For those like us that like trippy experimental music, today we have the brilliant sophomore release of Lethe titled “The First Corpse on the Moon”. This project of Tor-Helge Skei (ex-Manes) and Anna Murphy (ex-Eluveitie) delivers in many different levels, from weird and trippy, to brilliantly catchy and hypnotic. If you liked the band’s debut release and bands like The 3rd and the Mortal (on their later years) and Closed Room, this is one release you don’t want to miss.
The album opens with the intoxicating “Night”, a track that perfectly sets a very jazzy moody vibe. This track slowly introduces the uninitiated to the band’s very unique musical landscape. Very quickly, things get more Trip-Hop oriented with “Inexorbitant Future” and return to ‘heavier’ more Metal-influenced territories with one of our favorites “Down into the Sun” and its catchy vocal arrangements.
Hailing from Germany today we have Fjoergyn and their latest very impressive foray into the realm of Avant-garde Black Metal with “Lucifer Es”. Joining the elite list of bands like Anomalie, Agrypnie, and Nocte Obducta, which are re-defining the genre, this band delivers 61 minutes of action packed music that commands your attention from start to end. Perfectly crafted for fans of the bizarre and complex, this release is one hell of a ride.
After opening with the somber “MMXVII”, the band perfectly blends punishing riffs with intricate atmospheric arrangements as we hear in “Leviathan”. The mixture of vocal styles is something that instantly sticks out from such a unique mixture of elements, giving the band that extra level of creepiness. With tracks like “Viva La Inquisition” exploiting the band’s heavier side, Fjoergyn delivers a very expansive and relentless sound that very few bands can pull off.
Finally returning with a thought-provoking full-length release, today we have Poland’s Mord’A’Stigmata and their latest offering “Hope”. Continuing their musical evolution, this release delivers over 40 minutes of hard to define music filled heavy Post-Black Metal overtones. If you are a fan of bands like Harakiri for the Sky, Anomalie, and even Moonspell, this release will certainly appeal to you.
Opening with the 12-minute title-track, the band leads with expertly layered guitars and a very enigmatic pace. The mixture of clean and harsh vocals reminds us a bit of Moonspell. However, the intricate guitar work is what truly makes this track quite unique and engaging. The band continues their musical experiments with the faster paced “The Tomb from Fear and Doubt”. This song we are treated to faster drums alongside hypnotic instrumental interludes.
Keeping things as weird and unique as possible, today we have the legendary Fleurety and their latest EP titled “Fragmenta Cuinsvis Aetatis Contemporaneae”. Released as a 7” vinyl, the listener gets two more windows in to the band’s unique, and pretty deranged, musical vision. If you like weird stuff, this is definitely something you need to check out.
Very far from their Black Metal origins in the seminal “Min tid skal komme”, the band has continued to evolve over the years perfectly creating a very bizarre sound that just keeps getting better and better with time. Exhibit A in this release is the trippy “Consensus”, a song that is quite experimental with influences ranging from Noise to Drone and all the way to Jazz. This piece creates a very dissonant and uncomfortable atmosphere that is equally brilliant and insane at the same time.
As one of the biggest surprises of 2016, today we have the return of Madder Mortem and their whacky Progressive Metal with “Red in Tooth and Claw”. Always hard to peg down and describe, this Norwegian band has consistently released very unique album and with this one they sound as crazy as ever. Delivering over 50 minutes of music, this release was definitely worth the 6 year wait.
Opening with the funky “Blood on the Sand” we are instantly transported to the band’s unique musical world. Agnete’s signature vocals perfectly lead this very engaging track that features tons of odd tempo changes and has a certain circus vibe to it. The madness continues in very different shapes as “If I could” and “Fallow Season” deliver funkadelic rhythms and very playful combinations of intricate bass guitar lines and heavy riffs.
As THE most awaited release of 2016 for us, today we have the pleasure of reviewing the return of In The Woods… with “Pure”. Having influenced hundreds of bands over the years with their visionary music and style, this band finally reformed back in 2014 - after 14 years of hiatus. Featuring over 67 minutes of music, this release perfectly delivers the traditional In The Woods… experience but not without a more refined an evolved sound that puts them right back in the map, picking up exactly where they left off.
Opening with the soaring vocal arrangements of “Pure” alongside a very moody and engaging instrumentation, the band will instantly transport you to their unique world. With British singer James Fogarty at the helm, instant comparisons to Jan Transeth can be made, but Mr. Fog has a more dynamic range and brings his own style into the mix. For those of us that enjoyed the experimental nature of the band, they quickly deliver the atmospheric and dreamy “Blue Oceans Rise” and “Devil’s at the Door” to hook the listener further in.
Never ceasing to amaze us, today we have another killer release from Sun & Moon Records: Svoid – Storming Voices of Inner Devotion. Hailing from Hungary, this band nicely blends Post-Punk, Post-Rock, and Black Metal in a very unique way, kind of sounds like a mixture of Amesoeurs and Watain. Delivering 11 tracks of truly unique and catchy music, the band delivers one of the most unique and chaotic releases of 2016.
Opening with the devilish riffs of “Through the Horizon”, this track has a very unique tempo that completely contrasts the Black Metal elements, similar to what Ihsahn achieves in his latest releases. This contrast is actually what makes this release quite engaging an intoxicating, as you feel that something is a bit off, but in the best of ways. Creating a unique balance between the Post-Punk/Post-Rock and the rawness of their Black Metal foundations, tracks like “Crown of Doom”, “Death, Holy End” and “Never to Redeem” are truly magical and super interesting.
Hailing from Italy, today we have the very unconventional Avant-garde Black Metal outfit VIII and their sophomore release “Decathexis”. Featuring over 45 minute of highly entertaining and chaotic music, this release is quite engaging and well crafted, as you never know what to expect next.
Opening with the Black Metal onslaughts of “Symptom”, the band starts punishing the listener with the aggressive side of their music. The throbbing bass guitar line stands out from the band’s relentless onslaughts. The tempo changes featured in this track give it a sinister edge when paired with the extra atmospheric elements.
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.
Being the most anticipated 2016 release at Infernal Masquerade, we have been sitting on writing this review for a few weeks to fully digest and process this album. Hailing from Germany, Todtgelichter started playing somewhat straightforward Black Metal until they started experimenting with other influences since their 2010 release “Angst”. From that release and to these days, the band has managed to craft a very unique blend of experimental/Avant-garde Black Metal that is completely disarming and emotionally raw. If you liked the band’s last two releases, you will be in for a treat with this one.
The album opens with the emotionally charged “Ghost” and its brilliant atmospheric elements. This track perfectly contrasts harsh and clean vocals while slowly building up the tempo with intricate drumming and lush atmospheric details. Continuing the emotional rollercoaster, the rawness of the opening of “Scherin” nicely transforms with all-out Post-Rock/Shoegazey melodic passages perfectly adorned by Marta’s iconic voice. This is one of the band’s best tracks to date due to the perfect contrast of heavy and melodic elements.