Metal Blade

  • Kardashev - Liminal Rite (2022)

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    Completely blowing us away with their EP “The Baring of Shadows”, earlier this year, we now have Kardashev’s sophomore full-length release and it is even more grandiose than their EP. Featuring almost one hour of music, this release delivers the perfect balance between aggression, technical proficiency, atmosphere and melancholy, in one very unique and explosive package.

    After setting a very mysterious and imposing mood with the spoken words and atmospherics of the opener, “Silvered Shadows” shows the band at its element with a lush mixture of Progressive/Death-core/ and Post-Metal. This amalgamation of styles creates a very sublime and dreamy atmosphere, nicely bleeding into pieces like “Apparitions in Candlelight”, “Lavender Calligraphy”. Which nicely combines a mix of dreamy clean and crushing growls.

  • Midnight - Let There Be Witchery (2022)

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    Unleashing waves of intensity and playful catchiness, Midnight has always stood out from the rest thanks to their bizarre lyrics and brilliant delivery. With “Let There Be Witchery” the band takes their sound to new levels with ten pummeling tracks filled with devilish sleaziness. Perfectly blending old-school Speed Metal elements with Black Metal undertones, this band is one that no Metalhead should miss out on.

    The release kicks off with the blistering pace of “Telepathic Nightmare”, a solid piece with crafty guitars and extreme catchiness. Building up momentum, ravaging tracks like “Frothing Foulness”, “In Sinful Secrecy”, and “Nocturnal Molestation”, perfectly transmit that sleazy old-school vibe that the Athenar masterfully crafts thanks to the stripped-down sound and funky lyrics.

  • Hate - Rugia (2021)

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    Led by Adam Buszko, Hate is one of Metal Blade’s heaviest bands and they have returned with a vengeance with “Rugia”. Unleashing nine tracks and nearly 40 minutes of devastating music, Hate features a sound similar to Behemoth but with its own brand of aural poison and intensity. If you are a fan of Blackened Death Metal, and bands like Belphegor and Azarath, this is one release you can’t miss.

    Opening with the album title track, the band makes a vicious statement with crushing riffs, devilish snarls and tight drumming. The band’s sound is quite refined and vicious, allowing them to introduce melody alongside their superbly brutal and swift onslaughts, evidence of this are songs like “The Wolf Queen”, “Exiles of Pantheon”, and one of favorites “Awakening the Gods Within”. Not just blasting the listener away with sheer brutality, the band systematically attacks with their musicality and execution.

  • Fractal Universe - The Impassable Horizon (2021)

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    With the Progressive/Technical Death Metal scene getting crowded, it is hard to find releases that are both excellently crafted and technically proficient. It takes good musicians to do the latter, but an excellent band to do first. France’s Fractal Universe have been slowly refining their trade and with “The Impassable Horizon” the band reaches new heights. Rivaling cohesive albums from bands like Between the Buried and Me and Obscura, this release is brilliant in all its aspects.

    Opening with “Autopoiesis”, we instantly get blistering onslaughts of crafty drumming, intense guitar solos and a wide variety of crushing vocal arrangements. Not stopping at just awesome, “A Clockwork Expectation”, “Interfering Spherical Scenes”, and “Symmetrical Masquerade” perfectly blend virtuosity with excellent songwriting skills. With influences ranging from more traditional Tech Death Metal, to Jazzy and even Groove/Djent Meshuggah-esque elements, each track is a unique and expansive musical journey.

  • Cannibal Corpse - Violence Unimagined (2021)

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    Unleashing one of their most crushing and ravaging releases of their long career, today we have the legendary Cannibal Corpse and their latest effort “Violence Unimagined”. Clocking in at 42 minutes over 11 tracks, with the addition of Erik Rutan as lead guitarist, the band sounds refreshed and ready for blood. Rarely disappointing over the years, Cannibal Corpse manage to blow past expectations due to the sheer brutality and effectiveness of this release.

    As “Murderous Rampage” kicks off this release, we immediately see the fantastic interplay of Corpsegrinder’s signature growls alongside blistering guitar work, including some intense leads. With tracks like “Necrogenic Resurrection”, “Inhumane Harvest”, and “Condemnation Contagion” featuring the traditional meaty hooks, crafty tempo changes, and violent drumming, we found ourselves furiously headbanging most of the time.

  • Kardashev - The Baring of Shadows (2021)

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    Creating a very unique and distinctive sound, today we have Kardashev and their latest EP “The Baring of Shadows”. Self-proclaimed as “Deathgaze”, the band’s music merges elements from bands like Deafheaven and Alcest with proggy Deathcore elements. We have to say that this mixture is quite excellent as it delivers over 25 minutes of lush and melancholic music, while keeping a nice dose of heaviness.

    Opening with “A Frame. A Light”, we instantly got the Deafheaven “Sunbather” chills as the track starts with very dreamy guitars. Slowly building momentum, we get lush clean vocals and sweeping guitars to serenade you into submission. The tempo changes are subtle and nicely contrast the harsh vocals and more distorted parts with richly atmospheric clean vocals and mellow passages. Right after the first song, “Snow-Sleep” shakes things up delivering a more traditional Deathcore aggression with nice mellow interludes.

  • Cult of Luna - The Raging River (2021)

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    Still suffering PTSD from remembering that our last in-person concert was exactly 11 months ago, watching Cult of Luna, Intronaut and Emma Ruth Rundle, today we have Cult of Luna and their latest EP “The Raging River”. As a great intermediate step between their 2019 opus “A Dawn to Fear” and what is next to come, this release showcases the band firing on all cylinders and delivering their highly refined atmospheric brand of Sludgy Post-Metal for over 38 minutes.

    The band instantly set their captivating atmosphere with the crafty “Three Bridges”, a slow moving piece that quickly delivers massive layered guitars and lush percussions. The more signature-styled “What I leave Behind” features high-octane melodic passages alongside the cathartic moments we all know and love from Cult of Luna. The harsh vocals are something that we always enjoyed from this band as they perfectly juxtapose the band's aggression alongside their elegant arrangements.

  • Tribulation - Where the Gloom Becomes Sound (2021)

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    Delivering one of the early surprises of 2021, today we have Tribulation and their latest release “Where the Gloom Becomes Sound”. While we have never been huge fans of the band, the maturity and darkness of this release is highly addictive. The band’s Gothic/Dark Metal sound of later years has evolved very nicely, unleashing over 48 minutes of intricately crafted music that is both catchy and engaging.

    Opening with the sinister “In Remembrance”, the mood instantly turns bleak thanks to Johannes Andersson’s characteristic snarl that perfectly adorns layered guitars and moody tempo changes. The band’s sound is not immediately straightforward as you get a mixture of Doomy Heavy Metal with Gothic undertones, but the band makes it quite accessible and distinct from what others are doing, a testament to this are songs like “Hour of the Wolf” and its crafty intoxicating guitars, the warm and fuzziness of “Leviathans” with some Psychedelic Metal/Rock elements, to the playful darkness of pieces like “Dirge of a Dying Soul”.

  • Trial - Sisters of the Moon (2021)

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    Showcasing their new vocalist, Arthur W. Andersson, today we have Sweden’s Trial and their EP “Sisters of the Moon”. Featuring two cover songs, one from Fleetwood Mac and another from Black Sabbath, these tracks feature the band firing on all cylinders while paying tribute to some excellent tracks.

    Opening with “Sisters of the Moon”, the twin guitar attack of Alexander Ellström and Andreas Johnsson perfectly frames the songs as Arthur’s talented vocals make their appearance. As you can expect, the band makes the song their own, filling it with attitude and crafty musicianship. Proper homage to the mighty Black Sabbath is hard to do, but Trial achieves it with their dramatic and engaging rendition of “Die Young”, including killer guitar leads and vocal antics.

  • Six Feet Under - Nightmares of the Decomposed (2020)

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    In the last few years we stopped writing bad reviews, as we receive more promos than we can write about, we pick our battles and only write about the good stuff. However, sometimes, there comes a release so terrible that we are just pissed about having listened to it, and want to vent about it. Today the honor belongs to Six Feet Under and their latest ‘effort’ “Nightmares of the Decomposed”. While we loved the band in their heyday… like 10-15 years ago, their quality of their latest albums has gradually decreased.

    The album starts with one of the salvageable tracks in this release with “Amputator”, while nothing revolutionary, it captures the band’s old-school ferocity and catchiness. The sluggish “Zodiac” delivers some of the most dubious vocals in this release as they just sound completely uninspired alongside grungy riffs. The album continues on a downward spiral until the terrible “The Noose” comes along, delivering one of the most boring and badly crafted songs we have heard in quite a while, even though it has some nice heavy riffs, Chris Barnes sounds completely bored in an attempt to rhyme.

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