From mastermind Naas Alcameth (Nightbringer, Akhlys), today we have a very interesting Black Metal/Dark Ambient release titled “Gods Without Name”. Under the moniker of Aoratos, this outfit unleashes nine highly atmospheric pieces to comprise their debut release. Full of ideas perfectly executed, this release is in the vein of experimental BM bands like Blut Aus Nord as well as Mysticum and with some hits of Diabolos Rising thrown in the mix.
After setting a very hellish ambiance with “Parallax I”, the band slowly drifts into heavier territories with the ravaging “Holy Mother of Terror”. The band unleashes a commanding aural onslaught filled with dissonant riffs and blistering drumming. Paired with hellish vocals, the attack continues as “Of Harvest, Scythe and Sickle Moon” unravels. The band’s sound is both raw and punishing without the need to sound like it was recorded on a shed, allowing the listener to experience it at full blast and not damage their speakers.
Hailing from Slovakia, Malokarpatan delivers a re-issue of their 2018 EP via Sun & Moon Records. While we don’t really subscribe to the hype behind the band, this 7” presents us two conceptually related tracks that continue to push the boundaries of the genre, as the band has set to do since their origins a few years ago.
The release opens with an instrumental/atmospheric side A track that sets a very sinister and engaging mood. Not too much else to talk about here. Side B gives us a proper old-school Black Metal piece, sounding like Master’s Hammer and Tormentor, but with thicker and more punishing atmosphere. The riffing and vocal’s give this track a very raw and punishing vibe, thanks to the contrasting underlying melodic nature of the track.
Béla Lugosi and Pestifer are back with this short but sweet 7” Siculicidium EP titled “A halál és az iránytű”. Always crafting a truly unique and foul sound, this Romanian outfit unleashes two powerful tracks that will generate expectations of what is to come in the future.
Opening with the clean intro of “A halál”, this tracks slowly builds up to a cool Black’n’Roll-ish guitar section that gives a certain twangy vibe to the song. Béla Lugosi’s deep vocals perfectly fit the funky tempo of this track, mostly marked by the Punk-ish drum patterns.
As one of the most anticipated Atmospheric Black Metal releases of 2019, today we have Austria’s Ellende with “Lebensnehmer”. Slowly gaining underground notoriety with their first two releases, this one-man band is ready for the spotlight with their lush atmospheric sound that perfectly combined melody with sheer aggression. For over 50 minutes and eight tracks, this release continues to polish the band’s sound and delivers ravaging soundscapes that should not be missed by anyone.
After a moody intro, “Augenblick” delivers waves of punishing riffs, blasting drums and melodic passages, perfectly combined in one hell of an emotional rollercoaster of a song. Handling all instruments (except drums) and all songwriting duties, Lukas Gosch is an expert in creating raw melancholic tracks, like “Die Wege”, which are full of charisma and a massive wall of sound. Never getting dull or repetitive, Ellende’s strength lies on timing and flawless execution, introducing plenty of tempo changes that completely change the shape of songs.
Unleashing one of the most demoralizing and punishing Post-Black Metal releases of 2019, today we have Chrome Waves and their debut full-length release “A Grief Observed”. Formed by members and ex members of USBM bands like Twilight, Abigail Williams, Wolvhammer, this outfit crafts some truly harrowing songs filled with emotions and contrasted by savage Black Metal undertones. Presenting brilliantly atmospheric and moody songs, Chrome Waves makes a huge splash in the Post-Black Metal/Blackgaze scene with this release.
Opening with “Burdened”, we instantly get the vibe of bands like Old Silver Key, Grey Waters, thanks to the mixture of dreamy clean vocals and harsh screams. The instrumentation in this opener is quite dramatic with solemn atmospheric passages that perfectly change the tempo of the track. Keeping things heavy and melodic, “Past the Lights” delivers catchy riffs and tight drumming, creating a very powerful and yet melancholic vibe. Again, there is some magic to the way the clean vocal arrangements contrast the pace and intensity of this track, creating a very trippy dreamy depressing vibe.
Being huge suckers for heavily atmospheric releases, we instantly liked Maestus full-length release “Deliquesce”. Magically combining Atmospheric Doom Metal elements with Funeral Doom and some Black Metal influences, this release is an aural delight from start to finish. With four tracks delivering over 50 minutes of music, each song crafts an oppressive atmosphere that slowly chokes the listener with its sonic intensity.
Opening with the album title track, we have a 15-minute behemoth that opens with a ray of light as the lively atmospherics lead into gargantuan riffs and crushing growls. The band brilliantly knows how to mix repetition with atmosphere to create a very crushing mood. With all the elements of an old-school Funeral Doom masterpiece, “Black Oake” blends in dramatic tempo changes, lush synths and plenty fo head banging passages for any fan of the genre.
The ever changing and always improving Rotting Christ return this 2019 with yet another brilliant release. Further developing the Melodic BM sound with dramatic vocal arrangements and subtle atmospheric elements, “The Heretics” delivers over 45 minutes of expertly crafted music that is both engaging and brilliant for a long head banging session. If you have been following the band’s music progression, this release takes their sound and makes it even more grandiose and expansive.
Fully immersing the listener into the band’s dark world, “In the Name of God” starts the album with the signature Rotting Christ melodic riffing. The band crafts a very eerie atmosphere in this track (and release) thanks to the choral arrangements that brilliantly contrast Sakis Tolis harsh vocals. The addition of female vocals on “Vetry Zlye” creates a very unique vibe that is well complemented with dramatic arrangements and tight drumming.
A blast from the past made it to our review queue today with Hecate Enthroned and their first album in six years “Embrace of the Godless Aeon”. We remember back in the late 90’s when bands were trying to sound like Cradle of Filth and while many tried, Hecate Enthroned was one of the few that got close. While the band got unfairly treated as a clone, we always enjoyed their spin on Symphonic/Gothic Black Metal back in those days. With a new vocalist and their signature style, the band makes a very strong comeback in 2019.
Blasting away after their atmospheric intro, “Revelations in Autumn Flame” takes us back in time with the over the top synths that nicely contrast the shrieks and blast beats. The mixture of growls and shrieks is definitely something that attracted us to the band back in the day and on tracks like “Temples that Breathe” brings back some nice memories. However, the best thing about the band is how they create sinister atmospheres thanks to the sultry voice of Sarah Jezebel Deva in “Goddess of Dark Misfits”, our favorite song in the release.
Bringing back that nostalgic feeling of Symphonic Black Metal from the early 2000’s, today we have Belgium’s Lemuria and their full-length release “The Hysterical Hunt”. With over one hour of music, the band takes the listener in a very lively music filled with Folk elements and brilliant melodic passages, reminding us of outfits like Limbonic Art, Stormlord, Bal-Sagoth and early Agathodaimon.
After setting a turbulent and dramatic mood with the instrumental intro, the band gets down to business with the playful “A Plague Upon the Land”. This track features dramatic orchestrations that do not feel overpowering to the other elements, allowing the vocals to direct the show while the guitars and drums add a layer of heaviness to the music. As album title track rolls in, the pace pics up a bit and keep things interesting with cool vocal arrangements and killer melodic headbanging passages.
After a busy 2018 with live appearances, Saor return with yet another brilliant Atmospheric/Folky Black Metal release with “Forgotten Paths”. Filled with magical and lush melodic passages, this album delivers over 38 minutes of intense and mystical music. With a very busy touring schedule in 2019, this is the perfect album to conquer hordes of new fans and followers.
Opening with intensity, the album title track leads way for a musical experience filled with crafty guitar melodies and very dreamy atmospherics. There are even moments that Saor dwells in more Alcest-like passages in this lush and quite intense piece. The buildup on songs like “Monadh” is just brilliant, showing the listener just little peeks of what is to come as the track comes unraveled through its moody tempo changes and expert instrumentation.