• Lustre – They Awoke The Scent Of Spring (2012)


    After the excellent full-length “A Glimpse of Glory”, Lustre returns to us with another killer full-length release titled “They Awoke The Scent Of Spring”. This one-man aural orgasm machine from Sweden has crafted four excellent tracks that have a very eerie atmospheric vibe that reminds us of Burzum’s “Filosofem” release. With 40 minutes of music, this release surely delivers enough bang for your money in the sense of creepy landscapes painted by the very minimalist music presented here.

    Opening with the nearly 13-minutes long monolithic “Part I”, the atmosphere is set with very fuzzy distorted guitars that only get denser by the minute. The sparse vocals are quite hellish and will creep on you when you least expect it. We particularly love how the song transitions when it seems to ‘brighten up’ between all the heavy dark clouds that are painted by the painful riffs. The minimal use of keyboards is also another thing that is very similar to how Burzum uses them.

  • Epitimia – Faces of Insanity (2012)


    Arriving all the way from Saint Petersburg, Russia via Hypnotic Dirge Records, today we have Epitimia and their latest full-length release titled “Faces of Insanity”. With a very melodic Ambient Black Metal sound, this excellent band pummels through nine highly melancholic tracks not apt for the faint of heart. With such a rich and atmospheric sound, this Russian 3-person outfit is by far one of best bands in the genre.

    After setting the mood with the excellent atmospheric track “Reminiscentia”, Epitimia delivers the hypnotic “Epikrisis I: Altered state of consciousness”. In this track, the band keeps building momentum with excellent shoegaze-ish guitars and the harsh vocals finally appear. With such a depressive mood and the subtle beauty of dreamy guitars complementing the distorted ones, this band is very near melancholic musical perfection.

  • O Graceful Musing’s Burden – Two (2012)


    Delivering and excellent cinematic experience, today we have O Graceful Musing’s Burden and their latest release “Two”. Hailing from Germany, this band combines elements from bands like Cult of Luna, Godspeed Your Black Emperor, Ulver, and many other, allowing them to create a very rich and colorful palette of sounds that come together very nicely.

    Opening with the monumental “Piece of Lament Mirth Thought Desperation Soul Fear Hope” (probably one of the longest song titles ever), the band outputs 23 minutes of sheer brilliance. With a very atmospheric opening filled with ambient elements and post-rock guitars, the band nicely creates momentum as the song progresses. The subtle progressive hints are quite effective and when the distorted guitars kick in, the song nicely climaxes before a long way down.

  • 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.