Arriving all the way from Montenegro, today we have Placid Art and their very cool debut full-length release “Rainbow Destruction Process”. In this nine-track release the band delivers highly Atmospheric Death/Doom Metal with operatic female vocals and a very eerie vibe. With a down to the basics musical approach, this release reminded us of a more atmospheric version of Shape Of Despair and similar bands.
The opener “The Beginning of The Final Chapter” delivers a very theatrical sound with excellent string elements and dominating operatic vocals from Sonja Milicevic, the ‘classical’ side of the band’s sound. The same chilling atmosphere is carried over to the beginning of “In Silence… Of The Dark Dawn”, reminding us of the creepy vibe that Elend creates. A minor drawback is the programmed drums that sound mechanical and a bit ‘fake’, but the band makes up for this in atmospheric brilliance.
With the amount of releases we get here at Infernal Masquerade it is rare that we spend as much time reviewing one as we have with Blaze of Sorrow’s “Echi”. In this killer album the band combines tons of atmospheric and folk-ish elements into their very melancholic blend of Black Metal. For the duration of the 52-minutes of this album we found ourselves constantly wanting to replay the songs one more time in order to fully appreciate the intricacies of the expertly crafted tracks.
Opening with a lush acoustic intro, “All'Ignoto” greatly sets the mood for the release, once the melodic aggressive guitars hit, we just knew this album will be magical. There are indeed very fast-paced moments, but they are very well balanced with beautiful slowdowns and killer vocal work. The Folk-ish acoustic sections on “Empatia” reminded us of early Alcest, and their excellent combination of lush atmospheric slow sections and powerful guitar riffs. The Doom-ish edge to this track greatly enhances the overall mood of such a sublime track.
Arriving today from Poland’s Hellthrasher Productions we have Engulfed’s debut EP titled “Through The Eternal Damnation”. Featuring four tracks of furious Death Metal, this Turkish band brings back the days of catchy riffs, crushing vocals and powerful drumming with a certain similarity to Immolation, Suffocation, and such bands.
Wasting no time with the opener “Triumph Of The Impious”, the band’s razor sharp riffs make a grandiose entrance. Pounding away for 5-minutes, this track is very well crafted and shows the band’s abilities to craft catchy Death Metal songs with a higher emphasis on brutality. The growls are top notch, and the typical guitar solos are very well carved into the song structure.
With a very aggressive dosage of Instrumental Metal, today we have France’s Abysee and their debut full-length “EN(D)GRAVE”. Claiming to avoid the ‘romantic interludes’, this band does a fine job in crafting engaging instrumental music with very aggressive riffing and a high-level of intensity. The band can easily be compared with compatriots Aluk Todolo, but with their own signature style of crafting epic songs.
Opening with “Eagle Haast”, the band immediately comes out punching with their intricate powerful riffs and heavy sense for melody. This is one of those songs that you keep waiting for the singer to come out and ruin it, but it is awesome that the band decided to just go instrumental with such an elaborate song (and release). “Ten Thousand Changes” and “Mastodon” keep the momentum going with more powerful guitars and very well-crafted drumming. “Mastodon” has a nice Southern Rock/Sludgy vibe to it that fans of these genres will surely appreciate.
From Termo Records, the label that brought us one of 2011’s standout releases White Willow’s “Terminal Twilight”, today we have Tusmørke’s “Underjordisk Tusmørke”. In what it is probably one of the oddest releases we have every received at Infernal Masquerade, This album is undoubtedly beautiful, haunting, and plain weird (for us at least). This Norwegian Psychedelic/Progressive Folk Rock packs a mean punch in this nine song release, and it will surely rattle your eardrums considering how original their music is.
Opening with very high spirts with the track “Fimbul”, the band instantly reminded us of Dark Reality and their “Blossom Of Mourning” album but with a twisted psychedelic edge. The band brilliantly incorporates their folk elements into their dark Psychedelic Rock side, and creates a very unsettling but quite unique mix. The vocals are quite lush and greatly bring the folky vibe to life on the excellent songs “Watching the Moon Sail out of the East” and “The Quintessence of Elements”. With an uncanny old-school Psychedelic vibe, this release heavily relies on their unique atmospheric elements.
Making its way from France, today we have Sentence and their very crafty Progressive Death Metal. In their first full-length release “Everywhere”, the band delivers 13-tracks of brilliantly crafted technical music in the vein of Death and Cynic, but with a modern air to them. We are quite pleased with this release since it is not that often when you get a band that claims to play like Death or Cynic and they can actually pull it off graciously.
After a warm-up intro, “Birth” delivers intricate guitar structures and deep growls. This track reminds us a bit of Obscura, but with a higher emphasis on the melodic side of things rather than playing millions of notes per song. The nice pace of this song allows the band to fully explore their technical abilities while sounding interesting and not overdone, something that Cynic does to perfection. In the powerful “Solitude”, the band has really warmed up and delivers a faster paced track that will blow you away with its very unique ending. Featuring a surprise element that never expected to listen in a song of this type, the band really set the bar high on this one.
Arriving today from Puerto Rico we have Transgresión and their two-song crushing demo “.de sangre y repression”. With a very old-school vibe, this band delivers around 10 minutes of no-bullshit Thrash Metal with some Speed influences and social commentary behind their lyrical approach. We love releases that manage to capture the sounds of the past while not being copies of any other bands.
This demo opens with the crushing “Guerra Civil” and its heavy riffing surrounded by a very old-school Sepultura vibe from the “Arise” era. The vocals are very traditional and surprisingly delivered by a female vocalist named Estrella Sola. While sounding a bit flat at times, they actually fit very well the overall vibe of the music and are greatly enhanced by the additional vocals of some of the male members of the band.
Delivering a 63-minute Symphonic Power Metal epic, today we have France’s Kerion and their super bombastic release “Cloudriders – Part 1”. Borrowing from epic bands like Raphsody of Fire, this release is as lush and well-crafted as they come showing heaps of creativity and technical skills.
Opening with the epic “Riders Theme”, the band immediately makes their orchestrations be felt as well as their killer guitar work. The whole fantasy vibe is perfectly delivered in “The Map”, another excellent track with very dynamic vocal arrangements. In songs like “Bounty Hunter” and “Never More” the band really shows their Power Metal foundations with excellent musicianship and very solid male and female vocal sections.
With a very melancholic sound, today we have Finland’s 2 Wolves and their sophomore release “Men of Honour”. In this nine-track album, the band greatly reminds us of a mixtures between Eternal Tears of Sorrow, On Thorns I Lay, and Poema Arcanus. 2 Wolves sound is very unique in the sense that they use lush keyboards, heavy riffing, and a mixture of growls and clean vocals to perfection in this very exciting release.
The opener “Bygones” has the signatures Eternal Tears of Sorrow mixture of growls, powerful riffs and very proficient keyboards mixed with a super catchy clean chorus section. This track greatly sets the mood for an excellent release, and the atmosphere of “Unreal Conversations” immediately enhances it. The lush melodic sections contrasted by the crushing riffs and harsh vocals work wonders in this very engaging track.
Delivering one of those releases that makes you wonder why did you actually wasted time listening to it, today we have Opium Warlords and unbelievably their second release “We Meditate Under The Pussy In The Sky”. In this total shit-factory, we have Sami Albert Hynninen of Reverend Bizzare fame, taking a totally dump on music and concocting one of the worst releases ever since Botanist’s “I: The Suicide Tree / II: A Rose From The Dead”.
After the super dull ‘minimalist’ intro “Sxi-Meru” we have the totally aimless “Slippy”. We know this ‘style’ of music is supposed to be this way, but it is just a random collection of thoughts and a few very nasty riffs put together. Sounding like a low quality rehearsal of something having a seizure while holding a pick to a guitar, “Lament For The Builders Of Khara Khoto” keeps the nonsense going.