• FluiD / John 3:16 – The Pursuit of Salvation (2012)


    Arriving from Alrealon Musique, today we have a very interesting double release that while not entirely our main cup of tea, we actually enjoyed a lot. FluiD is an experimental electronic hip-hop musician that mixes elements from Ambient and Drone with some beats delivering a pretty interesting experience similar to Ulver’s trip-hop phase. We have previously reviewed John 3:16’s music and we were quite impressed with his interesting combination of Darkwave with a dose of Drone and some guitar driven sections.

    Opening this release we have the first three tracks belonging to FluiD. In “Angels Pt. II”, the song opens with a cavernous feeling and some nice minimalist touches that create an interesting atmosphere, some interesting Drone elements are thrown into the mix to create a very weird but intoxicating vibe. The organs in “Plague” give an extra creepy sound to the track and nicely culminate the build-up from the opening sections of the song. Driven by interesting beats, “Forewarning” nicely closes down the FluiD section of our promo leaving a very puzzling, but equally satisfying experience from this very interesting artist.

  • Silent Carrion – Andras (2012)


    Usually one-man bands are a big hit or miss, they can either be awesome because the person behind them is a musical virtuoso and can’t stand playing around with other retards, or they are just terrible because they are the public inner ramblings of a child that could not play music. Silent Carrion falls somewhat in the middle of these two categories. “Andras” delivers eight tracks of weird Ambient / Drone / Noise music that is interestingly creative and disturbing, but very often poorly executed (in our opinion).

    The opener “Mountain (An Invocation)” creates a very eerie and weird atmosphere that if it wasn’t for the bad sounding programmed drums, it would be an excellent song. With “Mist” things get a bit more intense and the creepy factor is still in play with some more ‘intense’ drums. We often wonder how can somebody thing this programmed drums sound good when they are not well polished. Take for example the legendary Diabolos Rising, their programmed drums sounded amazing.

  • John 3:16 – Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God (2011)


    Hailing from Switzerland, today we have the experimental one-man music making machine John 3:16. Fusing ambient sounds with some electronic/drone sections and a dosage of Post-Rock, “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” is one of those EP’s that will captivate you from start to finish with its hypnotic sound and perfectly crafted songs.

    The intro track “Earthly Father” wills enshroud you with mystery due to the drone elements an hints of ethereal atmospheric influences, but this track does not really give away anything that is to come. In “In the Name of the Lord”, the music continues to be dark with its droning elements and it suddenly moves into the Post-Rock area with some excellent guitar work. The drums get a bit annoying in the background, but I guess they are used to contrast for the first 2 minutes of so. Then this piece turns completely ethereal with some nice atmospheric elements and very dreamy guitars. This song reminded us a bit to God Is An Astronaut and similar bands due to the dark atmosphere around it.

  • Blut Aus Nord – 777 – The Desanctification (2011)


    As the second stop in their chilling and somewhat perplexing 777 trilogy, today we have Blut Aus Nord and “The Desanctification”. In this release, the band continues their journey with “Epitomes VII to XII”, featuring very interesting compositions that take their unique and very imaginative sound to new heights. If you are expecting a crushing Black Metal release, we strongly advice you skip this one (and the previous one), but if you have an open mind and you are ready to be transported, you should keep reading.

    The band has always been pushing the boundaries of Black Metal, and Metal itself, but with this 777 trilogy we find them even further down the spiral into an abyss of solid music but with sometimes doubtful directions. The riffing and the overall songwriting are very typical of the band, but some of the industrial/electronic elements felt a bit weird on the first few times we played this album. However, as with any Blut Aus Nord release, there is always something lurking in the songs that will surprise the listener and keep it engaged.

  • Nychts / Mortualia – “Nebelstern Des Nichts” (2010)


    Featuring one monolithic track of 40 minutes of pure depressive (and ‘kozmik’) Black Metal, today we have Nychts and Mortualia’s split CD “Nebelstern Des Nichts”. Combining the two bands in a very unconventional way, Sun and Moon records has release this behemoth of emotional music that is not for the faint of heart.

    Providing 13 minutes of music, we have Finland’s own Mortualia, a side project band from the one and only Shatraug of Horna, etc., etc. fame. The remaining 27 minutes of music (and instrumental section) is provided by Switzerland’s Nychts, a band that is excellent at creating atmosphere, but should get a better singer or replace him with a cat getting hit by a car.

  • Lyan / Blien Vesne (split) - Esperar Eternity (2011)


    With the current popularity of Post-Rock and its variations, we have recently received tons of album submissions of this genre but there are only handfuls that are very interesting and pleasant to listen to. “Esperar Eternity” is one of those select few albums that we can say are pretty solid and should be purchased. Featuring five tracks of Ambient Post-Rock from Lyan and four tracks from Blien Vesne (post-rock), this release has a very high atmospheric content that should be heard.

    Opening the release with the Ambient sounds of “Toi Cho Doi”, we are treated to beautiful landscapes for melancholy. This song nicely creates an atmosphere of peace that will calm even the most hyper person in the world. The magic continues with “Cotton House”, where there are some electronic-like elements and ethereal vocals added to the mix. “Childhood’s Seasons” follows the same path but with a deeper atmosphere, a very magical song (and our favorite from the Lyan side of things).

  • Wolves in the Throne Room – Celestial Lineage (2011)


    USBM favorite tree hugger band has returned with yet another stylish release that is set to put everybody else to shame (in the USBM scene) and elevate the status of Wolves in the Throne Room (WITTR) even more. We have always been fans of bands that pushed the envelope and WITTR is exactly what they have been doing release after release since their birth back in 2003.

    Always characterized by their pummeling rawness, the band nicely incorporates atmospheric elements into their sound to create amazing songs that are never truly what meets the ‘ears’ in the initial listens of their albums. While most bands focus on who can be the rawest and most punishing bands, WITTR achieves this by building onto their sound beautiful landscapes that are unrivaled by virtually any other band playing similar music.

  • An Autumn for Crippled Children – Everything (2011)


    One of the most mysterious bands coming from the Dutch scene has to be An Autumn for Crippled Childern. After their monumental 2010 debut album “Lost”, they return with an even more impressive and lush release with “Everything”. If you though that their first album was pushing the limits of creativity and delivering in almost every single aspect, wait until you get your hands on this excellent release.

    Being released on ATMF records, “Everything” opens with powerful Shoegaze influenced guitars in “Forever Never Fails”. Drawing similarities to Alcest, Lantlos and similar Post-Black Metal/Shoegaze bands, the band is greatly refining their sound from their first release. The distorted desperate screams of pain that are featured in this track (and throughout the release) greatly contrast the beauty of the music, but in a very effective and devastating manner.

  • dark_matter - _adrift_ (2010)


    Being always weary of those ‘do it yourself’ new bands, we had some skepticism about the claims made on dark_matter’s press package info sheet. However, dark_matter greatly surprised us with great quality music and an impressive sound on this very short-but-sweet EP release. For over four tracks, the band delivers trippy and spaced-out compositions that stick in your head for days.

    With the opening track “Neptune”, we are treated to some of the best ethereal keyboards we’ve heard in quite a while. They are perfectly paired with nice riffing and drumming, something that many bands that rely too much on their keyboards to be overly atmospheric can’t seem to get right. After the short intro track, “the_persistence_of_memory” delivers more powerful guitars paired with electronic and space rock elements that will transport you to a different level of consciousness (or your money back). We love that there are absolutely no vocals ruining the beauty of the music in this release.

  • Astarium – Dethroned of Impostor (2011)


    In the very saturated genre of Atmospheric/Symphonic Black Metal is very hard to standout since most bands sound the same or just sound like shit. However, Astarium from Russia manages to create a positive impression due to the overall sound of their music: not too raw, not too brutal, not too fake (except for the drums). In “Dethroned of Impostor”, we are presented with 40 minutes of engaging music.

    Being a one man band, Astarium is limited to using a drum machine (or similar) and this is probably the weakest element of the release, since when they go ape shit, they sound as fake as Pamela Anderson’s titties look. After the creepy opener intro, “Bloodshed Must Goes On” (some grammar check wouldn’t hurt before making the song titles), delivers a nice and brutal attack of fast ‘drums’, traditional guitar riffs and a combination of pseudo growls with pseudo shrieks. The music is very familiar to Limbonic Art (early) and even some hints of Mysticum, etc.