Hailing from Normandy, today we have newcomer Symphonic/Gothic Metal outfit Lost Opera and their sophomore release “Hidden Sides”. In a world filled with Female-led Symphonic Metal bands, it is quite surprising and even rare to hear a band rely mostly on male vocals in the genre. Delivering over 55 minutes of music, this release is quite engaging and fun, perfectly appealing to all fans of the genre that are looking for something a little different.
After the traditional intro, the album blows wide open with the pummeling riffs of “Today I Cry”. This track starts off quite heavy and is perfectly contrasted by engaging keyboards and a mixture of growls and clean vocals. The band’s vocalist Loïc Conti, does a pretty solid job in mixing growls with clean vocals, allowing the songs to be diverse and engaging as we can hear on “Follow the Signs” and “Rage”.
Arriving from this Bay Area trio, today we have Worm Ouroboros and their third full-length release “What Graceless Dawn”. Continuing where “Come the Thaw” left off, this release sees the band crafting hauntingly beautiful tunes that are filled with atmospheric and instrumental brilliance. Clocking at over 60 minutes of music, the listener is in for a very unique aural journey through the band’s unique world.
Opening with the mellow “Day”, we have a very ethereal buildup developed by a very slow tempo and the enchanting vocals of both Lorraine Rath and Jessica Way. The opener perfectly bleeds into the martial first few minutes “Broken Movements”. Once the song slowly progresses, the solemn combination of heartfelt guitar riffs and minimalist bass guitar notes start to get more intense as the song reaches its climax.
Perfectly capturing an epic performance at the legendary Roadburn festival, today we have Dead to a Dying World’s “Live at Roadburn 2016”. Clocking in at nearly 60 minutes, this release brilliantly reflects the band’s live performances ferociousness. Paired with a very clear sound and mix, this release continues to hold the standards of the “Live at Roadburn” series of releases over the years.
The album instantly jumps at the listener with the intensity of “The Hunt Eternal”, a fierce track that features blistering riffs, mournful viola arrangements, and hellish male and female harsh vocals. After warming up with the 16-minute opening track, the band went into the moodier “Eventide”. This track has a certain My Dying Bride meets Elend vibe that we greatly enjoy and was perfectly transmitted live.
Arriving today from musical genius Christofer Johnsson of Therion, we have his psychedelic side project Luciferian Light Orchestra and their latest EP titled “Black”. Using the stuff he thinks is too retro for Therion, Christopher and company deliver four excellent songs that while sounding familiar, they still have a very distinctive and creepy vibe to then. If you are a fan of any of Therion’s albums, you will certainly find this release very interesting.
Opening with the intense “Evil Masquerade”, the vocal arrangements sound eerily familiar with a perfect blend of female and male vocals. The music however, has a very distinctive 70’s vibe to it with warm fuzzy guitar tones and a psychedelic vibe. As the album continues with “Where the Lilies Grow”, we get shivers as we hear the magical female vocals perfectly paired with a creepy vibe, similar to older works of Sabbath Assembly.
From Harakiri for the Sky’s vocalist, today we have Karg, a one-man battalion delivering highly atmospheric Black Metal/Post-Black Metal. Featuring eight tracks and over 70 minutes of dreamy music, “Weltenasche” is a very soothing and yet demoralizing release that will certainly appeal to all fans of Depressive Black Metal to Post-Black Metal.
Opening with the incisive “Crevasse”, we are treated to a very moody and diverse track filled with tempo changes and heavy atmospheric elements. The album continues to perfectly juxtapose aggressiveness and melody as we can hear in the progression of “Alles wird in Flammen stehen”, which some parts remind us a bit of Dornenreich. The band’s raw emotions are instantly felt in songs like “Le couloir des ombres” which has a certain Alcet-like vibe, but with the Karg imprint dominating.
Finally ready to take the scene by storm, today we have Greece’s Aenaon and their latest full-length release “Hypnosophy”. Having refined their music over the year years of their existence, the band is ready to take the spotlight with this very mature and musically brilliant release. Perfectly blending experimental elements into a highly efficient Progressive Black Metal foundation, the band delivers 55 minutes of intense music.
The album opens with the magnificent, “Oneirodynia”, a track that combines influences of Emperor, Ihsahn, and Arcturus in a very tight and perfectly executed nearly 8 minutes piece. The band has added a permanent saxophone player, which adds a good deal of depth and originality to their music. Not disappointing the band’s fans of heavier pieces, tracks like “Fire Walk With Me” deliver relentless high octane experiences.
Hailing from Switzerland, today we have Sludge/Doomsters Wolf Counsel and their sophomore release “Ironclad”. Delivering over 43 minutes of ripping tunes, the band nicely pummels the listener with tangy riffs and plenty of headbanging moments. Perfectly blending Sludgy element into a Doom core, the band crafts a unique signature style that differentiates them from the rest.
The release rips wide open with the incisive opening riffs of “Pure as the Driven Snow”. The band instantly marks their territory with piercing riffs and a very mellow and gloomy tempo. Things quickly move into the Sludge/Southern Metal territory with the catchy album title clad. Here we also get a good combination of clean and harsh vocals, making things interesting and diverse.
Arriving from Australia with great brutality and rawness, today we have Dreaded Void and their debut EP “The Abyssal Plane of Suffering”. Delivering over 20 minutes of gut-wrenching Black Metal, this is one of those few releases that while being quite brutal and harsh, it manages to be engineered to sound perfect.
The EP kicks off with the blistering riffing of “Abyssal”. This track is filled with hate as we can hear from the combination of screams and growls that overtake the intensity of the riffing and drumming. There is a nearly instantaneous wall of sound being delivered via the relentless riffing onslaughts. Like a bag of bricks directly to the face, “The Murk” continues the ravaging with very brutal screams and a very sinister mood.
Hailing from Finland, today we have Heidi Parviainen’s Dark Sarah and their sophomore full-length release titled “The Puzzle”. Delivering ten bombastic songs of very dramatic and theatrical Symphonic/Gothic Metal, Heidi continues to come out the shadows of her ex band Amberian Dawn and establish her-self (and the new band) as one of the most dynamic and engaging bands in the genre. If you like bands like Nightwish, Epica, Cornoatus, etc. this is one release you don’t want to miss.
After the opening intro, “Island in the Mist” opens up with heavy riffs and magical keyboards. With this approach the track feels quite engaging and very bombastic as Hedi’s vocals appear adding to the magic. With Erkka Korhonen (Northern Kings) and Sami Salonen handling the guitar duties, tracks like “Little Men” and “Ash Grove” are both heavy and playful, changing tempos perfectly and allowing the music to be as dynamic and explosive as possible.
France continues to surprise use by producing some of the most interesting Metal bands in the last 10 years. Dysylum continues this tradition by leveling our speakers with their dissonant Progressive mixture of Death and Black Metal with some Sludge elements in “Chaos Primordial”. Featuring 28 minutes of crushing music, this release creates a very thick atmospheric atmosphere that is perfect for a dark and gloomy day.
After the opening intro, the album title track delivers some mid-tempo oppressive Black Metal-ish riffs that suddenly morph back and forth into heavy Sludgy Death riffs. The vocals are quite harsh and perfectly fitting for such an oppressive sound. Things pick up with the ravaging onslaughts of “Œuf Cosmique”, filled with eerie growls and screams. The drumming intensifies for some parts, changing the pace and levels of brutality of this song accordingly.