Showcasing a different side of Lars Are Nedland, today we have his latest project Black Void, a sort of polar opposite release from his 2021, White Void “Anti”, release. Perfectly combining Punk and Black Metal with a mild dose of his soaring clean vocals, Lars delivers around 40 minutes of intense, hellish, and masterfully crafted music featuring a few guest appearances and a stellar supporting cast.
Opening with the sleazy “Void”, a statement piece that while it starts with typical Black’n’roll fare plus some hefty Punk-ish influences, the listener is still treated to majestic clean vocal arrangements and plenty of melody. Creating chaos and confusion, “Reject Everything” and “Death to Morality” pounce at the listener with ravaging guitars, courtesy of Jostein Thomassen (Borknagar), and a good dose of harsh vocals thrown into the mix.
With every release, Watain manages to further refine their craft to be more incisive, sinister, and piercing, and “The Agony & Ecstasy of Watain” perfectly reflects this. Featuring nearly 50 minutes of bone-chilling music, this release blends aggression with atmosphere and musicality, to create some of the foulest and most oppressive Black Metal anthems to date.
Opening with the vicious “Ecstasies in Night Infinite”, the listener is quickly blasted with the band’s ravaging guitar work alongside Erik Danielsson’s evil snarl. This opener has a certain retro Dissection-like vibe that sets the tone for the release. We particularly love how elegant melody is infused into the band’s music on tracks like “The Howling”, “Black Cunt”, and “Serimosa”, that still have that razor sharp BM edge, but sound different than most bands.
We have always stated that we have two definitions of epic around IM: regular epic, and then Sabaton epic. This Swedish band continues to deliver killer War-inspired Power Metal unlike any other band in the scene, and with “The War to End All Wars” the band focuses their songwriting efforts on WWI. For over 45 minutes, the band reminds us why they have propelled to Metal scene stardom, touring with greats like Judas Priest and headlining summer festivals.
Opening with the emotional “Sarajevo”, the band sets their regal mood quite early with insightful narrations and lush choral arrangements. The first stand-out track comes under the name of “Stormtroopers” and its soaring vocal lines alongside superb guitar leads. This track, and the rest of the album, features more of a stripped down Power Metal vibe than in previous releases, but with Joakim Brodén lead vocals marching the listener down into battle.
Chugging through fifteen tracks of traditional Death Metal, today we have the legendary Immolation and their eleventh full-length release “Actos of God”. Always keeping things interesting and brutal, the nearly one hour of music unleashed in this release perfectly captures the band’s signature sound while keeping things fresh and engaging.
Ross Dolan and Robert Vigna have been unleashing crafty Death Metal songs for over two decades and with “Acts of God” they show the band is not slowing down or have fallen behind the times. Pieces like the crushing “An Act of God”, “Nose of Thorns”, to the massive “Immortal Stain” are perfect examples of experiences, timelessness and viciousness, delivering piercing guitar riffs and masterfully crafted drums.
On their first release as part of Nuclear Blast Records, France’s Celeste unleashes “Assassine(s)”, a vibrant 40+ minutes release blending their Black Metal with Post-Metal/Sludge influences. The band creates a very unique and punishing sound, filled with harsh vocals and crafty riffing, creating an unparalleled wall of sound and destruction.
The release fully kicks off with the intricate drumming of “Des torrents de coups”, which leads way to incisive guitars and crafty tempo changes. Picture listening to Cult of Luna with an Amenra edge. As the riffing barrage fully warms up, tracks like “De tes yeux bleus perlés”, “Nonchalantes de beauté”, and “Draguée tout au fond”, further develop the band’s massive sound with piercing onslaughts of crushing guitar work.
As a huge fan of the band’s first two releases, the band continues to struggle to find a new identity. With “Starmourner” things seemed to be going well as it had great ideas and solid songs, however, “Self Loather” seems a bit too sparse and while it has some fine moments, the band sounds too much like others in those slivers of home. For over 45 minutes we get a mixture of old-Ghost Bath and some odd new elements thrown into the mix, creating an interesting release in some parts, but mostly average.
Starting strongly with “Convince Me to Bleed”, we get a blistering opening with crushing drums, punishing harsh vocals, and soaring guitars similar to Deafheaven’s pre-2021 releases. With a darker atmosphere, “Hide from the Sun” is an interesting piece with a certain sinister sound that we enjoyed. On the other side, “Shrines of the Bone” and “Sanguine Mask” mix long instrumental and minimalist sections with average heavy onslaughts.
Just in time for our Halloween parties, Cradle of Filth unleashes their latest devilishly good opus with “Existence is Futile”. Aging well with time, the band in the last 10+ years has honed into their strengths and continues to deliver consistently engaging and well crafted releases. For over 70 minutes the band unleashes their signature sound filled with lush atmospherics, engaging storytelling, fierce guitar work, and the introduction of Anabelle Iratni on keyboards and female vocals, making this one of their more diverse and engaging releases to date.
After the traditional instrumental intro, “Existential Terror” sets a very dark and sinister tone with over-the-top choirs and orchestrations alongside Dani’s signature shrieks and some incisive guitar work. While the band’s sound is always familiar, and pieces like “Crawling King Chaos”, “Black Smoke Curling From the Lips of War” are staple CoF songs, we particularly love haunting tracks like “Necromantic Fantasies” with a certain “Nymphetamine” (song) vibe, but with Anabelle’s enchantress vocals spin and a more sultry tone.
Featuring guest appearances from the likes of David Ellefson to Devin Townsend, Sepultura unleashes the most star-studded release of 2021 with “SepulQuarta”. Conceived during the COVID-19 pandemic, this release features 15 Sepultura songs with a wide range of guests, creating a very unique and once-in-a-lifetime production. If you are a fan of the band, this release will be a very special addition to your collection.
The release quickly sets a very high bar with David Ellefson playing bass guitar on one of our favorites, “Territory”. If that wasn’t enough, Scott Ian plays on “Cut Throat”, Danko Jones in “Sepulnation”, and Phil Rind in “Inner Self”, this sets a very nice trip down memory lane for some of us, while enjoying uniquely different versions of these songs. Pieces like “Hatred Aside” are very nicely enhanced by multiple guests, leaving them at some times even better than the original.
Unleashing one of the most punishing and oppressive releases of 2021, today we have Carnifex and their latest opus “Graveside Confessions”. With all the pent up energy of not being able to tour during the pandemic, Scott Lewis and company return with a vengeance striking with 15 tracks and over 63 minutes of crushing Deathcore. What makes this release standout is that it is beyond brutal, something the listeners will certainly appreciate.
Opening with the album title track, the band unleashes a brutal onslaught of harsh screams, pummeling drums, and incisive riffs that will rattled the listener off his seat. The heat is on as tracks like “Pay for Peace”, “Seven Souls”, and “Cursed” continue the violence, but with some interesting atmospheric elements thrown into the mix, making the band’s sound have more depth and variation. For example, “Carry us Away” has a very melancholic edge to it, while the typical Deathcore aggression is front and center.
As one of the most awaited releases of 2021, today we have the legendary Carcass and their latest opus “Torn Arteries”. Aging as a fine wine, the band unleashes 49 minutes of their signature Death ’n’ Roll, fully delivering the good for long time fans. While the wait was long (8 years or so since their last full-length release, Jeff Walker and company effortlessly deliver one of the most incisive and engaging releases of their career.
Opening with the title track, the band quickly sets a very hectic and crafty mood with incisive guitars and engaging tempo changes. The traditional snarl of Jeff Walker is one of the band’s staple elements and, as always, perfectly complements the superbly catchy nature of the music, as we can hear in the playful “Dance of Ixtab” and the chugging “Eleanor Rigor Mortis”.