Madder Mortem – Eight Ways (2009)

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I can always count on Madder Mortem to enthrall me with their amazingly bizarre music and “Eight Ways” is not the exception. After two years since their last release “Desiderata” this Norwegian band is back with another masterpiece that will please all fans of the band.

Madder Mortem sound is very ‘bizarre’ to say the least, but I don’t mean this in a freak show kind of way, but instead I mean that they manage to fuse and combine so many different elements of so many genres (not necessarily from metal), and create some of the most hauntingly beautiful songs. They are also a band that most people would either love or hate I don’t think there is any middle point in linking them.

Be’lakor – Stone’s Reach (2009)

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Be’lakor has managed to blow us away once more by releasing an extremely amazing album, even better than their highly praised debut album “The Frail Tide”.

This Australian Melodic Death Metal band has been able to quickly climb spots as one of the premier Melodic Death Metal band’s of the scene, and they have done so with only 2 releases under their belt, both of them were self-released.

Autumnblaze – Perdition Diaries (2009)

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After Autumnblaze disbanded in 2006 I was pretty disappointed that I would never get to listen to another album from this band, but for my luck they got back together in 2008, and featuring Eldron, Arisjel and Schwadorf the band wrote and recorded “Perdition Diaries”.

“Perdition Diaries” takes us back a bit to the older and more aggressive material the band wrote for their first album “DämmerElbenTragödie”. However the band still keeps their melancholic sound of latter releases perfectly. This album is more of a nice mixture of the bands previous musical efforts blended in together with new ideas.

Viatrophy – Viatrophy (2009)

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When I heard that this band had Metalcore influences, I was very cautious since it’s one the genres that I can’t stand, since all releases sound very much alike and the vocal work just makes me want to shoot my self.

So after gathering enough courage start playing this self titled album I hit play and after a flashy into I’m blown away with their brutal Death Metal opening from their second track “Mistress Of Misery”. While the band plays mainly Death Metal you can hear some of the dreaded Metalcore influences here and there but it’s still pretty brutal and technical.

Onslaught - Live Damnation (2009)

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“Live Damnation” is the latest offering from British Trash Metal legends Onslaught. We usually don’t review live albums since they do not usually feature new material, but we will talk about the recording sound, what’s on it, and such things.

After releasing a so so album back in 2007, the band has been touring extensively so they decided to release a live album. “Live Damnation” features 8 tracks of old school Trash Metal that brings back those glory days.

Forest Stream - The Crown of Winter (2009)

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Have you ever wondered what a band with multiple personality disorder (MPD) would sound?, well look no further since Forest Stream has a very interesting case of MPD.“The Crown Of Winter” features 4 tracks of amazing Gothic Death/ Doom Metal, 2 tracks of Melodic Black Metal (Emperor style) and one intro and one outro tracks.

While the band excels at both styles, it’s still pretty weird to listen to such a shocking change from one song to the other!. Luckily for them I’m not a genre purist and only reviews one type of music well and trashes the rest, since this would have been very negative for this amazing release.

Xerath – I (2009)

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Xerath has been touted as a mixture of Meshuggah and the symphonic sound of Dimmu Borgir, and this is a very accurate description of this band in our opinion. Having an amazing movie score like bombastic sound they are here to blow people away.

Usually when a band is blown up to sound like this they end up being a big disappointment but for Xerath this rule does not apply, this band is all of that and way more, “I” is such a rich album that I had to listen to it more than ten times to fully appreciate and digest all the layers this release has.

Imperial Vengeance - At the Going Down of the Sun (2009)

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Imperial Vengeance took me by surprise when I first started listening to this album, I honestly did not expect much from it since the only thing I knew about the band was that Charles Hedger, a live member of Cradle Of Filth plays in it.

The band’s overall bombastic sound is what makes this release so interesting, since the 2nd track you are blown away by interesting orchestrations and deranged sounding vocals, a very original atmosphere that very few bands can pull off (like The Vision Bleak). I must say that this band is one of the weirdest and most original I’ve heard in quite a while, the band’s label for their sound is “Dark Aristocratic Metal" which sounds very accurate to me since they present a very rich Dark Metal sound.

Pantheon-I - Worlds I Create (2009)

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Pantheon I is a five piece outfit from Norway that play traditional Black Metal with a very interesting sounding twist, they use Cello arrangements to complement their blasphemous music.

While it’s nothing new to use <insert any instrument here> with Black Metal, Pantheon I actually achieved a very characteristic sound that not many bands trying to mix something with BM have achieved.

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