Unleashing crushing melancholy and gloom, today we have Finland’s Marianas Rest and their third full-length release “Fata Morgana”. For being huge fans of Melodic Death/Doom Metal we are quite shocked that we never heard of this band before, but we are glad that this has since been corrected. Featuring Aapo Koivisto of Omnium Gatherum fame, this band delivers some of the most impressive and demoralizing melancholic music we have ever heard.
Creating an unsettling mysterious atmosphere in “Sacrificial”, the band starts building up the pummeling momentum of this release with solid atmospherics, diverse guitar styles and subtle piano passages. Jaakko Mäntymaa vocals perfectly fit the overall mood of the band’s sound, as their versatility (shrieks to growls to clean) allows the band to not sound like any of their other Finnish counterparts. “Glow from the Edge” keeps the misery rolling with bleak guitars, and haunting female vocals courtesy of guest Lindsay Schoolcraft, further elevating the band’s atmospheric brilliance.
Highly prolific Daniel Neagoe (Clouds) is back with another soul-crushing Funeral Doom Metal release with his new band Mourners. In “Act I: Tragedies”, the band explores the depths of misery with a very powerful and direct release. For over 50 minutes the listener is immersed in a solemn and bleak experience, making this one of the best releases of the genre in 2021.
The typical atmospheric piece, “Apparitions” sets a desolate mood while delivering a warm-up onslaught of crushing brutality. “The Way of Darkness” slowly builds up to crushing combinations of massive growls and punishingly slow riffs. Daniel’s signature vocals perfectly layer with the minimalist instrumentation and ripping guitars in tracks like “Souls Breathing Nothingness” and “Ansu Enthroned” further creating a cavernous hollowness that only bands like Thergothon, Evoken or Mournful Congregation create.
Hailing from Tunisia, today we have a very unique and aurally abusive outfit: Omination. Dropping their third full-length release, “NRG”, this band delivers one hell of an expansive sound that incorporates elements of traditional Funeral Death/Doom Metal with some more cinematic and experimental endeavors.
Unleashing an eerie and ritualistic aural assault with “Crossing the Burned Wasteland”, the band sets a very punishing and intriguing atmosphere. This oppressive atmosphere is further explored with the monolithic onslaughts of “Apocalyptic Ignis Fatuus”, a very powerful track featuring hellish atmospheric elements and potent distorted guitars. The band’s drums, which seem to be programmed, at times give the music a certain industrial edge that classes at times with their atmospheric context, but at the same time creates a very unique and aurally confusing experience, like on “Last Trisagion”.
Dramatically balancing brutality with sheer beauty, today we have Exitium Sui and their debut release “Ad Personam”. Mixing elements of Black/Death Metal with lush atmospherics and excellent vocal arrangements, this release delivers over 35 minutes of excellently crafted music. One-man projects usually allow musicians to craft exactly the music they want, with no compromises, and this release shows a very personal and crushing aural experience.
The release kicks off with the punishing “Eviscerate My Withered Soul”, which has a more traditional Death/Black sound but with a calmer pace and an intriguing and very subtle atmospheric undertone. The vibe continues to get bleaker in songs like “The Long Return To Nothing” and “Into The Conflagration”, while delivering a hefty dose of harsh growls and crushing guitars. It is quite interesting how the release slowly builds up its atmospheric components and turns darker as the minutes pass.
As a nice complement to “Ghost of Orion”, today we have My Dying Bride’s latest EP titled “Macabre Cabaret”. Featuring over 20 minutes of new music, this EP is the perfect continuation to an already superbly impressive release earlier this year. Filled with melancholy and pain, the three new songs presented here as a must-have for fans of the band and the genre.
The release opens with the creepy atmospherics and thunderous bass guitar lines of the EP’s title track. This song slowly evolves into a crushing experience with the band’s signature riffs and eerie ambiance. Lasting 10 minutes, this piece features some very eerie interludes that lead into chilling passages of Aaron’s harrowing clean vocals. Continuing the bleak mood, “A Purse of Gold and Stars” nicely continues the band’s dark and somber musical experience with a very subtle and yet elegant piece.
Oozing an incredible amount of melancholy and misery, today we have Draconian and their latest opus “Under A Godless Veil”. In what is one of the band’s strongest releases to date, over 62 minutes of music create a lush and apocalyptic atmosphere filled with punishing growls, weeping guitars and the enchanting and at times demoralizing vocals of Heike Langhans. If you like the punishing atmosphere of bands like Shape of Despair and the harrowing vocal dynamics of My Dying Bride, this is the perfect release for you.
The band wastes no time in setting a very depressive mood with the haunting “Sorrow Of Sophia”, a track that beautifully combines fragile female vocals and dreamy guitars that even take a certain Post-Rock-ish vibe. Anders Jacobsson growls continue to be some of the best in the game, as they perfectly create those ‘beauty and the beast’ duets on songs like "The Sacrificial Lame" or the masterful "Sleepwalkers".
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.
As one of our most anticipated releases of 2020, today we have Chile’s Poema Arcanvs and their sixth full-length release titled “Stardust Solitude”. Being huge fans of their music since their “Iconoclast” album back in 2002, we love the band’s unique style that delivers a mixture of Moonspell and My Dying Bride branded Death/Doom. With nearly an hour of music, this release will certainly please their fans and fans of the genre due to the high quality of its eight tracks.
Opening with the album title, we get the band’s traditional heavy riffs, crafty drumming and the hypnotic lead vocals of Claudio Carrasco Garcia. The vocal arrangements and uniqueness alone is the signature of the band, while their creative and yet traditional sound perfectly complements them on tracks like “Orphans”, “Haven” and the playful “The Lighthouse Keeper”. Thanks to its very atmospheric mood, this last track creates a very decadent and melancholic vibe.
Crafting a very unique and yet recognizable sound, Finland’s Noumena delivers “Anima”, their latest full-length effort. Mixing a folkier edge to traditional Melodic Death Metal similar to bands like Wolfheart and early Amorphis, the band unleashes nearly one hour of expertly crafted music that will appeal genre nostalgics while introducing a few different elements into the mix.
After the folky opening with “Kaiku”, the band’s sound oozes emotions and melody in the superbly crafted “Saatto”. Alongside the weeping lead guitars and growls, we have lively clean female vocals and very solemn slower passages. In full-on Amorphis worship, “Murtuneet” and “Seula” made us instantly think that we had our playlist on shuffle, however, the band continues to infuse their uniqueness to the music with a jazzy bass guitar line and some killer guitar leads.
Keeping the flame alive of Melodic Death/Doom Metal releases, today we have Australia’s Myridian and their killer third full-length release “Light in the Abyss”. Reminiscing of bands like October Tide, In Mourning, etc., this release delivers nearly 70 minutes of highly melancholic music filled with crafty guitars, lush atmospherics, and firm growls. We have no idea how this release made it to our inbox, but we are quite intoxicated by it.
Creating a fully immersive aural experience, “Light is Lost” starts with waves of melodic riffs, harsh vocals and a very mellow tempo that creates a highly melancholic vibe. The playful guitar leads and crafty instrumental passages nicely lead the way to the faster pace of “Nidellavir”, a track that includes some proggy experimental elements paired with solemn clean vocals. Keeping the melancholic vibe going, “Babylon” delivers a classical Death/Doom approach with contrasting vocal styles and firm riffing.