opus “Lure of Ephemeral Beauty”. In this album the band shows that they have settled with a very sharp and aggressive brand of Black Metal with brilliant melodic incursions that greatly set them apart from the rest. For over 10 tracks the band demonstrates that with a bit of creativity, all Post-Black Metal does not have to sound the same.
Opening with a lush symphonic instrumental track, the band sets the expectations really high for their third full-length release. Immediately blasting away with album’s title track, we get a typical Black Metal vibe but with a completely different guitar distortion of what one would expect. This allows the band’s sound to be quite different and very engaging indeed. The harsh vocals make their appearance, but it is the female vocals of Noemie Sirandre that really make this song shine in a very dramatic and operatic way.
Breaking away from the standard US Death Metal sound, today we have Abysme and their Swedish-infused mid-tempo Death Metal with their debut album “Strange Rites”. In this ten-track headbanging extravaganza, the band focuses on creating gritty sounding songs with a dash of melody, rather than blasting away at their instruments and just trying to be brutal like most bands.
The band’s early Entombed and Grave worship is immediately made present with the dark and gritty “Scribbled In Dust”. We particularly love that there are absolutely no traces of any modern DM variants in the bands raw and old-school sound. Slithering away with foul tracks like “Beyond the Seventh Door”, “Formless”, and “Annihilated Memory”, the band delivers crunchy riffs, crafty drumming and raspy growls that make their sound very authentic and quite rare these days.
Merciless and Raw are the first two words that come to mind when it comes down to describing War Possession’s latest EP titled “Through The Ages”. Featuring five tracks of crushing Death Metal the old-school way, this Greek band has a very traditional approach to the genre that reminded us from bands of the late 90’s and their raw and uncompromising sound. Be prepared to headbang from beginning to end with this intense 21-minute release.
Opening with the catchy “In The Shadow Of The Ancient Gods”, the band delivers killer super-catchy riffs and very demonic sounding vocals. The excellent production of this release really aids in accentuating the band’s traditional and direct sound in a raw and brutal way. “Medieval Bloodlust” fires on all cylinders with crushing drumming and even more powerful riffs. The band holds nothing and delivers another intense performance with this very catchy song filled with meaty hooks.