2019

  • DOOL - Love Like Blood (2019)

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    Hailing from the Netherlands, this Dark Rock outfit delivers some of the most interesting and enchanting tunes to come out of this European country. Fronted by the charismatic Ryanne van Dorst, the band unleashes their latest EP, “Love Like Blood”, through Prophecy Productions this May. Featuring one cover track and two live recordings, you can get a peak at the band’s live intensity and magic with this short but sweet release.

    Opening with Killing Joke’s “Love Like Blood”, the band infuses their magical mellowness into this legendary song. With dreamy guitars and a very intoxicating pace, Ryanne nicely captures the essence of the original piece while adding the band’s own atmospheric dreaminess to it. Featuring members of Gold and The Devil’s Blood, this band has a highly talented core that instantly reflects in their execution and creativity.

  • Bethlehem - Lebe dich leer (2019)

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    German masters of the bizarre Bethlehem are back to full form with the punishing “Lebe dich leer”. Reminding us of their “Dictius Te Necare” and “Dark Metal” days, the band delivers 41 minutes of truly punishing music filled with madness and brutality. Jürgen Bartsch and company are ready to take back their throne and this release is one huge step in the right direction.

    Opening with “Verdaut in klaffenden Mäulern”, the band makes an instant impression with the demonic shrieks of Onielar, also the front woman of Darkened Nocturn Slaughtercult. With her completely ravaging vocals, the already mysterious music takes a completely different and pummeling turn, making it quite violent, mystical and at times quite experimental, like on “Niemals mehr leben”. Atmospheric pieces like “Ich weiß ich bin keins”, will send chills down your spine thanks to the whispered vocals and the very deranged song progression.

  • Amon Amarth - Berserker (2019)

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    As a well oiled viking ship sailing through the oceans, Amon Amarth returns with yet another impressive onslaught of headbanging and moshing anthems in “Berserker”. Featuring twelve tracks and a running time of 56 minutes, the band further refines their crushing sound with a more melodic edge and the same amounts of euphoria inducing riffs. For those following the band’s exploits over the years, you will find this release as equally dynamic and impressive as their older ones, with a certain added touch of maturity. If you are new to the band, strap on for one hell of a ride with this one.

    With “Fafner's Gold” leading the procession, the band warms up the listener’s with a powerful track, but the single “Crack the Sky” really steps it up a notch with the traditional Amon Amarth crushing melodic riffs. With this song you will instantly be possessed to start headbanging furiously thanks to its playful guitar work and hellish signature vocals. Additionally, the killer guitar leads add that extra level of epicness to an already brilliant song.

  • 夢遊病者 - Ѫ (2019)

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    Better known as Sleepwalker (夢遊病者), this international band formed from people from multiple corners of the world like Japan, Russia and USA unleashes the latest EP with “Yus” (Ѫ). Combining Black Metal with unique elements and crafted very bleak atmospheres, it feels like Darkthrone and Kayo Dot had a very odd bastard child.

    Side A delivers an atmospheric opening which sets a mystical backdrop, only to quickly evolve into dissonant madness. This track perfectly transmits a feeling of helplessness with its odd atmospheric elements and brutal onslaughts. The harsh screams seem a bit distorted, but create a unique vibe that when paired with the rest, create a very uneasy vibe.

  • Molasses - Mourning Haze/Drops of Sunlight (2019)

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    Born as a commissioned ‘project’ from Roadburn Music festival, Molasses brings back Farida Lemouchi and her old The Devil’s Blood bandmates to craft a very unique body of music that serves as a way to move on from the death of Selim Lemouchi and TDB days. Not being a tribute to TDB, we were quite excited to hear if Molasses would even resemble their older material or just sound completely different, luckily for us there are certain hints of their old style with newer elements thrown into the mix.

    This two song single release through Ván Records is all we will get for now, especially the ones that missed out on Roadburn 2019. Opening with the amp fuzziness of “Mourning Haze”, we are quickly transported to the days of Psychedelic Rock and its trippiness. Featuring a very accommodating pace and beautifully adorned with playful guitar leads and groovy synths, this opening track is pure magic and a very powerful way to open this release.

  • Myrath - Shehili (2019)

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    Hailing from Tunisia, Myrath has gained popularity and critical acclaim thanks to their very lively Progressive Metal sound beautifully adorned with Middle Eastern Folk elements. Gradually refining their style and songwriting skills, with “Shehili” the band delivers one of their most complete and fun albums to date. Featuring over 47 minutes of superb music presented in 12 lush tracks, the band creates a very unique and engaging atmosphere that is hard to imitate.

    After setting a very mystical and exotic mood with the intro “Asl”, the band fully shines with the dramatic “Born to Survive”. Providing a cinematic experience, Myrath quickly immerses the listener into their own world. Not used only as a gimmick, the band’s unique Middle Eastern elements are ingrained into the music’s DNA, like on the dramatic percussions and keyboards of “You’ve Lost Yourself”, or the tempo and adornments of “Dance”, and the soaring vocal arrangements of “Wicked Dice”. Similarly to Orphaned Land, the band perfectly brings something from their culture and heritage into their music, creating a very lively and engaging sound.

  • Oceanwake - Lights Flashing in Mute Scenery (2019)

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    Unleashing a truly unique amalgamation of Doom Metal with Progressive/Post-Metal influences, today we have Oceanwake and their latest opus “Lights Flashing in Mute Scenery”. For 45 minutes this outfit delivers seven tracks filled with traditional elements unconventionally arranged. Particularly appealing for those of us that like to be challenged by music, this release has a high replay value as you will always discover something new with each listen.

    The album starts with the dreamy intro to “Radiant Nightbreak”, which transforms into a moody clash between clean and harsh vocals. With crushing riffs and a very depressive atmosphere, the album continues with “The Occult”, a piece that starts heavier and then it turns into a lush atmospheric Post-Rock-ish composition, only to close strong with a crushing Post-Metal/Hardcore onslaught.

  • Erancnoir - Erancnoir (2019)

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    It is not very usual to receive promos from bands from countries like Iran, so today we are quite excited to review Erancnoir’s self-titled third full-length release. This one-man outfit delivers over 40 minutes of punishing Atmospheric Black Metal with similarities to bands like NONE and Lustre. With a thunderous approach to the genre, this release is certainly a very interesting contribution to the genre that fans should not miss out on.

    With only two tracks covering the album’s duration, the first piece clocks in at 25 minutes and it is certainly a punishing and excruciating journey through dark and sinister worlds. This title track slowly builds up into hellish shrieks of pain and droning riffs that increase in intensity. The atmospheric keyboards are subtle enough to create a magical aura and perfectly complement a ravagingly raw musical core.

  • Óreiða - Óreiða (2019)

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    Unleashing a 34 minute dose of Atmospheric Black Metal, today we have Iceland’s latest export: Óreiða. In this self-titled debut release, this one entity outfit delivers a dissonant Black Metal sound filled with hatred and brutality. While not as raw as your typical BM bands, the music presented here is crafted to incite discomfort and repulsion… in a good way.

    Opening with the pummeling “Dagar”, we get a powerful wall of sound crafted by the hellish distorted guitars and the furious pace. The guitar layering gives this track that extra punch to incite unrest. The violent onslaught continues with the raw brutality of “Draumar”, a track that slowly builds up by adding some atmospheric elements and creating a more dramatic aural assault.

  • Dead to a Dying World - Elegy (2019)

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    After taking the scene by surprise with their amazing sophomore release “Litany”, Dead to a Dying World is back after four years with an even more impressive and masteful release with “Elegy”. Perfectly blending elements of Doom/Sludge/Black Metal with very emotional vocals and dramatic viola arrangements, this band crafts a very unique sound that is both intoxicating and ravaging. Focusing on creating immersive atmospheres and melodramatic moods, this outfit has created a near perfect release.

    Opening with the dreamy western-eques “Syzygy”, the band creates a very martial and enigmatic end-of-time mood. Quickly shifting into 5th gear, “The Seer’s Embrace” delivers crafty guitar riffs and intense vocal arrangements. The mixture of heavy guitars and viola sounds a lot like late 90’s band Forty Days Longing, as it creates a very unique and powerful contrast. The band focuses on crafting unique melodic passages, as this track evolves into many different up and down moods.

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