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  • Blaze of Sorrow - Absentia (2020)

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    Constantly evolving and refining their sound over the years, today we have Italy’s Blaze of Sorrow and their latest Atmospheric Black Metal opus: “Absentia”. Featuring seven songs and nearly 45 minutes of lush music, the band shows how their sound continues to improve with intricately crafted songs that are both pummeling and melodic. With similarities to bands like Fen, Agalloch, Saor, this outfit has marked their own path of blended melody and aggressiveness.

    The album opens with the folky “Settimo Requiem”, a song that features a lively mood with creative tempo changes and a very epic feeling. The band’s ability to swing from ravaging Black Metal onslaughts to melodic interludes is amazing as it allows them to completely re-shape the direction of songs with these transitions as the pulverizing “Furia” demonstrates.

  • Myth of I - Myth of I (2020)

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    After receiving tons of Black and Death Metal releases in the last few weeks, it is quite refreshing to get something completely different in Myth of I’s self-titled debut release. Featuring a very improvisational and fluid approach to songwriting, the band unleashes nearly 50 minutes of highly technical instrumental Metal music. Ranging from Progressive Metal to Technical Death Metal (minus the vocals), this release perfectly blends a wide gamut of styles under a cohesive and catchy umbrella.

    Opening with a dreamy intro, the album gets in full swing with the fabulous “The Illustrator” and its crafty guitar wizardry. Full of tempo changes and intricate drum patterns, this release perfectly leads to heavier and more experimental pieces like “Cherophobia” and “Obsidian Vale”. Doing away with traditional song structures, the tracks in this release flow freely weaving back and forth between proggy influences and heavier counterparts.

  • Hexvessel - Kindred (2020)

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    Unleashing a superbly crafted and somber Dark/Psych/Blues/Doom release, today we have Finland’s Hexvessel with “Kindred”. Finally settling into a sound that incorporates the eerie atmospherics and instrumentation of their earlier works and the warm and fuzzy psych/blues elements of their later material, the band delivers nearly 40 minutes of mystical music. Be prepared for a uniquely relaxing and enchanting aural journey with this one.

    The release opens with the enigmatic “Billion Year Old Being”, treating the listener to fuzzy Psych guitars and very hypnotic vocal harmonies. The retro vibe in the opener is nicely followed by the bluesy “Demian”, a very intoxicating track with subtle instrumental arrangements, trippy guitar leads, and perfectly voiced by Mat McNerney. For those looking to lose themselves in the band's folky atmospheric side, “Fire of the Mind” and “Bog Bodies” are two chilling campfire songs that swiftly change the mood of the release.

  • Asarhaddon - Reysa (2020)

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    Hailing from Germany, today we have two-man battalion Asarhaddon and their debut full-length release “Reysa”. Featuring a very refined and yet violent Black Metal sound, the band conceptually explores death and nature, in a very hypnotic and crushing style. Clocking over 50 minutes of relentless music, this album is quite suited for fans of bands like Anomalie, Wolves in the Throne Room, and Agrypnie, as it both blends punishing harshness with uncompromising melodic passages.

    Leading with “Der Ursprung”, the listener instantly received a wall of crushing distorted guitars right after a very subtle acoustic intro. The guitar onslaught is quite impressive, never letting go of the listener’s thoat as the band pummels through crushing pieces like “Die Vergängnis erwacht”and “Ein wahrlich wirrer Ort”. Both songs are filled with pummeling riffs and very introspective melodic sections that nicely deliver tempo changes while creating cavernous and mysterious atmospheres.

  • Cénotaphe - Monte Verità (2020)

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    The French Black Metal age of enlightenment of the last few years is real and bands like Cénotaphe are a testament to this. On their latest full-length release, “Monte Verità”, the band treats us with over 46 minutes of relentless onslaughts of brutality with a somber vibe and a retro production. For fans of bands like Absu, Carpathian Forest and Ragnarok, this release will rattle your speakers with furious gusto.

    With a creepy retro intro and a very raw and visceral production, “Myosis” leads the way with furious riffs and hyper-fast drumming. Vocalist Khaosgott delivers that kind of punishing raspy shrieks performance that adds an extra level of raw brutality to the music, as we hear on “Aux cieux antérieurs” and the furious “L'oeuf de mammon”. Our favorite track has to be the brilliant “De mon promontoire astral” and its melodic and mystical edge thanks to additional vocal arrangements, making it super eerie.

  • Grieve - Grieve (2020)

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    Hailing from Finland, today we have yet another crushingly frosty Black Metal outfit with Grieve. With no social media, or even internet presence for that matter, Werewolf productions unleashes to a wider audience the bands debut recording. For those that can’t get enough of the nostalgic 90’s Black Metal from bands like Vargrav and Faustian Pact, this 12” release will give you an extra fix.

    Taking the listener to the past with their cavernous sound, the band quickly unravels the brutality of “Spiteful Scourge”. In this track the mood seems to be quite straightforward until the tempo changes and eerie clean vocals add an extra mysterious vibe to the song, similar to Ancient’s “Cainian Chronicle”. The dreamy atmospheric keyboards nicely add that extra ethereal touch to the band’s already ravaging sound.

  • Dawn of Ouroboros - The Art of Morphology (2020)

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    Unleashing a very unique musical concoction of Progressive elements mixed in with Death/Black Metal, today we have Bay Area’s newcomers Dawn of Ouroboros and their full-length release “The Art of Morphology”. With over 40 minutes of crafty music, this release showcases plenty of musical talent and creativity paired with a high-octane delivery and intensity. If you are a fan of creative music that blends genres together and delivers high-replay value, this is the album for you.

    Opening with the dreamy intro to “Revivified Spirits”, the band quickly shifts into 5th gear with brutal onslaughts of harsh vocals, violent drumming and intense riffing, showing off their versatility from the start. With a certain jazzy and proggy vibe, “Pinnacle Induced Vertigo” is one of those playful tracks that nicely transitions into the mood setting instrumental “Gateway to Tenebrosity”. Fronted by Chelsea Murphy, the band’s sound is perfectly suited for her mixed use of demonic harsh screams and angelic clean vocals as the ethereal “Lunar Cathexis” contrasts.

  • Aevum - Multiverse (2020)

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    Hailing from Italy, today we have the superbly lively Symphonic/Power Metal release “Multiverse” from the band Aevum. Delivering nearly one hour of high-octane music, this release will certainly brighten your day and infuse neck-pain inducing headbanging onslaughts. Recommended for fans of bands like Sonata Arctica, Avantasia and Rhapsody, this album is both bombastic and well crafted.

    The release kicks off with the dynamic opener, “The Pilgrim”, this track showcases most of the band’s tricks as it combines clean female and male vocals, harsh screams and dramatic guitar leads. Not losing the momentum, the band continues with bombastic tracks like “Spark of Life”, “Tair”, “The Time Machine”, which feature excellent arrangements, crafty vocal melodies and superb instrumentation. Showing a darker side, we have one of our favorites “Black Honeymoon”, a mellower and more sinister song than the first ones.

  • Telepathy - Burn Embrace (2020)

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    Perfectly combining Post-Rock with Sludge Metal influences, today we have UK’s Telepathy and their third full-length release “Burn Embrace”. Creating a cinematic aura with their instrumental music, this outfit delivers over 40 minutes of melancholy. Highly recommended for fans of bands like Mono and The Ocean, this band creates a very unique middle point between those two bands with their expansive style.

    Opening with the darkness of “Eternal Silence”, the band creates a very mysterious and yet intoxicating atmosphere. The band’s heavier side comes into light with the relentless guitars and drums of “Aonaran”, creating a more dynamic and textured atmosphere. The band hits their stride with the crafty “Black Earth” and show their Sludginess on the Amenra-esque “Pariah”, both different and yet very engaging tracks.

  • Häxanu - Snare of All Salvation (2020)

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    From the endless creativity of Alex Poole, today we have the ravaging Black Metal outfit called Häxanu. Focusing on brutality and atmosphere, this band delivers over 44 minutes of relentless music in “Snare of All Salvation”. Very few debut releases have the quality and teeth that this one has, so if you are a BM connoisseur, this is an album you cannot miss.

    After setting a very mysterious mood with the intro, “Materia Prima” delivers dramatic atmospheric keyboards and waves of pummeling riffs. This track, while basic in nature, it is quite brutal and effective. Vocalist’s L.C. shrieks are quite ravaging and perfectly fit the intensity and brutality of the music. Both “Sulfur, Salt, Mercury” and “Smaragdina” show a more melodic side of the band, with brilliant headbanging passages crafted by tight drumming and crushing riffing.

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