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  • Blighted Eye - Wretched (2020)

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    Newcomers Blighted Eye are ready to take the North American scene by storm with their very crafty debut EP “Wretched”. Unleashing over 27 minutes of high-octane, progressive/melodic Death Metal with additional influences, the band delivers four very well crafted songs that nicely balance both technical proficiency and killer songwriting chops. If you are into bands like Sculptured, you cannot afford to miss this release.

    Opening with the intense guitars of “Contempt”, this band sets a very energetic and firm pace. This track features crafty tempo changes, killer intense passages and overall excellent musicianship, showing a bit of a Tech Death Metal influence but with proggy ambitions. As “Respite” follows the intense opener, the band’s more proggy influences are heard, reminding us a bit of mid-period Opeth with some killer guitar leads added.

  • For Ruin - Elapse (2020)

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    With hundreds of releases making into our inbox every day, we need to carefully pick which ones we listen to. Band releases that are ‘professionally’ submitted usually get our attention over non-major label releases. Lucky for us, today we have For Ruin and their killer self-released EP “Elapse”. Delivering nearly 20 minutes of blistering Melodic Death Metal, these types of musical discoveries are what makes our day at Infernal Masquerade.

    Opening with the quick and pummeling “Elapse”, the band sets a very hectic and engaging energy from the get go. Reminding us a bit of bands like Kalmah and Mors Principium Est, this track nicely leads into the riffing acrobatics of “Fiel to the Fire”. The mixture of clean and harsh vocals is well balanced with the faster paced sections in this highly headbangable track.

  • Sulphur Sun - Placodemic Heraldry (2020)

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    Hailing from Switzerland, today we have Sulphur Sun and their very interesting EP titled “Placodemic Heraldry”. Featuring a weird amalgamation of Death Metal with progresisve/technical DM elements, this release delivers a very promising 10 minute teaser for a uniquely weird band. If you like weird music that is both crafty and a bit chaotic, this is the EP for you.

    Opening with the madness inducing “The Temple of Dunkleosteus”, the band delivers intricate riffs, hellish vocal arrangements ranging from hypnotic throat singing to growls, and a very playful drum track. The band’s style is instantly hard to categorize as the song goes over multiple moods and styles. The chaos continues with the sinister “Trilobite Thief”, featuring some Satyricon-esque sounding guitars and more blistering drumming and odd tempo changes, all working in strange unison.

  • POET - Emily (2020)

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    Usually Doom Metal releases are best for cold and dark days, however, POET will turn your August days quite dark and gloomy with their gargantuan release “Emily”. Delivering over 44 minutes of soul-crushing Doom, this album has a ‘classical’ Death-Doom/Funeral Doom vibe as it spews six anthems of darkness and despair. As one of the densest albums of this summer, this self-released album is a breath of fresh air amongst all the crappy stuff coming out these days.

    Opening with throbbing guitar riffs, the first track, “I”, slowly builds up and delivers waves after waves of slow and delicious distortion. The band’s edge comes in the way of the use of truly demoralizing Violin, Viola, and Cello’s through this album, paired with Brighid Wagner’s haunting female vocals. Think of early My Dying Bride with some sprinkles of Sub Rosa thrown into the mix as “II” and “IV” slowly progress.

  • Fellahin Fall - Tar-A-Kan (2020)

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    Hailing from the USA, today we have a band that we never thought we would find ourselves listening to as much as we do. Fellhain Fall has a certain commercial alt-rock edge that is sneakily built on superbly catchy Gothic, Industrial, Darkwave elements, making the sound behind “Tar-A-Kan” quite intoxicating and engaging. While the band’s music lies more in Metal foundations, the band’s unique accessibility makes this release very easy to digest and highly enjoyable.

    Opening with the lush atmospherics of “A Fading Whisper”, we get a playful dynamic between heavy distorted guitars and the charismatic lead vocals. It is a staple of Gothic Metal to have a signature singer and this band clearly has one. The music nicely experiments with Industrial/Darkwave elements in tracks like “Rover” and “My Hollow” deliver, while the Doomy elements surface on songs like “Caught Between”, keeping their sound quite dynamic and versatile.

  • Conception - State of Deception (2020)

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    With Roy Khan reviving Conception back in 2018, the band took a while to deliver their return full-length “State of Deception”. Delivering around 40 minutes of music, this release has that old Kamelot vibe with a few sprinkles of Evergrey and Queensrÿche. The nine tracks here are catchy and engaging and will surely be loved by Roy Khan fans, as his vocals take front and center to solid songwriting skills and crafty arrangements.

    After the mood setting intro, the album kicks off with the hard rocking “Of Raven and Pigs”, a track that starts a bit slow and it takes a while to settle with its lush vocal melodies and crafty guitars. With “Waywardly Broken”, the band goes into that Power/Progressive Metal vibe that we were expecting, thanks to the lively vocal leads and lush atmospheric keyboards. Thankfully, “No Rewind” continues this mood with dynamic guitars and crafty tempo changes, making it one of our favorite songs in this release.

  • Aeonian Sorrow - A Life Without (2020)

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    Perfectly fitting for a dark and gloomy day, today we have Aeonian Sorrow’s latest EP: “A Life Without”. As the title indicates, this release is full of melancholy and gloom, delivering exactly what the fans of the band and the genre expects. For over 30 minutes the band explores cavernous atmospheres filled with crushing riffs, demoralizing growls and angelic female vocals.

    The album slowly builds up with the opener “The Endless Fall of Grief”. Instead of the traditional long instrumental intro, this track quickly unravels brutal growls and heavy guitars, creating a very imposing and commanding mood since the first few minutes. Ville Rutanen (Red Moon Architect) handles all growls, perfectly contrasting them from Gogo Melone’s sultry female vocals, a brilliant example of this is the emotional “One Love” and its dramatic guitar leads and ‘beauty and the beast’ vocal interchanges.

  • Clouds - Durere (2020)

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    As one of our favorite bands, Clouds delivers one of the most melancholic and depressive brands of Atmospheric Death/Doom Metal ever created. With “Durere”, the band’s mastermind, Daniel Neagoe, continues to explore the process of grief and loss in seven tracks and nearly one hour of soul crushing music. Never disappointing, the tracks in this release are filled with grief and despair perfectly translated into musical notes.

    The album opens with solemn acoustic guitars and clean vocals in “Cold Guiding Light”, just before switching gears into ravaging growls and mournful violin arrangements. This track slowly erodes at the listener’s psyche with dramatic atmospherics. “Empty Hearts” continues the misery with distant weeping guitars and melancholic vocals. The band’s signature contrast between crushing riffs and growls with more mellow passages is very effectively delivered in this track.

  • Malokarpatan - Cesta podzemnými sálami Kovovlada (2019)

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    Hailing from Slovakia, Malokarpatan delivers a re-issue of their 2018 EP via Sun & Moon Records. While we don’t really subscribe to the hype behind the band, this 7” presents us two conceptually related tracks that continue to push the boundaries of the genre, as the band has set to do since their origins a few years ago.

    The release opens with an instrumental/atmospheric side A track that sets a very sinister and engaging mood. Not too much else to talk about here. Side B gives us a proper old-school Black Metal piece, sounding like Master’s Hammer and Tormentor, but with thicker and more punishing atmosphere. The riffing and vocal’s give this track a very raw and punishing vibe, thanks to the contrasting underlying melodic nature of the track.

  • SLOW - IV - Mythologiæ (2019)

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    Making our start of 2019 a lot more gloomier, today we have SLOW and the re-recording of their 2015 release “IV - Mythologiæ”. Helmed by the multitalented Déhà, this outfit delivers some of the most painful and crushing Atmospheric/Funeral Doom to ever exist and with this release they unleash nearly 60 minutes of monolithic bleakness. Only for fans of bands like Thergothon, Shape of Despair, etc., this music will certainly strike a nerve with its sheer raw power.

    The album kicks off with the desolate soundscape painted by “The Standing Giant”. This track starts with minimalist atmospheric elements and weeping guitars that slowly progress to powerful riffs and deep growls. The pace of this song makes it just magical, allowing the listener to be at the edge of their seat for over 10 minutes. The build-up is one of our favorite elements of the genre and on “The Drowning Angel”, we get a majestic one that takes nearly half the song but unravels into demoralizing brilliant as the song comes to a climax.

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