As one of the most interesting split releases of this young 2018, today we have Spectral Lore and Jute Gyte’s split “Helian”. Featuring two tracks and over 40-minutes of intense (and highly experimental) Atmospheric Black Metal, this release demonstrates the two ‘bands’ different takes and musical translation of Georg Trakl’s poem. Which each outfit delivering a chilling and unique experience, this release is certainly not for the faint of heart.
Jute Gyte kicks off the release with a very dissonant opening that slowly transitions into a trance-like state with disparate guitars and funky atmospherics. The vocals are quite disturbing, as they capitalize on the weird atmosphere generated by the repetitive riffs and dense distortion. As the track progresses, it feels like we are descending into madness as it just keeps getting more and more chaotic and bizarre. Truly unique and interesting first ‘half’ of this release.
Hailing from the USA, today we have Atmospheric Black Metal duo Veiled and their ravaging full-length debut release “Black Celestial Orbs”. Perfectly blending melancholic passages with the ravaging intensity of the USBM sound, the band unleashes nearly 40 minutes of masterful music that will instantly gain them recognition among the underground BM bands in the USA.
Opening with the intensity and violence of “Luminous”, we get a very Ash Borer-like layering of guitars and intricate drums that sets the bar quite high for this release. Coming off from the opening track’s high, “Portal” slows things down a bit before furiously pummeling the listener with crushing riffs and hellish vocals. The band’s music is a whirlwind experience of crushing passages and well-timed tempo changes that further contribute to the oppressive atmospheric experience created, as one can listen to in “Enshrouded”.
Completely catching us by surprise and blowing us away, today we have Sweden’s Avslut and their debut release “Deceptis”. With a name like Avslut (audio/visual slut, average slut - as defined by urban dictionary), we were quite skeptical about this release, but since the moment it started we were totally wrong. Released by Osmose productions, this band delivers over 43 minutes of lush melodic Black Metal similar to outfits like Dimmu Borgir (minus the fluffy stuff) and the brutality of Dark Funeral.
Opening with “Pestilens” the band viciously smacks the listener with intense drumming and intricate riffing. The atmosphere crafted is instantly chaotic and quite destructive, with hellish vocals and a blistering pace. Perfectly mixing superbly fast passages with more melodic and crafty riffs, the band pummels through tracks like “Förlorad” and “Existensens skugga” with such grace and demoralizing brutality.
Unleashing one of the rawest and most pummeling releases of this young 2018, today we have Finland’s Blood Chalice and their debut full-length “Sepulchral Chants of Self-Destruction”. As a joint release from Regain Records and Helter Skelter, we get 27 minutes of lo-fi bestial devastation in the shape of ten tracks. For the fans of intense Death/Black Metal, this release will keep head banging from start to finish.
Opening with the violent “The Unholy Angel of All”, the band sets a very intense pace and a ravaging sound that is quite effective for the genre. The punishing vocals deliver an unholy experience as they resonate on killer tracks like “The Passage” and the moody “Coven”. We particularly enjoy the crunchy riffing on “The Four”, a song that expertly changes tempos and pummels the listener when they least expect it.
Continuing their meteoric rise on the Post-Black Metal ranks, today we have Austria’s Harakiri for the Sky and their fourth full-length release “Arson”. Delivering their most refined album to date, this duo unleashes a very melancholic vibe through their poignant style while perfectly balancing aggression with melody. Formed back in 2011, this outfit has constantly been improving upon their previous releases and now they are more than ready for wider appeal.
Opening with the intensity of “Fire, Walk With Me”, the band quickly showcases their signature style of mixing intricate drumming with crushing guitar leads and energetic singing. With Matthias Sollak handling all instruments, the band’s sound stays quite intact while adding a few refinements that allow longer songs like “The Graves we’ve Dug” and “You are the Scars” flow perfectly. With some hints of Melodic Death Metal elements from bands like October Tide and In Mourning present in the previously mentioned songs riffing, we get a mellower and yet aggressive sound that quickly surrounds the listener.
Unleashing a powerful barrage of killer riffs and chaotic vocals, today we have Untervoid and their self-titled mini-debut release. Hailing from Poland and featuring members of outfits like Armagedon and Kriegsmaschine, this short but sweet release is as relentless and powerful as they get. Four track are all you are going to need to be on the lookout for more material from this outfit.
Kicking off with demoralizing intensity, “Messer” opens up the release with incisive riffs and hauntingly demonic vocals. The mixture of growls, screams, and hollering creates a truly eerie experience. Perfectly blending Black and Death Metal elements with sinister songwriting, tracks like “Twilight” sneak up on the listener with determination and violence. While Destroyer’s guitar work is killer, his vocal versatility is what makes this release even more impressive. Fans of Ulver, Borknagar and Bethlehem will certainly find them appealing.
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.