Hailing from Norway/France, today we have female multi-instrumentalist Sylvaine. Delivering her debut release titled “Silent Chamber, Noisy Heart”, this one-woman outfit crafts very melancholic and atmospheric post-rock with some alternative rock and even metal elements. Featuring ten tracks, this debut release will greatly appeal to fans of The Gathering, Les Discrets, Alcest, and similar atmospheric outfits.
After the mood-setting intro, “It Rains in My Heart” quickly sets a Shoegazy vibe with some Alcest like riffs and quickly morphs into a very bleak and melancholic tune with Sylvaine’s excellent vocals. The song is quite haunting and reminds us a bit of bands like Shellyz Raven and Elbereth. There are also some pretty harsh vocals also provided by the band’s only member, giving this track an extra kick. With “Silent Chamber, Noisy Heart”, we have a full-on Les Discrets style tune that is quite enjoyable and relaxing.
As one of the most influential bands in the last 20 years, The Gathering changed many people’s idea of how music should evolved and have been delivering high-quality releases since their early days. After going on hiatus earlier this year, we were nothing but jealous to hear they would be doing a couple of celebratory shows in honor of their 25 years of existence with musicians that played with them over the years… including Anneke.
Unfortunately, this massive three CD compilation does not include any live recordings of the band’s landmark shows but it does feature enough material to keep any fan of the band entertained for quite a while. The other little issue we have against this release is that it only features two unreleased tracks out of a total of 39, giving occasional The Gathering fans and collectors little incentives to buy this release.
Conceived as a side project from Secrets of the Moon’s sG and Markus Renzenbrink of Embedded, this band crafts very dark sounding Rock/Metal that is quite melancholic in nature. In “Gehenna”, the band presents four intense tracks that deliver tons of raw emotions and explore very interesting music ideas. If we had to put a label on this, we would say that they are a mixture of Katatonia, Bethlehem, Mystons, Grey Waters and Decoryah, but with its own twisted intricacies.
The album leads off with the atmospheric dreamy intro passage of “House of Gehenna”. In this track you immediately know that this release will be quite unique. Never being overzealous, the band slowly escalates the intensity and it is greatly led by the dramatic vocals of sG paired with melodic guitars. Melancholy overpowers this release with the catchy and grim “Your Skull-sized Kingdom”, full of great guitar leads and excellent vocal melodies.
At Infernal Masquerade, we live for receiving those truly unique releases that transport the listener to other places, and Necromonkey does just that with their trippy “A Glimpse of Possible Endings”. In this 37 minute release the band delivers fixe hypnotic tracks that feature very emotive atmospheric elements and tons of cool instruments thrown into the mix. This Swedish duo will surely captivate your attention with their very original fusion of elements.
Having a super kvlt name as Necromonkey, we thought this band was going to be an Experimental Black Metal outfit, but we were gladly surprised that this release has a lot more depth than that. Opening with a very playful “There Seem to be Knifestains in your Blood”, the band immediately sets a very unique tempo sort of Trip-hop is with string instruments and eerie Theremin sections. It is quite cool that the band listed the instruments used per track in the liner notes of this slipcase release.
Riding on the success of their 2012 amazing release “Weather Systems”, Anathema returns with yet another masterpiece of highly melancholic and atmospheric Progressive Rock titled “Distant Satellites”. With a surprise rise in productivity from the band, we are stoked that they are consistently releasing albums and very good ones as well, and that we didn’t have to wait 7 or so years between releases. This release is highly comparable to the band’s efforts on “Weather Systems” and the style they proposed in that release.
This album kicks off with the very emotional first two parts of the track “The Lost Song”. In each these parts we have Lee shinning ever so brightly with her gifted vocals and the raw emotions she transmit through them. These tracks are also very well arranged and nicely change tempos and have brilliant climaxes. Following up with “Dusk (Dark is Descending)”, we now shift focus to Vincent’s signature pipes and the way they seamlessly blend with the very dramatic (and cinematic) musical backdrop.
Enigmatic Finish Dark Rockers Mystons return this 2014 with another onslaught of catchy tunes in their latest release “Black Matter”. Featuring ten tracks of their unique mixture of Gothic/Stoner Rock with Sludge elements, we have been praising this band since the beginning and we continue to do so, thanks to their excellent evolution. If you like a new twist on the overplayed Gothic Rock genre, you will love Mystons.
The band’s catchiness and heaviness is immediately felt with their opener “Coal Soul Woman”. As the main staple sound of the band, M Myston’s vocals are deep and engaging, the kind of vocals that get a hold of you and never let go. The Doomy and Sludgy riffing on songs like “People of the Dark” and “Let the Darkness Rest in Peace” is perfectly balanced with the bands craving for catchy vocal melodies and the overall melancholic vibe of the music.
Bordering on the limits of what we review here at Infernal Masquerade, today we have Alternative/Prog Rock outfit Reacta from Mexico. In their 2014 release “Refraction”, the band delivers 10 dreamy tracks of expertly crafted music that will grab the attention from fans of 30 Seconds to Mars all the way to God Speed Your Black Emperor.
Hailing from the city of Aguascalientes, Reacta kicks off the release with the perky “Lost”, a very mainstream track that has a super catchy vibe. This track instantly brings memories of bands likes Kings of Leon and similar outfits that have charismatic lead vocals and an eye for detailed guitar melodies. The Post-Rock/Atmospheric “Back Home” is another catchy piece with lush guitars and memorable vocals that sometimes have a certain ring to heavy weights U2.
Fully coming out of their cocoon, today we have Alcest and “Shelter”. In this album we have Alcest dropping their last remaining Metal influences and swiftly delivering a Shoegaze/Post-Rock charged Dream pop release that will haunt you from beginning to end. Listing Birgir Jón Birgisson as a producer/mixer, from Sigur Rós fame, the band takes their dreamy sound to a whole new level of awesomeness.
With the band shedding their Black Metal feathers over the years, “Shelter” marks their biggest jump by not having any hard vocals or extremely heavy guitar parts. However, the atmospheric brilliance of the band is untouched and further explored within the eight tracks presented in this release. The journey begins with the atmospheric intro “Wings”, featuring some dreamy vocals that quickly build up the listener’s expectations. As this song blends into “Opale”, Niege leads the way with some awesomely crafted guitars and his signature clean vocals.
Groovy, spacey, psychedelic are a few words that come to mind when listening to Sons of Hippies and their latest full-length release titled “Griffons at the Gates of Heaven”. Mixing Psychedelic/Space Rock influences with Post Shoegaze and a very catchy Alternative Rock foundation, this three piece band delivers 12 superb tracks that take the listener through a trippy journey. With authentic retro instruments like a mellotron and moog paired with a sitar and some weird audio oscillations, the band has a wide spectrum of appeal for fans of any of the previously mentioned genres.
Setting a very unique mood in the trippy opening “Forward”, we are immediately intoxicated by the catchy guitars and Katherine Kelly’s signature vocals. The band’s auditive exploration continues with the hypnotic “Mirrorball”, one of our favorite tracks of this release. The atmosphere of this track is magical thanks to the ethereal backing vocals and shoegaze-ish vibe. The guitar driven “Dark Daisies” shows more of the band’s versatile songwriting skills, in a very unique and oddly constructed song.
The killer releases of summer of 2013 keep piling up with Autumnblaze delivering the long awaited “Every Sun is Fragile”. With an ever changing musical style, the German outfit delivers a very heartfelt Depressive/Post-Rock album that is filled with amazingly catchy songs and very melancholic atmospheres. Pushing their sound even further than on “Perdition Diaries”, fans of Green Carnation to Gothic Rock outfits will love this release instantly.
Markus Baltes has really pushed the band’s sound over the years but with the opener “New Ghosts in Town”, the listener will immediately know how far they have gone now. There are almost no harsh vocals, and the music is mostly on the Rock side of things, however, there are still some Metal influences present. This track is quite dramatic and thanks to the imposing clean vocals the overall atmosphere is quite dramatic. As heard on “Invisible Fields”, the band guitars are still quite catchy making the music perfect for some heavy duty headbanging.