Saille – Gnosis (2017)

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Hailing from Belgium, today we have the always improving Symphonic Black Metal outfit Saille and their fourth full-length release “Gnosis”. Returning with their highly melodic music, the band manages to craft 45 minutes divided in nine tracks that showcase their musical evolution in to a cleaner and leaner outfit since their conception. After releasing 3 albums in a span of 4 years, the band took more than two years to fully prepare and unleash this near perfect gem into the world.

Opening with the melodic riffing of “Benei ha'Elohim”, the band slowly introduces their clean cut musical style that remind us of bands like Apostasy, Old Man's Child, and Emperor. Things get catchier with the Dimmu Borgir-esque “Pandaemonium Gathers”, the perfect contrast between funky keyboards and pummeling drums/guitars make this song quite interesting and engaging. The killer solos and melancholic guitars in “Blôt” brilliantly complement Dennie Grondelaers mixture of growls and shrieks, making this track one of the most complete and diverse pieces in this release.

Memoriam – The Hellfire Demos II (2017)

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Keeping the old-school Death Metal flame alive, today we have Memoriam and their 7” vinyl release “The Hellfire Demos II”. Featuring members of Bolt Thrower and Benediction, this band gives us a taste of their crushing sound with two very promising tracks. If you grew up with late 80’s and early 90’s Death Metal, this release brings back that familiar rawness and catchiness of the era.

Opening with “Drone Strike”, the band’s vocalist Karl Willetts instantly delivers his raspy vocals to a very powerful mix of pummeling riffs and tight drumming. The song’s tempo perfectly allows the listener to headbang to it while keeping things aggressive. The band does a pretty solid job in delivering a timeless Death Metal vibe with their music.

Illimitable Dolor – Illimitable Dolor (2017)

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Perfectly capturing feeling of grief and sorrow, today we have Atmospheric/Funeral Doom Metal outfit Illimitable Dolor and their self-titled debut release. Clocking in at around 45 minutes, this release delivers four crushing tracks of Skepticism, Thergothon and Mournful Congregation inspired music that will darken your soul by the first few minutes.

Opening with the majestic weeping guitars and atmospheric keys of “Rail of Moon, A Stone”, the band sets a very high bar in terms of melancholy. Perfectly weaving back and forth between punishing riffs and slowly paced drumming, the band creates a very powerful and retro vibe sending chills down the listeners’ spine. Things pick up a bit with the moody “Comet Dies or Shines”, a song which features interesting tempo changes and even more dramatic keyboard arrangements.

Fleurety - Fragmenta Cuinsvis Aetatis Contemporaneae (2017)

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Keeping things as weird and unique as possible, today we have the legendary Fleurety and their latest EP titled “Fragmenta Cuinsvis Aetatis Contemporaneae”. Released as a 7” vinyl, the listener gets two more windows in to the band’s unique, and pretty deranged, musical vision. If you like weird stuff, this is definitely something you need to check out.

Very far from their Black Metal origins in the seminal “Min tid skal komme”, the band has continued to evolve over the years perfectly creating a very bizarre sound that just keeps getting better and better with time. Exhibit A in this release is the trippy “Consensus”, a song that is quite experimental with influences ranging from Noise to Drone and all the way to Jazz. This piece creates a very dissonant and uncomfortable atmosphere that is equally brilliant and insane at the same time.

Au Champ des Morts – Dans La Joie (2017)

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Delivering one the of most brutal and yet melancholic releases of the last few years, today we have French newcomers Au Champ des Morts and their demoralizing debut release “Dans la Joie”. Featuring seven tracks of brilliant Black Metal, the band blends influences from outfits like Anorexia Nervosa, Shade Empire, etc. with some Post-Black Metal sprinkles thrown into the mix. If you are only going to buy one album this month, better make sure it is this one.

The mournful explosiveness of “Nos Decombres” perfectly sets the mood for this release. Mixing highly melancholic riffs with gut-wrenching vocals, this album opens with a killer bang. This opening track is loaded with raw emotions nearing its end, making it quite the experience… and it is only the first six minutes. Keeping things melodic and yet highly dissonant, the oppressive riffing of “Apres Le Carnage” brilliantly continues the album’s ravaging pace.

Xandria – Theater of Dimensions (2017)

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Fully exploiting the band’s newfound strengths around singer Dianne van Giersbergen, Xandria delivers one of the best Symphonic/Gothic Metal albums of the last few months with “Theater of Dimensions”. Crafting over 74 minutes of lush and bombastic songs, the band reaches the levels of excellence of bands like Epica, Within Temptation and Nightwish with this killer release filled with epic melodies and mesmerizing arrangements.

Opening with the very dramatic and engaging “Where the Heart is Home”, we instantly get a superbly epic vibe thanks to the vocal arrangements and over the top orchestrations. The band quickly showcases their very diverse musical style while going through excellent songs like “Death to the Holy”, “Forsaken Love” and “Call of Destiny”, all of them showing influences from everything ranging from Power Metal to Folk Metal, but with the distinctive Xandria edge.

Kalloused – Damn You Believer (2016)

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Perfectly delivering just the right amount of distortion to burst your speakers, today we have Kalloused and their debut release “Damn You Believer”. Featuring over 25 minutes of an intense mixture of Sludge, Doom and Post-Metal, this band delivers a good dosage of pummeling riffs that will make your ears ring for a few days. If you like bands like Neurosis and Amenra, this should be right around your alley.

Opening with the mysterious momentum builder “Pt. 1”, we are slowly introduced into the band’s world of ripping guitar riffs and punishing bass guitar lines as the track progresses. Settling more into their own sound, “Pt. 2” showcases a powerful band that perfectly times their vocal assaults around their imposing wall of sound. Not breaking much out of character, “Pt. 3” continues the onslaught with some cool opening drum patterns and a very chaotic vibe to start off one of their most aggressive and diverse pieces.

Kjeld / Wederganger – Split (2016)

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Showcasing two of the most interesting Dutch Black Metal bands, today we have Ván Records Kjeld and Wederganger split release. Unluckily released at the end of 2016, this split release deserves your attention as it delivers five Black Metal tracks that range for raw and atmospheric to catchy and creepy. As a highly recommended release for BM fans, this is the perfect introduction to two bands killer sound.

Kjeld opens the release with the pummeling “Banier van Frisia”, this opening track sets a very intense mood with crushing riffs and superb drumming. Remind us at times of bands like Algazanth, “Wanskepsel” perfectly blends atmospheric elements with melodic riffs, a perfect blend for headbanging passages. The last Kjeld track is the blistering “Keningsein”, a furiously paced piece that again features that cold and dissonant Scandinavian Black Metal vibe.

Summer Breeze - 2017 - Preview

Celebrating their 20th year as a festival, Summer Breeze is throwing one of the biggest bashes this summer with headliners like Megadeath, Ammon Amarth, Kreator, Amorphis, etc, and many other killer bands. As one of the favorite festivals of all our German friends, we decided to finally attend this event and we are sure it will be an amazing one. Happening from August 16th to the 19th, at the Aeroclub Dinkelsbühl, this promises to be an insane party. Here is the full lineup (so-far):

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