Russia’s Frozen Ocean has always kept us guessing when it comes to their very interesting releases and today we have the totally weird and completely instrumental “Trollvinter”. Inspired by “Moominland Midwinter” of Tove Jansson, this release features 10 tracks of ambient movements that will surely bring back the nightmares generated by movies like “Event Horizon” and its weird atmospheric soundtrack.
The very mysterious “Sömnlöshet” opens this release with a certain cinematic feeling to it from old-school cartoons of something being followed in the woods by an evil creature. This very dark and yet relaxing vibe is prolonged by the dreamy “Att Betrakta Begravde Världen”. Followed by the drone-ish “Snöa Lanterna”, Frozen Winter has managed to create very somber soundscapes that are perfect to be enjoyed while walking in the woods on a dark and rainy day.
Hailing from Russia, today we have one-man band/project Frozen Ocean presenting his 2012 full-length release titled “A Perfect Solitude”. Handling all the instruments and drum programming, Vaarwel manages to craft a very powerful and atmospheric release that showcases his excellent songwriting skills. Featuring seven tracks and nearly 45 minutes of chilling music, this release delivers a hefty amount of bleak soundscapes that will surely keep you on the edge of your seat.
The bleak intro “Broken Window” sets a very mysterious and moody atmosphere that is very unnerving in nature. As the raining sounds bleed into “Somewhere Clouds Debark”, the mood keeps being very eerie and ethereal. The powerful distorted guitars elevate this track while maintaining the chilling atmosphere created. The vocals are very interesting since they are quite lush and greatly enhance the atmosphere, reminding us a bit of bands like Falkenbach and Thyrfing.
Delivering the first real stinker of the year, today we have Spektr and their latest release “Cypher”. In this nine track waste of time, the band attempts to be very experimental and avant-garde with some shitty Black Metal lined up with Drone and Industrial elements and a production that will make you want to pierce your ear drums, making effectively the most extreme POS we have heard in quite a while.
The album opens with a boring Drone-like piece titled “Hermetism”, then they deliver the first ‘BM’ dose of the night with the totally horrible sounding “Teratology”. In this track and the next (“The Singularity”), we get to ‘enjoy’ craptastic BM riffing with even more horrible drumming all distorted by some weird studio magic effects that make it sound more kvlt and evil according to the band. While some people might enjoy getting their ears raped by some horrible sounds, we are not too keen to make our pets convulse by listening to this.
Delivering one of those releases that makes you wonder why did you actually wasted time listening to it, today we have Opium Warlords and unbelievably their second release “We Meditate Under The Pussy In The Sky”. In this total shit-factory, we have Sami Albert Hynninen of Reverend Bizzare fame, taking a totally dump on music and concocting one of the worst releases ever since Botanist’s “I: The Suicide Tree / II: A Rose From The Dead”.
After the super dull ‘minimalist’ intro “Sxi-Meru” we have the totally aimless “Slippy”. We know this ‘style’ of music is supposed to be this way, but it is just a random collection of thoughts and a few very nasty riffs put together. Sounding like a low quality rehearsal of something having a seizure while holding a pick to a guitar, “Lament For The Builders Of Khara Khoto” keeps the nonsense going.
Delivering over 50 minutes of stylish music, today we have John 3:16 and his latest release “Visions of The Hereafter – Visions of Heaven, Hell and Purgatory”. Competing for the longest album name ever, this one-man outfit that morphs between every release continues with his traditional cinematic approach to music delivering nine tracks of brilliant sound layers that evoke emotions and transport the listener to different realms.
Opening with the atmospheric “The Ninth Circle”, this album sets a very somber and martial mood very early. This track is quite enigmatic and keeps the listener on edge to what’s coming next. Immediately after, we have another momentum builder with some minor Drone influences that keeps the atmosphere evolving. “Throne of God / Angel of The Lord” also features some nice Post-Rock stokes that help paint this song.
Running the birthday of one of our staff members, the Psychedelic Doom duo of Taurus has chosen July 5th to release their very weird and not quite cohesive debut release. “Life” presents us with two tracks that spawn 35 minutes into a downward spiral trip into total chaotic weirdness. Just picture two people getting high out of their mind and banging at some instruments trying to play Doom Metal, once you have that idea in your head, make it a bit worse and you have “Life”.
We are huge fans of experimental music and there are quite a few bands that are pushing the boundaries of Doom Metal (one of our favorite styles of Metal), but Taurus seems to set that back like 10 years with their childish and amateurish release. We are quite frankly shocked that they managed to tour with Agalloch, maybe they have some super awesome live show, because musically we can’t really hear why.
With a very interesting thematically concept revolving around setting the Egyptian book of the dead through some very disturbing music, the one man project The Horn delivers “Volume Ten”. Claiming to play “Pure Ancient Occult Egyptian Space Metal”, this musician delivers 14 tracks of brutal and weird music that are not for everybody, but some might enjoy due to its combination of Black Metal with Noise and Ambient/Drone elements.
When it comes to originality we must say that we haven’t quite heard anything as disruptive as The Horn in this “Volume Ten” release. Unleashing a wall of sound in the intro “The Portal Opens”, the truly decadent reality of The Horn’s musical destruction is first felt on “Spell 165”. With a raw-as-fuck approach to Metal, this track is a beast when it comes to raw brutality and devastation. Some industrial elements are made present in the hypnotic “Spell 124”, making this band quite unpredictable at first glance.
Usually one-man bands are a big hit or miss, they can either be awesome because the person behind them is a musical virtuoso and can’t stand playing around with other retards, or they are just terrible because they are the public inner ramblings of a child that could not play music. Silent Carrion falls somewhat in the middle of these two categories. “Andras” delivers eight tracks of weird Ambient / Drone / Noise music that is interestingly creative and disturbing, but very often poorly executed (in our opinion).
The opener “Mountain (An Invocation)” creates a very eerie and weird atmosphere that if it wasn’t for the bad sounding programmed drums, it would be an excellent song. With “Mist” things get a bit more intense and the creepy factor is still in play with some more ‘intense’ drums. We often wonder how can somebody thing this programmed drums sound good when they are not well polished. Take for example the legendary Diabolos Rising, their programmed drums sounded amazing.
Delivering a crushing 72 minute release divided in two songs, today we have Italy’s Malasangre and their thick mixture of Drone/Funeral Doom Metal with some hints of Black Metal screams. In such an ambitious release the band brings you down to a dark and cavernous world where light goes to die. This music is what I would take into a caving expedition and freak the shit out of everybody there.
Opening with the hypnotic “Sa Ta”, the album’s first half delivers a slow and painful ride down the bowels of hell. The riffs are sparse but crushing, the screams are as demonic as you can get, and the overall atmosphere is very nicely constructed to create a feeling of despair. The Doom riffing is excellent and very well developed through this song, making it not as linear as many bands do when constructing a 30+ minute song.