Unleashing a highly engaging and extremely well crafted mixture of futuristic atmospherics and harsh Black/Post-Black Metal onslaughts, Stjärnfält returns with its second release “Lapporten”. As a one man-project now based in Sweden, M delivers four masterful tracks that have some elements of Germ, Galaktik Cancer Squad and Angst Skvadron.
The release opens with the sidereal journey of “Kebnekaise”, a 14-minute piece that slowly eases the listener into the band’s magical world. Masterful atmospheric synths are nicely paired with melodic riffs that quickly incite headbanging while the harsh vocals are introduced and tempo changes brilliantly shift the pace of things. After that magical opener, “Bruskleden” keeps the listener impressed with its lush atmospherics and very dynamic pace, creating a truly engaging and exciting listening experience.
When there are seemingly endless amounts of Atmospheric Black Metal bands that all sound the same, it is quite nice to hear outfits like Tome of the Unreplenished and their take on the genre. In “Earthbound”, this originally a project, now a full fledged band, delivers over 46 minutes of captivating music filled with eeriness and interesting ideas.
The opener “Tellurian” unleashes furious riffs and blast beats, more typical traditional Black Metal that slowly transforms into more melodic and atmospheric soundscapes. Particularly a certain epic/folky vibe thanks to the clean vocal arrangements. The band’s style is more of a mixture of Saor and Windfaerer, as tracks like “Unbound” and “Tryst at the Gales of Cyprus” brilliantly mix atmosphere and melody.
As a side project of multi-instrumentalist Noise of Kanonenfieber fame, Non Est Deus delivers waves of superbly catchy Black Metal with a certain retro vibe. With nearly 40 minutes of music distributed in 8 crushing songs, this one-man battalion perfectly brings a nostalgic vibe that has been missed for a while.
The release kicks into full gear with “Save Us”, a crafty piece that creates a piercing atmosphere alongside furious riffs and tight drumming. We particularly like the subtle extra elements that add depth and atmosphere to this piece. Screaming 90’s BM catchiness, “Burn it Down” is one of those tracks that gets stuck in your head thanks to its chorus section, while “Fuck Your God”, “Celebrate The Selfdestruct”, and “Hexenwahn” inflict violent waves of tremolo picking ala Horna.
Always keeping things interesting, Avantgarde Music is set to unleash the debut release of Argentinian outfit Ysyry Mollvün. Eponymously titled, this release delivers nearly 36 minutes of punishing Black Metal, featuring a very old-school Scandinavian vibe paired with some interesting folk elements. While the release is more on the ‘traditional’ BM side, there is definitely some level of uniqueness to this band.
Starting with the ravaging intensity of “K’aux Rise”, the band’s sound is piercing and very guitar driven, featuring some vicious riffs and crafty drumming. Besides the traditional onslaughts, the band teases the listener with an eerie and engaging folky/atmospheric passage with a certain ritualistic feeling. After that small tease, “K’aux See Reconquista Ysyry” and “K’aux Lament” come back in full force with additional waves of aggressive riffs and a very oppressive and yet melancholic vibe.
Unleashing the perfect mixture of atmosphere and crushing aggression, today we have newcomers Vastatum and their debut full-length release “Mercurial States of Revelation”. Hailing from Canada, this duo has crafted a very unique mixture of old-school Scandinavian Black Metal with a modern and melodic twist that needs to be heard.
Opening with the momentum builder “Nascent Mother of Night”, the listener is treated to an enveloping atmosphere led by melodic guitar riffs and sinister malice. The eerie mixture of clean and harsh vocals greatly enhances the atmosphere, creating a cavernous vibe similar to The Ruins of Beverast alongside a more straightforward instrumentation. This whirlwind experience is masterfully carried forward on pieces like the “Fall With Seclusion” and the devilish “Mortal Abrogation”.
Featuring V-KhaoZ of Druadan Forest handling all instruments and Profundus of Sargeist handling the vocals, Olio Tähtien Takana aka “Creature behind the stars” is one crushing two-man battalions ready to take over the Atmospheric Black Metal scene with their full-length release “Spectral Katharsis”. With nearly 5 minutes of superbly crafted music, this band brings back memories of bands like Tartaros and old Emperor and mixes those retro-elements with more modern Atmospheric Black Metal influences.
After the traditional atmospheric intro, “Towards The Dying Moon” instantly brings that old-Emperor circa “In the Nightside Eclipse” sound thanks to its crafty guitars and playful vocal combination. As the keyboards soar alongside the incisive riffs, we get that nice retro vibe, perfectly blending into pieces like “Excrucior” and the dramatic “A Sorcery Written In Stars”. While most bands in the genre focus on adding more fluff and ‘pretty’ up their sound with more synths and cinematics, this outfit seems more focused on the harshness and aggressiveness of their sound and we love it!
Hailing from New Jersey, Windfaerer is one of those bands that has a very European sound and has been turning heads with their intense and yet emotional brand of Black/Folk Metal. With “Breaths of Elder Dawns” the band showcases their highly refined style with over 60 minutes of lush music featuring the perfect blend of musicianship, aggression and melancholy. Highly recommended for fans of bands like Ensiferum, Equilibrium, and Eluveitie.
Opening with the lush string instruments of “Oxalá”, the band quickly transports the listener to a different realm and time. We love that this genre always creates majestic soundscapes and this outfit is one of the best at it. The band is no stranger to playing fast and melodic as the epic “Depletion” showcases this balance alongside some killer guitar leads and dramatic tempo changes.
Unleashing a harrowing Black Metal experience, today we have mysterious French duo Remah and their full-length release “Une Main”. Mixing truly eerie atmospherics with ravaging BM onslaughts, this release delivers over 35 minutes of highly emotional and yet disturbing music unlike anything else on the scene.
After the atmospheric framing of the beginning of “Des rêves sales”, the duo quickly unleashes all hell with furious onslaughts of intense riffing and crushing vocals. However, there is more than meets the eyes, or ears in this case, as the song evolves into a more introspective atmospheric piece with lush arrangements and a sultry sax. This duality is brilliantly exploited as tracks like “III” are both punishing and haunting thanks to their mood changes.
Hailing from Northern Canada, today we have Ulvik and their hypnotic Atmospheric Black Metal release “Cascades”. With elements from outfits like Wolves in the Throne Room, Saor, and similar bands, this release unleashes over 30 minutes of punishing BM filled with lush atmospheric elements and an eerie vibe. If you like meticulously constructed music that is both brutal and engages all your senses, this is the album for you.
Opening with the expansive “Baaltis”, we are treated to an unsettling calm in the first few minutes that slowly escalates into blistering guitars, harsh screams, and very hypnotic drum patterns. As this track dramatically scales back and turns into a lush cinematic experience, “Nokhur” follows up with unapologetic rawness. We particularly enjoy how the ‘clam’ interlude allows for some respite just before more hellish vocals and dissonant guitars disrupt the flow of things.
Unleashing one of the most dreamy and melancholic releases of 2021, today we have ISON with “Aurora”. After the departure of original vocalist Heike Langhans, many of us were concerned about what direction (If any) this project from Daniel Änghede would take. Instead of finding a new singer, ISON enlisted eight unique singers from different bands/projects around the world to bring additional life to its very ethereal music. The result is one hell of an album that any fan of the band will certainly love.
The sidereal journey commences with the dreamy opening of “Jupiter”, as the track progresses distorted guitars lead the way alongside Vila’s dreamy vocals. Signaling things to come, this track sets a very hypnotic mood that is continued with the drony opening of “Waves” and the sultry vocals of Cammie Gilbert. Filled with emotive arrangements and a mellow pace, the album title track brilliantly combines Lisa Cuthbert’s vocals alongside Daniel’s in a very.