As one of our favorite bands in the Post-Black Metal space, Agrypnie is finally back with the punishing “Metamorphosis”. Featuring nearly 70 minutes of highly intense music, this release continues the band’s musical evolution with a more defined and electrifying sound. While some Post-Black Metal bands focus on making things a bit too mellow or melancholic, this band achieves the melancholy part with droves of punishing guitars and instrumental passages.
Opening with “Wir Ertrunkenen”, the first part is an orchestral prolog that suddenly turns dark as Torsten’s hellish vocals nicely weave between punishing riffs. However, this is not the only thing to digest, as the tempo changes keep things fresh. After a pummeling start, “Verwuestung” has a more introspective nature as it slowly evolves into more aggressive and yet melancholic moods. For those looking for the band’s faster and more ‘traditional’ BM side, tracks like “Am Ende der Welt - Teil 1” deliver the goods.
Unleashing a very powerful and emotionally charged release, today we have Felled and their debut full-length “The Intimate Earth”. Perfectly mixing Black/Folk and some Doom Metal elements, this outfit creates a very unique and ravaging sound thanks to the misery-inducing Violin that accompanies all songs. Particularly reminding us of the short lived band Forty Days Longing, this is one hell of an emotional release filled with crafty songwriting.
Immediately a very somber mood is set with the piercing “Ember Dream” and its dramatic arrangements. Weaving back and forth intense onslaughts and melodramatic tempo changes, this track perfectly blends Black Metal with a doomier edge and some Folky elements. The mixture of harsh vocals alongside sweeping guitar leads nicely evolve into a very cathartic closing. Showing the first track was not fluke, “Fire Season on the Outer Rim” nicely continues the dramatic aural experience by adding some clean female vocals into the mix.
Unleashing one of the most over the top and yet brilliant Symphonic-whatever-Metal releases, today we have Wizardthrone and their debut full-length release “Hypercube Necrodimensions”. Featuring members from bands like Alestorm, Nekrogoblikon, Gloryhammer, and Æther Realm, this band creates a very explosive and lush Metal sound with tons of wacky influences and over the top orchestrations. Imagine Gloryhammer, Æther Realm, with a dose of Children of Bodom and Obscura, and you can almost approximate what this band sounds like.
The release opens with the ravaging “Black Hole Quantum Thermodynamics”, perfectly blending dramatic orchestrations with heavy melodic guitars and a crafty use of harsh and clean vocals. The mood is set very epic from the start, and it never lets go as we can hear in the immersive “Frozen Winds Of Thyraxia” and the playful “Incantation Of The Red Order”, both tracks filled with killer guitar leads and well crafted tempo changes.
One-man battalion Nigrum Pluviam is ready to unleash to the world its debut full-length “Eternal Fall into the Abyss”. Released through Signal Rex, mastermind Kraëh Määtruum delivers one of the most punishing and lo-fi releases of 2021. With a sound from the 90’s and a legit production style, the listener is treated to 40 minutes of cavernous and demoralizing music.
Opening with the mysterious intro “The Whisper of the Black Rain”, things really get down and dirty with the pummeling “A Catharsis for the Wretched Carrying the Divine Cross”, a track that quickly reminds us of bands like Fimbulwinter and old-school Gehenna. As tracks like “The Reflection of Your Agony in the Vulture's Eyes”, and “Devotion to Absolute Evil” spew their rawness, we can enjoy some blistering tremolo-picking alongside hellish vocals and a very oppressive atmosphere.
Hailing from Northern Canada, today we have Ulvik and their hypnotic Atmospheric Black Metal release “Cascades”. With elements from outfits like Wolves in the Throne Room, Saor, and similar bands, this release unleashes over 30 minutes of punishing BM filled with lush atmospheric elements and an eerie vibe. If you like meticulously constructed music that is both brutal and engages all your senses, this is the album for you.
Opening with the expansive “Baaltis”, we are treated to an unsettling calm in the first few minutes that slowly escalates into blistering guitars, harsh screams, and very hypnotic drum patterns. As this track dramatically scales back and turns into a lush cinematic experience, “Nokhur” follows up with unapologetic rawness. We particularly enjoy how the ‘clam’ interlude allows for some respite just before more hellish vocals and dissonant guitars disrupt the flow of things.
Further settling into their own brand of Black Metal, Eisenkult delivers their excellent sophomore release “...vom Himmel, hoch herab”. With a mixture of old-school Black/Symphonic Black Metal with some Eisregen-like theatrics, this release unleashes 41 minutes of crafty music that is both fierce and playful enough to entice listeners that like the more bizarre side of the genres they cover.
After the 8-bit/MIDI vibe from the instrumental opener “Einklang”, “Ein Leib, ein Feuer” delivers Eisregen-esque onslaughts of harsh screams, playful tempo changes and crafty drumming. The band’s sound is quite melodic in nature, but the bizarreness of the mixture of elements really works to separate them from the pack. The versatility of the band can quickly be noticed as “Ein Brunnen voller Aas” unleashes traditional old-school BM fury with piercing riffs and a great sense of melody.
Unleashing a very unique brand of Black’n’Roll with Groove Metal elements, Denmark’s Angstskríg manages to inject extra catchiness to an already catchy subgenre of Black Metal. Featuring six tracks and plenty of guests, “Skyggespil” is an engaging and highly unconventional killer release.
From the start, the album title track takes on guitar-driven Black Metal reminiscent of older Immortal and Satyricon, but introducing additional grooviness, making their music quite catchy and yet incisive. The vocalist snarls are the perfect fit for the guest appearance of usually live-guitarist Attila Vörös. Showing more of the band’s own brand of chaos, “Uhygge” is an excellent old-school BM piece filled with a pulsating bass guitar line and some interesting surprises as the song progresses, touching some decadent Gothic influences.
Delivering over 55 minutes of lush and epic Atmospheric Black Metal with some Dungeon Synth elements, today we have Firienholt and their debut full-length release “By the Waters of Awakening”. Highly recommended for fans of bands like Bal-Sagoth, Summoning, Enid, and Mortis, this release creates a very regal and epic atmosphere that immerses the listener into the band’s musical realm.
Opening with the lush “A Forgotten Legacy”, which sets a very cinematic and dramatic atmosphere that is led by over-the-top synths and crafty drum programming. With nearly all songs being over 10 minutes each, tracks like “War of Wrath, War of Ruin” and “Ashes of the Golden Hall”, slowly develop via melodic passages into heavier territories with the use of harsh vocals and imposing guitars with some BM riffs thrown into the mix.
Unleashing the most impressive Symphonic/Melodic Black Metal release of 2021 (to date), today we have Finland’s Marras and their sophomore release “Endtime Sermon”. Comparable to outfits like Dimmu Borgir, Cradle of Filth, Graveworm (old), etc., this release delivers 44 minutes of lush and yet highly aggressive music. Being far from a copy-cat band, Marras makes the genre their own and creates their own signature style in this crushing release.
Opening with a cinematic intro, “Shadows Upon the Sacred Land” quickly escalates into furious riffing and hellish vocals, first showcasing the aggressive side of the band. We particularly love that the band splits the release into ‘movements’ with a few instrumental/atmospheric interludes as tracks 2,6, 8 and 10. After the first interlude, “Endtime Sermon” returns with a killer mixture of dramatic atmospheric/keyboard arrangements alongside crafty tempo changes, piercing riffs and a mixture of growls and harsh screams.
Unleashing a very unique and disturbing combination of Black Metal, Death Metal, and some atmospheric elements, today we have France’s Archaeopteris and their debut EP “Visions chaotiques d´un songe halluciné”. With a short but chaotic duration, this release delivers both aggression and extreme weirdness. Definitely recommended for fans of the bizarre and unconventional.
Opening with “Visions Chaotiques”, after a short atmospheric intro, the band instantly dives into the depths of hell with a fierce combination of punishing riffs and crafty drums. Far from traditional, this track changes tempos very oddly, creating a very cavernous and yet disturbing atmosphere. The second song, “Songe Halluciné” leads with lush acoustic guitars as it quickly transitions into piercing aggressive guitars and deep harsh screams.