• The Wolves of Avalon – Die Hard (2015)


    Hailing from the UK and arriving trough Eternal Death records, today we have a very entertaining 7” release from The Wolves of Avalon. Fronted by none other than Metatron of The Meads of Asphodel fame, this band plays a mean Pagan/Black Metal that invokes some similarities to the likes of Primordial. Featuring two songs, this release is quite entertaining and a must-have for die-hard collectors of vinyl.

    Opening on side A with the “Die Hard” cover, the band perfectly captures the old-school Thrash/Black Metal sound of Venom. Adding the special participation of vocalists Rob Miller (Amebix), Alan Averill (Primordial), Mirai (Sigh), and Mantas doing some vocals and also handling some guitars, this cover is an excellent modern version of the original classic.

  • Irradiance – Dissidence (2015)


    Freshly arrived from France, today we have the lively Irradiance and their latest release “Dissidence”. Playing an interesting combination of Progressive/Symphonic Metal with some jazzy and Rock influences, this outfit delivers ten brilliant songs that will keep you at the edge of your seat. For fans of Epica, Stream of Passion, and similar outfits, this release is very bombastic and engaging.

    Opening with the lush “Children’s Game”, the band’s singer Audrey Dandeville, instantly comes center stage with her excellent operatic vocals. This opening song is quite catchy and structured in a way that grabs the attention of the listener. There are some unique elements that remind us of Diablo Swing Orchestra thrown into the mix that might catch some people off-guard, but we think they are super cool. Continuing strong, “The Soldier and the Child” allows Alexandra Vallet, the band’s violinist to change the course of an already excellent track.

  • Siculicidium – Lélekösvény (2015)


    Hailing from Romania, today we have Siculicidium and the 2015 Sun & Moon Records re-release of their 2007 EP “Lélekösvény”. As the legitimate spreaders of Transylvanian Black Metal, this band delivers nine crushingly raw hymns that sound like a mixture of Immortal, Dark Throne, Satyricon, amongst others.

    Opening with the raw fuzziness of “Az Erdõ Szelleme: we instantly settle into a very low-fi quality release that is pretty visceral and in your face. The brutal intensity of tracks like “Lelkem Némasága” and “Ösvények, Csillagok” remind us of the old days of Osmose and Moonfog Productions releases of unknown bands that had a competition of who had the most ravaging and authentic low-quality production. The band’s musical core is quite competent and manages to create intricate songs that are quite appealing and are far from dated by today’s standards.

  • Neutra – Music for an Exhibition (2015)


    Hailing from Italy, today we have one-man dream machine Neutra and its latest hypnotic opus “Music for an Exhibition”. Delivering five tracks of superb ethereal music, this is one of the most engaging and transforming Ambient releases we have heard in a while. Evoking the delicate precision and ambiance created by Robert Rich, this Italian band manages to captivate for the complete duration of this release.

    The album kicks off with the angelic “After The Flood” and its very dramatic piano sections. Having very subtle mood changes, this opener tracks sets a very enigmatic and dreamy stage. Continuing with the playful “Paranthenogenesis”, the mood shifts to a more space-like cinematic vibe. Our personal favorite is the somber “Point of View” and its dramatic progression.

  • Coldbound – Rites Under Moonlight (2015)


    Hailing from Finland, today we have one man demolition machine Coldbound and its latest release “Rites Under Moonlight”. Featuring 10 tracks and over 50 minutes of hauntingly aggressive and atmospheric music, this release crushes the opposition with gut-wrenching shrieks and the perfect balance of raw brutality with melodic/atmospheric creepiness.

    After the typical intro, we are left with the throbbing bass guitar line of “Fullmoon Delirium” and its very sinister BM-infused riffing. As the band delivers the atmospheric creepiness of tracks like “Origins of Black Sun” and “Fullmoon Delirium”, we are quite impressed with Råbjørn’s ability to switch between BM, Doom, and purely atmospheric passages in as seamless manner. Another great example of this is the blistering “Devil's Universe”.

  • Spectral Lore – Gnosis (2015)


    Continuing ‘their’ experimental journey, one-man behemoth Spectral Lore returns with a hefty Middle Eastern inspired release titled “Gnosis”. Labeled as an EP, but clocking in at nearly 50 minutes, this release moves away from the extremely experimental nature of “Voyager” and moves into territories of bands like Melechesh, Myrath, and Orphaned Land.

    Opening with the ravaging “Dualism”, we are instantly directed to a journey of guitar driven Melodic Black Metal with some very subtle hints of Middle Eastern inspired elements. The vocals are not traditionally delivered and only spawn some shrieks and whispers, adding extra mysticism to this release. As the album slowly progresses into the melodic brilliance of “Gnosis’ Journey Through the Ages”, we are greatly enjoying the ethereal atmospheric elements that further enhance the engaging riffing and intricate bass guitar line.

  • Nucleus Torn – Neon Light Eternal (2015)


    After their impressive 2014 release “Street Lights Fail”, Nucleus Torn returns with one last perplexingly beautiful release titled “Neon Light Eternal”. Featuring three songs and clocking in at around 40 minutes of music, Fredy Schnyder’s experimental outfit delivers one hell of a swan song. If you though the band’s last releases have been weird, you are in for quite an experience with this one.

    Opening with the mellow and Jazzy “A Declaration of Mistrust”, we instantly get a glimpse of Anna Murphy’s enchanting vocals. This track again reminded us of a mixture of Lethe with Tenhi/Empyrium thanks to the dramatic Neo-Folk passages weaved into this track. The whole proggy/jazzy vibe in this track is amazing, and considering it lasts 22 minutes, we are very amused at the wide variety of elements and influences introduced throughout that keep the song fresh and engaging.

  • Necroblaspheme – Belleville (2015)


    Always pushing the envelope, French bands have managed to craft some of the most interesting Metal albums of the past few years. Today is the turn for Necroblaspheme and their crushing Atmospheric mixture of Black/Death/Sludge Metal, on their third full-length release “Belleville”. Featuring members and ex-members of Glaciation, this outfit delivers a very unique sounding mixture of elements that will entertain all fans of any of the genres they combine.

    Opening with the dissonant riffs of “Rempart”, the band crafts a very thick and sickening atmosphere that weaves back and forth between aggressive vocals and catchy guitar melodies. As “Le discours du bitumen” and the instrumental “How Did We Get There” roll in, we start to see the band’s true intentions with their highly aggressive wall of sound that brilliantly transforms over the duration of each track.

  • Blaze of Sorrow – El Eremita del Fuoco (2015)


    Being one of the finest Atmospheric Black Metal bands in the scene, Blaze of Sorrow returns with yet another excellent release with “El Eremita del Fuoco”. Filled with brilliant melodic passages, this album reminds us of the earlier Alcest stuff mixed with some older Agalloch as well. Clocking in at around 40 minutes, this is one of the best releases of the genre in 2015.

    Opening with the ethereal “La Conquista del Cielo”, the band sets a very melancholic mood early in this release. Featuring very subtle atmospheric elements and bleak soundscapes, the track nicely explodes into BM riffs that are more melodic than aggressive. Continuing strong, “La Madre” is a bit more aggressive and playful with very well defined drum patterns and headbanging passages.

  • Secrets of the Moon – Sun (2015)


    As one of the most unique and compelling bands in the scene, Secrets of the Moon returns to further evolve their musical craft with “Sun”. Further moving away from their Doomy Black Metal days, the band manages to spill into Dark Metal territories with seven sinister tracks. The band’s signature atmosphere and tension is always present, but the mood shift is quite evident as the deliver song after song of magical musical darkness.

    Opening with the more ‘typical’ “No More Colours”, the band continues their older style with very dense distorted guitars and a very aggressive vocals/drumming combination. However, there is an evident change in their sound as this track feels darker and more sinister than normal. sG’s clean vocals are remind us of a mixture of Decoryah’s Jukka Vuorinen and Killing Joke’s Jaz Coleman, allowing tracks like “Dirty Black” to works perfectly with a less distorted and aggressive stance.


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