As one of the most anticipated releases of 2015, Jess and the Ancient Ones return with their sophomore release “Second Psychedelic Coming: The Aquarius Tapes”. Moving away from their Doom influences and fully embracing the psychedelic/progressive side of their sound, the band delivers nine enigmatic tracks that will intoxicate all fans of the band and the genre. Greatly improving over their first effort, this is one release that nobody will want to miss.
Opening with the creepy playfulness of “Samhain”, the band set a very enigmatic mood with funky samples and a truly psychedelic vibe. There are some parallels to bands like Purson, but with the signature JATO style. Jess’s mesmerizing vocals do a great job in setting a very mellow and dark mood on tracks like trippy “The Flying Man” and super catchy psychedelic anthem “In Levitating Secret Dreams”. The band truly travels in time with a very organic and natural sounding recording, allowing all the sounds captured to be truly authentic sounding.
Delivering twelve tracks of brilliant Symphonic Rock/Metal, today we have super group Phantasma and their debut release “The Deviant Hearts”. Featuring Delain’s Charlotte Wessels, Everon’s Oliver Philipps and Georg Neuhauser of Serenity fame, this band is one of the most ambitious outfits in this musical space. The band does not disappoint with brilliant songs and even more impressive guest appearances to round up an excellently crafted release, if you are a fan of symphonic/melodic music, you will not want to miss this one.
Opening with the very solemn “Incomplete”, we are instantly pleased with the excellent duet of Charlotte and Georg. After starting on a dark note, the album quickly picks up with the mellow opening of “The Deviant Hearts”. Featuring Tom Englund in this bombastic song, all fans of either Delain or Evergrey will instantly geek out due to the way both singer’s vocals blend in this track. After a very Delain-ish “Runaway Gray”, the ballad “Try” greatly showcases Chloe Lowery and Dennis Schunke’s vocal talents in a very dramatic and epic way, easily one of the best tracks in this release.
Arriving today from the USA we have Shaumaun and their progressively oriented mash up of musical styles. In their self-titled debut release, the band presents twelve very melodic tracks that are a bit contrasting from each other, but full of promise, excellent ideas and solid execution.
The album opens with the proggy “A New Revolution”, which is a very entertaining piece that ultimately is just a warm-up for what is to come next. “Miracles of Yesterday” and “You and I Will Change the World” have a more radio-friendly and mainstream vibe, with loud rhythm guitars and solid leads. Being very catchy, this last song has some cool passages, but it also tries to incorporate too many elements, making things a bit awkward when they should have stayed simple as the track’s hook is pretty solid.
Pleasantly surprising us when we received this album on our inbox, today we have Entwine and their first release in 6 years titled “Chaotic Nation”. As the whole Gothic Rock craze made popular by him has died down over the years, most of the solid bands in the genre moved to greener pastures. With the return of To/Die/For earlier this year and this new album, there seems there might be some sort of revival going for this scene.
Opening with the very Finish Metal sounding “End of Silence”, the bands makes a splash with a very dynamic and engaging song, setting a very good standard for this release. Mika Tauriainen’s vocals are as good as ever and nicely carry the band’s character as they grace songs like “Saint of Sorrow” and “Fortune Falls”. Unlike the latest To/Die/For album that was pretty bad, Entwine has adapted with the times and sounds fresh while still maintaining their signature style.
With a larger than life attitude, today we have Poois and their latest release “Soul Spook Collector”. Featuring 10 songs of very diverse and crafty music, this album has tons of influences mixed into a very cohesive and party-like sound that you rarely hear these days. By further enriching their sound, this American band manages to provide a very unique and energetic album that people will greatly enjoy.
The album opens with very unique and engaging tracks like the hectic “Fuckin’ Job” and the superbly catchy “Love Gun”. This clearly shows that the listener is in for a treat thanks to the wide variety of sounds and styles they will hear. The song lyrics are quite quirky with songs like “$19.95” and the funky effects of “Crack the Whip”, this gives that extra dimension to the music, and makes up for quite a hilarious time when trying to follow them.
As one of the most awaited releases from 2015 (at least for us), today we have Sabbath Assembly and their eponymous fourth release. Moving away from the Process Church theme and influences, the band delivers nine tracks that feature a very distinctive sound that they are now calling 100% their own. For fans of their older style, this will need an expectation adjustment, but the band nicely delivers an unique (but different) experience.
Opening with the angry “Risen From Below”, the band has a very nightmarish style rooted on trippy percussions and the deep vocals of Jamie Myers. The band’s catchiness and ability to create a dark atmosphere is still present in tracks like “Confessing a Murder” and “Ave Satanas”, but they spice it up with a heavy bass guitar line and solid guitar leads.
As the perfect blast from the past, today we have Germany’s Kadavar and their latest studio full-length release “Berlin”. Titled in homage to the city where all members of the band met, this release continues the band legacy of catchy and very authentic sounding Psychedelic/Hard Rock music. For over 11 tracks (plus one bonus cover song) the band delivers hard rocking music that will instantly grab your attention and never let got.
The album instantly makes an impact with the superbly engaging “Lord of the Sky”. In this track the trio deliver their signature fuzzy sound that has a very ‘live show’ feeling to it. Bassist Simon Bouteloup, the latest person to join the band, is fully incorporated into their style and nicely adds some killer bass guitar lines in songs like “Thousand Miles Away from Home”, “Last Living Dinosaur” and the super catchy “Filthy Illusion”. This last song has a more mainstream Rock vibe, allowing the band to reach even more people.
Hailing from Sweden, today we have Psychedelic/Occult Rockers Year of the Goat peddling their craft with “The Unspeakable”. Having loved their 2011 MCD “Lucem Ferre”, we were looking forward to this one for quite a while. Creating a special aura filled with an authentic retro vibe and a high emphasis on melody, the nine tracks presented in this release are magical and intoxicating.
Slowly building up a very mysterious ambiance with “All He Has Read”, the band sets a magical shroud of mystery around their album early in the game. Combining elements of bands like Witchcraft, Purson, Jess and the Ancient ones, tracks like “Pillars of the South” and “The Emma” are haunting and very authentic sounding. Thomas Sabbathi is one hell of singer and his vocals greatly elevate all the songs in this album while giving them a very eerie vibe.
Arriving from Italy, today we have newcomers The Hillinoise and their superbly enjoyable EP “My Sleeping Butterfly”. Fusing elements from bands like The Gathering, The 3rd and the Mortal, early Xandria and even some Slowdive influences, the band delivers three excellent tracks filled with melancholy.
The release starts with the mellow “Lighter”, a very melancholic piece that has some touches of early The Gathering meets Sylvaine. The vocals of Dana Stefanelli are quite innocent sounding, giving the music that certain sense of bleakness that we greatly appreciate. However, it is the pulsating bass guitar line that shines though out the release, in particular “Nymphetamine”.
Featuring five out of seven members of one of our favorite bands of all time: Jess and the Ancient Ones, Svart records present The Exploding Eyes Orchestra and their enigmatic debut release “I”. Delivering seven brilliant tracks of moody Occult/Pscychedelic Rock/Metal, this new band has a similar energy behind them than JATAO, but with an extra exploratory and nature and a more relaxed and freely defined style.
Opening with the sultry “The Smoke”, the band makes a very quick impression with this trippy schedelic piece masterfully guided by Jess’s talented vocals. Things get jazzier and mellower with the emotional “Crazy Heart”. This track flows perfectly with very subtle guitars and a relaxing tempo. The fuzzy guitar leads are excellent and perfectly set you in a very hypnotic mood.