Unbegotten – Proem of the Unborn (2016)

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Hailing from Spain, today we have Unbegotten and their savagely demoralizing Black Metal. Unleashing their debut release “Proem of the Unborn”, via Forever Plagued Records and on tape, this album delivers 21 minutes of soul crushing old-school Black Metal. Featuring four tracks and an intro, this is one of those tapes that will bring you to your early days of listening BM.

The only break the listener gets in this release is the mood setting intro, once “Into the Entrails of my Deliverance” kicks in, the band crafts a dissonant wall of sound that enshrouds the listener. The band’s sound is raw and basic, but with melodic moments and quality songwriting. Tracks like “Porphyric Curse” deliver solid drumming and catchy riffs that perfectly complement the demonic vocals.

Svoid – Storming Voices of Inner Devotion (2016)

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Never ceasing to amaze us, today we have another killer release from Sun & Moon Records: Svoid – Storming Voices of Inner Devotion. Hailing from Hungary, this band nicely blends Post-Punk, Post-Rock, and Black Metal in a very unique way, kind of sounds like a mixture of Amesoeurs and Watain. Delivering 11 tracks of truly unique and catchy music, the band delivers one of the most unique and chaotic releases of 2016.

Opening with the devilish riffs of “Through the Horizon”, this track has a very unique tempo that completely contrasts the Black Metal elements, similar to what Ihsahn achieves in his latest releases. This contrast is actually what makes this release quite engaging an intoxicating, as you feel that something is a bit off, but in the best of ways. Creating a unique balance between the Post-Punk/Post-Rock and the rawness of their Black Metal foundations, tracks like “Crown of Doom”, “Death, Holy End” and “Never to Redeem” are truly magical and super interesting.

Void Moon – Deathwatch (2016)

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Perfectly marketed as a no-bull Epic Doom Metal outfit, today we have Sweden’s Void Moon and their sophomore full-length release titled “Deathwatch”. Presenting the listeners with nine brilliant tracks full of melancholy, this band focuses on epic soaring vocals and sorrowful riffs. Drawing comparisons with bands like the epic Candlemass and Solitude Aeturnus, this album will surely keep any fan of the genre at the edge of the seat.

Leading with the mournful riffs of “Rivers of the Moon”, the album instantly showcases the brilliant vocals of Jonas Gustavsson. The overall tempo of this track is brilliant, allowing the punishing riffs to brilliantly offset the clean vocals. By featuring such a clean and professional production, tracks like “Where the Sleeper Lies Awake” and the Pentagram-esque “Assassin of an Age”, the band allows to have a timeless sound while being quite clean and direct.

Khaldera – Alteration (2016)

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Hailing from Switzerland, today we have Instrumental Post-Metal/post-rock quartet Khaldera and their EP “Alteration”. Delivering three tracks of dreamy atmospheric music, this release showcases the band’s ability to craft captivating music which feels natural and organic. For fans of bands like Lebowski, Isis and God is an Astronaut, this release will transport the listener into ethereal worlds.

The album slowly builds up with the spacey “Impending Tempest” and its piercing riffs. This track reminds us of a less extreme version of The Ocean. As soon as this initial track is done, the sheer power of Khaldera is felt with the punishing guitar work of “The Inevitability of Transition”. The band perfectly balances dreamy and slow passages between pummeling riffs and tight drumming section. This track is definitely the heaviest and most complex of the release.

Throes of Dawn – Our Voices Shall Remain (2016)

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Hailing from Finland, today we have the legendary Throes of Dawn finally delivering a new release after six years of waiting. As one of the first Finish Progressive/Melodic Black Metal bands in the 90’s, their sound has truly evolved into a magical combination of Atmospheric/Progressive/Gothic/Dark Metal elements. Featuring over 65 minutes of music, the seven tracks presented in “Our Voices Shall Remain” will transport the listener to very emotional melodic realms.

Slowly building up with the hypnotic atmosphere of “Mesmerized”, the band creates a very subtle dreamy vibe thanks to the distant guitars and bass guitar line. The band’s earlier Black Metal days are still infused in the music, as songs like “We Used to Speak in Colours” start off quite heavily and slowly mellow into the album’s groove. Only using clean vocals, Henri Koivula, manages to sound a bit like Jukka Vuorinen from Decoryah, adding an extra layer of emotions to the music, tracks like “Lifelines” are a perfect example of this.

Kuolemanlaakso - M. Laakso - Vol. 1: The Gothic Tapes (2016)

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Hailing from Finland, today we have a very strange and totally awesome release from Kuolemanlaakso. Departing away from their typical Death/Doom influences, this release is Markus Laakso’s brainchild, allowing it to be weirder and less straightforward. While not the typical release for this band, this release delivers eight very unique tracks that showcase a different creative side from some of the band members.

Opening with the gloomy “Children of the Night”, we instantly hear the difference when it comes to tempo and atmosphere. Laakso’s vocals are quite good for the genre, making the tracks quite mysterious while having the authentic deep Gothic Rock/Metal sound. With the catchy and somewhat “Rolls the Dice with the Devil” and “Where the River Runs Red” following up next, the band manages to sound like a mixture of bands like The Vision Bleak, Type O Negative and even some hints of H.I.M… all in a very good way.

Delain – Moonbathers (2016)

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Returning with their fifth full-length release, today we have Delain and their impressive and bombastic Symphonic/Gothic Metal sound. With “Moonbathers”, the band takes things one step further delivering lush orchestrations, crushing guitar riffs, and mesmerizing vocal arrangements, allowing their sound to be as explosive and expansive as ever. If you are a fan of the band or the genre, this album has all the right ingredients to become a classic.

Opening with the lively “Hands of Gold”, the band sets a very high bar with such a bombastic song which features a duet with Alissa White-Gluz. The superbly catchy “Suckerpunch” is a very solid third act in this increasingly more intense and bombastic release. Released earlier this year with the “Lunar Prelude”, this song showcases the band’s evolution into a more dynamic and explosive unit, which can be easily compared to bands like Nightwish and Epica.

Sabaton – The Last Stand (2016)

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Returning with their amazing War-inspired Power Metal, today we have Sabaton and their latest opus “The Last Stand”. Produced, mixed and engineered by Peter Tägtgren, this release builds up on the band’s epic legacy and delivers 11 brilliant anthems that will have you feeling all pumped after listening to them. Sticking to their successful formula, this album is exactly what all Sabaton fans are waiting for.

Opening with the dramatic keyboards of “Sparta”, the band launches to battle with soaring choral arrangements and the unmistakable voice of Joakim Brodén. This track serves as the perfect warm-up for the epic tracks that are to follow. The band pummels through tracks like “Last Dying Breath” and the crafty and quite unique “Blood of Bannockburn” making it sound easy to make anthemic songs that will stick in your head for days.

Drudkh / Grift – Betrayed by the Sun / Hägringar (2016)

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We rarely review split releases, but due to the involvement of both the legendary Drudkh and the gritty Grift, this one made the cut. As a collaboration between Nordvis Produktion and Season of Mist, this four song split release is filled with melancholic Black Metal. Hailing from Ukraine and Sweden respectively, these two outfits have perfected the craft of highly emotional Black Metal that is both aggressive and memorable.

Opening the release we have Drudkh and their “His Twenthy- Fourth Spring” master piece. This track delivers the band signature tempo changes that weave from intense BM passages to more melodic and refined interludes. With a very graceful pace, this track has a certain Vreid/Windir vibe that we find magical. The heavy hitter “Autumn in Sepia” delivers another onslaught of brilliant riffing and tight drumming, perfectly paired with harsh vocals and a very atmospheric chorus section.

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