• Obscura – Akróasis (2016)


    Brilliantly returning with eight highly intricate tracks, today we have Obscura and their latest acrobatic effort “Akróasis”. Featuring completely new line-up since last release, Steffen Kummerer manages to again gather a stellar group of musicians and delivers another Obscura-quality release. If you like Technical/Progressive Death Metal, we highly doubt that there will be a better album in 2016.

    Opening with the brilliant “Sermon of the Seven Suns”, we instantly notice that the band’s trademark sound is intact and yet it feels slightly evolved with cleaner and melodic passages. The playful back-and-forth between instruments is insanely well crafted making songs like the opener and the heavier “The Monoist” (among others) sound amazingly elaborate and tricky. The vocal effects of songs like “Ten Sepiroth” give the band a certain Cynic edge. Additionally this track features some killer bass guitar sections.

  • Locrian – Infinite Dissolution (2015)


    Slowly establishing themselves as one of the most innovative experimental Metal bands in the USA, today we have Locrian and their latest opus “Infinite Dissolution”. Nicely evolving over the years, this Chicago-based outfit perfectly blends elements from Post-Metal, Black Metal, Drone, and Noise, creating a super think and powerful atmosphere unlike anything else we have ever heard.

    Opening with the oppressive wall of sound of “Arc of Extinction”, the band creates the perfect introduction to their music. Crushing riffing, bi-polar drums, and very harsh vocals to open the track craft a truly unique opening experience. The band’s music weaves back and forth between styles and on this opener they give us a great sampler of what is to come. Mellowing out with “Dark Shales”, we find the Post-Rock-ish guitar leads quite engaging and well fitting. If you appreciate the band’s ‘noise’ side of their sound, “KXL I” is sort of an interlude that will satisfy your cravings.

  • Minsk – The Crash & The Draw (2015)


    Having recently returned from a hiatus, Minsk delivers one of the early candidates for top 10 albums of 2015 with “The Crash & The Draw”. Following the same footsteps of bands like Neurosis, Year of No Light, and The Ocean, we get 11-tracks of brilliant Atmospheric Post-Metal/Sludge music that is both complex and crushing. Returning with a 75 minute opus is an ambitious task that Minsk manages to pull off flawlessly.

    Instantly making their mark with the 12-minute opener “To The Initiate”, we have a very playful track that changes moods and delivers a good amount of intricate percussions and powerful riffs to keep you listening to it on repeat for at least a day. Slowly building with “Within and Without”, the band crafts a very tight short piece to hold the listener over until the unleash their four piece behemoth of “Onward Procession”. In part I and II the band invokes their inner Neurosis with heavy and dense tracks that nicely evolve into the trippy atmospherics of part III and IV. This four-piece track showcases the band’s ambitions and excellent execution of a multi-faceted song that nicely evolves and dances around all the genres the band has influences from.

  • Abysmal Dawn – Obsolescence (2014)


    Today we have USA Death Metal outfit Abysmal Dawn and their fourth full-length release titled “Obsolescence”. In a year filled with new albums from several genre greats like Obituary and Cannibal Corpse and a few high profiles returns like Centinex, it is surprising to find out that this release got us going from beginning to end, like no other one.

    The riffing onslaught immediately starts with the punishing “Human Obsolescence”, a track that features demoralizing Deathcore-like vocals and intricate guitar work. As the band pummels through tracks like “Perfecting Slavery”, or the groovy “Inanimate” and “Devouring the Essence of God”, we are very impressed with the perfect crafting and execution of such epic head banging pieces.

  • Tombs – Savage Gold (2014)


    Unleashing their third full-length release, today we have Mike Hill’s Tombs and their crushing multi-faceted album “Savage Gold”. As one of the most unique and complex bands in the US Metal scene, Tombs crafts ten demoralizing songs that brilliantly combine Black Metal influences with Neurosis-like Post-Metal/Hardcore antics. Featuring a very interesting album concept, this release has everything going for it in terms of musical quality, production values, and high replay value; this is one of the best releases we have heard in a while from Relapse Records.

    Opening with a trippy atmospheric intro in “Thanatos”, this album suddenly morphs into a nightmarish Swedish Death Metal meets Hardcore/Post-Metal screaming match in a very odd but yet unique and devastating manner. The riffs are pummeling, particularly when they switch into full-on Black Metal mode. The band instantly delivers their unique brand of weirdness and we love it. “Portals” follows a similar path of attack than the opener, but the first truly outstanding song is the throbbing “Seance”. This song features some of the most vicious riffs written in the last few months and Tombs deserves recognition for it…. quickly.

  • Spawn of Possession – Incurso (2012)


    If brutality and technical wizardry are your things, Spawn of Possession’s latest release “Incurso” is just what the doctor ordered. With the technical skills of Christian Müenzner of Obscura (and ex-Necrophagist) on guitars, Erlend Caspersen (ex-Blood Red Throne) on bass, the band has a very impressive roster complemented by their other guitar player Jonas Bryssling and their super fast drummer Henrik Schönström.

    Being huge fans of Obscura, we can definitely hear some influences of them in this release, but Spawn of Possession is more brutal and in some places even faster. This collection of musicians have managed to craft one of the most technically impressive (and very melodic) set of songs we have ever heard, and we can’t wait to be able to see them live.

  • Obscura – Omnivium (2011)


    The man of the million riffs, Steffen Kummerer, returns with his Progressive/Technical Death Metal outfit Obscura, and delivers one of the most brilliant and aggressive releases in the last few years. “Omnivium” is a great improvement over the already brilliant album “Cosmogenesis”.

    With a more focused sound, the band delivers 9 tracks of pure technical brilliance paired with solid Death Metal structures. The songs in “Omnivium” feel a bit more straightforward and do not rely (solely) on virtuosity to be well appealing to the listener. However, this does not mean that you won’t get to listen to Steffen and Christian Muenzner rip through crazy guitar sections or Jeroen Paul Thesseling ‘pounding’ his 6 string fretless bass guitar like a magician.

  • Obscura - Cosmogenesis (2009)

    I’m very impressed with this band from Germany. Cosmogenesis is their second full length release in 7 years, and it’s great! I usually don’t go praising bands for nothing and I’m not easily impressed either, but this album is close to perfection.

    The band, as their myspace page mentions, is a team of virtuoso musicians. Most of the time bands exaggerate on their pages, but in this case, the definition is dead on. I can’t find a weak point in this band’s lineup, since all musicians contribute their skills to the album in equal amounts.


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