Album Reviews

  • Nachtzeit – Sagor I Natten (2016)

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    As yet another side project from the man behind Lustre, today we have Nachtzeit and his ‘solo’ project under the same unleashing its EP “Sagor I Natten”. Focusing more on intensity, this release will remind you a bit of Lustre, but with a more destructive and raw edge. If you are a fan of one-man battalions, we can assure you that this release is a worthy addition to your collection.

    Wasting no time to pummel the listener into submission, “Ett fjärran mine” is full of ferocity in the shape of blistering riffs and devilish harsh vocals. The track sets a nice groove in terms of tempo that is nicely continued by the relentless “De färdas genom natten”. Nachtzeit’s vocals are the perfect match for the wall of sound created by the hectic riffing. The drumming on the other side sounds bit plain, when you compare the rest of the music, but it gets the job done.

  • Crimson Moon – Oneiroaut (2016)

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    After more than 10 years since their last full-length release, we finally have Crimson Moon back with their latest opus “Oneiroaut”. Delivering six crafty Black Metal hymns, this release is rare gem in a world filled with BM albums that all sound the same. Mixing creepy atmospheric elements with a retro-sounding Black Metal foundation, Scorpios Androctonus and company deliver one of the creepiest and most effective albums in 2016.

    Opening with the blistering “Gossamer of Arachne”, the band sets a high standard in terms of viciousness and intensity. The riffing is quite punishing and the drumming is pretty hectic, but the best part is the eerie atmospheric sections filled with creepy vocals and a very ritualistic vibe. The same raw viciousness is greatly present in killer tracks like “Molding of a Spell” and the brutal “Seeker of the 7th Gate”. Both songs remind us of ‘old-school’ Black Metal like Absu, Lord Belial, and earlier Enthroned.

  • The Prisoner – Life of the Mind (2016)

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    As one of the heaviest releases through Dooweet Records in the last few months, today we have Parisians The Prisoner and their sophomore release “Life of the Mind”. Clocking in at 62 minutes, this release perfectly blends aggressive Black Metal elements with Death Metal and Post-Metal influences. Creating a very unique and powerful wall of sound, this band is ready to captivate the listener with their sheer brutality and craftsmanship.

    Opening with the catchy riffs of “Awake”, the band sets a very Doomy/Post-Metal mood just before they jump into some blistering Black Metal onslaught, a la Der Weg Einer Freiheit. Achieving a perfect balance between sheer aggression and more hypnotic states, the band pummels through tracks like “Emptied”, “Battling Ego”, and “Still Here”, perfectly tweaking their craft.

  • Raspail – Dirge (2016)

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    Delivering one of the most sorrowful releases of 2016, today we have Italy’s Raspail and their crushing album “Dirge”. Perfectly amalgamating Doom, Post Metal, Black Metal and Shoegaze influences, the band manages to sound like a mix of Lantlôs, Desire, Skepticism with some Heretoir thrown into the mix. Not for the faint of heart, this release unleashes eight highly emotional compositions that will haunt your dreams.

    The album starts with the dissonance of “The Wander”, a track that slowly evolves into an oppressive force thanks to the harsh vocals and demoralizing riffs. The band’s tempo changes are outstanding and one of the reasons this release is so powerful, as we can see on the monolithic “The Nymph’s Wood Hymn to the Rising Sun”. This nearly six-minute piece reminds us of bands like Desire and their knack for juxtaposing oppressive atmospherics and gut-wrenching vocals.

  • Lascar – Absence (2016)

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    Being huge fans of Post-Black Metal it is always quite delightful to get a new release from the genre that manages to be good enough to avoid being called a clone of Alcest, Heretoir, etc, today Lascar deserves that honor with their debut release Absence. Hailing from Chile, this new signing to ATMF’s A Sad Sadness Song imprint unleashes to a wider audience this special release that also includes the band’s demo titled “Depths”.

    Opening with melancholic acoustic guitars, “Atlas” delivers a very interesting mixture of elements from bands like Agalloch and An Autumn for Crippled Children. The track’s rawness is perfectly balanced by dramatic atmospheric elements and mournful riffs. As a one man project, Lascar manages to control all creative aspects and delivers emotionally charged songs that ooze melancholy and brutality as the contrasting “Wilderness”.

  • Diabulus in Musica - Dirge for the Archons (2016)

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    As one of the most expected Symphonic/Gothic Metal releases of 2016, today we have Diabulus in Musica and their excellent fourth full-length release “Dirge for the Archons”. Slowly evolving into a beautiful butterfly, this Spanish band’s music has gotten more and more bombastic and explosive over time. Bringing comparisons with Epica, Xandria and After Forever, this release delivers over 60 minutes of captivating music that any fan of the genre will love.

    After the traditional warm-up intro, “Earthly Illusions” delivers waves of guitar riffs and orchestral arrangements that are perfectly offset by Zuberoa Aznárez’s signature firm but sweet vocals. As “Marble Embrace” and “Invisible” arrive, we can’t help but notice a very evident similarity to Epica’s music, more than before for the band. This isn’t necessarily bad as there are enough differences in the choir arrangements and song structures to keep them far from being a copycat. And while similar, Gorka and company manage to craft highly memorable songs.

  • Aanod – Yesterday Comes Tomorrow (2016)

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    Hailing from France, today we have Metalcore/Modern Metal new comers Aanod and their blistering release “Yesterday Comes Tomorrow”. Perfectly blending traditional Metalcore elements with more Soilwork/In Flames inspired Melodic Modern Metal elements, the band manages to craft seven solid tracks that showcase their talents. As the lines between Metalcore and other genre’s continue to blur, we are more than impressed with bands like Aanod and their fresh musical ideas.

    Opening with the crushing “Gambler”, the band sets a very solid standard with an opener filled with powerful riffs and pummeling vocals. There influences from everything from Melo-death to Death/Metalcore are quickly evident and very well incorporated together. Reminding us a bit of Dark Tranquility and Soilwork, “DNA” and “Resource” are some of the album’s most engaging and gratifying songs.

  • Lost Opera – Hidden Sides (2016)

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    Hailing from Normandy, today we have newcomer Symphonic/Gothic Metal outfit Lost Opera and their sophomore release “Hidden Sides”. In a world filled with Female-led Symphonic Metal bands, it is quite surprising and even rare to hear a band rely mostly on male vocals in the genre. Delivering over 55 minutes of music, this release is quite engaging and fun, perfectly appealing to all fans of the genre that are looking for something a little different.

    After the traditional intro, the album blows wide open with the pummeling riffs of “Today I Cry”. This track starts off quite heavy and is perfectly contrasted by engaging keyboards and a mixture of growls and clean vocals. The band’s vocalist Loïc Conti, does a pretty solid job in mixing growls with clean vocals, allowing the songs to be diverse and engaging as we can hear on “Follow the Signs” and “Rage”.

  • Worm Ouroboros – What Graceless Dawn (2016)

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    Arriving from this Bay Area trio, today we have Worm Ouroboros and their third full-length release “What Graceless Dawn”. Continuing where “Come the Thaw” left off, this release sees the band crafting hauntingly beautiful tunes that are filled with atmospheric and instrumental brilliance. Clocking at over 60 minutes of music, the listener is in for a very unique aural journey through the band’s unique world.

    Opening with the mellow “Day”, we have a very ethereal buildup developed by a very slow tempo and the enchanting vocals of both Lorraine Rath and Jessica Way. The opener perfectly bleeds into the martial first few minutes “Broken Movements”. Once the song slowly progresses, the solemn combination of heartfelt guitar riffs and minimalist bass guitar notes start to get more intense as the song reaches its climax.

  • Dead to a Dying World – Live at Roadburn 2016 (2016)

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    Perfectly capturing an epic performance at the legendary Roadburn festival, today we have Dead to a Dying World’s “Live at Roadburn 2016”. Clocking in at nearly 60 minutes, this release brilliantly reflects the band’s live performances ferociousness. Paired with a very clear sound and mix, this release continues to hold the standards of the “Live at Roadburn” series of releases over the years.

    The album instantly jumps at the listener with the intensity of “The Hunt Eternal”, a fierce track that features blistering riffs, mournful viola arrangements, and hellish male and female harsh vocals. After warming up with the 16-minute opening track, the band went into the moodier “Eventide”. This track has a certain My Dying Bride meets Elend vibe that we greatly enjoy and was perfectly transmitted live.

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