Hailing from France, today we have quite an impressive outfit under the moniker of Lutece. Unleashing their third full-length release titled “From Glory towards Void”, the band delivers over 51 minutes of clean and precise Black Metal filled with crushing melodies and imposing vocals paired with emotional atmospheric elements.
Delivering a punishing opening blow with “Let the Carnyx Sound Again”, the band demonstrates their high-octane music with pummeling drums and intense riffing. Showing this was not a fluke, the brutal onslaught continues with the demoralizing “Melted Fles”. In this track we start noticing some very interesting atmospheric elements thrown into the mix, adding some additional complexity to the band’s music.
Spewing more of their sickening Black/Death Metal, today we have Howls of Ebb and their sophomore release “Cursus Impasse: The Pandlomic Vows”. Written between 2013 and 2015, this release moves away from the longer (10+ minute) track from their previous EP and delivers their musical fury in shorter but equally sweet onslaughts. Filled with creepiness and a retro-vibe, this album shows the band’s knack for making truly punishing music.
Opening with the psycho-sexual hypnotic bass guitar line of “The 6th Octopul'th Grin”, the band’s depraved sound is instantly gratifying. Things take a turn to the even more bizarre with the funkiness of “Cabals of Molder” and its very horror-like atmospherics. Continuing down the rabbit hole, “Maat Mons’ Fume” has more of that raw energy of Indonesian Black/Death Metal bands mixed in with some truly disturbing bass guitar sounds.
As one of the best releases to appear on our magical postal box, today we have The Shiva Hypothesis and their demoralizing 2015 3-song promo. Featuring an imposing sound similar to bands like Behemoth, Vesania and even Dimmu Borgir minus all the fluffy shit, this Dutch band delivers 20 minutes of brutal music that will rattle your speakers from start to end.
Opening with the incisive riffing of “Caduceus”, The Shiva Hypothesis starts its journey pummeling the listener with devilish vocals provided mainly by MVS, and some killer drum patterns. As a package, this band is firing with all cylinders, allowing all elements to perfectly blend together crafting an oppressive atmosphere.
Steamrolling its way from Belgium, today we have one-man battalion Ande and his debut release “Licht”. Featuring over 22 minutes of music, this release features tons of great ideas and eerie atmospheric pieces. Opting to always have a sort of prelude before the main songs, this allows for the atmosphere to be perfectly established before moving into heavier and more ‘Metal’ things.
After a solid intro, “Paniek” delivers heavy distorted guitars with a very raw and crushing sound. With the guitars leading the way, the vocals are quite fitting for the mid-tempo efforts presented in this track. Focusing more on how the guitars command attention, the band’s sound is quite clean and direct.
Arriving from Sweden, today we have Rimfrost and their thunderous Black Metal onslaughts. In their self-titled third full-length release, this trio delivers eight high-octane anthems that remind us of Immortal and similar outfits. Not for the weak of heart or the extremely super kvlt trve people, this intense release plays more on the side of brilliant melodic riffs and catchy songs that are memorable and engaging.
Delivering a crushing opening blow with the brilliant “As the Silver Curtain Closes”, the band sets a very dynamic mood with tons of tempo changes and proficient riffing. The band’s vocalist and axe master Hravn Decmiester perfectly captures the Black Metal ‘firm’ shriek on melancholic tracks like “Saga North”. Said track also features some epic headbanging passages that will make your neck sore for days.
Hailing from Finland, today we have Gloria Morti and their devastating Black/Death Metal. Having refined their sound over 4 previous releases, this album delivers a very precise dosage of killer riffs, brutal vocals and intense drumming. Never compromising on brutality, the nine tracks found in this release will have you headbanging and moshing from start to end.
Opening with the brutal “Syntymä”, the band’s intensity and killer vocals are the first two things that stand out. The band’s vocalist, Pyscho, does a killer job in combining multiple styles and creating a Deathcore-esque level of brutality in songs like “Josef Fritzl”. The guitar work is quite elaborate and nicely separates the band from the average bands; this is due to the fact that founding member Juho Räihä has been around playing for bands like Before the Dawn, Swallow the Sun (live) and Wolfheart (live).
Returning after 4 years of no releases, today we have Norway’s Ragnarok and their latest opus of darkness titled “Psychopathology”. Featuring 49-minutes of soul crushing Black Metal, the band shows no signs of slowing down and manages to deliver one hell of a release from start to finish. Further refining their traditional Norwegian Black Metal sound, the band is ready to steamroll the competition with incisive riffs and sheer brutality.
Delivering the first blow with the monster opener “Dominance & Submission”, the band punishes the listener with crushing riffs and very elaborate drums. The band changed its configuration and now the sole remaining founding member, Jontho, handles the vocals, shifting the drumming duties to Malignant. With this little change, the band’s sound is a bit more dynamic, allowing tracks like “Psychopathology” and “My Creator” to be quite crafty and enjoyable.
Hailing from Sweden today we have Hyperion’s brilliant debut full-length release “Seraphical Euphony”. Feeling like it was trapped on a time capsule for over 10 years, this highly melodic and catchy release features a melodic Death/Black Metal sound from the 90’s. Perfectly packaged with all the technological advances of our current time, this album is one very unique sounding release in a sea of clones and bands trying too hard to sound ‘vintage’.
After the acoustic building up “Remnants of the Fallen”, “Novus Ordo Seclorum” is a brilliant guitar-led piece that instantly reminded us of Dissection and their legendary “Storm of the Light's Bane”. With a timeless guitar sound, tracks like “Flacellum Dei”, “Seraphical Euphony” and the dramatic “Moral Evasion” really hit that old-school spot, but at the same time combine more atmospheric elements of period bands like Dismal Euphony. We particularly enjoy how this last track evolves after an atmospheric opening and leads into balls to the wall headbanging passages.
Hailing from the UK and arriving trough Eternal Death records, today we have a very entertaining 7” release from The Wolves of Avalon. Fronted by none other than Metatron of The Meads of Asphodel fame, this band plays a mean Pagan/Black Metal that invokes some similarities to the likes of Primordial. Featuring two songs, this release is quite entertaining and a must-have for die-hard collectors of vinyl.
Opening on side A with the “Die Hard” cover, the band perfectly captures the old-school Thrash/Black Metal sound of Venom. Adding the special participation of vocalists Rob Miller (Amebix), Alan Averill (Primordial), Mirai (Sigh), and Mantas doing some vocals and also handling some guitars, this cover is an excellent modern version of the original classic.
Making Black Metal trippy with their Doom/Psychedelic influences, Oranssi Pazuzu returns with another brilliant deconstruction of the genre in “Värähtelijä”. Delivering over 60 minutes of madness, this release captures the listener’s attention and imagination since its first riff and never lets go. If you are a fan of the unconventional, this is an album you can’t miss.
The release slowly opens with the atmospheric piece “Saturaatio” that presents us with a powerful guitar onslaught and some trippy keys. The harsh vocals suddenly appear to add an extra level of heaviness to an already very crafty song. Changing the mood into darker and more sinister territories, “Lahja” features a very hypnotic tempo. This track while different than the opener, continues the underlying dark and mysterious atmosphere of this release.