Featuring a very complex and yet imposing sound, today we have Italy’s Summit and their debut full-length release ”The Winds that Forestall Thy Return”. Divided in 5 songs that last around 32 minutes total, the band does a pretty interesting job in combining Progressive Metal influences into a thick wall of Post-Metal elements. With a certain improvisational vibe, this release will surely grab your attention and will always keep you guessing what is coming up next.
The album commences with the sinister riffs of “Hymn Of The Forlon Wayfarer”, this 10-minute track slowly builds up as the intensity grows. This song reminded us of early Dysrhythmia stuff, but a bit less convoluted and more approachable. With the intensity in full swing, tracks like “Pale Moonlight Shadow” do a great job in keeping the momentum going and deliver very intricate passages with cool tempo changes, contrasted by whispers and screams in the background.
Coming out of a few very hard years with the death of founding member and drummer Tobias Graf and the departure of Sabine Scherer, the bands charismatic vocalist, Deadlock delivers their 7th full-length release titled “Hybris”. Featuring a more melancholic edge to their music than their previous two releases, this album brings us back to the catchiness of “Bizarro World” combined with the melodic side of “Wolves”.
Opening with the Groovy “Epitaph”, we are very quickly given the first glance of Margi Gerlitz’s vocals, which are actually somewhat similar to Sabine’s, but as the album progresses we notice they also have a wider range, allowing the band’s music to go to different places. This catchy opener is nicely framed with intricate drumming, direct riffs and subtle atmospheric elements. “Carbonman” and “Berserk” nicely step up the intensity level with two very engaging and heavy songs filled with cool guitar leads that ooze melody and provide a nice contrast when paired with Margi’s vocals.
Hailing from Texas, today we have Goatcraft and its very unique and dark ‘Necro-classical’ brand of Neoclassical music. Focusing on having a very sinister atmosphere, this release delivers 10 tracks of Instrumental keyboard/piano music that will haunt your dreams. A bit more somber than Charmand Grimloch’s work, this release offers a nice change of pace from our traditional Metal musical exploits.
Opening with the lush “Beyond Nothingness”, this one-man outfit creates a very dark and mysterious mood. With compositions like “The Rape of Europa II” and “Plague” we are feel like we are in the middle of the score of a horror movie and we can’t get out (in a good way). Perfectly blending lush atmospheric synths with the dramatic pianos, “The Great Morality” is one of our favorite pieces.
Just went you think a band can’t get any better, Harakiri for the Sky unleashes their third full-length release “III: Trauma”. Featuring an even more depressing and more refined sound, this Austrian duo delivers nearly 75 minutes of majestic music. Further expanding and perfecting their melancholic Post-Black Metal sound, the band keeps blowing our minds with their excellent musicianship and brilliant song writing abilities.
Opening with “Calling the Rain”, we instantly get an opus that sounds like a combination of Alcest and Katatonia, without being a rip-off of them. The band’s pace allows their music to grow and deliver waves of melancholic onslaughts as only a handful of bands can do these days. Not settling for one particular musical influence, “Funeral Dreams” moves into more melodic Death Metal territories with some similarities to October Tide… if they played with Black Metal inclinations.
Continuing their re-colonization of the Death Metal scene, today we have Sweden’s Centinex and their latest full-length release “Doomsday Rituals”. Having returned to the scene back in 2014, the band is not wasting any time in unleashing another crushing Swedish DM onslaught upon the unsuspecting listeners. Featuring a timeless sound, this album delivers over 30 minutes of relentless Death Metal that cannot be missed.
The first master lesion comes under the name of “Flash Passion”, as the atmospheric intro dies down; the riffing power of Sverker Widgren is instantly felt. This track has that timeless grittiness of bands like Grave and Entombed. Continuing the onslaught, “From Intact to Broken” and “Dismemberment Supreme” keep the heads banging and the tempo of the release at a very high point. The band’s command of the genre is quite clear in this intense opening.
With many Black Metal bands experimenting with all kinds of new elements and some others just focused on releasing kvlt stuff that sounds like it was recorded on a toilet, it is quite refreshing to hear bands like Valgaldr which keep the Norwegian BM torch alive. In “Østenfor sol” the band delivers around 42 minutes of raw and savage BM with the grace and melody of bands like Taake, old Satyricon, old Dark Throne, etc.
Opening with the raw onslaughts of “Tusen Steiner”, the band instantly delivers waves of riffs that are nicely paired with intense drumming and the traditional shrieks. The first standout track in this release is the killer “Et Slott I Skogen”, which features some awesome melodic riffs that will have you headbanging in seconds. This is exactly what we expect from a Norwegian BM band, killer melodic riffs paired with crushing intensity and rawness.
From the mastermind behind Galaktik Cancer Squad, today we have Morphinist and their original debut release album from 2013 which didn’t see the light of day until 2016. In “Terraforming”, this one-man battalion delivers 35 minutes of truly skilled Atmospheric Black Metal with some Post-Black Metal and Doom influences. If you are a fan of Argwohn’s unique musical vision with GCS, you will definitely enjoy this one.
Opening with the 15 minute behemoth “Terraforming I”, the album starts in a very Doom-like manner with crushing riffs and a very sluggish tempo. After some more mood setting passages, things blow up with a furious BM pace. The transitions are quite seamless and very well delivered, making such changes not contrasting but rather complementary in an extremely unique way.
Hailing from Italy, today we have the very unconventional Avant-garde Black Metal outfit VIII and their sophomore release “Decathexis”. Featuring over 45 minute of highly entertaining and chaotic music, this release is quite engaging and well crafted, as you never know what to expect next.
Opening with the Black Metal onslaughts of “Symptom”, the band starts punishing the listener with the aggressive side of their music. The throbbing bass guitar line stands out from the band’s relentless onslaughts. The tempo changes featured in this track give it a sinister edge when paired with the extra atmospheric elements.
Brilliantly continuing the 2015 album "Epsilon Aurigae", today we have Monolithe and the crushing “Zeta Reticuli”. Originally recorded back in 2015, this album further expands the band’s refined Doom/Funeral Doom sound into more progressive and experimental territories while preserving their atmospheric elements. Clocking in at 45 minutes, this is definitely one of the most engaging releases of 2016 so far.
Opening with “Ecumenopolis”, the band slowly changes from atmospheric sounds to piercing Doom riffs. This continues slowly as the vocals suddenly appear and the atmospheric elements turn a bit more psychedelic as the crushing wall of riffs lurks in the back. The band does a solid job in keeping things interesting by delivering crafty drum patterns near the end.
Featuring a unique mix of Depressive Black Metal with Alternative Rock, Germany’s Freitod third full-length release “Der unsichtbare Begleiter” is quite a unique one. Clocking in at 44 minutes, this album has a very dreamy and melancholic vibe to it, making it one of the freshest sounding albums we have heard in quite a while.
Opening with the powerful riffing of “Unter schwarzen Wolken”, you can instantly hear that he tempo is a bit different of what you would expect. The harsh vocals and guitar work reminds us a bit of Harakiri for the Sky. The clean vocals are what really make this release magical as they transmit a sense of helplessness that only bands like Katatonia manage to achieve. Perfectly weaving back and forth from semi-aggressive Black Metal passages to more passive Rock-ish soundscapes, tracks like “Die falsche Krankheit” and “Der unsichtbare Begleiter” make this album truly magical.