After a super busy touring schedule since joining Architects since mid-2016, Josh Middleton and company finally return with their crushing fifth full-length release “Cycle of Suffering”. Building up on their powerful Melodic Death/Thrash Metal sound, this release unleashes 50 minutes of crafty music filled with intricate guitars and punishing aggression. Like no time has past, this release continues the band’s legacy of well crafted brutality and melody.
Quickly getting in the listener’s face, “Empty Prophets” delivers an exquisite balance of crunchy riffs and crafty guitar leads. Others might prefer the more melodic and mellow side of the band with tracks like “I Server” and the album title track delivering a unique mixture of Death-like guitars and intricate melodic passages. The headbanging value of the band’s music is unrivaled as we can enjoy sweeping transitions from dramatic melodic passages into brutal agressive onslaughts thanks to Josh Middleton’s harsh vocals.
Melodic Death Metal
With many Melodic Death Metal bands getting a bit too melancholic for our taste, today we stumbled upon Germany’s Horrizon and their third full-length release “World of Pain”. Unleashing 11 tracks and nearly 50 minutes of old-school Melodic DM reminding us of the early days of Dark Tranquility and Be'lakor. As one of the most recommended releases for catchy riffing enthusiasts, this album has plenty of epic headbanging passages and a few surprises.
The band wastes no time in asserting their dominance with the superbly executed “Once In A While”, a track filled with crushing vocals and super melodic guitars. As the riffing onslaught continues with tracks like “Sentenced to Death”, the band changes up the pace with the more melancholic “Where Am I?”, nicely showcasing more dramatic atmospheric arrangements and guitar leads. However, the mellowness does not take over the release as the album title track and “Haunted By the Past” get back into the furious pace of tight drums, crafty riffs and brilliant tempo changes.
Continuing the band’s brilliant rise as one of the best Melodic/Atmospheric Doom/Gothic Metal outfits, Hanging Garden delivers their latest opus titled “Into That Good Night”. Featuring eight tracks and nearly 46 minutes of highly addictive music, the band perfectly blends elements from their heavier earlier days and their more dynamic and Gothic Metal influences of later days. Full of melancholy and expert songwriting abilities, this release is yet another highlight on their already storied career.
Opening with the playful riffs of “Of Love and Curses”, we got a certain Lacrima Profundere vibe as the more enigmatic atmospheric interludes nicely contrast the heavier parts of the song. The more traditional Melodic Doom Metal roots of the band can be found on the dreamy “Fear, Longing, Hope and the Night” which has a certain Insomnium vibe. We particularly enjoy the crafty guitar melodies and the combination of growls and clean vocal arrangements, making it a superbly catchy song.
Unleashing a truly unique release, today we have Austria’s Vinsta and their full-length release “Drei Deita”. Perfectly blending Folk elements into and engaging Progressive/Melodic Death Metal core, this band delivers a very interesting and harmonious sound. With nearly 50 minutes of music, we are treated to brilliant melodic passages, catchy riffs, and dreamy parts. Imagine a mixture of Insomnium with Opeth and the Folky edge of early Kauan.
After the traditional instrumental intro, “Weisse Deckn” creates a very lively and ethereal atmosphere with the contrast of dreamy vocals and powerful guitars. This track also introduces the band’s folkier side with lush violins in a very dramatic melodic passage. Weaving back and forth between their two main styles, tracks like “Oafocha Loda” nicely build up the atmosphere and reach its crescendo with crushing guitars and harsh vocals.
Consistency is the name of the game for the Norrman’s brothers October Tide band. With “In Splendor Below”, the band continues to deliver classic Melodic Death/Doom Metal filled with superb guitar work, dark atmospheric passages and plenty of headbanging opportunities. Featuring over 43-minutes of music, this release continues the band’s legacy as one of the best in the genre.
The album opens with “I, the Polluter”, a song that features the band’s signature riffing and mid-tempo pace. There are some more direct Death Metal elements thrown into the mix, but the track always keeps that old-school Swedish Melodic Death Metal vibe going. The playful “We Died In October” shows a more funky and crafty atmosphere with intricate drum patterns and very engaging tempo changes.
As a well oiled viking ship sailing through the oceans, Amon Amarth returns with yet another impressive onslaught of headbanging and moshing anthems in “Berserker”. Featuring twelve tracks and a running time of 56 minutes, the band further refines their crushing sound with a more melodic edge and the same amounts of euphoria inducing riffs. For those following the band’s exploits over the years, you will find this release as equally dynamic and impressive as their older ones, with a certain added touch of maturity. If you are new to the band, strap on for one hell of a ride with this one.
With “Fafner's Gold” leading the procession, the band warms up the listener’s with a powerful track, but the single “Crack the Sky” really steps it up a notch with the traditional Amon Amarth crushing melodic riffs. With this song you will instantly be possessed to start headbanging furiously thanks to its playful guitar work and hellish signature vocals. Additionally, the killer guitar leads add that extra level of epicness to an already brilliant song.
Riding high from their 2016 opus “Proponent for Sentience” and their countless tours, Allegaeon finally returns with new music in “Apoptosis”. Featuring eleven tracks of neck snapping Technical Death Metal, this release improves on their last effort while delivering catchy and highly memorable songs. With heavy competition from European bands, Allegaeon clearly establishes themselves as one of the premiere Technical DM outfits in the world thanks to this killer release.
The album opens with an acrobatic bass guitar line that slowly transforms into a more melodic piece in “Parthenogenesis”. This track is the perfect lead-in to the crushing “Interphase // Meiosis”, a track filled with crushing growls and very dreamy melodic passages. Blending intensely melodic passages with technically proficient acrobatics is the band’s specialty and on “Extremophiles (B)” we get treated to a good dose of it. With songs being short and direct to the point, the band’s sound is quite brutal in nature as you can hear from “The Secular Age”.
Swiftly recovering from a spell of forgettable releases, CoB continues their return to form with the scorching “Hexed”. Unleashing over 45 minutes of melodic brilliance, the band delivers 11 fast-paced songs that feature their signature style and instrumental wizardry. Incorporating new guitarist Daniel Freyberg, to the fold the band focuses on crafting memorable tunes filled with killer solos and melodic passages.
Wasting no time, the high-octane opener “This Road” unleashes a barrage of pummeling riffs and a very playful tempo. The subtle atmospheric keyboards make sure this is a signature CoB anthem, but the pace is what incites moshing and excitement. The dueling keyboards/guitars are in top form as “Under Grass and Clover” rolls in, we are suckers for musical acrobatics and Janne Warman and Alexi Laiho don’t fail to the deliver in this release, as we can also hear in “Glass Houses”.
Following a killer 2018 in terms of Melodic Death Metal releases, it is now the turn of Italy’s Lahmia to make their case with “Resilience”. Being blown away by their 2012 debut full-length “Into the Abyss”, we are more than psyched that this album is even better. Featuring eight tracks and over 50 minutes of neck-breaking Melodic DM, the band combines elements of outfits like Kalmah, Amon Amarth, Insomnium, etc into a juicy melting pot of brilliance.
The towering pummeling riffs of “Elegy for a Dying Sun” instantly give that epic and melodic vibe that bands take years to master. With a knack for epic headbanging passages, this release perfectly flows into superbly catchy tracks like “Her Fanatic Call” and “Divide Et Imperia”. While the Amon Amarth influences are obvious, the band weaves them into their own sound with superb craftsmanship and attention to details. We particularly enjoy how the mood varies between tracks as “The Frayed Lines of Time” opens with a more epic and melodic atmosphere that evolves into a full-blown moshing masterpiece.
Recorded at the top of the band’s career (so far), this 25 year anniversary release gives us an insight into Amon Amarth and two of their most leveling performances to date. Having had the honor of being at these Summer Breeze shows, check out our live gallery here , we can certainly verify that they were as epic as they sound here. Live releases have been getting better and better in the last few years and this one takes the cake in terms of audio quality and how it transports the listener into the middle of the action.
Divided into two shows, Amon Amarth’s takeover of Summer Breeze started with a surprise show at the T-stage the day the festival kicked off. As the band rocked through some of their best material people started going nuts and there were a considerable amount of people crowd surfing, prompting for the stage security to come out in force to receive them safely. Featuring a set of older and songs that the band does not play very often live, their T-Stage show was truly a memorable one filled with pyro and the infamous viking ship making an appearance.