• Tethra - Drown Into the Sea of Life (2013)


    With a very traditional Death/Doom Metal sound, today we have Italy’s Tethra and their debut full-length release “Drown Into the Sea of Life”. Featuring nine tracks of engaging tracks that bring back memories of the genre’s heyday we have some serious My Dying Bride worship on our hands with this one.

    After the intro track, “Sense of The Night” brings forth the goods with some solid clean vocals as the track transforms with some Doom riffs and tight drumming. The song structure is quite typical, and while not revolutionary is quite sufficient. The band’s melancholic presence is felt in the trio of songs “Drifting Islands”, “Vortex Of Void” and “Drown Into the Sea of Life”, featuring a wide variety of catchy riffs, memorable guitar leads, and a very well structured core.

  • Mystons – Black Matter (2014)


    Enigmatic Finish Dark Rockers Mystons return this 2014 with another onslaught of catchy tunes in their latest release “Black Matter”. Featuring ten tracks of their unique mixture of Gothic/Stoner Rock with Sludge elements, we have been praising this band since the beginning and we continue to do so, thanks to their excellent evolution. If you like a new twist on the overplayed Gothic Rock genre, you will love Mystons.

    The band’s catchiness and heaviness is immediately felt with their opener “Coal Soul Woman”. As the main staple sound of the band, M Myston’s vocals are deep and engaging, the kind of vocals that get a hold of you and never let go. The Doomy and Sludgy riffing on songs like “People of the Dark” and “Let the Darkness Rest in Peace” is perfectly balanced with the bands craving for catchy vocal melodies and the overall melancholic vibe of the music.

  • Oblyvion – Oblyvion (2013)


    Arriving from Italy, today we have one of the most diverse and exciting self-released albums we have received in the last few months. Oblyvion delivers 13 tracks of very diverse and well executed Melodic/Gothic Death Metal with a great deal of headbanging passages. With a knack for dramatic guitar leads and atmospheric keyboards, this self-titled release is a great one to enjoy.

    After the typical intro, the band digs deep into their musical range with the captivating “Oblivion”. In this song we have a very Dark Tranquility-esque chorus section that is complemented by some brilliant shredding acrobatics. This unique blend of skill and melody works wonders for the band’s sound. Perfectly pacing their music, “Buried Angel” keeps the same level of creativity but with a more mellow and melancholic vibe.

  • Frozen Ocean – Natt Over Meg (2013)


    Completing Frozen Ocean’s ‘Norse’ trilogy, today we have the raw and decadent “Natt Over Meg”. With 33 minutes of raw and barbaric Black/Punk Metal split into 16 tracks, Vaarwel nicely pays homage to traditional Black Metal with a solid onslaught of instrumental tracks mixed in with a few filled with hateful snarls.

    As the album opens with “I”, Frozen Ocean delivers a Darkthrone like atmosphere with raw guitars and a very basic and rudimentary exposition of the genre. The punkish drumming is very prevalent through the release. The whirlwind velocity of the band in this release is what gives the music a bigger authentic feeling, and the instrumentals like “II”, “IV”, “VIII”, “XII” and “XV” perfectly capture this violence and primitive riffing.

  • Ishtar – From The Gates (2013)


    Delivering a very unique EP, today we have Ishtar and their debut release “From The Gates”. Hailing from France, this six-piece band merges Black/Death Metal with a hefty dosage of atmospheric elements and passages to create a very unique sounding release. With the French Metal scene gaining more and more exposure over the years, Ishtar is one of those bands that deserve to be talked about.

    After the typical intro track, “Invading Empire” delivers a very unique mixture of Black and Death Metal elements, similar to bands like Kataklysm and older acts like Your Shapeless Beauty (minus the Avant-garde elements). In this track, the band explodes into a very melodic section (around the middle of the song) that has a nice experimental vibe to it and explored their atmospheric power.

  • Sarvas – Sarvas (2014)


    Completely redefining what we know about Sludge Metal, today we have Sarvas and their self-titled debut release. Fusing elements of Death/Doom Metal with some Groove and a base of Slude, this Finnish band manages to craft a very unique sound that is far from the traditional (and sometimes dull) Sludge Metal genre. Delivering 6 punishing tracks, this release will surely have something that everybody will love.

    Opening with “Kindle”, we get a traditional beginning to this song that slowly that sets up the stage for the forthcoming onslaughts. The album quickly evolves into catchy, groovy, atmospheric brilliance, as we get to listen from the emotional “Dead Pilot”. Don’t you even think for a minute that the Sludgy riffing is lacking in this release, since “Pit” makes it quite clear that you will feel the power of Sarvas’s Doomy riffage.

  • Black Desert – The Beginning (2013)


    Hailing from Spain, today we have Gothic Metal newcomers Black Dessert and their Middle Eastern influenced debut release “The Beginning”. Originally comprised of two members (Isabel Bermejo y Ángel Agüera), this band has now grown to have a full line-up and touring dates. In a world filled with Symphonic/Gothic Metal bands, it is quite refreshing to hear one that sticks to the basics and delivers an engaging performance.

    Opening with the lush “Death Orchestra”, we are treated to cool atmospheric elements filled with powerful riffs and solid drums. A thing to note is that we are not quite sure who (if anybody) played the drums in this release, but they sound quite solid and if they are programmed drums, they did a great job making them sound natural. Anyways, the band’s main characteristic is the subtle Middle Eastern influences and Isabel’s commanding voice.

  • The Bleeding – Rites of Putrefaction (2013)


    With a hefty dose of blistering riffs and gripping growls, today we have Italy’s The Bleeding and their self-released EP “Rites of Putrefaction”. With over 24 minutes of neck breaking Death Metal, this Italian band does a great job of capturing a mix of Florida and Swedish Death Metal, resulting in a very solid self-released first effort.

    Things get kicked off with the catchy “The Hunt”, a track that is quite enjoyable and has a solid amount of powerful riffs and hateful growls. The band’s style is quite traditional, but very enjoyable for fans of the genre. “Rites of Putrefaction” features a faster pace and tight drums, showcasing the band’s excellent execution of all their instruments.

  • Ecocide – Eye of Wicked Sight (2013)


    Debuting with the crushing “Eye of Wicked Sight”, today we have Ecocide and their old-school Death Metal from Hell. The band immediately reminded us of Centinex and similar outfits from the 90’s, but with all the production advantages of modern day music. Pummeling through 8 tracks and 33 minutes of music, this is one of those releases that will inflict some pain to your speakers.

    After a trippy/spacey intro, the riffing machine moves full steam ahead with the crushing “Planet Eater”. Shifting away from your typical ‘blood and guts’ of Death Metal, Ecocide choses to focus on aliens/sci-fi in this release. The band’s brand of Death Metal is quite catchy and traditional, something very surprising since the members are 20 or so years old. Delivery a bag of bricks to your face with tracks like “Eye of Wicked Sight” and “Unknown Disease”, the band surely makes a bang with the first 15 minutes of the album.

  • Grue – Casualty of the Psychic Wars (2013)


    Arriving from American label Eternal Death, today we have a duo from Boston named Grue. In their debut full-length record “Casualty of the Psychic Wars”, the pair delivers five crushing tracks of highly atmospheric and devastating USBM. Mixing blistering passages of furious Black Metal with more mellow and powerful atmospheric sections, this is one excellently constructed release that will immediately put the band on the map.

    Opening with the album title track, we get a whirlwind vibe that reminds us of BM outfits Mortualia, Algazanth, and Sargeist. The riffing is quite primitive and the distortion nicely creates a thick layer of decadence in the music. Changing the tempo of things, “Calling down the Stars” continues the aural onslaught with fast paced drumming and very interesting atmospheric interludes that feature some spoken word sections.


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