Hailing from France, today we have Death Metal outfit ghUSa and their perfect hybrid of modern and old-school Swedish death metal. For a band being together since 1989 “Öswedeme” is the band’s second full-length release, filled with brilliant headbanging moments and crushing nostalgic passages. With a lively atmosphere and killer musical influences, this release will make you yearn for the early days of Swedish Death Metal and bands like Entombed, Grave, etc.
Opening with the savage riffing and tension of “28 Days Later” the band sets the mood quite brilliantly for this engaging release. Things get cranked up to 11 with the brutal “h” and its Amon Amarth meets Entombed approach. The release continues with the Centinex-inspired “Project 9” which features crushing growls and fast paced drumming surrounded by a punishing bass guitar line.
As one of the most unique and diverse releases we received in the last few months, today we have Project Nightscape and their 13-track opus “To Sin against our Mercies”. In a similar fashion than Ayreon and Beto Vazquez Infinity, this album is a concept release and features a very wide variety of musicians allowing for very diverse styles to be played. Mostly varying between Progressive Rock/Metal, this release has very memorable tracks that are quite catchy and expertly crafted.
With the lyrical/story concept crafted by David W. Edwards and the guitar work crafted by other than Tony Gaglio, this release opens with the hard rocking “(Living in) Sacred Time” and the Heavy Metal anthem “Only Reason”. Continuing the album’s story after an interlude, we have proggy Rush-like “Now Silence!” and the ballad-esque “Inmortuorum Memorias”. As you could tell, the music varies from track to track but the songs are very well aligned to match the album’s lyrical progression.
Pushing the boundaries of sanity, today we have Italina duo Asofy and their latest release “Nessun Luogo”. As one of the most soothing and unique releases of 2017, this album creates brilliant songs filled with tension and mystery that will send chills down your spine. Featuring over 60 minutes of music, this album will creep on you with its bleak soundscape and minimalist approach.
The album kicks off with the cavernous riffs of “Lontano da me”, a very mysterious piece that slowly builds up into a very powerful and disturbing opening statement. As the album evolves with tracks like “Nemeton”, “Infine”, and the heavier “Fosca”, we continue to enjoy the band’s very deconstructive vision of both Black and Doom Metal. You can piece out some distinctive genre-specific riffs placed in unique contexts, allowing Asofy to really break boundaries and deliver a very unique release.
Continuing their evolution from their earlier concept and musical direction, today we have Sabbath Assembly and their very unique “Rites of Passage” full-length release. Fully settling into their Doomy Psychedelic style, the band forges a very engaging sound that clearly identifies them from the rest and delivers over 44 minutes of intoxicating music.
Opening with the fuzzy bass guitar line of “Shadows of Revenge”, the band instantly immerses the listener into their own unique world. Led by Jamie Myers on vocals, this album sets a very lively tone with a upbeat tempo and solid guitar riffs. Showcasing their versatility, “Angels Trumpets” takes a bit of a different approach, creating a very delirious piece with multiple overlaid vocals and a very disturbing and eerie chaotic vibe.
Hailing from Norway, today we have the return of Tusmörke and their whacky retro mixture of Psychedelic Rock with Progressive elements. With a hearty 60’s/70’s vibe, this release has a very warm and fuzzy sound that is brilliantly complemented by folky rhythms and very fitting vocal arrangements. Slowly refining their sound over the years, the band is still as original and crazy as when we first got introduced to them back in 2012 with their “Underjordisk Tusmørke” release.
Opening with the festive “Hjemsokte Hjem”, the band sets the mood with funky percussions, energetic flutes, very melodic vocal arrangements, and dreamy atmospherics. Moving into more proggy and psychedelic territories, “Rykende Ruin” is a song that slowly progresses with very catchy synths and flutes leading the way. We particularly love how the band layers multiple elements to deliver a very retro and yet unique sound that is unlike any other band these days.
With several bands rising from the ashes of Agalloch, today we have Jason William Walton’s Snares of Sixes debut EP release “Yeast Mother: An Electroacoustic Mass”. Featuring a wide array of invited guests like Don Anderson (Agalloch) and Andy Winter among others, this release is a truly unique musical experience that is both delirious and yet cohesive. Unleashing four extremely intricate tracks, this release will certainly grab your attention since the first minute.
Hailing from Germany, today we have one-man Black Metal battalion Nargaroth delivering one of the best BM releases in the last few years with “Era of Threnody”. Featuring over 60 minutes of demoralizing music, Ash perfectly captures the dark and mystical essence of the genre and delivers ten incisive and punishing songs. With a unique energy and a high level of creativity, this release will haunt you from start to end.
Opening with a haunting combination of acoustic guitar and spoken sections, “Dawn of Epiphany” slowly morphs into a ravaging piece filled with sinister riffs and gut-wrenching vocals. This first track perfectly sets the mood for the melodic devastation of “Whither Goest Thou” and its moody atmospheric passages. As “Conjunction Underneath the Alpha” comes around, Nargaroth showcases an uncanny ability to perfectly blend emotion into their very aggressive BM core, making each track quite unique and demoralizing.
It has been three years since the band unleashed “Circles” and we are glad they are back with their latest opus “Resilience”. Featuring nearly 40 minutes of suspenseful and engaging cinematic Post-Metal, this release does a great job in delivering a wide variety of moods while immersing the listener’s in the band’s craftiness. While not your run-of-the-mill Post-Metal release, you can clearly see the Neurosis/Amenra influences, but When Icarus Falls makes them their own and delivers another solid effort with this ones.
Opening with the hypnotic “One Last Stand”, we have a very intricate build up that is quite mellow and yet creates enough tension to keep the listener fully engaged. The clean vocals add that extra level of anxiety to the track as the tempo increases, making it quite a unique ad engaging experience. Things get more intense with the pulsating bass guitar line of “Into the Storm”, which slowly continues to get more playful as the track reaches achieves catharsis with harsh vocals and a very climactic ending.
After a killer debut EP with “Waves” Owler returned in 2016 to unleash “Soil”, a highly melancholic collection of five songs that showcase more maturity and creativity from these Finns. Clocking in at around 30 minutes, this release takes all the elements of their first release and further refines them and integrates them into the band’s own signature style. This music is still highly recommended for fans of bands like Insomnium to The Man Eating Three.
Opening with the soaring vocals of “Storm”, the release kicks off with a very theatrical piece that fully takes advantage of “Juha Simola’s melancholic clean vocals. Things turn a bit darker and doomier with the heavy atmospheric and crushing riffs of “Amend”. We really enjoy how the subtle atmospheric keyboards set the mood for the harsh vocals and slower tempo.
As one of the most revered USBM bands, Abazagorath delivers their latest offering in the shape of a live cassette titled “Disciples of Sacrilege”. Perfectly capturing the band’s raw energy and sound evolution, this tape features the band playing songs from all studio releases. Clocking in around 50 minutes and being highly limited (150 copies); this is an item that cannot be missing in any USBM collection.
Opening with a savage rendition of the 1997’s “Rites of the Black Herald”, we are shown that the band’s three piece line-up means business. While there are small stylistic differences between the songs as the band evolved, tracks like “Ancient Steel” and “Beyond the Veils of Obscurity” are very well updated to the band’s current sound but still retain the quirks that made them brilliant during their heyday.