2020

  • Dark Sarah - Grim (2020)

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    Always delivering quite lush and engaging Symphonic/Gothic Metal releases, today we have Dark Sarah and their latest opus “Grim”. With a cinematic vibe and always featuring very interesting fantasy-filled story-lines, this release unleashes 55 minutes of majestic music filled with dream-like atmospheres and the signature vocals of Heidi Parviainen. This release is a must-have for all fans of bands like Visions of Atlantis, Delain, Nightwish, etc.

    Setting the stage with the mystical “My Name Is Luna”, the band gets fully warmed up with the bombastic opening of “The Chosen One”. Pairing dramatic lead vocals with heavy guitars and explosive drumming is a formula that works wonders for the band as songs like “Illuminate” and “Melancholia” deliver waves of catchy passages and the perfect balance of heavy and lush that we love from this band. For those looking for the power-ballads, “Iceheart” is a very nice mellow song that changes the pace of this release.

  • Moonworshipper - 13 Fullmoon Nights of Loneliness (2020)

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    Always releasing superbly interesting stuff, Hypnotic Dirge Records unleashes Moonworshipper and their ‘EP’ “13 Fullmoon Nights of Loneliness”. Featuring a truly chaotic, experimental, and yet lush sound, this release pretty much takes elements from almost every genre of music and mixes them together in a very melancholic and tormentous release. If you are a fan of Manes, Lethe, Ulver, and similar outfit, this release is right up your alley.

    Starting with some cavernously Doomy guitar riffs, the single 24-minute track in this release hints at a very heavy and punishing journey. The crushing guitars and rhythmic drumming is perfectly offset by hellish vocals and crafty tempo changes. This is until the band switches things up with hauntingly eerie piano/atmospheric passages and the introduction of sultry female vocals. Note that at this stage the guitars and doomy vibe are still very present as the band continues to dabble in some Depressive/Suicidal BM influences mixed into jazzy and noir-esque female singing.

  • Convocation - Ashes Coalesce (2020)

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    Unleashing a tectonic plate shifting release, today we have Finland’s Convocation and their sophomore release “Ashes Coalesce”. Giving a modern edge to the timeless Funeral Death/Doom Metal genre, this duo delivers one of the most intense and intricate releases we have heard in 2020. Perfect for fans of Mournful Congregation, Dark Buddha Rising, and Waste of Space Orchestra, this release will rock your world from start to end.

    Featuring Marko Neuman of Dark Buddha Rising/Waste of Space Orchestra fame on vocals, the release starts with the intense “Martyrise”. For over 12 minutes, this track delivers a web of intricate tempo changes and an onslaught of weird and sinister vocal styles, creating a very chaotic and cavernous feeling. The release turns to doomier and more ‘traditional’ territories with the mournful “The Absence of Grief”, a 13-minute beast that delivers solemn atmospheric elements and crushing riffs paired with Marko's deep and piercing growls.

  • With The End In Mind - Tides of Fire (2020)

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    Delivering a very rich and emotional 48 minutes of soul crushing Post-Black Metal with a Cascadian vibe, today we have With The End In Mind and their sophomore release “Tides of Fire”. Perfectly contrasting fragility with crushing aggression, this release unleashes three masterful tracks that weave together tons of influences while creating a very powerful and complex sound. If you are a fan of bands like Agalloch, Wolves in the Throne Room and Vanum, this release will blow you away.

    The release leads with the dreamy opening of “Set the Cavernous Soul Alight”, which slowly turns into a very chaotic and savage onslaught of harsh screams, blistering drumming and a very firm and crushing pace. We particularly love how the band weaves pockets of intense brutality into mellow and lush soundscapes that are both hypnotic and eerie. Just as this track slowly built up, the ending soothes the listener with eerie clean vocals and a certain folky vibe.

  • Ensiferum - Thalassic (2020)

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    Delivering a perfect balance of speedy Epic Power/Folk Metal ballads and and folky moody pieces, Ensifeum returns with “Thalassic”. Adding extra depth to their signature sound, the band hedges a bit more into Power Metal territories while keeping their lively and upbeat style for nearly 50 minutes. Perfectly in sync with their earlier releases, this album propels the band’s sound into new territories and pleases fans with intense and engaging songs.

    Setting a very epic mood with “Seafarer's Dream”, the band goes full speed with the intense “Rum, Women, Victory”, which features a bit of a Children of Bodom-esque sound mixed in with their traditional blistering melodies and crafty instrumentation. The clean vocals on “Andromeda” really give it a slighter Power Metal edge, greatly elevating this catchy and awesome song to new levels. The same can be said for “The Defense of the Sampo”, which has a certain Stratovarius meets Ensiferum vibe.

  • Powerwolf - Best Of The Blessed (2020)

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    Celebrating their 15 years of existence (in 2019) Powerwolf delivers the perfect compendium of their best songs and live renditions. Not settling for the traditional ‘best of’ album, the band made new versions of some of their greatest hits like “Resurrection by Erection” and “We Drink Your Blood”, giving something extra for collectors and fans alike. Never having played (and refused along the way) in the USA, this is one hell of a band with excellent music that no fan of Power/Symphonic Metal should miss out on.

    Opening with a new version of our favorite song, “We Drink Your Blood”, we noticed a slightly polished edge and an even more bombastic nature to this epic song. The band’s sound has greatly been refined over the years, making it more explosive and lush, and the new versions of songs like “Werewolves of Armenia”, “Saturday Satan”, and the classic “Resurrection by Erection” , are brilliantly enhanced to give you the chills the band delivers on their live performances.

  • MIGHT - MIGHT (2020)

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    Blending a plethora of genres, today we have MIGHT and their brilliant self-titled release. Unleashing a barrage of massive guitar riffs and combining influences from High on Fire to Chelsea Wolfe, this release will have you worshiping the band’s creativity and distortion levels in just a few songs. With over 35 minutes of music, the nine tracks presented here develop a very warm and fuzzy sound for this duo that is quite engaging and hard to stop listening to.

    Leading the listener with the mysterious and post-rock-ish “Introduce Yourself”, this duo unleashes their full force with the furious guitar and drumming opening of “Pollution of Mind”. This is all abruptly changed into a more traditional Doom/Sludge drawl with meaty guitars, crafty tempo changes, and the sultry vocals of Ana Muhi. The band’s musical core is simple and yet quite effective, particularly in crafty songs like the hypnotic “Vampire” and the crushing “Possession” with waves of intricate bass guitar notes and pummeling riffs.

  • Deeper Graves - Open Roads (2020)

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    Unleashing a big glob of darkness, Alternative/Gothic/Post-Punk one-man unit Deeper Graves delivers their debut release “Open Roads”. From the mind of Jeff Wilson (Chrome Waves, ex-Nachtmystium), this release features nearly 40 minutes of superbly atmospheric and depressive music. While not really ‘traditional’ Metal, this album is still heavy in atmosphere and very enigmatic. For fans of Katatonia, Nick Cave, Sisters of Mercy, and Kayo Dot.

    The release slowly unravels with the bleak “Final Divide” and its haunting clean vocals paired with sublime string instruments and an eerie tempo. This sinister aural exploration continues with the dreamy guitars of “Leave This World”, the Post-Punk/Gothic Rock vibe of “Ode to War”, and the enigmatic percussions of “Open Arms” and its shoegazy approach. As you can read, every track is a unique experience that perfectly blends genres while creating a very dense and emotional atmosphere, unique to Deeper Graves.

  • Eisenkult - ...gedenken wir der Fisnternis (2020)

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    Delivering a wave of old-school Black Metal, today we have the debut release of Eisenkult, titled “...gedenken wir der Fisnternis”. Perfectly blending simple melodic elements to a very raw and traditional BM core, the band unleashes nearly 30 minutes of relentless music. Aimed for the nostalgic fan of the genre, this release brings back the early days of BM with skill and craftiness.

    Starting with a cheesy 8-bit intro, just like some of the earlier Symphonic BM releases, the band sets a very old-school and DYI vibe as the “Stahlross” delivers the first furious onslaught of ravaging riffs and hellish vocals. With a distinctly raw round, the mixture of hypnotic symphonic elements and blistering drums is very well delivered on tracks like “Deprecatio” and the poisonous “Gedenken wir der Finsternis” which oozes of that early BM naivete we all love.

  • Uerberos - Stand over Your Grave (2020)

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    Delivering a blistering onslaught of crushing Death Metal, today we have Uerberos and their brutal sophomore release “Stand over Your Grave”. Hailing from Poland, this outfit delivers crushing intensity paired with a crystal clear production that makes these nearly 40-minutes and nine tracks feel like a bag of bricks to the head.

    Roaring at the listener since the first song, “Levitation”, the band’s intensity delivers waves of punishing chugging riffs, catchy hooks and firm growls. With great finesse and ravaging brutality tracks like “Ruthless Execution”, “Beautiful Crimson of Your Blood”, and “Flaming Darkness”, deliver a masterful combination of hectic drumming, a pulsating bass guitar line, and tons of brilliant moshing moments. It is quite refreshing to hear such a young band deliver expertly crafted songs that are both engaging and destructive.

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