Delivering brilliant waves of Doom/Sludge/Post-Metal misery, today we have Deathkings and their sophomore release “All that is Beautiful”. Clocking in at 62 minutes, this four song release is both punishing and extremely melancholic. We are quite surprised that the band is unsigned due to the quality of their material and how the North American scene is eating up bands that play this style of music.
Opening with the bleakness of “Sol Invictus”, the band slowly builds up from some spacious Post-Metal momentum-building passages (a la Neurosis) to more hectic Doom/Sludge inspired riffing onslaughts. The pairing of the combination of multiple styles of vocals with the brilliant atmosphere crafted by the roaring guitars fits perfectly with the intricate drum patterns and overall pace of the music. Reminding us of bands like Fall of Empyrean and Mournful Congregation, “The Storm” delivers a very precise Doom message with some solid Post-Metal influences, making it one of our favorite tracks in this release.
Arriving today all the way from Portugal we have Ocerco and their crushing EP “A Desolação”. Delivering three songs of ravaging Post-Black Metal with some Doom influences, this band nicely blends the aggressiveness of Abigail Williams (newer stuff) and the atmospheric brilliance of Wolves in the Throne Room.
Slowly building up with the brutal “O Calpso”, the band perfectly times their dissonant onslaughts to surprise the listener. The atmosphere is superbly dark and very heavy, thanks to the aggressive wall of sound created by the powerful riffs. “O Ocaso” takes a more direct approach to things, instantly getting on the listener’s face with howling shirks and growls as well as blistering drumming. The band’s ability to quickly escalate (or down-shift) their aural assaults is quite impressive.
Fresh off their latest run of shows through North America, Omnium Gatherum returns to deliver their most amazing release to date with “Grey Heavens”. Featuring ten tracks of majestic Melodic Death Metal, this band has graduated in the top of their class and should get a Melodic DM doctoral degree for their efforts in this release. Having refined their sound over the years, their seventh release shows uncanny maturity and expert knowledge of the genre.
Opening with the headbanging anthem “The Pit”, the band’s melodic signature sound instantly takes center stage with their impressive parallel guitar onslaughts and furious pace. Not letting the listeners settle in too quick, “Skyline” paints a lush melodic anthem with very inspired atmospheric keyboards to go with a superbly catchy tempo. This track alone perfectly blends their style with the epicness of older Children of Bodom and the melancholy of Insomnium.
After the epic “War of Ages” we waited a bit over 2 years for this Austrian outfit to deliver a new release. With “Codex Atlanticus” the band continues the Symphonic Metal musical journey with a few line-up changes and their same bombastic approach to music. Delivering ten tracks of solid Symphonic/Power Metal, the band envelops us in an aural and historical journey, within the context of Leonardo da Vinci, for over 50 minutes of music.
With the explosive opener intro track, we are eased into the superbly catchy melodic nature of “Follow Me”. This track sounds very similar to Sonata Arctica with some extra orchestrations on top. The multiple vocal onslaughts return with the hectic “Sprouts of Terror”, for this album Clémentine Delauney seems to be missing and you can hear the difference in the tracks that use female vocals.
Arriving with great hype and praise, today we have Germany’s Ketzer and their third full-length release titled “Starless”. Delivering a hefty mixture of Black Metal, Thrash Metal and some Post/ Hard Rock elements, this release comes under its own terms and with its unique sound that further expands the band’s musical range. Considerably more creative than most albums these days, the hype is real when it comes to this outfit.
Opening with the playful and Black’n’Roll-ish “Starless”, we are treated to a mixture of Aura Noir and Vreid thanks to catchy riffs and a very crafty tempo. Things get more awesome with the uber catchiness of “Godface” and its very direct attitude. This song reminds us a bit of Tribulation, but with the Ketzer signature. Continuing with the surprises, the heavy “Count to Ten” has a good dose of sinister riffs and that obscure BM atmosphere that bands like Satyricon seamlessly create.
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.