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.
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.
Unleashing a barrage of punishing Black Metal anthems, today we have Quebec’s Sombre Héritage with “Alpha Ursae Minoris”. For those not paying attention, the Canadian Black Metal scene has been flourishing in the last few years and this outfit is yet another crushing band hailing from our neighbors in the North. Spanning 6 tracks and nearly 40 minutes of music, this release delivers relentless brutality and incisive precision.
Opening with the riveting “Polaris”, we get that 90’s BM vibe thanks to the punishing riffs and well-tempered drumming onslaughts. The song sets a very firm and crushing pace that is never relinquished throughout the rest of the album. “Sombre Héritage” rolls in with more of that magical intensity thanks to an early Emperor/Satyricon vibe paired with crafty tempo changes and eerie atmospheric arrangements to contrast the brutal and melodic sections.
Led by Jonas Stålhammar of At the Gates fame, today we have Bombs of Hades and their short-but-sweet EP “Phantom Bell”. Released as a teaser before the band records their next full-length release, the listener is treated to four tracks, two of them covers, and 16 minutes of music. With a Crusty Death Metal sound, this album is a nice warm-up but it feels a bit too short, as we are always caught off-guard when the next release one our playlists sneaks up on us.
Opening with the title track, we get a furious guitar onslaught that quickly escalates with fast drumming and a moshing vibe. The guitar leads in this song give us a certain retro/crusty edge that we don’t typically find in our playlist. “Bridge of Sighs” is more settled as the crunchy guitars lead way to a very catchy vibe. The climax portion of this track is very impressive and nicely developed, firing up guitar solos and atmospheric elements.