• Lustre – A Glimpse of Glory (2010)


    Hailing from Sweden, Lustre (one man band) brings us his second full-length release with “A Glimpse of Glory”. Mixing Ambient elements with the raw beauty of Atmospheric Black Metal, we get a very solid release that instantly became one of our top 10 releases of 2010 so far. During the 40 minutes of “A Glimpse of Glory”, Lustre reminded us of bands such as Enid, Blut aus Nord, Velvet Cacoon, etc. combined with the ethereal nature of artists like raison d'être and Robert Rich.

    Each of the three tracks found in “A Glimpse of Glory” focuses more in creating a very enthralling atmosphere than on the ‘Black Metal’ aspect of things. There are distorted guitars through most of the album (two thirds maybe), but there is only a little section (on track one) that has harsh BM screams. We didn’t even care if anybody was singing since each song crafts a mysterious atmosphere that gave us chills while listening to them at night.

  • Year Of No Light – Ausserwelt (2010)


    Around the same vein as Ufo Mammuth, we have Year Of No Light, and band that does great justice to its name by playing mesmerizing Ambient Doom with Shoegaze influences that will take you in a dark voyage with a considerable lack of light. Hailing from France, this band has a very crushing sound, mostly due to the fact that they have three guitar players and two drummers, one of the richest line-ups we have ever seen in a band.

    “Ausserwelt” is a 48 minute journey into a dark and desolate place that features a very rich and powerful soundtrack. With 4 tracks the band manages to create a super thick atmosphere that only a handful of bands are capable of. This album is not for the weak of mind and will surely blow yours away with every listen you dedicate to it.

  • Midnight Odyssey – Firmament (2010)


    Hailing from Australia today we review Midnight Odyssey’s debut full-length album “Firmament” which in fact is a reissue of their 2009 demo of the same name but with different cover art. This band plays Atmospheric Black Metal and does a fine job at creating a very eerie release, but falls short in terms of originality and diversity.

    Dis Pater is the mastermind (and only member) behind Midnight Odyssey. The album features over an hour of haunting hymns dedicated to despair and darkness. Like we mentioned this release is neither original nor diverse, but it has interesting individual features, like the use of some beats in the programmed drum track and some nice ambient melodies.

  • Requiem For Oblivion - Requiem For Oblivion (2009)


    As you first listen to track number one on this self titled release, you expect some good old Progressive Metal, but as the album progresses you are headed for an acid trip similar to something out of a David Lynch movie.

    The band's style is a very peculiar mix of Progressive Metal and some Ambient elements, as well as some weird vocals. The band self claims to be heavily influenced by Rush, Dream Theater, Katatonia among others, and that is not completely far out.

  • Immundus – Haunted Memories (2009)


    Immundus is a one man project hailing from Portugal, the project’s musical style could be defined as Dark Ambient music and it’s very eerie in nature, and it could very well be the soundtrack of a horror/thriller movie.

    Featuring ten tracks of eerie sounds with very minimalistic passages that will send chills to some people’s spines, or they will put others to sleep. If you are into Dark Ambient music, then you will be very pleased by this release, however if you do not like releases like this, then avoid the album since it will bore you to death.

  • Canis Dirus – A Somber Wind From A Distant Shore (2009)


    Ambient Raw Black Metal newcomers Canis Dirus hail from Minnesota, USA, yeah you read correctly from the USA. This two man band is probably one of the best new bands of the genre hailing from the USA besides Wolves Of The Throne Room.

    Invoking the old Burzum sound as well as the insane vocals of Bethlehem’s first albums “A Somber Wind From A Distant Shore” is a very solid release that features a very primitive and raw sound that will send shivers down to anybody’s spine after listening to it in the dark or better yet in the woods.

  • Urfaust – Einsiedler (2009)


    The Dutch duo of Urfaust comes back with their latest 2 song EP “Einsiedler” and after doing a bit of research about this band I figured I was into another pointless voyage from ‘just another’ crappy Ambient/Raw Black Metal band, and I was very wrong about this.

    “Einsiedler” features over 18 minutes of mesmerizing Ambient/Raw Black Metal that should be set as one of the standards for the genre. Their amazing ambiance created by the keyboards in the track “IX Einsiedler” is both eerie and enthralling I have not enjoyed a simple but well composed keyboard arrangement like this one in quite a while. While you still have the traditional shrieks on the song, they also added a very melodic clean vocal that complements the track to perfection. The overall down-tempo and doomy feeling of this song is amazing and it’s probably one of the reasons I enjoyed the full 11 minutes it lasts.

  • 1349 - Revelations of the Black Flame (2009)


    I’m pretty sure this album will cause plenty of controversy since 1349 have been releasing brutally amazing Black Metal albums since their conception, and now they hit back with a very ‘weird’ experimentation album.

    1394 tries to experiment with Ambient, Black Metal and even some Drone stuff here and there, and they sound…. very different. I gave this album plenty of listens before I wrote this review since my original reaction was to be repulsed by it, but the again, I always think that bands should experiment and do different things instead of releasing the same album over an over.

  • Hypno5e - Des Deux L'une Est L'autre (2007)


    Hypno5e is a French band that plays avant-garde / experimental metal. I get plenty of albums to review each month and I have not heard anything like this album in quite a while, and I don’t mean this in a bad way “Des Deux L'une Est L'autre” is a very interesting album from start to end.

    Since the first track Hypno5e sets the stage for a psychedelic voyage that the listeners are about to take. This album features a very good balance of ‘heavy’ metal parts with nice ambient passages that complement each other to perfection; the band has achieved a very unique balance of musical elements.

  • Empire – Auriga (2008)


    This two member band from Michigan plays something close to industrial and ambient, and while some other reviews and the promo sleeve say’s they have some Black Metal influences I fail to hear them. The vocals sound a bit Black Metal, but other than that there is nothing else. The album it self is a weird trip into outer space or somewhere in between.

    Auriga features seven tracks of synthesizers, and guitars and a drum machine. While there are many interesting Industrial Black Metal bands, their music does not sound like this band at all. The overall atmosphere of the album is quite interesting and tense, but it just stays like that, I think it fails to deliver something that it’s building up to.