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  • Silhouette - Les Retranchements (2022)

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    Pumping freshness into the Atmospheric/Depressive Black Metal genre, today we have newcomers Silhouette and their disarming debut release “Les Retranchements”. With a well defined core of BM onslaughts and harsh vocals, the band adds a layer of angelic female vocals to create a very powerful and effective mix. Think of the short-lived Asphodèle but with a more depressive/atmospheric edge.

    Opening with “Ascension”, a very dreamy mood is set thanks to subtle guitars and Lilas Dupont’s siren-like vocals. The band’s elements mesh quite well, as tracks like “La Première Neige” deliver the ferocity some expect with relentless aggressive onslaughts, perfectly flanked by slower and dreamier passages, creating a very bleak soundscape. Keeping things simple and direct, pieces like “Au Seuil de l'Oubli” and “L'Etreinte de la Chute” are quite melancholic and magical.

  • The Mist from the Mountains - The Mist from the Mountains (2022)

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    Creating a very unique and timeless-sounding release, today we have Finland’s The Mist from the Mountains and their eponymous debut full-length album. Mixing elements from old-school Borknagar and Arcturus with the ferocity and melody of the modern Black Metal of bands like Uada and Mgła, this release delivers nearly 40 minutes of pure musical bliss.

    After a folky build up, “Empyrean Fields” grows into an all-out head banging section with catchy riffs and intense drumming. Here is where that Mgła/Uada melodic (and yet blistering) style blends into the band’s late 90’s/early 2000’s Nordic BM influences as pieces like “A Paean to Fire” and “Thus Spake the Tongueless Serpent” deliver that dynamism that soaring clean vocals and crafty instrumental and atmospheric arrangements bring to the table.

  • Amorphis - Halo (2022)

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    Just when you think that Amorphis music can not get any better, the band comes out with their killer latest release “Halo”. Dropping over 55 minutes of stellar music, the band continues to deliver polished, highly melodic, and extremely intoxicating Melodic Metal songs. Full of the epic vibe that the band’s releases carry, this album takes things further with even more bombastic arrangements and soaring vocal melodies.

    Quickly warming up, “Northwards” delivers epic arrangements on top of the band’s traditional bombastic sound. Thanks to killer guitars provided by Esa Holopainen (leads) and Tomi Koivusaari (melodic), the band’s signature sound stays intact, with a few additions of more folky elements courtesy of Santeri Kallio’s synths on pieces like “On the Dark Waters”, “A New Land”, “War”, and “When the Gods Came”.

  • SOM - The Shape Of Everything (2022)

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    After their killer 2021 “Awake” EP, all-star outfit SOM returns with their much anticipated full-length release “The Shape of Everything”. Featuring members of bands like Junius and Caspian, this album delivers over 34 minutes of extremely melancholic and yet heavy amalgamation of all kinds of genres ranging from Doom to Post-Rock and Post-Metal. Creating a very unique signature style, this release is set to be on plenty of best albums of 2022 releases.

    Opening with the melancholy of “Moment”, the band quickly establishes a very moody atmosphere, similar to bands like Deftones and Junius, but with a more shoegazey and dreamy edge. The clean vocals create very powerful melodies, perfectly soaring from the textured guitars of tracks like the Deafheaven-esque “Animals” and the playful “Center”. The band’s versatility can be heard on our favorite “Shape”, a piece that delivers a hefty dosage of heavy riffs alongside more subtle and ethereal guitar work.

  • Krvna - Sempinfernus (2021)

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    Unleashing waves of Vampiric Black Metal, today we have Australia’s Krvna and their debut full-length release “Sempinfernus”. With over 35 minutes of intense music, this release reminds us of early Dimmy Borgir, Old Man’s Child, and similar outfits, filled with atmosphere and harshness. For a one-man project, this release packs a mean punch and high replay value.

    Opening with the sinister “From The Shades Of Hades…”, the atmosphere immediately feels tense and eerie thanks to blistering drumming, intricate guitar work and devilish vocals. Things turn a bit more melodic and less chaotic with the melodic onslaughts of “...To The Targovistean Night”, contrasted by its punishing aggressive sections. We are suckes for epic melodies and the track “The Triumph Of The Flesh Over The Spirit” is one fine piece of melodramatic guitar work.

  • Déhà - Ave Maria II (2021)

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    By far one of the most productive musicians in the Metal scene, Déhà’s creativity is probably just bounded by time as he continues to unleash massive albums under his solo project, Wolvennest, Slow, and plenty of other bands. In “Ave Maria II”, he continues work he released over 10 years ago under his side project Yhdarl. Featuring one monumental track of 42 minutes, this release is both haunting and completely harrowing, mixing up dense atmospherics, punishing screams and all mighty riffs.

    Separated into two movements, the first part, “Morituri Te Salutant” sets a very cavernous mood that suddenly turns with the introduction of Thergothon-level distorted riffs alongside dramatic vocal arrangements, similar to what Elend did in the past, but with a heavier dose of distortion. The angelic female vocals are masterfully flanked with incisive guitars and massive growls/screams, perfectly turning beauty into nightmare.

  • Caestus - The Undoer's Key (2021)

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    Another release that we didn’t have time to review in 2021, “The Undoer’s Key” is one hell of a debut album from Finland’s Caestus and their blistering Black Metal onslaughts. In the same vein of traditional Finnish BM releases from Horna, Sargeist and similar outfits, this album delivers 36 minutes of relentless music with savage riffs and hellish screams.

    Opening with the punishing “Reclamation”, the band really warms up with the incisive riffs of “Ultimate Weapon” and its fierce brutality. By the time the album title track drops alongside the dissonant “Burning Hope”, the listener is fully immersed in the band’s piercing sound. Featuring members of Blood Red Fog (bass guitar), ex-Algazanth (guitars and backing vocals), this band delivers swift blows intense music as tracks like “Condescenders”, “Muinaisen Kunnian Taike” and “Dawn of Reckoning” showcase.

  • Ainulindalë - Les chroniques d'Arda (2021)

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    While not a 2022 release, we are reviewing a handful of albums we quite enjoyed at the end of 2021 but didn’t have enough time to review. One of those is the outstanding EP from France’s Ainulindalë, titled “Les chroniques d'Arda”. Featuring a combination of dreamy atmospherics, lush epic arrangements and a hefty dose of aggression, this EP nicely introduces a promising outfit.

    Combining elements from bands like Enid, Battlelore, Turisas, “Les damnés de Numénor” sets a very regal and effective mood. We particularly like the crafty synths paired with solid screams and epic clean vocals. As “Dagor-nuin-Giliath” and “Le geste de Maeglin” up the tempo, the band nicely unleashes crafty drumming alongside melodic guitars to keep things fluid and the headbanging to the max.

  • Beyond Death’s Throne - Haphazard Ethos (2021)

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    Hailing from Spain, something we don’t say enough here at IM, today we have Black Metal duo Beyond Death’s Throne and their punishing debut mini-release “Haphazard Ethos”. Featuring four songs and over 27 minutes of powerful and enigmatic music. With a dense atmosphere and strong instrumentation, this release is the perfect succinct introduction to a promising band.

    The release opens with the atmospheric mood setting intro of “A Threshold Of Harrowed Chants”, as it slowly transitions into blistering drumming and harsh screams. With an emphasis on both melody and brutality, this track grips the listener and never lets go. For darker and more complex Black Metal, we particularly like the deeper harsh vocals paired with ominous clean vocal elements, allowing the band to create a more sinister and eerie atmosphere as in “Diaphanous Lethargy”.

  • Doodswens - Lichtvrees (2021)

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    Unleashing hellish fury all the way from the Netherlands, today we have up-and-coming Black Metal duo Doodswens and their debut full-length release “Lichtvrees”. With a sound reminiscent of 90’s Black Metal with modern production values, this outfit delivers over 36 minutes of high-octane music that will surely propel them to bigger stages over the coming years. With a very raw and yet basic core, this release is both punishing and engaging.

    Opening with the brutal onslaughts of “In Mijn Bloed”, the band sets a very enigmatic mood as the track slowly treads in more atmospheric and slower territories as it evolves. This bleeds into the beginning of the hypnotic “Zwarte Staar”, a 7-minute piece that slowly builds with incisive riffs and crafty percussion. This song showcases the band’s more atmospheric and slower paced side of their sound, will still creating eerie soundscapes that can transform into bestial fast-paced onslaughts at a moment’s notice.

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