Album Reviews

  • Coldborn - Lingering Voidwards (2016)

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    Bringing back the days when Black Metal was intended to be unsettling and highly creepy, today we have one-man project Coldborn and its debut full-length release “Lingering Voidwards”. Masterminded by Norgaath of Grimfaug and Nightbringer fame, this release delivers over 47 minutes of bone-chilling raw Black Metal with enough atmospheric elements to make you sleep with the light on at night for the rest of your life.

    Perfectly balancing eerie atmospheres with ravaging lo-fi Black Metal, the album opens with the 12 minute behemoth “The Call of Death’s Clarion”. This track nicely blends some Doom-ish elements into the music, creating a very engaging and disturbing atmosphere. Coldborn continues its onslaught with the blistering opening of “In the Absence of Light, Death Gazes”. As the track progresses, we are reminded of older Satyricon, Tartaros and even Limbonic Art, thanks to the combination of slower paced sections with very prominent keyboards.

  • Fjoergyn – Lucifer Es (2017)

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    Hailing from Germany today we have Fjoergyn and their latest very impressive foray into the realm of Avant-garde Black Metal with “Lucifer Es”. Joining the elite list of bands like Anomalie, Agrypnie, and Nocte Obducta, which are re-defining the genre, this band delivers 61 minutes of action packed music that commands your attention from start to end. Perfectly crafted for fans of the bizarre and complex, this release is one hell of a ride.

    After opening with the somber “MMXVII”, the band perfectly blends punishing riffs with intricate atmospheric arrangements as we hear in “Leviathan”. The mixture of vocal styles is something that instantly sticks out from such a unique mixture of elements, giving the band that extra level of creepiness. With tracks like “Viva La Inquisition” exploiting the band’s heavier side, Fjoergyn delivers a very expansive and relentless sound that very few bands can pull off.

  • Ex Deo – The Immortal Wars (2017)

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    Everybody’s favorite Roman-inspired band is finally back with another killer onslaught of dramatic symphonic elements and a catchy guitar riffs. “The Immortal Wars” marks Ex Deo’s return with nearly 40 minutes of superbly entertaining music, their first foray since the brilliant “Caligvla” back in 2012. If you like music that has a certain epic feeling to it, similar to bands like Sabaton and Fleshgod Apocalypse, you will love this one.

    Opening with the pummeling “The Rise of Hannibal”, the band wastes no time in showing off the big guns with dramatic orchestrations and a solid (and heavy) musical core filled with catchy riffs. Playful tracks like “Hispania” perfectly showcase the band’s skills in balancing heavy sections with hyper fast drumming with more melodic and atmospheric rhythmical sections for headbanging. The opening of “Crossing of the Alps” will greatly send chills down your spine, but it is the punishing Death Metal elements of this track that will make you love it.

  • Mord’A’Stigmata – Hope (2017)

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    Finally returning with a thought-provoking full-length release, today we have Poland’s Mord’A’Stigmata and their latest offering “Hope”. Continuing their musical evolution, this release delivers over 40 minutes of hard to define music filled heavy Post-Black Metal overtones. If you are a fan of bands like Harakiri for the Sky, Anomalie, and even Moonspell, this release will certainly appeal to you.

    Opening with the 12-minute title-track, the band leads with expertly layered guitars and a very enigmatic pace. The mixture of clean and harsh vocals reminds us a bit of Moonspell. However, the intricate guitar work is what truly makes this track quite unique and engaging. The band continues their musical experiments with the faster paced “The Tomb from Fear and Doubt”. This song we are treated to faster drums alongside hypnotic instrumental interludes.

  • Varaha – Varaha (2017)

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    With the considerable amount of albums that we receive for review each month, it is quite hard for one of them to standout as much as Varaha’s self-titled EP did. Featuring 15 minutes of uniquely blended Post-Rock/Doom/Gothic Rock influences into a highly atmospheric canvas, the band crafts three lush tracks that leave the listener wanting a lot more.

    Opening with the melodramatic riffs of “Cubicle”, we are instantly impressed as the song weaves back and forth between Doom and Post-Rock elements while delivering killer clean vocal sections by Fabio Brienza. Once you feel that you have the band pegged down, they switch the script as the clean vocals turn into blistering shrieks while the intensity of the drumming and riffing picks up. All of this magic happens… on the first track.

  • Evenline – In Tenebris (2017)

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    Delivering 10 tracks of radio friendly Alternative Rock/Metal, today we have France’s Evenline and their latest full-length release “In Tenebris”. With a mixture of influences from Alter Bridge, Papa Roach, and similar outfits, this release showcases a band perfecting their craft through highly engaging and entertaining songs. If you are a fan of the more listener-friendly heavy music, this release will certainly go well in your collection.

    Opening with the soaring vocal melodies of “All Against Me” and the catchy riffs of “Straitjacket”, the band does an excellent job in delivering memorable songs that are equally catchy and engaging. Band’s vocalist Arnaud Gueziec as the perfect sound for such a band, and his talents propel songs like “Silene Capensis” and “Echoes of Silence”, both of which also show his heavier side with harsher screams mixed in between.

  • Arria Paetus - Arria Paetus (2016)

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    Delivering one of the most pungent and demoralizing Black Metal onslaughts of 2017, today we have Alaska’s Arria Paetus and their debut self-titled full-length release. Unleashing over 43 minutes of punishing music split in seven tracks, the band perfectly balances unrivaled brutality with melody and rawness. Reminding us of underground bands like Avzhia and more known outfits like Sargeist and Naxul, this band will take you by surprise.

    Opening with the crushing “Slash Your Flesh, Drink to Death”, the band wastes no time in delivering gut-wrenching shrieks and dissonant riffs that slowly build up to total brutality. The savagery unleashed upon the listener on tracks like “Exsanguine” and “The Entropic Hive” perfectly demonstrate the band’s misanthropic views laid on their lyrics.

  • 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.

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