Album Reviews

  • 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.

  • Limbonic Art – Spectre Abysm (2017)

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    As one of the bands that paved the way for Symphonic Black Metal back in the 90’s, Limbonic Art returns with their first album in seven years titled “Spectre Abysm”. Featuring seven tracks of fast-paced BM, this release will surely be amusing and entertaining, feeling a bit like their older releases. With most of the Symphonic BM catching up and surpassing what Limbonic Art did in the past, this album is a bit exploratory as the band seems to take on uncharted territories while maintaining a familiar style.

    The release kicks off with the 10-minute epic “Demonic Resurrection”, which features a very straightforward style of Black Metal, but adds a few odd elements like some creepy throat singing. The melodic riffing of “Ethereal Traveler” keeps the intensity up, while the intricate tempo changes of “Omega Doom” showcase Daemon’s songwriting skills. We particularly enjoy the more mellow and intricate pieces like “Requiem Sempiternam”.

  • Loathfinder – The Great Tired Ones (2017)

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    Every few months we get a mysterious package from Poland wrapped around very creatively with saran wrap and newspaper. Arriving from Godz ov War productions, we get a pretty good variety of Death and Black Metal underground bands, one of the standouts this month has to be Loathfinder. Unleashing four tracks and over 28 minutes on their debut EP “The Great Tired Ones”, this Polish one-man battalion focuses on mixing elements of Black/Death Metal with Doom/Sludge guitar work.

    Opening with the catchy “Genetic Gloom”, a layer of thick riffing and harsh growls sets the mood for this release. While featuring heavy riffs and a dense atmosphere, the song has a certain Sludgy edge to it that keeps it interesting and different from other bands. The album’s most engaging song has to be “Feast on My Entrails”, where we have ripping melodic riffs and devilish harsh vocals. This track features solid headbanging passages thanks to its extreme catchiness.

  • Lelio Padovani – Waves (2017)

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    Hailing from Italy, today we have axe man Lelio Padovani and his hyper mellow Jazzy/Rock instrumental release “Waves”. Very aptly titled, this release will soothe your mornings or evenings with four tracks that are quite cinematic and engaging in nature. We are huge fans of guitarists solo releases and while many of the focus on speed and acrobatics, this one focuses on creating enjoyable and highly melancholic songs.

    Opening with the lush “Time Traveler”, we get this cinematic/video-game-ish vibe from the tempo changes in the song. The keyboards nicely provide a good atmospheric backdrop for the playful interchange between the bass and the lead guitar. Continuing with the upbeat mood, “Siren Song” delivers great guitar leads under a very hypnotic bass line. This track is one of your typical songs were the guitars shine, but they never fully overpower the atmosphere created by Lelio.

  • Clouds – Destin (2017)

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    Just when you think that Clouds can’t get any better, Daniel Neagoe and company unleash a short EP that takes the band’s sound to a whole new level. Delivering four new songs with guests like Mikko Kotamäki (Swallow the Sun), Ana Carolina (Mourning Sun), Gogo Melone (Luna Obscura), and Mihu Ilie (Abigail), this release pushes the limits of sorrow and melancholy. If you like the band’s previous efforts, this is an EP you cannot miss.

    Opening with the bleak guitars and atmospheric violins of “The Wind Carried Your Soul”, Clouds instantly sets a very depressive and powerful mood. As soon as Ana Carolina’s vocals come forward, the atmosphere feels even bleaker and denser, and we have just gotten started. With “Fields of Nothingness” we are treated to Mikko’s vocals in a very lush track filled with warm vocal harmonies and masterful keyboards. Definitely one of the best songs in this EP, as the mood is quite desolate and crushing.

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