Hailing from Washington D.C., today we have DragonForce-esque outfit Quantum Twilight and their self-released debut album “Hypersonic Demolition”. Originally a solo project from multi-instrumentalist Greg Russell, this outfit has some great potential and killer execution, however, it needs to find its own sound as it still sounds too much like other bands. However, not all is bad as the album features nearly 50 minutes of solid tunes.
Opening with the intense “Never Surrender”, we immediately get that DragonForce vibe with the intricate video game-esque guitar leads and overall playful pace. Newcomer vocalist Jarrad Biron Green is pretty talented and sounds well in the songs, particularly when there are backing tracks like on “Champions”, or he tries to use different ranges like on “Intergalactic Onslaught”.
With more and more Melodic Death Metal bands incorporating more modern elements and tons of keyboards to their sound, it is quite refreshing to listen to Decaptacon and their purely-guitar drive old-school Melodic Death Metal release “For Those Who Died”. For fans of old Gardenian, At The Gates, all the way to Centinex and Entombed, this is one crafty release that will bring back some nostalgic moments.
Opening with the sweeping “Buried Alive”, the band very quickly sets a high-octane mode with crafty riffs, superb drumming and dramatic melodic guitar leads. Showing this was not a fluke, “A New Lease of Life”, “Until We Drown”, and “Inner Captivity”keep things rolling with a hearty dose of harsh vocals mixed in some pretty epic headbanging moments and intricate guitar leads.
As one of the many variants of Metal, ‘Pop Metal’ has gained popularity over the last few years with bands like Amaranthe, Battle Beast, etc. Today we have Finnish newcomers Memoremains and their very uninspired titled release “Pop Metal”. Luckily for us, the name is the only uninspired part of this release as the nine tracks presented here are quite catchy and enjoyable.
Opening with “We are One”, the band has a dejavu Amaranthe opening with the first couple of seconds of the track, but then it transitions into their own making with some modern Dark Tranquility-esque keyboards and riffs. The first thing to have to be successful in this genre has to be a charismatic and distinguishable singer, and Johanna Ahonen does a very good job in making tracks like “Sympathy”, “Back Off”, and “Paralyze” her own.
Constantly evolving, American outfit Our Dying World returns with their latest release “Hymns Of Blinding Darkness”, with an engaging Symphonic/Gothic Metal sound. While not extremely polished and still a bit rough around the edges, this outfit delivers nearly 40 minutes of exciting music showcasing good skill and promising songwriting abilities.
After setting the mood with the opener “Ars Moriendi”, the band unleashes “Everything We Know Is Gone”, a track that has a Dark Lunacy vibe, with additional Power/Symphonic Metal elements in the relentless guitar work and keyboards. This style works very well for the band as they deliver engaging songs like “Under The Hunter's Blade”, “Survivor”, and “Path Of The Nomad”.
Creating a very unique mixture of Black/Death/Gothic Metal, today we have Russia’s Saphath and their debut full-length release “Ascension of the Dark Prophet”. Delivering over 44 minutes of music, the ten tracks in this release nicely blend elements from bands like Behemoth, Moonspell, Epica, Dark Tranquillity, and creates a very bombastic and engaging listening experience with tons of hidden details to discover.
Opening with the lush “Children of the Night”, the band delivers vibrant guitars alongside a mixture of aggressive vocals and crafty tempo changes. The music is heavy, but with enough room to incorporate melodic passages and fierce guitar solos. This more melodic and bombastic nature comes front and center in pieces like “Outcast of Eden”, the gothic “Darkness Unleashed”, and the Moonspell-esque “Broken Mirror”. All tracks blend their influences quite well, and still manage to deliver a certain modern Metal edge as shown in “The Daughter of Ice Pains”.
Consistently pushing the boundaries of creating misery-inducing music, Clouds is one of those bands that with each release only keeps getting better and more refined. With “Despărțire” the band sets a new bar for Atmospheric Death/Doom Metal releases with nearly 60 minutes of emotive music that will rip your heart out of its cavity in minutes. Featuring some excellent guest appearances and some additional elements to the band’s already all-encompassing sound, this release is as brilliant as any of the band’s previous efforts.
Opening with the imposing “Deepen This Wound”, we get a very solemn vibe thanks to weeping violins and piercing riffs, perfectly paired with Daneil’s rumbling growls. The use of clean vocals provides a nice contrast and allows the music to flow into more emotional dimensions. In the piercing “This Heart, A Coffin”, the band enlisted none other than Mick Moss to provide additional vocals in this total banger of a song. We particularly enjoy the juxtaposition of the violins, tempo, and clean vocals in this very dynamic piece.
We are always suckers for good Melodic Death Metal releases and luckily for us, Sky Crypt unleashes nearly 40 minutes of catchy and old-school sounding music. In “Incipit Anarchia: Eternity”, this Russian duo manages to carve a personal sound from mixing elements from old Dark Tranquillity, In Flames and At the Gates. If you are a fan of older sounding Melo-Death, this release will keep you busy.
Opening with your traditional atmospheric intro, the release really warms up with “The Dawn of Tyranny” and its catchy riffs paired with crafty tempo changes. The band’s style is quite linear and traditional, and while not bad, it feels a bit uninspired at times with songs like “The Higher Walls”, “The Awe”, and “The Solemn Rite”, all blending together.
Hailing from the USA, today we have newcomers Arcane Existence and their lush and haunting Symphonic/Melodic Black Metal release “Colossus”. With a very lively and engaging style, the band borrows from some of the genre greats (Dimmu Borgir, Cradle of Filth, etc.) but manages to carve a different and unique style for themselves. For nearly 56 minutes this release will certainly transport you to a different world, exactly what albums like this one should do.
Opening with the lavish “Mystic”, the band sets a very cinematic and mysterious mood, thanks to lush symphonic arrangements and crafty Metal elements. As the album progresses, tracks like “Sovereign Blood” and “Transmutation” show the heavier side of the band with pummeling drums, varied riffs, and a good balance of harsh and clean vocals. With small transition pieces like “Formation” before more elaborate and moody tracks like Dimmu Borgir-esque “Conclave”, the band keeps the album interesting and fresh.
Hailing from Canada, today we have Progressive/Technical Death Metal outfit Æpoch with their latest EP “Hiraeth”. Delivering nearly 20 minutes of high-octane music, this band shows great maturity and originality in their very polished sound. From start to finish, this release will have you furiously headbanging and moshing with your friends.
Opening with “Atonement”, we get that immediate Death worship within the first few minutes as the band transitions into intense melodic riffs and proggy tempo changes. The opener perfectly bleeds into “Amnesia” another piece with ravaging guitars and tight drumming. The growls are deep and firm, allowing the music to sound quite brutal with the addition of extra vocals by Alustrium’s Jerry Martin.
Unleashing over 37 minutes of stylish Melodic Death Metal, today we have Solitude and their latest release “Exogenesis”. Hailing from Mexico, this outfit perfectly blends elements from bands like Soilwork, Dark Tranquillity, old In Flames, etc. to create a very dynamic and engaging style. Filled with epic headbanging moments, this release is highly recommended for any fan of the genre.
Exploding with the album title track, the band quickly delivers waves of catchy riffs, intense harsh vocals, and crafty drumming. The album’s mood is quite lively and engaging since the start, allowing tracks like “Arbitrium Incorporea”, “Descending into Flesh”, and “Of Though and Blood” to build on that momentum and unleash maximum melodic catchiness. The inclusion of clean vocals nicely balances the impact of the harsh screams alongside the sweeping melodic passages.