Unleashing a very unique amalgamation of sounds, today we have Esben and the Witch and their latest effort “Nowhere”. Featuring a darker tone than their previous releases, this album perfectly contrast the fragility of Rachel Davies vocals and the commanding presence of heavy guitar riffs and hypnotic drumming. Blurring the lines between several genres and influences, this release is certainly one to digest after a good amount of listens and with undivided attention.
Slowing building up their atmosphere in “A Desire for Light”, the band nicely shuffles elements around to create a very powerful and direct song. The band’s sound while simplistic in nature, allows them to play around with the song tempos while crafting memorable tracks that keep you guessing and engaged. The best example of this is the exploratory nature of “Dull Gret” with its heavy guitar riffs, and the dreamy folky piece “Golden Purifier”, which mostly focuses on subtle percussions and solemn guitar leads.
Consistently over the years Tuomas Saukkonen has written plenty of engaging and gripping Melodic Death Metal songs with his bands/projects like Beyond the Dawn, Black Sun Aeon and Dawn of Solace. Finally focusing 100% in Wolfheart, he has managed to deliver great album since “Winterborn”, with “Constellation of the Black Light”, the band ups the ante with over 40 minutes of haunting music. In the vein of bands like Omnium Gatherum, Insomnium, Dark Tranquility, etc. this release is by far their best… to date.
Opening with the ten minute epic “Everlasting Fall”, we get that moody melodic vibe that develops into a brilliant atmospheric piece of music. Instantly we get a frosty Finnish Melodic Death Metal atmosphere that is perfect for head banging or enjoying while hiking in the woods. Throwing a curveball to the listener “Breakwater” has a brutal start, filled with heavy Death Metal riffs and intense drumming, courtesy of Joonas Kauppinen. Contrasting at first, this track nicely mellows out into lush dual vocal passages and Insomnium esque guitar sections that round up a very unique song.
Hailing from Finland, today we have Melodic Death Metal batallion Wakener and their debut demo titled “Rise to Fall”. Featuring over 20 minutes of catchy music, the band showcases a very in your face attitude and a knack for crafting engaging tunes. Reminding us of old-school Kalmah, Amorphis, and Satm1na, this new band is ready to deliver killer neck snapping tunes that will keep you waiting more.
Opening with the demo title track, “Rise to Fall”, we are treated to a hectic track filled with solid riffs and a very groovy vibe. Things turn a bit more sinister and even Thrashier with the crushing riffs of “The Artist”, showcasing the band’s versatility and command of their instruments. Reminding us of a mixture of old Sepultura and Kalmah, “Organized Hate” keeps things rolling with a very direct and full of attitude approach.
Delivering a furious 2-track promo, today we have newcomers Wall of Water from the USA. As the brainchild of Cullen Toner (ex-Abazagorath) and Shawn Eldridge (Disma), this band aims to merge the good old Black/Death Metal style with more modern and crafty Post-Metal/Rock influences. Not for the faint of heart, this is a release that brilliantly achieves their goals and delivers 13 minutes of very solid music.
Opening with the mysterious “Exposure”, the band starts very mellow, setting a very atmospheric mood in the first few seconds. The first outburst of brutality is similar to a more Post-Metal version of Anaal Nathrakh filled with multiple vocal styles and crushing riffs. Perfectly blending old-school elements with more edgier and modern influences, this track sounds familiar, but yet fresh and different.
Greatly improving since their 2013 demo, today we have Finland’s Torchia and their killer Melodic Death Metal with some Thrash elements. We love watching bands evolve over time and Torchia is the perfect example of a solid transition and evolution into a very promising new band. Featuring three songs filled with melodic passages and killer production, this is one of the best demos we have received in 2015.
Opening with the demo title track, the band instantly sets a very upbeat tempo with catchy guitar riffs and a very melodic vibe. This song has that Finish Melodic Death Metal sound engraved into its core, and we love it. The guitar solos are amazing and pair perfectly with the massive drumming we can appreciate in this release.
Hailing from Canda, today we have the debut full-length of Délétère titled “Les heures de la peste”. Playing vicious Black Metal that is quite raw and punishing, this band delivers eight tracks and around 50 minutes of crushing music that has a certain 90’s European flair. Out on Sepulchral Productions, you know this band will be awesome due to their excellent skills in uncovering underground Black Metal acts.
The band immediately explodes with raw songs like “Matines – Portepeste” and “Laudes – Credo II”, both tracks have a certain Low-fi rawness that makes them quite punishing. The use of odd vocal arrangements also makes them quite unique and unpredictable. We particularly enjoy tracks were the band changes up the tempo and delivers and slower aural assault such as “ Tierce - Aux thaumaturges égarés, une étoil...”, a more melodic and atmospheric piece that changes the mood of this release.
Hailing from the USA, where we do not have a lot of Power/Progressive Metal bands, today we have Power/Progressive Metal California outfit NovaReign and their first demo release. With “Reign of the Infinite Sun”, the band delivers four very promising tracks that with a little more work could be outstanding.
Opening with the exciting “Call on the Storm”, the band showcases excellent musicianship and technical proficiency. The thing that brings down the experience is the not-there-yet vocals of David Marquez. While his range has potential, it still needs to be definitely worked on. As the epic riffs, tight drumming, and proficient guitar work continues on tracks like “Crimson Shield” and “Beyond the Cold”, we also noticed that for a demo in 2014, the production is a bit flat. A better job when mixing should do the trick and elevate the band’s sound.
In a very crowded market for Melodic Death Metal in Finland today we have Torchia, a relatively new band trying to get their piece of the action. Hailing from Tampere, this band delivers their three-track demo with clear influences of the genre’s greats. Mixing elements of Children of Bodom and Kalmah, the band shows some promise but ultimately is missing a certain uniqueness to their music to really standout from the very crowded arena.
The demo opens with the high intensity “Nameless Story” that has a very typical Kalmah vibe. The riffing is quite solid and so are the vocals, but being a demo the production is not quite what it could be. The band’s ability to execute their songs is quite solid and shows that with a few more years of practice, they could stand out from the rest if they found their own sound.
Arriving from Finland, today we have Humanation and their retro Thrash/Death Metal demo. Featuring three very catchy tracks that reek of newer Carcass all over them, these songs showcase the band’s strengths in delivering crunchy music that will appeal to any fan of the genre, and will leave you wanting more.
As the demo opens, the first track showcases the band’s riffing abilities. Without being too clean or too technical, the band gets their point across with catchy sections and hellish vocals. The snarls are very similar to Jeff Walker’s, and they make the music fit together quite well. The second song opens with a more playful approach but the band’s style is quite prevalent since the first few minutes. The drumming and percussions are quite active and very well crafted for these kinds of songs.
Bringing back the days of tape trading and home-made demos, today we have Yith and ‘their’ “Demo 3” on a Maxell tape. This American one-man battalion delivers six tracks of punishing Black Metal with Doom Metal influences. As we dusted off our tape player, this demo is quite well produced and will send shivers down your spine with its devastating riffs and demoralizing atmospheric passages.
Opening with “Beneath the White Mountains”, the Yith immediately punishes the listener with savage Black Metal riffs and vocals. The moment of awesomeness comes when the track mellows out a bit and atmospheric keyboards and a Doomy passages breaks through the cloud of BM onslaughts. “The Woman in Black” is a more ‘mellow’ track where the Black/Doom vibe is very well crafted and creates a very bleak landscape.