2021

  • Therion - Leviathan (2021)

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    Labeled as the album where the band is giving fans exactly what they want: traditional Therion hit songs, Therion returns with “Leviathan”. Featuring around 45 minutes of music, this release only features epic tracks that combine both the band’s Heavy Metal catchiness and lush choirs and orchestrations. Definitely a change from “Beloved Antichrist”, this release features tracks that showcase the band’s evolution while keeping things superbly exciting and intense.

    Starting with the heavy hitting “The Leaf on the Oak of Far”, we get that brilliant mixture of Heavy Metal catchiness alongside the band’s dramatic vocal arrangements and crafty tempo changes. Led by operatic vocals and lush arrangements, tracks like “Tuonela”, “Leviathan” and “Die Wellen der Zeit” unleash that perfect atmosphere that the band is known for, where things are both superbly engaging and elegant sounding.

  • Trial - Sisters of the Moon (2021)

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    Showcasing their new vocalist, Arthur W. Andersson, today we have Sweden’s Trial and their EP “Sisters of the Moon”. Featuring two cover songs, one from Fleetwood Mac and another from Black Sabbath, these tracks feature the band firing on all cylinders while paying tribute to some excellent tracks.

    Opening with “Sisters of the Moon”, the twin guitar attack of Alexander Ellström and Andreas Johnsson perfectly frames the songs as Arthur’s talented vocals make their appearance. As you can expect, the band makes the song their own, filling it with attitude and crafty musicianship. Proper homage to the mighty Black Sabbath is hard to do, but Trial achieves it with their dramatic and engaging rendition of “Die Young”, including killer guitar leads and vocal antics.

  • Meister Leonhardt - Meister Leonhardt (2021)

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    Mysterious Russian entity Meister Leonhardt are about to start a very intense 2021 with their crushing self-titled debut release. Featuring over 26 minutes of frosty old-school Black Metal, this release is the perfect balance between aggression, melody and atmosphere. With members of bands like Thy Grave, Dekonstruktor, Goatpsalm, and Frozen Ocean, this band’s sound is pure quality and quite crafty, making this release one hell of a presentation card.

    The atmospheric opener “The Coldest Fire”, serves as a nice lead to the frosty hellishness of “The Crown Of Consenescence”. This first onslaught unleashes pummeling drums, a catchy tempo and devilish shrieks. With a very retro sound, the band’s core elements are ravaging, reminding us of early Satyricon and Darkthrone days. The incisive guitar work on tracks like “Of Things Never Finished”, offers a great balance between melodic and catchy, while capturing that 80/90 BM vibe.

  • Urfeind - Wraiþaz (2020)

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    Delivering a firm blow of powerful Black Metal, today we have Germany’s Urfeind and their latest EP “Wraiþaz”. Mixing crafty melodies with intense riffing, this outfit unleashes nearly 21 minutes of engaging music that any fan of the genre will enjoy. Staying away from cliches, this band commands attention thanks to their firm and aggressive sound.

    Opening with “Nine to Zero”, we get a mid-tempo wave of crafty riffs and a powerful snarl, expertly paired to inflict maximum damage. The band’s sound is straightforward, and yet all-consuming thanks to their solid instrumentation. The intensity increases with the blistering guitars of “Void” creating a very hypnotic and engaging atmosphere.

  • Frozen Soul - Crypt of Ice (2021)

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    Unleashing a barrage of crushing riffs and a very dense atmosphere, today we have Death Metal newcomers Frozen Soul and their debut release “Crypt of Ice”. Hailing from Texas, this outfit perfectly combines old-school North American DM elements with influences from old-school European Death Metal, creating a very unique amalgamation of sounds that feels like Centinex had a bastard child with Incantation.

    Opening with the chugging riffs of “Crypt of Ice”, the band creates a very effective and crushing mood with excellent headbanging passages. Setting that sluggish mid-tempo approach, tracks like “Arctic Stranglehold”, “Hand of Vengeance”, “Wraith of Death” further develop the band’s immersive atmosphere with crafty drumming and hellish vocals. The band’s lyrical themes are also quite refreshing as they don’t just focus on blood and guts like most others.

  • Mons Veneris - Mons Veneris (2021)

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    So far this 2021 has started with a good amount of aurally abusive releases and this self-titled EP from Mons Veneris fits that category perfectly. Unleashing over 20 minutes of music in this two song release, this experienced Portuguese band creates a very punishing and chaotic sound that is superbly effective in completely disturbing the listener.

    Warming up with the hectic “Ritual of a Neverending Doom” we instantly get a completely crushing and dissonant atmosphere created by the buzzsaw-like guitars and lo-fi production. With plenty of different and yet creepy vocal styles, this track sets a very dark and chilling mood. “A Scythe Infested with Plagues…” blasts away with a more traditional BM structure with hellish drumming and incisive guitars. The track feels a bit more ‘normal’, but the intense vocals still give out that eerie goosebump-inducing sinister vibe.

  • Accept - Too Mean to Die (2021)

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    Starting 2021 strong, today we have the legendary Accept and their latest opus “Too Mean to Die”. Delivering over 50 minutes of high-octane Heavy Metal, this outfit keeps the momentum going on their ‘revival’ with hard hitting and superbly catchy songs. If you are a fan of Heavy Metal, this release won’t disappoint.

    The band’s new signature vocalist, Mark Tornillo, quickly leads tracks like “Zombie Apocalypse”, “Too Mean to Die”, and “Overnight Sensation” with his soaring vocals and playful style. Perfectly paired with Wolf Hoffmann’s incisive guitars, this release sets a very furious and catchy pace right off the gate. The band thrives by unleashing superbly engaging tracks that are both melodic and epic, such as the killer “No Ones Master” and its blistering twin guitar onslaughts.

  • Anaal Nathrakh - Endarkenment (2020)

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    Unleashing what is their most mature and yet completely devastating release to date, Anaal Nathrakh returns with the relentless “Endarkenment”. Featuring a more focused and equally crushing sound, this album delivers over 41 minutes of balls to the wall aggression mixed with interesting vocal arrangements and the band’s signature chaotic style. If you liked the band’s previous releases, you will love the brutality and craftiness behind this one.

    Opening with the album title track, we are instantly flooded with the band’s superior aural abuse thanks to waves of guitars, blistering drums, and completely chaotic (and yet quite soothing) multiple vocal styles. There is an underlying level of melody that we haven’t seen before, allowing the band to create more ‘breathing’ passages between brutal onslaughts. As the duo continues to pummel through this release, songs like “Thus, Always, to Tyrants” and “The Age of Starlight Ends”, keep the intensity to the max, while unleashing some interesting vocal theatrics on this last song.

  • Aleah - Aleah (2020)

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    Marking the final release of Aleah Starbridge musical legacy, this double album delivers over 85 minutes of her enchanting vocals and captivating music. Having passed away too soon, her musical legacy has been recently honored with the Trees of Eternity’s “Hour of The Nightingale” release, and with this release featuring nine acoustic tracks and six additional songs that highlight her range and wide musical interests and influences.

    The release starts with the somber “Vapour”, and it slowly eases into the magic of “Sacrifice”, both songs showcase Aleah’s soothing vocals and a very dark and eerily sad mood. Many of these songs are taken from her demo, but here they sound amazing and create a very somber atmosphere as “My Will” and “Breathe” sound completely different and bleaker in the acoustic version. Thanks to the simple musical core, these songs allow the vocals to be in full attention and drive the listener’s mood with every single word.

  • Hail Spirit Noir - Eden in Reverse (2020)

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    For some reason a band like Opeth and their newest Progressive/Psychedelic antics, while great sounding, they usually put us to sleep. Contrastingly, Greece’s Hail Spirit Noir and their latest newfound Psychedelic/Progressive endeavors incite a great level of curiosity and engagements from us. Unleashing “Eden in Reverse”, the band delivers a mixture of their weird avant-gardeness of their earlier days and trippy Proggy/Psych brilliance, perfectly delivered in seven tracks and nearly 45 minutes of captivating music.

    The album opens up with the more traditional old-school Prog/Space rock of bands like Hawkwind and Magnum on pieces like “Darwining Beasts” and “Incense Swirls”. While catchy, we didn’t really get turned fully into the release until “Alien Lip Reading” comes in with a certain weird Solefald sounding angle, creating captivating guitar melodies and hypnotic vocal arrangements. This track nicely turns the release into a very interesting and completely trippy experience as it sounds like your old prog/space rock, but with a fresher and more dynamic edge.

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