With a perky attitude and a very catchy and traditional Hard Rock sound, today we have France’s Heaven’s Colt and their release “Labour du Vice”. Featuring six songs entirely sang in French, the listener gets a very unique take and different energy on a very popular and accessible genre. Having played over 300 shows, this French outfit knows exactly what the listener wants and they are experts in delivering it at the right time.
Opening with the album title track, the guitar work and the whole musical vibe is very typical of the genre but the band manages to make it more interesting when you listen to the “Labour du Vice” chorus section and realize they are not singing in English. With the album in full swing, tracks like “Charohn’Hard” and “Alcoolo” ooze of attitude and judging by the band’s digipack layout pictures, the band has the look and the chops to play this music with commanding presence.
Delivering punishing US Black Metal, today we have Bog of the Infidel and their latest EP “To Corrupt Your Sons and Lust After Your Daughters”. Featuring a barbaric and relentless sound, this band embodies the current state of Black Metal in the USA. The band will immediately capture any BM fan’s attention with their commanding riffing and gut-wrenching vocals.
Opening with a very elegant classic guitar intro track “An Epitaph Scribed in Dismal Skies”, the band fully explodes on “Burnt Offerings”. With a wall of sound similar to Horna, Sargeist, Gorgoroth, but with that certain USBM touch, Bog of the Infidel delivers waves of savage riffs and crushing vocals. The drumming is quite tight, and on tracks like “As Satan's Pale Serpent Eye Waxes Full” it does not have to be 10,000 bmps all the time to achieve its desired effect.
Always improving with each release, An Autumn for Crippled Children (AAAFCC) delivers one of the most sonically complex releases of 2013 with “Try Not to Destroy Everything You Love”. Not relying on technical virtuosity, but rather a perfect layering of intense elements, this album is further expands on the band’s melancholic Post-BM / Shoegaze sound with lush guitar arrangements and brilliant atmospheric elements.
Opening with the intense “Autumn Again”, we have immediately a wall of dramatic synths and a throbbing bass guitar line that is instantly complemented by the band’s shoegazing guitars. Inserting back and forth Black Metal riffs into the melting pot, AAAFCC quickly establishes the sonic power of this release. The harsh vocals are excellent as always, and the underlying melancholic passages of tracks like “The Woods are on Fire” and “Never Complete”, allow their thick sound to take many different shapes.
Delivering six crushing blows of brilliant Post-Metal, today we have Norway’s From Beneath Billows and their latest offering: “Monolith”. With a very well defined sound and excellent composition skills, this album is one hell of a ride for any fan of the genre. Think of Neurosis, The Ocean, Thränenkind, and When Icarus Falls and you will get the perfect picture of what to expect from this very promising Norwegian band.
Opening with the moody “One Death and the Kings”, this track greatly rewards patience with a very suspenseful progression. Once the guitars get more aggressive and the screams make their appearance, the listener is already fully immersed in the band’s expansive sound. Throwing in some melancholic clean vocals into the mix, From Beneath Billows really captures the vibe of Post-Metal in their own signature sound, as you can immediately find out on “Verity”.
If you ignore the weird side-step that was “ Vampyr”, “Tocsin” is the perfect continuation for the band’s previous masterpiece “Ausserwelt”. Year of No Light arrives from France with a pummeling dosage of Instrumental Doom/Sludge Metal that will make melt your faces. Crafting over 57 minutes of music, this six-piece outfit delivers one of the most intense and complex Doom/Sludge releases we have heard in quite a while.
The album title track kicks things off with a heavy atmospheric intro that slowly melts into a full-on Sludge riff-aton. We particularly love how the track around the 5th minute takes a turn to the Doom side of things with some think melancholic guitars. The band’s versatility is pushed further with the Post-Metal/Rock-ish anthem “Géhenne”. The guitars are pushed to the limit and so is the pulsating bass guitar line on this one. The band keeps the intensity going and instead of being the typical band that climaxes and then slowly drifts away, they keep pushing the intensity of their sound further and further.
Constantly expecting something interesting and revealing from Ephel Duath, today we find out that “Hemmed by Light, Shaped by Darkness” is just a continuation of their previous EP with no clear direction and skilled (but aimlessly) guitar riffing and tight drumming. While we surely enjoyed their previous EP, we can’t help to feel a bit frustrated by the repetitive style and direction of this full-length release.
Opening with “Fearless Under My Skin” and “Tracing the Path of Blood”, the band fully explodes into their unique weirdness and unconventional Avant-garde Jazzy style. However, nothing really feels new or unique, just a continuation of “On Death and Cosmos”. Adding into the mix the production of Eric Rutan (and some vocals on the first track), this release sounds like a million bucks, but the problem is just how convoluted the music is.
Behemoth and company move over, today we have Russia’s Dargonomel and their devastating Black/Death Metal debut release “Varkulama”. Delivering over 45 minutes of crushing music, this band has enough power behind their sound to blow the competition away. Filled with hate and brutality, the 11 tracks presented in this release are relentless and uncompromising.
Opening with two songs with atmospheric intros titled “Leviathan retributive” and “From the void this is beyond”, this Russian three-piece delivers unrivaled waves of brutality. Focusing on aggressive riffs, lush drumming, and brutal hate-filled vocals, tracks like “Varkulama” showcase their aggressive power and superior execution skills. The tracks are filled with powerful Death Metal riffs, enough to please any of the genre’s most demanding fans.
Filed under the category of unsettling and weird, today we have Kajkyt and his latest release titled “II”. Featuring eight tracks of very unique and different compositions, Kajkyt dwells in the lands of Dark-Ambient / Drone with a very mellow mood and some trippy elements. Clearly not for everybody, this release is better enjoyed on a dark room in a cold night to fully get the very minimalistic effect being transmitted in these eight tracks.
Delivering a powerful opener track titled “I”, Kajkyt delivers distorted bass with simplistic electronics alongside some drones. Once the sorrowful clean vocals start leading the song, we are instantly hooked on the premise of the album, and eagerly awaiting for what is next to come. “II” is the longest song of the album and the whole atmosphere slows down considerably for some Noise elements to shine with a very ritualistic and minimalistic backdrop.
With tons of unusual (read: non-Metal) stuff making it to our Infernal Masquerade review queue lists, we bumped into Darkhaus and their uber catchy debut release “My Only Shelter”. Playing a very mellow and yet well-constructed Synth-Rock/Pop with some Gothic Rock/Electro influences we were quite shocked to learn that PRO-PAIN members: Gary Meskil and Marshall Stephens are even part of such a different band. Letting the band members credentials aside, this is one very interesting release that covers a wide variety of sounds and will have you fully enjoying it in a matter of minutes.
Opening on a very high note with “Life Worth Living”, we get a very well structured track that is designed to be catchy and never leave your head… for a few days. Vocalist Kenny Hanlon has a very distinctive style and a perfect signature for the band to be recognized in the future. The music varies from Synth-Rock/Pop structures to Gothic Rock and some Dark Wave / Electro elements thrown into the mix. Tracks like “Ghost” a very good example of said mixture of elements.
Ever since catchy Tides From Nebula at the WGT in 2011 we have been amazed by their cinematic Post-Rock/Instrumental Rock music. In “Eternal Movement”, the band’s third album, they keep delivering lush atmospheric and emotional songs that transport the listener to beautifully crafted soundscapes fit for the soundtrack of an indie mute film. Greatly maturing since “Aura” and “Earthshine”, this is one release that elevates the band’s sound to new heights.
Opening with the emotive “Laughter of Gods”, the band’s lush layered guitars and atmospheric elements greatly set the tone for an excellent journey. Filled with amazing tempo and mood changes, tracks like “Only With Presence” and “Satori” elevate the listener’s spirit with a wide palette of aurally pleasing sounds. The band’s strength lies in being able to build up from dark and moody passages into full-on smile inducing happier moments, a perfect example of this is the rich “Emptiness of Yours and Me”.