Hailing from the Netherlands, today we have Pagan Metal outfit Nodfyr and their highly engaging and very promising two-song EP titled “In Een Andere Tijd”. Bringing back a certain sound and vibe that we haven’t heard since the late 90’s with bands like Yearning and a few of their Holy Records label mates. Mixing epic clean singing with lush atmospheric elements and a tight Pagan Metal core, this band will certainly catch your attention and standout from the rest.
Led by the highly distinctive vocals of Joris van Gelre (Wederganger, ex-Heidevolk), the album starts with a very basic and yet catchy melody that is perfectly enhanced by Folky guitar leads and very regal clean vocals. The additional string instruments and vocal arrangements add a very lush atmospheric layer to this track, creating a truly memorable and engaging song that will get stuck in your head for days.
Originally released in 2015, today we have Circle of Salt’s savagely primitive and raw debut full-length release: “Suffer the Cold”. Featuring two tracks and nearly 40 minutes of levelling Atmospheric Black Metal, this one-man battalion delivers one hell of a crushing sound that will strike fear into the uninitiated.
The release opens with the 19-minute album title track, as it creates a very martial and dense atmosphere with commanding riffs and precise percussions. The band’s sound is quite oppressive and yet simple and raw, there is a certain beauty to be able to craft such a devastating atmosphere with barbaric proportions with only a handful of instruments. Maikan’s harsh vocals perfectly adorn the desolate landscape crafted by the intensity and craftiness of this track.
Perfectly combining the extravagance of Cult of Luna, the fragility of Sinistro and the madness of Eths, today we have France’s Përl and their sophomore release “Luminance”. Unleashing over 30 minutes of highly intoxicating music, the band’s sound is a very unique melting pot of influences that creates a very intricate and yet refined sound unlike anything else you have ever heard. For those looking into the fringes of Post-Metal to find originality and brilliant execution, this album is definitely one for your collection.
Opening with the hypnotic buildup of “Himalaya (Deval part. I)”, the band perfectly settles into a jazzy and mellow vibe before unleashing some violent outburst of brutality that a few would expect, but everybody will love. There is something magical about listening to harsh vocals in French and the band will satisfy your craving with relentless aggressive passages in their music. With “Ka”, we explore the band’s more sensitive side with a lush loungey piece that slowly builds up but never gets to out of control, achieving a perfect balance and setting a very enjoyable mood.
Continuing the journey of Odysseus started by Imperious sophomore release “Tales of Woe – The Journey of Odysseus, Part I”, today we have the epic continuation. Luckily as Massacre Productions is releasing both part simultaneously, we don’t have to wait a year as the original fans of the bands had to do, since this release was originally unleashed in 2015. Again, mixed and produced by Markus Stock, the grandeur of this album is perfectly capture and delivered.
Instead of opening with a short intro, the band picks up where they left off and deliver a very intricate “Of Casualties (And the further way)” filled with brilliant guitar leads and perfectly layered melodic riffs. The band’s sound is quite dynamic and rich, allowing each song to perfectly flow and deliver the goods, like we can see in “The Isle of the Solar God”.
Unleashing one of the most ambitious and epic Black Metal releases of 2017, today we have Imperious and part one of their double release “Tales of Woe – The Journey of Odysseus”. As epic as the Iliad, this release if full of excellent atmospheric elements to accompany blistering BM tracks that perfectly convey the grandeur of Odysseus journey. Originally self-released by the band in 2015, it is great that Massacre Records is giving this epic album a proper and wide release.
After setting the mood with the mellow “At The Shores of Ilion”, the band launches the first onslaught with “To Abjure Temptation” and its intense riffing. Setting a very hectic and lush tone since the beginning, hooks the listener instantly into the bands style and approach. The Empyrium-esque “At the Cave of Polyphemus” leads way to incisiveness of “The Sharpened Pale” and the dark and sinister vibe of “Insidious Winds” and its 14-minute of devastation.
Joining forces with Throats Productions, today we have Hypnotic Dirge Records unleashing another brilliant release filled with Atmospheric Black Metal goodness. “Origins” is a split release between USA’s Ah Ciliz and Italy’s one-man outfit Chiral. Featuring a total of five crushing tracks, we are left with great impressions from both of this promising bands.
Opening with Ah Ciliz, the band unleashes the raw power of “Cascadia”, a song very intense and expertly crafted to pack a mean punch. Lurking beneath the punishing riffs and excellent drum patterns, we have a lush melody that makes this track quite engaging. Moving into more atmospheric territories, the lush “Moonlight in Night Season” perfectly changes the pace and delivers a very melancholic and emotional side to the music.
Having a great eye for aurally abusive releases, I, Voidhanger Records, unleashes this December, the debut release of experimental Death/Doom/Black outfit Tongues. With “Hreilia”, the band delivers seven highly disturbing, chaotic and yet very enjoyable tracks that are quite bizarre in nature. Mixing elements from Death/Doom/Black Metal genres into a very unique amalgamation of styles, this release transports the listener to a hellish universe since the first track.
Opening with the funky weirdness of “Perennial Waves”, the listener gets to warm up to a very dissonant and yet enthralling mournful opening that suddenly explodes into full-on madness. We particularly enjoy the sickening vocals and the very raw vibe transmitted. The madness takes a more traditional Black Metal shape with the punishing “Theophagous Wounds of Earth”, and its killer bass guitar line. This is certainly one of the most brutal tracks in this release with a relentless drum track and incisive riffs.
Unleashing probably the best Melodic Death Metal release of 2017, today we have Grecee’s Aetherian and their full-length debut release “The Untamed Wilderness”. Picking all the best elements from bands like Insomnium, Omnium Gatherum, Amon Amarth, Dark Tranquility, and Nightrage, this outfit delivers an intense nine-track performance that is worthy of recognition. If you are a fan of melodic DM, this is one hell of an album you can’t afford to miss.
Opening with “Clouds Gathering”, the band sets an Insomnium-esque start which is blown wide open with the catchiness of “The Rain”. With instant headbanging-inducing riffs, this track showcases the band’s knack for catchy and technically proficient song writing. As the band pummels through killer songs like “The Path” and “As the Veil Fades”, we also start noticing the band’s unique signature style as they incorporate influences and make them their own with a very refined style.
Unleashing over 34 minutes of highly Atmospheric Black Metal, today we have one-man Lustre with “Still Innocence”. Featuring five aurally oppressive songs, this release continues the legacy of the band as one of the premiere atmospheric outfits. Filled with melancholy and catchiness, this release will certainly resonate with the listener after the first spin.
Opening with the hypnotic pace of “Dreaded Still”, Lustre sets a very ethereal and trippy mood thanks to the keyboards taking the center stage. The mood transforms into a more mysterious and eerie one with the powerful “Nestle Within”. The atmosphere of this track is quite magical as it feels like from a different realm of existence. The percussions set the tone very effectively and appease the listener.
Delivering one of the most savage and demoralizing Black Metal experiences of 2017, today we have Italy’s L'Infinito Abisso Dell'anima and their release “In Viva Morte Morta Vita Vivo”. Featuring over 44 minutes of punishing music, this band perfectly blends barbarian BM with some hints of melodic/depressive BM influences. Not for the faint of heart, this release will blow the lid off your speakers and have you begging for mercy.
Opening with the highly poignant riffs of “Condannato All’Oblio”, this outfit unleashes a relentless fury filled with a punishing intensity. The vocals perfectly fit the sense of urge and pain transmitted through the intense guitarwork and intricate drum patterns. Settling into the band’s sound, “Spiragli D’Ombra” takes a more melodic and darker shape, thanks to mid-tempo passages filled with melancholy and hate. It is quite impressive how effective the band is at transmitting raw emotion.