Starting out as a ‘for fun’ band, Bloodbath has actually released some killer releases in the last decade and continues to bring back that nostalgic old-school Swedish/Florida Death Metal vibe. With “Survival of the Sickest” the band blows almost any other band out of the water with nearly 45 minutes of piercing and chugging DM. Unleashing the sickest and most neck-snapping release in the genre, this is an album you can't miss out on.
Quickly setting the mood with “Zombie Inferno” and “Putrefying Corpse”, the band quickly establishes superiority with incisive chuggy guitar riffs paired with crafty leads and pummeling drumming. Anders Nyström and Tomas Åkvik are on point delivering that old-school razor sharp distortion while keeping a modern and clean edge on things. We love how the band goes from a track like “Dead Parade” to “Malignant Maggot Therapy”, mixing both elements of the Swedish and the Florida DM scene, creating a very engaging and heabanging infusing style.
The mastermind of Brutal Death Metal outfit, Nile, Karl Sanders, is ready to come back with its third solo full-length release “Saurian Apocalypse”. It has been 13 years since his last solo release, and here the listener is treated to ten mostly instrumental pieces that have some of the Middle-eastern vibe of Nile, but in a more exploratory and atmospheric way, and of course without the growls.
Far from the thunderous riffs and intensity of his main band, Karl Sanders shows a very mellow and enjoyable atmospheric side to his craft with pieces like “The Sun Has Set on the Age of Man”, “The Disembodied Yet Slither Among Us”, and “The Evil Inherent in us All”, while still keeping that somber and ritualistic edge of his other band. There is a very relaxing and experimental feeling to the music in this release, showing more range and a variety of moods.
Released entirely by surprise on digital platforms first, Satyricon’s commissioned piece for the Edvard Munch museum, titled “Satyricon & Munch”, is a piece full of promise that never really delivers. We understand that this music was supposed to be the backdrop of the exhibit in the new museum, but while putting in context with Edvard Munch’s art there is some cohesion, the 57 minute piece never really builds up to much.
Finally stabilizing their sound and style around lead vocalist Clémentine Delauney, Visions of Atlantis unleashes their best album of their career with “Pirates”. Featuring nearly one hour of music, this release further elaborates on their pirate-related themes and creates a very dynamic and engaging mood thanks to dramatic atmospherics alongside soaring dueling vocals and killer instrumentation.
Setting a very regal mood thanks to its lush vocal arrangements and lively guitar leads, “Pirates Will Return” perfectly opens this very engaging release. The band showcases its versatility with the moody duets of “Melancholy Angel”, the over the top symphonic arrangements of “Master The Hurricane”, and the playfulness of “Clocks”. All pieces are perfectly brought to life with the masterful vocal duets of Clémentine Delauney and Michele "Meek" Guaitoli, perfectly boosted by excellent drumming and crushing guitar solos.
Quickly returning after the highly emotional 2021 release “Escape of the Phoenix”, Evergrey continues the same path of melancholy with the excellent “A Heartless Portrait: The Orphean Testament”. Featuring over 50 minutes of mellow Progressive/Power Metal, with Tom Englund’s signature vocals, this album just further refines the band’s polished and effective style and delivers exactly what the fans are expecting.
The album opens with the soaring guitars and vocal arrangements of “Save Us”, a very powerful and mood-setting track filled with crafty atmospherics and a hefty dose of catchiness. The band’s mixture of explosiveness with melancholy oozes from pieces like “Midwinter Calls” and “Ominous”, one of our favorite tracks in this release thanks to the amazing vocal arrangements and killer guitar leads. For those preferring the band’s Power ‘ballads’, “Call out the Dark” is a fine addition.
Back in the day, Agathodaimon was one of those bands that pushed Black Metal into Symphonic/Gothic territories with some brilliant releases like “Blacken the Angel” and “Higher Art of Rebellion”. Unfortunately the band split up in 2014, leaving behind great promise and a very solid and unique sound. Fast forward to 2022, Sathonys is back with Chris Bonner on vocals and a set of new members with “The Seven”.
Featuring ten tracks and around 45 minutes of music, this release feels a bit exploratory, unleashing some killer tracks alongside some odd elements that take a few listens to fully digest. As “La Haine” rolls in with piercing riffs, hellish harsh screams and a fast pace, time is erased and Agathodaimon is certainly back. There are some superb sinister melodic passages that change the mood of the track and are nicely adorned by lush synths, alongside some not-so-great clean vocals. This approach is mimicked in “Ain't Death Grand” and “Ghosts of Greed”, both fairly solid tracks but with odd and contrasting clean vocal arrangements.
Over four years have passed since Persefone’s last release, and with “Metanoia”, the band shows the wait was more than worth it. Unleashing nearly one hour of high-octane Melodic/Progressive/Technical Death Metal, this Andorran outfit delivers ten expertly crafted songs filled with intricate details and superb catchiness. If you thought their previous releases were awesome, you are in for a treat with this one.
After the title track atmospheric opener, “Katabasis” shows that if you didn’t think the band’s sound could get any better, you are completely wrong as Einar Solberg’s vocals fully elevate it to new dimensions. Apart from the epic guest vocals, the perfect balance of musical wizardry and harshness is front and center on tracks like “Architecture of the I”, the quirky “Aware of Being Watched”, and the album's first single “Merkabah”.
After unleashing one of the weirdest and yet totally awesome unconventional releases of 2020, Nergal and company, Me and that Man, are back to one-up their previous release with an even wilder follow-up. Featuring more over the top guest, more catchiness, and the same occult and kick-ass attitude, “New Man, New Songs, Same Shit, Vol.2” is one hell of a ride that everybody that liked the first one, should not miss out on.
The release opens up with the somber “Black Hearse Cadillac”, an awesome bluessy opener that features Hank Von Hell (RIP) and Anders Odden as guests. Keeping the mood high Tobias Forge guests on the superbly catchy western-like “Under the Spell”. While we could name drop this whole review as tracks like “All Hope Has Gone” feature Metal luminaries like Blaze Bailey and Gary Holt, or pieces like “Losing My Blues” deliver an all-out party mood with people like Olve Abbath Eikemo, Frank The Baptist and Chris Holmes involved, we particularly like the odd songs like “Witches Don't Fall in Love” featuring Garm of Ulver fame.
Unleashing waves of old-school Melodic Black/Death Metal in the vein of Dissection, today we have Thulcandra and their latest opus “A Dying Wish”. Packed with ten tracks and nearly 45 minutes of incisive music, Steffen Kummerer keeps the old-school vibe alive with this excellent release. With a heavy tribute to Jon Nötveidt's style, the band continues to refine their sound and create brilliantly executed pieces that will appeal to old and new Black/Death Metal fans.
The release opens very strongly with the dreamy “Funeral Pyre” and its mixture of melodic passages and furious onslaughts, perfectly balancing brutality and melody while delivering a timeless sound and aural aggression. We are particularly blown away by the fast-paced songs in this release that remind us of early Entombed and Sacramentum, for example songs like “Scarred Grandeur”, “In Vain”, and “Nocturnal Heresy”.
Five years in the making, Aussie quintet Be'lakor returns with a vengeance with their highly anticipated fifth full-length release “Coherence”. Delivering over one hour of amazing Melodic Death Metal, the band is ready to make up for lost time and take over the scene with this impressive release. Further refining their high-octane signature style, this release will propel the band to new heights.
The release kicks off with the mysterious “Locus” and its blistering drumming alongside twin guitars creating a superbly melodic and catchy opening piece, nothing less than what we expected from the band. Playfully playing with excellent tempo changes and nice guitar solos, the band masterfully manipulates long tracks into feeling very short, as they are quite exciting and engaging, for example the piercing “Foothold” and its sweeping melodies, or the playful “Valence” and its heavy back and forth.