Led by the charismatic and highly talented Heidi Parviainen, today we have Dark Sarah’s third full-length release “The Golden Moth”. Completing “The Chronicles” trilogy, this cinematic/symphonic Metal album is full of bombastic arrangements and very dramatic instrumentation creating a magical atmosphere. Going bigger than in the past, the band instantly immerses the listeners into their lyrical context and provides a truly engaging experience.
Opening with “Desert Rose”, there is a certain mysterious mood that frames the beginning of this story very well and creates great expectation on the listener. New permanent member, JP Leppäluoto, delivers a solid vocal performance as Dragon, complementing Heidi’s angelic chants. With the band’ further setting the mood with songs like “Trespasser” and “Wheel”, the immersion feels deeper and deeper. The Jurassic Park-esque atmospheric elements of “My Beautiful Enemy”, make for a very grandiose and ear catching tracks that is quite hard to get out of your head.
Unleashing over 55 minutes of superbly catchy hard rocking music, today we have Germany’s The Unity and their sophomore release “Rise”. Featuring members of Gamma Ray and Love.Might.Kill, this release delivers a very interesting mixture of traditional Hard Rock with Power Metal elements, allowing for the band to delivering brilliant technically proficient passages, while maintaining a lively mood and a high level of catchiness. If you like bands like Stratovarius, Warlock, Helloween, etc., but also like something more easy to digest and to sing along, then definitely check out this release.
After a dramatic atmospheric opener, “Last Betrayal” instantly cranks up the intensity and the catchiness up to 11. This track kicks off with dramatic vocals by Jan Manenti and a very hectic pace. The chorus sections are just brilliant, allowing this track to be stuck in your head for a while after the first listen. The first standout track is the intoxicating “You Got Me Wrong”, which is definitely one of the most engaging and memorable songs we have heard in quite a while.
Only making us wait for ten years, we finally get another brilliant release from Noekk, even if its a short 7 inch one. With “Carol Stones and Elder Rock”, Schwadorff and Thomas Helm tease listeners with four tracks of their upcoming full length release. Full of lush and yet simple arrangements, this release continues the band’s legacy with some unique and mysterious songs that will certainly captivate fans of Dark/Folk Rock.
The wait is over with the somber intro track “A Loss”, which creates a very dark and yet mysterious atmosphere that brings you back to the band’s earlier work and reminds you as well of outfits like Of the Wand and the Moon and Empyrium. The transition to “Pan” is seamless and leads into a lush keyboard atmospherics and haunting string elements. The pace is quite well crafted as it creates a bit of an anxious feel, but at the same times soothes the listeners with its atmospherics.
Delivering a killer female-fronted Symphonic Metal opus, today we have Germany’s Beyond the Black and their third full-length release “Heart of the Hurricane”. Led by the talented and also quite beautiful Jennifer Haben, this band has a great sound that while part of a crowded genre, it easily stands out from the rest. Perfectly designed for those fans of bands like Nightwish, Tarja, Epica, and even the likes of Doro, this release will keep you quite entertained for over 60 minutes.
Things get heated quite quickly with the hard rocking catchiness of “Hysteria”, a very direct and engaging opener that shifts things into 5th gear from the start. The album title song delivers very crafty tempo changes and dramatic riffs that are very well rounded up by the emotional sultry female vocals. This song feels like a unique mixture of the dynamism of Delain and the bombastic nature of Nightwish put together. We love how the band can switch the mood of the release from one song to the next, as it happens one “Million Lightyears” opens with male clean vocals and slowly transitions in a hyper catchy chorus section.
Unleashing one hell of a catchy and organic Folk Metal release, today we have legendary Korpiklanni delivering “Kulkija”. As their longest release to date, over 70 minutes of music, this release feels more intimate while having the band’s signature playful and engaging songs. This album instantly moves into the top Folk Metal releases of 2018, so be sure to not miss out.
Slowly building up momentum with “Neito”, the band wastes no time to unleash their characteristic lush sound with rich traditional instrumentation and heavy guitars to build a very catchy contrast. Tuomas Rounakari’s violin and Sami Perttula’s accordion brilliantly give the music that subtle playfulness that we love from the band while delivering dramatic and catchy songs like “Korpikuusen kyynel” and “Allon alla”. The band’s sound in this release feels a bit more barebones and manages to deliver more emotions and craft darker songs like “Harmaja” and one of our favorites: “Korikonnut”.
Delivering over 23 minutes of classical Scandinavian Death Metal, today we have Finland’s Abhorrence and their latest EP “Megalohydrothalassophobic”. All the fans of old-school Death Metal will be salivating for this release and with good reason as it is a force to be reckoned with. Showcasing a timeless musical style with modern production values makes this EP be one hell of a headbanging item to add to your collection.
Opening with the traditional intro, “Anthem for the Anthropocene” delivers a superbly catchy wave of riffs that bring back memories of the early days of Death Metal. The band’s nostalgic sound is nicely enhanced by a crystal clear recording which allows every detail to be fully appreciated, as we can hear from the punishing “The Four Billion Year Dream”. With all musicians being experts at their craft, the songs are nicely structured to inflict the maximum amount of damage.
As one of the most forward thinking and creative bands to come out of Norway, today we have Manes and their latest opus of madness titled “Slow Motion Death Sequence”. Featuring over 44 minutes of lush cinematic music filled with trip-hop, electronic, Metal, and even some synth-pop elements, this release further expands the band’s musical range. Constantly pushing the envelope, this release delivers nine intoxicating songs that demand attention and an open mind.
The release kicks off with the magical jazzy moodiness of “Endetidstegn”, a piece filled with dreamy atmospheric elements and lush vocal arrangements featuring Ana Carolina from Mounring Sun and the enchanting Anna Murphy of Cellar Darling. Things get futuristic with the catchy “Scion”, featuring some funky vocals and a very modern synth-pop-ish feeling. This song is one of the catchiest tracks in this release for sure.
The Canadian Black Metal scene is now flourishing with intense Black Metal bands that easily rival their counterparts from any part of the world. Today we have Quebec’s Délétère and their sophomore release “De Horae Leprae”, and it is quite a strong showing for this young and promising outfit. Delivering over 60 minutes of intense riffing, bestial drumming and an overall impressive sense of destruction, this release is geared for those of us that love relentless BM with a sense of melody and brutality.
Quickly steamrolling through the listener with the opener: “Teredinis Lepra” the band sets a fierce pace while adding some enticing atmospheric elements that keep things fresh and quite crafty. The band’s brutality is unquestionable after the brilliant “Sagina Caedendis”, where the sinister guitar layering works wonderfully well with the harsh and punishing vocals. With member Thorleïf handling the vocals, we are treated to an intricate mixture of traditional BM screams and deeper somber passages that perfectly contrast and create very unique haunting atmospheres as found in “Ichthus Os Tremoris”.
Always bringing to the listeners the most unique underground Metal bands, today we have LifeForce Records one-man project Bonjour Tristesse and their sophomore release “Your Urban Nightmare”. Perfectly blending elements of Post-Black Metal with influences from bands like Heretoir, Alcest, Austere, etc., this release unleashes over 44 minutes of intense and highly emotional music.
Opening with the album title track, we start with a very intense barrage of hectic riffs and solid harsh vocals that slowly blend into more melodic territories. The band’s musical approach while similar to other bands in the genre, explore more melodic and atmospheric passages, crafting a very unique and disharming sound.
Making justice to such a bleak title, today we have NONE’s sophomore release. Featuring over 50 minutes of the most demoralizing and gut wrenching music you will ever hear, “Life Has Gone On Long Enough” is a brutally emotional Atmospheric Black Metal release that any fan of Austere, Lifelover, Mortualia, etc. cannot miss.
After a moody opener, “A World, Dead and Gray” kicks off with crushingly dissonant guitars and punishing vocals. The atmosphere is quickly set to total bleakness by the pace songs’ pace and knack for very minimalist and yet effective keyboards. Bleeding into “Bed the Cold Earth”, NONE’s ability to continue its atmospheric endeavors is brilliant as the transitions are seamless and keep the listener fully immersed into the vibe of the release.