Always surprising us with their excellent taste in music, LifeForce Records is prepared to unleash “Sateet palata saavat”, Finland’s Vorna’s latest effort. Magically combining elements of Folk/Pagan/Black Metal in a very atmospheric palette of sounds, this release delivers over 50 minutes of superbly melodic music. The closest band to Vorna’s sound that comes to mind has to be Eternal Tears of Sorrow and their highly diverse sound. This should let you know you are in for a treat with this album.
After the traditional mood setting intro, “Toinen” delivers the first onslaught of atmospheric brilliance. Creating a very moody and mystical atmosphere, the band pummels the listener with superb drumming, heavy riffs, and harsh vocals. The swings between lush melodic keyboard arrangements, harsh/clean vocals, and intense riffing, are just magical, creating a very immersive and engaging experience as heard on both “Toinen” and “Syvyydet”.
Australia is a place were some pretty interesting bands like Austere and Germ have spawned. Finally breaking into the global scene a few years back, Advent Sorrow delivers brutal Depressive Black Metal to the masses with their incisive and nihilistic style. “Kali Yuga Crown” is the band’s sophomore full-length release and with the wide release through Werewolf Records should propel the band to new audiences.
The album is all atmosphere start to finish, and it perfectly sets a very sinister and melancholic mood with the dramatic opener “Verminblood”. Unleashing intricate guitar melodies and a mournful bass guitar line, this track unleashes the band’s pain to the listener. Not settling for only one particular style, “Wolfhook and Weapon” showcases the band’s more upbeat and intense side, with an old-school sounding Black’n’Roll-ish style.
After conquering the world of Black Metal in the last few years, enigmatic entity Mgła return with an expertly crafted release with “Age of Excuse”. Delivering a masterclass of riffing and pacing finesse, this album unleashes over 42 minutes of blistering music that any fan of the genre will be extremely appreciative of. The band’s ability to deliver intense and direct music to their audiences is unrivaled and with this release they further refine their trade.
The band wastes no time as track “I” delivers the first blow of intricate riffs and punishing drumming. With a superb metallic sounding distortion, the band feels above the traditional raw and harsh sounding bands, favoring a more refined and elegant delivery. Presented with incredible poise and restraint, “II” and “III” warm up the listener with countless intricate tempo changes and crafty arrangements.
Unleashing a whole new different kind of beast, today we have Ukraine’s White Ward and their sophomore full-length release “Love Exchange Failure”. Featuring over 65 minutes of captivating music, the band seamlessly blends Post-Black Metal with an Avant-garde edge an a serious dose of hypnotic brutality. Pushing the genre to new heights, this is one hell of a release that fans of the experimental should not miss.
The album opens with the title track setting a very lounge like vibe with sparse piano notes, hypnotic percussions and a jazzy sax. All the calm suddenly transforms into chaos with blistering aggressive passages filled with crushing riffs and harrowing vocals. As the first track petters off, “Poisonous Flowers of Violence” delivers a more calculated attack that blends the ambiance of Post-Metal bands like Amenra and Neurosis, with a more vicious and yet delicate edge. The band’s ability to amalgamate genres in uncanny and each track demonstrates this, like the convoluted “Dead Heart Confession”.
Unleashing one hell of a lush and bombastic Melodic Black Metal release, today we have Sweden’s Netherbird and their fifth full-length release “Into the Vast Uncharted”. With a very dynamic sound that incorporates influences from bands like Dissection, Siebenbürgen , (early) Illnath, and (early) Naglfar, this release will satisfy that urge for old-school Melodic Black Metal.
Wasting no time, “Saturnine Ancestry” opens with a high octane onslaught of killer riffs, intense drumming and lush guitar leads to fully set the mood for this brilliant release. After their amazing 2016 release, “The Grander Voyage”, the band continues to crush the competition with dramatic compositions like “Harvest the Stars” and the mellow “Mercury Skies”. Showcasing their unparalleled ability to slowly build up to head banging orgies, “Lunar Pendulum” is one of those tracks that you can listen to it 20 times and still find joy in its intricacies.
Delivering a hefty dose of melody, melancholy and atmosphere, today we have German duo Imperium Dekadenz and their latest release “When We Are Forgotten”. Invoking the early days of Vried and Thyrfing, we are treated to one hell of a Black Metal release that will have you headbanging from start to finish.
The release opens with the grandiose album title track, gaining momentum as the layered guitars craft a punishing and yet very melodic atmosphere. Horaz vocals have a slight Immortal-esque edge, allowing them to perfectly complement the intensity of the music, as “Bis Ich Bin” demonstrates. The band’s ability to switch gears and unleash their melodic brilliance in dramatic interludes or more somber tracks like “My Solace I (Choirs Of Solitude)” makes them one of the more exciting bands in the scene these days.
Backed by a killer production, “Wanderers” is one hell of a great sounding quality Symphonic Metal album. We have been huge fans of the band since their early days and all the line-up changes, however, with this release they show they are back, firing on all cylinders and the scene better watch out for them. If you like expertly crafted Symphonic Metal songs that are both intense and highly emotional, look no further and give Visions of Atlantis a chance.
The album kicks off with the haunting “I: Citadel Alunar”, a track that slowly builds up momentum with its mellow riffs and hellish screams. Perfectly mixing dramatic synths with tense drone-ish moments, this track creates a chilling vibe. In tracks like “II: The Voice of Nebular Flame” and “III: The Senility of the Hourglass”patience rewards the listener with slow and intricate build-ups and crafty transitions.
Featuring members and ex-members of bands like Satyricon, Ulver, Dødheimsgard and Ved Buens Ende, Dold Vorde Ens Navn is a Norwegian super band playing some truly unique retro Black Metal. Featuring four tracks and around 20 minutes of music, “Gjengangere i hjertets morke” has that raw old-school vibe of Norwegian Black Metal from the 90’s and its brilliant naivety.
Opening with the bizarreness of “Den Ensomme Dod”, we are reminded of the days of Ved Buens Ende and Fleurety. The guitars are powerful and the Norwegian BM core is there, but the odd clean vocals and funky tempos allow the song to create a very unique and haunting atmosphere. The band’s Black Metal pedigree is clearly present as “Drukkenskapens Kirkegard” unleashes its fury.
Unleashing a completely abusive Black Metal aural assault, today we have Tenebrae In Perpetuum and their first full-length release in over ten years titled “Anorexia Obscura”. Delivering over 40 minutes of misanthropic BM, this two person outfit has one of the harshest and rawest sounds we have heard coming out of Italy. Filled with haunting vocals, savage riffs and dissonant atmospherics, this release will keep you on the edge of your seat.
Opening with the violet screams of “Dissonanze mentali'', the album’s pace is set with furious riffs and hyper intense drums. The music is quite basic, but direct and relentless, reminding us of old-school Black Metal from the 90’s. Completely changing the pace of things, the album title creates a very ritualistic and suffocating vibe, thanks to the crushing bass guitar line and eerie riffs. The sickening mid-tempo that is crafted by the band is unreal, as it allows for tracks to be truly immersive.
Unleashing what is probably one of the top three Black Metal albums of 2019, today we have Asagraum and their sophomore release “Dawn of Infinite Fire”. Fronted by multi-instrumentalist Obscura, this compact outfit delivers an imposing sound filled with hate and brutality. For over 46 minutes, the band ravages through nine tracks of sheer intensity and well crafted melodic passages, keeping the listener at the edge of their seats clamoring for more.
Opening with the dissonant “They Crawl from the Broken Circle”, Asagraum sets a furious standard with pummeling drums, incisive riffs, and a violent bass guitar line. Just like a brick to the face, “The Lightless Inferno” continues the ritual with more brutality and hellish vibes. Delivering a masterful typical melodic BM passage on “Abomination’s Altar”, the band showcases their knack for killer headbanging sections mixed in between their most brutal elements.