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.
Unleashing a crushing amalgamation of distorted guitars and powerful atmospheres, today we have France’s Dirge and their latest opus “Lost Empyrean”. Bordering in many genres like Slude, Doom, Post-Metal, this French outfit delivers a captivating release that is quite dense and engaging. For over 56 minutes and seven tracks, we are taken through dismal soundscapes that feel quite oppressive and showcase the band’s fresh and unique sound.
Opening with pummeling distorted guitars on “Wingless Multitudes”, the band’s wall of sound slowly builds up as the guitar layers pile up and craft a tense mood. Weaving back and forth between Amenra-esque moments and more traditional Doom passages, this track brilliantly blends into the next” “Hosea 8:7”. Masterfully maintaining the tension and overall ambiance, the mixture of clean and harsh vocals provides a nice layer to an already intricate mixture of sounds.
After catching everybody by surprise with their dreamy 2017 debut, “Sirens & Slumber”, Bay Area’s Mountaineer returns with a more mature and equally aurally pleasing release titled “Passages”. Divided into two four-track sections, this album further expands the band’s dreamy Post-Metal/Post-Rock/Shoegaze sound.
The first movement, “Hymnal”, opens with the very moody and dreamy “Passage I”. The band sets a very light and emotional opening that quickly escalates into Post-Metal territories with lush guitar riffs and the visceral raspy screams of vocalist Miguel Meza. The battle between dreamy and crushing passages reaches its climax as “Passage III” intertwines both styles very skillfully and “Passage IV” slowly winds down a very emotionally intense first part of this release.
Unleashing one of the most hypnotic and intoxicating Psychedelic Sludge/Doom release of 2018, today we have Finland’s Dark Buddha Rising and their latest EP “II”. Coming out via Neurot Recordings, this release features two tracks and around 25 minutes of trance inducing music that elevates the band’s already unique sound to a whole new level.
The band kicks off with the sludgy opening riffs of “Mahathgata I” and it slowly transitions into a truly intoxicating piece with the uniquely odd vocals of Marko Neuman. This track perfectly blends catchiness with atmospheric dominance and hints of psychedelia that are quite characteristic from the band. As the track progresses, it keep beating the listener with its crushing riffs while shifting into a darker and heavier piece. Lasting around 15 minutes, this is one hell of a track that perfectly captures the band’s idiosyncrasies.
Unleashing one of the Doomiest and most intoxicating release of 2018, today we have Italy’s Messa and their sophomore full-length release “Feast for Water”. Featuring around 50 minutes of highly mysterious and intricately crafted music, the band perfectly combines Doom and Sludgy undertones with enchanting female vocals and oppressive atmospheric elements. If you are a fan of Jex Thoth, Jess and the Ancient Ones, Bohren Und Der Club Of Gore, and similar bands with very apocalyptic vibes, this is certainly an album for you.
After opening with the mood setting Ambient/Drone-ish “Naunet”, the band instantly makes a splash with “Snakeskin Drape” and its incisive riffs. Sara’s sultry voice instantly captures the listener’s attention thanks to its commanding presence and how it shines through the very moody music. Her unique vocals can be said to be a certain mixture of Jex Thoth, Jess from Jess and the Ancient Ones and Farida Lemouchi from The Devil’s Blood, creating a fierce presence that magically brings songs to life like jazzy “Leah” and the funky “The Seer”.
Unleashing one of the most unique and aurally abusive releases of 2017, today we have Austria’s Las Casas Viejas and their album “goul/H”. Featuring an amalgamation of dreamy Post-Rock passages, with Doom/Sluge/Black Metal elements, the band creates a very unique atmosphere and evangelizes the listener with five brilliant tracks filled with unique elements and surprises.
Slowly building up the momentum in their opener, “Morbundus”, the band starts off slow with some interesting aural abuse, luckily it slowly progresses into delivering more punishing and demoralizing guitar riffs and a plethora of harsh vocals. Mixing Sludge elements with some different ideas, this piece perfectly leads into the Doom-esque “Kein Ort 1: nicht die Stadt und Lethargie”. The female vocals at times remind us of late The 3rd and The Mortal elements, allowing the band’s sound to have an extra unconventional element.