Unleashing a very unique amalgamation of sounds, today we have Esben and the Witch and their latest effort “Nowhere”. Featuring a darker tone than their previous releases, this album perfectly contrast the fragility of Rachel Davies vocals and the commanding presence of heavy guitar riffs and hypnotic drumming. Blurring the lines between several genres and influences, this release is certainly one to digest after a good amount of listens and with undivided attention.
Slowing building up their atmosphere in “A Desire for Light”, the band nicely shuffles elements around to create a very powerful and direct song. The band’s sound while simplistic in nature, allows them to play around with the song tempos while crafting memorable tracks that keep you guessing and engaged. The best example of this is the exploratory nature of “Dull Gret” with its heavy guitar riffs, and the dreamy folky piece “Golden Purifier”, which mostly focuses on subtle percussions and solemn guitar leads.
Season Of Mist
The ever changing and always improving Rotting Christ return this 2019 with yet another brilliant release. Further developing the Melodic BM sound with dramatic vocal arrangements and subtle atmospheric elements, “The Heretics” delivers over 45 minutes of expertly crafted music that is both engaging and brilliant for a long head banging session. If you have been following the band’s music progression, this release takes their sound and makes it even more grandiose and expansive.
Fully immersing the listener into the band’s dark world, “In the Name of God” starts the album with the signature Rotting Christ melodic riffing. The band crafts a very eerie atmosphere in this track (and release) thanks to the choral arrangements that brilliantly contrast Sakis Tolis harsh vocals. The addition of female vocals on “Vetry Zlye” creates a very unique vibe that is well complemented with dramatic arrangements and tight drumming.
Hailing from Canada, today we have Progressive/Technical Death Metal outfit Beyond Creation and their refreshing third full-length release “Algorythm”. While some bands focus on playing faster and more complex just for the sake of it, this band focuses on crafting unique songs which perfectly blend in the technical aspect with the brutality and melody of their sound. Clocking in at over 50 minutes in this, this is one album that fans of outfits like Obscura, Hour of Penance, etc., cannot miss.
After setting a very futuristic mood with the opener “Disenthrall”, the band jumps head first with the blistering speed of “Entre suffrage et mirage”. Featuring a playful bass guitar line and killer guitar leads, this song quickly reminds us of Obscura, but with a slighter more progressive and melodic edge. With a dreamy tone, “Surface's Echoes”, showcases the band’s versatility and focus on crafting interesting melodies rather than just pummeling through notes. Do not get us wrong, this track does feature some killer musical acrobatics and tempo changes, but they feel a lot more organic than with other bands.
Just before the end of the year we received on our review queue on of our favorite albums of 2018: Crippled Black Phoenix’s “Great Escape”. As one of the most melancholic and mellow Rock albums we have heard, this international band unleashes over one hour of truly disarming music. Mixing elements of bands like Anathema, God is an Astronaut and countless others, this is definitely one of the most unique and diverse releases you will hear in 2018.
After opening with the dreamy “You Brought it Upon Yourselves”, the band sinks into the bleakness of “To You I Give”, a Post-Rock-ish tune in nature. Masterminded by Justin Greaves, this band’s releases are always very rich and diverse and extremely hard to categorize, but always top notch in terms of quality. After the interlude “Uncivil War, Pt. 1”, “Madman” features a dark wave vibe with heavy synths and a very martial pace.
Packed with tons of great releases, this 2018 fall also gives us a brand new Sylvaine album. Filled with her characteristic charisma and angelic vocals, “Atoms Aligned, Coming Undone” is another brilliant step in her career which features a more consolidated sound and plenty of memorable songs. The combination of fragility, craftsmanship and occasional burst of aggression make this release one of the best albums of 2018.
Opening with the album title track, Sylvaine slowly builds up with an intense bass guitar line that leads into dreamy vocal arrangements a very melancholic pace. The track continues with some brilliant instrumental passages that feel exploratory in nature, but very well fitting to the overall mood of the song. The Shoegazey/Post-Rock-y vibe arrives in full force with “Mørklagt” a very lush track that explores the more ethereal side of Sylvaine’s music, but not without some heavier sections thrown into the mix.
We rarely review split releases, but due to the involvement of both the legendary Drudkh and the gritty Grift, this one made the cut. As a collaboration between Nordvis Produktion and Season of Mist, this four song split release is filled with melancholic Black Metal. Hailing from Ukraine and Sweden respectively, these two outfits have perfected the craft of highly emotional Black Metal that is both aggressive and memorable.
Opening the release we have Drudkh and their “His Twenthy- Fourth Spring” master piece. This track delivers the band signature tempo changes that weave from intense BM passages to more melodic and refined interludes. With a very graceful pace, this track has a certain Vreid/Windir vibe that we find magical. The heavy hitter “Autumn in Sepia” delivers another onslaught of brilliant riffing and tight drumming, perfectly paired with harsh vocals and a very atmospheric chorus section.
Continuing her highly atmospheric and dreamy musical direction, today we have one-woman outfit Sylvaine and her sophomore release “Wistful”. With a style similar to a mellower Alcest and Les Discrets, we are completely intoxicated by the fragile nature of the songs presented in this release. Instantly enchanting the listener like the mythological chant of a siren, Sylvaine will captivate you with this release.
Opening with the 10-minute “Delusions”, the mood is perfectly set with the opening folky vocal section, reminding us of Kari Rueslåtten in her early days. The song quickly progresses into more familiar territories with dreamy guitars and intense atmospherics bringing memories of Alcest’s “Les Voyages de l'âme”. Showcasing some ethereal shoegaze and dream-pop influences, “Earthbound” provides an interesting contrast between angelic clean vocals and hash Black Metal screams, both performed by Sylvaine herself.
With only enough bandwidth to review music, we rarely have time to review the stuff we actually buy for ourselves. Thanks to all the Internet chatter and other connoisseur recommendations, we acquired Sinistro’s sophomore release “Semente”. Instantly blown away by the fierce combination of punishing riffs and the fragility of Patrícia Andrade’s vocals, this is a release we felt compelled to write about in order to pass on this finding to our readers.
Opening with a commanding riffing onslaught, “Partida” sets a very high bar for this release. The track delves into your traditional Sludge/Doom/Post-Metal territories but is brilliantly contrasted by the hypnotic voice of Patrícia. Creating a very unique contrast the band instantly stands out from the competition. As the album progresses, the band focuses on creating a very unique and oppressive atmosphere which relies heavily on precise tempo changes and the use of keyboards, as tracks like “Estrada” and “Corpo Presente” demonstrate.
Arriving from France, today we have Memories of a Dead Man and their latest full-length release “V.I.T.R.I.O.L”. Featuring a mixture of Post-Metal with some Hardcore influences, this band fits perfectly with bands like The Ocean, Year of No Light, Rosetta and Cult of Luna. Delivering 11 soul pounding tracks, this release is as heavy as it is complex, and we completely love it.
With soaring guitars and brilliant Post-Metal sections, “Tomorrow, at Dawn…” sets the bar for this release pretty high. The pummeling guitars are nicely offset by some female vocal sections that give a very nice melodic edge to this track, without losing any of the gritty heaviness in it.
After excellent debut release “Des deux l'une est l'autre” the expectations for Hypno5e were high, but with “Acid Mist Tomorrow” they set a completely different standard. The band’s brand of experimental Metal has reached new heights with the 9 tracks presented in this very engaging release. Mixing elements from Post-Rock, Ambient, Avant-garde Metal, Instrumental Rock, and traditional Metal, Hypno5e’s sound is very complex yet engaging for even the average listener.
Wasting no time and opening with the highly atmospheric “Acid Mist Tomorrow”, we immediately felt in a movie sound track. The carefully crafted percussions and the ethereal clean guitars make for a great listen, particularly when offset by the excellent distorted guitars. The ethereal atmosphere continues with “Six Fingers in One Hand She Holds the Dawn” parts 1 and 2, with a very chilling vibe and excellent clean vocals. The crazy vocal samples in the back near the fifth minute of the track are pretty cool and give a subtle feeling of insanity.