• Wallower – Vanishing In Bloom (2014)


    At Infernal Masquerade we usually receive anywhere between 20 to 40 promos each week, so going ‘off script’ to review something requires a killer release. Wallower and their savage mixture of Black Metal with Shoegaze have managed to stand out enough for us to review their killer debut EP. Under the title “Vanishing In Bloom”, we are presented with four brilliant songs that deliver a rare mixture of melody and harshness perfectly in harmony.

    The release explodes wide open with their pummeling “Meteor”, a blistering track that features ear-piercing vocals and superb guitar work. The bands demolishing sound is very raw and brutal, perfectly balanced by the shoegazy parts thrown into the mix. While not as cathartic as Deafheaven or atmospheric as An Autumn for Crippled Children, the band perfectly captures the rawness and bleakness behind acts like Ghost Bath and Heretoir, as shown in the crafty “Dispel”.

  • The Passion of Our Souls – Soulmates (2015)


    Riding on the tailwinds of bands like Amaranthe that play catchy pseudo-pop-ish Melodic Metal, today we have The Passion of our Souls from Finland. This Finish duo deliver four tracks of catchy riffs, memorable melodic passages, and solid vocals that are quite engaging and will get stuck in your head.

    Opening with “Give Me Your Soul”, the band instantly grabs your attention with some catchy hooks and very pleasing female vocals, courtesy of Julia Mattila. The male harsh vocals are a bit on the ‘too raspy’ side, but they seem to work with the music. While this release is catchy and mellow, it is also quite heavy as the opening of “Everything” will show you. The band is not just a convert to Metal, but rather one that has strong (and heavy) Metal foundations.

  • Ashen Waves – Premonitions (2015)


    With a very engaging sense of experimentation and lush Post-Metal/Prog influences, today we have Ashen Waves and their debut album “Premonitions”. Being from the USA, the band brings some of that European ingenuity into their music with a very diverse blend of musical genres cohesively put together to deliver 10 tracks of solid music.

    Opening with the Amorphis/Vintersorg influenced “Whispers”, we are treated to a very promising opener that perfectly blends multiple genres. We particularly enjoyed the upbeat keyboards and crafty mixture of clean and harsh vocals. The band’s next musical exploration is the surprising “Enmity” that delivers a healthy mix of Doom/Sludge riffs with dreamy Post-Metal/Proggy passages. While this style might sound odd, the band gracefully pulls it off.

  • Obduktion – Mors Janua Vitae (2014)


    Hailing from Greece, today we have old-school Death Metal outfit Obduktion and their crushing new EP titled “Mors Janua Vitae”. In this short but sweet two-song EP, the band delivers old-school sounding Death Metal that brings back the times of Grave, Morgoth, Unleashed, etc.

    Opening the EP we have the neck snapping “Kings of Terror”, a track that has just the right amount of retro elements but with a sharp modern production. The drumming is quite catchy and combined with the riffing, we get a similar vibe to Grave and their earlier releases. Things pick up with the traditional-sounding opening seconds of “Lordship of Superior”. This opening few seconds have a Thrash vibe that nicely morphs into a crunchy groove onslaught.

  • Sylvaine – Silent Chamber, Noisy Heart (2014)


    Hailing from Norway/France, today we have female multi-instrumentalist Sylvaine. Delivering her debut release titled “Silent Chamber, Noisy Heart”, this one-woman outfit crafts very melancholic and atmospheric post-rock with some alternative rock and even metal elements. Featuring ten tracks, this debut release will greatly appeal to fans of The Gathering, Les Discrets, Alcest, and similar atmospheric outfits.

    After the mood-setting intro, “It Rains in My Heart” quickly sets a Shoegazy vibe with some Alcest like riffs and quickly morphs into a very bleak and melancholic tune with Sylvaine’s excellent vocals. The song is quite haunting and reminds us a bit of bands like Shellyz Raven and Elbereth. There are also some pretty harsh vocals also provided by the band’s only member, giving this track an extra kick. With “Silent Chamber, Noisy Heart”, we have a full-on Les Discrets style tune that is quite enjoyable and relaxing.

  • Oceans of Night – Midnight Rising (2014)


    The USA Progressive Metal scene has been growing in the last few years, and surprisingly besides the premiere bands, there are many newcomers (or smaller bands) filled with quality like Oceans of Night. As the brainchild of multi-instrumentalist Scott Mosher, “Midnight Rising” marks the third full-length release of the band and greatly shows improvement over their previous albums. Coming in at nearly one hour of music, this release combines early 90’s Progressive Metal elements with the futuristic vibe of Dol Ammad and Ayreon.

    Opening with the atmospheric “The Haunted Mind”, the band seamlessly transitions into the Heavy/Power Metal elements of “Midnight Rising”. In this last track, Scott Oliva shines through the expertly crafted riffing and percussions. Breaking up the flow, the highly atmospheric “Critical Mass / The Breathless Sleep” nicely changes the pace of things before the epic “The Burning Sky”. As one of our favorite tracks in this release, the instrumental passages and guitar solos are just amazing in this one (there is a guest solo in this track by Chris Rifkin).

  • Deconstructing Sequence – Access Code (2014)


    Hailing from the UK, today we have one of the most interesting bands we heard in 2013 return with their EP titled “Access Code”. The Deconstructing Sequence this time around delivers 16 minutes of music in two superbly written tracks that will only make you crave a full release from the band even more. The band’s progressive sound paired with their futuristic atmospheric elements makes them standout immediately.

    Opening with “A Habitable World is Found”, DS makes you believe things will be going a more ‘traditional’ way with the Death Metal-ish opening as they deliver growls, crushing riffs and powerful drums. This nicely changes as time goes by into their trippy atmospheric passages with multiple vocal styles and very proggy sounding synths. The track nicely culminates with spoken vocal sections and the nicely cascading musical elements as a backdrop.

  • Derdian – Human Reset (2014)


    Out of the hundreds of releases we receive at Infernal Masquerade every month, it is always refreshing to find some extremely well produced self-released albums that sound better than some more popular and well-established bands. Luckily for us, Derdian’s 5th full-length release is one of them with their well-refined Power Metal that reminds us of bands like Rhapsody of Fire, Blind Guardian, Stratovarius, etc.

    After the typical atmospheric opener, “Human Reset” kicks off with the album title track delivering excellent vocal melodies and a very healthy pace. The band’s sound is clearly very well refined and everything sounds just right, making the songs flow like water. As the album keeps providing us with gems like “In Everything” and the melancholic “Mafia”, we are greatly impressed with the perfect union of crafty drumming, playful keyboards and soaring vocals.

  • May the Silence Fail – Of Hope and Aspiration (2014)


    Arriving from Germany, today we have Melodic Death/Gothic Metal outfit My the Silence Fail and their debut full-length release “Of Hope and Aspiration”. Featuring a solid mixture of traditional Melodic DM elements with some more modern Groove/Core influences, the band delivers a very solid 11 track release that will keep you entertained for a while.

    The release quickly sets a very lively tempo with tracks like “Gods are Long Since Dead” and “Return to Mind”, both showcasing the dual harsh/clean female vocals approach that works very well with the band’s highly dynamic sound. One of the band’s biggest selling point for people that are not 100% sold on music and need gimmicks, is that both singers are females, so yes, they have a female growler for your amusement. The guitar leads are quite well crafted and make up for very cool passages like on “If It Wasn’t For You”.

  • Scorned Disciple – The Cosmic Dance of Shiva (2014)


    Arriving from Sweden, today we have a very unique single under the title “The Cosmic Dance of Shiva”, from the band Scorned Disciple. Featuring two tracks of very catchy and intricate Progressive Death Metal, this is one release that truly stands out from all the other bands just trying to copy somebody else.

    The release opens to some Djent-like passages that quickly shift into traditional Death Metal territory with the growls and basic riffs. Being always in the move, this track constantly changes tempos and delivers very unique sections that while not straightforward, are very well put together. The band’s musical-style/vocals combination has a certain Sepultura-esque vibe to them, something that might not be apparent at first, but you will soon realize.


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