Unleashing waves of old-school Symphonic/Melodic Black Metal, today we have one-man battalion Inherits the Void and and ‘their’ sophomore full-length release “The Impending Fall of the Stars”. Mixing elements from the early days of bands like Old Man’s Child and Dimmu Borgir, with the raw melody of Immortal, this release delivers 43 minutes of intense music.
Opening with the album title track, we instantly get waves of crushing riffs, a la Galder style, perfectly adorned with subtle but lush keyboards and hellish screams. The immediate vibe is quite retro, but with crisp production values. As “Palingenesis”, “Where the Oceans Lost their Might” and “Sullen Laments of the Wanderers” roll by, the listener will find itself headbanging to the expertly crafted melodic core of the band’s sound.
Some releases are just too awesome to have a digital only release, and thanks to Avantgarde Music, today we have Moonlight Sorcery’s latest EP “Nightwind: The Conqueror From the Stars” available in different physical formats. Featuring a very interesting mix of old-school Black Metal with a heavy Melodic edge, this band perfectly captures that 2000’s vibe when the genre was pumping out excellent releases.
Hailing from Finland, this outfit quickly sets a hectic tempo with the magical “Ancient Sword Of Hate” and its uncompromising melodic riffing. Filled with furious lead guitars and blistering drumming, this track is quite punishing and yet highly engaging. With a thrashier edge, “Yötuulten Kutsu” has a certain early Children of Bodom-meets-Alghazanth vibe and we totally love it. Definitely one of the best tracks in this release.
Unleashing a very unique release that has a certain retro Death Metal vibe paired with some crafty proggy and dreamy passages, Disillusion delivers their 4th full length release with “Ayam”. Originally founded back in the 90’s, this band has slowly evolved into more avant-garde territories, but still manages to keep some of that old-school vibe in their highly elaborate music. For fans of early 90’s Melodic/Doom Metal to fans of Opeth, Anathema, and Devin Townsend, this release has something for nearly everybody.
Opening strong with “Am Abgrund”, we get a very unique old-school Benediction meets Ihshan vibe thanks to the contrast of growls, clean vocals, proggy guitars and crafty trumpets. The band brilliantly balances their more experimental and proggy edge in tracks like “Tormento”, “Driftwood”, with this last track dazzling users with soaring vocal melodies and waves of melancholy, giving those Anathema vibes
Showcasing a very different side of their music, today we have Germany’s Décembre Noir with their latest EP “Pale Serenades”. Featuring a re-interpreted version of an individual track of each of the band’s previous releases: "The Renaissance Of Hope", "Autumn Kings", "Forsaken Earth" and "A Discouraged Believer", the listener is treated to a more naked and direct approach from the band, creating a very unique and powerful experience.
The release opens with “A Swan Lake Full of Tears”, a very solemn and melancholic track which also features Nick Moss on guest vocals, adding that extra punch to make the song even more special. Next up, we have the fragile “Barricades” with lush and dramatic piano arrangements alongside Aaron Stainthorpe’s mournful guest vocals. This is certainly our favorite track of the release.
Unleashing one blistering barrage of punishing Melodic Black Metal riffs, today we have Wyrms and their fourth full-length release “Sarkhral Lumænor - La lueur contre les fléaux”. Other than having one of the longest album titles in 2022, this album perfectly blends unparalleled intensity with sinister BM foundations, creating a very Windir/Vreid meest Atmospheric/Suicidal BM atmosphere.
Immediately setting a hellish pace, “La messe de l épée” slowly transitions from dreamy atmospherics into all-out Black Metal onslaughts filled with intense guitar work and ravaging drumming. This level of intensity is perfectly on display on pieces like “Fort blanc et bêtes noires” and “Entre gueux et rats”, where the melodic aspect of the band's sound nicely creates a very effective and direct mixture that will have listeners furiously headbanging.
The highly productive Tuomas Saukkonen is back with one more new release in 2022, now with his main band Wolfheart and “King of the North”. Featuring around 50 minutes of engaging and highly addictive music, this release continues his Melodic Metal explorations with plenty of melancholy and a few surprises here and there. Always keeping things interesting and very high quality, this release will surely please all of his fans.
Setting a very regal mood with “Skyforger”, the keyboards give way to signature melodic riffs and very well crafted headbanging-inducing tempo changes. Shaking things up a bit, “Ancestor” is a faster track with guest vocals from Jesse Leach of KSE fame, giving the song a different edge (no, not metalcore), thanks to the clean vocal arrangements and melodic passages. While “Knell” has more of a Gothic vibe due to its imposing atmospheric keyboards and slower paced sections.
It has been a while since we got an album that we have to drop everything we are doing in order to pay full attention. Luckily for us, An Abstract Illusion’s sophomore release “Woe” is one of those rare gems. Unleashing nearly one hour of highly melancholic Atmospheric/Melodic Death/Progressive Metal, this band will turn heads with their excellent songwriting skills and brilliant delivery. Just think of Cynic meets Bel’akor meets Countless Skies, as this release is both explosive and bombastic.
Opening with the crafty “The Behemoth That Lies Asleep”, the band sets a magical and dreamy mood with dramatic guitar leads and ethereal atmospherics. Reminding us a bit of Andora’s Persefone, “Slaves” perfectly balances agression with lush instrumental passages and crafty arrangements. Clocking in at 11 minutes, “Tear Down This Holy Mountain” is one blistering piece that expertly builds momentum with dramatic tempo changes, including some magical jazzy passages.
The always evolving Björn Strid and Soilwork are finally back, with yet another boundary smashing release. Far from the band’s original Melodic Death Metal style, it seems like this band style is heading in a collision course with Björn’s other band The Night Flight Orchestra sans the 80’s glam. Most of the tracks are both soothing and catchy, with a rock’n’roll vibe, leaving aside from time to time, some of their heavier elements from before.
Starting with some funky folky atmospherics of the album title track, it quickly brings back some familiar onslaughts as there are plenty of heavy riffs and harsh screams, blended in with soaring melodic passages. This initial impression is quickly changed with “Nous Sommes La Guerre”, a piece more in the Night Flight Orchestra vibe, with pop-ish edges and engaging vocal melodies. The band’s duality to more melodic and ‘accessible’ pieces, and the heavier melodic DM influences is a bit confusing and chaotic as they transition through pieces like “Electric Again” and “Valleys of Gloam”.
Unleashing a blistering piece of majestic Symphonic/Melodic Black Metal, today we have newcomers Pestilent Hex. Polished in over five years, this album captures the magic of keyboard driven BM of the 90’s, with similarities to Emperor, Tartaros, Limbonic Art, however, the band manages to sound like something completely different. Be prepared for a dramatic and highly engaging 40-minute experience.
The release opens with the album titled chapter I, which sets a very hectic opening with blistering drumming, furious riffing, and powerful harsh vocals. This track nicely morphs into a very dramatic and intense atmospheric affair with piercing synths and lush piano arrangements. Both “Nature of the Spirit” and “Mephistophelean Liaison” perfectly build up on such a killer opener with tons of dynamic arrangements, dramatic tempo changes, and heaps of emotion and melody, making up for a very powerful first part of this release.
Unleashing one of the most majestic and expertly crafted mixtures of Atmospheric/Folk and Melodic Black Metal, today we have Saor and their latest release “Origins”. As the brainchild of Andy Marshall, this outfit has continually gotten better over the years and with this release they reach the pinnacle (for now) of their craftsmanship and songwriting abilities. Featuring six tracks and nearly 42 minutes of music, this is definitely one of the top releases of 2022.
Opening with the regal “Call of the Carnyx”, we get the band’s signature melodic riffing alongside crafty atmospheric and very ethereal clean vocals. As the track progresses more Folk elements are baked into the mix, perfectly leading to the lively “Fallen” and its graceful guitar leads intertwined with harsh screams and killer tempo changes. Never leaving the Folky and mystical nature of the band’s sound behind, “The Ancient Ones” is a magical piece where all these elements perfectly work together to create a very intense mood.