With Agalloch disbanding recently, it is time for a new band to take the throne to the best Atmospheric Black Metal outfit in the USA. With “Lethean Lament”, Mavradoxa makes their case to the throne. Unleashing over 60 minutes of highly engaging and intricate music, this release showcases the band’s creativity while unleashing very melodic and powerful songs.
Opening with the Empyrium-esque “Cicadan” acoustic guitar/violins intro, the band settles into their main sound with the crushing guitars of “The Phantom Visages”. With some very mellow and even ‘Doomy’ riffs, this song is quite engaging and sets a very melodic and sinister atmosphere. As a two-man operation, the band gets things quite heavy when needed with the harsh vocals and blistering riffs.
Hailing from Cuba, today we have Black Metal one-man battalion, Narbeleth, and their fourth full-length release “Indomitvs”. Delivering over 35 minutes of savagely raw BM songs, this release showcases true raw power and determination to craft some of the most brutal and ravaging songs ever produced. If you are tired of overproduced and ‘pretty’ sounding Black Metal, this is the album you have been waiting for.
Wasting no time, the riffing onslaught opens with the first note of “The Distortion of Life”. In this track we get that certain 90’s Black Metal vibe with a very guitar and vocals driven approach to the genre. The intensity is relentless and the craftmanship is quite high, as the band continues its demolishing path with “When the Sun has Died”. Keeping things fresh and interesting, the eerie vocal arrangements in “The Lower Point of the Star” will certainly grab your attention and creep you out at the same time.
Unleashing a punishing and foul onslaught of Black/Death Metal madness, today we have New Zealand’s Vassafor and their sophomore full-length release “Malediction”. Blending elements from old-school Black and Death Metal into a killer wall of sound, this album delivers almost 50 minutes of some of the most decadent and punishing music ever recorded.
Starting with the pummeling “Devourer of a Thousand Worlds”, the slowly creep into the band’s mind with a barrage of demoralizing riffs and creepy vocals. Clocking in at 16-minutes, this track is the perfect opening into Vassafor’s madness. Filled with old-school vibes, “Emergence (of an Unconquerable One)” has a certain Grindcore edge to it due to its incisive guitar leads as well as a retro Death Metal side to it thanks to its meaty hooks.
Overflowing with creativity and musicianship, today we have Enslaved’s latest opus “E”. Delivering over 45 minutes superbly catchy Progressive Black/Viking Metal, the band continues to refine their explosive sound with a few new tweaks and a whole lot of energy. Just when you think the band can’t get any better, they manage to push the envelope and perfectly balance their old-school elements within the confines of their more modern endeavors.
The album opens with a very light and to a point Post-Rockish vibe on “Storm Son”. This slowly evolves into more Progressive and Enslaved-like territories with dual vocal arrangements, catchy riffs and tight drum patterns. This opener is quite effective as it nicely bridges the band’s last release “In Times”, with what is coming in “E”. The headbanging continues with the extreme catchiness of “The River’s Mouth”, a piece that is quite interesting as the clean vocals remind us a bit of Fear Factory and create a unique contrast.
Hailing from Swtizerland, today we have Antiversum and their ear popping, soul crushing mixture of Black/Death/Doom metal in their debut full-length release “Cosmos Comedenti”. Featuring over 37 minutes of hellish music, the band mixes Black/Death Metal influences with Doom and Sludge to create a very think and visceral listening experience. With influences from bands like Neurosis, Amenra, to Centinex, this is one release you don’t want to miss.
Opening the album, we have the harrowing “Antinova”, a piece that slowly builds up a sound wall filled with pummeling riffs and crushing growls. There are some Black Metal influences thrown into the mix that create a more dissonant and imposing atmosphere, as the song progresses in a very Sludgy/Post-Metal-ish way. Continuing the aural assault, we have “Chao E Orta Est”, a slow progressing track that is quite dissonant and aggressive.
For those of us that still collect physical CD’s, today we have the non-digital version of Lascar’s sophomore release “Saudade” through the A Sad Sadness Song imprint. Featuring over 42 minutes of music divided into four tracks, this release shows a more mature and defined Lascar. The songs are raw and powerful, but at the same time filled with melancholy and sorrow. If you are a fan of Post-Black Metal, this is definitely a release you don’t want to miss.
Opening with the sweeping “Tender Glow”, we are immediately thrown into Lascar’s world. The song’s raw power and melancholic guitars create a very unique and engaging contrast. The song nicely blends into the faster paced “Thin Air”, a track filled with very intense drumming and furious riffing. This one-man band has a unique ability to create contrasting passages within each track, showcasing versatility and skill.
As one of the most anticipated releases of 2017, today we have legendary Satyricon and their latest opus “Deep Calleth Upon Deep”. Featuring eight tracks and over 43 minutes of music, this release showcases Satyr’s and Frost superbly evil and sinister sound while incorporating a few new tricks to their repertoire. Continuing the exploration of the limits of Black Metal, the band provides their next evolutionary step with another unique and engaging release.
Opening with the piercing riffing of “Midnight Serpent”, the band kicks off a very melodic and yet aggressive release. There is just something merciless about the band’s riffing that oozes evil and darkness. Once warmed up, the band mixes subtle aggression with playful rhythms and intricate songwriting as we hear in “Blood Crack Open the Ground” and the hypnotic “To Your Brethren in the Dark”.
After blowing everybody’s expectations with their amazing 2015 release “Hammer of the Witches”, Dani Filth and company are back with an even more refined and incisive release with “Cryptoriana – The Seductiveness of Decay”. Having returned to their best sound since “Nymphetamine”, they band continues rolling with another 10 brilliant tracks that while reminding us of their earlier days, keep pushing forward with their bombastic and aggressive sound.
Kicking off with the mood setting intro “Exquisite Torments Await”, CoF instantly transports you into the band’s twisted world thanks to sinister riffs and dramatic arrangements. This is only the beginning as things get even more intense with the blistering drumming of “Heartbreak and Séance” and its Omen-esque chorus sections. With even more dramatic arrangements and superbly catchy passages, “Achingly Beautiful” is definitely one of our favorite tracks in this release.
Hailing from Italy, today we have Post-Black Metal/Blackgaze newcomers Falaise and their sophomore release “My Endless Immensity”. Following the footsteps of bands like Amesoeurs, An Autumn for Crippled Children, Heretoir, etc, this band delivers 52 minutes of highly melodic and intoxicating music that will make you an instant fan of their sound.
After a mood setting intro, the release kicks off with the mellow atmosphere of “The Embrace of Water”. Providing some brilliant Amesoeurs flashbacks, this track perfectly showcases the band’s rich and powerful sound. With dreamy guitars and contrasting tempo changes, tracks like “You Towards Me”, “Crimson Clouds”, and “Dreariness” deliver excellent atmospheric experiences that evoke the likes of Alcest and Lantlos, but with Falaise’s own unique touch.
Making its way to our office from Canada, today we have Finland’s one-man demolition squad Kval and its self-titled debut release. Originally releasing music under the moniker Khaossos, Kval’s sole member crafts some of the most misanthropically punishing Atmospheric Black Metal we have heard in a while. Evoking the raw elements of old-school Burzum and the bleakness of Mortualia, this is one heavy release.
After setting the mood with the chilling “Usva”, the punishing distorted guitars first make an appearance on “Sokeus”. Instantly creating a wall of dissonance, the guitars perfectly blend with a trance-inducing bass guitar line and their demoralizing harsh vocals. These elements are very nicely contrasted with somber instrumental passages. The transition between songs is quite subtle and before you know it, this release is already on its third track, “Harhainen”.