Delivering a hefty dose of high-octane Progressive Death Metal, today we have Lamentations and their sophomore release “Passion of Depression”. We particularly enjoy proggy/technical releases that actually have well structured and enjoyable songs and are not just a self-wanking fest of technical proficiency. Luckily for the listeners the band unleashes seven excellent songs filled with crafty tempo changes, moody arrangements and excellent musicality.
From the lush opener “Prodigal”, we get a very engaging Cynic-meets-Persefone vibe, perfectly balancing proggy interludes with some heavier and more complex sections. All band members this time around are basically the same guys behind Monotheist, and it shows that the music is quite cohesive and well integrated, with each instrument shining at different stages but never overpowering the general flow of tracks like “Anew” and “Shiver”. These tracks deliver excellent melodic passages, dreamy vocals and a pulsating bass guitar line.
Unleashing one of the dreamiest and most ethereal releases of 2022, today we have Remina and their debut album “Strata”. Formed as a project of vocalist Heike Langhans (ex-Draconian, Light Field Reverie) and Mike Lamb (Sojourner, Light Field Reverie), this release delivers over 40 minutes of highly atmospheric and truly cinematic music. Mixing elements from ISON and Light Field Reverie, this band creates truly emotive music that will take the listener on a magical journey.
The release starts building momentum with the solemn opener “Aeon Rains”, which slowly progresses with Heike’s enchanting vocals and a slew of distant guitars, crafty electronics and melancholic atmospherics. The Doominess first comes under the name of “Obsidian” and its slow and mournful riffs, perfectly enshrouding the layered vocals. By the time “Dying Sun” comes around, the listener is already fully immersed in a trance, perfectly crafted by the band’s powerful atmosphere and melancholic powers.
Unleashing a very unique release that has a certain retro Death Metal vibe paired with some crafty proggy and dreamy passages, Disillusion delivers their 4th full length release with “Ayam”. Originally founded back in the 90’s, this band has slowly evolved into more avant-garde territories, but still manages to keep some of that old-school vibe in their highly elaborate music. For fans of early 90’s Melodic/Doom Metal to fans of Opeth, Anathema, and Devin Townsend, this release has something for nearly everybody.
Opening strong with “Am Abgrund”, we get a very unique old-school Benediction meets Ihshan vibe thanks to the contrast of growls, clean vocals, proggy guitars and crafty trumpets. The band brilliantly balances their more experimental and proggy edge in tracks like “Tormento”, “Driftwood”, with this last track dazzling users with soaring vocal melodies and waves of melancholy, giving those Anathema vibes
Therion is one of those bands that is always consistently good and when they set on producing a trilogy of releases that consolidated the style of their most popular songs, they were not messing around. With “Leviathan II” the listener gets treated to over 53 minutes and 13 tracks of superbly catchy Symphonic/Operatic Metal they basically invented and have been refining over the years. As a quintessential release for any of the band’s fans, this release should be in your collection.
Kicking off the release we have the lively “Aeon of Maat”, a song with a very crafty tempo and the band’s signature dueling Heavy Metal and operatic vocals courtesy of Thomas Vikström and Lori Lewis. This formula gets nicely complemented by lush choir arrangements and dramatic use of classical instrumental elements, as we can hear in “Litany of the Fallen”, “Alchemy of the Soul” and one of our personal favorites “Lunar Coloured Fields”.
Hailing from Sweden, Maulén is a music collective with a very unique and engaging sound. We like weird and atmospheric stuff and this EP perfectly fits into both categories. With three tracks and nearly 20 minutes of music, Carlos Ibarra (Age of Woe) and company take listeners through desolate soundscapes that are both exotic and quite melancholic. Not for the close minded, this release has a certain magic that will find you listening to it over and over without even noticing.
Opening with the dreamy “Rostro” and its droney core, nicely adorned by minimalistic guitars and haunting vocal arrangements. This track immediately drew our attention and hooked us on this musical journey. On “Sirjatan” we have Lea Alazam unleashing her hypnotic vocals, reminding us a bit of bands like Wolvennest and Jex Thoth, this track nicely sets a very somber tone that slowly gains momentum until reaching its climax.
Finally catching up with some of the September releases we flagged to review but didn’t get to, today we have Kathaaria’s sophomore release, after 14 years, title “To Be Shunned by All... As Centres of Pestilence”. Playing a weird and decadent interpretation of Black Metal, this duo crafts six very interesting songs that have influences from the Scandinavian Avant-garde Black Metal scene.
Opening with the piercing “Agenda Nihil”, the band immediately makes their pitch of uncompromising madness with the intricate riffing and drummer of this sinister song. Things are just getting warmed up as “The Last Act of Rebellion” keeps the madness going with some playful tempo changes and very crafty arrangements, delivering a tricky and yet very enjoyable song that goes beyond your typical BM piece.
Unleashing a gargantuan slab of Black Metal with tons of atmospherics, today we have UK’s Terra and their sophomore release “Für dich existiert das alles nicht”. In the vein of Ash Borer, Fell Voices, and the like, this release punishes the listener with ravaging onslaughts of Black Metal aural abuse thanks to its unsettling atmosphere. With four tracks clocking in at over 60 minutes, this release is as brutal as it is brilliant.
Opening with “The Beginning”, the band slowly envelops the listener with raw distortion, massive drums and piercing vocals. The band’s style is definitely an acquired taste as it relies heavily on its punishing atmosphere but once it settles, it is demoralizing and extremely powerful. The riffs on tracks like “Verisimilitude” are as heavy as they can get and nicely weave back and forth from the drone-ish/ambient-like atmospherics. This particular style is quite effective and immediately transports the listener to a dark and foggy world where sound transcends consciousness.
Having slowly creeped its way into influencing Metal bands, Post-Rock is a genre we have always enjoyed and found quite engaging and dreamy to so extent. One of the best bands in the genre has to be French outfit Lost in Kiev, which returns this October with their latest opus “Rupture”. Producing over 51 minutes of high-octane cinematic music, the band covers many different moods and tempos in a very cohesive and engaging release.
The release nicely builds momentum with the intriguing “We Are” and its crafty progression, filled with intricate guitars and engaging drumming. Featuring Loic Rossetti from The Ocean, “Prison of Mind” perfectly layers dramatic and aggressive vocals on top of the band's exploratory and momentum building style. This is definitely the heaviest track of this release. Our favorite track in this release has to be the magical “Another End is Possible” and its oozing bleakness alongside dreamy shoegazing passages.
It is hard to innovate in Metal these days, however, there are always bands like Abyssic that take known formulas and greatly improve on them with their highly eerie Symphonic Doom/Death Metal. With “Brought Forth in Iniquity”, the band’s sophomore release, Memnoch and company craft over 50 minutes of highly atmospheric and very crushing music that greatly improves over their first release.
Opening with the decadence of “Cold as Winter Storm”, we are introduced to a perfectly balanced old-school Funeral-ish Death/Doom Metal with a huge atmospheric component. This atmosphere is quite cinematic and it feels like a black and white horror movie, making songs like “Mirror of Sorrow” and “Djevelens Lys” deliver a truly immersive and imposing experience. The band features members like Memnoch (ex-Susperia) and Tjodalv (ex-Dimmu Borgir) and they bring their years of songwriting experience together in a very cohesive and engaging way.
Hailing from France, today we have a very engaging and technically proficient outfit with Catalyst and their sophomore full-length release “A Different Painting for a New World”. With a very catchy and crafty Tech/Prog Death Metal sound, reminding us of a mixture of Scar Symmetry, Persefone, and Into Eternity, this band delivers nearly one hour of neck-snapping music that will immediately please any fan of the genre.
After building momentum with the opener, the band wastes no time to unleash their riffing onslaught with the pummeling “To Unleash Thy Heinous Fate”, a track that is both blistering and crafty. The band’s style is very well balanced as they expertly mix harsh grows and tempo changes with virtuosity as we can hear in pieces like “The Last Warning”, “Worms and Locusts”, and “Arise of the Anathema”. This last track is one of our favorites thanks to how dynamic and explosive it is.