Melodic Metal

  • Saturnus – Saturn In Ascension (2012)


    Finally!! after six years since their last release, Saturnus returns with their latest masterpiece of Melancholic Death/Doom Metal titled “Saturn In Ascension”. Featuring eight tracks, this release will only help the band elevate their legendary status as the best band of their genre. With a mixture of the elements that have made this band’s musical trajectory impeccable, the songs in this release deliver high doses of raw emotions transmitted by truly melancholic music.

    Opening with the crushing “Litany of Rain”, the band reminded us of their “Paradise Belongs To You” era with a straightforward growl fest filled with emotional riffing. The characteristic vocals of Thomas Akim Grønbæk Jensen really set the band apart from the rest and his mixture of growls and clean sections work wonders in this nearly 10-minute epic.

  • Flagellated Seraph – Beyond Salvation (2012)


    Mysterious Swedish outfit Flagellated Seraph delivers us their debut full-length release titled “Beyond Salvation”. With six tracks of fast-paced Melodic Black Metal, this band will surely surprise you with the quality of their music. Coming from Hellthrashers Productions, we expected something totally different from this release, and we are very glad it turned out this ways since some of the songs in this album are just killer.

    Opening with a warm-up track “Reminiscence of The Serpent”, the band fully unleashes its riffing power as “He Who Bears the Mark”. While at first this might seem like your average run of the mill BM band, the song suddenly shifts into excellent melodic territories. Reminding us of older Dark Funeral, Marduk, and the likes, Flagellated Seraph has the skills to deliver extreme intensity tracks that are very well crafted. The massive drumming is one example of the band’s mystery musician’s abilities.

  • Winterfylleth – The Threnody of Triumph (2012)


    With the same power and intensity of bands like Primordial, today we have Winterfylleth and their highly anticipated third release “The Threnody of Triumph”. After re-releasing their debut masterpiece earlier this year, “The Ghost of Heritage”, through their current label Candlelight Records, the band is ready to return with yet another excellent release. Everybody that claims to play Black Metal with atmospheric elements should take a page of the Winterfylleth book since they manage to create very furious songs that suddenly change 180 degrees and blow you away with some brilliant atmospheric stuff, the best example is the opener track “A Thousand Winters”.

    Furiously blasting through tracks like “The Swart Raven”, “A Memorial”, and “The Glorious Plain”, the band will decimate your ears with their uniquely crafted wall of sound created by the distorted guitars and greatly complemented by the majestic drumming. This sound is greatly enhanced by the occasional keyboard hints here and there and it gets elevated through the excellent clean vocals the band throws around.

  • Swallow The Sun – Emerald Forest and the Blackbird (2012)


    Like a fine aging wine, today we have the North American promotional cycle for Swallow The Sun’s latest opus “Emerald Forest and the Blackbird”. And while we already had this release in awesome green vinyl for quite a while (available here) , we are finally writing a review for this masterpiece. With four full-length releases already under their belts, the band does an excellent job in pushing their sound into a more melancholic and even more depressing vibe that is rarely equaled by any other band these days.

    Founder Juha Raivio has managed to keep the band’s sound evolving little by little, and by keeping most of the band together since 2001 (the drummer left in 2009), they have grown very well as a unit and this album demonstrates it clearly. Opening with the very mellow “Emerald Forest and the Blackbird”, the band immediately sets a very somber and dense mood that is the exact trademark of Swallow the Sun. The riffs are very powerful and the tempo changes are perfectly introduced to keep the listener engaged in this nearly ten-minute long opener.

  • Devilish Impressions – Simulacra (2012)


    Making quite an impact since the first song, today we have Poland’s Devilish Impressions latest release titled “Simulacra”. Being properly released through Lifeforce records this July, this is one of those albums that combines so many different elements in a very cohesive and successful way, making it super diverse and extremely exciting.

    “Icaros” opens with release with a mixture of Vintersorg meets Dimmu Borgir atmosphere, thanks to the hefty use of synths and the awesome clean vocals. Setting the bar this high, the band also delivers pretty solid melodic Black/Death-ish music that is very direct and well crafted. The atmospheric side of things keeps making this album very appealing in “Legion of Chaos”, but it is the massive drumming and heavy riffing that ultimately makes this song super catchy and effective.

  • Valfreya – Path to Eternity (2012)


    Canada’s answer to Arkona comes with the name of Valfreya, and their debut full-length release titled “Path to Eternity” showcases the band’s talents. Fronted by Crook, the band’s charismatic female vocalist, Valfreya delivers a good 50 minutes of an intense mixture of Melodic Black Metal with Folk Metal elements, perfectly balanced to create epic moments similar to the ones created by bands like Wintersun, Equilibrium and Turisas.

    With the intro track bleeding into “Deity's Grace”, the band quickly establishes a very regal sound with a crystal clear production. Gradually increasing its intensity, “Path to Eternity” is a very well-crafted album that showcases a promising band with a very rich sound. Alternating between angelic clean vocals and demonic harsh screams, Crook does an excellent job in carrying the band through the 10 tracks presented in this release.

  • Inside the Fall - …As Life Withers (2012)


    Arriving all the way from Spain, today we have Inside the Fall’s debut EP titled “…As Life Withers”. Keeping the Death/Doom flame alive, Inside the Fall does an excellent job in crafting five emotional tracks that feature all the elements fans love about the genre. We are huge fans of Death/Doom and this release is one of the best we have received so far this year.

    Opening with the highly energetic “Highest Walls of Despair”, Inside the Fall shows their skill in creating a good riffing structure with emphasis on melody, but keeping the Doom characteristics that we all know and love. The growls are very powerful and nicely thrown into the mix, there are a few vocal layering elements that add extra depth to the song. Mixing clean and harsh vocals the ‘doom passage’ in this track is very well mixed into the track.

  • Catamenia – The Rewritten Chapters (2012)


    In the current age of remakes and rehashes of anything from TV shows, Movies, and comics, it was about time to have a re-recording of some sort. Catamenia delivers 15 re-recordings of many of their hits, and having nine full-length releases under their belt makes it a daunting task to pick the songs that are worthy of the band’s newer Blackened Heavy/Melodic Metal sound.

    With a few new band members as well, the band rips open this release with the powerful “Hollow Out – ChaosBorn” from their 2003 “Chaos Born” album. Immediately showing their strength, this song is very riff intensive and with a brutal combination of growls and shrieks, it just sounds amazing. The signature Catamenia sound is ever present, but the more clean and modern edge to their recent releases also seeps into the older songs in a very effective way. “Blackmension” from “Eternal Winter's Prophecy” follows and keeps the intensity of this release very high, the keyboards particularly shine in this great song.

  • Disguise – Second Coming (2012)


    With a very interesting combination of Melodic elements and furious Black Metal, today we have Italy’s Disguise and their latest release “Second Coming”. In this eight-tracks 42-minute effort features very powerful songs that are nicely contrasted by a few keyboards and even some Black’n’roll tracks that will surely please any fan of bands like Satyricon, Dark Funeral and Anorexia Nervosa.

    With punishing riffs and a very brutal drum track, the album opens in full strength with “Fragile Certain Death”. The overall pace of this song is very typical of late Satyricon, but with an emphasis on being brutal. The atmospheric/melodic elements start being more noticeable on tracks like “I am Alone” and “The Origin of the Unknown”. In these two songs the band goes on full endurance mode with some furious speed-up sections that rival Dark Funeral’s stamina.

  • Antagonist Zero – Nighttime Harmony (2012)


    Delivering one of the most interesting sounding EP’s we have received in quite a while, today we have Antagonist Zero and their 3-song debut EP “Nighttime Harmony”. Self-labeled as “Catatonic Metal”, the band mixes Doom and Death/Black Metal element in a very effective manner. With an excellent production behind this EP, the three tracks sound like a million bucks, and also left us wanting more from this young and promising band.

    Opening with a very slow-paced jazzy intro, “AZ” is the EP’s first track that shows excellent musical skills since the first few minutes. Once the growls kick in, we are immediately sold on the band’s rich and powerful sound. The guitar riffs are excellent and the drumming is pretty well crafted, the melodic nature of the music reminds us of Insomnium, Swallow the Sun, and similar Finish bands.


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