Hailing from Belgium, today we have one-man band Ande and his sophomore release “Het Gebeente”. Swiftly continuing where the debut release, “Licht”, left off, this album delivers over 37 minutes of Burzum-esque Black Metal that should not be missed.
Setting the mood with the traditional intro track, Ande gets down to business with the raw riffing of “Argwaan”, a song that instantly reminds us of late 90’s Black Metal. Handling all the instruments, Jim does a pretty solid job in crafting intricate songs that capture both rawness and playful melodies that keep things fresh, like on “Gebukt” and “Oud en Vet”. This last song also has some kick-ass Black’n’Roll influences that will make you think of Vreid and similar outfits.
Delivering one of the most devastating Black Metal assaults in the last few years, today we have Entartung and their demoralizing third full-length release “Baptised into the Faith of Lust”. Featuring seven tracks and over 40 minutes of music, this release is an exercise in brutality and aural dissonance. The band sets a very high bar with their pummeling style filled with brilliant tempo changes and savage intensity.
Opening with the blistering “Resurrectio Mortuorum”, the riffing intensity is the first thing to be noticed. Perfectly paired with tight drumming and a throbbing bass guitar line, Lykormas guitar work is reminiscent of genre greats Horna and Sargeist. Combining rawness with melody, “Vices of Prophet” is definitely one of the best BM tracks we have heard in quite a while, as it instantly induces a head-banging trance.
Delivering one of the dreamiest releases of 2017, today we have Last Leaf Down and their latest release “Bright Wide Colder”. Brilliantly combining Shoegaze with Depresive/Atmospheric/Post Rock elements, the band manages to produce 13 mesmerizing tracks that will hypnotize you for the duration of this release. If you like bands like Katatonia, Slowdive, Alcest and Les Discrets, this is definitely an album you don’t want to miss.
Opening with “Purple Skies”, the band sets a very atmospheric mood with dreamy guitars and emotional clean vocals. This mellow mood is nicely continued by excellent tracks like “Ghost Trails”, “Blind Mind”, and the cathartic “Deaf Heart”. The band does a brilliant job in crafting unique songs filled with melancholy and superbly catchy moments.
Delivering a truly unique aural experience, today we have Manetheren and their latest opus “The End”. Formed by USA based Azlum and members of Blut aus Nord on drums among others, this band unleashes a very unique mixture of Atmospheric Black Metal with influences of DSBM and Post-Black Metal. Featuring over 60 minutes of music, this album takes the listener through the journey of a human traveling across a dying world.
The album opens with the gut-wrenching “The Sun that Bled”, an 11-minute piece that sets a bleak mood with some mid-paced Black Metal. The band reminded us a bit of Ancient on their “The Cainian Chronicle” days, as the music is quite melodic and yet harsh and punishing. Things pick up a bit with the more intense passages of “An then Came the Pestilence”, which are perfectly outlined with very atmospheric sections that allow for dramatic contrast.
Hailing from Belgium today we have the punishing release “Sacrosanct”. This debut release is filled with soul crushing Death/Black Metal tracks that put many other band’s to shame and showcase Epoch’s powerful talents. Clocking in at 36 minutes, this album will certainly keep you entertained and make your neck hurt from all the headbanging and moshing it incites.
The album starts with the brutal “To Datechon, ho Katechon”, a track that instantly delivers the ‘in your face’ attitude of the band’s music. The riffing perfectly mixes distinctive 90’s Death Metal influences with some more recent Death/Black Metal elements of bands like Arkhon Infaustus. Epoch’s pummeling attitude continues as they unleash the sheer brutality of songs like “Vision Absolute”, “Altered States” and “Nine”.
Continuing with their mission of pushing musical boundaries to deliver some of the most disarming songs ever written, today we have Anomalie’s third full-length release titled “Visions”. Slowly refining the band’s music over the years, the band’s mastermind, Marrok, manages to deliver seven visionary tracks that ooze of melancholy and brutality. If you are a fan of modern Post-Black Metal, this is definitely one of the albums you don’t want to miss in 2017.
Instantly setting a very somber and melancholic mood with “Vision I: Towards the Sun”, the band warms up with acoustic guitars and eerie vocal arrangements, slowly building up to crushing riffs and mournful vocals. Wasting to time, the band delivers one of their best songs ever with the brilliant “Vision II: The Wanderer”. Perfectly combining aggressive drumming and weeping guitar leads, this track has a very interesting Doomy vibe that perfectly blends with the super catchy riffs and tempo changes.
With a very unique mixture of Sludge/Post-Metal and even some Post-Rock elements, today we have the debut release of Allochiria, titled “Throes”. Featuring six tracks of perfectly balanced aggression with dreamy guitars, this Greek band will appeal to fans of outfits like Amenra and Neurosis but with a Sludgier edge.
Opening with the punishing “Thrusts”, we have genre-typical pounding riffs/bass guitar paired with hearty screams, however, the guitar leads and the overall pace change instantly make the band’s sound different and engaging. This is clearly carried over through this release as tracks like “Little Defeats, Tiny Victories” feel more experimental than straightforward. Cult of Luna influences can be heard in this album as the drumming is quite crafty and perfectly directs the guitar work.
Only getting better and better with time, today we have UK’s Atmospheric Black Metal masters Fen and their latest musical opus titled “Winter”. Delivering over 75 minutes of music, the band further cements their status as one of the scene’s best, thanks to the outstanding level of quality and creativity their music showcases. Greatly improving on what bands like Agalloch, Drudkh, and Negură Bunget have done in the past, this release is a definitely must have for fans of atmospheric Black Metal.
Opening with the 17-minute behemoth “I (Pathway)”, the band has enough time to build up with atmospheric elements and majestically transition between hypnotic melodic passages and very aggressive sections. After such an intense and moody opening, the band brilliantly transitions into calmer territories with the dreamy opening of “II (Penance)”. In this track we get to enjoy the playful interplay between the guitars and the intricate bass guitar line, while keeping things heavy and mellow thanks to the aggressive vocals and tight drums.
For those like us that like trippy experimental music, today we have the brilliant sophomore release of Lethe titled “The First Corpse on the Moon”. This project of Tor-Helge Skei (ex-Manes) and Anna Murphy (ex-Eluveitie) delivers in many different levels, from weird and trippy, to brilliantly catchy and hypnotic. If you liked the band’s debut release and bands like The 3rd and the Mortal (on their later years) and Closed Room, this is one release you don’t want to miss.
The album opens with the intoxicating “Night”, a track that perfectly sets a very jazzy moody vibe. This track slowly introduces the uninitiated to the band’s very unique musical landscape. Very quickly, things get more Trip-Hop oriented with “Inexorbitant Future” and return to ‘heavier’ more Metal-influenced territories with one of our favorites “Down into the Sun” and its catchy vocal arrangements.
Delivering one of the most devastating Black Metal releases of 2017, today we have Patria and their latest full-length release “Magna Adversia”. Released via Soulseller Records, this album is no slouch as it delivers some of the finest Black Metal we have heard in quite a while. As an added bonus, the legendary Asgeir Mickelson plays the drums and it was produced by none other than Øystein Garnes Brun. If you are a follower of the genre, you can’t afford to miss out on this one.
Opening with the pummeling riffing of “Infidels”, the band casts a brilliant spell with their ravaging music and high-octane energy. Things turn Black’n’roll-ish with the super catchy “Axis”, a song that reminds us of Vreid and similar outfits. As the band pummels through tracks like “Heartless”, “A Two-Way Path” and “Communion”, we are quite impressed with their versatility and their influences ranging from catchy Black Metal like Satyricon to the more brutal and speedy sections of outfits like Dark Funeral.