• Howls of Ebb – Cursus Impasse: The Pandlomic Vows (2016)


    Spewing more of their sickening Black/Death Metal, today we have Howls of Ebb and their sophomore release “Cursus Impasse: The Pandlomic Vows”. Written between 2013 and 2015, this release moves away from the longer (10+ minute) track from their previous EP and delivers their musical fury in shorter but equally sweet onslaughts. Filled with creepiness and a retro-vibe, this album shows the band’s knack for making truly punishing music.

    Opening with the psycho-sexual hypnotic bass guitar line of “The 6th Octopul'th Grin”, the band’s depraved sound is instantly gratifying. Things take a turn to the even more bizarre with the funkiness of “Cabals of Molder” and its very horror-like atmospherics. Continuing down the rabbit hole, “Maat Mons’ Fume” has more of that raw energy of Indonesian Black/Death Metal bands mixed in with some truly disturbing bass guitar sounds.

  • Tax the Heat – Fed to the Lions (2016)


    Keeping up with times and the ever expanding musical scene, Nuclear Blast has managed to snag one of the best up and coming Hard/Modern Rock acts names Tax the Heat. Unleashing their debut full-length “Fed to the Lions” on April 8th, this band is ready to take center stage and blow people away with their upbeat super catchy tunes full of raw energy.

    Opening with the commanding “Highway Home”, the band sets a very catchy vibe while making blending in some Aerosmith-esque influences in this very solid piece. With some certain Rolling Stones energy on the follow up “Animals”, the band instantly shows their knack for mixing old-school influences with their own modern energy and craft a very enjoyable hard rock atmosphere.

  • Ihsahn – Arktis. (2016)


    Multi-instrumentalist one-man show Ihsahn makes a surprise 2016 return with another unique release titled “Arktis.”. Considerably less experimental and out of whack than his previous release, this album delivers 11 very interesting song that while pushing the envelope, they consolidate the signature Ihsahn sound.

    Opening with the Proggy “Disassembled”, Ihsahn crafts a very catchy song with a killer chorus section. With some additional vocals by Einer Solberg (Leprous), this is one very melodic and engaging opening piece. Things turn quickly dark with the sinister “Mass Darkness” and its crafty atmospheric guitar work. This track is quite unique as it features some funky tempo changes and epic vocal arrangements (featuring Matt Heafy), all within the Ihsahn realm.

  • Cult of Luna and Julie Christmas – Mariner (2016)


    Completely catching us by surprise, today we have a very interesting collaboration between Sweden’s Cult of Luna and USA’s Julie Christmas. If you ever wondered how Cult of Luna would sound with a layer of female vocals on top, this is the perfect time to discover such a combination. Featuring five tracks filled with the band’s traditional atmospheric oppression, this release is a force to be reckoned with.

    Opening with the momentum building piece “A Greater Call”, the band wastes no time to introduce the listener to the dreamy combination of Julie’s sweet vocals and the harsh screams, both flanked by an intricate atmospheric backdrop. Leaving the listener no time to really adjust, the band pummels through “Chevron”, sparkling some pop-like influences along the way.

  • Except One – Haunted Humanity (2016)


    Coming at you like an unsuspecting bag of bricks to the face, today we have Except One and their crushing release “Haunted Humanity”. Featuring an interesting mixture of Metalcore and Melodic Death Metal elements, this release instantly stands out thanks to the sheer brutality of their female singer harsh vocals and the perfect balance of melodic guitars. For fans of bands like Arch Enemy and Soilwork, this French band is a true force to be reckoned.

    Opening with the dissonance of “Rise”, we instantly get the Arch Enemy vibe, as the band perfectly managed to negotiate brutality and melody. Fronted by Estelle, the vocals are quite powerful and very fitting for the level of intensity in the band’s music. Filled with brilliant moments for headbanging, tracks like “Lost” and “Schizofriend”, showcase the band’s very talented guitar duo and their killer skills.

  • Amon Amarth – Jomsviking (2016)


    After constantly releasing brilliant albums over the years, Amon Amarath returns today with their most mature and melodic work to date: “Jomsviking”. Taking you through an eleven track journey, the band delivers a more refined and developed version of their signature style. Focusing on melody and epicness, the songs in this album are both memorable and intoxicating, allowing the listeners to fully be immersed into the band’s world.

    Opening with the first single, “First Kill”, the band lets the listener settle in with a very traditional Amon Amarth-esque piece filled with excellent guitar work and a hefty pace. Smoothly transitioning into “Wanderer”, the music gets more serious and a bit slower, allowing the powerful riffs to lead the way. The band’s session drummer Tobben Gustafsson of Vomitory fame, does a great job in delivering intricate drum patterns and keeping things tight.

  • Ravenia – Beyond the Walls of Death (2016)


    Continuing their impressive run of Symphonic/Melodic Metal releases, today we have Inner Wound Recordings latest gem: Ravenia. Hailing from Finland, this nine-piece band delivers eight brilliant tracks of truly orchestral/symphonic Metal that will captivate listeners and surely appeal to any fan of the genre. While having tons of ‘traditional’ influences, this band manages to craft their own unique bombastic sound, making them quite a find.

    Opening with the very mellow and dramatic start of “For Those We Forsakened”, the band’s sound feels very organic and natural. With tons of computer software these days that can sound just like the real thing, we prefer Ravenia’s decision to sticking with featuring live string instruments like two violins, a viola, a cello, and a contrabass.  The extra band members allow songs like “Into Oblivion” and “We All Died for Honor” to sound very cinematic and fresh, and leaving the door open for actual live performances where all the instruments are done live.

  • Rimfrost – Rimfrost (2016)


    Arriving from Sweden, today we have Rimfrost and their thunderous Black Metal onslaughts. In their self-titled third full-length release, this trio delivers eight high-octane anthems that remind us of Immortal and similar outfits. Not for the weak of heart or the extremely super kvlt trve people, this intense release plays more on the side of brilliant melodic riffs and catchy songs that are memorable and engaging.

    Delivering a crushing opening blow with the brilliant “As the Silver Curtain Closes”, the band sets a very dynamic mood with tons of tempo changes and proficient riffing. The band’s vocalist and axe master Hravn Decmiester perfectly captures the Black Metal ‘firm’ shriek on melancholic tracks like “Saga North”. Said track also features some epic headbanging passages that will make your neck sore for days.

  • Gloria Morti – Kuebiko (2016)


    Hailing from Finland, today we have Gloria Morti and their devastating Black/Death Metal. Having refined their sound over 4 previous releases, this album delivers a very precise dosage of killer riffs, brutal vocals and intense drumming. Never compromising on brutality, the nine tracks found in this release will have you headbanging and moshing from start to end.

    Opening with the brutal “Syntymä”, the band’s intensity and killer vocals are the first two things that stand out. The band’s vocalist, Pyscho, does a killer job in combining multiple styles and creating a Deathcore-esque level of brutality in songs like “Josef Fritzl”. The guitar work is quite elaborate and nicely separates the band from the average bands; this is due to the fact that founding member Juho Räihä has been around playing for bands like Before the Dawn, Swallow the Sun (live) and Wolfheart (live).

  • Tusmörke - Fort Bak Lyset (2016)


    Fittingly bearing what it looks like a psychoactive toad on its cover, today we have Tusmörke and their trippiest release to date “Fort Bak Lyset”. Combining psychedelic and folk elements ina a very proggy way, the band crafts seven unique pieces that are beyond original and totally weird. If you are looking for weird psychedelic music, this is probably as weird as you are going to get in 2016.

    Opening with the Jethro Tull-esque “Ekebergkongen”, the band sets a very odd stage with tons of psychedelic atmospheric elements and very proggy music. Entirely sung in Norwegian, the music in this album explores all kinds of weird folk corners as we can hear on “Et Djevelsk Mareritt” and “De Reiser Fra Oss”. While one can quickly picture a bunch of geeky larpers frolicking around with their foam swords to this music, we have to say that even this is too weird and out of the ordinary (in a good way!) for said sinister purposes.


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