In the same vein of bands like Mgła and Batushka, Polish outfit Over the Voids delivers a barrage of savage Black Metal tunes in their debut self-titled release. Set to be unleashed by Nordvis productions, this mysterious band perfectly combines intensity with craftiness to deliver on of the most hectic and devastating Black Metal releases of 2017.
Starting with the 14-minute demoralizing opener “Battle of Heaven”, the band unchains killer riffs and quirky atmospheric passages to create a very dense and powerful atmosphere. With furious guitars and hyperintense drums, “Ghosts Lay Eggs” continues to steamroll through the listener’s speakers with gusto and fury. As the song winds down, we are able to breathe again but still under the influence of the band’s devilish tremolo picking and sinister melodic outbursts.
With a keen eye for unique and boundary pushing release, today we have the latest Hypnotic Dirge Records release with Odradek Room’s sophomore album “A Man of Silt”. Unleashing over 50 minutes of superbly crafted Progressive Death/Doom Metal, this band merges influences from bands like Anathema and Opeth with lush instrumentations and a very somber mood. If you like complex music with high replay value, this is certainly one of the best releases in 2017 for that.
The intro “Arising in the Void” provides a very dark and somber opening into the band’s unique musical voyage adorned with an Armenian duduk. The release continues to blossom with the transition into heavy guitars and growls in “Selfness”, a 7-minute piece that sets the experimental proggy tone for this album. Hailing from Ukraine, the band crafts very unique songs filled with highly atmospheric passages that are quite intricate and yet lush and filled with emotion, as delivered in “Texture of Reality”.
Only getter better and better with time, today we have the legendary Moonspell and their latest musical opus “1755”. Featuring over 50 minutes of highly emotional and intense music, the band continues to refine their sound while unleashing some epic songs with their signature style. If you have followed the band over the years, the constant quality of their releases is unrivaled, this is yet another excellent album that will stand the test of time.
Opening with the reinterpretation of “Em Nombre do Medo” from the Alpha Noir album, the band sets a very dark and sinister mood with the enhanced classical/choral arrangements added to this already intense song. The Middle-Eastern elements of the album title track make it quite engaging a unique, creating a very mysterious atmosphere that is perfectly complemented by Fernando Ribeiro’s signature vocals.
Hailing from the USA, today we have Gloam and their sickening latest EP titled “Death is the Beginning”. Unleashing three powerful tracks of raw and relentless Black/Doom Metal, the band crafts a very powerful and effective sound that is quite ravaging and violent. Sounding like a ‘slower’ version of Watain (kind of like Weapon), this EP is certainly a great way to get acquainted with the crushing sound.
The band sets the mood with the very sinister intro track, “Anguish”, setting a very melodic and engaging backdrop while not revealing too much of what is to come. Unleashing their fury, “…OF a Carrion Kind” rips this release wide open with punishing riffs and tight drumming. The band’s sound is instantly fully immersive and quite engaging. We enjoy how they blend their harsher elements like the vocals, with the more melodic musical core and end up creating a very relentless aural experience.
Just in time for the Fall and Winter seasons, today we have the Hanging Garden’s very dark and atmospheric “I am Become”. These Finnish Melodic Death/Doomsters unleash 46 minutes of catchy and crafty music that is quite diverse in nature. Filled with brilliant melodic Death/Doom Metal elements, this album perfectly blends the band’s old-school sound with their more modern and atmospheric influences.
Kicking off with “As Above, So Below”, we get a certain Insomnium guitar driven vibe that invites the listener to head bang while listening and settle into a dark and melodic vibe. Things go into a Swallow the Sun vibe with the aggressive riffing of “Hearthfire”, a track which features guest vocals from Tomi Joutsen from Amorphis fame. Interestingly enough, the band’s more Atmospheric Rock side comes out in the excellent “Elysium”, a piece that is quite melancholic and moody.
Crafting a very disturbing and eerie dark cloud of sound, today we have Sum of R and their full-length release “Orga”. Hailing from Switzerland, this two-man outfit unleashes a very unique aural exploration that is quite minimalist and ritualistic in nature, with plenty of creepy elements. Recommended for fans of Void ov Voices, Raison D'Etre, Sunn O))), etc., this release will induce nightmares if played in the dark.
The album sets a very martial and disturbing tone with the first few tracks, “Please Ring the Bells”, “Overgrown” and “We Have to Mark This Entrance”, allowing the listener to get into a very eerie and spacey frame of mind. We were particularly disturbed (in a good way) by the funky samples at the end of the third track. The unnerving aural dissonance of pieces like “Cobalt Power” make this release quite a treat to listen to, while others like “Hypnotic State” bring back some more familiar Lustre-influenced elements.
Unleashing one of the most devastating and aurally dissonant releases of 2017, today we have Kassad and their debut full-length release “Faces Turn Away”. This one-man band from London manages to unleash very violent outbursts that are nicely framed around some more melodic and atmospheric passages, greatly exacerbating the contrast created. For over 45 minutes this release will certainly keep you engaged and demoralized.
Opening with the pummeling “Shame”, we get a brutal onslaught like the ones delivered by outfits like Anaal Nathrakh with intense riffing and superbly harsh distorted vocals. This track suddenly transforms into a more Post-Black Metal piece with dreamy passages and catchy percussions. “Pariah” continues the flow with more brutality and intense drumming, while unleashing more traditional Black Metal riffs.
Unleashing one of the most unique and aurally abusive releases of 2017, today we have Austria’s Las Casas Viejas and their album “goul/H”. Featuring an amalgamation of dreamy Post-Rock passages, with Doom/Sluge/Black Metal elements, the band creates a very unique atmosphere and evangelizes the listener with five brilliant tracks filled with unique elements and surprises.
Slowly building up the momentum in their opener, “Morbundus”, the band starts off slow with some interesting aural abuse, luckily it slowly progresses into delivering more punishing and demoralizing guitar riffs and a plethora of harsh vocals. Mixing Sludge elements with some different ideas, this piece perfectly leads into the Doom-esque “Kein Ort 1: nicht die Stadt und Lethargie”. The female vocals at times remind us of late The 3rd and The Mortal elements, allowing the band’s sound to have an extra unconventional element.
With Poland’s underground scene reaching maturity with the acclaim of acts like Mgła and Batushka, other outfits like Blaze of Perdition have not gone unnoticed. Delivering their fourth full-length release with “Conscious Darkness”, the band unleashes a very oppressive and ravaging release that will rattle your senses. Crafted around a thick and punishing atmosphere, this is one release you do not want to miss.
Opening with the ravaging riffing onslaught of “A Glimpse of God”, the release sets a very dark and demoralizing mood. The mixture of piercing guitar work with punishing vocals create a very dense and effective atmosphere that sets the pace for this release. Kicking off with a blistering first few minutes, “Ashes Remain” unleashes furious drumming and sickening atmospheric elements paired with more violent vocals, makes for a demoralizing 15-minute behemoth of a track.
With Agalloch disbanding recently, it is time for a new band to take the throne to the best Atmospheric Black Metal outfit in the USA. With “Lethean Lament”, Mavradoxa makes their case to the throne. Unleashing over 60 minutes of highly engaging and intricate music, this release showcases the band’s creativity while unleashing very melodic and powerful songs.
Opening with the Empyrium-esque “Cicadan” acoustic guitar/violins intro, the band settles into their main sound with the crushing guitars of “The Phantom Visages”. With some very mellow and even ‘Doomy’ riffs, this song is quite engaging and sets a very melodic and sinister atmosphere. As a two-man operation, the band gets things quite heavy when needed with the harsh vocals and blistering riffs.