After completely blowing us away with their 2015 EP “An Ominous Landscape”, Selbst returns with a vengeance with their demoralizing full-length debut release. Featuring over 45 minutes of expertly crafted Black Metal, this release is a strong candidate for BM album of the year. With a similar ravaging style to bands like Nightbringer and Watain, this Venezuelan/Chilean duo will ravage your speakers for months to come.
Opening with the bleak atmospheric riffing of “…Of Solitary Ramblings”, the mood is instantly set. Changing vocalists did not slow down this band, as Nicholas Onfray delivers some of the most powerful BM vocals we have heard in a while. The songwriting is quite diverse and while sometimes focuses in building up the atmosphere, some other times like on “Visions of mankind withering” it just focuses on pummeling the listener into submission with piercing aggression.
Perfectly aging with time, like a fine bottle of scotch, today we have Suffocation and their latest opus “…Of the Dark Light”. Delivering over 35 minutes of brutality, Frank Mullen and company embrace the more modern Technical/Brutal DM influences and manage to craft a very traditional Suffocation release that feels fresh and current.
Opening with the sinister “Clarity Through Deprivation”, the Suffocation instantly finds its groove with killer drumming and a very hefty pace. The band’s old-school sound is forever present and you can instantly hear it as they steamroll past “Your Last Breaths”, “Return to the Abyss” and “The Violation”. Paired with fresher ideas, the band manages to deliver punishing tracks filled with brutality and cheeky drum patterns like “Of the Dark Light”, which is both intense and crafty.
Getting tons of digital albums a month makes for a hard predicament of which ones to actually review. While some are easily eliminated by the fact that they are terrible, we are always left with a handful that really caught our attention. Self-released EP “As A Season Bloom” from Hitwood is one of those. Featuring 4 tracks of exploratory melodic Metal, this release has a certain vibe that will attract you to it and will keep you listening.
Opening with the Post-Rock-ish “A Spring Glare Where Green Shine the Brightest”, this one-man project sets a very lively and moody atmosphere. Soothing the listener into such a lush and carefully crafted atmosphere is definitely the best way to start a release. The mood then shifts to more of a folky power ballad with “Memories from a Gentle Summer Evening”, featuring relaxing clean/acoustic guitars and a killer last few minutes, this track nicely continues the moody nature of the EP.
Hailing from Germany, today we have Black Metal duo Rimruna and their devastating sophomore release “Der Hatz entronnen”. Featuring over 55 minutes of soul crushing BM, this release is full of traditional elements perfectly executed to crate superbly evil and oppressing atmosphere. For fans of old Satyricon, Marduk, Immortal, this is one hell of a straight up traditional BM release.
After the traditional acoustic intro track, the band goes on full on war mode with the blast beats and incisive riffing of “Tor der Zeit”. The level of rawness and brutality is quite astounding as this track needs nothing else than the traditional instrument core to be icy and demoralizing. Having that certain old-school Black’n’Roll-ish vibe, “Wirren” continues the onslaught with more intense riffing and the demonic vocals, both courtesy of Wintergrimm. This track also features some fine slower and darker passages.
Only a few bands manage to write a follow-up to a legendary album and succeed at it. Today we have Vintersorg blowing people away with their follow-up of the seminal “Till fjälls”. In this double release, the band unleashes over 75 minutes of classic Vintersorg music that will never leave your record player for the remainder of the year (possibly a few years). Going back to the basics, this is one release you can’t miss.
The album sets the tone with the intense opener “Jökelväktaren”, filled with soaring vocal arrangements and uber catchy guitar work, this perfectly sets the mood for what is to come. For any fan of Vintersorg, the brilliant combination of epic clean vocals and harsh vocals is one of the best features of their releases, particularly in epic tracks like “En väldig isvidds karga dräkt” and the crushing “Fjällets mäktiga mur”.
Being huge fans of moody and atmospheric music, today we are quite pleased with the return EP of Finalnd’s The Chant, titled “Approacher”. Delivering four brilliant tracks, this release is for highly melancholic people that love bands like Anathema, The Gathering, The Man-Eating Tree and Katatonia. Filled with raw emotion, this is one of those releases that will captivate you from start to end.
Kicking off the release with “Unsolved”, Ilpo Paasela’s vocals are instantly recognizable as they emerge through the atmospheric keyboards. The track nicely builds up and sometimes reminds us of bands like Lacrimas Profundere and To/Die/For but a bit less Gothic. Things turn a bit into Industrial territories with the sinister “To Surrender”, a piece that showcases the band’s versatility and range.
Delivering one of the craftiest exercises in brutality, today we have Origin and their latest full-length release “Unparalleled Universe”. As the band’s 7th release, this album is filled with over 40 minutes of highly technical and extremely brutal Death Metal that never gets dull and hits hard from start to end. Not for the faint of heart, this release will leave your eardrums rattling for a couple of days.
The release kicks off with the intricate guitar work of “Infinitesimal to the Infinite”, a song that instantly sets a very hectic mood and showcases some of the most intense drumming of 2017. This mood and approach bleeds into the onslaughts brought forth by “Accident and Error” and “Cascading Failures, Diminishing Returns”. Band’s drummer, John Longstreth, is definitely a beast behind the kit providing some of the most intense and intricate drum patterns in the genre.
Featuring a very old-school Death/Doom vibe, today we have Into the Arcane and their debut EP titled “Het Verlangen Der Geest”. Delivering four tracks that will appeal to fans of Winter, Etherial Winds, and Phlebotomized, this music is for the old-school lovers of Doomy Death Metal bands with atmospheric elements.
The album opens with the crafty “The Glass King” and its very melodic guitar work. This very catchy song is very rudimentary, but gets the job done as it brings back that old-school vibe that the scene has been missing since the late 90’s early 00’s. “The Innocent Hunter” brings a more atmospheric side to the mix with some very interesting piano sections and brilliant tempo changes. The band further explores their Doomy side and creates a very emotional track filled with masterful guitar leads.
Continuing their magical sidereal journey, today we have Italy’s Progenie Terrestre Pura and their sophomore full-length release “oltreLuna”. Delivering over 55 minutes of highly atmospheric Black Metal with some Industrial Black Metal elements, the band manages to craft five intricate tracks that show great musicianship and ideas. If you like highly experimental/futuristic sounding Black Metal like Shade Empire or similar outfits, you will definitely enjoy this release.
Opening with the crushing riffs of “[.Pianeta.Zero.]”, we get a very Industrial BM vibe mixed with heavy atmospheric elements, making a very unique combination. As always with this band, the track takes a turn into more standard and melodic territories, showcasing the band’s versatility. Continuing the onslaught we have “[.subLuce.]” and its intense drumming, making it one of the most brutal pieces in this release. A nice touch is the dreamy female vocals thrown into the mix to create a deeper atmosphere.
Hailing from Italy, today we have Blackened Death Metal outfit Simulacro and their second full-length release "Echi dall'abisso". Packed with 45 minutes of punishing tracks, this release created a very thick and demoralizing atmosphere that will destroy your psyche and bend you into submission. Led by Xul and Anamnesi of Absentia Lunae and Progenie Terrestre Pura fame, this release is not for the weak of mind.
The album opens with the incisive riffing of “ECO I”, in this song a think atmosphere is set with harsh vocals and pummeling drums flanking ethereally eerie female vocals. As the album progresses, the band gets crafty with some Post-Metal-ish moments in songs like “ECO II” and “ECO III”, remind us of the early sound of The Ocean. Usually in many releases the Bass guitar drowns in the mix, but here Ombra delivers the goods with a heavily emphasized bass guitar line in pieces like “ECO IV” and “ECO V”.