Delivering a very unique and melancholic release, today we have Avantgarde Music’s latest signing Laburinthos and their debut release “Augoeides”. Featuring five very unique sounding tracks, this band crafts a blend of Gothic Rock with some excellent Dark Wave influences that they eloquently call Labyrinthine BlueWave. With very emotive vocals and a depressive aura, this band reminds us to the likes of The 3rd and the Mortal, Yearning and those types of band’s from the late 90’s.
Opening with the very dramatic “The Great Brothel of Mankind”, the mood is set quite well with such a rich and complex piece. The lush keyboards greatly adorn the well-paced bass guitar and the guitar work. The vocals are very theatrical and fit the music quite well. With even more powerful keyboards, “Crucified Among My Loves” delivers a very interesting tempo changing track. This song reminded us of the initial use of keyboards in Death/Doom Metal from the early 90’s by the Dutch bands, like The Gathering, Etherial Winds, etc.
Outputting a combination of hateful and weird Black Metal similar to Deathspell Omega and Xasthur with some hints of older Blut Aus Nord, Situs Magus delivers their first chapter with the name of “Le Grande Oeuvre”. Intended as a one piece release, this album is split into five movements that showcase the band’s ability to create wicked atmospheres and delivers gut-wrenching screams accompanied by twisted riffing.
Hailing from France, this new band has a very well consolidated sound for being the new kids on the block. Immediately after the intro, the band’s power is felt by the very dense “Oeuvre au Noir”. Crafting a very depraved and thick atmosphere the band delivers a very grim Black Metal feeling underneath all the atmospheric events. The riffing is quite traditional and the singing is as good as you can expect it, but the pacing of the track is what makes Situs Magus quite interesting.
Featuring the original members of Manes, today we have Manii and their crushing ‘slow’ Black Metal that brings us back to the early days of Scandinavian Black Metal but will a depressive/suicidal edge that makes the songs slow and punishing at the same time. Manes is one of those clear examples that shows that too much experimentation and weird shit going on in one release takes things a bit too far and alienates people. With Manii this two man band goes back to the basics with raw screams, piercing riffs and well-crafted drumming.
Thankfully for the older fans of Manes, there is still some hints remaining here and there, but the new band’s focus is more on the atmospheric side of thing. Crafting thick and memorable atmospheres is a craft that seems to escape many of the newer bands but on “Kollaps” this is never the issue. Opening with the martial “Skoddeheim”, the band really sets a very slow and painful tempo, reminding us in times to Shining (Sweden) and Bethlehem. The atmospheric elements are bone-chilling and the overall pace of the track makes the vocals sound even more depraved and powerful.
Falling into the dreaded ‘what the fuck is this’ category, today we have Poland’s Echoes of Yul and their sophomore release “Cold Ground”. In this release we have a duo creating ‘very disturbing’ and dissonant music, but not in the right direction since this release point-blank: SUCKS. While there are tons of people wishing to get distribution of their music, it baffles us when bands like this one have a reputable label such as Avantgarde Music.
Starting with the dull atmospheric “Octagon”, this release has pretty much nothing really happening until you hit “Libra”, the ninth track out of thirteen. The band delivers short ramblings of incoherent sounds and some very sparse riffs with OK drumming (considering …. well, any other band). Making noise and stringing a few riffs together and having a creepy atmosphere does not really constitute making music in our book, but seems like this band has managed to make this even more annoying, kind of like having a monkey punching your balls every 10 seconds.
As they mention in their myspace page, this is sick music for sick individuals, and I can’t agree more. This is something that every true black metal fan should listen and have in their regular playlists.
This band has truly captured the old feeling of black metal and has managed to improve on it by their use of synthesizers along some their songs, reminding me of Alghazanth’s The polarity axiom and Osiris - Typhon Unmasked.