Continuing the tradition of uncovering and promoting some truly unique artists around the world, Avantgarde Music is set to unleash Bolt Gun and their latest release “The Tower”. With five tracks and over 50-minutes of music, this release is quite intoxicating and mysterious, brilliantly covering everything from Doom Metal to Post-Rock to Ambient. Recommended for fans of bands like The Ocean, Cult of Luna, and Neurosis.
Slowly setting a very unnerving mood with “The Tower”, the band patiently unravels their layers as they transition from Ambient territories into heavier Sludgy/Doomy land alongside jazzy Saxophones and harsh vocals. The band excels at creating magical tempo changes that could go into dark territories or just all-out aggression, perfectly weaving together long masterfully crafted tracks with many angles and dynamic shifts like the brilliant “The Vulture”.
Just when you think a band and their music can’t get any better, ISON comes at us with the majestic “Stars & Embers”. Daniel Änghede brings back Lisa Cuthbert to achieve total dreaminess in the eight tracks presented in this release. Perfectly blending Ambient with Darkwave and some additional ‘Doomgaze’ elements, this release is both haunting and captivating. While it might require a specific mood for full enjoyment, this release has been a great backdrop to some long days at work.
The release opens with the lush and sidereal “Luminescent Reverie”, a piece that instantly transports the listener to have an astral projection experience as the music blends with the hypnotic vocals and masterful pacing. ISON always has this experience on us, as their music is quite lush in the atmosphere and vocals department. Lisa’s range is amazing, allowing her voice to shift across songs this release progresses, additionally, Mikael Stanne lends his signature clean vocals in a duet on the shoegazey “Peregrination”.
Unleashing nearly 45 minutes of hellish Black Metal, today we have international supergroup Høstsol and their debut full-length “Länge leve döden”. Featuring Niklas Kvarforth on vocals, Cernunnus (Manes) on guitars, Rainer Tuomikanto (Ajattara) on drums, and Vesa Wahlroos (Ajattara) on bass guitar, this stacked lineup delivers five tracks of intense music that is both moody and demoralizing.
After an atmospheric mood setting opening, “As seen through the eyes of the prophet” nicely warms up to melodic riffs and Niklas Kvarforth’s signature snarls. While the opener does not show all the cards the band has, “Det som en gång var (det kommer aldrig igen)” quickly escalates into crushing heaviness with intense drumming and blistering guitar-work alongside a throbbing bass guitar line. This track is as sinister as they get, perfectly shifting the release to higher gears.
Unleashing waves of old-school Symphonic/Melodic Black Metal, today we have one-man battalion Inherits the Void and and ‘their’ sophomore full-length release “The Impending Fall of the Stars”. Mixing elements from the early days of bands like Old Man’s Child and Dimmu Borgir, with the raw melody of Immortal, this release delivers 43 minutes of intense music.
Opening with the album title track, we instantly get waves of crushing riffs, a la Galder style, perfectly adorned with subtle but lush keyboards and hellish screams. The immediate vibe is quite retro, but with crisp production values. As “Palingenesis”, “Where the Oceans Lost their Might” and “Sullen Laments of the Wanderers” roll by, the listener will find itself headbanging to the expertly crafted melodic core of the band’s sound.
Some releases are just too awesome to have a digital only release, and thanks to Avantgarde Music, today we have Moonlight Sorcery’s latest EP “Nightwind: The Conqueror From the Stars” available in different physical formats. Featuring a very interesting mix of old-school Black Metal with a heavy Melodic edge, this band perfectly captures that 2000’s vibe when the genre was pumping out excellent releases.
Hailing from Finland, this outfit quickly sets a hectic tempo with the magical “Ancient Sword Of Hate” and its uncompromising melodic riffing. Filled with furious lead guitars and blistering drumming, this track is quite punishing and yet highly engaging. With a thrashier edge, “Yötuulten Kutsu” has a certain early Children of Bodom-meets-Alghazanth vibe and we totally love it. Definitely one of the best tracks in this release.
Delivering two tracks of switch brutality and incisiveness, today we have Kanonenfieber and their short but punishing EP “Der Füsilier”. Featuring two relentless tracks, this EP showcases the band’s raw power alongside their melodic undertones and craftiness. For fans of Black Metal that is just weird enough to be different, this is a band to keep in your sights.
Hailing from Sweden today we have Grá and their fourth full-length release titled “Lycaon”. For the uninitiated, Grá is the original band from Heljarmadr, Dark Funeral’s current vocalist. Unleashing eight tracks of superbly catchy and in a way a bit retro Black Metal, this release will give you a very nice and eerie Hypocrisy vibe, while delivering its swift punch. If you like old-school Melodic Black Metal, this is certainly an album to explore.
Opening with the superbly catchy “White City Devil”, we immediately got Hypocrisy circa “The Fourth Dimension” vibes and we totally loved it. The band however, keeps things more on the Black Metal side with incisive riffs, crafty drums, and a playful bass guitar line. As “Flame of Hephaestus”, and “Torn Asunder”, one can quickly appreciate that Heljarmadr is also a pretty solid guitarist, as most tracks feature very catchy guitar work that is both engaging and punishing.
Unleashing one of the dreamiest and most ethereal releases of 2022, today we have Remina and their debut album “Strata”. Formed as a project of vocalist Heike Langhans (ex-Draconian, Light Field Reverie) and Mike Lamb (Sojourner, Light Field Reverie), this release delivers over 40 minutes of highly atmospheric and truly cinematic music. Mixing elements from ISON and Light Field Reverie, this band creates truly emotive music that will take the listener on a magical journey.
The release starts building momentum with the solemn opener “Aeon Rains”, which slowly progresses with Heike’s enchanting vocals and a slew of distant guitars, crafty electronics and melancholic atmospherics. The Doominess first comes under the name of “Obsidian” and its slow and mournful riffs, perfectly enshrouding the layered vocals. By the time “Dying Sun” comes around, the listener is already fully immersed in a trance, perfectly crafted by the band’s powerful atmosphere and melancholic powers.
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.