Led by the talented Caterina Nix, Chaos Magic is a Symphonic Metal band with similar style to outfits like Visions of Atlantis, Epica, Nightwish, etc. With so many similar bands in the genre, “Emerge” distinguishes itself as a release with Power and Progressive Metal elements, keeping things lean and direct. Featuring 50 minutes of music, this release is quite dynamic and keeps the listener engaged due to excellent songwriting and dramatic arrangements.
The release sets a mystical mood with the title track, delivering soaring vocal melodies and crafty electronic elements, all of these wrapped around hefty riffs and tight drumming. We particularly enjoyed that the release slowly builds up, and does not ‘explode’ in the listener’s face too quickly, as tracks like: “Beneath your Sin” and “Impossible”. This allows the listener to nicely warm up the band’s style and Caterina’s excellent vocals.
Out of the bowels of hell, today we have one-man battalion Furis Ignis and his latest EP “Turn”. Featuring nearly 31 minutes of music, this EP is nearly as long and equally impressive as the band’s debut release “Decapitate the Aging World”, out earlier this year. With a punishing no-bullshit raw Black Metal sound merged in with cavernous atmospheres, this release further cements the band’s minimalist yet effective approach to the genre.
Starting with the gritty “Vanguard of Black Years” and its incisive riffs and hellish vocals. This kind of old-school BM is hard to come by these days as bands try too hard and it comes out fake. The same sweeping vibe bleeds into our favorite “To Trespass the Commandments of Tangible Being”, a track that has an old school Ancient meets Immortal meets Darkthrone vibe.
Hailing from Canada, today we have Death/Doom outfit Norlisk and their latest EP “Beyond the Mountains”. Since this is released through Hypnotic Dirge Records, you know this is going to be a good one. Featuring a retro but firm sound, the band unleashes two tracks filled with slow and crushing riffs alongside hefty growls. If you are a fan of My Dying Bride, Mournful Congregation, etc., you will definitely dig this one.
Hailing from Finland, today we have Amongst The Ashes, a very interesting band that fuses Middle Eastern elements with a solid Melodic Death/Thrash Metal foundation. With a bit of an Orphaned Land/The Ottoman Empire vibe, “The Fabricated Monolith” provides the listener with a small sample of the band’s songwriting chops and solid execution.
Unleashing some creepy and aurally dominating release, today we have Dutch outfit Am Himmel and their opus “As Eternal”. With a ‘weirder’ approach to Post-Black Metal, this band creates roughly 37 minutes of captivating music with the magic of bands like An Autumn for Crippled Children and Lustre mixed in with a darker and drone-ish edge. Not recommended for close-minded people, this album is more of an aural exploration than your typical cookie-cutter BM.
Opening with the piercing “Bleared By The Infinite Wings”, the listener instantly knows this is a completely different release. The fuzzy and yet dreamy atmospherics are nicely flanked by harsh screams, delivered in a very monotonic way, creating a unique and engaging atmosphere. Things get dreamier and a bit shoegazy on “The Patience and Silence of a Saint’s Death”, a piece that slowly builds up momentum and creates plenty of tension.
The moment we saw the name Lord Belial in our promo inbox, we immediately thought it was a re-issue of their earlier works, but we never expected that “Rapture” would be a brand new album from this Swedish outfit. We have been fans of the band’s unique take of the genre since their 1997 release “Enter the Moonlight Gate”, which featured a more melodic approach with some female vocals and additional elements. For nearly 50 minutes the band captures their past glory with a very interesting and yet punishing release.
Opening with the blistering “Legion” and the equally punishing “On a Throne of Souls”, one would never guess that this band has been quite a while in hibernation and that it still features all its original members. The band’s sound is savage and brilliantly produced by none other than Andy LaRocque. Mixing that old-school Scandinavian Black Metal of bands like Immortal, Tartaros, Naglfar, etc. with a more melodic and melancholic edge, the band manages to deliver pummeling pieces like “Rapture of Belial”, “Destruction”, and “Belie all Gods”.
Latin America is full of quality Black Metal bands and over the last few years Sun & Moon Records have uncovered hidden gems like Selbst, and now HiddenT. Hailing from Chile, this outfit perfectly adds unrivaled melodies and harmonies to an aggressive core, making them sound like early Borknagar and “Cainan Chronicle”-era Ancient.
The release starts with the mystical atmospheric “Last Winter Ritual” and it quickly escalates with the punishing album title track. There is a certain magical balance between the fierce riffing onslaughts and the eerie clean vocals that grace melodic passages. This nicely bleeds into songs that have some Post-Black Metal vibes like “Delirium Tremens” and our favorite, the headbanging anthem “Under a Shadow Reflection”.
Unleashing an impressive barrage of crushing Doomy riffs, today we have Black Oath and their latest full-length release “Emeth Truth and Death”. Perfectly crafted for those of us that are worshipers of gargantuan Doom riffs, this Italian outfit perfectly blends elements from traditional Doom with more modern influences, and pairs them with a crispy production to further rattle your speakers.
Establishing dominance with the pummeling riffs of “Truth and Death”, the band sets a very engaging mood as the sound is quite dynamic with tons of melodic elements thrown into the mix alongside soaring vocal arrangements. Far from static, songs like “Serpent of Balaam” and “Children of Babalo”, deliver dramatic guitar leads and massive headbanging passages, reminding us of bands like Yearning.
Always uncovering some very interesting underground bands, Sun & Moon Records present us today with Solipsism and their debut full-length release “Our Night Never Ends”. Unleashing nine tracks and around 46 minutes of fierce Black/Post-Black Metal, this Slovakian outfit makes a very good first impression with a well balanced mixture of harshness and melody.
The release opens with the dissonant “Becoming the Void” and a very crafty melodic riffing onslaught that quickly escalates into full-on Black Metal mode. While this is heavy, there is also a certain duality as the band dabbles in more melancholic Depressive BM/Atmospheric BM territories with its bleak screams and subtle keyboards as tracks like “(V)Zostup tragédie”, “Solus Ipse”, and “Don't Follow Me, I'm Lost” move the release forward.
Hailing from France, today we have Black Metal outfit Bâ'a and their intense sophomore release “Egrégore”. Featuring Rms Hreidmarr on vocals, this trio delivers 42 minutes of ravaging music with some resemblance to Au Champ des Morts and Anorexia Nervosa minus the over-the-top arrangements. Each track being more intense and punishing than the previous one, this is one of those releases that will leave the listener begging for mercy while asking for more at the same time.
The release immediately takes over the listener’s speakers with the ravaging “In Umbra et Luce” and its mysterious opening guitar, which quickly transform into a relentless barrage of pummeling riffs. There is a certain sinister pace to the band’s sound that borders into melodic territories as tracks like “Domitor” and the fierce “Bellum”.