• Shumaun – Shumaun (2015)


    Arriving today from the USA we have Shaumaun and their progressively oriented mash up of musical styles. In their self-titled debut release, the band presents twelve very melodic tracks that are a bit contrasting from each other, but full of promise, excellent ideas and solid execution.

    The album opens with the proggy “A New Revolution”, which is a very entertaining piece that ultimately is just a warm-up for what is to come next. “Miracles of Yesterday” and “You and I Will Change the World” have a more radio-friendly and mainstream vibe, with loud rhythm guitars and solid leads. Being very catchy, this last song has some cool passages, but it also tries to incorporate too many elements, making things a bit awkward when they should have stayed simple as the track’s hook is pretty solid.

  • Dodsferd – Wastes of Life (2015)


    In recent years we have been plagued with subpar Black Metal bands; luckily for us Dodsferd is one of the most interesting bands in the scene nicely transitioning from Depressive Black Metal to a very weird, but yet effective atmospheric Black Metal that will leave you scratching your head… in a good way. Featuring five tracks and nearly 50 minutes of music, the band continues their sonic onslaught with a very unique release titled “Wastes of Life”.

    Opening with a very traditional atmospheric piece titled “Wastes of Life”, the band picks with where they left off creating a very oppressive and eerie atmosphere. Leading the charge with some very dramatic clean guitars, “Sterile Death, Without Mourning” delivers 12 minutes of brilliant atmospheric madness. The track suddenly shifts to a very mellow tempo filled with creepy atmospheric arrangements and Wrath’s signature shrieks.

  • Amberian Dawn – Innuendo (2015)


    Releasing nearly an album per year since 2008, today we have Amberian Dawn and their latest opus “Innuendo”. These highly productive Fins deliver ten brilliantly crafted Symphonic Power Metal tracks that will appeal both traditional Power Metal and Gothic/Symphonic Metal fans alike. Having quickly moved on from replacing their original iconic vocalist, Päivi Virkkunen vocals are a very interesting mixture of Doro-meets-Timo Kotipelto.

    Quickly opening with the intense “Fame & Gloria”, we are taking into a very balanced world of Nightwish-meets-Sonata Arctica, with the solid guitar works and Päivi’s angelic but powerful vocals. Seamlessly integrating lush atmospheric elements into the music, the band delivers songs like “Ladyhawk” and “Innuendo”, both of which will keep you headbanging from start to finish. If you like more Symphonic/Gothic Metal things, tracks like “The Court of Mirror Hall” and the ballad “Aneglique” have less dominant Power Metal vibe, but are still within the band’s comfort zone.

  • Shining – International Blackjazz Society (2015)


    As one of the weirdest and most extreme insanely popular bands that we listen to, Shining returns with their own band of crazy with the epic “International Blackjazz Society”. Delivering nine tracks of truly deranged and visionary music, this is one of those releases that keeps you guessing from start to end. Jørgen Munkeby and company manage to further elaborate on their very original style and deliver one of the most diverse albums of 2015.

    Setting a very chaotic and odd atmosphere with their sax madness of “Admittance”, the band is ready to pounce on the listener with the catchy riffs of “The Last Stand”. The catchiness of this track is nicely offset by the distorted vocals and trippy atmosphere. Reminding us a bit of Diabolos Rising and Industrial Black Metal bands, “Burn it All” has a very sinister vibe to it and we love it. Things get a bit more mainstream and radio-friendly with the very catchy and more straightforward “Last Day”.

  • Draconian – Sovran (2015)


    Perfectly in time for a very gloomy October, Draconian is set to unleash “Sovran”. Four years in the making and after the departure of Lisa Johansson, the band returns with a superbly strong and very melancholic release that will become another Draconian classic. The band’s melancholic sound is greatly complemented by their new singer Heike Langhans, making this release a perfect step in the band’s musical trajectory.

    Opening with bleak first minutes of “Heavy Lies the Crown” we have some crushing Doom riffs and a very oppressive atmosphere that is beautifully craved out of piano sections and solemn female vocals. As the band settles more into their classic sound, “The Wretched Tide” is filled with great vocal duels between Andres superb harsh vocals and Heike’s emotionally charged voice that nicely contrast the harshness of the music.

  • Enshine – Singularity (2015)


    After taking everybody by surprise with their excellent debut “Origin”, Enshine returns with a more mature and refined release titled “Singularity”. Comprised of only two members, Jari Lindholm and Sebastien Pierre, this international band manages to craft a very melodic and engaging release that clocks in at 53 minutes of music. If you are a fan of October Tide, Insomnium and Swallow the Sun, this is an album that you don’t want to miss.

    The band opens with the Sci-Fi-ish “Dual Existence” as the barrage of melodic riffs is made present by Jari. The pace is quite mellow, but the harshness and brutality of the music is felt, particularly when Sebastien’s growls come into the picture. With majestically crafted songs like “Adrift” and “Resurgence”, the band sets a very melodic mood with subtle atmospheric keyboards. The band’s resemblance to Swallow the Sun in terms of pace and mood is uncanny, but they make the sound their own by adding more Melodic Death metal elements here and there.

  • Weeping Silence – Opus IV Oblivion (2015)


    Hailing from Malta, today we have a very pleasant surprise with Weeping Silence’s latest release, “Opus IV Oblivion”. Oozing with old-school Gothic Death/Doom melancholy, this release instantly brought us back to the old days of Silentium, Trail of Tears, Even Song with some Dreams of Sanity sprinkled into the mix. If you like the whole beauty and the beast vocal approach, this is right up your alley.

    Opening with some disarmingly powerful riffs, “Oblivion – Darkness in My Heart Anno XV” sets a very temperamental mood. The use of classical string instruments in this track gives it a certain early Lacrimas Profundere vibe, making the track even more powerful and punishing. With Diane Camenzuli and Dario Pace Taliana alternating between sweet female vocals and heavy growls, the band’s vocal duo does a great job in keeping songs fluid and engaging.

  • Vhöl - Deeper than Sky (2015)


    As one of the wackiest releases of 2015, today we have Vhöl and their sophomore release “Deeper than Sky”. Featuring members of Agalloch, Hammers of Misfortune and YOB, this is one super group with enough musical chops to make even the weirdest sound great. IF we had to categorize their music, we would say that they play Avant-garde Heavy/Thrash Metal, due to the mixture of genres surfacing thought this release.

    Opening with the Deathklok-esque “The Desolate Damned”, the band delivers an intense music with some brilliant guitar wizardry, which interestingly enough have Mike Scheidt handling vocal duties while John Cobbett handles the guitars. After an unconventional opening, “3AM” feels a bit more like a traditional Heavy Metal song with some funky drumming, courtesy of Aesop Dekker. Mike’s vocals are very versatile, as anybody that listens to YOB can attest, and they perfectly fit each track’s unique level of madness.

  • Dead to a Dying World – Litany (2015)


    With plenty of high profile releases in 2015, Dead to a Dying World’s sophomore release “Litany” almost past by us unnoticed. Luckily, we gave it a few spins and were instantly blown away by the level of melancholy and musicianship found in this little gem. Featuring six tracks and over 70 minutes of Atmospheric Death-Doom/Black Metal /Post-Rock, this is one heck of a release from beginning to end.

    Hailing from Texas and featuring guest appearances by members of Pallbearer and Sabbath Assembly, this release kicks off with the 16-minute “The Hunt Eternal”. Opening with some somber strings and rapidly progressing into Black Metal territory, this track suddenly changes into all-out melancholic Doom riffing and lush clean vocals. The band perfectly captures the catharsis of such an intense opening with brilliantly painful mellow soundscapes and female vocals. This sounds like Ash Borer-meets-Elend-meets-My Dying Bride and we love it.

  • Abigail Williams – The Accuser (2015)


    The on-again off-again Abigail Williams return after announcing their last break up, with yet another crushing release with “The Accuser”. Led by Ken Sorceron, this outfit is redefining US Black Metal with every release and they present their current case with eight intriguing songs filled with aggression and experimentation.

    Opening with their brutal “Path of Broken Glass”, the band delivers a huge wall of sound in the first few minutes before going into some weird experimentation with multiple vocal styles and some super cool melodic passages. Not sounding like any other band from the USA, this track is a testament to the band’s creativity. Things continue somewhat normal with “The Cold Lines” and the first few minutes of “Of The Outer Darkness”, just before the mood gets dark and doomier, the perfect precursor a great rest of the song.


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