The legendary Paradise Lost returns with their recently found back-to-the-root sound with “Obsidian”. Featuring nearly one hour of superbly catchy music, we have to say that we are enjoying how the band has come full circle and incorporated some of their earlier elements (growls, heavy riffs) into their mid-career Gothic Rock/Metal foundations. If you have enjoyed the band’s previous two releases, this is more along those lines, so it should be quite a ride.
Opening with “Darker Thoughts”, we get that vibe of “Draconian Times” meets “Gothic”, with some more modern Gothic rock elements. Being huge fans of Theatre of Tragedy during their “Aegis” era, and of Lacrimas Profundere during their “Burning: A Wish” times, the band’s sound in this release is very similar to those with the addition of some growls, as “Fall from Grace” and “Ghosts” are a perfect example of.
It still baffles us that such an awesome band like Turmion Kätilöt is not known as much outside of Finland. We stumbled on this band attending a pre-Tuska 2008 show at the legendary Tavastia Nightclub and have been fans ever since, hell, our alarm clock wake up song is the awesome “U.S.C.H!”. Fanboying aside, “Global Warming” marks the band’s first release through Nuclear Blast records and delivers 13 extremely catchy and aggressive Industrial Metal songs. If you are a fan of Pain, then this band will blow you away.
The ride begins with the futuristic atmospherics of “Naitu”, a song that slowly evolved into an Industrial cyber-goth wet dream. With all lyrics in Finnish, lead vocalist MC Raaka Pee unleashes his harsh vocals alongside Shag-U’s back up to create a very chaotic vibe as the electronic beats and guitars provide unrivaled catchiness. All synths and programming is done by Janne Tolsa, which some might know from his excellent work in bands like Eternal Tears of Sorrow and Tarot, his creativity provides the listener with the funkiness behind brilliant tracks like “Kyntövuohi”, “Viha Ja Rakkaus”, and one of our favorites “Turvasana”.
Unleashing a highly mysterious and depraved orgasmic aural assault, today we have Finnish outfit Oranssi Pazuzu and their highly expected fifth full-length release “Mestarin Kynsi”. Having sonically abused all their fans for the last decade, the band continues their musical exploration with 51 minutes of music spread in six captivating tracks. If you think the band was weird and trippy in the past, wait until you listen to this release.
Opening with the trance-inducing “Ilmestys”, the band slowly builds up and introduces their funky mixture of effects, sickening vocals and crushing guitar work. If the first track didn’t create enough anxiety in the listener, “Tyhjyyden sakramentti” continues the aural exploration with chaotic ravaging passages filled with weird distortions and an overall sense of urgency that creates a very demoralizing and brutal atmosphere.
Creating quite a stir in the Metal world since their inception in 2015, Burning Witches are a Heavy/Power Metal band unlike no other. Formed by five lovely women, this band kicks some serious ass thanks to their high-octane no-holds-barred music filled with catchiness and technical proficiency. Easily compared to the likes of Judas Priest, Helloween, Stratovarius, etc., this outfit is here to have you headbanging from the nearly one hour duration of this crushing album.
After the traditional intro piece, “Lucid Nightmare” sets a furious pace with dueling guitars, hyper-crafty drumming, and the soaring vocals of new singer Laura Guldemond. If this intense opener was not enough, the shredding on “Dance with the Devil” creates an epic opening to a superbly melodic track filled with expert craftsmanship and an intense hard-rocking attitude. Sending shivers through the listener’s spines, “Wings of Steel” and its epic chorus section reminds us of bands like Iron Maiden.
Unleashing relentless misery, today we have legendary My Dying Bride and their latest opus: “The Ghost of Orion”. Filled with melancholy and pain, the album from beginning to end delivers the band’s signature Doom Metal as it combines elements from their later releases with the gloom of releases like “The Light at the End of the World” and “The Angel and the Dark River”. Five years in the making, this release is a quintessential MDB album that is musically and emotionally one of their best.
The release starts with the heavy hitting “Your Broken Shore”, a very powerful and mournful track that is both punishing and very melancholic. The contrast between Aaron’s signature clean vocals and the heavy riffs is something that keeps drawing us back to the band’s music as it perfectly conveys a multitude of emotions, as we can hear in the epic “To Outlive the Gods” and its enchanting violins, as well as on the emotional roller coaster of “Tired of Tears”.
After a super busy touring schedule since joining Architects since mid-2016, Josh Middleton and company finally return with their crushing fifth full-length release “Cycle of Suffering”. Building up on their powerful Melodic Death/Thrash Metal sound, this release unleashes 50 minutes of crafty music filled with intricate guitars and punishing aggression. Like no time has past, this release continues the band’s legacy of well crafted brutality and melody.
Quickly getting in the listener’s face, “Empty Prophets” delivers an exquisite balance of crunchy riffs and crafty guitar leads. Others might prefer the more melodic and mellow side of the band with tracks like “I Server” and the album title track delivering a unique mixture of Death-like guitars and intricate melodic passages. The headbanging value of the band’s music is unrivaled as we can enjoy sweeping transitions from dramatic melodic passages into brutal agressive onslaughts thanks to Josh Middleton’s harsh vocals.
Raving everything on their path, today we have Iceland’s latest sensation: Une Misère. With a pummeling sound a certain knack for technical complexity, “Sermon” is one hell of a debut release from this exciting band. Perfectly designed for fans of Post-Hardcore/Metal release from bands like Amenra, Neurosis and their intersection with more modern/groove Metal influences from outfits like Gojira and Hacride.
Opening with the pummeling “Sin & Guilt”, the band means serious business with monstrous harsh screams and crushing guitars. The Grooviness of this release comes as the album title track unleashes its fury. The band does a great job in crafting powerful atmospheres with a few elements and keeps the listener always guessing with powerful tempo changes as we hear on “Overlooked / Disregarded” and “Burden / Suffering”.
As one of the most intense and authentic (modern) Psychedelic Rock bands we have ever seen, Kadavar continues to propel themselves to the top with killer releases. “For the Dead Travel Fast” is yet another highlight in their storied career, filled with over 45 minutes of fantastic and engaging music. If you like riff-driven releases Rock releases, this album will satisfy your quota… for a few years. With this highly creative and moody release, the band reaches new heights.
Starting off with the chilling-eerie intro “The End”, the band sets a very moody vibe that fully unravels with “The Devil's Master”. This last track perfectly combines fuzzy guitars, funky vocal arrangements and a very martial pace that slowly builds up. The Psychedelic brilliance of “Evil Forces” makes it one of the band’s most engaging and retro sounding tracks, thanks to a very natural and authentic old-school vibe. We are fans of more mysterious tracks, like the dramatic “Children of the Night” and it's very atmospheric vibe mixed with killer guitar leads and a pulsating bass guitar line.
The initiators of the Blackgaze movement are back with yet another majestic release in “Spiritual Instinct”. With over 40 minutes of music, Alcest finds a middle ground between their heavier and harsher sound of albums like “Souvenirs d'un autre monde” and “Écailles de lune” with the dreaminess and directness of “Shelter”. While “Kodama” felt more back to basics, this release feels more of a hybrid of their calmer sound with their early days exploits.
With the release opening with the playful “Les jardins de minuit”, the band leads with their signature guitars and crafty drumming. We particularly enjoy the typical dreaminess of the clean backing vocals as it contrasts with the heavier guitar sections. Of course there are faster paced passages with harsh vocals and furious drumming for their older fans, like on “Protection”. There are certain Post-Metal elements which make the songs a bit different than what “Kodaima” presented, like on the funky “Sapphire” and its intricate bass guitar line.
Fully embracing and developing their Progressive Metal/Rock sound, Opeth as embarked on a journey in their last few releases to discover and create an own cohesive sound. With “In Cauda Venenum”, the band seems to be nicely settled and delivers ten lush tracks that showcase their impressive progress in this genre. Released in both Swedish and English, this album is quite a treat to enjoy if you are a fan of the genre and bands like Leprous and Haken but with a funky Psychedelic punch to them.
After setting a trippy mood with the opener “Garden of Earthly Delights”, the band starts their proggy journey with the funky “Dignity”. Featuring an intricate bass guitar line and psychedelic synths and eerie vocal arrangements, this track nicely showcases the band’s craftiness. Mikael Åkerfeldt’s clean vocals are a very nice complement to the music’s craftsmanship on tracks like “Heart In Hand” and “Next of Kin”. We particularly enjoy how the band shifts tempos and hooks the listener with subtle details between transitions.