Completely blowing us away with their EP “The Baring of Shadows”, earlier this year, we now have Kardashev’s sophomore full-length release and it is even more grandiose than their EP. Featuring almost one hour of music, this release delivers the perfect balance between aggression, technical proficiency, atmosphere and melancholy, in one very unique and explosive package.
After setting a very mysterious and imposing mood with the spoken words and atmospherics of the opener, “Silvered Shadows” shows the band at its element with a lush mixture of Progressive/Death-core/ and Post-Metal. This amalgamation of styles creates a very sublime and dreamy atmosphere, nicely bleeding into pieces like “Apparitions in Candlelight”, “Lavender Calligraphy”. Which nicely combines a mix of dreamy clean and crushing growls.
Unleashing a highly engaging and extremely well crafted mixture of futuristic atmospherics and harsh Black/Post-Black Metal onslaughts, Stjärnfält returns with its second release “Lapporten”. As a one man-project now based in Sweden, M delivers four masterful tracks that have some elements of Germ, Galaktik Cancer Squad and Angst Skvadron.
The release opens with the sidereal journey of “Kebnekaise”, a 14-minute piece that slowly eases the listener into the band’s magical world. Masterful atmospheric synths are nicely paired with melodic riffs that quickly incite headbanging while the harsh vocals are introduced and tempo changes brilliantly shift the pace of things. After that magical opener, “Bruskleden” keeps the listener impressed with its lush atmospherics and very dynamic pace, creating a truly engaging and exciting listening experience.
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.
Delivering a highly atmospheric brand of Post-Black Metal, today we have Cailleach Calling and their debut full-length release “Dreams of Fragmentation”. Featuring Tony Thomas (Botanist/Dawn of Ouroboros) handling all guitars/bass/and synths, alongside Chelsea Murphy (Dawn of Ouroboros) in vocals and Yurii Kononov (ex-White Ward) on drums, the band unleashes nearly 40 minutes of relentless music with a certain cosmic/urban vibe unlike no other.
Immediately laying down some thick atmospherics, “Phosphenic Array” kicks off the release with brutal harsh screams and superbly crafted blistering drumming. While the intensity varies, the atmosphere is made even richer with powerful synths. Reminding us a bit of Frozen Ocean and Lustre, this epicness continues into the sultry “Bound by Neon” a piece with a more desolate futuristic urban vibe, which features some intense tempo changes and elegant melancholic interludes.
Unleashing waves of trance inducing music, today we have Switzerland’s E-L-R and their sophomore release “Vexier”. As it is to be expected from a Prophecy Productions release, this album goes beyond atmospheric and into hypnotic territories with a brilliant mixture of Doom, Shoegaze, and Post-Metal elements. For around 46 minutes, the listener is nicely transported by the intricately crafted expansive music in this release.
Opening with the dreamy “Opiate the Sun”, the band slowly unravels a 12-minute piece filled with haunting atmospherics and powerful distorted guitars. Think of The Ocean paired up with some Tide From Nebula and some sprinkles of SubRosa, as other tracks like “Three Winds” and “Seeds” further enshroud the listener into the band’s unique and expansive sound.
Being huge fans of multi-instrumentalist Sylvaine and her enchanting music, we completely cleared our review queue and went deep into the intricacies and layers of “Nova”. Perfectly balancing the fragility of genres like Shoegaze and Atmospheric Metal with the aggression of Black Metal and Post-Metal influences, this release marks Sylvaine’s best effort to date with around 45 minutes of complex enchanting music.
Setting a very ethereal vibe with the album title track, things quickly escalate with the piercing guitars of “Mono No Aware”. This track perfectly blends onslaughts of harsh screams alongside dreamy vocal melodies, creating a very intense and yet melancholic atmosphere. We are always quite impressed with the build-up of songs like “Nowhere, Still Somewhere”, which slowly hypnotize the listener with siren-like vocal arrangements and shoegazey guitars.
It is rare to find truly unique bands these days, luckily for us Eight Bells answers the call with their powerful release “Legacy of Ruin”. Featuring an extremely crafty amalgamation of Post-Metal, Doom Metal, and even some Black Metal-ish elements, this release unleashes over 45 minutes of intricate and engaging aural assaults.
Led by Melynda Jackson, the band quickly establishes their piercing atmosphere with the opener “Destroyer”, a piece filled with piercing guitars and harrowing and contrasting vocal arrangements. Creating a very sinister mood, the release is far from one dimensional as “The Well” explores calmer and yet disturbing interludes alongside faster and punishing onslaughts of heaviness.
On their first release as part of Nuclear Blast Records, France’s Celeste unleashes “Assassine(s)”, a vibrant 40+ minutes release blending their Black Metal with Post-Metal/Sludge influences. The band creates a very unique and punishing sound, filled with harsh vocals and crafty riffing, creating an unparalleled wall of sound and destruction.
The release fully kicks off with the intricate drumming of “Des torrents de coups”, which leads way to incisive guitars and crafty tempo changes. Picture listening to Cult of Luna with an Amenra edge. As the riffing barrage fully warms up, tracks like “De tes yeux bleus perlés”, “Nonchalantes de beauté”, and “Draguée tout au fond”, further develop the band’s massive sound with piercing onslaughts of crushing guitar work.
After their killer 2021 “Awake” EP, all-star outfit SOM returns with their much anticipated full-length release “The Shape of Everything”. Featuring members of bands like Junius and Caspian, this album delivers over 34 minutes of extremely melancholic and yet heavy amalgamation of all kinds of genres ranging from Doom to Post-Rock and Post-Metal. Creating a very unique signature style, this release is set to be on plenty of best albums of 2022 releases.
Opening with the melancholy of “Moment”, the band quickly establishes a very moody atmosphere, similar to bands like Deftones and Junius, but with a more shoegazey and dreamy edge. The clean vocals create very powerful melodies, perfectly soaring from the textured guitars of tracks like the Deafheaven-esque “Animals” and the playful “Center”. The band’s versatility can be heard on our favorite “Shape”, a piece that delivers a hefty dosage of heavy riffs alongside more subtle and ethereal guitar work.
After making a huge splash with their 2020 release titled “Bloodletting”, Mountaineer achieves the impossible and unleashes an even more melancholic and more polished release with “Giving Up The Ghost”. For fans of Post-Rock/Doom/Shoegaze, this release delivers over 32 minutes of highly emotional and disharming music, creating a fully immersive atmosphere and a truly magical listening experience.
Opening with a mood setting instrumental, the band gets down to business with the dreamy “Blot Out the Sun”, filled with soaring vocal melodies (both harsh and clean) and very dynamic guitars, perfectly capturing the ‘Mountaineer vibe’ but further extending it with even more melancholy and sublime arrangements like we can hear in “Bed of Flower” or the The Ocean-esque “Touch the Glass”.