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  • Lutece – From Glory towards Void (2016)

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    Hailing from France, today we have quite an impressive outfit under the moniker of Lutece. Unleashing their third full-length release titled “From Glory towards Void”, the band delivers over 51 minutes of clean and precise Black Metal filled with crushing melodies and imposing vocals paired with emotional atmospheric elements.

    Delivering a punishing opening blow with “Let the Carnyx Sound Again”, the band demonstrates their high-octane music with pummeling drums and intense riffing. Showing this was not a fluke, the brutal onslaught continues with the demoralizing “Melted Fles”. In this track we start noticing some very interesting atmospheric elements thrown into the mix, adding some additional complexity to the band’s music.

  • Howls of Ebb – Cursus Impasse: The Pandlomic Vows (2016)

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    Spewing more of their sickening Black/Death Metal, today we have Howls of Ebb and their sophomore release “Cursus Impasse: The Pandlomic Vows”. Written between 2013 and 2015, this release moves away from the longer (10+ minute) track from their previous EP and delivers their musical fury in shorter but equally sweet onslaughts. Filled with creepiness and a retro-vibe, this album shows the band’s knack for making truly punishing music.

    Opening with the psycho-sexual hypnotic bass guitar line of “The 6th Octopul'th Grin”, the band’s depraved sound is instantly gratifying. Things take a turn to the even more bizarre with the funkiness of “Cabals of Molder” and its very horror-like atmospherics. Continuing down the rabbit hole, “Maat Mons’ Fume” has more of that raw energy of Indonesian Black/Death Metal bands mixed in with some truly disturbing bass guitar sounds.

  • Cult of Luna and Julie Christmas – Mariner (2016)

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    Completely catching us by surprise, today we have a very interesting collaboration between Sweden’s Cult of Luna and USA’s Julie Christmas. If you ever wondered how Cult of Luna would sound with a layer of female vocals on top, this is the perfect time to discover such a combination. Featuring five tracks filled with the band’s traditional atmospheric oppression, this release is a force to be reckoned with.

    Opening with the momentum building piece “A Greater Call”, the band wastes no time to introduce the listener to the dreamy combination of Julie’s sweet vocals and the harsh screams, both flanked by an intricate atmospheric backdrop. Leaving the listener no time to really adjust, the band pummels through “Chevron”, sparkling some pop-like influences along the way.

  • Ravenia – Beyond the Walls of Death (2016)

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    Continuing their impressive run of Symphonic/Melodic Metal releases, today we have Inner Wound Recordings latest gem: Ravenia. Hailing from Finland, this nine-piece band delivers eight brilliant tracks of truly orchestral/symphonic Metal that will captivate listeners and surely appeal to any fan of the genre. While having tons of ‘traditional’ influences, this band manages to craft their own unique bombastic sound, making them quite a find.

    Opening with the very mellow and dramatic start of “For Those We Forsakened”, the band’s sound feels very organic and natural. With tons of computer software these days that can sound just like the real thing, we prefer Ravenia’s decision to sticking with featuring live string instruments like two violins, a viola, a cello, and a contrabass.  The extra band members allow songs like “Into Oblivion” and “We All Died for Honor” to sound very cinematic and fresh, and leaving the door open for actual live performances where all the instruments are done live.

  • Rimfrost – Rimfrost (2016)

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    Arriving from Sweden, today we have Rimfrost and their thunderous Black Metal onslaughts. In their self-titled third full-length release, this trio delivers eight high-octane anthems that remind us of Immortal and similar outfits. Not for the weak of heart or the extremely super kvlt trve people, this intense release plays more on the side of brilliant melodic riffs and catchy songs that are memorable and engaging.

    Delivering a crushing opening blow with the brilliant “As the Silver Curtain Closes”, the band sets a very dynamic mood with tons of tempo changes and proficient riffing. The band’s vocalist and axe master Hravn Decmiester perfectly captures the Black Metal ‘firm’ shriek on melancholic tracks like “Saga North”. Said track also features some epic headbanging passages that will make your neck sore for days.

  • Aeons of Hate – Aeons of Hate (2015)

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    Hailing from Greece, today we have old-school Death/Thrash Metal outfit Aeons fo Hate and their self-titled debut release. Featuring over 30 minutes of music, this album brings back some memories of the late 90’s with incisive riffs perfect for headbanging while chugging beer. If you like the riffing capabilities of bands like Sodom, Kreator, Death Angel and Morbid Angel, this this one interesting release for you.

    Opening with the Slayer-esque “Sands of Deception”, the band makes quite a strong impression with pummeling guitars and harsh vocals. The riffing is quite pleasant as it weaves between Thrash influences and old-school Death/Thrash influences from the Sepultura early days. It is quite interesting to note that as track like “Solemn” and “Aeons of Hate” roll around, the music tempo is kept relatively ‘slow’ allowing the riffs to fully sink in and our heads to start bobbing from beginning to end.

  • Gloria Morti – Kuebiko (2016)

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    Hailing from Finland, today we have Gloria Morti and their devastating Black/Death Metal. Having refined their sound over 4 previous releases, this album delivers a very precise dosage of killer riffs, brutal vocals and intense drumming. Never compromising on brutality, the nine tracks found in this release will have you headbanging and moshing from start to end.

    Opening with the brutal “Syntymä”, the band’s intensity and killer vocals are the first two things that stand out. The band’s vocalist, Pyscho, does a killer job in combining multiple styles and creating a Deathcore-esque level of brutality in songs like “Josef Fritzl”. The guitar work is quite elaborate and nicely separates the band from the average bands; this is due to the fact that founding member Juho Räihä has been around playing for bands like Before the Dawn, Swallow the Sun (live) and Wolfheart (live).

  • Tusmörke - Fort Bak Lyset (2016)

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    Fittingly bearing what it looks like a psychoactive toad on its cover, today we have Tusmörke and their trippiest release to date “Fort Bak Lyset”. Combining psychedelic and folk elements ina a very proggy way, the band crafts seven unique pieces that are beyond original and totally weird. If you are looking for weird psychedelic music, this is probably as weird as you are going to get in 2016.

    Opening with the Jethro Tull-esque “Ekebergkongen”, the band sets a very odd stage with tons of psychedelic atmospheric elements and very proggy music. Entirely sung in Norwegian, the music in this album explores all kinds of weird folk corners as we can hear on “Et Djevelsk Mareritt” and “De Reiser Fra Oss”. While one can quickly picture a bunch of geeky larpers frolicking around with their foam swords to this music, we have to say that even this is too weird and out of the ordinary (in a good way!) for said sinister purposes.

  • Rusty Pacemaker – Ruins (2015)

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    Hailing from Austria, today we have a very unique release from an artist called Rusty Pacemaker. In “Ruins”, this one-man outfit delivers 53 minutes of very diverse music that blends Gothic Rock/Progressive Rock/Doom Metal with heavy atmospheric elements. Reminding us of bands like Yearning and some of the stuff on Holy Records back in the early 2000’s, this is a release that takes a few spins to fully sink in.

    Opening with a very somber atmosphere in “Ruins”, the mood is set quite mellow and very mysterious. As Rusty’s vocals appear, the vibe shifts into a more Gothic Rock/Metal atmosphere, with very well crafted guitars, but somewhat odd vocal melodies. Moving into full-on H.I.M / To/Die/For territory, “Made of Lies” is quite straightforward and catchy, while being quite consistent with one genre. The use of female vocals on “Ocean of Life” greatly adds a different dimension to the band’s sound, making it more dynamic and engaging.

  • The Body – No One Deserves Happiness (2016)

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    As one of the most unique and odd bands of North America, The Body has made a name for itself by doing tons of unique collaboration while refining a punishing experimental Sludge/Drone sound. On their fifith full-length release “No One Deserves Happiness”, the band continues to push the boundaries of normal and delivers what they call “the grossest pop album ever”. After listening for multiple days we have to completely agree with their claim, as this is one nightmarish release that will puzzle the masses and hypnotize the illuminated ones.

    Opening with the haunting “Wanderings” we get some fragile female vocals nicely contrasted by some Sludgy dissonant riffs and a very unnerving tempo. As soon as the harsh vocals come into the picture the album gets even weirder with such an extreme contrast… signature move of the band. After a little breather with the weird “Shelter is Illusory”, the band delivers a violent Drone/Noise pair of tracks with “For You” and “Hallow/Hollow” that will rattle anybody out of their seat.

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