Hailing from Finland, today we have Atmospheric Black Metal one-man battalion Antimateria and their debut full-length “Valo aikojen taka”. With all tracks in Finish and a knack for heavy rudimentary atmospheric elements, this release will crawl under your skin thanks to the subtle rawness of the band’s sound.
Immediately opening with an oppressive shriek paired with raw guitars and dreamy atmospherics, “Sieltä mistä valokaan ei milloinkaan karaka” instantly sets a very eerie mood. The atmospheric elements have a certain resemblance to Perivuan flutes, giving this track a fresh and original angle. Delivering raw riffs which sound a bit muffled (probably by the production quality), tracks like “Tieni kohti lopullista tuhoa” and “Roihuten läpi yötaivaan” have a certain old-school Pagan Metal vibe from the days of Falkenbach, but without the fluffiness.
Arriving via Godz ov War Productions, today we have France’s Autokrator and their devastating and brutal mix of Death/Doom elements with heavy Drone influences. Easily as one of the most oppressive and aurally disturbing releases of 2016, the band delivers 36 minutes of pure madness that will take you to the edge of sanity.
Delivering the first punch with “Chapter I’, the band opens with a disturbing audio clip that is closely followed by hellish growls and their crushing drumming. This duo does a great job in crafting a massive wall of sound that is only disturbed by the deep growls. The sheer brutality continues with the intricate “Chapter II” and the demolishing “Chapter IV”. In both tracks we noticed the mixture of influences from outfits like Autor & Punisher and the all mighty Anaal Nathrakh, but taken to the extreme.
Arriving via Pellagic Records, today we have Sweden’s pg.lost and their latest opus “Versus”. Featuring seven track of intoxicating Instrumental Post-Rock, this release takes the listener into a sidereal journey thanks to the band’s ample musical creativity. Highly recommended for fans of bands like God is an Astronaut, EF and Tides from Nebula.
Opening with the mysterious “Ikaros”, the band starts their journey with a trippy and spacey vibe in this track. Brilliantly changing the tempo of the release, “Off the Beaten Path” picks up the pace and delivers a punchy bass guitar line that is nicely enveloped by catchy percussions and heavy atmospherics. The band does a great job in delivering tracks that slowly build up and peak nicely with crushing moments of heaviness like both “Monolith” and “Versus”.
Hailing from the mountains of Colorado, today we have American Melodic Death Metal battalion Allegaeon and their latest opus “Proponent for Sentience”. Perfectly blending influences from the modern Technical Melodeath scene with old-school Melodic Death Metal and regular Death Metal elements, this band delivers seventy two brilliant minutes of hyper catchy and very crafty music. For fans of bands ranging from Death to The Black Dahlia Murder, this release will leave you exhausted from too much headbanging.
Wasting no time, the band completely blows the lid of this release with a trippy atmospheric intro that bleeds into a no holds barred riffing barrage on “Proponent for Scentience I – The Conception”. The band pummels through “All Hail Science” and “From Nothing” delivering waves of acrobatic technical passages that put many bands to shave. One of our personal favorites is the mixture of acoustic guitars and different percussions used on “Gray Matter Mechanics – Apassonata Ex Machinea”.
With a gap of sixteen years between their last release and this new one, today we have the legendary Brujeria and their extremely long awaited “Pocho Aztlan” release. Captivating and amusing audiences since 1989, this band has been touring since their last release leaving all album recording activities pending until recently. Featuring thirteen tracks, this release is exactly everything we could have expected from Brujeria, as the band takes on topics from immigration to the drug war, all with their unique view and spin.
Opening with a ritual as an intro, “Pocho Aztlan” instantly erases all the time without new music from the band and delivers a typical Brujeria anthem. Keeping their catchy and funny style intact the band talks in this song about how people born in the USA from Mexican parents are widely viewed by both Americans and Mexicans. Things move into catchy headbanging chorus sections with the powerful “No Aceptan Imitaciones” and its pummeling riffs. The band’s Satanic side is always present in this release, more evidently on tracks like “Profecia del Anticristo” and “Satongo”.
Just when you think that Epica cannot get any better, they drop another masterpiece like “The Holographic Principle”. More bombastic, more explosive and more dynamic, this release further cements the band’s legacy as one of the premiere female-fronted symphonic Metal bands in the world. Featuring over 72 minutes of music spread in twelve brilliant tracks, the band completely blows away any expectations the fans might have from them.
After the traditional intro, the album kicks off in full gear with the dynamic “Edge of the Blade”, a track filled with powerful riffs and soaring vocal arrangements. The choir arrangements in this track instantly set the stage to the most bombastic Epica release ever, and tracks like “A Phantasmic Parade” and “Universal Death Squad” are a testament to that. The album’s instrumentation is top notch and perfectly delivers a unique aural experience.
Marching along the current French Metal movement, today we have Everything Behind delivering an interesting mixture of Modern Metal elements with Metalcore on their full-length release “Man From Elsewhere”. Perfectly blending styles and crafting some pretty heavy tracks, this band showcases some true musical talent and a knack for catchy and melodic passages.
Opening with the pummeling riffs of “Hope Run Away”, the band blends Metalcore elements into a very Gorjia-like riffings and drumming onslaught. The contrast between the clean and harsh parts is pretty well crafted and continues through this release as on the killer track “Welcome to the End”. This last song feature very good guitar leads and perfectly crafted headbanging times.
Hailing from the USA, today we have a very unique band under the moniker Wolfpack 44. Formed by members of Electric Helfire Club and Kult ov Azazel , the band plays a very unique blend of Industrial Black Metal with some experimental elements. Featuring over 45 minutes of music, this release will appeal to fans of bands like Mysticum, Aborym and Diabolos Rising.
After the disturbing atmospheric intro, the band unleashes its full power with the pummeling riffs and oppressive atmosphere of “The Black March”. Perfectly mixing incisive guitars, tight drums and superbly harsh vocals, this track sets a very brutal tone. Following with the completely deranged “Rituale Romanum” featuring Dana Duffey on guest vocals, the band makes it clear that this release will be a true roller coaster ride.
Musical genius Peter Tägtgren presents us today with the latest opus “Coming Home” from his side project Pain. As the first release in five years, Peter delivers 10 catchy and totally whacky tracks that perfectly continue the madness spread by this band. Mixing a very catchy Industrial vibe with heavy riffs, this release will have you fully engaged from start to finish.
Instantly enveloping the listener within the band’s madness, “Designed to Piss You Off” delivers the first catchy and funky piece of this release. Relying on playful lyrics and catchy percussions, this track has a certain Southern Rock charm to it. Featuring vocals from Joakim Brodén of Sabaton, “Call Me” is definitely one of the most engaging and dynamic songs in this release. The two vocalists provide a nice contrast to this song, making it superbly addictive.
As THE most awaited release of 2016 for us, today we have the pleasure of reviewing the return of In The Woods… with “Pure”. Having influenced hundreds of bands over the years with their visionary music and style, this band finally reformed back in 2014 - after 14 years of hiatus. Featuring over 67 minutes of music, this release perfectly delivers the traditional In The Woods… experience but not without a more refined an evolved sound that puts them right back in the map, picking up exactly where they left off.
Opening with the soaring vocal arrangements of “Pure” alongside a very moody and engaging instrumentation, the band will instantly transport you to their unique world. With British singer James Fogarty at the helm, instant comparisons to Jan Transeth can be made, but Mr. Fog has a more dynamic range and brings his own style into the mix. For those of us that enjoyed the experimental nature of the band, they quickly deliver the atmospheric and dreamy “Blue Oceans Rise” and “Devil’s at the Door” to hook the listener further in.