Melodic Metal

  • Aethyrick - Pilgrimage (2022)

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    Releasing their third album in three years, Finnish mysterious duo Aethyrick show no limits to their creativity and melancholic sound with “Pilgrimage”. Featuring 42 minutes of bleak and desolate Melodic Black Metal, the band’s sound continues to get refined and streamlined perfectly delivering highly emotional pieces with a compact core sound.

    The aural journey begins with the incisive “The Turning Away” and its piercing subtle atmospherics, perfectly paired with intricate guitar work. Those minimalist keyboards work wonders when used to accent a well written track. As the band settles into this release, “In the Chapel of One Spirit”, “Threefold Resurrection”, and “Winds of the Wanderer” brilliantly shift the mood from blistering to more introspective and melodramatic as in the latter track.

  • Agathodaimon - The Seven (2022)

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    Back in the day, Agathodaimon was one of those bands that pushed Black Metal into Symphonic/Gothic territories with some brilliant releases like “Blacken the Angel” and “Higher Art of Rebellion”. Unfortunately the band split up in 2014, leaving behind great promise and a very solid and unique sound. Fast forward to 2022, Sathonys is back with Chris Bonner on vocals and a set of new members with “The Seven”.

    Featuring ten tracks and around 45 minutes of music, this release feels a bit exploratory, unleashing some killer tracks alongside some odd elements that take a few listens to fully digest. As “La Haine” rolls in with piercing riffs, hellish harsh screams and a fast pace, time is erased and Agathodaimon is certainly back. There are some superb sinister melodic passages that change the mood of the track and are nicely adorned by lush synths, alongside some not-so-great clean vocals. This approach is mimicked in “Ain't Death Grand” and “Ghosts of Greed”, both fairly solid tracks but with odd and contrasting clean vocal arrangements.

  • The Mist from the Mountains - The Mist from the Mountains (2022)

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    Creating a very unique and timeless-sounding release, today we have Finland’s The Mist from the Mountains and their eponymous debut full-length album. Mixing elements from old-school Borknagar and Arcturus with the ferocity and melody of the modern Black Metal of bands like Uada and Mgła, this release delivers nearly 40 minutes of pure musical bliss.

    After a folky build up, “Empyrean Fields” grows into an all-out head banging section with catchy riffs and intense drumming. Here is where that Mgła/Uada melodic (and yet blistering) style blends into the band’s late 90’s/early 2000’s Nordic BM influences as pieces like “A Paean to Fire” and “Thus Spake the Tongueless Serpent” deliver that dynamism that soaring clean vocals and crafty instrumental and atmospheric arrangements bring to the table.

  • Amorphis - Halo (2022)

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    Just when you think that Amorphis music can not get any better, the band comes out with their killer latest release “Halo”. Dropping over 55 minutes of stellar music, the band continues to deliver polished, highly melodic, and extremely intoxicating Melodic Metal songs. Full of the epic vibe that the band’s releases carry, this album takes things further with even more bombastic arrangements and soaring vocal melodies.

    Quickly warming up, “Northwards” delivers epic arrangements on top of the band’s traditional bombastic sound. Thanks to killer guitars provided by Esa Holopainen (leads) and Tomi Koivusaari (melodic), the band’s signature sound stays intact, with a few additions of more folky elements courtesy of Santeri Kallio’s synths on pieces like “On the Dark Waters”, “A New Land”, “War”, and “When the Gods Came”.

  • Krvna - Sempinfernus (2021)

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    Unleashing waves of Vampiric Black Metal, today we have Australia’s Krvna and their debut full-length release “Sempinfernus”. With over 35 minutes of intense music, this release reminds us of early Dimmy Borgir, Old Man’s Child, and similar outfits, filled with atmosphere and harshness. For a one-man project, this release packs a mean punch and high replay value.

    Opening with the sinister “From The Shades Of Hades…”, the atmosphere immediately feels tense and eerie thanks to blistering drumming, intricate guitar work and devilish vocals. Things turn a bit more melodic and less chaotic with the melodic onslaughts of “...To The Targovistean Night”, contrasted by its punishing aggressive sections. We are suckes for epic melodies and the track “The Triumph Of The Flesh Over The Spirit” is one fine piece of melodramatic guitar work.

  • Solacide - Fall from Eternity (2021)

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    With almost every Finnish musician playing on an average of 3 bands, we get tons of high-quality outfits like Solacide. This band features an intense Melodic Black Metal sound filled with excellent musicianship and solid songwriting capabilities. In “Fall from Eternity”, the band unravels nearly 40 minutes and seven tracks of music reminiscent of bands like Old Man’s Child, Dimmu Borgir, and Naglfar.

    Opening with the album title track, the band quickly makes a statement with commanding guitars, blistering drumming and subtle atmospherics. Being far from linear, playful pieces like “Forsaken Gods” perfectly blend the band’s Symphonic BM core sound with some progressive elements thrown in the mix, alongside some killer vocal lines. Changing the pace with the instrumental “Oblivion”, the band returns with the lush, more elaborate, and slightly slower tempo “Far Beyond Reality”.

  • Venues - Solace (2021)

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    Unleashing a lively mixture of Modern/Alternative Metal with some *Core elements, today we have Germany’s Venues and their latest release “Solace”. Featuring a brand new singer, Daniela ‘Lela’ Gruber, the band delivers nearly 40 minutes of superbly catchy music with soaring vocal melodies and heavy distorted guitars. Similar to outfits like Amaranthe and Sumo Cyco, this band has a more Metalcore aesthetic and edge to their sound.

    Opening with the heavy guitars and harsh vocals of “Razorblade Teeth”, the band sets a heavier mood than their previous release, however, Lela’s vocals nicely balance the band’s sound. As the band delivers pieces like “Whydah Gally”, “Rite of Passage”, and “Uncaged Birds”, the listener is presented with a masterful combination of atmospheric synths, engaging clean vocal melodies, and crafty heavier parts for moshing and non-stop headbanging.

  • Necronautical - Slain in the Spirit (2021)

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    Unraveling a very powerful and yet engaging Symphonic/Melodic Black Metal release, today we have UK’s Necronautical and their crushing “Slain in the Spirit”. Perfectly blending elements from the early days of Dimmu Borgir, Old Man’s Child, and Emperor, this release balances nostalgia with excellent craftsmanship and brilliant execution for nearly one hour of high-octane music.

    Opening with the blistering “Ritual & Recursion”, the listener is treated to pummeling drums and intense synths, creating a very hectic tempo as the harsh screams roll in. There is a certain sinister vibe that the riffing of “Occult Ecstatic Indoctrination” creates, and is nicely flanked by crafty tempo changes, piercing guitar leads and dramatic vocal arrangements. The combination of female operatic clean vocals alongside the harsh screams creates a very playful and effective dynamic.

  • Jinjer - Wallflowers (2021)

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    When a band usually says that their latest album is the heaviest to date, they are usually just playing the marketing game. However, once in a blue moon, this is actually true, and “Wallflowers” from Jinjer is one of those rare exceptions. Featuring an even more explosive and expansive sound than before, this release will certainly propel the band’s status thanks to its incisive and crafty songs.

    The band opens with the in-your-face track “Call Me A Symbol” and never looks back, from Tatiana’s mountrous harsh vocals to the throbbing bass guitar and crafty drumming, this track sets a very intense pace. Songs like “Colossus”, “Vortex”, and “Disclosure!” perfectly showcase the band’s versatility and explosivity, going from playful clean vocal passages to crushing guitars and diverse tempo changes.

  • Arcane Existence - Colossus (2021)

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    Hailing from the USA, today we have newcomers Arcane Existence and their lush and haunting Symphonic/Melodic Black Metal release “Colossus”. With a very lively and engaging style, the band borrows from some of the genre greats (Dimmu Borgir, Cradle of Filth, etc.) but manages to carve a different and unique style for themselves. For nearly 56 minutes this release will certainly transport you to a different world, exactly what albums like this one should do.

    Opening with the lavish “Mystic”, the band sets a very cinematic and mysterious mood, thanks to lush symphonic arrangements and crafty Metal elements. As the album progresses, tracks like “Sovereign Blood” and “Transmutation” show the heavier side of the band with pummeling drums, varied riffs, and a good balance of harsh and clean vocals. With small transition pieces like “Formation” before more elaborate and moody tracks like Dimmu Borgir-esque “Conclave”, the band keeps the album interesting and fresh.

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