Album Reviews

  • Russkaja – Kosmopoliturbo (2017)

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    Superbly bizarre Austrian outfit Russkaja is back with yet another totally deranged release with “Kosmopoliturbo”. Adding a few more influences to their already funky Ska-ish sound, the band delivers ten songs that will either make you avoid them like the plague, or find you bizarrely interest in listening to them for extended periods of time. Filled with lush musical arrangements and very catchy songs, this release is one of those love it or hate it kind of albums, so be sure to approach it with an open mind.

    Opening with the extra catchy “Hey Road”, the band instantly showcases the Polka/Ska influences with this very palatable song that reminds us of a mixture of Angizia and the Devil Swing Orchestra. Things get a bit crazier with the throbbing bass guitar line of “Alive” as this track descends into total madness before its completion. Learning new tricks, the band delivers the reggaetón-inspired “Still in Love”, with auto-tune and everything, this track is truly odd and very mainstream sounding, but you can still get the signature Russkaja weirdness in it.

  • Exit Eden – Rhapsodies in Black (2017)

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    As one of the most unique ‘super groups’ to hit the scene, today we have Exit Eden and their debut release “Rhapsodies in Black”. Featuring famed and established Metal vocalists Amanda Somerville, Clémentine Delauney, and up and coming talent Marina La Torraca and Anna Brunner, this outfit is definitely not lacking in vocal talent. This release delivers over 11 tracks with are all cover songs from artists ranging from Depeche Mode to Rihanna. While this might sound a bit odd, this release definitely will appear to fans of Gothic/Symphonic Metal as it has some killer musical arrangements on top of lush vocal harmonies.

    Opening with “Question of Time”, the band sets a very lively mood while covering Depeche Mode’s hit. While some of the covers are more interesting than others, tracks like “Impossible” and “Frozen” truly showcase the band’s unique vocal talents while perfectly balancing the unique signing styles of the band’s members. Other songs like their cover of Brian Adams “Heaven”, rely on individual vocal talents and very well-crafted arrangements that totally re-interpret a very well-known song into heavier territories.

  • Totengott – Doppelgänger (2017)

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    Originally started as a Celtic Frost cover band, today we have Spain’s Totengott and their debut full-length release “Doppelgänger”. With a very old-school and raw style, this band combines Doom and Thrash Metal elements into a very decadent sound that is quite engaging and sickening. Just imagine a Doom version of Celtic Cross and you will be closer to what the band actually sounds like.

    Starting the release with the 8-minute “Delusion of Negation”, the band creates a very thick atmosphere with punishing riffs and atmospheric arrangements. The drums/tempo have that old-school Black/Thrash vibe with a Punkier edge. Being the shortest track in this release, the band sets a very unforgiving atmosphere for this release.

  • Our Ceasing Voice – Free Like Tonight (2017)

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    We are constantly surprised when a band that we actually quite enjoy reaches out to us via our website to submit their music for review. Today we have Austria’s melancholic/Atmospheric Gothic/Alternative Rock trio Our Ceasing Voice with their latest full-length release “Free Like Tonight”. Delivering eleven moody tracks, this release continues the band’s musical exploration of mellow and bleak territories.

    Combining elements from bands like H.I.M, End of Green and Katatonia, the band kicks off with the moody “The Arsonists”. In this very bleak song, Dominik Dörfler’s raspy vocals instantly set a very dark mood that is greatly enhanced by a slow tempo and minimalist atmospheric elements. Things slowly progress with lush tracks like the playful “Gone”, the entertaining album-title track, and the somber “New York in the Rain”, which incidentally feels a whole lot like watching tear drop on a quiet evening.

  • Dark Sanctuary – Dark Sanctuary (2017)

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    Arriving unexpectedly to our inbox this month we have a new release from France’s Dark Sanctuary. Having been on hiatus since 2009 or so, this band was recognized in the Darkwave/Gothic/Atmospheric scene back in the day. In 2017, they surprise us with six ‘Metal’ renditions of older material, crafting a very melancholic and powerful Gothic/Doom vibe. For those of use that yearn for the late 2000’s Gothic/Doom Metal releases, this album will certainly fill that void.

    Opening with the lively “Laissez-moi mourir”, we get a very Lacrima Profundere vibe with catchy guitars, subtle keyboards and a very upbeat tempo surrounded by a generally Gothic/Dark vibe. As expected, Dame Pandora’s vocals instantly shine in this very engaging track that reminds us a bit of Edge of Sanity meets Therion. The dark atmosphere created by the heavy riffs and atmospheric keyboards of “Cristal”, make for quite a memorable experience, setting a very enjoyable mood.

  • BVDK – Architecture of Future Tribes (2017)

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    Delivering one of the weirdest and most unique releases of 2017 (so far), today we have France’s BVDK and their debut full-length release “Architecture of Future Tribes”. Featuring over 44 minutes of magical weirdness, this trio mixes elements from Industrial, Avant-garde and Black Metal into a very unique experimental mix, that sounds actually quite appealing. Reminding us of a mixture of Diabolos Rising and Kovenant, this is certainly a very interesting release.

    The weirdness brilliantly starts with the heavy riffs and odd percussions of “Snatcher”. As the atmospheric keyboards enshroud this song, the band delivers funky choral arrangements, creating a very disturbing and yet intoxicating atmosphere. If this first track was not weird enough, the Industrial Dance vibe of “Surreptitious Cluster” or the funky samples/tempo of “Nana Buluku” will certainly catch you off-guard and get you hooked into the band’s bizarre musical powers.

  • Kingdom – Sepulchral Psalms from the Abyss of Torment (2016)

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    Continuing our exploration of Godz ov War productions goodie package we received a few days ago, today we have Kingdom’s third full-length release “Sepulchral Psalms from the Abyss of Torment”. Featuring over 34 min of crushing Death Metal, this band perfectly balances old-school Swedish and Florida Death Metal influences with their own brand of depravity to create a truly oppressive sound.

    Kicking off with “Sepulchral Psalms”, the band sets a very sinister mood that is greatly magnified by the sheer brutality of “Monolith of Death”. The band’s music is quite intense, as this trio delivers pummeling riffs, bestial drumming and hellish vocals. However, the meaty hooks and melodic aspect of songs like “Forsaken Tribe” is what makes their sound quite unique and less linear than your average DM band.

  • Evadne – A Mother Named Death (2017)

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    Hailing from Spain, today we have Atmospheric Death/Doom quintet Evadne and their latest release “A Mother Named Death”. With the band being on our radar since their debut release “The 13th Condition”, we are quite excited to hear that they have blossomed into a very dynamic and engaging outfit. Delivering over 60 minutes of music, this band aims to take the throne of the most melancholic Spanish band from Helevorn, with this killer release.

    Opening with the mellow “Adobe of Distress”, we are treated to a very traditional Death/Doom song filled with pummeling guitars and killer vocal arrangements. We particularly enjoy when a band can mix both clean and harsh vocals in a very organic and complementary way. Invoking their internal Swallow the Sun, “Scars that Bleed Again” delivers a perfect balance of sheer aggression and atmospheric magic, allowing the band to showcase their contrasting versatility.

  • Wren - Auburn Rule (2017)

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    Keeping things Heavy and Sludgy with their debut full-length release, today we have UK’s Wren unleashing “Auburn Rule”. Delivering six tracks of highly atmospheric Doom/Sludge, this band sounds like a combination of Neurosis and AmenRa, while maintaining their own signature style of aural terror.

    The release opens with the hypnotic riffing of “In Great Yield”, this Neurosis-esque piece slowly builds up around razor sharp guitars and fuzzy distortion that create a very thick and powerful atmosphere. The vocals are your typical raspy screams, fitting very well with the underlying musical structure. Continuing the onslaught, “Scour the Grassland” keeps the intensity rolling with a piercing bass guitar line working in parallel with intricate percussions and the incisive guitars.

  • One Master – Lycanthropic Burrowing (2017)

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    Hailing from the USA, today we have Black Metal battalion One Master and their fourth full-length release “Lycanthropic Burrowing”. Delivering one of the most intense USBM performances of the year, this release clocks in at 35 minutes of pure Armageddon. Always raw and uncompromising, the six tracks in this release will rattle your speakers and pierce your soul with their punishing nature.

    The release fires up two very brutal tracks to instantly pull the listener into the band’s world. With “The Claws of Dionysus” and “Will of the Shadow”, we are treated to ravaging guitars perfectly paired with pummeling drums and very firm harsh vocals. The band’s musical core, while simple, it is just too powerful to be tamed and oozes out of your speakers with great violence.

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