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.
Unleashing some of the most incisive and yet superbly catchy melodic Black Metal of 2021, today we have Sweden’s Wormwood and their latest opus “Arkivet”. Delivering the perfect blend of aggression, melody, and melancholy, this outfit unravels 46 minutes of highly intense and piercing music. Recommended for fans of bands like Ellende, Netherbird, and Seth, this release is one of the most impressive ones we have heard in a while.
Opening with the incisive guitars of “The Archive”, the band sets a very high-octane mood thanks to the crafty drums and engaging vocal styles. There is no shortage of brutality in this release as the headbanging quickly starts and alternates with dreamy interludes. Tracks like “Overgrowth”, the melancholic “End of Message”, and the captivating “My Northern Heart”, slowly unravel the band’s very complex and yet precise songwriting, weaving different tempos and styles seamlessly together.
Having released one of our top Melodic Black Metal releases of 2019, today we have Netherbird with their latest opus: “Arete”. Further refining their already crafty and elegant sound, this release unleashes nearly 45 minutes of majestic music, up to the quality level of bands like Dimmu Borgir, Old Man’s Child with a mixture of Uada. Perfectly crafted for fans of melody and aggression, this Swedish outfit have managed to outdo themselves with this highly impressive release.
After the traditional atmospheric intro, the release opens with the blistering “Towers Of The Night” and its incisive guitar work. Both guitarists, Pontus Andersson and Tobias Jacobsson are at the top of their game, creating expertly layered foundations for impressive tracks like “Infernal Vistas” and “Carnal Pentiment”. The overall sense of melody thanks to the dramatic arrangements on pieces like “Void Dancer”, greatly distance the band from the competition as it is perfectly blended with the more aggressive elements.
Perfectly blending melancholy and melody, today we have the latest EP of international duo Enshine, titled “Transcending Fire”. Highly recommended for fans of In Mourning, Insomnium and similar outfits, this release delivers 20 minutes of highly refined melancholic music. Slowly evolving since their 2013 debut release, the band seamlessly blends different influences in a highly appealing and atmospheric package.
Opening with the title track, we are treated to a slow and melodic intro with lush guitar arrangements and highly melancholic atmosphere. The mixture of clean and harsh vocals works in perfect harmony as the track weaves back and forth between heavy passages to more exploratory melody interludes. One of the band’s greatest strengths is the ability to create highly enjoyable songs that are conducive of both fearless headbanging and hypnotic contemplation, as we can hear in “Awake in Void” and the dreamy “Ascend”.
Hailing from Germany, today we have Dawn of Disease 2.0, under the name of Hiraes. Featuring all members of DoD up until 2019 plus a talented new vocalist in Britta Görtz, the band is ready to continue releasing highly melodic Death Metal that is both technically proficient and extremely catchy. Being huge fans of the genre, “Solitary” provides a very promising introduction from this band as they start their journey, already being compared with bands like Dark Tranquility, Nightrage, etc.
The release opens with the moody “Shadows Break” and its incisive guitar work, perfectly paired with Britta’s powerful growls. Crafted with intricate tempo changes, powerful distorted guitars and a perfect pace for headbanging, “Under Fire” and “Grain of Sand” continue the highly melodic and engaging mood. We particularly enjoy how each song is crafted to deliver a different facet of the band while solidifying their core elements, like the traditional “1000 Lights” and the Amon Amarth/Arch Enemy-esque “Eyes Over Black” and its killer guitar leads.
Always surprising us with high quality and engaging releases, Rain Without End records is ready to unleash the third full-length release of Seeming Emptiness, titled “Bliss Entombed”. For the uninitiated, this band features members/ex-members of In Mourning and October Tide while creating a very unique blend of Melodic Death Metal, Doom, with some Post-Rock elements. With over 50 minutes of highly melancholic music, this release will please any fan of the previously mentioned bands and genres.
Opening with the Katatonia-esque “An Impious End”, we get a very moody track with crafty drums, incisive guitars and a well balanced mix of growls and clean vocals. Showing a more dynamic and yet melancholic side, tracks like “What Spirits Forebode” and “Infernal Charade” perfectly mix all of the band’s influences and are complemented with soaring clean vocals and engaging tempo changes.
Unleashing around 40 minutes of expertly crafted Death Metal, today we have Slovenia’s Siderean and their debut release “Lost on Void’s Horizon”. Mixing a core of traditional Death Metal elements with brilliant technical proficiency and some sprinkles of progressive elements thrown into the mix, this release is both crafty and powerful. Never straying too far away from their DM roots, the band nicely explores multiple influences, ultimately delivering a very unique and engaging style of their own.
The release opens up with the thunderous “Eolith” and its fierce guitar onslaughts. Thrown into the mix are some nice mellow interludes that allow the listener to breathe and prepare for the next round of punishment. After the dreamy instrumental, “Traversing”, the band comes back with a more mellow and proggy vibe on the album title track. Having some killer Opeth/Sculptured-esque vibes, this track still grapples to its old-school DM harshness alongside playful and funky melodic passages.
Unleashing one of the most brutal and misanthropic Melodic Black Metal releases of 2021, today we have Seth and their latest opus “La morsure du Christ”. Perfectly blending uncompromising aggression, oldschool elements, and dramatic atmospheric arrangements, this release unleashes 50 plus minutes of majestic music. Having achieved cult status with only a handful of releases before its hiatus, this French outfit focuses on delivering quality over quantity with highly polished and extremely detailed releases like this one.
Opening with the album title track, the band delivers swift riffs alongside vicious harsh vocals, and a very persistent sense of melody in between brutal onslaughts. The band’s attention to detail and extremely high production values allow this, and all other songs to sound amazing and have high replay value, always discovering new things. After the first blow, the Seth sets a very melancholic and yet aggressive mood with the ravaging “Métal Noir” and its intoxicating atmospheric arrangements.
Returning with an even more bombastic and yet misery inducing release, today we have Finland’s Hanging Garden and their latest effort “Skeleton Lake”. Moving a bit away from their traditional old-school Death/Doom Metal, the band steps in territories pioneered by bands like Tristania, Theatre of Tragedy, etc. with the addition of more Gothic/Pop-ish elements in the 46 minutes of music. If you like well crafted melodic, catchy and engaging music with diverse influences, this release will bring the band close to the previously mentioned bands.
Opening with the lush and bombastic “Kuura”, new female vocalist Riikka Hatakka shines as her sweet voice is the perfect contrast to heavy distorted guitars and energetic growls. While the atmospheric component of the band’s sound is still present and the mournful melodic riffs are there, tracks like “Faith”, “Nowhere Haven”, and “Winter’s Kiss” add extra Gothic-like elements alongside additional catchiness. The use of clean male vocals also gives the band a certain To/Die/For edge, making their sound more dynamic than before.
With the COVID-19 pandemic canceling all touring plans for all bands, some special projects and solo albums have come out of this down time. Luckily for us, Esa Holopainen from Amorphis was already itching to come out with his own solo project: Silver Lake by Esa Holopainen. Featuring over 37 minutes of superbly catchy and moody music, Esa manages to capture some of his signature Amorphis sound while further exploring personal influences to create nine very unique and engaging songs.
Featuring that warm heart-felth wonder of his Amorphis music, the opener “Silver Lake'' creates a mystical mood for this release. With each other song featuring guest vocalists, “Sentiment” delivers a very moody and a bit folky vibe with Jonas Renkse of Katatonia on vocals. The album’s first single comes under the name of “Storm”, with the talented Håkan Hemlin on vocals. This track has that certain epicness vibe that Esa is very proficient, while delivering uplifting atmospherics and crafty drums.