• Brood of Hatred – Skinless Agony (2014)


    Pummeling their way from Tunisia via Norway’s Crime Records, today we have Brood of Hatred and their debut full-length “Skinless Agony”. Presenting nine tracks of complex Death Metal with some Progressive undertones, this band delivers 43 minutes of crushing music that is quite engaging and punishing. Filled with cool riffs and intricate song structures, this is one Death Metal release that you won’t want to miss.

    Opening with the demoralizing “Deconstruction”, we get a level of brutality similar to Suffocation with a bigger emphasis on melody. This complex brutality bleeds out into tracks like “The Mind That Emerged” and “Technological Genocide”, both very solid and entertaining tracks that features heaps of playful riffs and demoralizing vocals. The band’s sound is quite compact and well crafted, and with the aid of a crystal clear production, “Skinless Agony” is one hell of a devastating release.

  • Desdinova - Defying Gravity (2014)


    Hailing from Eastern France, today we have Sci-Fi influenced Desdinova and their debut full-length titled “Defying Gravity”. Featuring an intense mix of Thrash Metal with Progressive elements, this is one release that brings memories from bands like old Metallica to more recent Progressive Metal releases. Crafting a unique style is hard, but Desdinova gives us a very promising showing of their ambitious music.

    The band starts off with very Metallica-esque songs with “Solanum” and “The Valley”. Things shift a bit more into playful territory with “The Valley”, before going very progressive with the soothing “Seven”. In just four songs the band quickly shows their range of abilities by crafting some ultra-catchy tunes that help Desdinova construct their own musical style. Filled with solid drumming and very charismatic vocals, this release has tons of elements to be discovered by the listeners. Going a bit more mainstream with “Sunbreaker”, the band keeps surprising us with their wide range of styles; however everything returns to their traditional Thrash roots in “Rules of Engagement”.

  • Noctooa – Adaptation (2014)


    Today we have another very interesting re-release through Pesanta Urfolk, and this release is none other than Noctooa’s “Adaptation”. Featuring a very unique sound, this band mixes Neofolk with New Wave elements creating something very original that is labeled “Cave Wave” by the band themselves. One thing is for sure that their sound is quite engaging and hypnotic, so be prepared to be trapped by their dark atmosphere.

    In the opener “Persistence” the first impression we perceive is the very somber atmosphere nicely surrounded by piercing vocals. With a certain Tenhi vibe, the string instruments in this track (and release) are quite well arranged to create a very dense atmosphere. As the album rolls through very melancholic tunes like “Can’t Serve” and “Poly-Dimensional”, it is not until “Sleeping Beira” that we are truly enchanted by the ritualistic feeling behind the music.

  • Blood and Sun – White Storms Fail (2014)


    Finally seeing the light of day on a physical release, today we have Blood and Sun’s “White Storms Fail”. Out in May via Pesanta Urfolk, this is an excellent Neofolk release that spawned as the collaboration between Tanner Anderson (Obsequaie/Celestiial), Luke Tromiczak (Maledicere), and Erik Wivinus (Thunderbolt Pagoda). Quickly gathering attention as one of the best Neofolk acts from North America, you can’t afford to miss this collector’s edition release of the album.

    With the intro nicely bleeding into “Merciless Master”, the band instantly establishes a very somber and engaging mood. Luke’s vocals nicely draw the listener into the very interesting lyrics presented. The music at its core is very traditional but the incorporation of elements like the hammered dulcimer, violin, and cello, make for a more immersive and unique experience.

  • Lantlôs - Melting Sun (2014)


    The ability of Herbst to create some of the bleakest music in the world with Lantlôs is truly outstanding, and with “Melting Sun” he takes the band’s sound even further. Continuing their musical journey without the vocals of Neige (Alcest), this album further advances the band’s quest for perfection. Delivering six songs of great despair and atmospheric brilliance, this is hands down one of the best releases in 2014.

    As the album opens with “Melting Sun I: Azure Chimes”, the first few notes transmit a certain urge of despair and emptiness unlike anything else we have heard before. Painting a very desolate landscape, the band fully explodes with punishing riffs and a very mellow vibe. Herbst’s clean vocals nicely add to the mix by boosting the band’s melancholic charge. Moving into the more Post-Rock/Post-Metal ish “Melting Sun II: Cherry Quartz” we get another round of thunderous guitars and well-crafted drum patterns. Perfectly playing with space and time, the band’s intermingling of slow passages and powerful walls of distortion is masterful.

  • Dornenreich – Freiheit (2014)


    Receiving this release with the bittersweet news that this will be the last Dornenreich release for a while, “Freiheit” is the band’s eight studio album in 18 years. Even though the band is not splitting up or anything, the band leaves us with a very unique release that combines both aspects of the band over the years: their dark neo-folk incursions and the more traditional Pagan/Black Metal elements. With eight tracks and over 45 minutes of music, the listener will accompany Dornenreich into their very special world.

    The dramatic “Im ersten aller Spiele” opens with piercing violins and lush string instruments. There is something about the spoken German vocals that adds a great level of depth to the band’s unique music. “Von Kraft und Wunsch und jungen Federn” continues with a very dramatic and heartfelt approach, with hasty vocals and some intense sections, we can instantly feel the mood transmitted by the band in this track. Things turn darker and slower once more with one of our favorites “Des Meeres Atmen”, a very melancholic and enchanting tune.

  • Diabulus in Musica – Argia (2014)


    Left at a crossroad when three band members left the band in 2012, Diabulus in Musica comes back in full strength with their third release “Argia”. Featuring 13 songs and around 55 minutes of brilliant music, the band pushes the boundaries of their sound. Perfectly balancing aggression with lush symphonic elements, Diabulus in Music has crafted one of the best Symphonic/Gothic Metal releases of 2014.

    The release opens with the very cinematic “Et Resurrexit (Libera Me)”, only to fully develop into the bombastic “From the Embers”. In the later track we have a strong Metal foundation with powerful riffs and harsh vocals. The ‘beauty and the beast’ approach works very effectively for Diabulus in Musica, perfectly blending Zuberoa Aznárez and Gorka Elso dynamic vocals. Zuberoa’s unique range is very characteristic and provides an identifiable signature for the band’s music.

  • Sabaton – Heroes (2014)


    Marking the return of the most epic band in the Metal universe, today we have Sabaton and their latest release “Heroes”. As the first Swedish Metal band to achieve platinum sales (in Sweden) with their previous release “Carolus Rex”, the band lives up to the expectations with ten excellent songs in this release. Characterized by their intensity and their very lively songs about war and history, Sabaton is one of those bands that immediately lights up a room with their unique music.

    Jumping immediately with the intoxicating “Night Witches”, the band continues the certain heroic vibe they transmit with their music. Joakim Brodén’s charismatic vocals are perfectly crafted for such intense music filled with quality arrangements and brilliant tempo changes. With Joakim and Pär Sundström being the only remaining original members of the band, the new guys are perfectly incorporated into the Sabaton ethos and you can instantly appreciate it on songs like “No Bullets Fly”, “Smoking Snakes” and the dramatic “Inmate 4859” – one of our favorites in this release.

  • Epica – The Quantum Enigma (2014)


    As one of the most anticipated Nuclear Blast releases of 2014, Epica returns with their sixth studio album titled “The Quantum Enigma”. Led by the charismatic Simone Simmons and the very active Mark Jansen, the band delivers another outstanding release filled with bombastic and explosive tracks that takes the band to new musical heights. With over 69 minutes of music, this is one release that no fan of the genre will want to miss.

    Opening with the lush arrangements of “Originem”, the album slowly transitions in to the very heavy “The Second Stone”. In this song we have the traditional catchy vocal melodies, but the band added an extra level of aggression with more powerful guitars and blistering solos, elements that greatly complement the band’s signature sound. The band’s excellent choir arrangements are perfectly complemented in tracks that have more teeth and will surely take fans by surprise, like the groovy “The Essence of Silence”.

  • Savn – Savn (2014)


    Featuring Carmen Elise Espenæs (Midnattsol) and the ex-The Sins of Thy Beloved duo Stig Johansen and Anders Thue, Savn is a new comer band to the Gothic Metal/Rock scene that delivers a very imposing debut self-titled released. With a sound based on ‘older’ Gothic Metal/Rock from the late 90’s and early 2000’s, the band has a very familiar vibe to Theatre of Tragedy, Tristania, and The Sins of Thy Beloved. Packed with guest appearances, this is one release you don’t want to miss in 2014.

    The album instantly opens with a stunner: “Musical Silence”. In this song we have a very upbeat vibe with a certain Folkish atmosphere to it that quickly changes as the very prominent keyboards make their way. This is the first impression one gets of Savn, and it is a majestic one, reminding us of TSOTB and Theatre of Tragedy in their Liv Kristine days. The music is quite upbeat but with a certain melancholic edge, something that retains the darkness of TSOTB but with a certainly different context, like we can see on “Hang On”.


Recent Image Galleries