Being huge fans of Atmospheric/Post Black Metal releases, we are quite puzzled how this little gem managed to sit on our virtual review queue for this long. Labeled as an international band, Grieving Mirth unleashes their debut EP titled “Calamitosvs Omine”, featuring five brilliant pieces of highly melancholic extreme music. Highly recommended for fans of bands like Heretoir, Anomalie, Harakiri for the Sky, Austere, this release is quite an interesting find.
The album opens with the ravaging “Malaugurio”, a song that sets the tone for this release with heavily melancholic riffs and powerful drumming. All of this is perfectly rounded up with firm harsh vocals that differ from your traditionally used BM shrieks. The band’s intensity level is quite impressive making the songs be both very melancholic and brutal at the same time, “Indelectavs” is a clear example of this.
Cranking up the level of melancholy to 11, today we have Bay Area’s Mountaineer and their debut full-length release “Sirens & Slumber”. After blowing us away with their two song EP back in 2016, this band formed by ex-Secrets of the Sky’s guitarist Clayton Bartholomew, continues to further develop their highly atmospheric sound by moving into Katatonia-esque territories. Delivering nine brilliant tracks, this is definitely one of the releases to get in 2017 if you are a fan of deeply melancholic music.
Opening with the dreaminess of “Foam”, the band sets a very ethereal mood with such a lush opener. Taken from the band’s first 2-song 7” release, “Coma Fever” leads with ripping Doom riffs and the contrasting vocals of Miguel Meza. The album continues with this lively pace on tracks like “Measured Breaths” and “Womb”, the band excels a wrapping a ton of atmosphere around heavy Doomy riffs.
Hailing from the Pacific Northwest, today we have None and their bone chilling self-titled debut release. Set to be released on Hypnotic Dirge Records, this Canadian label has managed to uncover one of the most atmospherically rich Black Metal outfits to ever come out of the USA. Featuring around 30 minutes of music, this release concocts long song filled with brutality and beauty. With similar influences to Cascadian BM bands, this one band you want to keep an eye out for.
Opening with the devastating “Cold”, the band instantly sets a very immersive mood filled with powerful riffs, hypnotic keyboard arrangements, and gut-wrenching vocals. Reminding us of outfits like Wolves in the Throne Room, this track creates a dense atmosphere that immerses the listener into the band’s punishing melancholic world.
Arriving from Australia via India’s Transcending Obscurity records, today we have Somnium Nox and their crushing debut release “Terra Inanis”. Unleashing a powerful mixture of devastating Black Metal with tons of atmospheric elements, the band delivers nearly 30 minutes of powerful music that should not be ignored.
Perfectly setting the mood with the first few minutes of the opener “Soliloquy of Lament” being atmospheric, the band fully unleashes their fury with some killer ravaging Black Metal onslaughts. Sounding like a mixture of Wolves in the Throne Room and Wiegedood, the band’s level of brutality is unquestionable.
Hailing from Belgium, today we have one-man band Ande and his sophomore release “Het Gebeente”. Swiftly continuing where the debut release, “Licht”, left off, this album delivers over 37 minutes of Burzum-esque Black Metal that should not be missed.
Setting the mood with the traditional intro track, Ande gets down to business with the raw riffing of “Argwaan”, a song that instantly reminds us of late 90’s Black Metal. Handling all the instruments, Jim does a pretty solid job in crafting intricate songs that capture both rawness and playful melodies that keep things fresh, like on “Gebukt” and “Oud en Vet”. This last song also has some kick-ass Black’n’Roll influences that will make you think of Vreid and similar outfits.
Delivering a truly unique aural experience, today we have Manetheren and their latest opus “The End”. Formed by USA based Azlum and members of Blut aus Nord on drums among others, this band unleashes a very unique mixture of Atmospheric Black Metal with influences of DSBM and Post-Black Metal. Featuring over 60 minutes of music, this album takes the listener through the journey of a human traveling across a dying world.
The album opens with the gut-wrenching “The Sun that Bled”, an 11-minute piece that sets a bleak mood with some mid-paced Black Metal. The band reminded us a bit of Ancient on their “The Cainian Chronicle” days, as the music is quite melodic and yet harsh and punishing. Things pick up a bit with the more intense passages of “An then Came the Pestilence”, which are perfectly outlined with very atmospheric sections that allow for dramatic contrast.
With a very unique mixture of Sludge/Post-Metal and even some Post-Rock elements, today we have the debut release of Allochiria, titled “Throes”. Featuring six tracks of perfectly balanced aggression with dreamy guitars, this Greek band will appeal to fans of outfits like Amenra and Neurosis but with a Sludgier edge.
Opening with the punishing “Thrusts”, we have genre-typical pounding riffs/bass guitar paired with hearty screams, however, the guitar leads and the overall pace change instantly make the band’s sound different and engaging. This is clearly carried over through this release as tracks like “Little Defeats, Tiny Victories” feel more experimental than straightforward. Cult of Luna influences can be heard in this album as the drumming is quite crafty and perfectly directs the guitar work.
Only getting better and better with time, today we have UK’s Atmospheric Black Metal masters Fen and their latest musical opus titled “Winter”. Delivering over 75 minutes of music, the band further cements their status as one of the scene’s best, thanks to the outstanding level of quality and creativity their music showcases. Greatly improving on what bands like Agalloch, Drudkh, and Negură Bunget have done in the past, this release is a definitely must have for fans of atmospheric Black Metal.
Opening with the 17-minute behemoth “I (Pathway)”, the band has enough time to build up with atmospheric elements and majestically transition between hypnotic melodic passages and very aggressive sections. After such an intense and moody opening, the band brilliantly transitions into calmer territories with the dreamy opening of “II (Penance)”. In this track we get to enjoy the playful interplay between the guitars and the intricate bass guitar line, while keeping things heavy and mellow thanks to the aggressive vocals and tight drums.
Bringing back the days when Black Metal was intended to be unsettling and highly creepy, today we have one-man project Coldborn and its debut full-length release “Lingering Voidwards”. Masterminded by Norgaath of Grimfaug and Nightbringer fame, this release delivers over 47 minutes of bone-chilling raw Black Metal with enough atmospheric elements to make you sleep with the light on at night for the rest of your life.
Perfectly balancing eerie atmospheres with ravaging lo-fi Black Metal, the album opens with the 12 minute behemoth “The Call of Death’s Clarion”. This track nicely blends some Doom-ish elements into the music, creating a very engaging and disturbing atmosphere. Coldborn continues its onslaught with the blistering opening of “In the Absence of Light, Death Gazes”. As the track progresses, we are reminded of older Satyricon, Tartaros and even Limbonic Art, thanks to the combination of slower paced sections with very prominent keyboards.
Arriving from this Bay Area trio, today we have Worm Ouroboros and their third full-length release “What Graceless Dawn”. Continuing where “Come the Thaw” left off, this release sees the band crafting hauntingly beautiful tunes that are filled with atmospheric and instrumental brilliance. Clocking at over 60 minutes of music, the listener is in for a very unique aural journey through the band’s unique world.
Opening with the mellow “Day”, we have a very ethereal buildup developed by a very slow tempo and the enchanting vocals of both Lorraine Rath and Jessica Way. The opener perfectly bleeds into the martial first few minutes “Broken Movements”. Once the song slowly progresses, the solemn combination of heartfelt guitar riffs and minimalist bass guitar notes start to get more intense as the song reaches its climax.