Delicately balancing between Progressive and Extreme Metal, today we have the legendary Ihsahn and his seventh full-length release “Àmr”. For over 43 minutes, the master deliver some very unique and forward thinking music that stills retains the hunger and incisiveness of Ihsahn’s earlier work with Emperor while exploring newer and more complex musical directions.
Unleashing an incisive array of keyboards and harsh screams, the album perfectly kicks off with the hectic “Lend Me the Eyes of the Millennia”. This track follows more of Ihsahn’s early work structures, but with a modern and cutthroat edge that no other band has in Extreme Metal. The album’s first single, “Arcana Imperii” with a perfect blend of funky tempo changes and playful drumming that leads to dramatic vocal arrangements and crafty instrumentation. We highly enjoyed the moody clean vocals that give the song a more accessible (to non-extreme metal fans) side while enjoying Ihsahn’s brilliant song writing skills.
We are not big on reviewing split releases, but when we saw Black Mare and Offret put into one release, we got quite curious. Unleashing two very hypnotic and highly atmospheric tracks, this 7 inch vinyl and digital release transports the listeners into very carefully crafted worlds. For fans of experimental and highly atmospheric music, this is one release you don’t want to miss.
Opening with Black Mare’s “Woman the Throne”, Sera Timms crafts a very somber and Doomy atmosphere with minimalistic riffs and enthralling vocal arrangements. This track nicely flows, slowly intoxicating the listener with the incisive guitar work and ritualistic drumming. Creating a very dark and dense atmosphere, the six minute duration of this track will feel like a lot longer – in a good way.
Unleashing one of the most hypnotic and intoxicating Psychedelic Sludge/Doom release of 2018, today we have Finland’s Dark Buddha Rising and their latest EP “II”. Coming out via Neurot Recordings, this release features two tracks and around 25 minutes of trance inducing music that elevates the band’s already unique sound to a whole new level.
The band kicks off with the sludgy opening riffs of “Mahathgata I” and it slowly transitions into a truly intoxicating piece with the uniquely odd vocals of Marko Neuman. This track perfectly blends catchiness with atmospheric dominance and hints of psychedelia that are quite characteristic from the band. As the track progresses, it keep beating the listener with its crushing riffs while shifting into a darker and heavier piece. Lasting around 15 minutes, this is one hell of a track that perfectly captures the band’s idiosyncrasies.
Eight years have passed since Dimmu Borgir’s last release and tons of speculation an expectations have been building up to the unleashing of “Eonian”. Without wasting any more time, this release is truly outstanding as it builds on the band’s legacy of uncompromising creativity and musical exploration. In “Eonian” the band features a very raw and evil Black Metal core, reminiscent of the band’s older releases with retaining the grandiose orchestral and symphonic edge the band has been maturing since “Enthrone Darkness Triumphant”.
The band makes a bold opening statement with the lush “The Unveiling”, a song filled with incisive Black Metal riffs and dramatic choir arrangements. This song brings us back to where “Abrahadabra” left off, bringing back the lush and complex sound that made that release amazing. The album’s first single “Interdimensional Summit”, unleashes unparalleled catchiness in its chorus section, while delivering killer drum patterns and playful tempo changes. As “ÆTheric” and “Council of Wolves and Snakes” roll by, we are totally intoxicated by the band’s powerful atmosphere and brilliant execution. The creepy wolves sound paired with the throat singing of this later track make up for one hellish experience.
After a period of five years since the band’s last release, fans were eagerly awaiting the latest offering from Finish Melodic Death Metal act Kalmah. Under the title “Palo”, the band unleashes one of the most brilliant onslaughts of melodic music ever to be recorded. Clocking in at around 46 minutes, Kalmah delivers ten tracks of impressive quality that feature their signature style with a modern sounding edge, making it their best release to date.
Opening with the catchy riffs of “Blood Ran Cold”, the band sets a very epic melodic mood from the start. With a very Finish Melodic Death Metal sound, the band instantly brings memories of their earlier works and the guitar acrobatics of bands like Children of Bodom. However, not everything is just blistering solos, as the band has some of the chunkiest riffs in the business as we can hear in the opening of “The Evil Kin” and the melancholic “The World of Rage”.
Unleashing one of the most brutal live releases of 2018, today we have Poland’s Behemoth and the “Live Satanist” audio CD part from their massive “Messe Noire” live release. Delivering the nine songs from their crushing 2014 release “Satanist”, the band showcases their tight live set and raw power they deliver to crowds. If you haven’t been able to see the band live, this release certainly brings that experience to your ears from the comfort of your own home (or car).
The mood is brilliantly set by the mysterious opening of “Blow Your Trumpets Gabriel”, as the band levels the audience with incisive riffs and sheer heaviness. The album perfectly captures the band’s top-notch live production, allowing every single instrument to shine, with the layering just right. Showcasing their extremely tight live sound, the band pummels through the albums majestic tracks while leaving the crowd clamoring for more.
Perfectly crafted for lovers of melancholic Doom Metal, today we have international Funeral / Death/Doom outfit Towards Atlantis Lights, and their soul crushing debut release “Dust of Aeons”. Formed by Ivan Zara and having the likes of Kostas Panagiotou in their ranks, this band delivers a truly monumental debut release, unleashing almost 60 minutes of music in four tracks.
Wasting no time, the band slowly builds up their massive sound with the 30-minute “The Bunker of Life”, filled with demoralizing riffs and haunting clean vocals, this track is deep and crushing. The subtle keyboards brilliantly layer on top of the oppressive atmosphere crafted by the guitar work and the deep growls. Between lush atmospheric passages and barrages of pummeling riffs, the time quickly passes by with this track and you won’t even realize you are 25 minutes into it, just brilliant.
As one of the most expected releases of 2018, today we have Kamelot and their latest epic release “The Shadow Theory”. Filled with the traditional Kamelot sound and a few surprises, this release unleashes over 50 minutes of bombastic music that should please all the fans of the band and gain them several more. Sadly, with this album the band sends of Casey Grillo on a high note (with the band), and welcomes new drummer Johan Nunez.
The release starts with the bombastic lushness of “Power Divine (Shadow Empire)” with the first duet between Lauren Hart (Once Human) and Tommy Karevik. This track embodies the Kamelot style to perfection, but delivering killer melodies, tight drumming and very well crafted vocal arrangements. As the band goes through “RavenLight” and the industrial-ish “Amnesiac”, we notice some very interesting new elements thrown into the mix, making the band’s sound more dynamic and engaging for listeners.
Perfectly aging with time, today we have Primordial and their latest opus “Exile Amongst the Ruins”. Unleashing over 65 minutes of superbly crafted music, the band builds up on their legacy with eight incisive tracks that are both catchy and undeniably effective. Featuring the band’s signature style, this release will captivate the attention of timeless fans of the band, and shall get them hordes of new fans.
Opening with the mysterious “Nail their Tongues”, there is a certain folky and yet mystical atmosphere crafted since the first note. Led by the charismatic Alan Nemtheanga, the band’s sound is instantly recognizable with his mixture of clean leads and harsh passages, creating a very dark and yet haunting contrast. With songs like “Where Lie the Gods” and the album title track, the band slowly warms up with incisive riffs and determined drumming.
Formed by musicians from Finland and Greece, Aeonian Sorrow is set to unleash their debut album “Into The Eternity A Moment We Are” on April 11, 2018. Featuring nearly 60 minutes of beautiful and yet demoralizing Melodic/Gothic Doom Metal, this release caters to the fans of bands like Draconian, Swallow the Sun, old Tristania etc. This young band manages to release eight brilliant tracks full with memorable moments and expert musicianship.
Opening the album with "Forever Misery", we are instantly greeted by solemn keyboards and piercing Doom riffs. Alejandro Lotero’s growls are exactly what the doctor ordered in these types of releases and perfectly contrast Gogo Melone’s enchanting female vocals. With Gogo also handling the keyboard duties, the band creates a very dense and crushing atmosphere, as heard in “Shadows Mourn”. The My Dying Bride-esque “Under the Light” delivers ripping guitars and very well-spaced drums, crafting the perfect mournful headbanging tune.