Unleashing one of the most majestic and expertly crafted mixtures of Atmospheric/Folk and Melodic Black Metal, today we have Saor and their latest release “Origins”. As the brainchild of Andy Marshall, this outfit has continually gotten better over the years and with this release they reach the pinnacle (for now) of their craftsmanship and songwriting abilities. Featuring six tracks and nearly 42 minutes of music, this is definitely one of the top releases of 2022.
Opening with the regal “Call of the Carnyx”, we get the band’s signature melodic riffing alongside crafty atmospheric and very ethereal clean vocals. As the track progresses more Folk elements are baked into the mix, perfectly leading to the lively “Fallen” and its graceful guitar leads intertwined with harsh screams and killer tempo changes. Never leaving the Folky and mystical nature of the band’s sound behind, “The Ancient Ones” is a magical piece where all these elements perfectly work together to create a very intense mood.
Season Of Mist
Hailing from the Netherlands, Sever Torture is one of those bands that has been around for a while and still does not get the recognition they deserve. With their “Fisting the Sockets” EP, the band’s first formal release in over 12 years, we get three tracks of crushing (and catchy) Death Metal with that old-school Dutch flair and some modern elements.
Everytime people count Abbath out, he comes back with a vengeance, and with “Dread Reaver” he returns to silence all haters. Showcasing his signature style with a more mature and Heavy Metal edge, nine tracks and 40 minutes of music unleash a barrage of riffs alongside his signature snarls. Not slowing down one bit, this release is as savage as anything he has released in the past.
Wasting no time to inflict aural domination, “Acid Haze” quickly pummels the listener with Abbath’s signature frosty riffs alongside killer guitar leads and blistering drumming. Firing on all cylinders, the band victoriously marches like an unstoppable bullet train with tracks like “Scarred Core”, “Dream Cull”, and the old-school Heavy Metal infused “Myrmidon” anthem, one of our favorite tracks in this release.
There is certain magic when a band’s last release was nearly a decade ago, and yet they return with the same vicious and piercing sound, just as no time has passed. This is the best way to explain how Hell Militia’s latest opus “Hollow Void” sound. Filled with hate and punishment, this release unravels nearly 45 minutes of decadent Black Metal that has not changed with time.
Being huge fans of multi-instrumentalist Sylvaine and her enchanting music, we completely cleared our review queue and went deep into the intricacies and layers of “Nova”. Perfectly balancing the fragility of genres like Shoegaze and Atmospheric Metal with the aggression of Black Metal and Post-Metal influences, this release marks Sylvaine’s best effort to date with around 45 minutes of complex enchanting music.
Setting a very ethereal vibe with the album title track, things quickly escalate with the piercing guitars of “Mono No Aware”. This track perfectly blends onslaughts of harsh screams alongside dreamy vocal melodies, creating a very intense and yet melancholic atmosphere. We are always quite impressed with the build-up of songs like “Nowhere, Still Somewhere”, which slowly hypnotize the listener with siren-like vocal arrangements and shoegazey guitars.
Continuing the ravaging onslaughts delivered by “Phylogenesis” in 2020, today we have Abysmal Dawn back with their five song EP titled “Nightmare Frontier”. Featuring one new track, one re-recorded demo track, and a couple of covers, this release showcases the band’s craftiness and killer execution in 20 minutes of engaging Death Metal music.
The release quickly gets down to business with the blistering drumming and incisive guitars of “A Nightmare Slain”. Helmed by Charles Elliott, the band’s vocalist and guitarist, this track is fierce, delivering some killer guitar leads alongside crushing headbanging moments. The intensity continues with the pummeling “Blacken the Sky”, with a more direct and old-school chugging nature.
Unleashing a brutal feast of technical proficiency and crushing aggression, today we have Iceland’s Ophidian I and their sophomore release “Desolate”. In the same vein as bands like Obscura, Hour of Penance, Persefone, etc. this band is ready to kick major ass with the boost of being signed to a label like Season of Mist. If you like speed, technicality and craftiness, this release will blow your mind.
Wasting no time to turn up the intensity to 11, “Diamonds” unleashes blistering guitars and pummeling drums as it waves back and forth musicianship and brutality. The band’s ability to seamlessly transition between crafty guitar leads and neck-snapping tempo changes is quite brilliant, as one can hear in “Spiral to Oblivion”, “Storm Aglow”, and one of our favorites “Unfurling the Crescent Moon”. Not leaving any brutality to the side, the harsh growls and aggressive drumming nicely round things up.
Unleashing one of the most brutal and misanthropic Melodic Black Metal releases of 2021, today we have Seth and their latest opus “La morsure du Christ”. Perfectly blending uncompromising aggression, oldschool elements, and dramatic atmospheric arrangements, this release unleashes 50 plus minutes of majestic music. Having achieved cult status with only a handful of releases before its hiatus, this French outfit focuses on delivering quality over quantity with highly polished and extremely detailed releases like this one.
Opening with the album title track, the band delivers swift riffs alongside vicious harsh vocals, and a very persistent sense of melody in between brutal onslaughts. The band’s attention to detail and extremely high production values allow this, and all other songs to sound amazing and have high replay value, always discovering new things. After the first blow, the Seth sets a very melancholic and yet aggressive mood with the ravaging “Métal Noir” and its intoxicating atmospheric arrangements.
Unleashing over 35 minutes of crunchy modern sounding Death Metal, today we have Misery Index and their latest release “Rituals of Power”. Masterfully combining raw brutality with craftiness, the band pummels through nine tracks filled with intricate guitar work and inhuman growls. With their fifth full-length release, this American outfit is ready to get the crowds moshing and prepared for devastation.
First and powerful, “Universal Untruths” delivers waves of crushing guitars and crafty drumming, setting a very punishing and intense vibe since the beginning. As the band steamrolls through “Decline and Fall” and “The Choir Invisible”, we notice how they deliver signature DM elements with a modern and fresh take, allowing their sound to be both classic and yet fresh. For those of use craving intensity, “New Salem” is the perfect example of abusive guitar work brilliantly paired with meaty hooks and an intense tempo.
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.