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”.
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.
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.
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”.
Continuing their meteoric rise on the Post-Black Metal ranks, today we have Austria’s Harakiri for the Sky and their fourth full-length release “Arson”. Delivering their most refined album to date, this duo unleashes a very melancholic vibe through their poignant style while perfectly balancing aggression with melody. Formed back in 2011, this outfit has constantly been improving upon their previous releases and now they are more than ready for wider appeal.
Opening with the intensity of “Fire, Walk With Me”, the band quickly showcases their signature style of mixing intricate drumming with crushing guitar leads and energetic singing. With Matthias Sollak handling all instruments, the band’s sound stays quite intact while adding a few refinements that allow longer songs like “The Graves we’ve Dug” and “You are the Scars” flow perfectly. With some hints of Melodic Death Metal elements from bands like October Tide and In Mourning present in the previously mentioned songs riffing, we get a mellower and yet aggressive sound that quickly surrounds the listener.
Unleashing a powerful barrage of killer riffs and chaotic vocals, today we have Untervoid and their self-titled mini-debut release. Hailing from Poland and featuring members of outfits like Armagedon and Kriegsmaschine, this short but sweet release is as relentless and powerful as they get. Four track are all you are going to need to be on the lookout for more material from this outfit.
Kicking off with demoralizing intensity, “Messer” opens up the release with incisive riffs and hauntingly demonic vocals. The mixture of growls, screams, and hollering creates a truly eerie experience. Perfectly blending Black and Death Metal elements with sinister songwriting, tracks like “Twilight” sneak up on the listener with determination and violence. While Destroyer’s guitar work is killer, his vocal versatility is what makes this release even more impressive. Fans of Ulver, Borknagar and Bethlehem will certainly find them appealing.
Unleashing a truly decadent and terrifying release, today we have Italy’s Abysmal Grief and their very unique amalgamation of Dark/Doom Metal with eerie atmospherics and Avant-garde elements. Clocking in at around 45 minutes of pure decadence, “Blasphema Secta” is a very unique release has a certain retro and raw vibe that will haunt your dreams.
Setting up the mood with the creepy atmospheric intro, the band eases into the madness of “Behold the Corpse Revived”. This track has a certain The Vision Bleak meets Dark Lunacy vibe with hits lush instrumentation and very determined and chilling pace. Things get a bit wacky with the harrowing “Maleficence” and its eerie catchiness. This track sets a very playful mood with some Gothic/Punk-ish elements thrown into the mix.
Hailing from North America, today we have Melodic Progressive/Heavy Metal outfit WildeStarr and their superb full-length release “Beyond the Rain”. Perfectly delivering that old school Heavy/Power Metal vibe through the sultry vocals of London Wilde, this album is perfect for fans of bands like Accept and Doro, but that want a certain Power Metal edge thrown into the mix.
Opening with the melodic riffing of “Metamorphose”, we get the first glance of Dave Starr’s guitar skills and a preview of how well they mesh together with the other instruments to create memorable and epic-sounding songs. Tracks like “Beyond the Rain” and “Pressing the Wires” warm up the listener with catchy riffs and very commanding leading vocals.
Originally released on 2017, “V – Oceans” is too much of an album to not have on vinyl, so Code666 is handling this task. Slow is a one-man project which hails from Belgium and it crafts some of the most devastating and bleak Atmospheric/Funeral Doom Metal we have ever heard. Featuring five songs, this is definitely a release you need to take in with full attention and on a dark and gloomy day.
The album starts with a very slow and mournful progression in “Aurore”. The riffing is slow and painful, allowing for the atmospheric elements to shine and lead way to the crushing growls. The band’s mastermind, Déhà, has tons of musical experience and by participating in outfits like Clouds. In Slow, he takes things even further, unleashing songs that are over 10 minutes long and perfectly paced for bleakness, just like the dreamy “Ténèbres”.
Featuring the rawness and brutality of bands like Horna, Baptism, and Entartung, today we have Germany’s Halphas and their devastating debut release “Dawn of a Crimson Empire”. Unleashing eight hymns of pure devastation, this band has a timeless sound and a level of intensity that is uncanny.
Immediately after the warm-up intro, the band beings building momentum with the diabolica-sounding mid-tempo opening of “Call from the Depths”. As the song progresses, its intensity increases, creating a very punishing and demoralizing piece with crushing vocals. The traditional BM riffing of “Through the Forest” kicks things up a notch with pummeling drums and incisive tempo changes. We particularly enjoy the expert guitar layering the band does, allowing their music to be quite expansive and raw.