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”.
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.
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.
Unleashing what is their most mature and yet completely devastating release to date, Anaal Nathrakh returns with the relentless “Endarkenment”. Featuring a more focused and equally crushing sound, this album delivers over 41 minutes of balls to the wall aggression mixed with interesting vocal arrangements and the band’s signature chaotic style. If you liked the band’s previous releases, you will love the brutality and craftiness behind this one.
Opening with the album title track, we are instantly flooded with the band’s superior aural abuse thanks to waves of guitars, blistering drums, and completely chaotic (and yet quite soothing) multiple vocal styles. There is an underlying level of melody that we haven’t seen before, allowing the band to create more ‘breathing’ passages between brutal onslaughts. As the duo continues to pummel through this release, songs like “Thus, Always, to Tyrants” and “The Age of Starlight Ends”, keep the intensity to the max, while unleashing some interesting vocal theatrics on this last song.
Unraveling part two of their cinematic masterpiece “Phanerozoic”, today we have Germany’s The Ocean (Collective) with 50-plus minutes of captivating music. Split in eight gargantuan tracks, this release keeps the same dramatic and larger-than-life vibe from the previous release while introducing a few new elements into the fold. If you like the band’s previous releases, you will instantly enjoy this blistering release.
Opening with “Triassic”, we are immediately immersed into the band’s subtle instrumentation with calming guitars and a very mellow and hypnotic pace. The first thing that stands out is Loïc Rossetti’s use of different vocal styles, in this track using some effects to add versatility to his already signature style. This is actually one of the biggest differences in this release as there is a lot more use of clean vocals (“Jurassic | Cretaceous” and “Eocene”) and
Crafting one of the richest and most unique musical experiences of 2020, today we have Iceland’s Cult of Lilith with their debut full-length release “Mara”. Surrounding their Death Metal with tons of unique atmospherics, different instruments, and weird thematic elements in some songs, this is one of those Extreme Metal releases that are hard to classify, but very familiar to enjoy. If we had to name a similar band, we could say that this band is a Death Metal version of Fleshgod Apocalypse with some additional folky/baroque elements.
Opening with the brutal “Cosmic Maelstrom”, the listener quickly gets a Brutal Death Metal/Deathcore vibe thanks to the screams/growls combination and the intense riffing, but the atmospheric elements quickly set the band apart. As the album progresses, the Stranger Things-esque opening of “Purple Tide” and dreamy opening to “Atlas”, show the band’s unique ability to craft intricate and aggressive pieces with lush contrasting elements and still deliver their signature brutality.
Delivering a perfect balance of speedy Epic Power/Folk Metal ballads and and folky moody pieces, Ensifeum returns with “Thalassic”. Adding extra depth to their signature sound, the band hedges a bit more into Power Metal territories while keeping their lively and upbeat style for nearly 50 minutes. Perfectly in sync with their earlier releases, this album propels the band’s sound into new territories and pleases fans with intense and engaging songs.
Setting a very epic mood with “Seafarer's Dream”, the band goes full speed with the intense “Rum, Women, Victory”, which features a bit of a Children of Bodom-esque sound mixed in with their traditional blistering melodies and crafty instrumentation. The clean vocals on “Andromeda” really give it a slighter Power Metal edge, greatly elevating this catchy and awesome song to new levels. The same can be said for “The Defense of the Sampo”, which has a certain Stratovarius meets Ensiferum vibe.
Not even the COVID-19 pandemic can stop Behemoth from spewing their powerful gospel, and “A Forest” is the evidence of it. Featuring two new songs and two versions of a cover of The Cure’s “A Forest” with Niklas Kvarforth on vocals, this EP continues the path of devastation the band has set upon their 2018 “I Loved You at Your Darkest” release. If you are looking for a way to stay entertained and headbanging through this pandemic, this short but sweet release will carry you over.
For those The Cure fans, Behemoth’s rendition of “A Forest” is a perfectly fitting one. Adding their own sinister touch and the incisive vocals of Niklas Kvarforth. The combined result is one hell of crushing track with ravaging guitars and punishing vocal onslaughts that perfectly bring the band’s touch to an already classic song. Both the studio and live versions are quite engaging, leaving us wishing we could witness the track being played live one day.
Unleashing a very refined futuristic release, today we have Italy’s one-man band Master Boot Record and their latest release “Floppy Disk Overdrive”. Besides the massive geekiness of the band’s name, concept and the album’s song names, this instrumental release is quite enjoyable and engaging. With the current state of affairs in the world, it is refreshing to be able to escape into a dystopian world with the songs in this release.
Opening with the Blade Runner-esque “ANSI.SYS”, the mood is set to be a very dynamic and engaging one. For those that are not followers of Video Game Metal/Nintendocore, bands like Vomitron and others have been releasing similar 8-bit/MIDI inspired music, but Master Boot Record takes it to a whole new level with additional influences and a bigger and more bombastic theatrical vibe, as shown in songs like “EDIT.COM”, “DEFRAG.EXE” and “DISPLAY.SIS”.
As a very fitting soundtrack to the current global chaos, Gautier Serre’s Igorrr unleashes their most chaotic and yet brilliantly crafted release to date: “Spirituality and Distortion”. Featuring an amalgamation of completely disparate elements like Baroque and Classical Music, Metal and Electronic Music, this release delivers nearly one hour of crazily addictive music. For those that have not been initiated into Igorrr’s madness, this album will definitely blow you away, if you have an open mind.
The album opens on a very mystical note, as it slowly transitions into heavy riffs and the angelic vocals of Laure Le Prunenec. The male vocals are nicely handled by Laurent Lunoir, who turns into a very unique beast-like performer on their live shows, and perfectly adds dynamism to the bands music. Listeners do not have to wait longer to hear Igorrr at its finest with the mesmerizing “Nervous Waltz”, a track that blends lush vocal arrangements, dramatic instrumentation, and electronic madness to perfection.