Unleashing one of the most harrowing and despair-filled releases of 2017, today we have Sweden’s Ofdrykkja and their sophomore full-length release “Irrfärd”. Featuring a highly oppressive and atmospheric sound, this band unleashes seven ravaging tracks of crushing music that is quite dense and engaging. If you are a fan of bands like Lifelover, Dodsferd and similar outfits, you will definitely enjoy this one.
The album title track starts the release with a very moody and bleak acoustic intro, just the perfect warm-up for the emotional beating to come. As “En vandrares börda” warms up, we are treated to incisive riffs that are nicely paired with clean acoustic guitars. As the mournful vocals make their entrance, the track’s sound and atmosphere tours sour, creating a very demoralizing song.
Closing off 2017 with one truly punishing and demoralizing release, today we have Ván Records unleashing “Miasmal Coronation”. In this split release, we are introduced to the pungent and piercing sound of German Black/Death Metal bands: II and Lihhamon. With each band unleashing around 15 minutes of ravaging music, you will be begging for mercy before the release is done.
The release kicks off with I I’s mysterious atmospheric opening in “Indoctrination of Deaths Command”, however, this atmospheric start is quickly replaced by pummeling riffs and crushing vocals. The band’s intensity is quite palpable, and their ravaging Black/Death Metal sound is instant evidence of this. The band continues their onslaught with brutal tracks like “Weltenfresser” and the incisive “Miasmal Execration”. With a buzz saw-like guitar sound, we particularly enjoy how massive their sound is. I I leaves on a more melodic tone with the superbly catchy “Vidargängr”.
Featuring the rawness and brutality of bands like Horna, Baptism, and Entartung, today we have Germany’s Halphas and their devastating debut release “Dawn of a Crimson Empire”. Unleashing eight hymns of pure devastation, this band has a timeless sound and a level of intensity that is uncanny.
Immediately after the warm-up intro, the band beings building momentum with the diabolica-sounding mid-tempo opening of “Call from the Depths”. As the song progresses, its intensity increases, creating a very punishing and demoralizing piece with crushing vocals. The traditional BM riffing of “Through the Forest” kicks things up a notch with pummeling drums and incisive tempo changes. We particularly enjoy the expert guitar layering the band does, allowing their music to be quite expansive and raw.
Unleashing a truly intense musical outburst, today we have one-man Nyctophilia and their full-length release “Dwelling in the Fullmoon Light”. Seeing the light of day on CD format via Mara Productions, this eight tracks sonically abusive release is ready to deliver its brutal and frosty message to a wider audience. Perfectly balancing atmosphere with ravaging intensity, this release is intended for any BM fan that is also into creepy and overpowering atmospherics.
After the warm-up intro, the release fully kicks in with the punishing drumming and riffing of “As Nothing Remains Here”. The track is quite intense and very well developed, bringing back memories from bands like Anorexia Nervosa, thanks to its crushing production and intense demeanor. The brutal onslaught continues with the pummeling “Dark December Forest” and the more mysterious and dense album title track. Both of which go from Immortal-esque moments into darker and more somber vibes.
Unleashing a very punishing and raw release, today we have Italy’s Ubiquity and their release “Forever/Denied”. Out on Third I Rex, this band delivers five pummeling tracks filled with hateful Post-Hardcore music mixed more modern Post-Black Metal onslaughts to keep things interesting and refreshing. If you don’t like many of the Post-BM bands because their music sometimes is too mellow, you will love the raw brutality behind this release.
The album opens in a sort of deceiving way with the angelic choir arrangements that suddenly lead to a blistering onslaught of crushing riffs and ravaging shrieks. The album title track delivers a very powerful opening with merciless power and intensity. Invoking their inner Neurosis/AmenRa, the band unleashed the powerful riffage of “Hopes”, perfectly complemented by intense drumming and harrowing vocals.
Hailing from Japan today we have the mesmerizing debut EP of Anguis Dei, titled “Ad Portas Serpentium”. Delivering four majestic Symphonic/Melodic Black Metal hymns that remind us of the old days of Emperor, Old Man’s Child, Naglfar and Dimmu Borgir, this release is quite a musical experience for fans of the style.
Opening with the dramatic theatrics of “Maythorns Over Uroboros”, this track sets a high-octane pace for this release. The lush keyboards are perfectly contrasted with the hellish vocals and bestial drumming. We particularly love how the band handles tempo changes in order to inflict the most amounts of pain via killer guitar leads or atmospheric passages.
Originally released in 2015, today we have Circle of Salt’s savagely primitive and raw debut full-length release: “Suffer the Cold”. Featuring two tracks and nearly 40 minutes of levelling Atmospheric Black Metal, this one-man battalion delivers one hell of a crushing sound that will strike fear into the uninitiated.
The release opens with the 19-minute album title track, as it creates a very martial and dense atmosphere with commanding riffs and precise percussions. The band’s sound is quite oppressive and yet simple and raw, there is a certain beauty to be able to craft such a devastating atmosphere with barbaric proportions with only a handful of instruments. Maikan’s harsh vocals perfectly adorn the desolate landscape crafted by the intensity and craftiness of this track.
Continuing the journey of Odysseus started by Imperious sophomore release “Tales of Woe – The Journey of Odysseus, Part I”, today we have the epic continuation. Luckily as Massacre Productions is releasing both part simultaneously, we don’t have to wait a year as the original fans of the bands had to do, since this release was originally unleashed in 2015. Again, mixed and produced by Markus Stock, the grandeur of this album is perfectly capture and delivered.
Instead of opening with a short intro, the band picks up where they left off and deliver a very intricate “Of Casualties (And the further way)” filled with brilliant guitar leads and perfectly layered melodic riffs. The band’s sound is quite dynamic and rich, allowing each song to perfectly flow and deliver the goods, like we can see in “The Isle of the Solar God”.
Unleashing one of the most ambitious and epic Black Metal releases of 2017, today we have Imperious and part one of their double release “Tales of Woe – The Journey of Odysseus”. As epic as the Iliad, this release if full of excellent atmospheric elements to accompany blistering BM tracks that perfectly convey the grandeur of Odysseus journey. Originally self-released by the band in 2015, it is great that Massacre Records is giving this epic album a proper and wide release.
After setting the mood with the mellow “At The Shores of Ilion”, the band launches the first onslaught with “To Abjure Temptation” and its intense riffing. Setting a very hectic and lush tone since the beginning, hooks the listener instantly into the bands style and approach. The Empyrium-esque “At the Cave of Polyphemus” leads way to incisiveness of “The Sharpened Pale” and the dark and sinister vibe of “Insidious Winds” and its 14-minute of devastation.
Having a great eye for aurally abusive releases, I, Voidhanger Records, unleashes this December, the debut release of experimental Death/Doom/Black outfit Tongues. With “Hreilia”, the band delivers seven highly disturbing, chaotic and yet very enjoyable tracks that are quite bizarre in nature. Mixing elements from Death/Doom/Black Metal genres into a very unique amalgamation of styles, this release transports the listener to a hellish universe since the first track.
Opening with the funky weirdness of “Perennial Waves”, the listener gets to warm up to a very dissonant and yet enthralling mournful opening that suddenly explodes into full-on madness. We particularly enjoy the sickening vocals and the very raw vibe transmitted. The madness takes a more traditional Black Metal shape with the punishing “Theophagous Wounds of Earth”, and its killer bass guitar line. This is certainly one of the most brutal tracks in this release with a relentless drum track and incisive riffs.