Since While Heaven Wept disbanded a few years back, Grey Skies Fallen has been left carrying the torch for that unique mixture of Epic-ish Melodic Doom/Progressive Metal that mostly North American bands have been playing. With “Molded By Broken Hands”, the band further refined their sound while keeping their signature elements and delivering seven tracks and nearly 50 minutes of moody and melancholic music.
Opening with the acoustic guitars of “A Twisted Place in Time”, the band quickly sets a very melancholic vibe as the doomy distorted guitars come in alongside harsh vocals and engaging atmospherics. The album title track dabbles into more atmospheric territories at first with some crafty guitar leads and it progresses with some excellent moody tempo changes.
Hailing from Australia, today we have Suldusk and their sophomore release “Anthesis”. Marking a transition from a Folk sound to Dark Folk with Blackgaze, Progressive and even some Doom influences, this release unleashes nine tracks of sublime music filled with raw emotion and mystery. For fans of more modern Post-Black Metal releases with a melancholic edge, this release will certainly catch many by surprise and take the scene by storm.
Opening with the solemn “Astraeus”, the band quickly changes gears with the brutal initial onslaughts of “Verdalet”. Once the band settles in more melancholic territories, their stylistic duality is masterfully revealed. Emily Highfield’s vocals are just the right amount of sweet and mysterious to carry a very lush instrumentation including dramatic violins and intricate guitar melodies.
There are some days that you just want to play the foulest and most ravaging thing you can find to get through the day. For those days, “Abyssal Synodality”, a split release between Besotten and Funerelic, is just what the doctor ordered. Featuring four tracks, two a piece and nearly 20 minutes of music, this release is quite engaging and punishing.
There is nothing like a re-release of an album that came out 26 years ago to make you feel old. We still remember picking up Liv Kristine’s solo debut back in 1998 and being weirded out at first about it. In “Deus ex Machina”, Liv explored a more electronic/alternative side to her, and we, at the time, just wanted another Theater of Tragedy-like release. Fast forward to 2024 and we have loved this release to the point our original digipak is quite worn down.
Usually not reviewed here, re-releases are mostly targeted at nostalgic fans as they usually include plenty of extra special tracks (one full disc worth in this case). However, we see this re-release as an opportunity for Liv to get newer fans with her charismatic voice and excellent songwriting skills. While the masterful “3 A.M.” is the best release of this album, we get five more versions of it featuring alternative mixes.
Hailing from Poland, today we have a very ambitious new outfit Shadohm and their crafty/proggy Modern Metal release “Through Darkness Towards Enlightenment”. Formed by Paweł Jaroszewicz of Vader, Antigama, Batushka fame, this outfit delivers five crushing tracks, totaling 30 minutes of music, highly recommended for fans of bands like Hacride, Gojira, Architects, and Meshuggah.
Opening with the pummeling “Through Darkness”, we get a hefty mixture of crafty drumming, engaging tempo changes, and powerful guitars. The vocals are quite fitting to the music as they switch from harsh passages to more melodic clean arrangements. For fans of Meshuggah and similar outfits, tracks like “Blurred” and “Fair Weather Friend” have a solid dose of Djenty tempo changes and layered guitars.
Unleashing a short but very interesting release, today we have i Häxa and the chaotic and yet lush “Part 1”. Featuring four songs and over 16 minutes of music, the listener is taken on an aural journey that weaves between ambient, darkwave, avant-garde, and highly atmospheric passages. If you like weird and yet cohesive and engaging releases, with no Metal elements whatsoever, give this one a spin.
Just when you think you have heard it all, there comes a band like Ponte Del Diavolo with a very unique and intoxicating sound. Mixing elements of Black Metal with Doom, Psychedelic/Dark rock, “Fire Blades From the Tomb” delivers nearly 45 minutes of enigmatic music that quickly sets a very sultry and devilish mood from start to end.
Opening with “Demone”, one would easily think, great, another typical (but intense) Black Metal release, however, as Erba del Diavolo vocals come to play, the mood shifts into sinister and yet playful territories. Weaving back and forth between BM onslaughts and Doomy riffs, the band creates a very unique and engaging sound that is not quite conventional as songs like “Covenant” and “Red as the sex of She who lives in death” keep exploring new dark corners.
Always delivering some of the most unique and intricately crafted releases, Lupus Lounge presents Farsot’s latest offering “Life Promised Death”. Seven years have passed since the band’s last release and it seems like no time has passed as this album has nearly 50 minutes of expertly crafted music that reminds us of bands like Fen, Eïs, and Todtgelichter.
The release opens with the fierce “Nausea”, a piece that slowly builds momentum and delivers crafty layered guitars alongside moody tempo changes. The piercing “Buoyant Flames” and “Into Vertigo” are some of those greatly moody tracks that perfectly blends aggression with more introspective and slower passages that create beauty and contrast.
Unleashing over 37 minutes of pure hell, today we have France’s Necrowretch and their latest release “Swords of Dajjal”. Spread over eight tracks, the band delivers swift and well crafted onslaughts of Black/Death Metal brilliance, with a style similar to outfits like Necrophobic and Destroyer 666. However, these guys are far from a carbon copy of the previously mentioned bands as they add their own sinister twists to their music.
Always keeping things catchy and intense, Amaranthe returns with another bombastic release with “The Catalyst”. Featuring their signature brand of pop/alternative Metal, Elize Ryd and Olof Mörck keep the band’s legacy by delivering thirteen tracks and around 40 minutes of engaging songs filled with explosive chorus sections, crafty guitar leads and an overall high-octane vibe.
The release immediately blasts off with the excellent album title track and its extreme catchiness. The band’s mixture of distorted guitars, electronic elements, and the diverse vocal styles create a very dynamic and explosive mix that Amaranthe has been refining over the years. New harsh vocalist, Mikael Sehlin, does a pretty solid job in adding to the contrast between the singing styles of Elize and Nils Molin, as heard on pieces like “Insatiable” and “Liberated”.