Arriving from Germany, today we have Melodic Death/Gothic Metal outfit My the Silence Fail and their debut full-length release “Of Hope and Aspiration”. Featuring a solid mixture of traditional Melodic DM elements with some more modern Groove/Core influences, the band delivers a very solid 11 track release that will keep you entertained for a while.
The release quickly sets a very lively tempo with tracks like “Gods are Long Since Dead” and “Return to Mind”, both showcasing the dual harsh/clean female vocals approach that works very well with the band’s highly dynamic sound. One of the band’s biggest selling point for people that are not 100% sold on music and need gimmicks, is that both singers are females, so yes, they have a female growler for your amusement. The guitar leads are quite well crafted and make up for very cool passages like on “If It Wasn’t For You”.
Hailing from Finland, today we have an Atmospheric Black Metal duo that comes under the moniker of Atrum Tempestas. Delivering 30 minutes of bleakness and aggression mashed together in three tracks, this release goes further than Atmospheric BM and touches the reals of Doom/ Post-Rock creating a very unique and satisfying blend music.
Opening with the melancholic “Quitter ceux qui étaient déjà partis”, the band sets a very mellow mood with very accessible atmospheric/melodic passages. The vocals range from BM screams, growls, and some spoken sections that nicely blend with the underlying Post-Rock foundation of this song. Coming in at 14 minutes, this track nicely adds some Doom-ish passages to keep things interesting and engaging.
Having released one of our favorite albums of 2010, Kruger finally returns with an even more impressive follow-up with “Adam and Steve”. With a very melodic and yet crushing sound, the band takes Post-Metal/Sludge to new heights in this eight track assault.
The insanity beings with the very intense opener “Bottoms Up” and never lets go. Vocalist Renaud Meichtry delivers a savage performance with his charismatic screams and greatly elevates the level of intensity presented by the music. The band’s ability to craft intricately layered songs like “Discotheque” and “Charger” is truly unique and its one of the factors that makes them stand out from the rest.
Delivering waves of crushing riffs and hypnotic vocals, today we have The Sabbathian and their debut EP, “Ritual Rites”. Formed by Chad Davis (ex-Hour of 13), Joey Down (Altar Blood), and the charismatic Anette Uvaas Gulbrandsen, this band combines Doom structures with a hefty dose of Heavy Metal influences, giving them a very retro and rich sound.
The album leads off with the monumental “Ancient’s Curse”. For over seven minutes we get expertly crafted riffs that instantly set you off in a spiraling ‘doom mood’. Anette’s vocals greatly enhance the ritualistic feeling and work wonders on the retro Heavy Metal-eseque passages that are thrown into the mix. The release continues with the slow-paced headbanging anthem “Ritual Rites” delivering over six minutes of enthralling atmospheric riffs. The vocals are a healthy mixture of Jex Thoth and Agnete M. Kirkevaag of Madder Mortem.
The ever changing, busiest man of Atmospheric Black Metal, Vaarwel, delivers us another brilliant Frozen Ocean’s release under the title: “The Dyson Swarm”. With a higher emphasis on the atmospheric side of FO’s music, this release crafts a unique aural experience that is quite trippy and pleasant to the listener. Featuring just the right amount of vocals (two tracks), this album will surely transport you to distant galaxies with its futuristic vibe.
The journey begins with the lush “Syzgy”, a song that very nicely builds up to the trippy “CE-4”. This track has a weird trip-hop kind of vibe thanks to its beats, the guitars and vocals are what really make it standout and be unique. In “Sloan Great Wall”, we get a certain Germ feeling with its mix of futuristic atmospheric elements and somewhat shoegazy vibe. With a big Doom-sounding riff, “SHGb02+14a” is one tense track that will slowly hypnotize you.
Being huge fans of Melodic/Epic Black Metal, we got pretty excited when reading the press kit from Noctem Cursis “Noctural Frost” full length. Delivering nine tracks of crushing Black Metal surrounded by epic melodic passages; this is one intense release that while not overly original, it is quite enjoyable for any fan of bands like Stormlord.
After the typical atmospheric intro, the band explodes with the intense “From Space”, a track led by double-kick intensity and low-key atmospheric keyboards. It is quite enjoyable to hear natural old-school keyboards, rather than overproduced orchestrations. Moving to some serious BM riffing territory, “Scars of the Past” keeps things interesting and brutal. Here we get a certain old-school Catamenia vibe from the vocals and tempo the band presents.
Experimental/Avant-garde outfit Nucleus Torn returns in 2014 with their mesmerizing “Street Lights Fail”. Hailing from Switzerland, this outfit led by Fredu Schnyder delivers nearly 40 minutes of thought provoking music that pushes the boundaries of anything that could be defined. Mixing heavy distorted guitars with countless other instruments and a very mellow vibe, this is one album that you should listen to if you like bands like Lethe and Manes, you are in for a treat.
Opening with the warm-up desolate piece “-“, we are introduced to a very bleak atmosphere with lush pianos and haunting female vocals. This track suddenly morphs into a jazzy/lounge piece that is quite intoxicating and engaging. As the song bleeds into “Worms”, the distorted guitars quickly set the mood a bit livelier and greatly enhance the jazzy atmosphere that is mixed in between. Anna Murphy’s and Maria D’Alessandro’s vocals are amazing in this release and they sound like the post-Kari years of The Third and the Mortal. This 19 minute piece is pure magic and features just the right amount of experimental and complexity to fully captivate its audience.
Arriving from Sweden, today we have a very unique single under the title “The Cosmic Dance of Shiva”, from the band Scorned Disciple. Featuring two tracks of very catchy and intricate Progressive Death Metal, this is one release that truly stands out from all the other bands just trying to copy somebody else.
The release opens to some Djent-like passages that quickly shift into traditional Death Metal territory with the growls and basic riffs. Being always in the move, this track constantly changes tempos and delivers very unique sections that while not straightforward, are very well put together. The band’s musical-style/vocals combination has a certain Sepultura-esque vibe to them, something that might not be apparent at first, but you will soon realize.
Greatly improving over their 2011 release “Infected”, today we have Hammerfall and their signature Heavy Metal with “(r)Evolution”. In this release, the band continues to push forward with their quest of the perfect Heavy Metal album and they get a bit closer thanks to their refined sound. Nearly 50 minutes of high-octane music make this release one of the best of 2014 so far.
Leading with the catchy chorus section of “Hector’s Hymn”, the band gives this release a very epic spin since the opening song. The band’s Heavy Metal pedigree is instantly audible in this intense track. As Joacim Cans vocals lead another epic onslaught with the album title track, we are quickly taken by surprise on how quickly this album grows on you. The majestic guitar leads of Oscar Dronjak greatly elevate this song to the next level.
Hailing from Romania, today we have The Hourglass and their majestic Symphonic/Gothic Metal release “Through Darkness and Light”. With countless bands in this genre, it is quite hard to find standout bands and releases, but The Hourglass managed to surface from the pile and claimed our attention for more than several hours – a feat considering the amount of CD’s we review every week.
Avoiding any filler intro track, the band gets down to business with the lush “Dying Star”, a song that is quite dynamic and features some interesting electronic elements thrown into the mix. This track reminds us a bit of a mixture of Nemesea and Edenbridge. The band’s vocalist Alma Vomastek delivers an incredible performance with her excellent vocal talents. As the band delivers bombastic songs like “Rise” and “Away”, our attentions are greatly focused on the ballad “Dare”. In this very dramatic song we greatly appreciate the band’s intricate songwriting skills that perfectly outline every single element in their sound.