Getting tons of digital albums a month makes for a hard predicament of which ones to actually review. While some are easily eliminated by the fact that they are terrible, we are always left with a handful that really caught our attention. Self-released EP “As A Season Bloom” from Hitwood is one of those. Featuring 4 tracks of exploratory melodic Metal, this release has a certain vibe that will attract you to it and will keep you listening.
Opening with the Post-Rock-ish “A Spring Glare Where Green Shine the Brightest”, this one-man project sets a very lively and moody atmosphere. Soothing the listener into such a lush and carefully crafted atmosphere is definitely the best way to start a release. The mood then shifts to more of a folky power ballad with “Memories from a Gentle Summer Evening”, featuring relaxing clean/acoustic guitars and a killer last few minutes, this track nicely continues the moody nature of the EP.
Hailing from Germany, today we have Black Metal duo Rimruna and their devastating sophomore release “Der Hatz entronnen”. Featuring over 55 minutes of soul crushing BM, this release is full of traditional elements perfectly executed to crate superbly evil and oppressing atmosphere. For fans of old Satyricon, Marduk, Immortal, this is one hell of a straight up traditional BM release.
After the traditional acoustic intro track, the band goes on full on war mode with the blast beats and incisive riffing of “Tor der Zeit”. The level of rawness and brutality is quite astounding as this track needs nothing else than the traditional instrument core to be icy and demoralizing. Having that certain old-school Black’n’Roll-ish vibe, “Wirren” continues the onslaught with more intense riffing and the demonic vocals, both courtesy of Wintergrimm. This track also features some fine slower and darker passages.
Only a few bands manage to write a follow-up to a legendary album and succeed at it. Today we have Vintersorg blowing people away with their follow-up of the seminal “Till fjälls”. In this double release, the band unleashes over 75 minutes of classic Vintersorg music that will never leave your record player for the remainder of the year (possibly a few years). Going back to the basics, this is one release you can’t miss.
The album sets the tone with the intense opener “Jökelväktaren”, filled with soaring vocal arrangements and uber catchy guitar work, this perfectly sets the mood for what is to come. For any fan of Vintersorg, the brilliant combination of epic clean vocals and harsh vocals is one of the best features of their releases, particularly in epic tracks like “En väldig isvidds karga dräkt” and the crushing “Fjällets mäktiga mur”.
Being huge fans of moody and atmospheric music, today we are quite pleased with the return EP of Finalnd’s The Chant, titled “Approacher”. Delivering four brilliant tracks, this release is for highly melancholic people that love bands like Anathema, The Gathering, The Man-Eating Tree and Katatonia. Filled with raw emotion, this is one of those releases that will captivate you from start to end.
Kicking off the release with “Unsolved”, Ilpo Paasela’s vocals are instantly recognizable as they emerge through the atmospheric keyboards. The track nicely builds up and sometimes reminds us of bands like Lacrimas Profundere and To/Die/For but a bit less Gothic. Things turn a bit into Industrial territories with the sinister “To Surrender”, a piece that showcases the band’s versatility and range.
Delivering one of the craftiest exercises in brutality, today we have Origin and their latest full-length release “Unparalleled Universe”. As the band’s 7th release, this album is filled with over 40 minutes of highly technical and extremely brutal Death Metal that never gets dull and hits hard from start to end. Not for the faint of heart, this release will leave your eardrums rattling for a couple of days.
The release kicks off with the intricate guitar work of “Infinitesimal to the Infinite”, a song that instantly sets a very hectic mood and showcases some of the most intense drumming of 2017. This mood and approach bleeds into the onslaughts brought forth by “Accident and Error” and “Cascading Failures, Diminishing Returns”. Band’s drummer, John Longstreth, is definitely a beast behind the kit providing some of the most intense and intricate drum patterns in the genre.
Featuring a very old-school Death/Doom vibe, today we have Into the Arcane and their debut EP titled “Het Verlangen Der Geest”. Delivering four tracks that will appeal to fans of Winter, Etherial Winds, and Phlebotomized, this music is for the old-school lovers of Doomy Death Metal bands with atmospheric elements.
The album opens with the crafty “The Glass King” and its very melodic guitar work. This very catchy song is very rudimentary, but gets the job done as it brings back that old-school vibe that the scene has been missing since the late 90’s early 00’s. “The Innocent Hunter” brings a more atmospheric side to the mix with some very interesting piano sections and brilliant tempo changes. The band further explores their Doomy side and creates a very emotional track filled with masterful guitar leads.
Continuing their magical sidereal journey, today we have Italy’s Progenie Terrestre Pura and their sophomore full-length release “oltreLuna”. Delivering over 55 minutes of highly atmospheric Black Metal with some Industrial Black Metal elements, the band manages to craft five intricate tracks that show great musicianship and ideas. If you like highly experimental/futuristic sounding Black Metal like Shade Empire or similar outfits, you will definitely enjoy this release.
Opening with the crushing riffs of “[.Pianeta.Zero.]”, we get a very Industrial BM vibe mixed with heavy atmospheric elements, making a very unique combination. As always with this band, the track takes a turn into more standard and melodic territories, showcasing the band’s versatility. Continuing the onslaught we have “[.subLuce.]” and its intense drumming, making it one of the most brutal pieces in this release. A nice touch is the dreamy female vocals thrown into the mix to create a deeper atmosphere.
Formed by ex-Eluveitie members: Anna Murphy, Merlin Sutter and Ivo Henzi, Cellar Darling perfectly combines Folk elements with Metal and Rock to create a very lively and unique sound that will captivate audiences. Led by the charismatic vocals of Anna Murphy, this release delivers 14 tracks of superbly catchy and engaging music that will stick in your head long after you stop listening to it.
Opening with the killer “Avalanche”, this track features one of the catchiest chorus sections of 2017. The band keeps minor Eluveitie influences with their folk elements, but they focus on making killer vocal melodies and playful instrumentations that perfectly define their own identity, as we can hear on tracks like “Black Moon”, the brilliant “Challenge”, and the hard rocking “Hullabaloo”.
Originally intended to be the demo of the band formed by Aad Kloosterwaard and Alex Paul when Sinister split up back in 2003, “Gods of the Abyss” sees the light of day via Vic Records. This four song demo marked the move of Aad to vocals, and also the new era of Sinister with a renewed Nuclear Blast record band in the day. The tracks presented her formed part of the “Afterburner” album in 2006.
Leading with the piercing riffage of “The Grey Massacre”, we instantly get Sinister’s traditional intensity and viciousness with pretty solid vocals. One has to remember that before the band broke up in 2003, they had a terrible vocalist that single-handedly made “Savage or Grace” and “Creative Killings” two of the worst albums of the time. Anyways, the move of Aad to handle vocal duties was a pretty good one.
Hailing from Sweden, one-man battalion Svartsyn returns with a crushing and demoralizing release titled “In Death”. Featuring seven anthems of foul and deathly Black Metal, this release is as punishing as it gets. Delivering over 46 minutes of music, this release has a very oppressive vibe to it while leveling listeners with their violent riffing and hellish vocals. If you like dark and sinister BM from bands like Weapon, Watain, Nightbringer, etc., this is the album for you.
The album kicks off with the ravaging intensity of “Sevenheaded Snake”, where the band’s sole member Ornias showcases great intensity and brutality. After such an onslaught, we move into more atmospheric territories with the chilling “Dark Prophet”, a very well-paced piece that oozes that brilliant Scandinavian Black Metal vibe. Bringing back the intense pace, “With Death” is one of our favorite tracks in this release thanks to the relentless drumming of guest Hammerman and the sickening tempo to it.