German masters of the bizarre Bethlehem are back to full form with the punishing “Lebe dich leer”. Reminding us of their “Dictius Te Necare” and “Dark Metal” days, the band delivers 41 minutes of truly punishing music filled with madness and brutality. Jürgen Bartsch and company are ready to take back their throne and this release is one huge step in the right direction.
Opening with “Verdaut in klaffenden Mäulern”, the band makes an instant impression with the demonic shrieks of Onielar, also the front woman of Darkened Nocturn Slaughtercult. With her completely ravaging vocals, the already mysterious music takes a completely different and pummeling turn, making it quite violent, mystical and at times quite experimental, like on “Niemals mehr leben”. Atmospheric pieces like “Ich weiß ich bin keins”, will send chills down your spine thanks to the whispered vocals and the very deranged song progression.
Better known as Sleepwalker (夢遊病者), this international band formed from people from multiple corners of the world like Japan, Russia and USA unleashes the latest EP with “Yus” (Ѫ). Combining Black Metal with unique elements and crafted very bleak atmospheres, it feels like Darkthrone and Kayo Dot had a very odd bastard child.
Side A delivers an atmospheric opening which sets a mystical backdrop, only to quickly evolve into dissonant madness. This track perfectly transmits a feeling of helplessness with its odd atmospheric elements and brutal onslaughts. The harsh screams seem a bit distorted, but create a unique vibe that when paired with the rest, create a very uneasy vibe.
It is not very usual to receive promos from bands from countries like Iran, so today we are quite excited to review Erancnoir’s self-titled third full-length release. This one-man outfit delivers over 40 minutes of punishing Atmospheric Black Metal with similarities to bands like NONE and Lustre. With a thunderous approach to the genre, this release is certainly a very interesting contribution to the genre that fans should not miss out on.
With only two tracks covering the album’s duration, the first piece clocks in at 25 minutes and it is certainly a punishing and excruciating journey through dark and sinister worlds. This title track slowly builds up into hellish shrieks of pain and droning riffs that increase in intensity. The atmospheric keyboards are subtle enough to create a magical aura and perfectly complement a ravagingly raw musical core.
Unleashing a 34 minute dose of Atmospheric Black Metal, today we have Iceland’s latest export: Óreiða. In this self-titled debut release, this one entity outfit delivers a dissonant Black Metal sound filled with hatred and brutality. While not as raw as your typical BM bands, the music presented here is crafted to incite discomfort and repulsion… in a good way.
Opening with the pummeling “Dagar”, we get a powerful wall of sound crafted by the hellish distorted guitars and the furious pace. The guitar layering gives this track that extra punch to incite unrest. The violent onslaught continues with the raw brutality of “Draumar”, a track that slowly builds up by adding some atmospheric elements and creating a more dramatic aural assault.
After taking the scene by surprise with their amazing sophomore release “Litany”, Dead to a Dying World is back after four years with an even more impressive and masteful release with “Elegy”. Perfectly blending elements of Doom/Sludge/Black Metal with very emotional vocals and dramatic viola arrangements, this band crafts a very unique sound that is both intoxicating and ravaging. Focusing on creating immersive atmospheres and melodramatic moods, this outfit has created a near perfect release.
Opening with the dreamy western-eques “Syzygy”, the band creates a very martial and enigmatic end-of-time mood. Quickly shifting into 5th gear, “The Seer’s Embrace” delivers crafty guitar riffs and intense vocal arrangements. The mixture of heavy guitars and viola sounds a lot like late 90’s band Forty Days Longing, as it creates a very unique and powerful contrast. The band focuses on crafting unique melodic passages, as this track evolves into many different up and down moods.
Bringing back memories of the simpler days of Melodic Black Metal, when bands like Limbonic Art, Emperor, ...and Oceans added keyboards and orchestrations to the genre, today we have Vargrav and its sophomore release “Reign in Supreme Darkness”. Delivering over 40 minutes of lush arrangements, solid BM core elements and crafty songwriting, this one man unit unleashes a timeless sounding release that should not be overlooked.
After the traditional intro, Vargrav goes full steam with the lush “The Glory of Eternal Night”, a brilliant old-school sounding track that reminds us of Emperor’s classic “I am the Black Wizards”. The pacing and intricate tempo changes make this song quite enjoyable and a very strong opener. As “Dark Space Dominion” and “In Streams from Great Mysteries” roll in, we find ourselves impulsively headbanging thanks to their ravaging and yet playful nature. Both tracks are filled with majestic atmospheric arrangements, perfectly offset by catchy riffs.
Canadian Black Metal has been surprising us in the last few years with excellent bands like Monarque, Délétère, Csejthe, and countless others. Ossuaire is the latest addition to this wave of blast beats and tremolo picking from the North. With their debut release “Premiers Chants”, the band unleashes 40 minutes of ferocious music that reminds us of bands like Au Champ Des Morts, Vanum, Anorexia Nervosa and Glaciation amongst others.
Jumping at the listener’s throat, the album starts furiously with the pummeling drums and intense riffing of the album title track. The band’s sound is very well defined and nicely produced to sound devastating and yet melodic in nature. With “La Procession des Flagellants”, the band takes a darker approach filled with highly precise guitar melodies and Hérésiarque’s hellish vocals, just the perfect mix of a growl and a shriek, allowing them to be quite commanding and intimidating.
We receive over 40 album submissions each weak, so it is quite tricky to find what exactly to listen to and what to unfortunately discard. Luckily for us, we recently stumbled upon Úir’s second EP titled “Óenach Tailten”. Creating a very unique and dense Atmospheric Black Metal sound, this EP delivers three brilliant tracks that showcase the band’s raw power and boundless talent. Featuring members of unique bands like Haar and Úlfarr, this outfit is a band to keep an eye out for.
Opening with the sinister riffing of “V.S.F.P.A.”, the band sets a very hypnotic and cavernous early mood with a slow build-up. With a very martial pace, this track delivers powerful distorted guitars intertwined with a playful bass guitar line and hellish Watain-esque screams. After a devilish opener, the metalic sound of the guitars opening “Deiwos” is just perfect. This track turns a bit more hectic with a more defined wall of sound and ravaging onslaughts of total madness, thanks to the versatility of the vocals, which sound very mournful and haunting at times.
Embracing the contrast between dreaminess and aggression, today we have Azerbaijan’s one-man battalion Violet Cold and his latest full-length release “kOsmik”. Perfectly blending elements from Shoegaze, Post-Black Metal, Post-Metal, with very interesting more mainstream elements, the band’s releases are always very interesting to dissect since you will spend days trying to peel all the layers to be found. Clocking in at 36 minutes, this album will fly by very quickly, but it just means you get to start it again.
Creating a very soothing and uplifting mood with the opener “Contact”, this vibe transforms with the heaviness of “Black Sun”. The Shoegazey guitars are nicely contrasted with harsh vocals as this track travels between atmospheric passages, somber female vocals and an overall more aggressive and hectic pace. Creating a very Alcest-like heavenly mood, “Mamihlapinatapai” is definitely one of the most magical and engaging songs in this release thanks to its vocal arrangements and overall pace.
Slowly building up, “Void Monolith” starts the performance with an introduction to craft psychedelic extravagance thanks to the warm and fuzzy distorted guitars and trippy synths. The madness truly begins with the chaotic “The Shamanic Vision” and its crushing drumming. The deranged vocals make this song even more terrifying thanks to their unique range and style. The underlying melodies of songs like “Seeker’s Reflection” and “Journey to the Center of Mass” are quite intoxicating with a certain jazzy vibe, and perfectly crafted around trippy tempo changes.
Opening with the intricate atmospherics of “Between Walls of Glass”, the track sets a very hypnotic and ritualistic vibe that slowly builds up as the electric guitars come into play. Evoking the psychotic rhythmic powers of bands like Oranssi Pazuzu, the band sets a very unique vibe to this release. Keeping the weirdness going with its odd tempo changes, “Exiles” gives more of a Post-Metal vibe paired with hellish screams and pretty intense drumming.