Just went you think a band can’t get any better, Harakiri for the Sky unleashes their third full-length release “III: Trauma”. Featuring an even more depressing and more refined sound, this Austrian duo delivers nearly 75 minutes of majestic music. Further expanding and perfecting their melancholic Post-Black Metal sound, the band keeps blowing our minds with their excellent musicianship and brilliant song writing abilities.
Opening with “Calling the Rain”, we instantly get an opus that sounds like a combination of Alcest and Katatonia, without being a rip-off of them. The band’s pace allows their music to grow and deliver waves of melancholic onslaughts as only a handful of bands can do these days. Not settling for one particular musical influence, “Funeral Dreams” moves into more melodic Death Metal territories with some similarities to October Tide… if they played with Black Metal inclinations.
With many Black Metal bands experimenting with all kinds of new elements and some others just focused on releasing kvlt stuff that sounds like it was recorded on a toilet, it is quite refreshing to hear bands like Valgaldr which keep the Norwegian BM torch alive. In “Østenfor sol” the band delivers around 42 minutes of raw and savage BM with the grace and melody of bands like Taake, old Satyricon, old Dark Throne, etc.
Opening with the raw onslaughts of “Tusen Steiner”, the band instantly delivers waves of riffs that are nicely paired with intense drumming and the traditional shrieks. The first standout track in this release is the killer “Et Slott I Skogen”, which features some awesome melodic riffs that will have you headbanging in seconds. This is exactly what we expect from a Norwegian BM band, killer melodic riffs paired with crushing intensity and rawness.
From the mastermind behind Galaktik Cancer Squad, today we have Morphinist and their original debut release album from 2013 which didn’t see the light of day until 2016. In “Terraforming”, this one-man battalion delivers 35 minutes of truly skilled Atmospheric Black Metal with some Post-Black Metal and Doom influences. If you are a fan of Argwohn’s unique musical vision with GCS, you will definitely enjoy this one.
Opening with the 15 minute behemoth “Terraforming I”, the album starts in a very Doom-like manner with crushing riffs and a very sluggish tempo. After some more mood setting passages, things blow up with a furious BM pace. The transitions are quite seamless and very well delivered, making such changes not contrasting but rather complementary in an extremely unique way.
Hailing from Italy, today we have the very unconventional Avant-garde Black Metal outfit VIII and their sophomore release “Decathexis”. Featuring over 45 minute of highly entertaining and chaotic music, this release is quite engaging and well crafted, as you never know what to expect next.
Opening with the Black Metal onslaughts of “Symptom”, the band starts punishing the listener with the aggressive side of their music. The throbbing bass guitar line stands out from the band’s relentless onslaughts. The tempo changes featured in this track give it a sinister edge when paired with the extra atmospheric elements.
Arriving all the way from Hungary, today we have Igor’z and their EP titled “All Fades Away”. Featuring three hard rocking songs, this EP serves as a good calling card for this up and coming band. While not too heavy, we appreciate bands filled with attitude and catchy music. Sounding like a lighter version of The New Black, Bombers, Chrome Division, etc., this band is quite entertaining.
Opening with the crunchy guitars of “All Fades Away”, the band sets a very playful and engaging mood. Perfectly paired with the distorted guitars are charismatic lead vocals which add character and definition to the band’s sound. Featuring a lighter opening, “Don’t Care” has a more radio friendly approach with its catchy vocal melodies and straightforward nature.
Hailing from Italy, today we have two-man outfit Abisso and their debut release “WRNSS” out on Third-I-Rex. Featuring around 40 minutes of soul crushing Black Metal, this release creates a crushing atmosphere that is oppressive and nature and never lets go. Highly consistent, Abisso’s oppressive sound is nicely contrasted by a few experimental elements that the band introduces occasionally. If you like powerful Black Metal which focuses more on atmosphere than speed, this is the album for you.
Opening with the dissonant “I”, the band slowly builds up their atmospheric vibe with incisive riffs and tight drumming. The deeper vocals fit the atmosphere perfectly as they command more attention than your traditional BM shriek. Continuing their atmospheric onslaught, “II” provides the perfect progression in the band’s aural abuse. Avoiding being too linear, the band experiments with intricate bass guitar lines and some interesting guitar leads that change the direction of the track momentarily.
As one of the few bands we get to listen to from Iran, The Unknown is a very promising Atmospheric Doom /Post-Rock outfit that has managed to craft a very impressive 40-minute debut release titled: “In Search of the Unknown”. Featuring a guest appearance by Thomas Helm, this release is filled with surprises and a very unique progression. If you like highly atmospheric and very melancholic music, you will find yourself lost with this release.
As the album single track opens, the music is framed by dramatic orchestrations and heavy riffs. This suddenly changes into a brilliant spoken word passage with a very eerie vibe. This part reminded us of Anathema in their “Eternity” days. Luckily for us it lasts for quite a while and creates a very unique tension. Moving closer to the last minutes, the release turns into a lush Post-Rock piece with very lively guitars and lush piano sections. The transitions between sections are quite well crafted and create a very unique musical journey.
When a band is named after one of the songs of one of your favorite bands, you can’t help it to be quite skeptical about their quality (or lack of thereof). Luckily, Be’lakor’s song “Countless Skies” is also well represented by the killer Melodic Death Metal that the band of the same name plays. Delivering eight tracks of pure melodic brilliance, “New Dawn” is the perfect debut release from this UK outfit.
As soon as “Aubade” gets heavy, we instantly thought we had put an Insomnium/Omnium Gatherum album instead. The band’s guitar wizardry is this good, with James Pratt and Ross King delivering some brilliant melodic guitar passages from start to finish. Fully exploding into melodic brilliance, “Heroes” continues the onslaught with tons of killer leads and very expressive melancholic passages. The growls and drumming style are both quite familiar to the typical Finnish Melo-Death scene, but it is how all things come together that truly showcases the power behind this very proficient.
Hailing from the USA, today we have the superbly unique Vex and their 3rd full-length release “Sky Exile”. Seamlessly blending influences of Death/Thrash/Progressive Metal with melodic undertones, this band’s sound is quite refreshing and unique. Reminding us of bands like Cenotaph, Buried Dreams and The Chasm, this band has a very unique and polished sound that is very diverse and engaging.
Slowly building up from the intro, the album really kicks off with the intense “To Anacreon (Strangling the Muse)”, a very diverse track that showcases heavy riffs, crushing growls and very proggy Enslaved-like rhythmical sections. Perfectly continuing the uniqueness of this release, “Empyrean” provides an interlude before the melodic brilliance of “Antithetical Age”. In this track we have again that gritty Death/Thrash Metal influences paired with more melodic influences, and even some clean vocals to fully round up the song.
Arriving from Australia, today we have one-man battalion Subterranean Disposition’s second full-length released titled “Contagiuum and the Landscapes of Failure”. Delivering over 60 minutes of crushing Death/Doom, the band keeps things fresh by adding extra atmospheric elements that blend very well together. Perfectly crafted for fans of slow and painful Doom music, this release is filled with unique ideas and interesting songs.
Opening with the crushing riffs of “Hungry Ghosts on Rotten Soil”, the album sets a very dominant tone. This mood continues with the melancholic opening of “Wooden Kimono Fixative” and its disarming pairing of moody guitars and sultry saxophone. This opener nicely transitions into more familiar Death/Doom territories with gusto and crushing tempo changes. Remaining us of bands like Avrigus, “Embittered Final” turns darker and more atmospheric. The haunting female vocals give an extra level of eeriness to this already emotional track.