Hailing from Chile, today we have Epic Doom Metal outfit Capilla Ardiente and their sophomore full-length release “The Siege”. Perfectly aimed at those Candlemass, Saint Vitus and Solitude Aeturnus fans, this album unleashes over 45 minutes of pummeling riffs, moody vocals and an overall crushing atmosphere.
Side A of the release starts with “The Open Arms, the Open Wounds”, a very traditional Doom song that starts with one of the most typical riffs in the genre and quickly morphs into heavier territories. The dual guitar onslaught of Julio Bórquez (lead) and Igor Leiva (rhythm) allows for very engaging and powerful combinations, keeping tracks heavy and fun. “The Crimson Fortress” delivers more waves of distortion amidst crafty drumming and a powerful bass guitar line, giving it a certain old-school vibe.
Australia is a place were some pretty interesting bands like Austere and Germ have spawned. Finally breaking into the global scene a few years back, Advent Sorrow delivers brutal Depressive Black Metal to the masses with their incisive and nihilistic style. “Kali Yuga Crown” is the band’s sophomore full-length release and with the wide release through Werewolf Records should propel the band to new audiences.
The album is all atmosphere start to finish, and it perfectly sets a very sinister and melancholic mood with the dramatic opener “Verminblood”. Unleashing intricate guitar melodies and a mournful bass guitar line, this track unleashes the band’s pain to the listener. Not settling for only one particular style, “Wolfhook and Weapon” showcases the band’s more upbeat and intense side, with an old-school sounding Black’n’Roll-ish style.
After conquering the world of Black Metal in the last few years, enigmatic entity Mgła return with an expertly crafted release with “Age of Excuse”. Delivering a masterclass of riffing and pacing finesse, this album unleashes over 42 minutes of blistering music that any fan of the genre will be extremely appreciative of. The band’s ability to deliver intense and direct music to their audiences is unrivaled and with this release they further refine their trade.
The band wastes no time as track “I” delivers the first blow of intricate riffs and punishing drumming. With a superb metallic sounding distortion, the band feels above the traditional raw and harsh sounding bands, favoring a more refined and elegant delivery. Presented with incredible poise and restraint, “II” and “III” warm up the listener with countless intricate tempo changes and crafty arrangements.
Hailing from the USA, today we have Vintersea and their very unique and interesting sophomore release “Illuminated”. Featuring tons of cool influences ranging from bands like Borknagar, Cronian to the likes of Into Eternity and more proggy outfits, this album contains nearly 40 minutes of exciting music. If you are a fan of melodic and progressive music with a very experimental edge and don’t mind growls or clean female vocals, this is certainly something to check out.
The album deceivingly starts quite intense with “Spawn Awakening”, but this does not last too long as the track transitions into proggy and dreamy territories quite quick. With the opening track finishing quite intensely, the band nicely transitions to the mellower “Old Ones”, which is led by the fantastic clean vocals of Avienne Low. With Avienne also handling the harsh vocals, the transitions are quite seamless and interesting, allowing the songs to shift moods very quickly and dramatically, as on the excellent melancholic track “Illuminated”.
Unleashing one hell of a lush and bombastic Melodic Black Metal release, today we have Sweden’s Netherbird and their fifth full-length release “Into the Vast Uncharted”. With a very dynamic sound that incorporates influences from bands like Dissection, Siebenbürgen , (early) Illnath, and (early) Naglfar, this release will satisfy that urge for old-school Melodic Black Metal.
Wasting no time, “Saturnine Ancestry” opens with a high octane onslaught of killer riffs, intense drumming and lush guitar leads to fully set the mood for this brilliant release. After their amazing 2016 release, “The Grander Voyage”, the band continues to crush the competition with dramatic compositions like “Harvest the Stars” and the mellow “Mercury Skies”. Showcasing their unparalleled ability to slowly build up to head banging orgies, “Lunar Pendulum” is one of those tracks that you can listen to it 20 times and still find joy in its intricacies.
We find ourselves again reviewing a magical 7” EP that came our way through Nordvis Produktion. Prag 83 is a German entity that delivers enigmatic Folk music in the vein of Hexvessel, King Dude, Antimatter, etc. with some mid-career Katatonia influences.
The EP starts with “Circle”, a very somber song that reminds us of Antimatter with a lounge feeling. The guitars are quite enigmatic and the overall mood quite mellow and a bit creepy, in a good way. This is the type of dark Folk music we truly enjoy, particularly when it is nicely executed and simple, this is, there are not too many over the top elements added just for the sake of being more ‘authentic’.
We rarely review Split releases and EP’s, but with this one we had to make an exception. Featuring two extraordinary Folk Metal artists, Nordvis Produkt unleashes one hell of a split release that will captivate the listener. One band hailing from Sweden, the other from North America, however there is an unwritten cohesion behind both band’s approach at making lush and engaging songs.
Side A of this split contains “Sorlande Sky”, a 7 minute song that expertly crafts a very intense and misty atmosphere. The harsh screams are nicely contrasted by dreamy clean vocals and as the song delivers punishing riffs and fast drumming. The track ends on a very hypnotic note and it seems to very nicely bleed into Side B’s music.
Featuring members and ex-members of bands like Satyricon, Ulver, Dødheimsgard and Ved Buens Ende, Dold Vorde Ens Navn is a Norwegian super band playing some truly unique retro Black Metal. Featuring four tracks and around 20 minutes of music, “Gjengangere i hjertets morke” has that raw old-school vibe of Norwegian Black Metal from the 90’s and its brilliant naivety.
Opening with the bizarreness of “Den Ensomme Dod”, we are reminded of the days of Ved Buens Ende and Fleurety. The guitars are powerful and the Norwegian BM core is there, but the odd clean vocals and funky tempos allow the song to create a very unique and haunting atmosphere. The band’s Black Metal pedigree is clearly present as “Drukkenskapens Kirkegard” unleashes its fury.
Unleashing what is probably one of the top three Black Metal albums of 2019, today we have Asagraum and their sophomore release “Dawn of Infinite Fire”. Fronted by multi-instrumentalist Obscura, this compact outfit delivers an imposing sound filled with hate and brutality. For over 46 minutes, the band ravages through nine tracks of sheer intensity and well crafted melodic passages, keeping the listener at the edge of their seats clamoring for more.
Opening with the dissonant “They Crawl from the Broken Circle”, Asagraum sets a furious standard with pummeling drums, incisive riffs, and a violent bass guitar line. Just like a brick to the face, “The Lightless Inferno” continues the ritual with more brutality and hellish vibes. Delivering a masterful typical melodic BM passage on “Abomination’s Altar”, the band showcases their knack for killer headbanging sections mixed in between their most brutal elements.
From the minds of Mariangela Demurtas (Tristania) and Kris Laurent, Ardours is a very unique band mixing Gothic Rock, New Wave and 80’s influences in a very mellow and engaging style that will certainly appeal to all fans of bands like The Gathering, Tristania, Theater of Tragedy, etc. Delivering ten tracks and over 40 minutes of superbly catchy music, “Last Place on Earth” is a killer debut release from this very promising outfit.
The album leads with the lush 80’s/New Wave synths of “What Else is There”, and as the guitar come on, the listener is fully drawn into the band’s unique musical world. Building up on the opener’s momentum, Mariangela’s vocals are a perfect fit for the overall gothic vibe built in songs like “Catabolic” and the extremely catchy album title track. Just imagine a band like Lacrimas Profundere with a bit of Depeche Mode and Solar Flake mixed in.