Hailing from Finland, today we have the promising debut release “Blood. Stone. Sun. Down.” of melancholic outfit Vuolla. Perfectly blending elements of Gothic/Death Doom with melancholic Depressive Rock, this band manages to deliver over 60 minutes of truly emotive music. Focusing on crafting lush melancholic songs, the band will surely appeal to all fans of bands like Katatonia, Draconian, and everything in between.
Opening with the super bleak intro to “Death Incredible”, the band instantly reminded us of Svarti Loghin. This song nicely transitions into a more straightforward Gothic Doom piece perfectly blending Kati Hämäläinen’s vocals and keyboards with powerful Doom riffs. In a more traditional Gothic Doom fashion, the disarming “Emperor” is one hell of a rollercoaster ride which features a brilliant atmospheric passage around the 4 minute mark that will instantly get you hooked into the band’s sound.
Delivering over 55 minutes of superbly catchy Black/Pagan/Viking Metal, today we have France’s Vindland and their debut full-length release “Hanter Savet”. With the current influx of brilliant French bands to the Metal scene, it is not surprising that this band is a good as they are. Perfectly capturing the essence of bands like Kampfar, Windir, Thyrfing, this band has managed to craft nine excellent songs that will have you headbanging from start to end.
Opening with some great intensity, “Orin Kozh” immediately sets the pace for quite a hectic and yet melodic release. The band perfectly weaves back and forth between full-on Metal sections and more subtle Folk-ish influences. The incisive riffing is exactly what makes this release quite melodic and enjoyable, similar to what one would expect from the genre. Tracks like “Treuzwelus”, “Serr-Noz” and “Pedenn Koll” really showcase how the band excels in writing cunning songs that are quite enjoyable and satisfying.
Featuring a very diverse and international cast of characters, today we have Gone in April and their sophomore release “Threads of Existence”. Led by the beautiful vocals of Julie Belanger Roy, this band combines everything from Gothic to Death to Symphonic to Folk Metal, creating a very rich and unique listening experience for the 43 minutes of music crafted in this release.
Opening with the theatrical intro “Dawn of Time”, it is not until “The Curtain will Rise” that the band showcases their rich sound. In this track we have some very catchy melodies paired perfectly with super tight drumming, courtesy of Yanic Bercier, and Haggard-esque male growls. Perfectly blending intensity with melody the band delivers superb tracks like the “Our Future Line”, which also showcase the Bass guitar wizardry of the highly experienced Steve DiGiorgio.
Featuring members of several high profile Finish bands, today we have the True Black Dawn and their debut release (as TBD) titled “Come the Colorless Dawn”. Delivering 11 bestial tracks of ravaging Black Metal, this album is quite intense from start to end. Having been around since the early 90’s under two different names, this band crafts very nihilistic and tight BM soundscapes that rival any other famous band in this genre.
After warming the listener up with an intro, the album’s title track opens the proceedings with great force and brutality. The dual growls/shrieks vocal onslaught perfectly fit the music’s moody and tempo changing nature. The band’s vocalist, Wrath, is of Enochian Crescent fame, and having personally seen them live, he is one hell of a showman and an intense vocalist. The evidence is on the level of brutality shown on tracks like “The Light Goes Out” and the sinister “Cinereous”.
Hailing from Germany, today we have promising Black Metal trio Sun Worship and their sophomore release “Pale Dawn”. Having influences from ranging from Cascadian Black Metal to old-school Norwegian Black Metal, this band has constantly delivered killer EP and split releases which showcase their raw potential. Hitting the listener like a bag of bricks, this is one of the most intense releases of 2016.
Opening with the ravaging “Pale Dawn”, the wall of sound is instantly lifted with punishing riffs and hyper fast drumming. The band’s raw power is uncanny thanks to their piercing riffing and crushing tempo changes. While the first track has a certain USBM/Cascadian BM vibe, “Lichtenberg Features” quickly changes this with brilliant Immortal-esque riffs and melodic undertones, making it one of our favorite tracks in this release.
While traditional Doom Metal has been flourishing in the last few years, other sub genres of Doom have been dying off such a Gothic Doom Metal. Luckily for us, today we have the return of Italy’s The Foreshadowing with their fourth full-length release “Seven Heads Ten Horns”. Perfectly balancing Doomy tempos and soundscapes with more ‘upbeat’ Gothic Metal influences, this release delivers over 55 minutes of the band’s highly refined music.
After opening with an instrumental intro, “Fall of Heroes” instantly showcases Marco Benevento’s signature vocals. Perfectly placed in between singers like Ville Valo and Aaron Stainthorpe, his signature style is one of the things that instantly identify the band’s music. The album’s first heavy hitter track is the superbly catchy and moody “Two Horizons”. In this song we can perfectly hear the bands mixture of styles with a very dramatic (and catchy) piece.
Arriving via Naturmacht Productions, today we have Russian duo Depciting Abysm and their monolithic sophomore release “Passage”. Featuring over 47 minutes of melancholic Atmospheric/Depressive Black/Doom Metal, this release creates the perfect shroud of musical misery. For fans of bands like Forest of Shadows, Shape of Despair, Lifelover and similar outfits, this is one album that will sound very familiar.
Opening with the 11-minute bleakness of “Shelter”, the band slowly introduces us to their sound with incisive riffs, solid harsh vocals and a very mellow tempo that just makes things even more magical. The atmospheric elements thrown into the mix greatly enhance the overall depressive experience the track delivers. On “Shadow” things continue on the Depressive Black Metal side of things with highly emotional vocals and a very powerful bass guitar line. This track reminds us a bit of outfits like Lifelover.
Hailing from Finland, today we have an older release that managed to go under our radar for a while, that is impressive enough to be reviewed all these years later. Crib45 plays a mean Post-Metal with Sludgy influences, allowing them to sound like Neurosis on command, but also deliver a wider range of sounds. With their sophomore release “Marching through the Borderlines”, the band delivers over 70 minutes of soul-crushing music.
Opening with the wall of sound created by crushing pieces like “Gathering the Storms” and “Catharsis”, the band really comes in tune with their characteristic sound with the dramatic “Waiting for Deliverance”. Aside the heavy distortion, the band layers atmospheric elements and dramatic lead guitars that give their music a certain Doomy feeling, setting them apart from the rest. Another interesting element in this song is the vocal experimentation introduced, which allows the song to be more dramatic and engaging.
Allegedly formed in Svalbard, Norway (but since then relocated to Germany), today we have hyper-raw Black Metal outfit Znafelriff and their crushing 5-song EP titled “Ruin”. Crafting their sound to be as raw and DYI as possible, the band actually manages to create some very old-school sounding music that will infuse nightmares to the uninitiated.
Opening with the old-school Satyricon-esque “Heisere Stille”, the band instantly creates a dark shroud of distortion and rawness around their sound. The recording quality is decent enough to be able to tell all the elements apart, but raw enough to sound trve kvlt. The same rawness is continued with the Immortal-esque “Ruin”, however, the sound quality seems to have become even more trve as we needed to raise the volume on our speakers to continue to enjoy this release.
Hailing from France today we have Elvaron, a very interesting Progressive Metal with solid skills and even better song writing chops. Delivering over 60 minutes of engaging music, the band combines elements of the greats of the genre, but infuses their own uniqueness to craft a signature style. As one of the liveliest releases we have heard so far in 2016, this is one album that should appeal any fan of the genre.
Opening with the instrumental acrobatics of “The Journey Within”, the band instantly showcases their musicianship with killer guitars, playful keyboards, and an overall epic feeling to this track. The vocals finally appear on “Silent Windows”, giving the music a Thrash Metal edge, while maintaining their killer Prog elements. The first standout track comes under the name of “A Price to Pay”, where the band combines their instrumental acrobatics with male and female vocals, creating a very playful combination.