Hailing from Sweden, today we have Anguish and their perfectly excruciatingly doomy release “Doomkvädet”. Unleashing a gargantuan slab of 49 minutes of heavy riffs, this outfit has that old-school grittiness that many modern bands lack, prompting comparisons to Candlemass and similar outfit. If you are in the market for traditional Doom Metal with a harsher edge, this is one of those band’s that you will play on repeat.
Opening with the cavernous “Herein I Burn”, the first riff is a perfect foreshadowing of things to come, as it is slow, heavy and twangy. We like the mixture of clean-ish/snarly vocals giving a more aggressive edge versus your traditional Doom clean vocals, particularly on tracks like “Consumed By The Necro Doom”, and “Deranged and Forgotten”. For non-stop headbanging, “I ett dunkel förlorad” and “Blood Veil” are our go-to songs in this release.
Unleashing a very cohesive and emotional musical experience, today we have Iskander and their third full-length release “Vergezicht”. Perfectly flowing between six tracks and nearly 64 minutes of music, this release combines melancholy, harshness, and dreaminess in a very robust and enjoyable package. Released through Eisenwald, this album showcases a great level of maturity and expert craftsmanship from this Ducth duo.
Opening with the lush acoustic elements of “Gezag”, there is a magical mood that is slowly set until it's nicely contrasted by heavy riffs and harsh vocals. Oozing with melancholy, songs like “Bloeddraad” and “Gewesten der Tijd” perfectly showcase the band’s range and creativity, with tons of unique tempo changes, atmospheric and dreamy passages alongside haunting vocal arrangements. However, the heavy side of the band is always present with furious onslaughts like on “Baken”, making this band comparable to a mixture of Thurisaz and Thyrfing.
Hitting you like a bag of bricks to the face, today we have newcomer Malignament and their debut full-length release “Hypocrisis Absolution”. Unleashing over 42 minutes of razor sharp Finnish Black Metal, this band is as aggressive and in-your-face as it can be, thanks to its incisive guitars and pummeling onslaughts of brutality. When you think you have heard it all from this scene, an album like this comes along and re-shapes your perception.
Pummeling the listener from the start with the ravaging “Thunder of Awakening”, the album makes a commanding introduction thanks to its brutality and yet melodic nature. Continuing with the merciless onslaught with “Call to Arms” and the sinister “Like Rats They Followed”, the atmosphere of this release is electrifying as you get buzzsaw-like guitars, paired with imposing harsh snarls and a very polished style and production.
Unleashing a lively mixture of Modern/Alternative Metal with some *Core elements, today we have Germany’s Venues and their latest release “Solace”. Featuring a brand new singer, Daniela ‘Lela’ Gruber, the band delivers nearly 40 minutes of superbly catchy music with soaring vocal melodies and heavy distorted guitars. Similar to outfits like Amaranthe and Sumo Cyco, this band has a more Metalcore aesthetic and edge to their sound.
Opening with the heavy guitars and harsh vocals of “Razorblade Teeth”, the band sets a heavier mood than their previous release, however, Lela’s vocals nicely balance the band’s sound. As the band delivers pieces like “Whydah Gally”, “Rite of Passage”, and “Uncaged Birds”, the listener is presented with a masterful combination of atmospheric synths, engaging clean vocal melodies, and crafty heavier parts for moshing and non-stop headbanging.
There is nothing like some good old Finnish Black Metal to start the day. Luckily for us, today we have Korpituli and his debut full-length release “The Ancient Spells of the Past”. Featuring over 35 minutes of savage raw Black Metal adorned with some subtle synths and a moody pace, this release is just the perfect blend of melody, timing, and brutality.
Opening with the hypnotic “On Forgotten Paths”, we quickly get old Horna, Fimbulwinter, Behexen vibes thanks to the piercing tremolo picking and hellish screams. Far from linear, one-man machine S.Korpituli nicely adds a certain atmospheric touch with songs like the instrumental “At Nightfall” and “Longing for the Unheard Of”, creating a very immersive and yet demoralizing listening experience, similar to what Burzum achieved on “Filosofem”.
Hailing from the USA, today we have Progressive/Tech Death Metal outfit Burial in the Sky and their sublime release “The Consumed Self”. Perfectly blending technical proficiency, melancholic songwriting, and flawless execution, this release unleashes nearly one hour of mesmerizing music. Highly recommended for fans of bands like Sculptured, Obscura, Necrophagist, etc. this release will have you both in awe and bruised from all the headbanging.
The release opens with the dreamy/proggy intro “The Soft Violet Light” and pummels right into the sheer brutality of “An Orphaned City”. This contrast perfectly introduces the heavier side of the band and their technical proficiency with blistering guitars and massive drums flanking the harsh screams. The band’s seamless transition between heavier parts and more melodic and proggy passages, like on “On Wings of Providence”, is exactly what draws us to this outfit and their polished sound.
Unleashing a 47 minute dose of foul, raw, and old-school sounding Black Metal, today we have Germany’s Baxaxaxa and their debut full-length release “Catacomb Cult”. Interestingly enough, the band originally formed in 1999 and 20+ years later finally unraveled their piercing debut. Perfectly crafted for those nostalgic BM fans, this release delivers a good mixture of old-school elements alongside crafty tempo changes and eerie atmospherics.
The band set a very cavernous atmosphere with the album title track, instantly transporting the listener to the mid 90’s BM years. The release continues its devastating path with the incisive “As The Moon Inhaled All Sunrays” and the punk-ish edge of “Flame Of Redemption”. While stylistically very different from how the genre evolved, tracks like “Kingdom Ablaze” and “The Great Malicious Tongue” feel eerily frozen in time.
It is definitely a great time to be a Black Metal fan as bands like Uada, Mgła, etc. are leading a new wave of highly polished and modern sounding contributions. Germany’s Groza falls in this category with their guitar driven and brilliantly crafted and layered 42 minutes of music in “The Redemptive End”. Balancing out brutality and flawless execution with a good dose of melody, this band creates six very intense and punishing tracks that any fan of this modern style will enjoy.
Opening with the mood setter “Sunken In Styx - Part I: Submersion”, we get slowly introduced into the band's hypnotic and incisive style. As soon as “Sunken In Styx - Part II: Descent” transitions in, the intensity becomes higher and the riffing takes command. The band’s harsh vocals and ravaging intensity quickly induce headbanging attacks.
After a wait of 8 years, Thyrfing is finally back with their high-octane brand of Viking/Pagan Metal. “Vanagandr” unravels nearly 50 minutes of superbly catchy and highly polished melodic music, just as one would expect from this band. Perfectly mixing precise guitar work with lush atmospherics and firm vocal melodies, this release is as good as it gets in this genre.
Opening with “Döp dem i eld”, we get that vibrant mixture of atmospherics and incisive guitar riffs. Always creating a very epic Folky/Viking vibe while maintaining a hefty dose of heaviness, “Undergångens länkar” and “Fredlös” are prime examples of the band’s duality. We particularly enjoy how the band uses additional instruments to adorn a very powerful guitar-driven musical core like “Järnhand” shows.
Unleashing some of the most incisive and yet superbly catchy melodic Black Metal of 2021, today we have Sweden’s Wormwood and their latest opus “Arkivet”. Delivering the perfect blend of aggression, melody, and melancholy, this outfit unravels 46 minutes of highly intense and piercing music. Recommended for fans of bands like Ellende, Netherbird, and Seth, this release is one of the most impressive ones we have heard in a while.
Opening with the incisive guitars of “The Archive”, the band sets a very high-octane mood thanks to the crafty drums and engaging vocal styles. There is no shortage of brutality in this release as the headbanging quickly starts and alternates with dreamy interludes. Tracks like “Overgrowth”, the melancholic “End of Message”, and the captivating “My Northern Heart”, slowly unravel the band’s very complex and yet precise songwriting, weaving different tempos and styles seamlessly together.