Making its way from Finland, today we have Riverland and their self-titled debut release. Featuring a very soothing and relaxing combination of Progressive / Alternative Rock with some Folk elements, this duo delivers seven excellent tracks. Heavily focusing in creating lush atmospheres, Riverland manages to craft a very unique and well balanced debut.
Immediately creating a ‘feel good’ mood with the lush opener “Hope in The Air”, we can hear the band’s pop to folk influences in the span of the first minute. Miko Heino’s vocals are quite well suited for the music’s relaxing nature. “Help!” starts more in a folk-ish fashion with some cool beats and a very atmospheric vibe. On “Sounds” we can easily hear how they can perfectly fit the scene of a coffee house on a rainy afternoon. The band’s sound is quite direct and simple, perfectly fitting atmospheric concept of the album.
Finally, after seven years of waiting, Summoning returns with their seventh full-length record “Old Mornings Dawn”. This legendary two-person operation has been a major inspiration for tons of one or two-man projects that crate Epic/Atmospheric Black Metal music. Being huge fans of the band, we had been waiting for this release for quite a while, but we are a bit disappointed since the band’s sound now feels very outdated by current musical standards.
Since the opener “Evernight”, the band delivers their signature atmospheric brilliance and trademark harsh screams. However, the music feels like it was made using a computer from 10 years ago. Today’s standards have bands using software that can produce high-quality orchestrations in a matter of a few clicks and Summoning still sounds like a MIDI band. This is quite disappointing for us since their creativity is excellent, but seems like technology has surpassed their music making skills.
Finally unleashing their debut full-length, today we have Italian duo Progenie Terrestre Pura’s “U.M.A”. Standing for Uomini, Macchine, Anime (Men, Machines, Souls), this band delivers purely atmospheric Black Metal with a very cool sci-fi theme. Focusing in creating lush and ethereal atmospheres, the band creates 50 minutes of magical music that will take you on an out of body interstellar journey.
Opening with “Progenie Terrestre Pura”, the band immediately establishes a trippy and futuristic atmosphere that is quite unique and dreamy. Slowly making their way in to the ‘heavy sections’ the band does a great job not rushing things and letting their music set the mood. The unsettling “Sovrarobotizzazione” features quite powerful BM riffs that are masked behind their lush atmospheric elements and some excellent Post-Rock/Post-BM soundscapes.
Going over tons of releases every month, we rarely get to enjoy unexpected masterpieces like Apocynthion’s “Sidereus Nuncius”. Having received the promo directly from the band, we got immediately hooked into their music after the first song and we have been constantly listening to it non-stop since then. Delivering seven tracks of majestic Post-Rock/Post Black Metal with Shoegaze and some Doom elements, the band’s sound is quite moving and powerful.
Opening in a very dreamy note with a sample from “2001: A Space Odyssey” on top of atmospheric arrangements, the band commands attention with this hypnotic opening. “Redshift” continues with a Post-Rock vibe, similar to Godspeed Your Black Emperor and God is an Astronaut, filled with cool percussions and dreamy clean vocals. This ten-minute track slowly morphs into Post-Black Metal territories with powerful and dreamy guitars accompanied by shrieks of desperation. The band reminded us of Heretoir, Lantlos and similar outfits, but they always keep their own musical identity.
Being huge fans of Atmospheric Death/Doom Metal, we have been following this collaboration for a while and finally we have “Origin”, Enshine’s debut full length release that is as majestic everybody expected. Featuring Jari Lindholm and Sébastien Pierre, this band delivers nine tracks of brilliant atmospheric Doom passages with powerful growls and a very melancholic vibe. Recorded in a span of two years, “Origin” is one release that will keep you entertained for quite a while.
Opening with the lush atmospheric elements of “Stream of Light”, the band sets the tone for a very impressive release since the initial stages of this album. With a vibe similar to bands like October Tide and Forest of Shadows, Enshine focuses their energy in delivering powerful atmospheres surrounded by excellent guitar work. Not being 100% predictable, tracks like “Refraction” blend some synth-pop elements into the bands melancholic sound.
Russia’s Frozen Ocean has always kept us guessing when it comes to their very interesting releases and today we have the totally weird and completely instrumental “Trollvinter”. Inspired by “Moominland Midwinter” of Tove Jansson, this release features 10 tracks of ambient movements that will surely bring back the nightmares generated by movies like “Event Horizon” and its weird atmospheric soundtrack.
The very mysterious “Sömnlöshet” opens this release with a certain cinematic feeling to it from old-school cartoons of something being followed in the woods by an evil creature. This very dark and yet relaxing vibe is prolonged by the dreamy “Att Betrakta Begravde Världen”. Followed by the drone-ish “Snöa Lanterna”, Frozen Winter has managed to create very somber soundscapes that are perfect to be enjoyed while walking in the woods on a dark and rainy day.
Hailing from Russia, today we have one-man band/project Frozen Ocean presenting his 2012 full-length release titled “A Perfect Solitude”. Handling all the instruments and drum programming, Vaarwel manages to craft a very powerful and atmospheric release that showcases his excellent songwriting skills. Featuring seven tracks and nearly 45 minutes of chilling music, this release delivers a hefty amount of bleak soundscapes that will surely keep you on the edge of your seat.
The bleak intro “Broken Window” sets a very mysterious and moody atmosphere that is very unnerving in nature. As the raining sounds bleed into “Somewhere Clouds Debark”, the mood keeps being very eerie and ethereal. The powerful distorted guitars elevate this track while maintaining the chilling atmosphere created. The vocals are very interesting since they are quite lush and greatly enhance the atmosphere, reminding us a bit of bands like Falkenbach and Thyrfing.
Delivering another dosage of creepy atmospheric brilliance, today we have Sagntid and their latest release “The Undisciplined Heart of Sagntid”. Keeping the very eerie vibe always present, this one man band delivers the goods once more in a 10-track release that will keep you at the edge of your seat when played at night and in the dark.
Warming up with “Fierce Pride” the mood is very martial and with the addition of sporadic vocals the listener will be immediately immerse into Sagntid’s world. The longest track in this release is the complex “All Contact Ceased”, a very emotional and quite relaxing track that is very hypnotic in nature.
One-man Danish Dark Ambient project Sagntid brings forth their 2-song demo/promo from back in 2009. In this highly haunting and minimalist release, Sagntid delivers excellent Ambient music that will send chills through your spine the moment the album starts warming up. With a very minimalistic approach, this is the kind of stuff you want to play on a long winter night.
The first track in this release is a nearly 19 minute exploration into darkness. Filled with great atmospheric passages, Sagntid paints lush landscapes with very few elements creating a bleak and desolate feeling. We particularly love how musicians from Scandinavia can perfectly express their vast and desolate landscapes of their northern territories through music and this song is the perfect example of this.
One-man Atmospheric Black Metal force Lustre delivers their latest compilation of unreleased (or hard to find) tracks under the title of “Lost In Lustrous Night Skies”. Featuring five tracks inspired by Burzum’s atmospheric pieces, this release is quite a treat for hard-core Lustre fans and fans of Atmospheric and creepy Black Metal.
“Spirit” delivers the opening 12 minutes of very minimalistic and highly atmospheric bone chilling music. Very simple keyboards and atmospheric elements create a very dense and eerie atmosphere that is enhanced by distorted guitars and devastating screams of agony. A similar approach is taken on the disturbing instrumental “Echoes of Transcendence”. With “Into The Ancient Darkness” we have more of a Bruzum feeling that is combined with elements of bands like Austere and such. The screams are quite fitting for the purely atmospheric content of such a track.