Making its way from Australia, today we have The Furor’s latest EP titled “Sermon of Slaughter”. Being very truthful to its name, this pummeling release features four high-octane Death/Black Metal tracks that remind us of a cleaner and better produced version of bands like Impiety. Funny enough, the mastermind behind this one-man band is Disaster, Impiety’s drummer since 2011 or so.
With a very furious start, “Conquest of Carnage” opens the release with gut-wrenching vocals and killer riffs. The band’s intensity is hype-fast, like the energizer bunny on crack. The drumming is quite solid and very diverse, something you usually never expect from one-man bands, luckily Disaster is an actual drummer. The brief moments that keyboards are introduced take this song to a whole new dimension since they greatly enhance it and serve as powerful contrast to the underlying brutality.
After a very interesting “Under Saturn Retrograde”, Forgotten Tomb returns with their very weird mixture of Black Metal, Doom Metal, and Gothic Rock. In “…And Don’t Deliver Us From Evil” they deliver seven very inconsistent songs that the more we listen to it, the less and less we like it. Unlike “Under Saturn Retrograde”, this release just feels dull and aimless until the last two tracks that are quite decent.
Filled with dull sluggish Black Metal tracks, the first four songs in this release are a total snorefest and it is until “Love Me Like You’d Love The Death” that the band really delivers something listenable. With the extra layer of trippy melodic elements in this track, it really helps the band craft something enjoyable and quite engaging after we were about to give up. The guitar work is also worth mentioning since it is quite good.
Arriving all the way from Greece, today we have Seed of Sadness and their excellent self-released debut EP. In this self-titled release, the band delivers five tracks of super catchy female-fronted Power/Gothic Metal. With a heavy emphasis on catchy keyboards and the commanding vocals of Stellaria, this band has a very enjoyable sound that most fans of the genre will immediately fall in love with.
With the help of Bob Katsionis (Firewind) on keyboards, this band does a great job in creating lush atmospheres to lay their solid guitar work and epic vocals. Using strong and determined female vocals, Seed of Sadness has a really strong front-woman that delivers powerful performances in each track. Since the opener “Remnant of a Dying Smile”, the band blows things wide open with a highly symphonic and very energetic track that will instantly make you a fan of this band.
Hailing from Finland, today we have Killjoy Corporation and their latest EP titled “Horsefly”. With a cover that made us think this was a Punk release, the band has a very playful angle about it and some of the other band’s ‘serious elements. One thing for sure, they mean business when it comes to their crushing and very well crafted music. Mixing Melodic Death Metal with some Groove elements, the band sounds very fresh and engaging.
Blasting things wide open with “Bones”, the band sets a very hectic mood from the start with very powerful drumming and excellent melodic riffing. The vocals are quite ok for the genre, but the music is what makes this song entertaining. Things settle down for a bit with a crazy opening on “Infected Prey” that features the band’s ramblings at the beginning just before exploding into catchy Death Metal riffs and some growls. There are more melodic passages in this track that have some Thrash influences, reminding us of the latest Kreator and its melodic sections.
With another thought provoking and totally weird release, Norway’s Advesum label brings us Stagnant Water’s self-titled debut release. In this album we have a total eight deranged musical Avant-Garde compositions that mix Industrial, Black Metal, Electronic, and Jazz elements in a very unsettling, but yet intoxicating way unlike anything you have heard before. The only band that can somewhat compared to Stagnant Waters might be the excellent Shining from Norway and their furious “Blackjazz” release.
Opening with the Punk-ish Black Metal “Algae”, one might be steered towards thinking this release will be more like this… but one cannot be more wrong by thinking this way. There are a few furious Industrial and electronic elements in this track that immediately shift the focus of the song to a deeper (and weirder) direction. The band pretty much starts going ape-shit after the first 2 minutes with intricate expressions of weirdness and extreme brutality. “ССАЕР ЦНАПЯЛ ПНОИ ТАТ” brings some Diabolos Rising/Mysticum antics into the mix, but they are immediately outperformed by some weird/creepy clarinet and piano sections.
After their excellent teaser of an EP “Valea Omului” back in 2010, the expectation grew immensely for Dordeduh. Consisting of the original song writers of Negură Bunget, this band has had so much expectation leading to this release that while a very solid and unique release, it kind of falls short and feels somewhat underwhelming. While not saying this release is bad, it just feels that it took so long for what it actually is.
Opening with the epic “Jind De Tronuri”, this track eclipses the band’s first EP, duration wise, since it clocks in at 16 minutes. With an excellent atmospheric ritualistic feeling, this track is quite engaging and it nicely builds up to some killer Black Metal sections with some progressive elements reminding us of Enslaved. This whole approach continues on “Flacararii”, but in this track, after the atmospheric section the band chooses to go with a very crappy raw BM part before jumping into the progressive sections. This track also shows that the band sounds a lot like Enslaved in some of their progressive parts.
Originally known as Geïst, today we have Eïs and their latest full-length release titled “Wetterkreuz”. As one of the most ‘straight forward’ bands on Prophecy productions, the band plays a very well-crafted blend of Melodic Black Metal with atmospheric elements that is both brutal and majestic. Featuring 50 minutes of music distributed in five tracks, the band sets a very atmospheric mood that is nicely contrasted by harsh screams, furious riffing, and very tight drumming.
Opening with some wind effects and German spoken lines, the mood is set to creepy since the very beginning. As soon as the guitar and drums roll in, “Mann aus Stein” sounds a bit like Falkenbach, Enid (the band’s members have been/are involved with the band), etc. However, things change when some more layers of traditional Black Metal are made evident and goes back and forth between melodic and aggressive.
Delivering over 50 minutes of stylish music, today we have John 3:16 and his latest release “Visions of The Hereafter – Visions of Heaven, Hell and Purgatory”. Competing for the longest album name ever, this one-man outfit that morphs between every release continues with his traditional cinematic approach to music delivering nine tracks of brilliant sound layers that evoke emotions and transport the listener to different realms.
Opening with the atmospheric “The Ninth Circle”, this album sets a very somber and martial mood very early. This track is quite enigmatic and keeps the listener on edge to what’s coming next. Immediately after, we have another momentum builder with some minor Drone influences that keeps the atmosphere evolving. “Throne of God / Angel of The Lord” also features some nice Post-Rock stokes that help paint this song.
In a similar vein to Ved Buens Ende, DHG, etc., but on crack and with a knack for jazz, today we have Yurei’s latest release “Night Vision”. This band is another musical outlet for the enigmatic Bjeima (Virus), and as you can expect is very strange and unusual. If you like traditional things, you should probably stop reading since this release is far from ordinary and standard.
Opening with very random and at times absurd tracks like “Insomniac Bug Hunt”, “Reborn in Reveries”, and “3.00 a.m. Revolt”, it is not until “The Cognitive Crack” that we start getting some structure and something actually enjoyable. With very trippy proggy/jazzy sections stitched together, Yurei fails to convey a message, and while this might be the point it is just frustrating to follow random ramblings over the course of the songs with no aim.
Jumping on the whole Cascadian/hipster Black Metal / Post-Black Metal movement, today we have Metal Blade and one of their latest signings Downfall of Gaia. The German band plays a very well-constructed Black Metal with lush atmospheric elements, but with a very traditional instrumental core. While the band is actually pretty good at what they do, they are still nowhere near as excellent as main competitors Wolves in the Throne Room, and even lesser known bands like Fell Voices, Woman is the Earth, etc.
Opening with the atmospheric “[Vulnus]”, this album quickly delivers the traditional lush guitars of said style of music. The drumming and overall pace of things is very adequate and this song feels crushing, but at the same time filled with melody. The wall of sound created on the first track nicely blends into “Drowning By Wing Beats”, another song that starts with very emphasized drums that are quite good and slowly moves into faster and harsher territories. The vocals are quite fitting for the style, and sometimes it reminded us of the intense delivery of bands like Sun Worship (also from Germany).