Hailing from Normandy, today we have newcomer Symphonic/Gothic Metal outfit Lost Opera and their sophomore release “Hidden Sides”. In a world filled with Female-led Symphonic Metal bands, it is quite surprising and even rare to hear a band rely mostly on male vocals in the genre. Delivering over 55 minutes of music, this release is quite engaging and fun, perfectly appealing to all fans of the genre that are looking for something a little different.
After the traditional intro, the album blows wide open with the pummeling riffs of “Today I Cry”. This track starts off quite heavy and is perfectly contrasted by engaging keyboards and a mixture of growls and clean vocals. The band’s vocalist Loïc Conti, does a pretty solid job in mixing growls with clean vocals, allowing the songs to be diverse and engaging as we can hear on “Follow the Signs” and “Rage”.
Arriving from this Bay Area trio, today we have Worm Ouroboros and their third full-length release “What Graceless Dawn”. Continuing where “Come the Thaw” left off, this release sees the band crafting hauntingly beautiful tunes that are filled with atmospheric and instrumental brilliance. Clocking at over 60 minutes of music, the listener is in for a very unique aural journey through the band’s unique world.
Opening with the mellow “Day”, we have a very ethereal buildup developed by a very slow tempo and the enchanting vocals of both Lorraine Rath and Jessica Way. The opener perfectly bleeds into the martial first few minutes “Broken Movements”. Once the song slowly progresses, the solemn combination of heartfelt guitar riffs and minimalist bass guitar notes start to get more intense as the song reaches its climax.
Perfectly capturing an epic performance at the legendary Roadburn festival, today we have Dead to a Dying World’s “Live at Roadburn 2016”. Clocking in at nearly 60 minutes, this release brilliantly reflects the band’s live performances ferociousness. Paired with a very clear sound and mix, this release continues to hold the standards of the “Live at Roadburn” series of releases over the years.
The album instantly jumps at the listener with the intensity of “The Hunt Eternal”, a fierce track that features blistering riffs, mournful viola arrangements, and hellish male and female harsh vocals. After warming up with the 16-minute opening track, the band went into the moodier “Eventide”. This track has a certain My Dying Bride meets Elend vibe that we greatly enjoy and was perfectly transmitted live.
Arriving today from musical genius Christofer Johnsson of Therion, we have his psychedelic side project Luciferian Light Orchestra and their latest EP titled “Black”. Using the stuff he thinks is too retro for Therion, Christopher and company deliver four excellent songs that while sounding familiar, they still have a very distinctive and creepy vibe to then. If you are a fan of any of Therion’s albums, you will certainly find this release very interesting.
Opening with the intense “Evil Masquerade”, the vocal arrangements sound eerily familiar with a perfect blend of female and male vocals. The music however, has a very distinctive 70’s vibe to it with warm fuzzy guitar tones and a psychedelic vibe. As the album continues with “Where the Lilies Grow”, we get shivers as we hear the magical female vocals perfectly paired with a creepy vibe, similar to older works of Sabbath Assembly.
From Harakiri for the Sky’s vocalist, today we have Karg, a one-man battalion delivering highly atmospheric Black Metal/Post-Black Metal. Featuring eight tracks and over 70 minutes of dreamy music, “Weltenasche” is a very soothing and yet demoralizing release that will certainly appeal to all fans of Depressive Black Metal to Post-Black Metal.
Opening with the incisive “Crevasse”, we are treated to a very moody and diverse track filled with tempo changes and heavy atmospheric elements. The album continues to perfectly juxtapose aggressiveness and melody as we can hear in the progression of “Alles wird in Flammen stehen”, which some parts remind us a bit of Dornenreich. The band’s raw emotions are instantly felt in songs like “Le couloir des ombres” which has a certain Alcet-like vibe, but with the Karg imprint dominating.
Elevating the definition of musical violence to the nth power, today we have Teethgrinder from the Netherlands and their crushing Grindcore/Brutal Death Metal music. Delivering nine pummeling tracks, this release rivals Anaal Nathrakh’s “The Whole of the Law” for the most mercilessly brutal release of 2016.
The band preps the listener with the dissonant sounds of the deranged intro track “Sommambulant”, a piece that somewhat describes the madness that is about to take place in this release. Shit gets instantly real with the violent screams of “The Soil has a Thirst for Blood”, a track that is both intense and punishing thanks to the killer drums and ravaging riffs. We particularly enjoy the sporadic audio clips inserted on tracks like “Isolation” and “Pale Flowers”, which remind us a bit of the song intros Macabre uses.
Arriving from the UK, today we have new-comer(s) Dysemblem and their debut release “Strength of Giants”. With a pummeling old-school Death/Black Metal style, this outfit delivers 32 minutes of an action packed release that shows a great deal of promise and a hefty dosage of violence.
Opening with the relentless riffing of “Down the Chasm”, the band makes a big impression with such a punishing sound. The mixture of harsh growls and crafty drums makes for a very entertaining back-to-basics track. The Death Metal influences are key for making tracks like “Gourd of the Damned” very catchy while being superbly brutal. With a certain Swedish Death Metal edge to it, “Gloria Victis” is one of our favorite tracks as it reminds us a bit of old-school Grave and Centinex.
Hailing from Greece, today we have Hard Rockers Dendrites and their self-titled debut release. Adding some elements of Groove Metal into the mix, this Greek outfit delivers ten superbly catchy tracks that will resonate in your head for days to come.
Opening with the momentum builder “The Wheel”, we are instantly very surprised on how ‘American’ does the band sound. The band’s vocalist and guitarist Thanasis Tiblalexis as a very distinctive voice which reminds us of Shady Blue of Chrome Division and Markus Hammer of The New Black. The band continues to totally rock with pretty solid tracks like “Breath”, “How Many Times”, and our personal favorite “Peace of Mind”.
Finally ready to take the scene by storm, today we have Greece’s Aenaon and their latest full-length release “Hypnosophy”. Having refined their music over the year years of their existence, the band is ready to take the spotlight with this very mature and musically brilliant release. Perfectly blending experimental elements into a highly efficient Progressive Black Metal foundation, the band delivers 55 minutes of intense music.
The album opens with the magnificent, “Oneirodynia”, a track that combines influences of Emperor, Ihsahn, and Arcturus in a very tight and perfectly executed nearly 8 minutes piece. The band has added a permanent saxophone player, which adds a good deal of depth and originality to their music. Not disappointing the band’s fans of heavier pieces, tracks like “Fire Walk With Me” deliver relentless high octane experiences.
Hailing from Switzerland, today we have Sludge/Doomsters Wolf Counsel and their sophomore release “Ironclad”. Delivering over 43 minutes of ripping tunes, the band nicely pummels the listener with tangy riffs and plenty of headbanging moments. Perfectly blending Sludgy element into a Doom core, the band crafts a unique signature style that differentiates them from the rest.
The release rips wide open with the incisive opening riffs of “Pure as the Driven Snow”. The band instantly marks their territory with piercing riffs and a very mellow and gloomy tempo. Things quickly move into the Sludge/Southern Metal territory with the catchy album title clad. Here we also get a good combination of clean and harsh vocals, making things interesting and diverse.