• Throne of Molok – Beat of Apocalypse (2014)


    Spreading their aural sickness all the way from Italy, today we have Throne of Molok and their latest offering: “Beat of Apocalypse”. Featuring an hearty combination of incisive Death Metal riffs with Industrial beats, this release is very aggressive and in your face. Move over bands like Pain, Kovenant, etc., Throne of Molok exchanges catchiness for brutality and delivers one of the most crushing Industrial Metal releases of 2014.

    As the release opens with the punishing “Beat of the Apocalypse” and “Something Black”, the band focuses more on having devastating riffs accompany powerful drum samples than having the catchiest beats like other bands do. Things start to get more traditionally ‘Industrial’ in the intoxicating “Atm:ind:inferno” and the ravaging “Tuned by Holocaust”, a song that has some fierce riffs.

  • Trollfest – Kaptein Kaos (2014)


    With crazy bands creating their own genres like Alestorm’s Pirate Metal, and others just mixing completely random music into brilliant mash-ups Ruskaja and the Leningrad Cowboys, Trollfest comes to occupy the niche of Troll-based Folk Metal with their extremely catchy, but ultimately bizarre music. With Kaptein Kaos, the band brings their music to new heights with 13 crazy songs that while very chaotic and totally mad; they seem to be quite catchy and enjoyable.

    Using their own language for the lyrics (trollspråk), they create short short songs filled with odd instruments (banjo, accordion, and sax). The madness starts slowly in the album’s intro “Trolltramp” and keeps escalating as we go through songs like “Kaptain Kaos”, “Vulkan”, “Ave Maria”, and “Filzlaus Verkundiger”. The band’s theatrical sound is quite intense and their instrumentation makes their music quite catchy an enjoyable. They remind us of a less serious version of the Leningrad Cowboys.

  • Monarque / Forteresse / Csejthe / Chasse-Galerie – Légendes (2014)


    Arriving today from Sepulchral Productions we have a four-way split release that provides a nice introduction to four very solid Black Metal bands from Canada. Divided in two discs with each featuring a song on each side, this Canadian label does a great job in matching similar bands with sense for the more melodic and atmospheric side of BM.

    Opening with Fortresse, we have a punishing Atmospheric/Depressive BM sound filled with intense riffs and demoralizing vocals. While the song is quite engaging, it gets to be a bit repetitive, but this is not a total deal breaker. Side B of this disc has Chasse-Galerie and their well-developed track “Les Bois des Belles”. This song has a better structure to it, merging incisive riffs, a pulsating Bass guitar line and traditional vocals.

  • Delain – The Human Contradiction (2014)


    In a year filled with exciting new Gothic/Symphonic Metal releases from bands like Within Temptation, Epica, Stream of Passion, Diabulus In Musica, etc., Delain delivers their best effort (to date) with “The Human Contradiction”. Led by the charismatic vocals of Charlotte Wessels, this release is the whole package in terms of excellent songwriting, a perfect balance of aggressive and melodic tracks, and an overall intensity that only the best bands of the genre can deliver.

    Opening with the engaging “Here Come the Vultures”, we are immediately immersed in the band’s melancholic melodic vibe. The songs are quite well structured around powerful guitars and expertly crafted vocal melodies that make for a very intense and exciting album. With guest vocals from Marco Hietala, a staple in the band’s best songs in their previous releases, “Your Body Is a Battleground” and “Sing To Me”, the band keeps the intensity to the max.

  • Sargeist - Feeding the Crawling Shadows (2014)


    After blowing away the Black Metal scene with their 2010 masterpiece “Let the Devil In”, Sargeist finally returns with an even more visceral and punishing release with “Feeding The Crawling Shadows”. Led by Shatraug, of Horna fame, this album combines the raw and decadent feeling of early 90’s Black Metal releases with the current progression of the genre in a 10-track package that will leave your ears buzzing for days.

    Blasting the listener since the first riff of “Feeding The Crawling Shadows”, the opener track, the band delivers a raw and unfiltered look into the depths of hell with their crushing sound. Being very raw and aggressive, the band delivers punishing music without giving the listener that feeling of trying too hard that most BM reek of these days. This is easily seen in the demoralizing “In Charnel Dreams” and “Unto The Undead Temple”.

  • Sonata Arctica – Pariah’s Child (2014)


    Returning with a renovated sense of freshness and energy, today we have Sonata Arctica and their eight full-length release: “Pariah’s Child”. Going back to the band’s roots, this release is both extremely catchy and very basic in terms of Power Metal. Filled with superb melodic passages and captivating lead vocals, this is the album all fans of the band have been waiting for years. 

    The band kicks off with the playful “The Wolves Die Young” and “Running Lights”, two extremely catchy tracks that delivers the old sound the band used to have. The music feels like a jump in time to the days of “Tallulah”, “Shamandalie” and the killer “Paid In Full”. Filled with lush atmospheric passages, “Take One Breath” nicely features all the best elements that Power Metal and Sonata Arctica have to offer. With the band refining their skills over the years, they function now as a perfectly well-oiled machine.

  • Ulver & Sunn O))) – Terrestrials (2014)


    Delivering a monumental collaboration between Ulver and Sunn O))), two of the most pioneering bands when it comes to creating their own sound; today we have “Terrestrials”. In this three-song, 35-minute album, the bands merge their styles together creating a very dense an atmospheric performance that is extremely engaging and sonically orgasmic.

    Kicking off with the highly atmospheric “Let There Be Light”, we can hear the assortment of Ulver aural experiments work perfectly with some Drone elements of Sunn O))). The track slowly unravels 11 minutes of atmospheric tension filled with very minimalistic elements such as sparse trumpets and a great build up that seems to take momentum as the track progresses.

  • The Wounded Kings – Consolamentum (2014)


    With “the power of the riff” being in its highest moment, bands like Electric Wizard and Bongripper are killing it in festivals like Roadburn and Hammer of Doom. Under these circumstances comes The Wounded Kings, a UK outfit that delivers uncompromising Doom Metal with crunchy distortion and a very natural vibe. With “Consolamentum”, the band fourth full-length release, they are looking to consolidate themselves as one of the premiere bands of the genre.

    Wasting no time, the release opens with the 13-minute monolithic “Gnosis” to give the listener a good idea of what the band is all about. With a hearty distortion and excellent pace, the band rips through endless punishing riffs nicely adorned by Sharie Neyland’s captivating vocals. Just imagine a more traditional Jex Thoth and you can picture what The Wounded Kings sound like, as they evidently display on the pummeling “Lost Bride”.

  • Azziard – Vésanie (2014)


    The French extreme Metal scene has been quickly growing in number of quality bands in the last few years. From the likes of Merrimack to Glaciation, tons of bands are emerging with excellent quality. Enter Azziard, a Parisian band ready to steamroll the scene with their savage Black/Death Metal combination and their sophomore release “Vésanie”.

    Pummeling through a no BS intro titled “Allégorie”, the band fully explodes into action with the blistering “Disjonction”. Mixing old school BM riffing attacks with modern production values and a hectic pace, Azziard opens this release with a commanding brutality and engages the listener since the first minute. “De lumière, D'Obscurité” and “Sur La Toile” help establish the band’s crushing onslaughts with vicious guitar work, ripping vocals, and monumental drumming.

  • Beast Within – Adversity/Servitude (2014)


    Being released in a limited run of 500 vinyl copies, today we have Canada’s old school Black/Death Metal juggernauts Best Within and their two song 7”. Filled with filthy and hateful sound, this release showcases the band’s worship for acts like Celtic Frost and Pentagram.

    The “Adversity” side of things features super catchy riffs, reminiscent of current Black’n’Roll bands but with that extra spunk of older acts. The pace is quite mellow and the vocalist’s snarls are perfect for this kind of music. As “Servitude” rolls in, the band consolidates their sound to be quite punishing and old school, but with their own type of sickness. The guitar work is quite powerful and the bass guitar really stands out in this last track.


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