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  • Thy Disease – Anshur-Za (2009)

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    With a very unconventional sound today we have Thy Disease, a Polish band that will surely turn heads when you are blasting this release through your car stereo or out in your back yard. Starting off a second place finish in Poland’s “Metal Millennium Party” back in 1999, Thy Disease has released 5 full-length albums in over 10 years and it’s finally making its way to America through Armoury Records.

    With a very rich mixture of elements in their music, Thy Disease will surely make an impact as one of the bands with one of the most interesting styles in the Metal scene these days. In “Anshur-Za”, the band combines Death/Black Metal elements with some Industrial/Electronic sounds and some interesting chorus sections (featuring clean vocals) that will surely make you scratch your head more than one.

  • Votum – Metafiction (2010)

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    As soon as we saw that Votum’s second full-length album was promoted for fans of Opeth, Anathema and Porcupine Tree, we immediately took out the CD from its packaging and started listening to this promising release. To our surprise, Votum actually delivers on the promise of being compared to the previously mentioned legendary bands.

    Hailing from Poland, Votum has been around since 2002 and (from what we have heard) has been evolving from Heavy Metal into the mystical genre of Progressive Metal/Rock in the last years. We immediately identify with Votum’s music since it’s well crafted and atmospheric enough to draw our attention away from whatever else we are doing while reviewing music (playing MW2 mostly).

  • Lustre – A Glimpse of Glory (2010)

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    Hailing from Sweden, Lustre (one man band) brings us his second full-length release with “A Glimpse of Glory”. Mixing Ambient elements with the raw beauty of Atmospheric Black Metal, we get a very solid release that instantly became one of our top 10 releases of 2010 so far. During the 40 minutes of “A Glimpse of Glory”, Lustre reminded us of bands such as Enid, Blut aus Nord, Velvet Cacoon, etc. combined with the ethereal nature of artists like raison d'être and Robert Rich.

    Each of the three tracks found in “A Glimpse of Glory” focuses more in creating a very enthralling atmosphere than on the ‘Black Metal’ aspect of things. There are distorted guitars through most of the album (two thirds maybe), but there is only a little section (on track one) that has harsh BM screams. We didn’t even care if anybody was singing since each song crafts a mysterious atmosphere that gave us chills while listening to them at night.

  • Jelonek – Jelonek (2007)

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    All the way from Poland today we get Jelonek, the ‘side project’ from violinist Michal Jelonek of Hunter fame. The music of this band is another attempt at fusing classical music with metal/rock elements and create an enjoyable mixture of the two genres while not sounding overly ordinary. Comparisons to Apocalyptica, Elend, Agizia and Ulytau come immediately to our heads but Jelonek easily stands out and cannot be called a cheap clone of these bands.

    With no vocals, Jelonek’s self-titled debut album manages to immerse the listener into the beauty of classical music paired with (sometimes) powerful drumming and distorted guitar. This band is different to Apocalyptica in the sense that it approaches music more ‘classically’ then them but at sometimes they sound just like them (i.e. “Machinehat”).

  • Ramesses – Take the Curse (2010)

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    All the way from the UK, today we get on our review queue Ramesses latest crushing releases “Take the Curse”. While we are huge Doom Metal fans, we tend to go for the Death-Doom bands rather than the Sludge/Psychedelic Metal bands. Ramesses falls on the second category and while not our favorite band in the world, they do a great job in creating 10 solid tracks for this new release.

    The problem most people might have about Sludge/Doom Metal is the lack of ‘originality’ and diversity than most bands present. We rather look at Sludge/Doom Metal releases from a perspective of effectiveness rather than originality or diversity, and Ramesses is a very effective band in our opinion. The band creates a very bleak and sometimes trippy atmosphere that not everybody pulls off these days.

  • Stribog - U Okovima Vjecnosti (2010)

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    Directly from Croatia today we have Stribog, a very impressive Folk/Pagan Metal band. The band’s first full-length album “U Okovima Vjecnosti” showcases a perfect balance of aggressive Metal sections and ethereal Folk passages that not every band can pull off so gracefully. There is no shortage of epic songs in this album that have high replay value.

    Since the first song “Ancestral Skies Of Gold” you know you are for a special ethereal ride with the combination of Folk elements, melodic distorted guitars and angelic female vocals. The band’s songs vary between melodic Folk passages and very aggressive (but melodic) Black Metal-like sections, the intertwining of these two genres is done very well and most of the transitions in this release are done seamlessly.

  • Žrec – Žertva (2008)

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    Featuring 3 members of Moravská Zima, a Czech Black Metal band, today we have Žrec and their latest album “Žertva”. Žrec plays a mixture of Folk and Pagan Metal that focuses more on the Folk side of things. We particularly love bands like Žrec that play Folk Metal where you can easily identify the region they are from if you pay close attention.

    Žrec does a great job in crafting catchy and effective tunes that will resonate in your head for quite a while after listening to this solid release. We particularly enjoy that while Žrec has the traditional folk elements with the violin, flute, and pipes, they still show a broad diversity within the songs allowing them to never get old and tired, like many Folk Metal albums get after 5 minutes.

  • Sezarbil – Dark God (2009)

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    Hailing from the Czech Republic today we have Sezarbil, a Black Metal band that while not very original it’s actually very entertaining. Sezarbil, like countless other Black Metal band has a tick and brutal sound that is very brutal and destructive in nature but it’s nothing we haven’t heard before.

    However, if you are a connoisseur of Black Metal we all know that bands in this genre sound a like, but the good ones are equally effective in creating the destructive atmosphere that we all love about this genre. Sezarbil falls in the category of the good bands since with “Dark God”, they have crafted 9 tracks of pure Black Metal hatred against humanity and religion.

  • Teratism – Via Negativa (2010)

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    Two years after “Pure Unadulterated Hate”, USBM band Teratism is finally back with another hard-hitting grim as fuck Black Metal release that will rattle your insides. With a full-on devil worshipping and the occult concept, Teratism is one of the top flight USBM bands this days and with “Via Negativa” the have pushed their diabolic sound to new heights.

    Summer time is the time for warm weather and sunny skies, but Teratism creates a very thick and chilling atmosphere with a relentless Black Metal attack very similar to its Nordic counterparts that will bring forth darkness and bleakness to any sunny day. “Via Negativa” has a very raw sound to it, but it never feels like it was recorded in a shed or a toilet; the production highlights the raw and destructive sound of the band while maintaining enough quality to rival any big budget BM production.

  • East Of The Wall – Ressentiment (2010)

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    Like a good wine, East Of The Wall has only been getting better with time. With “Ressentiment” the band not only improves over their perplexingly brilliant “Farmer's Almanac”, but they take things to a whole new dimension. The main addition to “Ressentiment” is the use of vocals to adorn the bands highly textured musical compositions. The vocals are partly because of the merger of Biclops and them.

    East Of The Wall’s brand of music is of particular interest to music connoisseurs that can greatly appreciate all the technical powers behind this band. Every single song is masterfully crafted to perplex the listener and make him have to listen to the songs a few times before fully digesting them. Then you move on to the next song and the process begins again.

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