• Faust – From Glory To Infinity (2009)


    Faust is an Italian band that has been around since 1992, and this is made very clear based on the skills of most of the band members. The music is very well played, but lacks a bit on the composition department (more on that later).

    I’m a big fan of Melodic Death Metal, and it’s very rare in these days to find a good band that is not going all Metalcore on us. Alongside Ethereal Collapse, Faust is one of the best bands in the genre I’ve heard this year, since the melodic aspect is brilliant.

  • Semen Datura – Einsamkeit (2009)


    Hailing from Germany, Semen Datura displays very promising qualities in a Black Metal band, they have a very (and I mean very) diverse style that ranges from old school Celtic Frost in some parts, to Satyricon, to Darkthrone, to Secrets Of The Moon, etc.

    “Einsamkeit” is the band’s 3rd full length album and has made me try to dig up their latest releases so I can see how their sound has evolved (no luck so far in finding their first albums). This album features 10 tracks of pure hellish black metal that will surely please any fans of the genre.

  • Siegfried – Nibelung (2009)


    After their band’s last effort “Eisenwinter”, back in 2003, I was very skeptical about giving this album a few spins since that album was pretty dull and a total waste of anybody’s time. However, Siegfried have managed to give me the surprise of 2009, what I was expecting to be another uninspired release, has reached a top 10 spot in my favorite albums Gothic/Epic Metal albums from 2009.

    “Nibelung” features very intricate and symphonic compositions that have a very Epic feeling thanks to the wide variety of vocal styles. If I didn’t know that Sanda Schleret is on the female vocals, I would have never guessed it since her vocal range is put to the test with this release and she stands out magically.

  • Elis – Catharsis (2009)


    Three years have passed since their last full length album “Griefshire” and the unexpected passing of Sabine Dünser, she was featured in that album and it took the band some time to decide if they wanted to continue or not. The band found Sandra Schleret (ex-Dreams Of Sanity) as the new vocalist and decided to continue, touring in 2007 and recording an EP on the same year.

    After not hearing much from Elis in 2008, they are back in full swing at the end of 2009 with their fourth album “Catharsis” featuring 11 tracks of their traditional sounding Gothic Metal. The band retains their musical identity intact, and with Sandra’s vocals they sound as good as ever.

  • Brown Jenkins – Death Obsession (2009)


    Following their acclaimed by some (and trashed by others) album “Angel Eyes”, Brown Jenkins releases their last opus “Death Obsession”. Like it or not, Brown Jenkins is one of those bands that you either praise or despise, I side with the later.

    If you are not aware of what kind of music Brown Jenkins plays, they try to mix Doom and Black Metal with heavy Drone influence and the result is, in my opinion, a half assed approach to either of the genres.

  • Dark Funeral - Angelus Exuro pro Eternus (2009)


    Along time has passed since “The Secrets of the Black Arts” and the band seems to not be slowing down at all. Having waiting for four years to the release of “Angelus Exuro pro Eternus”, I must say that while I do like this album a lot and it’s one of the best of the year, I have a mixed opinion that Dark Funeral shows signs of going nowhere with their music, only following a straight line and releasing ‘more of the same’.

    While I think that releasing ‘more of the same’ is not bad if you have a good sound and a good band (like Epica, My Dying Bride, etc), but in the Black Metal world you get dethroned so easily if you do not adapt to the newer times and release something more dynamic (or an improvement of your ‘more of the same’ sound).

  • Deiphago - Filipino Antichrist (2009)


    Deiphago has been around for over 20 years and they have only managed to release two full length albums (and all of the in the last 3 years). It makes you wonder why is that a band that has many years of experience has not released anymore albums, well you are about to find out: THEY SUCK.

    While I’m usually pretty lenient with all the music I get to review, and with music in general, I can’t find ANY redeeming qualities for this album at all. The music is terrible, if you can call that music, the vocals are just like a pig getting slaughtered and somebody with a bad case of diarrhea, the drumming sounds like somebody throwing rocks at a warehouse aluminum ceiling.

  • Destruktor – Nailed (2009)


    It’s hard to find good bands these days, especially out of the ones trying to play old school style music. Since most people playing that music nowadays were not even born when Celtic Frost, Venom and Bathory had their moment to shine.

    Destruktor hailing from Australia does a great job in capturing the sound of those times and bringing it back to our ears for a lesson in ‘classical metal’ music. The band features a very interesting mix of old school Death and Black Metal that will never get old (if it’s well executed).

  • Hunters Moon – The Serpents Lust (2009)


    As I’m finishing with this last album from Hells Headbangers, I’m noticing that the label has a very good eye for bands that have that old-school sound, but at the same time make it their own.

    Hunters Moon is an Aussie band that plays very good Black Metal a la Bathory, with some Morrigan and even early Immortal influences. This EP takes us back to those good old times when Black Metal was more than just a pose, and gives us 21 minutes of great music.

  • Månegarm – Nattväsen (2009)


    Hailing from Sweden, Månegarm is one of those bands that have been evolving their sound and in every album they keep getting better and better. “Nattväsen” is the band’s sixth full length album and while their Folk influences have taken mostly over, they have not conformed and kicked out their harsh vocals and heavier influences from the past.

    Starting with the traditional folk vocals followed by growls, “Nattväsen” will take you on a journey of great Folk and Metal music that you will surely be listening several times in a row. This album is very diverse when it comes to mixing Folk/Viking Metal and Death Metal.


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