Dropping one of the most surprisingly awesome releases of 2020, today we have Chrome Waves and their latest amalgamation of Post-Black Metal with all kinds of extra genres, under the title “Where We Live”. Featuring nearly 45 minutes of brilliantly intricate and nicely layered music that will appeal to fans from bands like Deafheaven, Abigail Williams, to Mountaineer or Alcest.
Opening with the dramatic “Hallow Dreams”, the band leads with lush instrumentation and suddenly escalates to dreamy riffs and catchy passages, all rounded up by harsh vocals. This track instantly showcases the band’s unique musical proposal as the vocal harmonies further elevate the already imposing atmosphere. This bleeds into “Gazing Into Oblivion”, a track that gives us that playful and in a way a bit pop-ish sound of bands like Amesoeurs.
Featuring members of Falaise, Morwinyon is an Italian outfit crafting soothing Atmospheric Black Metal tunes in the same vein as Saor and similar bands. With “Pristine”, the band unleashes nearly 40 minutes of atmospheric brilliance divided into four powerful tracks. While this genre is getting a lot of competition in the last few years, bands like this one clearly stand out from the rest thanks to their creative musical ideas and excellent execution.
The release opens with the dreamy “The Intangible Void”, a song filled with mystical synths and a good dosage of incisive riffs. The atmospheric components are a bit overpowering in the production of this release, but they still allow the ‘heavier’ elements to shine as this mid-tempo track unleashes a good amount of harsh screams alongside the very hypnotic vibe. “Sea of Stars” takes a more dramatic and darker turn with crafty drumming and some very solemn and effective passages that provide respite from the overpowering atmosphere, similar to what is found on releases by Lustre.
Always delivering the sickest and unique releases, I, Voidhanger unravels Kosmovorous and their punishing EP “Glorification Sermons”. Perfectly suited for those that love the black arts and enjoy Black Metal that is both chaotic and bloodcurdling, this release delivers 22 minutes of unparalleled brutality. Filled with atmosphere and chaos, this release will keep you at the edge of your seat.
The madness begins with the brutal “The Perilous Flesh And The Devouring light”, a track that sets a very chaotic and devastating tempo from the first minute and never lets go. Mixing hellish growls and desperation screams, this brand of BM does not require your typical shrieks. The massive drums and guitars create a very cavernous and intense vibe, with blistering riffs and incisive guitar leads as this track pummels through nearly 11 minutes of total aural destruction.
The catchiest band in Metal returns in the middle of the pandemic with one of those bombastic releases that will have you entertained from start to finish. With “Manifest”, Amaranthe continues their path of delivering superbly entertaining and epic sounding songs filled with lush vocal arrangements and a good amount of heaviness. With a “if it ain't broke, don't fix it” attitude, the band continues their lively musical path.
Kicking off with the explosive “Fearless”, we instantly get Amaranthe at the top of their game with an over-the-top lush track filled with soaring chorus sections, the juxtaposition of harsh vocals and the lovely siren chants of Elize Ryd, and futuristic synths. This momentum is carried forward with the heavier “Make it Better”, and the playful “Scream My Name”, an expertly crafted piece that unleashes probably some of the catchiest passages in the history of the band.
As one of the most awaited releases of 2020, today we have Norwegian Vikings Enslaved and their latest musical opus: “Utgard”. Continuing their musical evolution into more textured and proggy territories, this release delivers over 45 minutes of captivating music that perfectly blends their signature heavier onslaughts with their more delicate and intricate experimental constructs. If you have enjoyed everything the band has put out since “Axioma Ethica Odini”, this release continues this awesome transformation.
With a very mystical opening, “Fires In The Dark” delivers the band’s signature interplay of guitars alongside a combination of multiple vocal styles, creating a very lush and expansive melodic sound. Grutle’s signature snarl, nicely blends with the clean counter parts of Håkon Vinje and Iver Sandøy, particularly on tracks like “Jettegryta” where the heavier passages lead way to crafty and elegant melodic and proggy interludes. Other songs deliver the band’s traditional catchiness like the melancholic “Sequence”, which combines some funktastic bass lines alongside generous atmospheric elements.
Hailing from Sweden, today we have Trident’s sophomore release “North”, featuring nearly one hour of crushing Black/Death Metal. With a firm and pummeling style, the band’s ability to Blacken their Death Metal roots oozes both melody and brutality sprinkled with over the top atmospherics and lush arrangements creating a very elegant and devastating release. If you are a fan from bands like Dissection to Necrophobic to Dimmu Borgir, you will greatly enjoy this release.
Making a grandiose entrance, the lush intro track perfectly sets the stage for the Thulcandra/Dissection-esque antics of “Death”. The band quickly showcases their full power with incisive guitar riffs, a thundering bass guitar line, and hellish screams. The band’s ravaging pace continues through intense tracks like “Imperium Romanum” and its sharp guitars leads, and the sinister melodies of “Summoning”.
Unraveling part two of their cinematic masterpiece “Phanerozoic”, today we have Germany’s The Ocean (Collective) with 50-plus minutes of captivating music. Split in eight gargantuan tracks, this release keeps the same dramatic and larger-than-life vibe from the previous release while introducing a few new elements into the fold. If you like the band’s previous releases, you will instantly enjoy this blistering release.
Opening with “Triassic”, we are immediately immersed into the band’s subtle instrumentation with calming guitars and a very mellow and hypnotic pace. The first thing that stands out is Loïc Rossetti’s use of different vocal styles, in this track using some effects to add versatility to his already signature style. This is actually one of the biggest differences in this release as there is a lot more use of clean vocals (“Jurassic | Cretaceous” and “Eocene”) and
Always delivering extremely interesting releases, today we have Germany’s Ancst and their latest effort “Summits of Despondency”. Intricately layering many styles into a very pummeling and yet melancholic sound, this album features nearly 45 minutes of viciously delivered intense music. While genre purists will not enjoy the medley of styles in this release, we are huge fans of the amount of creativity and well crafted intermingling of everything from hardcore to Post-Black Metal.
Opening with the crushing “Kill Your Inner Cop”, the band instantly oozes an Hypocrisy vibe with menacing guitars and relentless intensity. The vocals are quite hectic and probably the singular identifying characteristic of the band’s diverse musical explorations, as this track bleeds into the more melodic “Inferno” and “Final Hour”. Due to the intensity of the band’s musical approach, songs quickly blend into each other, and before you can tell , you have heard 4-5 songs without even noticing.
Unleashing frosty waves of intense atmospheric Black Metal, today we have Ukraine’s Eskapism and their latest EP titled “Reminiscence”. Delivering a brilliant balance of melody, rawness, and old-school atmospherics, this trio creates very dynamic and engaging songs that are both uncompromising and expertly crafted. Recommended for fans of early Dimmu Borgir, Old Man’s Child, Kampfar.
The release leads with the mystical “A Cry into Oblivion”, a song that slowly builds up into a superb headbanging session thanks to its melodic nature alongside lush and dramatic atmospheric keyboards. The blistering album title track captures that timeless mystical sound of late 90’s Black Metal, similar to Tartaros, Limbonic Art, and Emperor, with its dramatic synths and crafty tempo changes. The mood suddenly shifts with the ambient instrumental “Whisper of Ancient Times”, a very nice piece to come full circle in this release.
Creating a very punishing and miserable aural experience, today we have Finland’s Blood Red Fog and their very aptly titled “Fields of Sorrow” release. With a vibe similar to bands like Mortualia, this release unleashes over 50 minutes of exciting Black Metal with tons of experimental atmospheric elements and a very demoralizing mood. Only for masochists, this release will turn any day into a bleak ordeal.
The hypnotic “Before The Cold Light” sets a very trippy metaphysical mood that is instantly ravaged by the blistering BM onslaughts of “Gallows Poles and Shallow Graves”. With such a fierce tempo change, the band delivers a punishing blow with brutal guitars and hyper fast drumming, we love these types of contrasts. The depressive mode of “Abode of Shadows” gives you that certain Doomy vibe that perfectly blends with BM harshness, creating an immersive wallowing experience, this brilliant misery bleeds into the eerie “Ever-Returning Genocide”.