For those of us that still collect physical CD’s, today we have the non-digital version of Lascar’s sophomore release “Saudade” through the A Sad Sadness Song imprint. Featuring over 42 minutes of music divided into four tracks, this release shows a more mature and defined Lascar. The songs are raw and powerful, but at the same time filled with melancholy and sorrow. If you are a fan of Post-Black Metal, this is definitely a release you don’t want to miss.
Opening with the sweeping “Tender Glow”, we are immediately thrown into Lascar’s world. The song’s raw power and melancholic guitars create a very unique and engaging contrast. The song nicely blends into the faster paced “Thin Air”, a track filled with very intense drumming and furious riffing. This one-man band has a unique ability to create contrasting passages within each track, showcasing versatility and skill.
Hailing from Italy, today we have Post-Black Metal/Blackgaze newcomers Falaise and their sophomore release “My Endless Immensity”. Following the footsteps of bands like Amesoeurs, An Autumn for Crippled Children, Heretoir, etc, this band delivers 52 minutes of highly melodic and intoxicating music that will make you an instant fan of their sound.
After a mood setting intro, the release kicks off with the mellow atmosphere of “The Embrace of Water”. Providing some brilliant Amesoeurs flashbacks, this track perfectly showcases the band’s rich and powerful sound. With dreamy guitars and contrasting tempo changes, tracks like “You Towards Me”, “Crimson Clouds”, and “Dreariness” deliver excellent atmospheric experiences that evoke the likes of Alcest and Lantlos, but with Falaise’s own unique touch.
Featuring a very unique mixture of elements, today we have Æra and their debut EP titled “Of Forsworn Vows”. Combining elements from 90’s Black Metal with more modern Pagan Metal elements, this release unleashes over 20 minutes of highly addictive music that is quite epic and engaging. For fans of bands like Borknagar and early Emperor to outfits like Thyrfing, this release will certainly fit very well on your collection.
Opening with the powerful atmospheric elements of “An Affirmation of Forsworn Vows”, the band makes a bit splash with tense keyboards and a very melodic core. The riffing reminds us of bands like Falkenbach, which is straightforward but very melodic in nature. The vocals are quite fitting and add that extra layer of power to this impressive song as it weaves back and forth between different tempos.
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”.
Mixing violent Black Metal outburst with a hefty dosage of Melancholy, today we have Italy’s Kaiserreich and their third full-length release “Cuore Nero”. Achieving some intense levels of brutality, this band’s music is testament to the very intricate balance of aggression and melancholy that only a handful of bands can gracefully achieve. Recommended for fans of Der Weg einer Freiheit and Wiegedood.
Opening with the brutal “Unico Sole”, the band immediately unleashes a barrage of riffs and very well crafted drums that weave back and forth between total aggression and melancholy. Reminding us of Horna and older Satyricon, the band pummels through tracks like “Senza Luce”, “Ombra Infanta” and the melancholic “Vuoto Assoluto”. The vocals are just perfect for this release as they are harsh and firm with a very consistent pitch.
Five years in the making, today we have “De Divinatione Daemonum” from French Black Metal battalion Nyseius. With a dominating sound and a knack for creating oppressive aural soundscapes, this release is one that you will not see coming with its vicious 66 minutes of dense Black Metal.
Slowing introducing the listener to their dissonant world, “De Casu Diaboli” perfectly unravels this release. Instantly going for the throat, “Black God Ascension” and “Exitinction of the Seven Divine Spirits”, the band’s relentless spirit is admirable as they deliver their ruthless music. As they blast through high-intensity pieces like “Finis Terra Sancta” and the demoralizing “Possessor of the Key to all Mysteries”, we also love the creepy interludes like the disturbing “Lamentation Prayers”.
Filled with hate and a raw intensity that many bands would envy, today we have Arvas and their devastating third full-length release “Black Satanic Mysticism”. While many bands focus in making pretty music, Arvas delivers brutality in high doses in this very ‘in-your-face’ destructive release.
Slowly blasting away with the real opener “Flames of Black”, the band’s sound is completely raw, but not always in a good way as it seems to be an artifact of the crude production. We appreciate the extra brutality that this conveys, but sometimes the sound is a bit too much and it gets to sound like a live recording without. Pummeling through tracks like “Beholder of Demons” and its funky keyboards at the end, “Redemption Black”, and “Faith of Negatron”, this album shapes up to be a mixture of Immortal with Impiety. The band starts going in more creative directions with the solid “Follow the Raven”, which sounds more like your average Pagan Metal track.
Always improving with each release, An Autumn for Crippled Children (AAAFCC) delivers one of the most sonically complex releases of 2013 with “Try Not to Destroy Everything You Love”. Not relying on technical virtuosity, but rather a perfect layering of intense elements, this album is further expands on the band’s melancholic Post-BM / Shoegaze sound with lush guitar arrangements and brilliant atmospheric elements.
Opening with the intense “Autumn Again”, we have immediately a wall of dramatic synths and a throbbing bass guitar line that is instantly complemented by the band’s shoegazing guitars. Inserting back and forth Black Metal riffs into the melting pot, AAAFCC quickly establishes the sonic power of this release. The harsh vocals are excellent as always, and the underlying melancholic passages of tracks like “The Woods are on Fire” and “Never Complete”, allow their thick sound to take many different shapes.
One-man Atmospheric Black Metal force Lustre delivers their latest compilation of unreleased (or hard to find) tracks under the title of “Lost In Lustrous Night Skies”. Featuring five tracks inspired by Burzum’s atmospheric pieces, this release is quite a treat for hard-core Lustre fans and fans of Atmospheric and creepy Black Metal.
“Spirit” delivers the opening 12 minutes of very minimalistic and highly atmospheric bone chilling music. Very simple keyboards and atmospheric elements create a very dense and eerie atmosphere that is enhanced by distorted guitars and devastating screams of agony. A similar approach is taken on the disturbing instrumental “Echoes of Transcendence”. With “Into The Ancient Darkness” we have more of a Bruzum feeling that is combined with elements of bands like Austere and such. The screams are quite fitting for the purely atmospheric content of such a track.
The highly mysterious and anonymous Dutch outfit An Autumn For Crippled Children (AAFCC for short) returns with another dreamy journey into the depths of Post Black/Shoegaze music. “
Only The Ocean Knows” delivers eight magical tracks of very aggressive and ethereal sounding music. This release is by far the band’s best effort to day, and you should definitely check it out.
“Past Tense” delivers a very cool intro that made us believe the band was going to bust out an electro track, but it nicely shifts into fuzzy distorted guitars and very rhythmical drumming. The Post-Black influences are very evident and propel this song into atmospheric brilliance. Continuing the band’s atmospheric efforts, “Yes I Know… Love And Death… Always” delivers a bit of a change of pace with some excellent ‘melodic’ passages, but the majority of the time we have the guitars pounding away, keeping the album’s atmosphere flowing.