Delivering a guest-appearances filled full-length release, today we have Canadian ONI and their return “The Silver Line”. As a brainchild of Jake Oni, the music created is an interesting mixture of Progressive/Djent Metal with some Metalcore elements. Featuring nine tracks and 30 minutes of music, this release has quite enjoyable and epic songs that are quite dynamic and engaging.
Opening with “Silhouette”, we get a nice contrast between powerful distorted guitars, clean soaring vocal harmonies, and crafty atmospheric synths. The songs are well written and all have catchy hooks, what makes the release even more enjoyable is the assortment of guests used like Sueco on “Spark”, “Underneath my Skin” featuring Kellin Quinn, and “Aura” with Jost Gilbert and Howard Jones. They all bring a different edge to each track, keeping things fresh.
Immediately doing a double take to figure out if Garm from Ulver was singing on this one, Anatomy of Habit unleashes their latest release “Black Openings”. Creating a very unique and intricate atmosphere, this release delivers over 38 minutes of an experimental amalgamation of Doom, Post-Punk, Drone, and a few other genres. If you like hypnotic music with singular vocals and crafty instrumentation, you can’t miss out on this one.
Opening with the engaging “Black Openings”, the band quickly sets a very mellow mood that slowly progresses as it hooks the listener with its mystery. As Mark Solotroff vocals come on, the listener will immediately think of Ulver as he sounds just like Garm. However, this is not the only stand-out element from the music as it brilliantly layers tons of elements like a vibraphone, lap steel, and analog synths to create a nice and warm loungey vibe.
Hailing from the USA, today we have one-man outfit Dreams of Gray presenting us with their debut EP “The World After”. Featuring three songs of catchy and engaging Melodic Metal that incorporates elements from Thrash, Doom, Heavy Metal, this release is quite a solid, but short, introduction to the band.
Unleashing aural waves of misery, today we have Finland’s, Serotonin Syndrome, and their third full-length release “Seed of Mankind”. Perfectly blending Post-Metal/Post-Black Metal elements with sobering melancholy, this release unleashings five tracks and nearly 40 minutes of brilliant music. Highly recommended for fans of bands like Karg, Harakiri for the Sky, and Heretoir, this release will certainly turn days cloudy and gloomy.
Opening with “Among Others”, the release starts heavy hitting with piercing riffs and crushing vocals. This slowly transforms into slower passages that set a very bleak mood early on. As “The Pitiful One” rolls in, the band keeps unleashing blistering aggressive sections in between dreamy guitars and crafty tempo changes. With “Seed Of Mankind” the release takes an interesting tour into Karg/Harakiri for the Sky-esque territories with lush guitars and some shoegazey passages.
Formed by Aðalbjörn Addi Tryggvason (Sólstafir) and Ragnar Zolberg (Sign/x-Pain of Salvation), Isafjørd is a new project that delivers a very unique and bleak form of Post-Rock, filled with desolation and despair. Perfect for the winter, this release clocks around 52 minutes of expertly crafted music divided in eight tracks filled with melancholy and atmosphere. If you like Post-Rock, but of the more depressive kind, this is an album you can't miss.
Opening with the trance-inducing “Falin Skemmd”, the band really sets a low-energy desolate mood with weeping guitars and crafty percussions. Aðalbjörn Tryggvason’s vocals perfectly fit the level of melancholy created by the group and when sung in Icelanding add that extra layer of uniqueness as they transmit emotions without necessarily understanding the lyrics, as “Mín Svarta Hlið” and “Hjartastjaki” perfectly capture.
Unleashing nearly 20 minutes of catchy old-school Heavy Metal, today we have Sweden’s Neptune and their EP “The Rebirth”. After releasing some demos in the 80’s, this outfit came back in 2017 and you can instantly tell they have a certain vintage to their sound, making them pretty retro (but in a cool way). If you are a fan of the more direct and straightforward Heavy Metal from the past minus the glam and flamboyance, this release should interest you.
Unleashing a monolithic piece of highly engaging and melancholy oozing music, today we have Elegeion, with their first full-length release in 17 years, and “Plights of the Heretic”. Hailing from Australia, Elegeion was one of those bands that we got introduced to via the Modern Invasion Music label, the other band was a personal favorite: Chalice. Continuing exactly where they left off, but with a mostly new line-up, we are treated to 49 minutes of heart-wrenching melancholic music.
The release starts with the album title track featuring some engaging and mysterious momentum building percussion. Around the second and third minute of this song, the Elegeion signature melodic riffs and guitar leads come in alongside Kindabah’s solemn and excellent vocals. The band’s sound is quite unique to them, and its creator Anthony Kwan, but for the uninitiated, it's highly melancholic and yet straightforward. The somber melancholy perfectly bleeds into the excellent “Dust” and its lush string arrangements paired with harsh vocals and a very Doomy tempo.
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.