Hailing from Switzerland, today we have Instrumental Post-Metal/post-rock quartet Khaldera and their EP “Alteration”. Delivering three tracks of dreamy atmospheric music, this release showcases the band’s ability to craft captivating music which feels natural and organic. For fans of bands like Lebowski, Isis and God is an Astronaut, this release will transport the listener into ethereal worlds.
The album slowly builds up with the spacey “Impending Tempest” and its piercing riffs. This track reminds us of a less extreme version of The Ocean. As soon as this initial track is done, the sheer power of Khaldera is felt with the punishing guitar work of “The Inevitability of Transition”. The band perfectly balances dreamy and slow passages between pummeling riffs and tight drumming section. This track is definitely the heaviest and most complex of the release.
Featuring a very complex and yet imposing sound, today we have Italy’s Summit and their debut full-length release ”The Winds that Forestall Thy Return”. Divided in 5 songs that last around 32 minutes total, the band does a pretty interesting job in combining Progressive Metal influences into a thick wall of Post-Metal elements. With a certain improvisational vibe, this release will surely grab your attention and will always keep you guessing what is coming up next.
The album commences with the sinister riffs of “Hymn Of The Forlon Wayfarer”, this 10-minute track slowly builds up as the intensity grows. This song reminded us of early Dysrhythmia stuff, but a bit less convoluted and more approachable. With the intensity in full swing, tracks like “Pale Moonlight Shadow” do a great job in keeping the momentum going and deliver very intricate passages with cool tempo changes, contrasted by whispers and screams in the background.
Just went you think a band can’t get any better, Harakiri for the Sky unleashes their third full-length release “III: Trauma”. Featuring an even more depressing and more refined sound, this Austrian duo delivers nearly 75 minutes of majestic music. Further expanding and perfecting their melancholic Post-Black Metal sound, the band keeps blowing our minds with their excellent musicianship and brilliant song writing abilities.
Opening with “Calling the Rain”, we instantly get an opus that sounds like a combination of Alcest and Katatonia, without being a rip-off of them. The band’s pace allows their music to grow and deliver waves of melancholic onslaughts as only a handful of bands can do these days. Not settling for one particular musical influence, “Funeral Dreams” moves into more melodic Death Metal territories with some similarities to October Tide… if they played with Black Metal inclinations.
From the mastermind behind Galaktik Cancer Squad, today we have Morphinist and their original debut release album from 2013 which didn’t see the light of day until 2016. In “Terraforming”, this one-man battalion delivers 35 minutes of truly skilled Atmospheric Black Metal with some Post-Black Metal and Doom influences. If you are a fan of Argwohn’s unique musical vision with GCS, you will definitely enjoy this one.
Opening with the 15 minute behemoth “Terraforming I”, the album starts in a very Doom-like manner with crushing riffs and a very sluggish tempo. After some more mood setting passages, things blow up with a furious BM pace. The transitions are quite seamless and very well delivered, making such changes not contrasting but rather complementary in an extremely unique way.
Originally labeled as a mysterious Chinese outfit, Ghost Bath has taken the Depressive Black Metal/Post-Black Metal scene by surprise since their debut release “Funeral”. The band plays very raw and emotional Black Metal that instantly transmits feelings of despair and unease, unlike any other band in the world. Fast-forward 2 years since the release of their debut album, the band turned out to be from North Dakota and their sophomore release (which is even better than the fest) is currently being re-released through Nuclear Blast in June 2016.
Having played over a thousand times “Moonlover” when it first came out in 2015, it is quite impressive to see that this release still has the same effect on us after more than a year. Opening with the mysterious atmospheric elements of “The Sleeping Fields”, the album comes wide open until the blistering “Golden Number”. In this track, we can instantly hear the band’s raw emotions explode with the harsh vocals as they perfectly contrast the intense drumming and the punishing riffs. The track nicely morphs into a very unique kind of beast when the guitar leads change the tempo and the drumming because more intricate. Comparisons to the likes of Deafheaven, Bosse-de-Nage are instantly warranted, but Ghost Bath is its own unique monster.
Arriving from Germany, today we have one of the most disarming releases in the last few years with Thränenkind‘s “King Apathy”. Filled with emotional bleakness, this release features 46 minutes of brilliant music that will evoke an emotional response from the toughest Metalhead out there. Completely intense and gratifying from start to finish, this is one of the best albums of 2016.
Setting the mood with the crushing opener “Desperation”, we are instantly immersed in the band’s unique mixture of Post-Metal/Black Metal thanks to the incisive riffs and mournful vocals. Expertly contrasting brutality with melody, the band delivers an intense performance filled with raw passion. As the album slowly progresses, the songs keep getting darker and darker as “King Apathy” and “Ghosts” storm the listener.
Continuing her highly atmospheric and dreamy musical direction, today we have one-woman outfit Sylvaine and her sophomore release “Wistful”. With a style similar to a mellower Alcest and Les Discrets, we are completely intoxicated by the fragile nature of the songs presented in this release. Instantly enchanting the listener like the mythological chant of a siren, Sylvaine will captivate you with this release.
Opening with the 10-minute “Delusions”, the mood is perfectly set with the opening folky vocal section, reminding us of Kari Rueslåtten in her early days. The song quickly progresses into more familiar territories with dreamy guitars and intense atmospherics bringing memories of Alcest’s “Les Voyages de l'âme”. Showcasing some ethereal shoegaze and dream-pop influences, “Earthbound” provides an interesting contrast between angelic clean vocals and hash Black Metal screams, both performed by Sylvaine herself.
With only enough bandwidth to review music, we rarely have time to review the stuff we actually buy for ourselves. Thanks to all the Internet chatter and other connoisseur recommendations, we acquired Sinistro’s sophomore release “Semente”. Instantly blown away by the fierce combination of punishing riffs and the fragility of Patrícia Andrade’s vocals, this is a release we felt compelled to write about in order to pass on this finding to our readers.
Opening with a commanding riffing onslaught, “Partida” sets a very high bar for this release. The track delves into your traditional Sludge/Doom/Post-Metal territories but is brilliantly contrasted by the hypnotic voice of Patrícia. Creating a very unique contrast the band instantly stands out from the competition. As the album progresses, the band focuses on creating a very unique and oppressive atmosphere which relies heavily on precise tempo changes and the use of keyboards, as tracks like “Estrada” and “Corpo Presente” demonstrate.
Hailing from Finland, today we have an older release that managed to go under our radar for a while, that is impressive enough to be reviewed all these years later. Crib45 plays a mean Post-Metal with Sludgy influences, allowing them to sound like Neurosis on command, but also deliver a wider range of sounds. With their sophomore release “Marching through the Borderlines”, the band delivers over 70 minutes of soul-crushing music.
Opening with the wall of sound created by crushing pieces like “Gathering the Storms” and “Catharsis”, the band really comes in tune with their characteristic sound with the dramatic “Waiting for Deliverance”. Aside the heavy distortion, the band layers atmospheric elements and dramatic lead guitars that give their music a certain Doomy feeling, setting them apart from the rest. Another interesting element in this song is the vocal experimentation introduced, which allows the song to be more dramatic and engaging.
Completely catching us by surprise, today we have a very interesting collaboration between Sweden’s Cult of Luna and USA’s Julie Christmas. If you ever wondered how Cult of Luna would sound with a layer of female vocals on top, this is the perfect time to discover such a combination. Featuring five tracks filled with the band’s traditional atmospheric oppression, this release is a force to be reckoned with.
Opening with the momentum building piece “A Greater Call”, the band wastes no time to introduce the listener to the dreamy combination of Julie’s sweet vocals and the harsh screams, both flanked by an intricate atmospheric backdrop. Leaving the listener no time to really adjust, the band pummels through “Chevron”, sparkling some pop-like influences along the way.