Album Reviews

  • Nervosa - Downfall of Mankind (2018)

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    Unleashing one of the most ravaging Thrash Metal releases of the last few years, today we have Brazilian Nervosa and their third full-length release “Downfall of Mankind”. With extremely punishing brutality, the band unleashes over 45 minutes of demoralizing music. Rapidly climbing the ranks of the genre, this trio is poised to make a run to the top with the extreme quality and intensity behind this release. If you are a Thrash Metal fan, this is definitely one of the most brutal releases of 2018 that you don’t want to miss.

    Opening with “Horrordome”, right after an intro, the band goes for the yugular with intense riffs, bestial drumming and crushing vocal onslaughts by Fernanda Lira and Prika Amaral. As far as violent and intense opening tracks, it can’t get any better than this one. Settling into their crushing intensity and ravaging musicianship, we are treated to demoralizing tracks like “Never Forget, Never Repeat” and “Enslave”. There is a magical clarity into the album’s crystal clear production, which allows you to enjoy every single detail, from the complex drum patterns to the ripping guitar leads from tracks like “Bleeding”, “Vultures” and the chunky “Kill the Silence”.

  • Burial in the Sky - Creatio Et Hominus (2018)

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    Unleashing one of the most inventive and catchy Progressive/Technical Death Metal releases of 2018, today we have Burial in the Sky and their sophomore release “Creatio Et Hominus”. Filled with lush instrumental passages and highly crafty pummeling sections, this release perfectly balances the best of two worlds to deliver seven expertly crafted tracks that will keep you entertained for hours at a time.

    Opening with the dreamy jazzy sax of “Nexus”, the band sets a mysterious tone while intoxicating the listener with their atmospheric intro. This peaceful mood quickly changes into growls and crushing drumming with “Tesla”. This track reminds us of a mixture of Cynic and Fallujah, as the moody bass guitar line perfectly contrasts the aggressive guitar riffs and blistering solos. Perfectly dancing between lush atmospheric passages into more technical brutality, the band tiptoes through tracks like “Nautilus’ Cage” and the playful “The Pivotal Flame”.

  • Eye of Solitude - Slaves to Solitude (2018)

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    Fronted by Daniel Neagoe (Clouds, Shape of Despair), today we have Funeral Doom outfit Eye of Solitude and their latest opus “Slaves to Solitude”. Just fresh from their North American West Coast mini-tour, this band unleashes one of the most misery inducing Funeral Doom releases of the last few years. Up with Mournful Congregation, Clouds, and Shape of Despair, this band creates uniquely melancholic crushing songs that will extinguish your will to live.

    The album kicks off with the dreamy “The Blind Earth”, a song that takes a while to build up, but once it reaches the 7 minute mark it becomes increasingly punishing. Daniel’s inhuman growls perfectly complement the bleak and desolate atmosphere created. With Mark Antoniades and Steffan Gough handling the guitar dutties, tracks like “Still Descending” perfectly deliver that brilliant Doomy sound of weeping guitars and well-timed heavy riffs.

  • Varsovie - Coups et Blessures (2018)

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    Hailing from France, today we have dark post-punk/rock outfit Varsovie and their latest full-length release “Coups et Blessures”. Filled with moody songs and superbly catchy and somber arrangements, this release is definitely one of the ‘non-metal’ highlights we have heard in 2018. Recommended for fans of bands like Spiritual Front and similar outfits, Varsovie does a great job delivering a hard rocking release that is captivating and engaging.

    Opening with the bluntness of “Coups et Blessures”, the band sets a very lively tone with catchy percussions and interesting guitar leads. The mood is quite somber and yet very raw, allowing emotions to easily flow through brilliant tracks like “Revers de l’aube” and our favorite “Va dire à Sparte”. While not even close to Metal music, these last two tracks feature some very powerful and engaging riffs that make them quite memorable and perfectly fitting for the band’s overall attitude.

  • Selbst - Secular Compendium (2018)

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    Featuring remastered versions of their demo tape, “Veritas filia temporis” and two other splits, “Secular Compendium” showcases Selbst’s early days and how they have evolved to become one of the most savage Black Metal artists to ever come out of South America. Clocking in at 53 minutes, this limited release will rock your socks off and provide more insight into the band’s musical journey, not to be missed by any BM fans.

    Opening with the dense riffing of “Veritas Filia Temporis I”, this album kicks off a demoralizing Black Metal journey with razor sharp guitars and an oppressive atmosphere. While staying true to their punishing nature, the band also showcases excellent melodic passages that remind us of bands like Dissection and many 90’s European BM outfits. “Veritas Filia Temporis II” continues the onslaught with hellish vocals and a somber and yet piercing atmosphere.

  • Ihsahn – Àmr (2018)

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    Delicately balancing between Progressive and Extreme Metal, today we have the legendary Ihsahn and his seventh full-length release “Àmr”. For over 43 minutes, the master deliver some very unique and forward thinking music that stills retains the hunger and incisiveness of Ihsahn’s earlier work with Emperor while exploring newer and more complex musical directions.

    Unleashing an incisive array of keyboards and harsh screams, the album perfectly kicks off with the hectic “Lend Me the Eyes of the Millennia”. This track follows more of Ihsahn’s early work structures, but with a modern and cutthroat edge that no other band has in Extreme Metal. The album’s first single, “Arcana Imperii” with a perfect blend of funky tempo changes and playful drumming that leads to dramatic vocal arrangements and crafty instrumentation. We highly enjoyed the moody clean vocals that give the song a more accessible (to non-extreme metal fans) side while enjoying Ihsahn’s brilliant song writing skills.

  • Black Mare & Offret – Alone Among Mirrors (2018)

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    We are not big on reviewing split releases, but when we saw Black Mare and Offret put into one release, we got quite curious. Unleashing two very hypnotic and highly atmospheric tracks, this 7 inch vinyl and digital release transports the listeners into very carefully crafted worlds. For fans of experimental and highly atmospheric music, this is one release you don’t want to miss.

    Opening with Black Mare’s “Woman the Throne”, Sera Timms crafts a very somber and Doomy atmosphere with minimalistic riffs and enthralling vocal arrangements. This track nicely flows, slowly intoxicating the listener with the incisive guitar work and ritualistic drumming. Creating a very dark and dense atmosphere, the six minute duration of this track will feel like a lot longer – in a good way.

  • Dimmu Borgir – Eonian (2018)

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    Eight years have passed since Dimmu Borgir’s last release and tons of speculation an expectations have been building up to the unleashing of “Eonian”. Without wasting any more time, this release is truly outstanding as it builds on the band’s legacy of uncompromising creativity and musical exploration. In “Eonian” the band features a very raw and evil Black Metal core, reminiscent of the band’s older releases with retaining the grandiose orchestral and symphonic edge the band has been maturing since “Enthrone Darkness Triumphant”.

    The band makes a bold opening statement with the lush “The Unveiling”, a song filled with incisive Black Metal riffs and dramatic choir arrangements. This song brings us back to where “Abrahadabra” left off, bringing back the lush and complex sound that made that release amazing. The album’s first single “Interdimensional Summit”, unleashes unparalleled catchiness in its chorus section, while delivering killer drum patterns and playful tempo changes. As “ÆTheric” and “Council of Wolves and Snakes” roll by, we are totally intoxicated by the band’s powerful atmosphere and brilliant execution. The creepy wolves sound paired with the throat singing of this later track make up for one hellish experience.

  • Kalmah – Palo (2018)

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    After a period of five years since the band’s last release, fans were eagerly awaiting the latest offering from Finish Melodic Death Metal act Kalmah. Under the title “Palo”, the band unleashes one of the most brilliant onslaughts of melodic music ever to be recorded. Clocking in at around 46 minutes, Kalmah delivers ten tracks of impressive quality that feature their signature style with a modern sounding edge, making it their best release to date.

    Opening with the catchy riffs of “Blood Ran Cold”, the band sets a very epic melodic mood from the start. With a very Finish Melodic Death Metal sound, the band instantly brings memories of their earlier works and the guitar acrobatics of bands like Children of Bodom. However, not everything is just blistering solos, as the band has some of the chunkiest riffs in the business as we can hear in the opening of “The Evil Kin” and the melancholic “The World of Rage”.

  • Behemoth – Messe Noire: Live Satanist (2018)

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    Unleashing one of the most brutal live releases of 2018, today we have Poland’s Behemoth and the “Live Satanist” audio CD part from their massive “Messe Noire” live release. Delivering the nine songs from their crushing 2014 release “Satanist”, the band showcases their tight live set and raw power they deliver to crowds. If you haven’t been able to see the band live, this release certainly brings that experience to your ears from the comfort of your own home (or car).

    The mood is brilliantly set by the mysterious opening of “Blow Your Trumpets Gabriel”, as the band levels the audience with incisive riffs and sheer heaviness. The album perfectly captures the band’s top-notch live production, allowing every single instrument to shine, with the layering just right. Showcasing their extremely tight live sound, the band pummels through the albums majestic tracks while leaving the crowd clamoring for more.

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