Continuing with their mission of pushing musical boundaries to deliver some of the most disarming songs ever written, today we have Anomalie’s third full-length release titled “Visions”. Slowly refining the band’s music over the years, the band’s mastermind, Marrok, manages to deliver seven visionary tracks that ooze of melancholy and brutality. If you are a fan of modern Post-Black Metal, this is definitely one of the albums you don’t want to miss in 2017.
Instantly setting a very somber and melancholic mood with “Vision I: Towards the Sun”, the band warms up with acoustic guitars and eerie vocal arrangements, slowly building up to crushing riffs and mournful vocals. Wasting to time, the band delivers one of their best songs ever with the brilliant “Vision II: The Wanderer”. Perfectly combining aggressive drumming and weeping guitar leads, this track has a very interesting Doomy vibe that perfectly blends with the super catchy riffs and tempo changes.
With the considerable amount of albums that we receive for review each month, it is quite hard for one of them to standout as much as Varaha’s self-titled EP did. Featuring 15 minutes of uniquely blended Post-Rock/Doom/Gothic Rock influences into a highly atmospheric canvas, the band crafts three lush tracks that leave the listener wanting a lot more.
Opening with the melodramatic riffs of “Cubicle”, we are instantly impressed as the song weaves back and forth between Doom and Post-Rock elements while delivering killer clean vocal sections by Fabio Brienza. Once you feel that you have the band pegged down, they switch the script as the clean vocals turn into blistering shrieks while the intensity of the drumming and riffing picks up. All of this magic happens… on the first track.
Perfectly delivering just the right amount of distortion to burst your speakers, today we have Kalloused and their debut release “Damn You Believer”. Featuring over 25 minutes of an intense mixture of Sludge, Doom and Post-Metal, this band delivers a good dosage of pummeling riffs that will make your ears ring for a few days. If you like bands like Neurosis and Amenra, this should be right around your alley.
Opening with the mysterious momentum builder “Pt. 1”, we are slowly introduced into the band’s world of ripping guitar riffs and punishing bass guitar lines as the track progresses. Settling more into their own sound, “Pt. 2” showcases a powerful band that perfectly times their vocal assaults around their imposing wall of sound. Not breaking much out of character, “Pt. 3” continues the onslaught with some cool opening drum patterns and a very chaotic vibe to start off one of their most aggressive and diverse pieces.
Blurring the lines between Doom, Post-Metal and Shoegaze, today we have Glare of the Sun and their monumental debut release “Soil”. Featuring eight tracks of quite diverse and engaging music, this Austrian/German outfit delivers thunderous riffs crafted to perfection for very moody songs. This band manages to craft a unique musical vision out of more traditional influences, delivering a powerful initial statement.
After opening with the dreamy instrumental “Awoken”, the band fully immerses the listener into their perfect mixture of atmospheric guitars with heavy Doom-esque riffs in “One Step Nothing”. Alternating vocal styles between harsh screams and eerie clean vocals, the bad creates a very enveloping atmosphere that instantly grabs the listener with its surreal soundscapes. In the first few songs Glare of the Sun manages to craft very intricate and engaging songs that are hard to peg down to a single genre or influence.
Delivering one of the most sorrowful releases of 2016, today we have Italy’s Raspail and their crushing album “Dirge”. Perfectly amalgamating Doom, Post Metal, Black Metal and Shoegaze influences, the band manages to sound like a mix of Lantlôs, Desire, Skepticism with some Heretoir thrown into the mix. Not for the faint of heart, this release unleashes eight highly emotional compositions that will haunt your dreams.
The album starts with the dissonance of “The Wander”, a track that slowly evolves into an oppressive force thanks to the harsh vocals and demoralizing riffs. The band’s tempo changes are outstanding and one of the reasons this release is so powerful, as we can see on the monolithic “The Nymph’s Wood Hymn to the Rising Sun”. This nearly six-minute piece reminds us of bands like Desire and their knack for juxtaposing oppressive atmospherics and gut-wrenching vocals.
Being huge fans of Post-Black Metal it is always quite delightful to get a new release from the genre that manages to be good enough to avoid being called a clone of Alcest, Heretoir, etc, today Lascar deserves that honor with their debut release Absence. Hailing from Chile, this new signing to ATMF’s A Sad Sadness Song imprint unleashes to a wider audience this special release that also includes the band’s demo titled “Depths”.
Opening with melancholic acoustic guitars, “Atlas” delivers a very interesting mixture of elements from bands like Agalloch and An Autumn for Crippled Children. The track’s rawness is perfectly balanced by dramatic atmospheric elements and mournful riffs. As a one man project, Lascar manages to control all creative aspects and delivers emotionally charged songs that ooze melancholy and brutality as the contrasting “Wilderness”.
Wasting no time and keeping up their momentum going, today we have Downfall of Gaia and their latest full-length opus “Atrophy”. Delivering over 40 minutes of brutally crafted Post-Black Metal with some Sludge and Crust influences, the band continues their musical journey with one of the most intelligent and yet extremely brutal releases of 2016.
Opening with the brutal “Brood”, the band quickly builds up a massive wall of sound with distorted guitars, a ponding bass guitar, and blistering drums. The vocals are as punishing as you can possibly imagine, adding to the overall demoralizing atmosphere of the track. In a bit more melodic tone, the opening riffing of “Woe” starts quite brutal and it slowly progresses into more Sludgy territories.
Making their triumphant return after their mostly Post-Rock only release “Shelter”, today we have Alcest and their latest effort “Kodama”. Stepping a bit back into their darker and ‘heavier’ days, this release delivers 48 minutes of the band that so many Metal heads secretly love. The band’s magical sound returns with seven songs that feature a bit of an ideological change into Japanese culture.
The album opens with the whimsical “Kodama”, a very ethereal piece that brings back memories of “Écailles de lune” and “Les Voyages de l'âme”. The dreamy vocal arrangements are made even stronger with guest vocals from Kathrine Shepard of Sylvaine. Continuing in the same vein, the quintessential Alcest shoegazy riffs open “Eclosion”, a piece that nicely builds up while delivering goose bumps. This track marks the return of Neige’s harsh vocals, something that fans thought “Shelter” was missing.
Leveling everything on their path, today we have Neurosis and their devastating release “Fires within Fires”. Unleashed after a period of high activity from the band which saw them tour the world with handpicked 30 years anniversary shows, this release delivers over 40 minutes of soul crushing music. Featuring five songs, the album will satisfy any follower of the band and “power of the riff” connoisseurs.
Ripping things wide open with the relentless riffing of “Bending Light”, the band starts on a high note with massive walls of sound and the signature Neurosis vocal attack. Going into more hypnotic territories with the tribal-influenced “A Shadow Memory”, Scott Kelly and Steve Von Till continue their riffing onslaught in this punishing song. The atmospheric elements, courtesy of Noah Landis, in “Fire is the End Lesson” make this track one of our favorite ones.
Hailing from Spain, today we have Post-Metal newcomers The Holeum and their debut release “Negative Abyss”. Drawing influences from the likes of Neurosis, Amenra and Cult of Luna, this band pushes the boundaries on the genre with unique ideas and very engaging songs. Delivering 8 tracks of skilled aural abuse, this band is ready to take the scene by surprise.
The cosmic journey starts with the intense bass guitar line of “Chemical Ghosts”. This track is probably the most straightforward one as it follows your typical Post-Metal song aside from a few interesting tempo changes. Our favorite track in this release has to be the Doomy “Philosopher’s Stone” and its very atmospheric nature. During one of its melodic passages they perfectly add a saxophone section that magically elevates this unique song.