Three years after terraforming the scene with their excellent 2017 release, today we have Brasil’s Jupiterian dropping the massive “Protosapien”. Pushing the boundaries of the genre and always delivering something interesting and aurally punishing, this band is one of the few that constantly improves over time and morphs into new shapes in each release. If you like punishing riffs, a wide variety of genres, and the feeling of being on a choke hold (by music), then you can’t miss out on this one.
After slowly creating a very dissonant atmosphere with their opening track, “Mere Humans” instantly unleashes a barrage of punishing riffs and a hypnotic pace. As one of their specialties, the band suddenly switches gear into heavier and slower territories with the (newer) Lantlôs-esque “Voidborn” and its waves of pummeling guitars. The growls are a perfect match for such an aggressive and yet subtly melodic onslaught.
Blending a plethora of genres, today we have MIGHT and their brilliant self-titled release. Unleashing a barrage of massive guitar riffs and combining influences from High on Fire to Chelsea Wolfe, this release will have you worshiping the band’s creativity and distortion levels in just a few songs. With over 35 minutes of music, the nine tracks presented here develop a very warm and fuzzy sound for this duo that is quite engaging and hard to stop listening to.
Leading the listener with the mysterious and post-rock-ish “Introduce Yourself”, this duo unleashes their full force with the furious guitar and drumming opening of “Pollution of Mind”. This is all abruptly changed into a more traditional Doom/Sludge drawl with meaty guitars, crafty tempo changes, and the sultry vocals of Ana Muhi. The band’s musical core is simple and yet quite effective, particularly in crafty songs like the hypnotic “Vampire” and the crushing “Possession” with waves of intricate bass guitar notes and pummeling riffs.
Hailing from Germany, today we have Doom/Sludge Metal wizards Eremit and their two-song EP “Desert Ghouls”. Aimed at fans of the ‘power of the riff’, this release delivers nearly 20 minutes of crunchy guitars and a sluggish pace. For fans of bands like Conan, Bongripper, and Sleep, this release showcases an up-and-coming band with enough chops to make it.
This 10” vinyl release opens with the crafty riffing of “Beheading the Innumerous”. For around 8 minutes and change the band unleashes a warm and fuzzy riffing barrage that is nicely complemented by Moritz Fabian snarls. On side B we get treated to “City of Râsh-il-nûm” and its hypnotic opening that suddenly transforms into a headbangers paradise with incisive guitars, engaging guitar leads, and superbly crafted drum patterns.
In these pandemic times we have had tons of extra time to hunker down and enjoy music. One of the absolute highlights of this time has to be Mountaineer’s third full-length release “Bloodletting” and its oozing melancholy. Perfectly refining their mixture of Sludge/Doom/Post-Metal over the last few years, the band has hit its prime with this majestic 53-minute musical journey. The band’s uniquely crushing sound creates a very powerful and yet mellow atmosphere unlike anything else you have heard before.
Opening with “Blood of the Book” the band slowly builds up to harsh vocals and cascading guitar riffs. This track nicely sets a moody opening as it transforms into gargantuan walls of distortion and highly emotive clean vocals. Just getting warmed up, the band unleashes the superb catchiness of “The Weeds I Have Tended” and its crafty tempo changes. This track is one of our favorites, as it is both engaging and punishing while delivering the full spectrum of the band’s intricate sound.
Perfectly combining Post-Rock with Sludge Metal influences, today we have UK’s Telepathy and their third full-length release “Burn Embrace”. Creating a cinematic aura with their instrumental music, this outfit delivers over 40 minutes of melancholy. Highly recommended for fans of bands like Mono and The Ocean, this band creates a very unique middle point between those two bands with their expansive style.
Opening with the darkness of “Eternal Silence”, the band creates a very mysterious and yet intoxicating atmosphere. The band’s heavier side comes into light with the relentless guitars and drums of “Aonaran”, creating a more dynamic and textured atmosphere. The band hits their stride with the crafty “Black Earth” and show their Sludginess on the Amenra-esque “Pariah”, both different and yet very engaging tracks.
Constantly getting better with time, Cult of Luna is ready to unravel their latest non-collaborative release: “A Dawn to Fear”. Featuring nearly 80 minutes of demoralizing music, this release showcases the band’s evolution into one of the most versatile and complex bands in the world. Picking up where they left off on their “Mariner” collaboration, the band creates lush soundscapes full of intricacies and magical details, making their music highly enjoyable and engaging.
The band wastes no time in setting up a very hypnotic mood with “The Silent Man”. Weaving back and forth between crushing guitar riffs, a trembling bass guitar onslaught and the band’s signature harsh vocals, this track perfectly prompts the listener to strap down to their seats and enjoy the ride. With the ritualistic “Lay Your Head to Rest”, the band sets a trance-like mood that bleeds into the more mellow album title track. We particularly enjoy how the band perfectly times the tempo changes, while keeping things fresh and interesting.
The album sets a very somber and yet optimistic mood with the moody opener “Far from Home”. We particularly love how cinematic and otherworldly the atmosphere is crafted as songs like “The Way the World Was” and “In Exchange for a Memory” roll in. The band’s ability to slowly build into cathartic moments is just brilliant, with a crescendo of weeping guitars and crafty percussions.
The band sets the stage with a very dramatic choral intro as it settles into heavy and punishing Doomy riffs on “II”. This first track at a glance seems a straightforward Doom affair, if it wasn’t for the interesting tempo changes Sludgier undertones and Post-Metal passages. Things get a bit bizarre and yet quite interesting with the weirdness of “III”. While the music seems to follow a typical direction, the vocals sound a bit odd at first. Might be some weird artifact of the mix, but they don’t quite blend with the rest of the music. Unfortunately this is the case for other tracks in the album, so we find it a bit odd.
After taking the scene by surprise with their amazing sophomore release “Litany”, Dead to a Dying World is back after four years with an even more impressive and masteful release with “Elegy”. Perfectly blending elements of Doom/Sludge/Black Metal with very emotional vocals and dramatic viola arrangements, this band crafts a very unique sound that is both intoxicating and ravaging. Focusing on creating immersive atmospheres and melodramatic moods, this outfit has created a near perfect release.
Opening with the dreamy western-eques “Syzygy”, the band creates a very martial and enigmatic end-of-time mood. Quickly shifting into 5th gear, “The Seer’s Embrace” delivers crafty guitar riffs and intense vocal arrangements. The mixture of heavy guitars and viola sounds a lot like late 90’s band Forty Days Longing, as it creates a very unique and powerful contrast. The band focuses on crafting unique melodic passages, as this track evolves into many different up and down moods.
Unleashing a truly contrasting and quite engaging release, today we have Latitudes and their latest opus “Part Island”. Perfectly blending Sludge, Post-Metal and even some Black Metal-ish elements with dreamy clean vocals, this release will weird you out at first, but will captivate you by the second track. With over 43 minutes of music, the band creates six intricate tracks that feel like you are listening to Amenra or The Ocean with and incorrect vocal track.
Opening with a folky build-up, “Underlie” creates the perfect mood to blow the listener away as the wall of distortion creeps up with thundering riffs. This big transition introduces the band’s pummeling sound in whole and will completely catch the listener off guard. This lush mixture of dreamy vocals and pummeling guitars is perfectly developed in pieces like “Moorland Is The Sea”, were the band slowly builds up an ethereal atmosphere that shifts moods with the heavier onslaughts.
Unleashing one of the early candidates for best album of 2019, today we have Downfall of Gaia and their crushing masterpiece “Ethic Of Radical Finitude”. Slowly perfecting their trade, this German outfit deliver six brilliant songs filled with unrivaled melancholy and sheer power. With over 40 minutes of majestic atmospheric sludginess, this release perfectly combines Post-Metal elements with Sludge, Crust and even some more traditional Post-Rock passages.
After the opening intro, “The Grotesque Illusion of Being” wastes no time in unleashing brutal vocal onslaughts perfectly framed by dreamy guitars and blistering drums. The band has perfected the ability to unleash both brutal and melancholic pummeling onslaughts. Moving into more crafty territories, “We Purse the Serpent of Time” starts of with ritualistic percussion as the riffs slowly build up to create a crushing wall of sound, the signature style from the band. The clean vocals here add extra depth and mystery to an already pretty impressive song.