After a killer debut EP with “Waves” Owler returned in 2016 to unleash “Soil”, a highly melancholic collection of five songs that showcase more maturity and creativity from these Finns. Clocking in at around 30 minutes, this release takes all the elements of their first release and further refines them and integrates them into the band’s own signature style. This music is still highly recommended for fans of bands like Insomnium to The Man Eating Three.
Opening with the soaring vocals of “Storm”, the release kicks off with a very theatrical piece that fully takes advantage of “Juha Simola’s melancholic clean vocals. Things turn a bit darker and doomier with the heavy atmospheric and crushing riffs of “Amend”. We really enjoy how the subtle atmospheric keyboards set the mood for the harsh vocals and slower tempo.
Hailing from Finland, today we have a band that perfectly combines elements from Post-Rock/Post-Metal with traditional Finish Melodic Death Metal. Delivering over 25 minutes of melancholic music, this band could be described as a mixture of The Man Eating Three with Before the Dawn.
The EP starts with the lush “Throes”, a track filled with melancholic clean vocals and dreamy guitars. At first glance, the guitars seem a bit heavier than usual for this type of music, but they do an effective job at preparing the listener for what is to come. As “Distance” kicks off we are instantly reminded of Before the Dawn during their “Soundscape of Silence” years. The mixture of growls and clean vocals is very effective and they perfectly contrast the ethereal keyboards and weeping guitars.
Hailing from Belgium, today we have one-man band Ande and his sophomore release “Het Gebeente”. Swiftly continuing where the debut release, “Licht”, left off, this album delivers over 37 minutes of Burzum-esque Black Metal that should not be missed.
Setting the mood with the traditional intro track, Ande gets down to business with the raw riffing of “Argwaan”, a song that instantly reminds us of late 90’s Black Metal. Handling all the instruments, Jim does a pretty solid job in crafting intricate songs that capture both rawness and playful melodies that keep things fresh, like on “Gebukt” and “Oud en Vet”. This last song also has some kick-ass Black’n’Roll influences that will make you think of Vreid and similar outfits.
With the considerable amount of albums that we receive for review each month, it is quite hard for one of them to standout as much as Varaha’s self-titled EP did. Featuring 15 minutes of uniquely blended Post-Rock/Doom/Gothic Rock influences into a highly atmospheric canvas, the band crafts three lush tracks that leave the listener wanting a lot more.
Opening with the melodramatic riffs of “Cubicle”, we are instantly impressed as the song weaves back and forth between Doom and Post-Rock elements while delivering killer clean vocal sections by Fabio Brienza. Once you feel that you have the band pegged down, they switch the script as the clean vocals turn into blistering shrieks while the intensity of the drumming and riffing picks up. All of this magic happens… on the first track.
Interestingly blending Modern Death Metal/Deathcore elements with musical acrobatic skills, today we have Eradikal Insane and their crushing debut release “Mithra”. Hailing from France, this band delivers over 45 minutes of technically proficient music that is both crushing and complex. If you like bands like Obscura and The Black Dahlia Murder, this is definitely something you want to check out.
Delivering the first blow with the playful opener “A Perpetual Nothing”, we are instantly introduced to the band’s chaotic style. Their music is quite uniquely crafted as they change the tempo of the songs quite often thanks to a plethora of incisive riffs and highly precise drum patterns as we can hear on “Initium” and “Sediments of Misconception”. Some other time, the band choses to pay homage to legendary bands such as Death, as you can hear in the opening of “Consciousness Alight”.
Arriving from the UK, today we have new-comer(s) Dysemblem and their debut release “Strength of Giants”. With a pummeling old-school Death/Black Metal style, this outfit delivers 32 minutes of an action packed release that shows a great deal of promise and a hefty dosage of violence.
Opening with the relentless riffing of “Down the Chasm”, the band makes a big impression with such a punishing sound. The mixture of harsh growls and crafty drums makes for a very entertaining back-to-basics track. The Death Metal influences are key for making tracks like “Gourd of the Damned” very catchy while being superbly brutal. With a certain Swedish Death Metal edge to it, “Gloria Victis” is one of our favorite tracks as it reminds us a bit of old-school Grave and Centinex.
Hailing from Greece, today we have Hard Rockers Dendrites and their self-titled debut release. Adding some elements of Groove Metal into the mix, this Greek outfit delivers ten superbly catchy tracks that will resonate in your head for days to come.
Opening with the momentum builder “The Wheel”, we are instantly very surprised on how ‘American’ does the band sound. The band’s vocalist and guitarist Thanasis Tiblalexis as a very distinctive voice which reminds us of Shady Blue of Chrome Division and Markus Hammer of The New Black. The band continues to totally rock with pretty solid tracks like “Breath”, “How Many Times”, and our personal favorite “Peace of Mind”.
Hailing from Italy, Derdian is one of the most underrated Power Metal bands in the world. With a very explosive and dynamic sound, the band has delivered five excellent releases before the “Evolution Era”. In this release the band has re-recorded tracks from their first three albums making them more epic and amazing by adding a plethora of vocal guest appearances. If you are looking for explosive Power Metal that will keep you at the edge of your seat, this is the album you have been waiting for.
Not wasting any time, the band opens with the epic “Overture” with Apollo Papathanasio on guest vocals. Wasting no time, Henning Basse helps out on the epic “Burn”. In this track we hear the band’s Power Metal chops with brilliant guitar leads and very melodic passages that capture the listener’s attention. Our first favorite tracks are the bombastic “Beyond the Gate” and the playful epic “Battleplan”, both tracks have intense guitar sections, lush keyboards and a very hefty pace that keeps the listener engaged and fully invested in the music.
Celebrating their East Coast tour, Experimental Swedish duo Necromonkey unleash upon the world their latest EP titled “The Shadows of the Blind Man”. Featuring three tracks that push the sonic boundaries of sanity, this outfit manage to deliver very unique music that will puzzle and amaze you at the same time.
Opening with the crazy titled “Kinky Panda”, the band crafts a very unique sort of improvisational experimental piece with odd percussions and quite disturbing vocals to kick off this short release. As the funkadelic string instruments lead the charge, the odd tempos and atmospheric elements make this track as weird as you can expect from Necromonkey.
Hailing from France, today we have Folk/Death Metal outfit Drakwald and their sophomore full-length release “Riven Earth”. Showing that France also has representatives on the Folk Metal scene, this release delivers 44 minutes of engaging music that will have you headbanging from start to end.
Not wasting much time to showcase their power, “Doomsday Argument” shows the band with full strength sounding like a mixture of Amon Amarth and Eluveitie. As tracks like “Erase by Fire”, “Primal Dawn” and “Rebrith” roll through, we can hear that the comparisons can be skewed more towards Eluveitie as the band’s bagpipes and flutes make them gravitate in to this territory.