Akoma – Revangels (2017)

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After a brilliant 2016 filled with Symphonic/Gothic Metal releases from bands like Epica and Delain, it is quite delightful to hear that 2017 will follow along the same lines, starting with Akoma’s debut full-length “Revangels”. Featuring nine tracks filled with bombastic arrangements, this release perfectly combines soaring vocals and catchy guitars to achieve very dramatic and engaging songs.

The release opens with the very dramatic “Enticing Desire”, a song that reminded us of some of the most recent Within Temptation’s releases. Akoma’s vocalist, Tanya Bell, perfectly balances combining operatic style vocals with more ‘natural’ singing, which in turn allows songs like the opener and “Change of Propensity” to be quite dynamic and engaging. The album’s second track features backing vocals by Liv Kristine, adding an extra dimension to the band’s sound.

Vomitron – NESessary Evil (2016)

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Video games and Metal are the two things we love the most over at Infernal Masquerade and when combined, life can’t get any better. Vomitron’s triumphal return delivers over 60 minutes of superb instrumental music which brings to life several video game themes that will make you dust off your NES console and relive your childhood. With “NESessary Evil” this one-man band positions itself as the finest Video Game Metal outfit in the world.

Opening with the music of Rare’s classic “Wizards & Warriors”, the album instantly transports the listener to simpler days of spending your evening doing homework as quick as possible to start playing video games until bed time. Next up we have a part one of a great rendition of the music from “Metroid” filled with dramatic guitar leads and funky keyboards that closely resemble the original 8-bit, but take it to a whole new level of detail and creativity.

Paria – Knochenkamp (2016)

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Closing 2016 and very appropriately set for release on Christmas day, today we have Black Metal outfit Paria and their devastating EP titled “Knochenkamp”. Delivering 28 minutes of punishing Black Metal, the band combines incisive riffs with hellish vocals to create a very foul and demoralizing atmosphere that submits the listener from beginning to end.

After a drone-ish eerie intro, the band lashes at the listener with the piercing rifing of “Pergamentikkch Nemesis”. A very interesting thing in this track is the funky bass guitar line that instantly gets under your skin and allows the music to be psychedelic and weirder in nature. The mixture of screams reminds us at times of early Bethlehem. The band’s sound is raw and uncompromising as you can hear in the all-out war anthem “So Far From the Hidden God”, a track that will haunt your dreams.

Nachtzeit – Sagor I Natten (2016)

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As yet another side project from the man behind Lustre, today we have Nachtzeit and his ‘solo’ project under the same unleashing its EP “Sagor I Natten”. Focusing more on intensity, this release will remind you a bit of Lustre, but with a more destructive and raw edge. If you are a fan of one-man battalions, we can assure you that this release is a worthy addition to your collection.

Wasting no time to pummel the listener into submission, “Ett fjärran mine” is full of ferocity in the shape of blistering riffs and devilish harsh vocals. The track sets a nice groove in terms of tempo that is nicely continued by the relentless “De färdas genom natten”. Nachtzeit’s vocals are the perfect match for the wall of sound created by the hectic riffing. The drumming on the other side sounds bit plain, when you compare the rest of the music, but it gets the job done.

Crimson Moon – Oneiroaut (2016)

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After more than 10 years since their last full-length release, we finally have Crimson Moon back with their latest opus “Oneiroaut”. Delivering six crafty Black Metal hymns, this release is rare gem in a world filled with BM albums that all sound the same. Mixing creepy atmospheric elements with a retro-sounding Black Metal foundation, Scorpios Androctonus and company deliver one of the creepiest and most effective albums in 2016.

Opening with the blistering “Gossamer of Arachne”, the band sets a high standard in terms of viciousness and intensity. The riffing is quite punishing and the drumming is pretty hectic, but the best part is the eerie atmospheric sections filled with creepy vocals and a very ritualistic vibe. The same raw viciousness is greatly present in killer tracks like “Molding of a Spell” and the brutal “Seeker of the 7th Gate”. Both songs remind us of ‘old-school’ Black Metal like Absu, Lord Belial, and earlier Enthroned.

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