Hailing from Spain, today we have Post-Metal newcomers The Holeum and their debut release “Negative Abyss”. Drawing influences from the likes of Neurosis, Amenra and Cult of Luna, this band pushes the boundaries on the genre with unique ideas and very engaging songs. Delivering 8 tracks of skilled aural abuse, this band is ready to take the scene by surprise.
The cosmic journey starts with the intense bass guitar line of “Chemical Ghosts”. This track is probably the most straightforward one as it follows your typical Post-Metal song aside from a few interesting tempo changes. Our favorite track in this release has to be the Doomy “Philosopher’s Stone” and its very atmospheric nature. During one of its melodic passages they perfectly add a saxophone section that magically elevates this unique song.
Arriving from Germany, today we have one of the most disarming releases in the last few years with Thränenkind‘s “King Apathy”. Filled with emotional bleakness, this release features 46 minutes of brilliant music that will evoke an emotional response from the toughest Metalhead out there. Completely intense and gratifying from start to finish, this is one of the best albums of 2016.
Setting the mood with the crushing opener “Desperation”, we are instantly immersed in the band’s unique mixture of Post-Metal/Black Metal thanks to the incisive riffs and mournful vocals. Expertly contrasting brutality with melody, the band delivers an intense performance filled with raw passion. As the album slowly progresses, the songs keep getting darker and darker as “King Apathy” and “Ghosts” storm the listener.
Fresh off their latest run of shows through North America, Omnium Gatherum returns to deliver their most amazing release to date with “Grey Heavens”. Featuring ten tracks of majestic Melodic Death Metal, this band has graduated in the top of their class and should get a Melodic DM doctoral degree for their efforts in this release. Having refined their sound over the years, their seventh release shows uncanny maturity and expert knowledge of the genre.
Opening with the headbanging anthem “The Pit”, the band’s melodic signature sound instantly takes center stage with their impressive parallel guitar onslaughts and furious pace. Not letting the listeners settle in too quick, “Skyline” paints a lush melodic anthem with very inspired atmospheric keyboards to go with a superbly catchy tempo. This track alone perfectly blends their style with the epicness of older Children of Bodom and the melancholy of Insomnium.
Hailing from Italy, today we have Deathcore battalion Despite Exile and their latest EP titled “Disperse”. Usually not a fan of the genre, when a band commands of attention it means that the have unique elements to make them stand out from the rest. Delivering five tracks and two interludes, the band crushes the competition with a perfect balance of melody and aggression that only a handful of bands can master. While not as crushing as The Black Dahlia Murder, this band does not lag behind with excellent moshing passages and solid melodic head banging moments.
Leading the charge with the melodic “Act I – Gaze of Leviathan”, we instantly got a certain Soilwork vibe from the first few minutes of the track. This playful and very melodic piece brilliantly weaves back and forth from all out brutality to excellent momentum-building sections. Seamleasly bleeding into “Act II – Panoptic Servant”, the band changes the pace to crushing a more typical Deathcore with funky tempo changes thanks to some killer drum patterns.
Constantly evolving over the years, Hanging Garden returns with a very atmospheric release titled “Blackout Whiteout”. Featuring nice tracks of pure melancholy, the band manages to combine elements from Theatre of Tragedy (“Aegis” era), Anathema (their transition period), Katatonia (their more recent stuff) and throw in some Cure/ShamRain elements just for kicks. This release still keeps the growls in the mix, allowing the album to be harsh and brutal when needed, but it is mostly very melancholic and mellow.
Opening with the enticing “Borrowed Eyes”, we are instantly swept by Toni Toivonen’s moody clean and harsh vocals. This track also pulls you in with its subtle bass guitar line and keyboards. The band is always in motion and the very Cure-like rocking anthem “Whiteout” further shows their evolution since the band’s harsh and bleak Death/Doom days from “Inherit the Eden”. However, the depressive atmosphere is still present in a very unique and refined way.
Hailing from Switzerland, today we have a very unique Melodic Modern Metal band named Promethee. Mixing some of the good elements of modern Deathcore with the agility and precision of old-school Melodic Death Metal, “Unrest” delivers twelve solid tracks filled with moshing and headbanging moments. Recommended for fans of Hacride, Dagoba, Hatesphere and such, we are sure that anybody with a knack for melody and pounding riffs will find this appealing.
Opening with the punishing riffs of “Our Common Fall”, the band quickly establishes the rich and devastating sound with very well crafted guitars and tight drums. The vocals are on the raspy side, reminding us of Hacride but the music makes us thing more of Whitechapel or TBDM. What makes Promethee unique is that they can instantly switch from pummeling riffs to blistering fast passages of Melodic brilliance as they constantly deliver on “Unspoken” and “Dark Souls”.
As the brainchild of the Tipton brothers of Zero Hour and Cynthesis fame, today we have Abnormal Thought Patterns and their extremely intricate release “Altered States of Consciousness”. Having proved themselves as very proficient musicians in the past, the Tipton brothers (and other band members) take their sound even further and delivering seven brilliant tracks that cover over 42 minutes of awe-inspiring guitar and bass guitar work tied together in a very nice and cohesive package.
The album opens with the shred-tastic “Distortions of Perception”, a slowly progressing piece that sets a very high bar for the rest of the album. Things move into more progressive/Djent-sounding territories with “Nocturnal Haven”, a track that features Tommy Rogers (Between the Buried and Me) on vocals and the (in)famous Jeff Loomis (ex-Nevermore). The band’s ability to make each song sound very different is quickly evident with one of our personal favorites, “Blindsight”, a track that reminds us of Ihsahn and his very technically proficient musical compositions.
With the tons of so-called Modern Metal releases coming out these days, we can easily make a 10 ft tall pile of albums that sound alike. Lay Siege is here to defy this trend and unleash the punishing “Hopeisnowhere” upon the world’s population. Featuring 11 tracks of Post-Metal/Sludge/Groove brutality, the band goes beyond being heavy and catchy, and delivers one of the most engaging and clean sounding Modern Metal releases of 2015.
The groovy “Irebot” quickly sets a very harsh tone with its pummeling riffs and Meshuggah-esque vibe, and this intensity continues with the funky “Glass Veil”. The vocals and some of the tempo changes have a certain Deathcore-ish vibe, but the overall structure of the music is much more than that. The oppressive “Hollow Hands” has some tight drum patterns that when paired with the crystal clear production, sound like a million bucks.
After a killer 2014 in terms of excellent Metal releases, we open 2015 with By The Patient’s third full-length release “Gehenna”. Featuring nine tracks of expertly crafted Death Metal with high emphasis on melodic and groovy passages, this Danish band perfectly showcases their polished sound that is hard to peg but difficult to ignore.
The album kicks off with the powerful “Ruled By The Death”, a track that features crushing riffs and very tight drumming. The band has some older Scandinavian Metal influences, but with their own twist and a very modern and refined production. As the band pummels through tracks like “Deceiver”, “Gehenna”, and “Web of Beliefs”, we instantly notice their knack for melodic/groovy sections that make their music very addictive. The harsh vocals nicely fit the music as they set the band apart from the traditional growls of the genre.
Hailing from Switzerland, today we have Last Leaf Down and their dreamy Post-Rock/Shoegaze. Sounding like a combination of Katatonia, Tides from Nebula, and some sprinkles of Slowdive and Alcest, this band delivers a very unique and ethereal sounding release with “Fake Lights”. Clocking in at 51 minutes, buckle up for a very dreamy and ethereal ride with this one.
As the intro bleeds into “In Dreams”, the dreamy shoegazing galore starts. The band’s sound is very atmospheric and melancholic. Benjamin Schenk vocals are quite hypnotic and they perfectly fit to the album’s overall pace. The Katatonia influences, while on their experimental ‘alternative’ phase, are very clear in tracks like “In These Waters” and “Giant”, we particularly love this last one and its weeping depressive guitars.