Stepping aside from all the controversy behind the band, we are just glad that we finally get a follow up to the amazing 2015 “Litourgiya” release. The Metal Blade signed and Bartłomiej Krysiuk-led Batushka delivers a very powerful release that is filled with interesting ideas and a massive atmospheric component. Featuring ten tracks, this release explores a more Black Metal side of things with pummeling tracks that are brilliantly balanced by eerie choir arrangements and superb drumming.
After setting a somber opening chants in “Wozglas”, the band explodes into the catchiness of “Dziewiatyj czas”. This song perfectly blends vicious Black Metal onslaughts with dreamy chants and a very melodic guitar driven vibe, similar to bands like Thyrfing and Vreid. The album’s second single, “Wieczernia” delivers another hellish onslaught of harsh vocals paired with funky guitars, which are quite punishing in nature. In “Powieczerje” we get an interesting mix of classic rock thrown into the band’s atmospheric style, creating a very unique and engaging song that is hard to not listen to over and over.
As a well oiled viking ship sailing through the oceans, Amon Amarth returns with yet another impressive onslaught of headbanging and moshing anthems in “Berserker”. Featuring twelve tracks and a running time of 56 minutes, the band further refines their crushing sound with a more melodic edge and the same amounts of euphoria inducing riffs. For those following the band’s exploits over the years, you will find this release as equally dynamic and impressive as their older ones, with a certain added touch of maturity. If you are new to the band, strap on for one hell of a ride with this one.
With “Fafner's Gold” leading the procession, the band warms up the listener’s with a powerful track, but the single “Crack the Sky” really steps it up a notch with the traditional Amon Amarth crushing melodic riffs. With this song you will instantly be possessed to start headbanging furiously thanks to its playful guitar work and hellish signature vocals. Additionally, the killer guitar leads add that extra level of epicness to an already brilliant song.
Riding high from their 2016 opus “Proponent for Sentience” and their countless tours, Allegaeon finally returns with new music in “Apoptosis”. Featuring eleven tracks of neck snapping Technical Death Metal, this release improves on their last effort while delivering catchy and highly memorable songs. With heavy competition from European bands, Allegaeon clearly establishes themselves as one of the premiere Technical DM outfits in the world thanks to this killer release.
The album opens with an acrobatic bass guitar line that slowly transforms into a more melodic piece in “Parthenogenesis”. This track is the perfect lead-in to the crushing “Interphase // Meiosis”, a track filled with crushing growls and very dreamy melodic passages. Blending intensely melodic passages with technically proficient acrobatics is the band’s specialty and on “Extremophiles (B)” we get treated to a good dose of it. With songs being short and direct to the point, the band’s sound is quite brutal in nature as you can hear from “The Secular Age”.
Unleashing the first candidate for album of the year, today we Týr and their mesmerizing eight full-length release “Hel”. Featuring nearly 70 minutes of superbly catchy and yet very intricate and crafty music, this album elevates the band’s sound to new heights and further cements their legacy as one of the best in their genre. Perfectly combining their signature elements from their early releases with more playful and free flowing elements, this release appeals to fans both old and new from this Faroese band.
Opening with “Gates of Hel”, the band’s charismatic front man, Heri Joensen, unleashes the perfect balance of guitar wizardry and catchiness to create a very engaging and heavy track. We are fans of the band’s usage of multiple layers of vocals and the opener nicely blends them with some harsher screams. As “All Heroes Fall” rolls in, we can instantly feel the band’s traditional proggy magic, mastefully paired with tight drumming patterns and blistering solos. For those looking for the Folkier side of the band, “Ragnars kvæði” has that “Hold the Heathen Hammer High” epic vibe, but on a more somber and dramatic tone.
Unleashing one of the early candidates for best album of 2019, today we have Downfall of Gaia and their crushing masterpiece “Ethic Of Radical Finitude”. Slowly perfecting their trade, this German outfit deliver six brilliant songs filled with unrivaled melancholy and sheer power. With over 40 minutes of majestic atmospheric sludginess, this release perfectly combines Post-Metal elements with Sludge, Crust and even some more traditional Post-Rock passages.
After the opening intro, “The Grotesque Illusion of Being” wastes no time in unleashing brutal vocal onslaughts perfectly framed by dreamy guitars and blistering drums. The band has perfected the ability to unleash both brutal and melancholic pummeling onslaughts. Moving into more crafty territories, “We Purse the Serpent of Time” starts of with ritualistic percussion as the riffs slowly build up to create a crushing wall of sound, the signature style from the band. The clean vocals here add extra depth and mystery to an already pretty impressive song.
After unleashing one of the most gargantuan releases of 2013 with “Pelagial”, The Ocean comes back at us with part one (out of two) of the “Phanerozoic” releases. Intended to be in the middle of their “Precambrian” and “Heliocentric” / “Anthropocentric” releases, both conceptually and musically, this album showcases the band crafting their signature enigmatic atmospheres surrounded by heavy crushing riffs and melancholic vocal melodies.
Slowly building up in the opener “The Cambrian Explosion”, we are treated to an atmospheric opening with playful synths that creates tension and expectation. Things blow wide open on “Cambrian II: Eternal Recurrence” as we are greeted with powerful guitar riffs and intricate drumming. This lush track perfectly layers the aggressive wall of sound with a combination of harsh growls and fragile clean vocal arrangements. Full of surprises, the band’s music is very carefully crafted to feature playful elements that are slowly discovered the more times you listen to each track.
The most recognized Metal band in Poland makes their unholy return with one of the most devastating releases of 2018. With “I Loved You at Your Darkest”, Behemoth takes all the elements they have been refining over the years and unleashes 46 minutes of truly masterful music that blows away all the high expectations riding on this release. With a ravaging attitude and tons of technical grace, the 12 tracks presented in this album are brilliantly engineered to deliver a crushing blow to Christianity and its acolytes.
Opening with the ominous “Solve”, the band sets a sinister and very dark atmosphere that is further elevated by creepy choir arrangements and brutal riffs as it transitions into “Wolves ov Siberia”. With a firm grasp on relentless brutality, this track inflicts major pain thanks to the intense drumming and violent guitar work. Not letting go, “God = Dog” delivers a consecutive blow of massive drums and hellish vocals from Nergal. The contrast between the choir arrangements and the sickening melodic passages make for one hell of a song that is far from average.
Perfectly blending style and brutality, today we have Revocation and their most refined opus to date: “The Outer Ones”. Featuring a sound that is reminiscent of bands like Death, Exmortus and Sylosis, this outfit delivers over 48 minutes of superbly crafted music that will keep you at the edge of your seat. While many bands focus on technicality just for the sake of it, Revocation actually crafts catchy and engaging songs that are highly technically proficient and headbangable from start to end.
Opening with the ravaging “Of Unworldly Origin”, we get crunchy Death Metal riffs paired with intense drumming and hellish vocals. With some killer guitar leads thrown into the mix, this track sets a very lively and engaging mood that feels old-school, but will all the advantages of a modern production. The band continues to show their melodic elements in well paced songs like “That Which Consumes All Things” and the brilliant “Blood Atonement”. This last track delivers intense twin guitars and crafty tempo changes alongside some funky trippy bass guitar elements.
Continuously working on punishing their listeners eardrums, today we have Anaal Nathrakh and their latest opus of madness “A New Kind of Horror”. As one of the most brutal bands in the world, this British twosome deliver ten ravaging tracks that blend elements from Industrial/Death/Black Metal with Grindcore aggression in a way they will have you asking for mercy after 5 minutes. If you are a fan of their destructive ways, this release should perfectly please your need for some extreme music.
The aural assault starts with the bone-crushing “Obscene as Cancer” with massive drums and harrowing vocal arrangements that will haunt you for life. We particularly love how the band adds the clean vocals as a contrast to their demoralizing music, giving them a certain Borknagar-esque vibe but in a completely different, and more brutal, context. If you are not punished enough, “The Reek of Fear” features some creepy atmospherics that we equate to the trumpets of the rapture.
Unleashing one of the most brutal live releases of 2018, today we have Poland’s Behemoth and the “Live Satanist” audio CD part from their massive “Messe Noire” live release. Delivering the nine songs from their crushing 2014 release “Satanist”, the band showcases their tight live set and raw power they deliver to crowds. If you haven’t been able to see the band live, this release certainly brings that experience to your ears from the comfort of your own home (or car).
The mood is brilliantly set by the mysterious opening of “Blow Your Trumpets Gabriel”, as the band levels the audience with incisive riffs and sheer heaviness. The album perfectly captures the band’s top-notch live production, allowing every single instrument to shine, with the layering just right. Showcasing their extremely tight live sound, the band pummels through the albums majestic tracks while leaving the crowd clamoring for more.