• Dead Alone – Nemesis (2014)


    With a great ear for interesting Melodic Metal bands, SCR records brings to us Dead Alone and their fourth full-length release “Nemesis”. In this album, the band has a very melodic retro sound that reminds us of the early days of Melodic Death/Black Metal as well as the beginnings of Crematory and similar bands. Featuring 11 tracks, this album will entertain you from beginning to end, due to the diversity of songs presented.

    Seemingly straightforward, “Nemesis” opens this release with a crunchy dose of Death Metal that suddenly turns melodic with some catchy guitar leads. This track reminded us of bands like Phlebotomized, and even more melodic outfits like The Gathering (when they played Death Doom Metal) as tracks like “Eclipse” and “ Great New World”. The formula of simple and catchy allows Dead Alone to produce tracks filled with crushing melodic passages like “Confession”, “Watch Me Fall”, and “Wreckage”, all filled with fine headbanging passages that will make your neck sore.

  • Old Witch – Come Mourning Come (2014)


    Finally reaching a wider audience, today we have Old Witch and their chilling debut full-length “Come Mourning Come”, re-released on Sun & Moon Records. With 36 minutes of aural savagery, this American band manages to release a highly dissonant and punishing release that will appeal to all fans of the intersection between Black/ Doom Metal / Noise / Drone.

    The album opens with the throbbing “Funeral Rain” and its thick droning sounds and hellish atmospheric keyboards. Like something straight out of the movie “Event Horizon”, this song sets a very sinister mood for the rest of the album. The band spares no expense and creates a truly bizarre and sickening atmosphere with “This Land Has Been Cursed” and “God ov Wolves”, expertly continuing their decadent musical spew through nearly the first half of this release.

  • Blaze of Sorrow – Fulgida Reminiscenza (2014)


    Limited to 500 copies world-wide “Fulgida Reminiscenza” is a very emotional EP from one of the best bands of Sun & Moon Records: Blaze of Sorrow. In this five-track EP the band delivers more of a Neo-Folk/Neo-Classical release, but equally depressive and engaging as their 2012 breakout release “Echi”.

    Opening with the sound of waves as a backdrop in “Fulgida Reminiscenza”, the mood is set quite hypnotically with a very slow tempo and intoxicating acoustic guitars. Keeping up the Empyrium-esque vibe, “Transcendenza” slowly progresses from lush piano sections into some BM riffs that create a very unique wall of sound. The band’s ability to craft songs that slowly transform and keep the mellow tempo even when the heavy riffing is being used is Blaze of Sorrow’s best asset.

  • Closed Room / Lunacy / La Ville Des Rêves – Triangular Cinema (2014)


    After mesmerizing us with their debut release Closed Room back in 2012, today we have Closed Room back in this very unique split with two other Belorussian bands that feature at least one member of Close Room in each of their lineups. With three tracks per band, we get a very diverse set of influences and very unique songs from all bands. Thanks to the heavy emphasis on atmosphere, this release is one that you will not forget so easily.

    Opening the first part we have Closed Room and their suspenseful atmospheric/Trip Hop track “Surrender”. This song creates a very dense atmosphere that is nicely contrasted by Morena’s vocals and the ethereal keys. The best song in this release (and possibly the first few months of the year for us) is the uber catchy “Dancing in the Dark”. Featuring a very perky mood and highly addictive guitars notes and beats, this is one song that will never leave your head. Things get a bit heavier with their rendition of Angelo Badalamenti’s Laura Palmer Theme from Twin Peaks. The band made this track their own with eerie atmospherics and creepy vocals/samples.

  • Vyre – The Initial Frontier Pt. II (2014)


    After blowing us away with the first part of “The Initial Frontier” back in 2013, this German band comes back with part 2 with great style. Delivering over 45 minutes of expertly crafted Symphonic/Avant-garde Black Metal, the band further develops their unique sound with more atmospheric elements and great riffing onslaughts.

    Opening with the superb “Naughtylus”, the band blasts away with some epic melodic riffs, crushing bursts of aggression and highly melancholic Cello passages. As the futuristic atmospheric keyboards and precise solos close the first track, the band quickly jumps into the intoxicating rhythms of “Diabolum Ex Machina”. This second song feature some quite interesting tempo changes and tribal-esque passages that make this song a magical listening experience.

  • Vyrju – Black (2014)


    Today we have the one-man battalion Vyrju and its debut EP release titled “Black”. Hailing from Norway, this outfit delivers four tracks and around 22 minutes of catchy and sludgy/doomy Black Metal. With a great emphasis on crushing riffs and demoralizing shrieks, this release is a short but sweet one for fans of the genre.

    Opening with the catchiness of “The Constant Void”, we get a Satyricon-esque vibe with Sludge/Doom elements thrown into the mix. This song has good dosage of Black Metal influences thrown into the mix, making it quite engaging and entertaining.  As a personal favorite “There is no Grave Big Enough to take all my Sorrows”, this track is quite hypotonic and perfectly crafted with the graceful clean vocals of Tim Yatras who plays drums and clean vocals as a session member.

  • Arcturon – Expect Us (2014)


    Hailing from Switzerland, today we have Arcturon and their latest EP titled “Expect Us”. With a first impression of this band looking like a Goth/Industrial outfit based on the picture of their cover art, we were pleasantly surprised that the band plays some solid Melodic Death Metal with some Industrial/Djent touches here and there.

    Opening with the crushing riffs of “My Treasure”, the band makes a powerful statement on this first song. The guitars are heavy and the atmospheric elements nicely elevate this song to a good Melo Death piece that is greatly complemented by some clean vocals and solid guitar solos. The EP title track brings us some Djent infused grooviness that makes the band sound a bit mainstream/Modern Metal-like but with a clearly defined line when it comes to not being cheesy.

  • At Dusk – Anhedonia (2014)


    Hailing from the USA, today we have a nihilistic Depressive Black Metal band named “At Dusk”. As you can imagine, this is a one man outfit that delivers waves of mournful screams paired with some pretty solid mid-tempo Black Metal. Featuring four songs and around 59 minutes of music, this debut full-length is one hell of a stepping stone for the band.

    Opening with the oppressive “Anhedonia”, we get around 5 minutes of purely atmospheric passages until the harsh and desolate BM onslaughts start. The band reminds us of a more depressive version of Mortualia with considerably better vocals. The second track, “Agonia”, starts with a barrage of riffs and intense drumming, keeping the tempo quite hectic to deliver a powerful punch to the listeners in the first few minutes.

  • Kalmankantaja - Musta Lampi (2014)


    One man battalion Kalmankantaja is running for the most productive band of 2014 by releasing four full-length releases in the same year. This time, this prolific Finish outfit presents us with the two-track 41-minute crushing release titled “Musta Lampi”. With a heavy emphasis on a bleak atmosphere, the band’s Black Metal sound is but punishing and demoralizing.

    Opening with “Hiljaisessa Syvänteessä”, the band nicely builds up momentum with several minutes of ethereal instrumental passages before the first distorted guitars appear. The guitar sound is quite metallic and fuzzy, fitting very nicely the bleakness of the atmosphere. As the hellish screams appear, the music elevates to a new level since all elements are perfectly delivered to punish the listener.

  • Obduktion – Mors Janua Vitae (2014)


    Hailing from Greece, today we have old-school Death Metal outfit Obduktion and their crushing new EP titled “Mors Janua Vitae”. In this short but sweet two-song EP, the band delivers old-school sounding Death Metal that brings back the times of Grave, Morgoth, Unleashed, etc.

    Opening the EP we have the neck snapping “Kings of Terror”, a track that has just the right amount of retro elements but with a sharp modern production. The drumming is quite catchy and combined with the riffing, we get a similar vibe to Grave and their earlier releases. Things pick up with the traditional-sounding opening seconds of “Lordship of Superior”. This opening few seconds have a Thrash vibe that nicely morphs into a crunchy groove onslaught.


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