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”.
Releasing their third album in three years, Finnish mysterious duo Aethyrick show no limits to their creativity and melancholic sound with “Pilgrimage”. Featuring 42 minutes of bleak and desolate Melodic Black Metal, the band’s sound continues to get refined and streamlined perfectly delivering highly emotional pieces with a compact core sound.
The aural journey begins with the incisive “The Turning Away” and its piercing subtle atmospherics, perfectly paired with intricate guitar work. Those minimalist keyboards work wonders when used to accent a well written track. As the band settles into this release, “In the Chapel of One Spirit”, “Threefold Resurrection”, and “Winds of the Wanderer” brilliantly shift the mood from blistering to more introspective and melodramatic as in the latter track.
Unleashing woe and devastation, today we have German Black Metal outfit Chaos Invocation and their crushing latest release “Devil, Stone & Man”. Featuring nearly 45 minutes of punishing music, this release showcases a band at the top of their game, far superior than most outfits in the genre.
Opening with the blistering “Strike of the Dominator's Fist”, the band sets a pummeling rollercoaster in motion thanks to the piercing riffing barrage alongside hellish snarls and crafty tempo changes. The band’s relentless onslaught turns more sinister as pieces like “A Stranger's Pale Hand” and “Diabolical Hammer” inflict some deeper wounds thanks to their slower and more incisive pace.
Always keeping us posted of new and up-and-coming bands from the flourishing Finnish Metal scene, today we have Kaamos Warriors and their fourth full-length release “Spirit from the Void”. As a band from Mikko Ojala of Dark the Suns fame, this outfit creates a very interesting sounding mixture of Symphonic/Gothic Metal elements with a Dark/Black Metal core.
The atmospheric side of the band is laid out quite thick since the opener “In Blood And Spirit”. However, this atmosphere is not your standard one as it has some slight Industrial and even Gothic Metal undertones, creating a very unique vibe when complemented with the growls and Doomy tempo. Things continue to get more dynamic and engaging as tracks like “Vapus”, “The Flames of the Dragon” and “Varjojen Vaeltaja” are introduced.
Hailing from Finland, today we have Black Metal newcomers Aesthus and their debut full-length release “Hänen temppelinsä varjoissa”. Delivering over 38 minutes of furious and frosty music, this band further extends the dominance of Finland as one of the countries that produces uncompromising and crushing BM releases.
Opening with the incisive album title track, we are treated to a hefty dose of blistering drumming alongside piercing and melodic riffing. The band’s two guitars onslaught is brilliantly balanced around hellish shrieks and a throbbing bass guitar line, with tracks like “Vihani alttarilla”, “Kuolonpolku”, and “Jälkeläinen” being perfect examples of this.
Unleashing an early candidate for best Black Metal album of 2022, today we have Greece’s Αχεροντας and their highly impressive release “The Seven Tongues of Δαημων”. Featuring over 42 minutes of high-octane music, this release visits all depths of hell with its dramatic arrangements and unparalleled musicality.
The release starts with the furious “Lucifer - Breath of Fire” and its crafty layered guitars, perfectly paired with explosive vocal onslaughts and intense drumming. Immediately overwhelming the listener with a wall of sound, the melodic tempo changes are what keeps the listener on its toe as the release is quite varied and engaging, as pieces like “Leviathan - The Fervent Scales in Reverence”, “Belial - The Enn of Beliya’al”, and “Satan - Exaltation of Unbeing” showcase.
Crafting nearly 40 minutes of truly unique and intense Black Metal, today we have Saklas and their latest EP “The One Who Swallowed God”. Split into four tracks, this release is far from linear, introducing some quite unique and unconventional elements to a very punishing and ravaging musical core.
The release delivers its first swift blow with the pummeling “Mastering The Chaos Meditation”, a track that has some undertones of bands like Behemoth and Hate, but with an interesting tempo change near the end. The weirdness begins with the instrumental “Empty Realm”, which sets the mood for the avantgarde-ness of the album title track. This track features a jazzy unconventional pace and destructive vocal onslaughts, it also has a funky treat after a brief pause.