Finally!! after six years since their last release, Saturnus returns with their latest masterpiece of Melancholic Death/Doom Metal titled “Saturn In Ascension”. Featuring eight tracks, this release will only help the band elevate their legendary status as the best band of their genre. With a mixture of the elements that have made this band’s musical trajectory impeccable, the songs in this release deliver high doses of raw emotions transmitted by truly melancholic music.
Opening with the crushing “Litany of Rain”, the band reminded us of their “Paradise Belongs To You” era with a straightforward growl fest filled with emotional riffing. The characteristic vocals of Thomas Akim Grønbæk Jensen really set the band apart from the rest and his mixture of growls and clean sections work wonders in this nearly 10-minute epic.
Being huge fans of Doom Metal, we sometimes dabble in the realms of Funeral Doom Metal, its ugly and boring cousin. While we are not huge fans of the genre due to its mind-numbing repetition and ridiculously slow execution, some bands like Shape of Despair and Thergothon are still ok in our book. Hence today we have Narrow House and their less boring approach to the genre with “A Key to Panngrieb”. By introducing lush atmospheric elements that range from keyboards to cellos, this band really grabs ahold of the listener and keeps it engaged for the duration of the huge songs in this album.
Opening with the crushing “Poslednee Pristanishe”, things start very well with the perfect mixture of slow and painful riffs, commanding growls, and brilliant atmosphere. The simplicity of the music is really well shrouded behind a well-crafted atmosphere thanks to the keyboards. The band does a great job in navigating through such a long song with well-placed tempo changes. The same can be said about the considerably shorter track “Psevdoriatunok”, but with a nice combination of growls and ethereal clean vocals, very reminiscent of Draconian and such bands.
Twenty years have passed since the band’s iconic release “Clouds” first saw the light of day and very little of that band remains today. With “The Scarred People”, Tiamat continues their never ending transformation delivering eleven very catchy tunes that still manage to turn people’s heads. Which each song the band delivers enigmatic catchy melodies that will surely draw the attention of most Gothic Rock/Metal fans.
Opening with a pair of catchy tunes like “The Scarred People” and “Winter Dawn”, the band immediately establishes their very atmospheric approach to this release. Johan Edlund’s vocals are as good as always, and his contributions in the keyboards really make up for 70% of the band’s unique and enigmatic sound. Things really start getting emotional in the brilliant “Radiant Star”, one of our favorite tracks of this release. In this song the tempo is very mellow and the mood is set very melancholic to fully create one of the best Gothic ballads we have heard in quite a while.
Delivering powerful doses of Swedish Death Metal, today we have Aeon and their fourth full-length release “Aeons Black”. In these days when we are plagued by shitty Deathcore bands and kinds trying to pull-off Technical Death Metal and failing miserably, it is quite refreshing to listen to sheer Death Metal brutality the Swedish way with meaty hooks and destructive riffs. The band sticking to their guns delivers quite an exquisite extreme experience, the way that Death Metal should be to begin with.
Quickly throwing the first punch with “Still They Pray”, the band does a solid job in combining technical skills with catchiness. The instantaneous wall of sound created by the band can be comparable to what Zyklon and now The Wretched End are capable of outputting. The drumming is intense as hell and the riffing is totally crushing, making them a force to be reckoned with.
Sweden’s psychedelic hard-rockers return with another intoxicating dosage of classic rock with trippy stoner elements that made them so good in their excellent “Hisingen Blues” release. With such a massive appeal, this band has been resonating in most indie musical circles and has reached success up to the level of getting a spot to play on Bonnaroo and opening for Motörhead in Europe. In this new release the band continues to rock out with very emotional and mellow songs that take the band closer to musical Nirvana.
Opening with the warm and fuzzy feeling of records from the 70’s, the band delivers instant classic “An Industry of Murder” and the funky “Slow Motion Countdown”. Both songs are filled with solid guitar work and very emotive vocals. The band also excels at bringing the mood a tad low just before lifting spirits with more intense tracks like “Seven Seven” and “Endless Night”.
Delivering a truly cinematic experience via Progressive Rock music, today we have Spyros Charmanis and his full-length release “Wound”. Clocking around 72 minutes of brilliant music, this self-released album delivers delightful compositions that any fan of traditional Progressive music will love from beginning to end. Spyros ability to craft intricate songs that are both musically and technically engaging without being overly done or falling into the ‘musical masturbation’ category that many Progressive bands unfortunately fall under.
The album opens with the intro track “Pushing The Sky”, a song that is very reminiscent of Progressive greats Dream Theater, and similar bands. With such a playful and strong opener, Spyros greatly indicates that this will be one quality and fun release. After the opener, the album ‘splits’ into three different sections of the conceptual foundations of this release. This concept basically tells the story of a fictional character through a series of experiences, too bad the artwork in this CD is very dark and we had trouble reading it unless we had a direct light source on the booklet.
Hailing from Finland, today we have a trio that delivers quite interesting music that is ridiculously hard to pin down exactly what they play, so we will just say they play Metal. “Panagea” marks the band’s latest EP that features five very different tracks that range from Sludge to Melodic Metal to Groove Metal, and almost everything else. The only consensus we can reach is that the band has that Finish Melodic Death Metal vibe to them in most of the tracks.
Opening with the funky vibe and hard rocking riffs. The harsh vocals only add to the overall confusion of the band’s identity, but they nicely enhance the experience. Switching from catchy riffs to melodic passages it kind of gives the feeling that this track is actually more of a jam-session than an actual song. On a more serious note, “Graveyard Bitch” has a more traditional structure and relies on powerful riffs to create a melodic atmosphere that is sometimes accelerated to mildly aggressive levels.
Nailing down three solid and very catchy tracks, today we have Show Your Face and their EP titled “Afraid”. Hailing from Greece, this band nicely combines Groove Metal with Core elements to create very engaging tunes that will appeal to a wide variety of people. With a somewhat unique sound, this band is a worthy representative of the recent Core-with everything movement.
Opening with the razor sharp “Afraid”, this track delivers a hefty dosage of powerful riffs that sometimes feel a bit Deathcore, but the band’s Thrash influences pulls them apart from sounding like another The Black Dahlia Murder clone band. The screams are very typical of Core-stuff releases, but the emphasis on catchiness really makes this song quite enjoyable.
What better early X-mas gift can anybody ask for than the latest Ashes You Leave album titled “The Cure For Happiness”. Dropping this November 29th, 2012 through Rock’n’Growl, this eagerly awaited release is set to fill that void left in 2012 of an excellent Gothic Doom Metal release. Delivering nine tracks of pure melancholy and powerful emotions, this album is sure to keep the band’s legacy intact of excellent album that are only release when the band really feels they are done right.
Newly fronted by Giada “Jade” Etro, the band returns in full strength as they have managed to find another excellent vocalist that can lead their melancholic music. Wasting no time, she delivers a commanding performance in “Devil In Disguise”. In this amazing track the band nicely sets a melodic mood with their traditional violins and well-crafted keyboards. Jade’s vocals immediately gave us chills when listening to the song since it is very eerie how well they mix with the band’s sound and greatly enhance the atmosphere.
All the way from Italy, today we have Oniromantic and their very unique (and catchy) mixture of Progressive with Gothic Metal. Reminding us a bit to bands like Ommatidia and even Eternal Tears of Sorrow, this very unique band has a deep melancholic vibe in their music that makes its very intoxicating and quite fresh. Featuring eight delightful tracks, this is one hell of a release for a surprisingly unsigned band.
The band start heavy with “Saturn Hellucination” delivering powerful riffs and a dreamy vibe that is greatly enhance by the powerful clean vocals of Mauro Mazzara. The melodic passage in this track is pretty well crafted and nicely indicates what is to come in the later songs. In “High Resolution God” we got quite engaged by the playful progression of the song and the atmospheric keyboard usage. The female vocals on “Crimson” are quite heavenly and very well used.