Masterminded by Alex Poole, Ringarë is an Atmospheric Black Metal outfit that focuses on creating lush and ethereal soundscapes, and contrasting them against frosty and bitterly furious BM onslaughts. With a singular and very bombastic style, “Thrall of Winter’s Majesty” delivers over 40 minutes of intense and transcendental music that only bands like Lustre or Spectral Lore are capable of unleashing.
Starting the uplifting etherealness of “Witness to Winter's Lament”, this track sets a very dreamy mood that is suddenly muddled by waves of crushing guitar riffs and very contrasting harsh vocals. We particularly love the duality of the band’s sound and their ability to quickly poison dreamy parts with venomous aggression. More in ambient territories, “O'er Winters Shroud” is an instrumental piece that feels quite cinematic and liberating, providing a breather from the harshness of this release.
Unleashing waves of old-school Black Metal with tons of Dark Ambient elements, Germany’s Lebensnatch took us by surprise with “The Realm Beyond”. Released via Naturmacht Productions, this album has that naivety and minimalist approach of early 90’s BM that newer and more polished bands have lost. If you like overly dramatic and yet simple atmospherics alongside raw and basic BM, this release should be at the top of your list.
Opening with the dreamy “Fallen Soul Under A Pale Star”, we get a very nice retro vibe surrounded by dramatic atmospheric keyboards/synths. The band’s sound is raw and retro, making their music quite direct and not overly adorned. With a certain (old) Burzum-esque vibe “Moon And Stars”, this is our favorite track due to its simplicity and very effective harshness.
Hailing from the Czech republic, today we have newcomers Můra and their creepy and cavernous amalgamation of Death Metal with Doom influences. While the genre has evolved in multiple directions in the last few years, there is still nothing like chugging guitar riffs and firm growls. This release delivers both elements in droves, making it perfect for older fans of the genre.
Opening with the 11-minute excruciating piece “Chambers of Decay”, the band sets a very dark and punishing atmosphere that has some elements of Funeral Doom Metal with slower variants of traditaionl Death Metal. The band’s crunchy guitars and crafty leads helps them avoid monotony as this track weaves back and forth different levels of aggression and tempos.
Canada continues to impress us with their constantly growing Black Metal scene, today we have one-man outfit Nordicwinter with “Sorrow”. Being the band’s fourth full-length release, this release unravels nearly one hour of highly melancholic Atmospheric BM, filled with mournful and doomy passages. If you like heavily emotional music that combines both lush atmospheric arrangements and savage onslaughts of harshness, you are in the right place.
The album sets a very hypnotic and tempered mood with the start of “Somber Winds Of Despair (Part I)”. As this song progresses we are treated to wonderful harsh shrieks paired with melancholic guitars and a very restrained tempo. We particularly enjoy the overly dramatic atmospheric keyboards that nicely envelop the slow and painful distorted riffs. Creating a very dense and yet lush atmosphere, tracks like “Sullen Echoes” and “This Mournful Dirge” are very immersive, as we foundouselves getting lost in their magical misery-inducing atmosphere.
Just when you think you have heard all the great Black Metal bands from Finland, an outfit like Malum shows you that there are still plenty more to discover. Thanks to Purity Through Fire, today we have “Devil’s Creation”, the band’s fourth full-length release. Unleashing nearly 40 minutes of well polished and intense music, this release is for fans of outfits like Algazanth, Behexen and Satanic Warmaster.
After a brisk mood setting intro, “Serpent of The Abyss” blows things wide open with ravaging screams, intense riffing, and crafty atmospherics. The band’s sound is raw and powerful, while certain melodic undertones allow their music to be immersive and crushing. Typical Black Metal pieces like “Messiaan kuolema” and the album title track deliver waves of traditional drum patterns alongside furious guitar and vocal work, making the band’s approach to the genre timeless and violent.
Mysterious Scottish entity Ifrinn is ready to unleash their debut EP titled “Caledonian Black Magick”. Featuring over 24 minutes of crushing Black Metal, the band keeps things powerful and simple with a very direct and in-your-face approach. Recommended for fans of old-school BM with no room for weakness, this release is raw and powerful.
Opening with the excruciating album title track, the band sets an all-out war pace with its ravaging riffs and drumming, paired with hellish snarls. There is a certain feeling of unholiness and darkness as the opening track suddenly shifts into a somber melancholic passage just before another wave of brutality. If the first track was not enough to hook you on this band, “Silent Seas of Sorcery” delivers waves of incisive riffs and crafty drums. We particularly enjoy when the track descends in tempo and creates a very enveloping and sinister atmosphere.
Unleashing over 44 minutes of highly versatile Black Metal, today we have Germany’s Kankar and their debut release “Dunkle Millennia”. Borrowing bits and pieces of bands like Uada, Mgła, Inquisition and Gaerea, this duo ravages through 11 superbly catchy and well crafted tracks. If you like, melodic, firm, and yet crafty music, this is one release to explore.
Setting a very punishing and explosive mood with the opener “Gier”, the band nicely focuses on creating incisive melodic onslaughts that are catchy and aggressive as tracks like “Krater in Sarx”, “Zerfall des Lichts”, and “Vergeltung” level everything in their path. The Mgła-esque buzzing guitars and tempo, allow tracks like “Thüringer Schwarzmetall” and “Der Schütze”, to unleashe furious heabanging sessions as they are equally melodic and brutal.
One man entity, Nachtig is ready to unleash misery to the masses with its second full-length release “Der stille Wald”. As yet another brilliant Black Metal project from V. V. (Cosmic Burial and Valosta Varjoon), this outfit explores the more atmospheric and depressive corners of the genre. Unleashing over 54 minutes of crushing music, this release is perfect for anybody looking for bands similar to Mortualia with some sprinkles of Heretoir.
The album title track opens the proceedings with fury and melancholy. Featuring mid-tempo drumming alongside piercing riffs and hellish vocals, a very oppressive and excruciating mood is quickly established. Perfectly pairing subtle atmospheric keyboards with weeping guitar riffs, the vibe continues to be misery-inducing as tracks like “Im Hohen Gras” and “Berg und Tal”. There are some hints of modern Post-Black Metal elements, making the songs lush and delicate while retaining the band’s core rawness.
Delivering their traditional high-octane Power Metal, today we have Germany’s Orden Ogan and their seventh full-length release “Final Days”. Featuring 50-minutes of superbly catchy and expertly crafted music, the band delivers one of their most epic and lively releases to date. Highly recommended for fans of bands like Stratovarius, Blind Guardian and Powerwolf, this is one of the highlights of the genre in 2021.
Opening with the catchiness of “Heart of the Android”, the band quickly sets a very engaging and epic atmosphere. With Niels Löffler switching to guitars and the addition of guitarist Patrick Sperling, the band sound is more dynamic and delivers a good amount of brilliant guitar leads and catchy passages, as we can hear on songs like “In the Dawn of the AI” and “Inferno”. As one would expect, the band’s epic vocal arrangements are a centerpiece of their sound and perfectly exploited in epic songs like “Let the Fire Rain”.
Unleashing one hell of a crushing debut release, today we have Sulpur and their debut release “Embracing Hatred and Beckoning Darkness”. Delivering over 43 minutes of pummeling old-school Black Metal, this outfit perfectly captures the aggression and rawness of the 90’s with five blistering compositions. If you like old Immortal, Marduk, Horna, and Satanic Warmaster, this is one release you can’t miss.
Opening with the mysterious intro/title track, the band sets a very dark and sinister mood as waves of punishing riffs and harsh screams quickly take over the sonic landscape. The band’s vicious style is perfectly delivered by the intense guitar work alongside some crafty tempo changes, reminding us of Immortal’s “Pure Holocaust” days. On tracks like “Blessed By Foul Magick”, the listener is abused by its sheer brutality, perfectly balanced between highly melodic passages.