The catchiest band in Metal returns in the middle of the pandemic with one of those bombastic releases that will have you entertained from start to finish. With “Manifest”, Amaranthe continues their path of delivering superbly entertaining and epic sounding songs filled with lush vocal arrangements and a good amount of heaviness. With a “if it ain't broke, don't fix it” attitude, the band continues their lively musical path.
Kicking off with the explosive “Fearless”, we instantly get Amaranthe at the top of their game with an over-the-top lush track filled with soaring chorus sections, the juxtaposition of harsh vocals and the lovely siren chants of Elize Ryd, and futuristic synths. This momentum is carried forward with the heavier “Make it Better”, and the playful “Scream My Name”, an expertly crafted piece that unleashes probably some of the catchiest passages in the history of the band.
Unleashing what is most likely the most explosive and melodic Black Metal release of 2020, today we have Uada and their third full-length release “Djinn”. Slowly refining their craft over time and gathering wide acclaim over the last few years, this North American outfit delivers almost 60 minutes of non-stop high-octane music that will have people headbanging from start to finish. If you like bands like Mgła, Pilorian, Inquisition, etc. you will love this exciting release.
Opening the release with the album title track, the band sets a relentless pace with superbly catchy riffs and a very engaging and energetic vibe. The dual guitar attack of James Sloan and Jake Superchi, works magically as their intensity and craftiness is quickly evident, creating a very powerful mood and the perfect environment for furious headbanging, as shown in the opener and the blistering “The Great Mirage”. Other tracks like “No Place Here”, show a mellower and yet still incisive side to the band’s superbly melodic musical approach.
Featuring a truly captivating and engaging Melodic/Symphonic Black Metal sound, today we have Sweden’s Ages and their sophomore release “Uncrown”. In the intense 42 minutes of music of this release, the band gives us a bit of a nod to the past of the genre, while crafting nine extremely catchy and effective songs. If you like bands of the caliber of Dissection, Naglfar, Keep of Kalessin, etc., you will love this band.
Opening with the hectic “Burn Them”, the band instantly creates a very high-paced tempo that gives us a bit of a certain Vreid/Windir vibe as the crafty guitars and harsh vocals are introduced. The band continues their high-octane approach with the devilish “Illicit State” and its dramatic atmospherics. We are particularly loving the head banging fest incited by the superbly melodic passages of “Herolds of Enslavement”.
Returning in full form after their previous acoustic release, today we have Winterfylleth and the ferocious “The Reckoning Dawn”. Unleashing over 50 minutes of their signature Melodic/Epic Black Metal, the band continues to wow listeners with their perfectly balanced ravaging sound. With tons of bands trying to sound like this UK outfit, it is quite clear that Winterfylleth is leaps and bounds ahead of the competition.
Opening with the lush “Misdeeds of Faith”, we get the band’s signature vocal melodies and punishing guitar onslaught. The band’s expansive sound is perfectly layered to deliver a striking balance between brutality and melody, as we can hear on “A Hostile Fate”, one of the most intense and powerful tracks of this release. For those wanting more of the acoustic guitars of their previous release, “Absolved in Fire” nicely warms up to this tone before exploding into crushing riffs and a very intense tempo.
Unleashing one of the catchiest Melodic/Gothic Metal/Rock releases of 2020, today we have Finland’s Nicumo and their latest release “Inertia”. With a sound very reminiscent of bands like To/Die/For, H.I.M and even The Man Eating Tree, this band brings back a sound that has slowly been dying and delivers nine superb tracks for the nostalgia fans of emotional and catchy music of the mid 2000’s.
The album kicks off with the soaring vocals of “Three Pyres”, a very subtle track that showcases the band’s influences from both the Metal and Rock scenes. The mixture of vocal styles and excellent guitars make for a very catchy and engaging opening song. With a very well defined formula, the band delivers superbly catchy songs like “Dark Rivers”, “Witch Hunt” and its epic chorus section, and the moody “Tree of Life”. For those looking for more mellow and introspective pieces, “Same Blood” has that ballad-esque edge, similar to bands like (late) Lacrimas Profundere.
After a super busy touring schedule since joining Architects since mid-2016, Josh Middleton and company finally return with their crushing fifth full-length release “Cycle of Suffering”. Building up on their powerful Melodic Death/Thrash Metal sound, this release unleashes 50 minutes of crafty music filled with intricate guitars and punishing aggression. Like no time has past, this release continues the band’s legacy of well crafted brutality and melody.
Quickly getting in the listener’s face, “Empty Prophets” delivers an exquisite balance of crunchy riffs and crafty guitar leads. Others might prefer the more melodic and mellow side of the band with tracks like “I Server” and the album title track delivering a unique mixture of Death-like guitars and intricate melodic passages. The headbanging value of the band’s music is unrivaled as we can enjoy sweeping transitions from dramatic melodic passages into brutal agressive onslaughts thanks to Josh Middleton’s harsh vocals.
Consistently pushing their sound and delivering excellent releases, today we have Delain’s fifth full-length release “Apocalypse & Chill”. With a very modern concept and image, the band unleashes 13 hyper catchy songs that are full of lush orchestrations and the signature angelic vocals of Charlotte Wessels. If you are a fan of the band, this release will certainly rank among their best, after a small adaptation period.
Opening with style, “One Second” sets a very bombastic and explosive mood. The band’s well oiled machinery seemingly effortlessly crafts one intense and lush opener. As the band experiments with some electronic elements on tracks like “We Had Everything”, “To Live is to Die”, and “Chemical Redemption”, we get a slight modern Within Temptation and Amaranthe edge, but of course with Delain’s brilliant balance of melody and crunchy guitars. While the band hasn’t gone full-on mainstream Pop-ish Metal, this release does hedge them a bit more into that space.
Today we have a highly melodic Black Metal entity called Vananidr and their latest full-length release “Damnation”. With a vicious edge to their sound, this band perfectly blends old-school Melodic BM elements with modern production values and a knack for long and seizure inducing headbanging passages. Showing that you don’t need too many bells and whistles to deliver a punishing performance, this album is one of the most direct and yet well-crafted releases we have heard in quite a while.
Opening with the hurricane like-tempo of the blistering drumming of “Distilled”, the listener is treated to a ravaging song with crafty tempo changes and a very oppressive atmosphere. The harsh vocal snarls perfectly pair with the sinister atmosphere crafted by the band’s mixture of piercing guitar riffs and melodic tremolo-picking passages, as perfectly outlined on the album’s title track and in the superbly catchy “Hunter”.
Because playing traditional Melodic Death Metal is just too easy, Finnish outfit Dimman throws some unique elements into the mix and creates a superbly catchy sound in “152”. Comparable to offerings by bands like Silent Descent, this EP present a refreshing take on the genre and showcases the quality of this promising band. If you like Melodic Death Metal and don’t mind a few extra added elements, this EP will surely surprise you.
Starting with the Turmion Kätilöt-esque “Capsized Reverie”, some people might be instantly put off, but it is just part of the band’s unique combination of elements to create a completely distinctive sound. After the initial show, this track is quite a Melodic DM staple with killer guitar leads and catchy passages. The mood suddenly turns dark and doomier with the album title track, filled with melancholic passages and dramatic piano sections.
The amount of quality Polish bands breaking into the Metal scene in the last few years has been outstanding. Today we have Devilish Impressions and their uniquely Melodic/Symphonic Blackened Metal style. Featuring all new members other than founder Quazarre, the band delivers a very promising and short EP, demonstrating their excellent craftsmanship and promise of what is to come.
Starting with the bleak “Dvma”, the band sets a very enigmatic and oppressive mood. The catchy guitar work is perfectly contrasted by a nice variety of vocal styles and tight drumming. We particularly enjoy the creepy mournful slower sections that are highly atmospheric and pretty eerie. The meaty hooks of “Cingvlvm Diaboli”, give a certain Death Metal vibe to this more intense track, filled with Satyricon-esque guitars and solid headbanging passages.