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  • Monarque - Jusqu'à la Mort (2019)

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    The Canadian wave of Black Metal is here to stay and the latest masterful offering comes from the legendary Monarque and their latest EP “Jusqu'à la Mort”. Featuring three songs and over 20 minutes of uncompromising Black Metal, the band instantly reminds us why they are one of the most feared and crushing outfits to ever come out of Canada. Not for the faint of heart, this release is both traditional and yet modern sounding, while keeping their ravaging style intact.

    Opening with the EP title track, the band sets a furious pace with hectic drumming and oppressive riffing. The hellish harsh vocals create a very dissonant and eerie vibe, similar to early 90’s European Black Metal. With a certain melodic edge thanks to the keyboards and tempo, this track is one hell of an opening statement. Things get a lot more catchier with the brilliant “Le Serment Prononcé”, a track that while filled with violent guitar work, it also features a very amenable tempo to headbang non-stop.

  • Driving Slow Motion - Arda (2019)

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    Unleashing one of the most disarming and lush Post-Rock releases, today we have Texas outfit Driving Slow Motion and their debut full-length release “Arda”. Featuring 10 tracks and around 42 minutes of instrumental music, this band delivers lush soundscapes similar to outfits like EF, Tides From Nebula and Mono. Filled with quality and engaging music, this debut release is one of the best Post-Rock albums to drop in 2019, so be sure to not miss out on it.

    The album sets a very somber and yet optimistic mood with the moody opener “Far from Home”. We particularly love how cinematic and otherworldly the atmosphere is crafted as songs like “The Way the World Was” and “In Exchange for a Memory” roll in. The band’s ability to slowly build into cathartic moments is just brilliant, with a crescendo of weeping guitars and crafty percussions.

  • Timo Tolkki’s Avalon - Return to Eden (2019)

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    Closing with the incisive “Envy The Moon”, we are left quite pleased with “In Splendor Below”. We expected non-stop Swedish Melodic Death/Doom Metal and that is exactly what you get with October Tide. The Norrman brothers have a great signature sound and this release maintains their legendary status since their early Katatonia days. If you like things to be consistent, direct and superbly catchy, look no further as you know exactly what to expect with this fine release.

    The album starts with a bang after setting a very epic mood with the intro, in “Promises” we are instantly treated to Timo’s guitar wizardry and poignant Power Metal songwriting skills. The vocal arrangements are masterful as always, perfectly delivered by guest male vocalists Todd Michael Hall, Zak Stevens and Eduard Hovinga. Songs with duets like the album title track featuring Mariangela Demurtas, or the magical “Hear My Call”, featuring none other than Anneke van Giersbergen on vocals, are just the signature style of Avalon and we love it.

  • Jess By The Lake - Under The Red Light Shine (2019)

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    The enigmatic Jasmin Saarela, better known as Jess from Jess and the Ancient Ones, is finally back with her debut solo release “Under the Red Light Shine”. Focusing more on fundamental psychedelic/acid rock influences, this release features eight intoxicating tracks filled with sultry vocals and groovy vibes. If you are a fan of any of her previous projects, you certainly can’t miss out on this one.

    Opening with the album title track, we get a Danzing-esque tune with very warm and fuzzy guitars intertwined with playful drums and Jess’s vocals as the central focus. We are always impressed by the amount of feeling and conviction Jess’s vocals have, and this release is even more direct and engaging. The songs in this album nicely shift gears and provide a wide palette of influences like the funky “Freezing Burn”, the trippy “The Wait” and the eerie “Halo (Ghosts in the Flames)” a very loungey track that is quite enjoyable.

  • Misþyrming - Algleymi (2019)

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    Taking the world by surprise with their incisive debut release “Söngvar elds og óreiðu”, this Icelandic outfit returns with “Algleymi”. With four years between releases, Misþyrming has had a chance to hone their craft through intense live performances and deliver 46 minutes of the best and most innovative Black Metal we have heard in 2019. Pushing the boundaries while staying true to their raw nature, this release is even better than the band’s debut.

    The album kicks off with the crushing “Orgia”, a track with the intensity and viciousness of the band’s debut release. As “Með svipur á lofti” rolls in, we start to notice the band’s new melodic tendencies, which nicely enhance their devastating sound. The band’s sound is greatly enhanced as they at times and Black’n’Roll-ish in songs like the hypnotizing “Ísland, steingelda krummaskuð” and the brilliant “Hælið”. Both of these tracks are quirky and particularly the later has a certain twangy vibe to it that is hard to describe, but makes you want to listen to it over and over again.

  • Sadness - Circle of Veins (2019)

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    Originally hailing from Mexico, Sadness is a one-man project that delivers harrowing Blackgaze music in the same vein of bands like Alcest, Heretoir, Falaise, etc. Cranking out more than a five releases in the last couple of years, this outfit is as productive as Cold World and many others. With over 37 minutes of music divided in five tracks, this release is a good addition to anybody’s Blackgaze collection.

    Opening with “Eye of Prima”, the band unleashes their best song with a lively and yet bleak track filled with a subtle atmosphere and very engaging clean vocals. This track slowly progresses in to more aggressive territories with harsh screams and a darker pace. Our personal favorite is the dreamy “Cerrien”, a track that is quite intoxicating thanks to its funky atmospheric keyboards and the odd pace. The Shoegazey parts of “Lana”, make it a very entertaining song and quite a delight to hear.

  • Délétère - Theovorator: Babelis Testamentum (2019)

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    Keeping their momentum going, Sepulchral Productions Délétère unleash “Theovorator: Babelis Testamentum”, a 20 minute EP that continues to demonstrate the unholy abilities of this outfit to deliver bone chilling Black Metal. If their 2018 release “De Horae Leprae” wasn’t enough, the three tracks in this EP create a certain harrowing vibe that only a handful of BM bands can create. If you are a BM fan and haven’t heard from these guys, you are completely missing out.

    Opening with the “Theovoratoris Aduentus”, the band sets an eerie atmosphere early on with raw keyboards, and suddenly explodes into all out war with pummeling drums, intense riffs and crushing vocals. The band’s sound is far from linear, and as the opener continues to progress, we are treated to creepy melodic passages that are both haunting and intoxicating. We are big suckers for Black Metal that you can headbang and enjoy due to its melodic nature, and “Babel Insanifusor” delivers just this. This track features a more organic and stripped down sound that will send shivers down your spine.

  • 夢遊病者 - Ѫ (2019)

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    Better known as Sleepwalker (夢遊病者), this international band formed from people from multiple corners of the world like Japan, Russia and USA unleashes the latest EP with “Yus” (Ѫ). Combining Black Metal with unique elements and crafted very bleak atmospheres, it feels like Darkthrone and Kayo Dot had a very odd bastard child.

    Side A delivers an atmospheric opening which sets a mystical backdrop, only to quickly evolve into dissonant madness. This track perfectly transmits a feeling of helplessness with its odd atmospheric elements and brutal onslaughts. The harsh screams seem a bit distorted, but create a unique vibe that when paired with the rest, create a very uneasy vibe.

  • Myrath - Shehili (2019)

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    Hailing from Tunisia, Myrath has gained popularity and critical acclaim thanks to their very lively Progressive Metal sound beautifully adorned with Middle Eastern Folk elements. Gradually refining their style and songwriting skills, with “Shehili” the band delivers one of their most complete and fun albums to date. Featuring over 47 minutes of superb music presented in 12 lush tracks, the band creates a very unique and engaging atmosphere that is hard to imitate.

    After setting a very mystical and exotic mood with the intro “Asl”, the band fully shines with the dramatic “Born to Survive”. Providing a cinematic experience, Myrath quickly immerses the listener into their own world. Not used only as a gimmick, the band’s unique Middle Eastern elements are ingrained into the music’s DNA, like on the dramatic percussions and keyboards of “You’ve Lost Yourself”, or the tempo and adornments of “Dance”, and the soaring vocal arrangements of “Wicked Dice”. Similarly to Orphaned Land, the band perfectly brings something from their culture and heritage into their music, creating a very lively and engaging sound.

  • Erancnoir - Erancnoir (2019)

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    It is not very usual to receive promos from bands from countries like Iran, so today we are quite excited to review Erancnoir’s self-titled third full-length release. This one-man outfit delivers over 40 minutes of punishing Atmospheric Black Metal with similarities to bands like NONE and Lustre. With a thunderous approach to the genre, this release is certainly a very interesting contribution to the genre that fans should not miss out on.

    With only two tracks covering the album’s duration, the first piece clocks in at 25 minutes and it is certainly a punishing and excruciating journey through dark and sinister worlds. This title track slowly builds up into hellish shrieks of pain and droning riffs that increase in intensity. The atmospheric keyboards are subtle enough to create a magical aura and perfectly complement a ravagingly raw musical core.

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