Bringing back the days of Dreams of Sanity-like Gothic Metal/Rock, today we have Dark Letter and their debut EP titled “Psychomachia”. Featuring a simple yet effective approach to the genre, this young Polish outfit delivers five solid tracks filled with atmosphere and somber vocals. If you liked Gothic Metal bands from the late 90’s, this band will bring those days back to life with their 26 minutes of music.
Opening with the mysterious “Toy”, the band sets a very mellow mood when pairing keyboard arrangements with well-structured drum patterns and Beata Golińska’s singular vocal style. Her style is a bit more firm and natural sounding than most actual female leads of the genre, giving the songs enough power and firmness to sound dark and not too sweet. The playfulness of tracks like “Romasanta” allows the listener to enjoy multiple facets of the band’s musical skills.
Hailing from France today we have a very interesting release from the enigmatic Amiral!, titled “Les Territoires interdits”. Mixing ambient and trip-hop influences, this release moves the band further into the cinematic realm with very futuristic and tense pieces that elevate the listener’s state of consciousness.
Opening with the very ethereal and magical “Barry”, this one-man outfit sets a very unique and promising mood. Other tracks perfectly complement each other in terms of buildup like “Nu, dépouillé” and the very upbeat “Jericho II”. We prefer more dreamy songs like “Papa maman”, the mysterious “survivre en mer” and the very peaceful “réserve indienne”. Amiral!’s strength lies on the ability to create very piercing songs that while minimalist in nature, engage the listener in multiple ways.
Freshly arrived from France, today we have the lively Irradiance and their latest release “Dissidence”. Playing an interesting combination of Progressive/Symphonic Metal with some jazzy and Rock influences, this outfit delivers ten brilliant songs that will keep you at the edge of your seat. For fans of Epica, Stream of Passion, and similar outfits, this release is very bombastic and engaging.
Opening with the lush “Children’s Game”, the band’s singer Audrey Dandeville, instantly comes center stage with her excellent operatic vocals. This opening song is quite catchy and structured in a way that grabs the attention of the listener. There are some unique elements that remind us of Diablo Swing Orchestra thrown into the mix that might catch some people off-guard, but we think they are super cool. Continuing strong, “The Soldier and the Child” allows Alexandra Vallet, the band’s violinist to change the course of an already excellent track.
Hailing from the Netherlands, today we have a short but sweet 7-inch release from a band named Vandersloot. Featuring six tracks, this release delivers a very unique combination of Sludge and Punk that gets the listeners going with its high-octane approach to the genres. Keeping things simple, the Dutch trio crafts straightforward songs that are quite catchy and heavy at times.
Opening with the all-out Punkness of “Socially Stabbed”, we are quickly introduced into the band’s unique world. The riffs feel a bit heavier than normal and as “Frustration” creeps on the listener, we start noticing their Sludgy edge. This last track is also quite melodic in nature, showing even more versatility from this outfit.
Delivering brilliant waves of Doom/Sludge/Post-Metal misery, today we have Deathkings and their sophomore release “All that is Beautiful”. Clocking in at 62 minutes, this four song release is both punishing and extremely melancholic. We are quite surprised that the band is unsigned due to the quality of their material and how the North American scene is eating up bands that play this style of music.
Opening with the bleakness of “Sol Invictus”, the band slowly builds up from some spacious Post-Metal momentum-building passages (a la Neurosis) to more hectic Doom/Sludge inspired riffing onslaughts. The pairing of the combination of multiple styles of vocals with the brilliant atmosphere crafted by the roaring guitars fits perfectly with the intricate drum patterns and overall pace of the music. Reminding us of bands like Fall of Empyrean and Mournful Congregation, “The Storm” delivers a very precise Doom message with some solid Post-Metal influences, making it one of our favorite tracks in this release.
Hailing from Italy, today we have one-man dream machine Neutra and its latest hypnotic opus “Music for an Exhibition”. Delivering five tracks of superb ethereal music, this is one of the most engaging and transforming Ambient releases we have heard in a while. Evoking the delicate precision and ambiance created by Robert Rich, this Italian band manages to captivate for the complete duration of this release.
The album kicks off with the angelic “After The Flood” and its very dramatic piano sections. Having very subtle mood changes, this opener tracks sets a very enigmatic and dreamy stage. Continuing with the playful “Paranthenogenesis”, the mood shifts to a more space-like cinematic vibe. Our personal favorite is the somber “Point of View” and its dramatic progression.
Always pushing the envelope, French bands have managed to craft some of the most interesting Metal albums of the past few years. Today is the turn for Necroblaspheme and their crushing Atmospheric mixture of Black/Death/Sludge Metal, on their third full-length release “Belleville”. Featuring members and ex-members of Glaciation, this outfit delivers a very unique sounding mixture of elements that will entertain all fans of any of the genres they combine.
Opening with the dissonant riffs of “Rempart”, the band crafts a very thick and sickening atmosphere that weaves back and forth between aggressive vocals and catchy guitar melodies. As “Le discours du bitumen” and the instrumental “How Did We Get There” roll in, we start to see the band’s true intentions with their highly aggressive wall of sound that brilliantly transforms over the duration of each track.
Hailing from Pori, Finland, today we have a very exciting young Melodic Death Metal band named Event Relentless. On the debut EP “Cold Black November”, we are taken back to the early days of Children of Bodom with five tracks filled with no bullshit Melodic Death Metal and killer atmospheric keyboards/synth.
Leading with the acrobatic “Duality”, the band instantly establishes a very melodic and engaging vibe. The riffs are pretty good and the and the overall combination of fast guitars and enveloping keyboards makes it very engaging and enjoyable, very similar to CoB’s earlier days. Delivering another high-octane thrill ride, we have “Beyond the Speed of Light” and its headbanging melodic passages. This track reminds us a bit more of Kalmah and their ‘slower’ paced style of melodic Death Metal.
Receiving music from new and promising relatively unknown bands is one of the best perks of writing for Infernal Masquerade. Today we have one of the good ones with Wakener and their self-titled debut EP. Featuring four songs and around 18 minutes of music, this release showcases a band that perfectly executes Melodic Death Metal and traditional Death Metal in a very old-school way, this allows them to stand out from the hundreds of over-the-top MeloDeath outfits that have plagued the scene in the last few years.
Opening with the superbly catchy “Life of Fear”, we have a grainy production that perfectly captures the melodic riffs and the rough harsh vocals. The band focuses exclusively in crafting melodic passages that are perfect for headbanging, similar to what The Elysian Fields did many years ago. Continuing with the equally impressive “The Plague”, the band does a great job in crafting nifty melodies alongside tight drumming and the perfect tempo for this kind of music.
Arriving from Finland, today we have Deep River Acolytes and their superb debut EP titled “From the Voids of Chaos”. Featuring three songs clocking in at around 20 minutes, this release showcases the skills of a promising young band. Highly recommended for people that like Sludgy Doom/Heavy Metal releases, this album will get you going on a dark and cloudy day thanks to its upbeat and playful nature.
Opening with the incisive riffs of “Misleaders”, the catchy twangy vibe is quickly evident, even before the vocals come into play. Having established a certain vibe, the band never lets go and continues to deliver catchy sections and very well crafted tempo changes that keep things fresh and enjoyable. We particularly enjoy the psychedelic rock keyboards that are used, giving the band one extra dimension.