As one of those bands that is always innovating and creating something weirdly unique, Sigh returns with more of their Avant-garde/Black Metal with “Shiki”. Featuring over 45 minutes of hypnotic, chaotic, and completely weird music, this album is enjoyable for more than a few spins as the listener will constantly discover new details with each listen. Highly recommended for fans of the band, or music connoisseurs that like odd, chaotic, and yet highly engaging Metal music.
The album kicks off with a short atmospheric intro and the pummeling Doomy riffs of “Kuroi Kage”, a track that is heavy and punishing as it transitions to even weirder territories. The band’s vocals are quite fitting for such a diverse and engaging musical foundation, particularly for the heavier and more experimental tracks like the previously mentioned one and the playful “Shoujahitsumetsu”. One thing to note is the band’s old-school Heavy Metal musical core that clearly shines on tracks like “Shikabane”, and its funky atmospherics and percussions.
After taking a brief hiatus a few years ago, Katatonia has returned with their signature melancholic Progressive/Alternative Rock and Metal mix with “City Burials”. As one of their most accessible and darker releases in recent years, this album delivers eleven tracks and nearly 50 minutes of highly emotional music with the band’s signature sound. If you are into the mellower side of things, this release is the perfect backdrop for a quiet evening of quarantine.
The release opens with the moody vibes of “Heart Set to Divide” and “Behind the Blood”, both tracks nicely frame Jonas Renkse emotive vocals with nice atmospherics and heavy guitars. More experimental elements are used on songs like “Lacque” and “Vanishers”, which show an interesting electronic undertone, similar to what Anathema tried on their last release. Other tracks just deliver the oozing melancholy achieved by lush vocal melodies and weeping guitars like “Rein”.
Beating on the same dead cat for the last decade, today we have Cradle of Filth and their latest release “Darkly, Darkly, Venus Aversa”. As you can expect, this release is as consistent as their last few, not bad, not great, and just average enough to keep the band’s fans pleased for a couple years. Continuing where they left of with “Godspeed on the Devil's Thunder”, CoF has crafted 11 songs of their trademark Symphonic Black Metal.
It’s interesting to see that a band that pushed the envelope so much in the 90’s, has been very stagnant when it comes to add anything else into their music. While we don’t complain much about ‘sticking to what works’, we are getting tired of CoF re-doing what they did on their previous album every time.
I can always count on Madder Mortem to enthrall me with their amazingly bizarre music and “Eight Ways” is not the exception. After two years since their last release “Desiderata” this Norwegian band is back with another masterpiece that will please all fans of the band.
Madder Mortem sound is very ‘bizarre’ to say the least, but I don’t mean this in a freak show kind of way, but instead I mean that they manage to fuse and combine so many different elements of so many genres (not necessarily from metal), and create some of the most hauntingly beautiful songs. They are also a band that most people would either love or hate I don’t think there is any middle point in linking them.
I have to say that this is one of the albums I have been waiting to hear in 2009. And while their 2006 album A Line Of Deathless Kings was not one of my favorites it still was a pretty solid release, but left me a bit disappointed, not as bad as 34.788% complete, but still not their best.
Anyways going back to 2009, this release has been hyped by the press and their interviews as a mixture of their earlier sound with their newer sound, plus with the return of violin as well. I have to admit that this statement is 100% accurate, while it’s not like their early 90’s music, it does mix the best aspects of all the releases that MDB has put out.