Hailing from the mountains of Colorado, today we have American Melodic Death Metal battalion Allegaeon and their latest opus “Proponent for Sentience”. Perfectly blending influences from the modern Technical Melodeath scene with old-school Melodic Death Metal and regular Death Metal elements, this band delivers seventy two brilliant minutes of hyper catchy and very crafty music. For fans of bands ranging from Death to The Black Dahlia Murder, this release will leave you exhausted from too much headbanging.
Wasting no time, the band completely blows the lid of this release with a trippy atmospheric intro that bleeds into a no holds barred riffing barrage on “Proponent for Scentience I – The Conception”. The band pummels through “All Hail Science” and “From Nothing” delivering waves of acrobatic technical passages that put many bands to shave. One of our personal favorites is the mixture of acoustic guitars and different percussions used on “Gray Matter Mechanics – Apassonata Ex Machinea”.
With a gap of sixteen years between their last release and this new one, today we have the legendary Brujeria and their extremely long awaited “Pocho Aztlan” release. Captivating and amusing audiences since 1989, this band has been touring since their last release leaving all album recording activities pending until recently. Featuring thirteen tracks, this release is exactly everything we could have expected from Brujeria, as the band takes on topics from immigration to the drug war, all with their unique view and spin.
Opening with a ritual as an intro, “Pocho Aztlan” instantly erases all the time without new music from the band and delivers a typical Brujeria anthem. Keeping their catchy and funny style intact the band talks in this song about how people born in the USA from Mexican parents are widely viewed by both Americans and Mexicans. Things move into catchy headbanging chorus sections with the powerful “No Aceptan Imitaciones” and its pummeling riffs. The band’s Satanic side is always present in this release, more evidently on tracks like “Profecia del Anticristo” and “Satongo”.
Just when you think that Epica cannot get any better, they drop another masterpiece like “The Holographic Principle”. More bombastic, more explosive and more dynamic, this release further cements the band’s legacy as one of the premiere female-fronted symphonic Metal bands in the world. Featuring over 72 minutes of music spread in twelve brilliant tracks, the band completely blows away any expectations the fans might have from them.
After the traditional intro, the album kicks off in full gear with the dynamic “Edge of the Blade”, a track filled with powerful riffs and soaring vocal arrangements. The choir arrangements in this track instantly set the stage to the most bombastic Epica release ever, and tracks like “A Phantasmic Parade” and “Universal Death Squad” are a testament to that. The album’s instrumentation is top notch and perfectly delivers a unique aural experience.
Hailing from the USA, today we have a very unique band under the moniker Wolfpack 44. Formed by members of Electric Helfire Club and Kult ov Azazel , the band plays a very unique blend of Industrial Black Metal with some experimental elements. Featuring over 45 minutes of music, this release will appeal to fans of bands like Mysticum, Aborym and Diabolos Rising.
After the disturbing atmospheric intro, the band unleashes its full power with the pummeling riffs and oppressive atmosphere of “The Black March”. Perfectly mixing incisive guitars, tight drums and superbly harsh vocals, this track sets a very brutal tone. Following with the completely deranged “Rituale Romanum” featuring Dana Duffey on guest vocals, the band makes it clear that this release will be a true roller coaster ride.
Musical genius Peter Tägtgren presents us today with the latest opus “Coming Home” from his side project Pain. As the first release in five years, Peter delivers 10 catchy and totally whacky tracks that perfectly continue the madness spread by this band. Mixing a very catchy Industrial vibe with heavy riffs, this release will have you fully engaged from start to finish.
Instantly enveloping the listener within the band’s madness, “Designed to Piss You Off” delivers the first catchy and funky piece of this release. Relying on playful lyrics and catchy percussions, this track has a certain Southern Rock charm to it. Featuring vocals from Joakim Brodén of Sabaton, “Call Me” is definitely one of the most engaging and dynamic songs in this release. The two vocalists provide a nice contrast to this song, making it superbly addictive.
As THE most awaited release of 2016 for us, today we have the pleasure of reviewing the return of In The Woods… with “Pure”. Having influenced hundreds of bands over the years with their visionary music and style, this band finally reformed back in 2014 - after 14 years of hiatus. Featuring over 67 minutes of music, this release perfectly delivers the traditional In The Woods… experience but not without a more refined an evolved sound that puts them right back in the map, picking up exactly where they left off.
Opening with the soaring vocal arrangements of “Pure” alongside a very moody and engaging instrumentation, the band will instantly transport you to their unique world. With British singer James Fogarty at the helm, instant comparisons to Jan Transeth can be made, but Mr. Fog has a more dynamic range and brings his own style into the mix. For those of us that enjoyed the experimental nature of the band, they quickly deliver the atmospheric and dreamy “Blue Oceans Rise” and “Devil’s at the Door” to hook the listener further in.
Hailing from Spain, today we have Unbegotten and their savagely demoralizing Black Metal. Unleashing their debut release “Proem of the Unborn”, via Forever Plagued Records and on tape, this album delivers 21 minutes of soul crushing old-school Black Metal. Featuring four tracks and an intro, this is one of those tapes that will bring you to your early days of listening BM.
The only break the listener gets in this release is the mood setting intro, once “Into the Entrails of my Deliverance” kicks in, the band crafts a dissonant wall of sound that enshrouds the listener. The band’s sound is raw and basic, but with melodic moments and quality songwriting. Tracks like “Porphyric Curse” deliver solid drumming and catchy riffs that perfectly complement the demonic vocals.
Never ceasing to amaze us, today we have another killer release from Sun & Moon Records: Svoid – Storming Voices of Inner Devotion. Hailing from Hungary, this band nicely blends Post-Punk, Post-Rock, and Black Metal in a very unique way, kind of sounds like a mixture of Amesoeurs and Watain. Delivering 11 tracks of truly unique and catchy music, the band delivers one of the most unique and chaotic releases of 2016.
Opening with the devilish riffs of “Through the Horizon”, this track has a very unique tempo that completely contrasts the Black Metal elements, similar to what Ihsahn achieves in his latest releases. This contrast is actually what makes this release quite engaging an intoxicating, as you feel that something is a bit off, but in the best of ways. Creating a unique balance between the Post-Punk/Post-Rock and the rawness of their Black Metal foundations, tracks like “Crown of Doom”, “Death, Holy End” and “Never to Redeem” are truly magical and super interesting.
Perfectly marketed as a no-bull Epic Doom Metal outfit, today we have Sweden’s Void Moon and their sophomore full-length release titled “Deathwatch”. Presenting the listeners with nine brilliant tracks full of melancholy, this band focuses on epic soaring vocals and sorrowful riffs. Drawing comparisons with bands like the epic Candlemass and Solitude Aeturnus, this album will surely keep any fan of the genre at the edge of the seat.
Leading with the mournful riffs of “Rivers of the Moon”, the album instantly showcases the brilliant vocals of Jonas Gustavsson. The overall tempo of this track is brilliant, allowing the punishing riffs to brilliantly offset the clean vocals. By featuring such a clean and professional production, tracks like “Where the Sleeper Lies Awake” and the Pentagram-esque “Assassin of an Age”, the band allows to have a timeless sound while being quite clean and direct.
Hailing from Switzerland, today we have Instrumental Post-Metal/post-rock quartet Khaldera and their EP “Alteration”. Delivering three tracks of dreamy atmospheric music, this release showcases the band’s ability to craft captivating music which feels natural and organic. For fans of bands like Lebowski, Isis and God is an Astronaut, this release will transport the listener into ethereal worlds.
The album slowly builds up with the spacey “Impending Tempest” and its piercing riffs. This track reminds us of a less extreme version of The Ocean. As soon as this initial track is done, the sheer power of Khaldera is felt with the punishing guitar work of “The Inevitability of Transition”. The band perfectly balances dreamy and slow passages between pummeling riffs and tight drumming section. This track is definitely the heaviest and most complex of the release.