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  • Diathra - My Endless Sorrow (2009)

    My Endless Sorrow is the second album from this band from Belarus, and in my opinion is a very strong second release. This band is clearly influenced by earlier work from Theatre Of Tragedy and Tristania among others.

    Diathra’s musical style is by no means original but it’s executed perfectly. While there are some “Beauty and the Beast” type of vocals in a few songs, the rest of the album mainly features the talents of Shiyka Dmitriy, their female vocalists.

  • Gothmog - A Step In The Dark (2008)

    A Step In The Dark is one of those albums you find yourself liking even tough they are not very original. Gothmog is clearly heavily influenced by Emperor, Cradle Of Flith, and many other black metal bands, and you can hear this in their songs

    This album is a very solid first release of this band, with some great guitar solos here and there, majestic keyboards like it’s to be expected from any good symphonic black metal band. The vocals are not annoying and are a perfect fit for this album.

  • Silentium - Amortean (2009)

    Silentium has been one of my favorite bands since they released their Infinita Plango Vulnera album, but I did not like Seducia at all. So I was a bit skeptical about this release, I think consistency is one thing that this band has lacked through out their carrer, since they release a very good album, and they follow it by a mediocre one.

    Well let me tell you Amortean, is probably their best album up to date. While they have moved far from their gothic/doom metal sound from their earlier releases, this album feels in the same style than Sufferion.

  • Fen - The Malediction Fields (2009)

    When this album starts, I started saying to my self” “here comes another shitty atmospheric black metal band”, like I often find telling my self and being completely right. Well for Fen I ate my own words, while their style is indeed atmospheric black/dark metal they have carefully crafted elements of folk and post-rock, to create a great unique sound.

    I would say they kind of resemble Alcest or even Agalloch at some points, but they have their own original ideas and sound embedded in their music.

    This album also evokes some memories of Ulver’s opus: Bergtatt. While at some points the music is very harsh, it’s perfectly balanced by great acoustic interludes changing the pace entirely of the songs.

  • Dol Theeta - The Universe Expands (2008)

    I have to say that this album is something very interesting, at first I thought I had the wrong band and I was reviewing some weird DJ shit, but nope, this Greek band plays some type of weird progressive / electro music with metal influences so I would just put it in on the category that everything weird goes into: Avant-garde Metal.

    Let me tell you the production of this album is amazing since you can hear every single detail in the music with perfect clarity. They do tend to emphasize the synthesizers too much, but this is the main core of the bands sound.

  • Trollfest - Villanden (2009)

    Trollfest hails from Norway and they try to bring their Troll inspired folk metal to the masses. While the bands concept and website is quite funny, and the language of their lyrics is unique (since they mix several languages in them), the whole thing gets kind of old after the 3rd song.

    While the music is not bad, it’s just annoying after a while. They try to sound like Fintroll but this sensation clearly fades off after a while.

    I can see people enjoying this music when you are very drunk in the woods somewhere, since some of their songs have a great ‘folk drinking song’ atmosphere.

  • In Fear And Faith - Your World On Fire (2009)

    While I’m usually pretty good at filtering out Metalcore / screamo bands but for some reason this band from the USA flew under my radar. Once I started listening to the album I decided to might as well finish listening to it and write a review for it.

    I have to admit that many of these bands have very good guitarists and keyboard players. The whole concept and the singing just kill’s the mood for somebody that likes their metal to be… well metal.

  • Emergency Gate - Rewake (2009)

    Every time I hear and album start with the phrase: “Are you ready”, I get so irritated, since they are usually pretty bad. Well this album is an exception to that rule.

    I can’t really label this bands genre since they combine clean with harsh vocals, with some melodic death metal touches as well as power metal elements, and sometimes it even sounds like metalcore.

    I have to admit the songs are very catchy but the metalcore parts kill it for me. When the songs are more power metal or melodic death metal their guitar melodies are pretty awesome, also the drumming is pretty decent.

  • Forgotten Suns - Innergy (2009)

    There are hundreds of bands playing progressive metal these days, and Forgotten Suns are one of them. While the album is not bad by any means it just seems like I’ve heard this one before in many other progressive metal releases.

    While all the musicians excel at their instruments, it’s really hard to create a good progressive metal album, since all the elements have to blend perfectly with each other. And this album lacks that in some songs, while in some other moments they are pretty good by progressive metal standards.

  • Mournful Congregation - The June Frost (2009)

    This Australian band always lures me into their depressive atmosphere as soon as I started listening to their albums, and The June Frost is no exception. Released 4 years after their last full length album, it was well worth the wait.

    The album consists of 4 super tracks that take you into the depths of depression and don’t let go. At least one of the track always tries to break the Guiness world record of the longest song ever composed and here they clock one at 17 minutes, which is a tradition of funeral doom bands as well.

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