Horna is one of the few black metal bands that I’ve been a fan since they where conceived and that I’ve never been disappointed with their releases. This Finish band features an all-star line up that includes members of bands that have released some of the finest albums in metal. “Sanojesi Äärelle” is a powerful release that will no doubt become a modern classic of black metal, and that will influence many bands in the scene.
The thing I like about Horna is that no matter how much time it passes, I can always trust on them to deliver brutal and raw black metal albums. Most ‘original’ Black Metal bands have been experiementing with their style of music for the last years releasing mediocre albums in the process (Darkthrone, Mayhem, etc), but not Horna, they stick to the basics and excel at it. And this double CD would put many of the previously mentioned band’s releases to shame.
This two member band from Michigan plays something close to industrial and ambient, and while some other reviews and the promo sleeve say’s they have some Black Metal influences I fail to hear them. The vocals sound a bit Black Metal, but other than that there is nothing else. The album it self is a weird trip into outer space or somewhere in between.
Auriga features seven tracks of synthesizers, and guitars and a drum machine. While there are many interesting Industrial Black Metal bands, their music does not sound like this band at all. The overall atmosphere of the album is quite interesting and tense, but it just stays like that, I think it fails to deliver something that it’s building up to.
Blood Stained Dusk hail from …. Alabama, USA?. This American Black Metal masters feature the every enigmatic Pest on vocals and with this they have guaranteed their place in the Black Metal hall of fame. But it’s not only the vocalist that make this band great, all musicians in the band play they instruments with hate and fury to produce on the most brutal releases I’ve heard from 2008.
The guitar work is intense and never let goes, and this band does not play 4 minutes songs, most song in this album are well over 9 minutes. The intensity of the songs only decreases when the ritualistic keyboard passages occur, only to be picked up again, and the blasphemous blasting continues. The keyboards create a majestic cold atmosphere that keeps the listener attentive to whatever surprise is coming next.
Wyrd has been shaping their music over the course of its existence, and now “Kalivägi” marks their newest release with a more refined mix of Pagan Black metal with doom metal. If you are expecting the old heavier sounding Wyrd, you’ll be in for a surprise since while their music is slower they still have some of the rawness of their first releases mixed in with their slower newer stuff.
This release features a majestic combination of acoustic passages, harsh vocals, clean vocals and distorted guitars that create a depressive atmosphere like no other band has done. While the clear vocals are not the best they clearly fit into the music. Imagine listening to Tenhi with some distorted guitars and harsh vocals.
Nachtgeschrei hails from germany and they play Folk rock/metal. This band has some clear similarities with In Extremo, but they manage to have a sound of their own. This release features a more rock oriented music, than their previous album “Hoffnungsschimmer” and while this is not necessarily bad the band might loose some followers over this.
“Am Rande der Wel” features song very catchy songs and nice mixture of metal/rock guitars with bagpipes and very distinctive vocals. The album kicks of with two great songs (after the intro): “Musipili” and “Herz aus Stein”. The rest of the songs do sound very similar, but if the music is good (like in this case), then this is not a problem. There are many parts that are perfect for sing-along moments during live performances.
This live CD showcases songs from “Dark Passion Play” performed in live. I was kind of disappointed that they did not include any older songs performed by Anette on this release. While this is not a problem if you have seen the band live, it would have been a nice thing for all the fans that haven’t been luck enough to see them live.
The CD features seven live tracks and 3 previously available studio tracks. While I think this CD is a must for all Nightwish fans, especially because of the DVD. I don’t think that this adds anything new to casual listeners, since all the songs are previously available and you can see countless youtube videos of the band performing live during their previous tour.
After their great EP: “Malevolent Grain”, I was expecting this album to continue where the band left off in that release. And they sure did, and raise the bar to a different level. “Black Cascade” features some greatly emotional Black metal that plenty of bands wish they can achieve.
This release takes you into a dark journey mixed with aggressiveness and emotions. The sound quality is not the best out there but it clearly adds to the music and it’s probably intended this way. The four songs clock around 50 minutes, and while some of them can get to be a bit repetitive at some parts, the band makes it up by constantly changing the pace. There are no female vocals or clean vocals in this release, only harsh black metal vocals that sound excellent with the songs.
Avsky hails from Sweden and they attack us with their latest album “Malignant”. This album is considerably better than their previous release “Mass Destruction”. This band plays some raw and brutal old school black metal that will have every fan of the genera banging their heads.
This two man band makes a chilling impression since their first song and never let go. Each song is defined by raw sounding distorted guitars and some bone chilling vocals that would have every listener having nightmares for a few weeks.
Brown Jenkins was a Texan one man band. I say was because it ‘split-up’ late 2008, probably because of creative differences with the voices in his head. I must say that I don’t get this type of bands that play the same (or very similar) guitar riffs for one full album. While I’m always open to hear different types/genres of music, there are some releases that I either don’t get or just plain suck.
It’s been five years since the last release from this Germany band and they are back with a vengeance. Since their last album “Serpent's Embrace” released in 2004, the band lost four members. “Phoenix” marks the return of Agathodaimon like a phoenix from the ashes indeed.
This album in my opinion is Agathodaimon’s best release. The band returns to their more simple symphonic black metal roots. While they are not as ‘symphonic’ as the likes of Dimmu Borgir and other bands in the genre, they hold their own with a quality release like this.