Dutch Black Metal is not something you hear every day; however, today we have Wederganger and their demoralizing debut full-length “Halfvergaan ontwaakt”. Featuring eight tracks of punishing Black Metal that has influences from the Norwegian, the Swedish and even the Latin American scenes, all bundled into one destructive wall of sound. Formed in 2013, this is one of the revelation BM bands of 2015, so be warned.
Opening with the crushing dissonance of “Dwaallichtbezwering”, the bone chilling riffs are nicely offset by the hellish vocals of Botmuyl perfectly combined with the clean efforts of Alfschijn (ex-Heidevolk). The band’s vocal variety just adds an extra layer of originality to a very powerful mixture of BM styles. “Gelderse drek” leads with some very Taake-esque riffs that will infuse instant head banging.
Niche Black Metal label Eternal Death has released some of the foulest and totally crushing US Black Metal in the last few years and One Master’s “Reclusive Blasphemy” is certainly one of them. Delivering five tracks and around 35 minutes of ravaging music, the band showcases their raw and misanthropic Black Metal.
Opening with the punishing “At the Hour of Saturn”, the band’s wall of sound is instantly generated by thick riffs and piercing drums. With such a furious pace, this release is off to a hate-filled start. The Immortal-esque closing in this song makes it pretty epic for any fan of Melodic-ish Black Metal. Moving into more sinister territories, “A Cursed and Dismal Mind” creates a very creepy opening that suddenly blast into full-on war.
Catching our attention with their viral marketing campaign that labels Cretus as something more than a band, a cult, we decided to give “Dux Mea Lux” a try. Featuring a very plain and unimaginative Thrash Metal sound with some cleaner and more mainstream elements, the band fails to live up to the hype with their average music and very repetitive nature.
Opening with the playful “Price of Immortality”, the band’s novelty quickly wears off. This track is pretty bland and while amusing for a few minutes, it can easily go unnoticed by any fan of the genre. “Darkness Bites” is the best track in this release as it gets you going with its hectic opening and catchy hooks. Other songs like “The Leader” have a certain twangy feeling to them, something that could have been easily exploited in this release to make it more unique.
While constantly looking for interesting and unique bands, today we have [STÖMB] and their very interesting mixture of Post-Metal, Post-Rock, groove Metal, and some trip-hop influences. Featuring ten tracks of mostly instrumental music, “The Grey” is a very ambitious release that showcases the band’s originality and solid musicianship.
Opening with the trippy “The Complex”, the release weaves back and forth between Post-Metal and Groove Metal, with some atmospheric elements thrown into the mix. This is the band’s modus operandi as tracks like “Rise from Nothing”, “Corrosion Juncture”, and “Terminal City” standout with a similar approach. The band’s creativity is also their weakness as the album feels a bit random and just a collection of tracks with no real aim.
Hailing from France, today we have A.C.O.D and their Melodic-ish Death Metal release “II The Maelstrom”. Delivering thirteen tracks of a very health mix of traditional Death Metal with some more modern and Melodic elements, this band sounds like a bastard child of Grave and Kalmah. We are constantly amazed at the quality of bands that are coming out of France, and this is another one of the good ones.
The band opens with the groovy “Another Path” before settling for a more Thrash-infused Death Metal sound in “Way of Death”, and then jumping into Melo-Death land with “Abuse Me”. This is the narrative in this release as the band slowly weaves back and forth from Melodic, to Thrashy, to old-school Death Metal, actually pulling it off gracefully and very cohesively.
Constantly evolving over the years, Hanging Garden returns with a very atmospheric release titled “Blackout Whiteout”. Featuring nice tracks of pure melancholy, the band manages to combine elements from Theatre of Tragedy (“Aegis” era), Anathema (their transition period), Katatonia (their more recent stuff) and throw in some Cure/ShamRain elements just for kicks. This release still keeps the growls in the mix, allowing the album to be harsh and brutal when needed, but it is mostly very melancholic and mellow.
Opening with the enticing “Borrowed Eyes”, we are instantly swept by Toni Toivonen’s moody clean and harsh vocals. This track also pulls you in with its subtle bass guitar line and keyboards. The band is always in motion and the very Cure-like rocking anthem “Whiteout” further shows their evolution since the band’s harsh and bleak Death/Doom days from “Inherit the Eden”. However, the depressive atmosphere is still present in a very unique and refined way.
Hailing from France, today we have a very unique band that pushes the limits of Post-Metal, Post-Hardcore and Math Metal, creating a very unique and devastating mixture. Nerv delivers seven relentless tracks in “Vergentis In Senium”. Perfectly crafted for fans of bands like Neurosis and Dysrhythmia, this is one very powerful release that will rattle your senses.
Opening with the punishing wall of riffs in “Cathars” we brace ourselves for a brutal and nihilistic release. The vocals are very similar to Neurosis and the overall sense of urge in songs like “Tortures” has a Dysrhythmia edge to it. The band does a great job in crafting complex song structures, leaving the listener puzzled and always expecting something different.
Hailing from Switzerland, today we have a very unique Melodic Modern Metal band named Promethee. Mixing some of the good elements of modern Deathcore with the agility and precision of old-school Melodic Death Metal, “Unrest” delivers twelve solid tracks filled with moshing and headbanging moments. Recommended for fans of Hacride, Dagoba, Hatesphere and such, we are sure that anybody with a knack for melody and pounding riffs will find this appealing.
Opening with the punishing riffs of “Our Common Fall”, the band quickly establishes the rich and devastating sound with very well crafted guitars and tight drums. The vocals are on the raspy side, reminding us of Hacride but the music makes us thing more of Whitechapel or TBDM. What makes Promethee unique is that they can instantly switch from pummeling riffs to blistering fast passages of Melodic brilliance as they constantly deliver on “Unspoken” and “Dark Souls”.
Bands these days try to mesh all kinds of genres together and get pretty odd or awesome results. Unluckily for Deer Blood their mixture of Groove and Thrash Metal falls flat to expectations in “Devolution”. Featuring over 13 tracks and 58 minutes of music, this release has some interesting moments that are quickly obscured by an iffy production and a very odd mixture of styles.
Opening with “Bushmaster” we instantly get a weird Groove/Sludge vibe that morphs into Thrash after a few minutes. The raspy vocals are oddly mixed and come out too loud for the rest of the elements to shine. The guitar riffs individually are pretty decent, and in songs like “Born Strong Live Young Die Hard Born Again” and “Trapped Inside” we have some interesting rhythmical sections and a few leads that are very Thrash-tastic, but the groove vibe manages to kill all sense of cohesion and flow.
The most active man in Finish Black Metal: Shatraug, returns with his main band Horna and their devastating production “Hengen Tulet”. Playing in at least seven bands, Shatraug delivers 10 tracks of pure satanic destruction in this release, showing no signs of slowing down or creativity lapses. Keeping their throne as the rawest BM band from Finland, the band does a great job in pummeling the listeners psyche with this monumental release.
Opening with the ravaging riffing of “Amadriada”, the album kicks off with style. Spellgoth’s vocals steal the show by providing that old-school harsh screams characteristic of the band. Filled with epic head banging pieces like the bestial “Ajan päättyessä” or the moody “Nekromantia”, drummer Vainaja keeps a tight ship with a piercing performance. For those of us that enjoy the band’s senseless brutality and relentless guitar work, “Tämä maailma odottaa” and “Saatanalle” are the best pieces to get drowned in the band’s aggressive nature.