The album sets a very somber and yet optimistic mood with the moody opener “Far from Home”. We particularly love how cinematic and otherworldly the atmosphere is crafted as songs like “The Way the World Was” and “In Exchange for a Memory” roll in. The band’s ability to slowly build into cathartic moments is just brilliant, with a crescendo of weeping guitars and crafty percussions.
The band sets the stage with a very dramatic choral intro as it settles into heavy and punishing Doomy riffs on “II”. This first track at a glance seems a straightforward Doom affair, if it wasn’t for the interesting tempo changes Sludgier undertones and Post-Metal passages. Things get a bit bizarre and yet quite interesting with the weirdness of “III”. While the music seems to follow a typical direction, the vocals sound a bit odd at first. Might be some weird artifact of the mix, but they don’t quite blend with the rest of the music. Unfortunately this is the case for other tracks in the album, so we find it a bit odd.
Unleashing a truly unique amalgamation of Doom Metal with Progressive/Post-Metal influences, today we have Oceanwake and their latest opus “Lights Flashing in Mute Scenery”. For 45 minutes this outfit delivers seven tracks filled with traditional elements unconventionally arranged. Particularly appealing for those of us that like to be challenged by music, this release has a high replay value as you will always discover something new with each listen.
The album starts with the dreamy intro to “Radiant Nightbreak”, which transforms into a moody clash between clean and harsh vocals. With crushing riffs and a very depressive atmosphere, the album continues with “The Occult”, a piece that starts heavier and then it turns into a lush atmospheric Post-Rock-ish composition, only to close strong with a crushing Post-Metal/Hardcore onslaught.
Unleashing their most mature and crushing release to date, today we have Germany’s King Apathy with “Wounds”. Perfectly blending melancholy and melody with aggression, the band’s sound is quite unique and captivating. Distributing over 45 minutes of music in 9 heavy hitting tracks, the band guides the listeners through a devastating and quite punishing aural journey. If you like dreamy music that is both oppressive and raw, this is certainly the album for you.
The album kicks off with the mysterious “Civilization Kills”, a track that sets a very desolate mood thanks to its crushing bass guitar line, perfectly paired with incisive riffs. The explosiveness of “The Scars of the Land” fits perfectly with the harsh vocals and the crafty drumming patterns. This track also features a very dreamy Post-Rock/Shoegazey passage that nicely changes the pace of the song. Slowly building up with a certain Doomy vibe, “Cleansing” is one of our favorite tracks, thanks to the soaring guitar leads and very intense tempo changes.
Unleashing one of the most disarming releases of 2019, today we have Germany’s A Secret Revealed and their devastating blend of Post-Metal. As the band’s sophomore release, “Sacrifices” is one hell of an emotional rollercoaster with eight complex compositions that will transport you to some very bleak and desolate soundscapes. LifeForce records has great taste in music, and this band is no exception to their expertly curated roster of artists.
The onslaught begins with the tense and mysterious “Grieved”, a track that starts very dreamy in a certain Post-Rock/Shoegazey way and transforms into a crushing piece filled with piercing vocals and monstrous riffs. With a Black Metal-esque edge to it, “The Isolation” reminds us of German bands like Sun Worship and Der Weg einer Freiheit, thanks to its ferocity and tempo. One of our favorite tracks is the very dynamic “Ashes”, which slowly builds up momentum is a very commanding way.
Arriving just in time for those long and dark Autumn/Winter days, today we have Décembre Noir and their monumental third full-length release “Autumn Kings”. Oozing with melancholy, this German band delivers eight soul crushing tracks that clock in at around 70 minutes of music. Perfectly crafted for fans of old Insomnium, Forest of Shadows, Rapture, etc., this release is gearing up to be the best one of its genre in 2018.
The album kicks off with the atmospheric build-up of “In the Pouring Rain” as it suddenly erupts in mournful riffs and firm growls. Perfectly immersing the listener into their melancholic sound, the band slowly progresses into heavier and more sinister territories with some crushing passages. The album title track continues the gloomy vibe with more incisive riffs and brilliantly crafted tempo changes, which allow the song be engaging and never get dull.
Like a bag of bricks to the face, today we have Switzerland's Promethee unleashing their latest opus “Convalescence”. Featuring nine tracks and over 35 minutes of music, this release is both very direct and yet crafty enough to showcase some cool Melodic/Progressive passages that sets them apart from the rest. Aggressive and yet well refined releases are hard to come by, and with this one, the band continues their musical journey with a more refined and very in-your-face style.
The heavy riffing of the album-titled opener allows the mood to instantly escalate to very hectic and punishing. However, the craftiness of the song structure makes it quite intriguing and melodic at times, in the same vein as the follow up track “While you Stood Still”. One of our favorite tracks is the funky “Endless”, which features a light mood crafted by trippy drumming and playful guitar melodies. It is quite pleasing to hear how the band’s Hardcore/Post-Metal influences brilliantly align with the unique song structures.
Always bringing to the listeners the most unique underground Metal bands, today we have LifeForce Records one-man project Bonjour Tristesse and their sophomore release “Your Urban Nightmare”. Perfectly blending elements of Post-Black Metal with influences from bands like Heretoir, Alcest, Austere, etc., this release unleashes over 44 minutes of intense and highly emotional music.
Opening with the album title track, we start with a very intense barrage of hectic riffs and solid harsh vocals that slowly blend into more melodic territories. The band’s musical approach while similar to other bands in the genre, explore more melodic and atmospheric passages, crafting a very unique and disharming sound.
After catching everybody by surprise with their dreamy 2017 debut, “Sirens & Slumber”, Bay Area’s Mountaineer returns with a more mature and equally aurally pleasing release titled “Passages”. Divided into two four-track sections, this album further expands the band’s dreamy Post-Metal/Post-Rock/Shoegaze sound.
The first movement, “Hymnal”, opens with the very moody and dreamy “Passage I”. The band sets a very light and emotional opening that quickly escalates into Post-Metal territories with lush guitar riffs and the visceral raspy screams of vocalist Miguel Meza. The battle between dreamy and crushing passages reaches its climax as “Passage III” intertwines both styles very skillfully and “Passage IV” slowly winds down a very emotionally intense first part of this release.
Unleashing probably the best Melodic Death Metal release of 2017, today we have Grecee’s Aetherian and their full-length debut release “The Untamed Wilderness”. Picking all the best elements from bands like Insomnium, Omnium Gatherum, Amon Amarth, Dark Tranquility, and Nightrage, this outfit delivers an intense nine-track performance that is worthy of recognition. If you are a fan of melodic DM, this is one hell of an album you can’t afford to miss.
Opening with “Clouds Gathering”, the band sets an Insomnium-esque start which is blown wide open with the catchiness of “The Rain”. With instant headbanging-inducing riffs, this track showcases the band’s knack for catchy and technically proficient song writing. As the band pummels through killer songs like “The Path” and “As the Veil Fades”, we also start noticing the band’s unique signature style as they incorporate influences and make them their own with a very refined style.
Just in time for the Fall and Winter seasons, today we have the Hanging Garden’s very dark and atmospheric “I am Become”. These Finnish Melodic Death/Doomsters unleash 46 minutes of catchy and crafty music that is quite diverse in nature. Filled with brilliant melodic Death/Doom Metal elements, this album perfectly blends the band’s old-school sound with their more modern and atmospheric influences.
Kicking off with “As Above, So Below”, we get a certain Insomnium guitar driven vibe that invites the listener to head bang while listening and settle into a dark and melodic vibe. Things go into a Swallow the Sun vibe with the aggressive riffing of “Hearthfire”, a track which features guest vocals from Tomi Joutsen from Amorphis fame. Interestingly enough, the band’s more Atmospheric Rock side comes out in the excellent “Elysium”, a piece that is quite melancholic and moody.