Hailing from Finland, today we have Heidi Parviainen’s Dark Sarah and their sophomore full-length release titled “The Puzzle”. Delivering ten bombastic songs of very dramatic and theatrical Symphonic/Gothic Metal, Heidi continues to come out the shadows of her ex band Amberian Dawn and establish her-self (and the new band) as one of the most dynamic and engaging bands in the genre. If you like bands like Nightwish, Epica, Cornoatus, etc. this is one release you don’t want to miss.
After the opening intro, “Island in the Mist” opens up with heavy riffs and magical keyboards. With this approach the track feels quite engaging and very bombastic as Hedi’s vocals appear adding to the magic. With Erkka Korhonen (Northern Kings) and Sami Salonen handling the guitar duties, tracks like “Little Men” and “Ash Grove” are both heavy and playful, changing tempos perfectly and allowing the music to be as dynamic and explosive as possible.
Hands down the most emotionally draining album of 2016 has to be Trees of Eternity’s debut full-length release “Hour of the Nightingale”. Filled with lush Atmospheric/Gothic Doom songs, this release is nearly as emotional as its back story. After a few years in limbo and a bit too late for some, released under Svart records, this release will definitely crawl up under your skin and fill you with melancholy.
Opening with Swallow the Sun-esque heavy riffs, “My Requiem” sets the listener into an emotional journey for over 62 minutes of unparalleled melancholy. As the band’s singer Aleah Stanbridge first showcases her vocal talents, the music quickly becomes even darker and more emotive. Unluckily for the world, Aleah’s talents will no longer be present as she passed before the release of this album. However, her presence in this release at least shines light of her talents and dedication to the band.
Six years after their brilliant sophomore release “Falling Mist”, today we have Heaven Grey’s latest opus “Manuscriptum”. As one of the hidden Baltic gems of Gothic/Doom Metal bands (Frailty is another one), the band delivers nine excellent tracks of melancholic music which show the band’s musical evolution over the years.
Opening with the dramatic atmospheric intro of “Insomnia”, the band nicely settles with some melancholic riffs and very well crafted tempo changes. This track perfectly sets a very mellow and depressive mood that is nicely enhanced by the excellent clean vocals of the band’s new singer Artūrs Fishers. Mixing clean and harsh vocal styles, tracks like “Drown in My Shade” and “Sirds Balss” showcase a perfect balance and great complementarity between the styles.
As one of the most unexpected returns of 2016, today we have Gothic Metal band Darkwell with their third full-length release “Moloch”. With a separation of 12 years between releases, the band comes back to life with an exciting release in the vein of their debut “Suspiria”. Combining elements from Gothic Metal bands from the late 90’s like Dreams of Sanity and Trail of Tears, this release presents us with eleven tracks filled with heavy riffs and lush atmospheric elements.
Opening with the album title track, the band quickly sets the mood with catchy riffs and tight drums. Alexandra Pittracher returns on vocals and her signature style instantly brings back memories of the band’s debut release and our favorite track in that album “Realm of Darkness”. While the music structure has remained very similar, the keyboards, courtesy of Raphael Lepuschitz, feel more dynamic and edgier with some electronic elements to be found as you can notice on songs like “In Nomine Serpentis”, “Save My Sight” and “Yoshiwara”.
Hailing from Finland, today we have a very strange and totally awesome release from Kuolemanlaakso. Departing away from their typical Death/Doom influences, this release is Markus Laakso’s brainchild, allowing it to be weirder and less straightforward. While not the typical release for this band, this release delivers eight very unique tracks that showcase a different creative side from some of the band members.
Opening with the gloomy “Children of the Night”, we instantly hear the difference when it comes to tempo and atmosphere. Laakso’s vocals are quite good for the genre, making the tracks quite mysterious while having the authentic deep Gothic Rock/Metal sound. With the catchy and somewhat “Rolls the Dice with the Devil” and “Where the River Runs Red” following up next, the band manages to sound like a mixture of bands like The Vision Bleak, Type O Negative and even some hints of H.I.M… all in a very good way.
Returning with their fifth full-length release, today we have Delain and their impressive and bombastic Symphonic/Gothic Metal sound. With “Moonbathers”, the band takes things one step further delivering lush orchestrations, crushing guitar riffs, and mesmerizing vocal arrangements, allowing their sound to be as explosive and expansive as ever. If you are a fan of the band or the genre, this album has all the right ingredients to become a classic.
Opening with the lively “Hands of Gold”, the band sets a very high bar with such a bombastic song which features a duet with Alissa White-Gluz. The superbly catchy “Suckerpunch” is a very solid third act in this increasingly more intense and bombastic release. Released earlier this year with the “Lunar Prelude”, this song showcases the band’s evolution into a more dynamic and explosive unit, which can be easily compared to bands like Nightwish and Epica.
Slowly evolving into their current highly melancholic form, today we have Lacrimas Profundere and their 11th full-length release “Hope is Here”. As one of the marquee names of the Gothic Metal/Rock genre, this German band continues to improve with each release. The band does a great job in crafting twelve very bleak and gloomy pieces which are some of the most inspired songs the band has released in several years.
Opening with the mellow “The Worship of counting down”, the band is charismatically led by Rob Vitacca’s signature vocals and Oliver Nikolas Schmid’s guitar leads. This album instantly feels very dark and cold, drawing comparisons to the latest releases of bands ranging from Katatonia to To/Die/For. Keeping things interesting, the band always mixes up gloomy passages with hard rocking sections, allowing for tracks like “Hope is Here” and “Aramis” to keep things fresh and interesting.
Coming out of a few very hard years with the death of founding member and drummer Tobias Graf and the departure of Sabine Scherer, the bands charismatic vocalist, Deadlock delivers their 7th full-length release titled “Hybris”. Featuring a more melancholic edge to their music than their previous two releases, this album brings us back to the catchiness of “Bizarro World” combined with the melodic side of “Wolves”.
Opening with the Groovy “Epitaph”, we are very quickly given the first glance of Margi Gerlitz’s vocals, which are actually somewhat similar to Sabine’s, but as the album progresses we notice they also have a wider range, allowing the band’s music to go to different places. This catchy opener is nicely framed with intricate drumming, direct riffs and subtle atmospheric elements. “Carbonman” and “Berserk” nicely step up the intensity level with two very engaging and heavy songs filled with cool guitar leads that ooze melody and provide a nice contrast when paired with Margi’s vocals.
Six years have passed since the Evig Natt’s previous release “Darkland”. Luckily for us, this means that “Evig Natt” is a very refined and well-crafted that perfectly transmits raw emotions through dark and somber music. Delivering over 51 minutes of a very dramatic combination of Gothic and Doom Metal, this release is caters to the old-school fans of Gothic Metal that prefer raw atmosphere over fancy orchestrations and arrangements.
Immediately after the instrumental intro, “How I Bleed” sets a very dark mood with punishing guitars and atmospheric keyboards paired with harsh vocals. This basic structure is quite traditional of releases in this genre from the late 90’s, early 2000’s, reminding us particularly of the album “Disclosure in Red” by Trail of Tears. The vocal arrangements of tracks like “Silence Falls” make this release more special as they evolve the listener in the band’s musical journey.
Hailing from Finland, today we have the promising debut release “Blood. Stone. Sun. Down.” of melancholic outfit Vuolla. Perfectly blending elements of Gothic/Death Doom with melancholic Depressive Rock, this band manages to deliver over 60 minutes of truly emotive music. Focusing on crafting lush melancholic songs, the band will surely appeal to all fans of bands like Katatonia, Draconian, and everything in between.
Opening with the super bleak intro to “Death Incredible”, the band instantly reminded us of Svarti Loghin. This song nicely transitions into a more straightforward Gothic Doom piece perfectly blending Kati Hämäläinen’s vocals and keyboards with powerful Doom riffs. In a more traditional Gothic Doom fashion, the disarming “Emperor” is one hell of a rollercoaster ride which features a brilliant atmospheric passage around the 4 minute mark that will instantly get you hooked into the band’s sound.