Latin America is full of quality Black Metal bands and over the last few years Sun & Moon Records have uncovered hidden gems like Selbst, and now HiddenT. Hailing from Chile, this outfit perfectly adds unrivaled melodies and harmonies to an aggressive core, making them sound like early Borknagar and “Cainan Chronicle”-era Ancient.
The release starts with the mystical atmospheric “Last Winter Ritual” and it quickly escalates with the punishing album title track. There is a certain magical balance between the fierce riffing onslaughts and the eerie clean vocals that grace melodic passages. This nicely bleeds into songs that have some Post-Black Metal vibes like “Delirium Tremens” and our favorite, the headbanging anthem “Under a Shadow Reflection”.
Unleashing an hour of hellish old-school Black/Death Metal, today we have Pact and their latest full-length release “God Only Knows”. Featuring an assortment of traditional Black/Death Metal tunes and some more sinister and atmospheric songs, this release nicely shakes things up when they start to get a bit repetitive.
Always uncovering some very interesting underground bands, Sun & Moon Records present us today with Solipsism and their debut full-length release “Our Night Never Ends”. Unleashing nine tracks and around 46 minutes of fierce Black/Post-Black Metal, this Slovakian outfit makes a very good first impression with a well balanced mixture of harshness and melody.
The release opens with the dissonant “Becoming the Void” and a very crafty melodic riffing onslaught that quickly escalates into full-on Black Metal mode. While this is heavy, there is also a certain duality as the band dabbles in more melancholic Depressive BM/Atmospheric BM territories with its bleak screams and subtle keyboards as tracks like “(V)Zostup tragédie”, “Solus Ipse”, and “Don't Follow Me, I'm Lost” move the release forward.
When there are seemingly endless amounts of Atmospheric Black Metal bands that all sound the same, it is quite nice to hear outfits like Tome of the Unreplenished and their take on the genre. In “Earthbound”, this originally a project, now a full fledged band, delivers over 46 minutes of captivating music filled with eeriness and interesting ideas.
The opener “Tellurian” unleashes furious riffs and blast beats, more typical traditional Black Metal that slowly transforms into more melodic and atmospheric soundscapes. Particularly a certain epic/folky vibe thanks to the clean vocal arrangements. The band’s style is more of a mixture of Saor and Windfaerer, as tracks like “Unbound” and “Tryst at the Gales of Cyprus” brilliantly mix atmosphere and melody.
Hailing from France, today we have Black Metal outfit Bâ'a and their intense sophomore release “Egrégore”. Featuring Rms Hreidmarr on vocals, this trio delivers 42 minutes of ravaging music with some resemblance to Au Champ des Morts and Anorexia Nervosa minus the over-the-top arrangements. Each track being more intense and punishing than the previous one, this is one of those releases that will leave the listener begging for mercy while asking for more at the same time.
The release immediately takes over the listener’s speakers with the ravaging “In Umbra et Luce” and its mysterious opening guitar, which quickly transform into a relentless barrage of pummeling riffs. There is a certain sinister pace to the band’s sound that borders into melodic territories as tracks like “Domitor” and the fierce “Bellum”.
Everytime people count Abbath out, he comes back with a vengeance, and with “Dread Reaver” he returns to silence all haters. Showcasing his signature style with a more mature and Heavy Metal edge, nine tracks and 40 minutes of music unleash a barrage of riffs alongside his signature snarls. Not slowing down one bit, this release is as savage as anything he has released in the past.
Wasting no time to inflict aural domination, “Acid Haze” quickly pummels the listener with Abbath’s signature frosty riffs alongside killer guitar leads and blistering drumming. Firing on all cylinders, the band victoriously marches like an unstoppable bullet train with tracks like “Scarred Core”, “Dream Cull”, and the old-school Heavy Metal infused “Myrmidon” anthem, one of our favorite tracks in this release.
Releasing their third album in three years, Finnish mysterious duo Aethyrick show no limits to their creativity and melancholic sound with “Pilgrimage”. Featuring 42 minutes of bleak and desolate Melodic Black Metal, the band’s sound continues to get refined and streamlined perfectly delivering highly emotional pieces with a compact core sound.
The aural journey begins with the incisive “The Turning Away” and its piercing subtle atmospherics, perfectly paired with intricate guitar work. Those minimalist keyboards work wonders when used to accent a well written track. As the band settles into this release, “In the Chapel of One Spirit”, “Threefold Resurrection”, and “Winds of the Wanderer” brilliantly shift the mood from blistering to more introspective and melodramatic as in the latter track.
Unleashing woe and devastation, today we have German Black Metal outfit Chaos Invocation and their crushing latest release “Devil, Stone & Man”. Featuring nearly 45 minutes of punishing music, this release showcases a band at the top of their game, far superior than most outfits in the genre.
Opening with the blistering “Strike of the Dominator's Fist”, the band sets a pummeling rollercoaster in motion thanks to the piercing riffing barrage alongside hellish snarls and crafty tempo changes. The band’s relentless onslaught turns more sinister as pieces like “A Stranger's Pale Hand” and “Diabolical Hammer” inflict some deeper wounds thanks to their slower and more incisive pace.
There is certain magic when a band’s last release was nearly a decade ago, and yet they return with the same vicious and piercing sound, just as no time has passed. This is the best way to explain how Hell Militia’s latest opus “Hollow Void” sound. Filled with hate and punishment, this release unravels nearly 45 minutes of decadent Black Metal that has not changed with time.
Hailing from Finland, today we have Black Metal newcomers Aesthus and their debut full-length release “Hänen temppelinsä varjoissa”. Delivering over 38 minutes of furious and frosty music, this band further extends the dominance of Finland as one of the countries that produces uncompromising and crushing BM releases.
Opening with the incisive album title track, we are treated to a hefty dose of blistering drumming alongside piercing and melodic riffing. The band’s two guitars onslaught is brilliantly balanced around hellish shrieks and a throbbing bass guitar line, with tracks like “Vihani alttarilla”, “Kuolonpolku”, and “Jälkeläinen” being perfect examples of this.