Nuclear Blast

  • Alcest - Les chants de l'aurore (2024)

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    As one of the most awaited releases of 2024, “Les chants de l'aurore” sees Alcest reaching new heights with their seventh full-length release. With a five year gap since their last release, Neige and Winterhalter are back with seven highly dreamy and engaging songs, clocking in at nearly 45 minutes of music. The band’s sound continues to be refined, keeping their core ‘ethereal’ dreaminess, but it also explores new textures and elements, creating an even more immersive and surreal experience.

    Opening with “Komorebi” sets a very magical and ethereal stage with lush guitars alongside crafty atmospherics and masterful drumming. Neige’s clean vocals quickly set the mood and this track has very nice tempo changes with some excellent melodic passages and crescendos, creating a very traditional Alcest-like vibe. This brilliantly continues on pieces like “L'envol” and “Améthyste”, where the Blackgaze atmosphere nicely blends with more Post-Rock-style moments.

  • My Dying Bride - A Mortal Binding (2024)

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    The legendary My Dying Bride is back with another mournful release filled with their magical Gothic/Doom Metal exploits. With nearly 55 minutes spread around in seven tracks that showcase the band’s signature powerful style. Never disappointing, the band always delivers very engaging and diverse releases and “A Mortal Binding” is no exception.

    Opening with “Her Dominion”, we instantly get the signature Andrew Craighan riffs alongside the band’s crafty tempo changes, with the drumming handled by Dan Mullins since his return to the band last year. The perfect balance between the fragility of the atmospheric elements like the subtle keyboards and violins is nicely outflanked by the staple combination of growls and dramatic clean vocals of Aaron Stainthorpe, and tracks like “Thornwyck Hymn” and “The 2nd of Three Bells” really exploit these elements.

  • Korpiklaani - Rankarumpu (2024)

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    The always lovely and enjoyable music of Korpiklaani is usually on our drinking party rotation. With the band releasing an album almost every three years, “Rankarumpu” arrives just in time when we need some new party songs. The band’s style has been well refined over the years and they are completely dialed in producing some superbly catchy and lively music, over 43 minutes in this release. If you are a fan of the genre or the band, this album does not disappoint.

    Led by the charismatic and talented vocals of Jonne Järvelä, the band’s Finnish folk tunes onslaught starts strong with the perkiness of “Kotomaa” and “Tapa sen kun kerkeet”. The band’s instrumentation is always quite diverse and engaging, with cool intricate details and a very epic folky vibe on songs like “Aita”, “Saunaan”, and “Mettään”. With the band always keepings things catchy and engaging, each song has its own unique soul and magic.

  • Aborted - Vault of Horrors (2024)

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    With almost 30 years of existence, Sven de Caluwé’s Aborted is one of those quintessential Death Metal bands that while it has kept their sound fresh, it also delivers chugging tracks that will leave your neck sore from all the headbanging. With “Vault of Horrors” the band plays homage to horror movie classics in a well crafted manner. Clocking in at 40-minutes, this release delivers ten tracks of sheer brutality that any fan of the genre will enjoy.

    Opening strong with the intricate drumming/riffs combo of “Dreadbringer”, the album sets a very high-octane tone and never really lets go. The band enlisted one guest vocalist per track, giving Sven’s vocals that extra kick and allowing their sound to have a more diverse range, as tracks like “Condemned to Rot”, “Brotherhood of Sleep”, “Hellbound”, and “Death Cult”.

  • Amaranthe - The Catalyst (2024)

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    Always keeping things catchy and intense, Amaranthe returns with another bombastic release with “The Catalyst”. Featuring their signature brand of pop/alternative Metal, Elize Ryd and Olof Mörck keep the band’s legacy by delivering thirteen tracks and around 40 minutes of engaging songs filled with explosive chorus sections, crafty guitar leads and an overall high-octane vibe.

    The release immediately blasts off with the excellent album title track and its extreme catchiness. The band’s mixture of distorted guitars, electronic elements, and the diverse vocal styles create a very dynamic and explosive mix that Amaranthe has been refining over the years. New harsh vocalist, Mikael Sehlin, does a pretty solid job in adding to the contrast between the singing styles of Elize and Nils Molin, as heard on pieces like “Insatiable” and “Liberated”.

  • Lucifer - Lucifer V (2024)

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    Keeping the Psychedelic/Occult Rock/Metal revival going, today we have Lucifer and their fifth full-length release. Featuring a very accomplished line-up of members like Nicke Andersson (Entombed, The Hellacopters) and Johanna Claudia Sadonis (ex-The Oath), this release delivers nine tracks and nearly 40 minutes of catchy retro doomy heavy music.

    Opening with the high-octane “Fallen Angel”, we get a nice dose of traditional Heavy Metal riffs with engaging vocals and a catchy chorus section. The band’s music is designed to be crafty, and guitar driven, making for some very interesting and memorable pieces like “At The Mortuary”, “Slow Dance in a Crypt”, and “Riding Reaper”. The mixture of Doom, Heavy Metal with Psychedelic/Occult rock elements is quite well crafted and makes for some very entertaining songs.

  • Cryptopsy - As Gomorrah Burns (2023)

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    Fully righting their musical ship, today we have Canadian legends Cryptopsy and their first full length release in over 10 years: “As Gomorrah Burns”. Returning to that vicious Brutal Death Metal sound from their earlier years, the band delivers eight tracks and 33 minutes of crushing brutality. While the band showed their mettle with a new lineup during “The Book of Suffering - Tome I and II”, this release perfectly blends their old style with newer and fresher Technical DM elements that nicely polish their sound.

    The band quickly makes a statement with the pummeling “Lascivious Undivine”, and follows it with the even more blistering “In Abeyance”. The best part of this opening pair of tracks is that you can hear the old-school Death Metal from the band perfectly blended with a fresher and more modern edge of current Technical Death Metal/Deathcore productions. Blasting the listener away, one of our favorite tracks has to be “Godless Deceiver” and its intense drumming, perfectly flanked by chuggy riffs and hellish vocals.

  • Enslaved - Heimdal (2023)

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    Always surprising their listeners, Enslaved returns with yet another brilliant exercise in crafty Progressive Black/Viking Metal with “Heimdal”. Skillfully refining their sound over time, this release unleashes seven tracks and nearly 50 minutes of complex and yet digestible music that perfectly carries the band’s signature style with a few new surprises. Any fan of the band of the genre will be satisfied with this highly dynamic and engaging release.

    Opening with “Behind The Mirror”, the band sets an atmospheric tone with the first minute before unleashing some superbly catchy riffs that slowly transform into sweeping melodic guitars to adorn the band’s signature clean vocal arrangements. The band’s sound is quite cinematic and crafty, with excellent layered guitars and a good dose of aggressive sections and growls, as we can hear in “Congelia”,”Forest Dweller” and the proggy/psychedelic catchiness of “Kingdom”.

  • In Flames - Foregone (2023)

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    Dramatic openings of songs like “Your Stories I’ll Remember” and “Paradise” perfectly showcase the band’s versatility and cinematic nature, making their sound one of the best in the scene. While many bands in the genre have opted to add more Pop-ish elements into their music, Xandria keeps things strictly Symphonic Metal with a good dose of intensity and additional instrumentation, as “The Maiden and the Child” and “Astèria” showcase.

    After an acoustic opener, “State of Slow Decay” quickly delivers some chuggy guitars that suddenly transform into your quintessential Swedish old-school Melodic Death Metal riffs. This immediately caught us by surprise as the song continues to be quite effective, and even impressive with the killer twin guitar leads. Before quickly agreeing that the hype is real, there are still some of the more modern Core-ish elements that will scare purists away as one notices on “Meet Your Maker” and “Bleeding Out”.

  • Twilight Force - At The Heart of Wintervale (2023)

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    There are just some days when you just want to hear an album filled with over-the-top technical wizardry, lush vocal arrangements, and an overall superbly up-beat vibe. Luckily for us, Twilight Force delivers just that, and plenty more, with the epic “At The Hearth of Wintervale”. We have a soft spot for extremely bombastic Symphonic Power Metal, and this album unleashes over 64 minutes of magical music in this regard.

    Opening with the lush “Twilight Force” track, we instantly get rewarded with blistering guitar solos, crafty tempo changes, and very dramatic vocal arrangements. Vocalist Allyon, aka Alessandro Conti, shines through this release, but in particular in epic songs like “At the Heart of Wintervale”, filled with soaring vocal passages. We particularly love that epic vibe that bands like Stratovarius, Rhapsody, and similar outfits craft, but with Twilight Force, this effort is poured into every single track, particularly heavy hitters like “Dragonborn”, and the cinematic 10-minute epic “Highlands of the Elder Dragon”.

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