Hailing from Finland, today we have Melodic Death Metal batallion Wakener and their debut demo titled “Rise to Fall”. Featuring over 20 minutes of catchy music, the band showcases a very in your face attitude and a knack for crafting engaging tunes. Reminding us of old-school Kalmah, Amorphis, and Satm1na, this new band is ready to deliver killer neck snapping tunes that will keep you waiting more.
Opening with the demo title track, “Rise to Fall”, we are treated to a hectic track filled with solid riffs and a very groovy vibe. Things turn a bit more sinister and even Thrashier with the crushing riffs of “The Artist”, showcasing the band’s versatility and command of their instruments. Reminding us of a mixture of old Sepultura and Kalmah, “Organized Hate” keeps things rolling with a very direct and full of attitude approach.
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.
Unleashing one of the most disturbing and decadent releases of 2017, today we have legendary Blut Aus Nord with their latest opus “Deus Salutis Meae”. Featuring ten tracks filled with hate and punishing atmospheric onslaughts, this release combines all of the band’s previous musical endeavors into a ravaging mixture of elements that while hard to describe is quite intense and powerful. If you are looking for a traditional Black Metal album, you better look somewhere else as this release is a whole different beast.
The mood of this release is quickly set with the creepy “δημιουργός” opening piece that causes aural discomfort while it peaks our curiosity. Things instantly escalate with the dissonance and rawness of “Chorea Macchabeorum”, a punishing piece that showcases the band’s more Industrial edge mixed with some funky vocal arrangements. This chaotic feeling is continued with the pummeling riffing of “Impius” as it exacerbates the level of dissonance with more eerie vocal arrangements and BM-esque shrieks.
Unleashing over 55 minutes of brilliant Psychedelic/Progressive Metal, today we have Switzerland’s Echolot and their sophomore release “Volva”. Channeling their inner Pink Floyd and Black Sabbath influences, this three-piece outfit release for very intricate and engaging songs that will keep you engaged from start to end. With tons of bands flocking to these genres, it is quite refreshing to hear new ideas in this release.
The album opens with the groovy proggy guitars of “II”, a track that brilliantly introduces the band’s musical skills and vibe. The warm and fuzzy distortion is quite inviting and eases the listener into Echolot’s sonic world. Slowly building up, “III” continues the album’s progression with Doomy riffs and very moody vocals, greatly enhancing the atmosphere in this release and keeping it diverse and fresh sounding.
Delivering one of the most engaging and crushing Death/Doom/Sludge Metal releases of 2017, today we have Jupiterian and their sophomore release “Terraforming”. Unleashing a unique mix of atmospheric elements with traditional Doom/Sludge riffs, the band has crafted over 38 minutes of music that will keep you at the edge of your seat while clamoring for more.
The release immediately sets the tone with the slowly building atmosphere crafted in “Matriarch”. Crafting a powerful wall of sound, the guitars are quite punishing and quite relentless from the start. As “Unearthly Glow” rolls around, we get a more structured Death/Doom dynamic with powerful growls and weeping guitar leads, all tucked between crushing riffs and a very tight tempo.