• Chaos Invocation - Reaping Season, Bloodshed Beyond (2018)


    Hailing from Germany, today we have Satanic Black Metal outfit Chaos Invocation and their terrifying third full-length release “Reaping Season, Blodshed Beyond”. Unleashing a foul sound, this band delivers eleven tracks of punishing Black Metal that is ravaging and relentless. With some influences of bands like Marduk, Watain and Weapon, this band has a tight sound that will certainly satisfy even the most kvlt BM people.

    After the traditional atmospheric intro, the band goes full steam with the incisive riffing of “Calling from Dudail”. Perfectly blending chaotic riffing with superbly tight drumming, the band crafts very unique music that has that certain old-school vibe, but with a superb production behind it, as we can instantly notice in pieces like “To Fathom The Blooodmist” and along the savage tempo changes of “Obsession Is Always the Answer”.

  • Mournful Congregation – The Incubus of Karma (2018)


    Unleashing one of the most misery inducing releases of all time, today we have Mournful Congregation and their latest opus “The Incubus of Karma”. Seven years have passed since the band’s last release and all that anticipation is instantly erased with the level of grandeur the band reaches with their sound in this release. Featuring six tracks and nearly 80 minutes of music, this release is by far one of the most soul crushing albums of 2018.

    The band sets a very bleak mood with the weeping guitars of the opener, “The Indwelling Ascent”. Once you think the big and crushing riffs are coming, the changes gears a bit and introduce a sad and solemn piece in “The Incubus of Karma”, which greatly contributes to the highly emotional vibe and sets a very somber tone. The gargantuan riffs finally arrive with the demoralizing “Whispering Spiritscapes”, a 15-minute piece that instantly feels like a foot down your chest.

  • Messa – Feast for Water (2018)


    Unleashing one of the Doomiest and most intoxicating release of 2018, today we have Italy’s Messa and their sophomore full-length release “Feast for Water”. Featuring around 50 minutes of highly mysterious and intricately crafted music, the band perfectly combines Doom and Sludgy undertones with enchanting female vocals and oppressive atmospheric elements. If you are a fan of Jex Thoth, Jess and the Ancient Ones, Bohren Und Der Club Of Gore, and similar bands with very apocalyptic vibes, this is certainly an album for you.

    After opening with the mood setting Ambient/Drone-ish “Naunet”, the band instantly makes a splash with “Snakeskin Drape” and its incisive riffs. Sara’s sultry voice instantly captures the listener’s attention thanks to its commanding presence and how it shines through the very moody music. Her unique vocals can be said to be a certain mixture of Jex Thoth, Jess from Jess and the Ancient Ones and Farida Lemouchi from The Devil’s Blood, creating a fierce presence that magically brings songs to life like jazzy “Leah” and the funky “The Seer”.

  • Novareign – Legends (2018)


    Unleashing one of the best debut releases we have heard in a long time, today we have Novareign and their super release “Legends”. Featuring nine killer tracks of highly refined Progressive/Power Metal, this band kicks some serious ass with their over-the-top energy and musicianship. If you are fan of bands like Dragonforce and Stratovarius, this release will certainly keep you entertained.

    Opening with the killer guitar work of “Call On the Storm”, the band quickly sets a very intense pace. Perfectly blending extreme musical skills with a good sense of melody and song structures, the band in an instant captures your full attention, particularly in marathonic songs like “Mace of a Fist”. David Marquez vocals are the perfect fit for such a dynamic and engaging sound, as we can hear in the intense “Beyond the Cold”, and the rest of this killer release.

  • Yhdarl – Loss (2018)


    From mastermind Olmo Lipani (AKA Déhà), today we have a truly terrifying and unique release with his band Yhdarl. With “Loss” we are treated to three ravaging (and long) tracks that border in the edge of sanity, and delivers some unique experimentation between Black/Death/Doom Metal and some Drone elements. Not for those that like well-defined genres, this release is a truly haunting experience.

    Opening with the spiraling madness of “Ignite – Ashes”, the duo behind Yhdarl sets a very chaotic and intense tone. The vocals are truly deranged, a la Bethlehem circa “Dictius Te Necare” times. This song mostly delivers killer Black/Death Metal passages with an excellent atmosphere, we are reminded at times of Ancient and even Dissection.

  • Spectral Lore / Jute Gyte - Helian (2018)


    As one of the most interesting split releases of this young 2018, today we have Spectral Lore and Jute Gyte’s split “Helian”. Featuring two tracks and over 40-minutes of intense (and highly experimental) Atmospheric Black Metal, this release demonstrates the two ‘bands’ different takes and musical translation of Georg Trakl’s poem. Which each outfit delivering a chilling and unique experience, this release is certainly not for the faint of heart.

    Jute Gyte kicks off the release with a very dissonant opening that slowly transitions into a trance-like state with disparate guitars and funky atmospherics. The vocals are quite disturbing, as they capitalize on the weird atmosphere generated by the repetitive riffs and dense distortion. As the track progresses, it feels like we are descending into madness as it just keeps getting more and more chaotic and bizarre. Truly unique and interesting first ‘half’ of this release.

  • Veiled – Black Celestial Orbs (2018)


    Hailing from the USA, today we have Atmospheric Black Metal duo Veiled and their ravaging full-length debut release “Black Celestial Orbs”. Perfectly blending melancholic passages with the ravaging intensity of the USBM sound, the band unleashes nearly 40 minutes of masterful music that will instantly gain them recognition among the underground BM bands in the USA.

    Opening with the intensity and violence of “Luminous”, we get a very Ash Borer-like layering of guitars and intricate drums that sets the bar quite high for this release. Coming off from the opening track’s high, “Portal” slows things down a bit before furiously pummeling the listener with crushing riffs and hellish vocals. The band’s music is a whirlwind experience of crushing passages and well-timed tempo changes that further contribute to the oppressive atmospheric experience created, as one can listen to in “Enshrouded”.

  • Avslut – Deceptis (2018)


    Completely catching us by surprise and blowing us away, today we have Sweden’s Avslut and their debut release “Deceptis”. With a name like Avslut (audio/visual slut, average slut - as defined by urban dictionary), we were quite skeptical about this release, but since the moment it started we were totally wrong. Released by Osmose productions, this band delivers over 43 minutes of lush melodic Black Metal similar to outfits like Dimmu Borgir (minus the fluffy stuff) and the brutality of Dark Funeral.

    Opening with “Pestilens” the band viciously smacks the listener with intense drumming and intricate riffing. The atmosphere crafted is instantly chaotic and quite destructive, with hellish vocals and a blistering pace. Perfectly mixing superbly fast passages with more melodic and crafty riffs, the band pummels through tracks like “Förlorad” and “Existensens skugga” with such grace and demoralizing brutality.

  • On Thorns I Lay – Aegean Sorrow (2018)


    Going back to their original Death/Doom Metal roots, today we have On Thorns I Lay and their amazing release: “Aegean Sorrow”. Keeping the Death/Doom Metal flame alive, the band delivers over 45 minutes of truly demoralizing music that reminds us of their sound back in the 90’s and outfits like Celestial Seasons (early days) and Forest of Shadows. If you are looking for Death/Doom Metal, this is the album to get in 2018.

    Opening with the incisive riffs and gargantuan growls of the album title track we are taken back in time to the heydays of the genre. The band however adds a certain dimension of modern Melodic Death/Doom Metal as we can hear in the melodic guitars of “Erevos” and the crushing “In Emerald Eyes”, were we get a Swallow the Sun/Hanging Garden-esque contrast of deep growls and catchy guitars.

  • Frozen Crown – The Fallen King (2018)


    Delivering a hefty dose of catchy and energetic Power Metal, today we have Italy’s Frozen Crown and their debut release “The Fallen King”. Featuring over 44 minutes of music divided in ten songs, the band showcases excellent songwriting skills and a great balance between intensity and melody. If you are a fan of bands like Rhapsody, Stratovarius and similar outfits, you don’t want to miss this one.

    Formed by multi-instrumentalist (and vocalist) Federico Mondelli, the band quickly sets a very energetic pace with the intricate “Fall No More”. The band’s riffing is quite traditional, and allows the songs to change tempos and showcase other elements quite well. The male vocals are pretty standard for the genre, but the highlight is Giada Etro’s singing. We are familiar with her voice from her work with Ashes you Leave, but here she takes things to a completely different level in tracks like “To Infinity”, “Kings” and the superb “I am the Tyrant”.


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