With three songs – Bǽl, Opaque and Mǽdland – Bǽl is a strong, lugubrious and poignantly aggressive EP, released by British black metal act Normakk. With a very somber, evasive, discreet and effective atmosphere, the songs are beautifully composed, and from the very beginning, denotes a pungent and starkly spontaneous originality. With a graciously sensible competence, able to display in a positively sincere fashion the most pervasive aspects of the genre, Bǽl is raw black metal done in a proverbially sophisticated and elegant scale. With strident and expansive, but sensibly reliant, and, to a certain degree, darkly sentimental guitar lines, the general musical groundwork of the band is thoroughly exhilarating, consistent and dense, and obliterates on the vicinities of its melancholic melodies the most elusive aspects of black metal. Undoubtedly, a work of irreprehensible grandeur, Bǽl is a marvelously fantastic and unique work of art. Normakk closely follows the traditional old school, with a very peculiar, creative and dense style, with premises that outstands its genuine and salutary virtuosities, shining away any possibilities of being classified as just another generic act of the genre.
black metal / death metal
Altar Of The Dying is an EP released on July 30, by American blackened death metal group Throne, from Jackson, Michigan. Almost twenty-four minutes long, the work has seven relatively short and very concise tracks: Intro, Heresy Of The Highest Order, Not Of Shadow Nor Fog, Altar Of The Dying, Covenant Of Darkness, Where Angels Cower In Fear and Plagued Upon The Unholy. With an aggressive, dense and very rapid sound, their style can be described as methodical, rude and severely traditional, albeit a little predictable, although this does not affect their general performance. With a fiber and a level of brutality that makes their sound to be profoundly eviscerating, drastic and virulent – but also efficiently concentrated –, Altar Of The Dying is a very energetic, hostile and straightforward work. With highly consistent harmonies and incredibly lucid and somber guitar lines, the group certainly manages to deliver a powerful and pungent style of extreme metal, that is poignantly effusive and dark. Although there is nothing here that you haven’t heard several times before in similar albums of the genre, Throne is a competent, skilled and creative band, that proves their ardent and passionate compromise with extreme metal, on this exceedingly great and powerfully grotesque EP.
Ashes is an EP released on July 20, by Danish doom metal group Doomcult. Almost twenty three minutes long, the record has three tracks: Sulphur, Ashes and Black Fire. An excellent, pleasant, very delightful work, with way more poetic tendencies if compared to the traditional groups of the genre, Ashes has a melancholic and disturbing, but exceedingly ascendant, philosophic and serene atmosphere, that rises above the sensational and placid stability of its harmonious and dense sonorous configuration. While the first song, Sulphur, deserves to be highlighted, all three songs present an artistic level of security and a musical technique that stands as far superior to the average level. With a sensational style that makes them a powerfully potential reference for the genre in the underground scene, the consistency of the sound of Doomcult – as well as the audacious, but at the same discreet originality present in their music – showcases in the end an absolutely splendid final result. Certainly being one of the most genuine and spectacular releases that I’ve ever heard on the genre – being amazingly passionate and frivolous at the same time – Ashes, by Doomcult, is an exponentially marvelous experience on doom metal, highly recommended to everyone that is an enthusiast of the genre.
A dark, rude, depressive and melancholic traditional black metal work, Drowning in Sorrow is an EP released in June by a Finnish musician, that presents himself by the alias of Sathanian. Almost twenty-four minutes long, the EP has five tracks: Depressing Dreams, Wanderer, Drowning In Sorrow, Despair and Kenkiintuijottaja. Despite being better described as traditional black metal, the EP has some discreet traits of DSBM, which is present in the predominantly slow, digressive and dispersive harmonies, that really stands for a surreal and profoundly melancholic mood. The cynic and sorrowful atmosphere of the work is genuinely beautiful, and has a formidable musical consistency, that is ostensibly framed by conspicuously sinister and funeral vocals, that sometimes emphasizes its presence more for its morbid, almost neutral sterile qualities, than for its grotesque nature. A promising, very interesting work, that is sidelined by its truly proverbial and eloquent understanding and execution of the genre, Drowning In Sorrow is an emotional, poetic and very somber work, that has everything to please enthusiasts of the genre.
black metal / post black metal
An interesting EP with four tracks – Dramatic Truth, Winds Of The End Of Afternoon, Jonas and Alone – the music of Sabactâni can be described as a melancholic twilight forever lost in the everlasting vicinities of depressive and anxious thoughts. A marvelous post black metal group from Brazil, their originality is amazingly eviscerating, with a powerful and afflictive sonority, that energizes the genre at the core of its structure. With powerfully ascendant melodies, that revolves around aggrandizing, but at the same time dismissive and dispersive harmonies, the disillusion that is felt as the epicenter of their style is symbolic to the mood that better defines the genre, and takes a major layer of beauty and poetry in the virtually insane musical diagram of the band, that can be felt as simple and humane, at the same time. A wonderful EP that brilliantly aggregates major qualities to the genre, with a severely robust and consistent anatomy of abundant sonorous virtuosity, B.O.R.E.A.L, by Sabactâni, certainly can be classified as a vigorous and sensational state of the art work.
black metal / crust punk
Fallen From The Hull is an Ep released by American black metal act Nailwalker, from Austin, Texas. Twenty-five minutes long, and with four sensationally fantastic tracks – Juvenile, Feeding The Devil, Without A Thread To Pull On and Meant For All Fours – Fallen From The Hull is a formidably majestic state of the art work, that brings on the crest of its tempestuous, direct and incinerating melodies all the aggressive devices truly inherent to the genre. With a sober, technically proficient and genuine veracity that is the main engine of their music, Nailwalker is a fantastic musical creation, that introduces into their music in a perfectly incisive and precise manner crust punk elements, as well as more melodic and melancholically somber sonorous tonalities. With beautifully poetic and thoroughly original guitar lines – that somewhere along the way, unveils an amazingly superb, lugubrious and dissonant solo – Fallen From The Hull is one of the most perfect, authentic and astoundingly beautiful experimental black metal pieces that I’ve ever heard. With furious, but lancinating and dramatic vocals as well, as soon as this EP is over, you want to hear it again!
S/T is a two track EP released on August 17, by Canadian black metal act Mandragora, from Victoria, British Columbia. With two amazingly sinister songs – In Scarlet Embrace and Beyond The Lacheist Prisons – Mandragora performs old school traditional black metal, on a virtuous and dissonant style. With somber and aggressive tunes, and pervasively grasping cutting edge vocals, the sound of the duo is thoroughly groundbreaking and energetic, doomed to fall beneath the imperial demise of its own projected desolation. With a responsive aggressiveness, that is more melancholic and lugubrious than hostile or belligerent, the overall sound of Mandragora is quite provocative and inventive. Very reminiscent of the early Norwegian black metal scene, the style of the duo is profoundly proverbial, obscure and essentially imaginative, although they do present a formidable degree of originality, that makes their sound quite distinctive, but without losing the quintessential trademarks of the genre. An excellent work – as a matter of fact, a gracefully fantastic two track EP – on the course of its seventeen minutes, Mandragora definitely gives a sonorous lesson about what true old school black metal really is.
Dark Lore is an EP released on July 27 by American DSBM artist Moon Bog. Almost twenty three minutes long, the work has four tracks: Under Burning Leaves, Reawaken the Frost, Mount Sorrow and The Strain. A splendid, beautiful, philosophic and marvelously poetic musical work, with an abundant layer of sonorous melancholy, the general style of the artist is profound, graceful and exceedingly rough on the introspective universe of its expansive sensibilities. With genuinely patient and somber harmonies, that plays on the majesty of its precociously filtered and salutary guitar lines, the melodies are dramatically tense, but profoundly calm at the same time, as they extend to the transparent, but lugubrious oceans of its frivolous sensitivities the turbulent pandemonium of its restless state of mind. A passionate, cosmic, exhilarating work, whose pervasive sensibility plays a vital role at the cornerstone of its infuriating, but peaceful and placid sagacious artistry, the formidable level of creativity and excellence displayed by the artist on this work is simply extraordinary, and will certainly please all genuine DSBM enthusiasts that will be happy enough to listen and to enjoy this fantastic pearl of the genre.
Self-Destruction is a wonderful EP released on July 25, by Russian DSBM artist Dystert Natt. Very concise, only ten minutes long, the work has four tracks: Ashes And Snow, Insomnia, Scars'14 and Sing To Me An Alcoholic Lullaby. The general style of this musician is DSBM on its most typical and traditional layer. Nevertheless, it is abundant in beauty, and has several qualities that stands out on the course of its sonorous brevity. The melancholy, the mordacity, the overall serenity and the discreet sadness that is overexposed at the most frivolous panel of its virtuous musical context is excessively evasive and lugubrious, but has a poetic beauty that easily disperses and dilacerates the macabre rudeness of its shadows. The guitar lines are ostensibly impeccable and whimsically elaborated, although they are plain and simple. Unadorned, direct and full of lethargic grievances, Self-Destruction – as predictable as it is –, has a consistent, dramatic and sincere layer of sonorous beauty and stylish purity, that certainly makes this wonderful EP a very pleasant experience to hear.
With only two tracks – Vacuous and Obsequious Vermin –, Histamine Haven is the debut of an eponymous Canadian project, released on July 24. With a raw and traditional approach to the genre, the record is absolutely fascinating, has a consistent style and definitely has what it takes to please a large audience. With solid, but at the same time dissolute guitar lines, Histamine Haven has a ponderable and serene conjuncture of harmonies, that – despite brief passages of virulent aggressiveness – gracefully elevates the internal dynamic conflagrations of its expansive rhythms to a fateful standpoint, where the experimental colors of the sound extrapolate the venomous frontiers of its own unfathomable hostility. Unraveling a fantastic and versatile tone of primordial stature and creative audacities, the style of Histamine Haven has mordacious peculiarities, and a very original musical groundwork. The way the artist promotes the balance of the most violent and hazardous aspects of his music with the more serene and sensible components of his sonorous splendor denotes a vigorous and majestic ambivalence that is gracefully dilapidated almost to the level of perfection, and certainly will captivate the listeners, almost immediately.
Boobs Of Doom - Thor's Womb
doom / sludge metal / drone / dark ambient
This EP, or single, is long, seventy minutes but in that timespan Boobs Of Doom takes you on a trip through your own darkest imagination. Just download the album, because this is a full length, turn the volume knob to neighbour levels and drift away. Carrie will appreciate it, Boobs Of Doom will appreciate it.
Bara Bandai - Une Nuit Sans Sommeil
drone / ambient
Macabre Demise - 11
The Guests - Highlands
Grist - Monads
drone / dark ambient
Jinthra - Psychopath
drone / dark ambient
Akoustik Timbre Frekuency - Banishing Thee Dark Night Of Thee Soul
dark ambient / ritual / drone
Loputon Suo - Portti Uuteen
death metal / black metal
Mount Shrine - Winter Restlessness
drone / dark ambient
Glass Locus - Escapism
ambient / experimental / downtempo
The Dark Third - Even As the Light Grows
dark rock / art rock / blackgaze
Skáld - Skáld
traditional / folk
Naut - Raise The Lights
post punk / new wave / goth rock
Heading from Bristol, Naut decided to ignore all current trends and to look back to the dark eighties. Now, this five-piece comes with a baffling debut EP, containing five pitch black goth rock tunes. Influences from bands like Sisters Of Mercy and Killing Joke run rampant and come with the overwhelming energy of post punk acts like The Jesus and Mary Chain. Song like opener 'Disintegration' and 'I'm Here' are destined to fill dark dancefloors everywhere. My personal favorite here is closer 'XVI'. It makes me curious and hungry for more, but for now I'm sure that this EP will be an excellent addition to every post punk / goth rock collection.
Kurokuma - Dope Rider
doom / sludge
Sheffield doom mongers Kurokuma return with a two track EP, based on the Dope Rider strip from High Times in the 70s. The artwork comes from Paul Kirchner, the creator of the strip. The music is another slab of severe psychotic sludge doom, five and eight minutes long. Part 1 also showcases something industrial, reflected by repetitive, almost methodical drums. Part 2 simply continues to slow but brutal pummeling. Fans of bands like Conan, Dopethrone and Yob can easily trust Kurokuma to deliver the monolithic riffs and fierce vocals they crave so much. So if you want your sludge metal as destructive as a wrecking ball, this EP should do.
An Evening With Knives - Fade Out
post-metal / doom / alternative rock
Several months after the release of 'Serrated', Dutch heavy rockers An Evening With Knives unleash three songs that did not make the album because of the limited space on the vinyl. Yet, these songs were to important for the band to be ignored. Opener and title track 'Fade Out' deals with the death of Marco’s father due to Alzheimer disease. It's a long, heavy and cathartic lamentation, showcasing the darkest side of this band. The other two songs follow that example, be it a bit shorter. They all walk a similar path as the songs on 'Serrated', and thus would also fit perfectly into every sludge, doom and grunge collection. These guys are growing steadily, that's for sure.
Soho Rezanejad - World Breathes People
electronic / ambient / experimental
An alienating two track EP that will leave you confused and entangled, that is what Soho Rezanejad delivers. Subtle electronics, minimalist drones, gloomy soundscapes and her vocals come together in two lengthy modern day folk songs. I can't help but think about a mix between Zola Jesus and Diamanda Galas, be it a bit less creepy than the latter. Yet, there is emotion, there is fear, mourning, wonder and hope in these two tracks. There is a mystifying atmosphere, one that borrows elements from dark ambient. Yet, above all perhaps, this is a unique piece of work, reminding me of an act like Dark Ensemble. Recommended only for eternally wandering souls.
The Man Within - The Man Within
post rock / post metal / stoner / sludge
In today's post rock scene, new bands pop up like mushrooms. Würzburg residents The Man Within are one of those newcomers. Mostly, that first effort comes with a low production and a careful introduction in what the band really is capable of. Yet, here that results in a full-blown post metal album with seven outstanding tracks. Most of them, including 'Mount Santo', my favorite 'Institution' (that rolling bass is hot!!!) and the massive 'Limitless' can easily entertain audiences far and wide. Although firmly rooted in the post-scene, elements from sludge metal, psychedelic rock and stoner rock are never far away. A great introduction, now let's hope they can confirm this in the near future.
EITR - Hädanfärden
The new brainchild of Nachtzeit, the man behind ambient dark metal project Lustre, comes up with an interesting dark ambient album. Although playful at time, this album takes us back to the mysterious and dark age of the Norse gods. Early in 'Drömmarna' acts like Mortiis (on Cold Meat Industry) and Wongraven come to mind. Synths, soundscapes and dreamy melodies guide the listening on a musical tour of medieval Europe, so it seems, highlighting in 'Löftet' and 'Tårarn'. Strangely, the title track 'Hädanfärden' has an X-Files OST feeling about it, which isn't bad, on the contrary. Fans of old school medieval dark ambient can easily appreciate this album.
Breakfast At Midnight - Breakfast At Midnight
alternative rock / hard rock / grunge
Belgian hard rock duo Breakfast At Midnight proves that two is enough to create heaps of noise. On this debut EP they blast seven tracks through our speakers, beginning with the heavy rocking 'Kidi Coke'. From then on, the rock doesn't seem to stop. Inspired by anything between Tool, Queens Of The Stone Age and Stone Temple Pilots, these two feed an everlasting fire. Most tracks drive on sheer energy but in 'What I'm To Say' and in '1813', the band delves deeply into the Pearl Jam version of grunge rock. Here, the vocals are excellent and clean while the other tunes contain heaps of aggressive screams. Not that I mind, this is pure rock 'n roll: raw, rough and heavy.
Goat Sperm - Voice in the Womb
black metal / death metal
Grab onto something now because Ukrainian trio Goatsperm is about to unload a hellish, chaotic and vulgar EP, loaded with orthodox black/death metal. 'Voice In The Womb' contains three tracks, each one being a pummeling piece of extreme metal, as dark as Satan's butthole but with an ambient breather here and there. Somehow, this trio manages to combine atmospheric passages with sheer metallic terror, something that might indeed make a lot of banging heads turn their way in the near future. Besides, 'Into The Deep Waters Of Catacombs' is one of the fiercest black metal tunes I've heard this year. If you're a self-respecting extremist, you need this.
Teksti-TV 666 - Aidattu Tulevaisuus
krautrock / shoegaze / punk
What would have happened if Ramones used My Bloody Valentine's guitar effects? What would a punk rock cover album of Neu! songs sound like? Well, Finnish six piece Teksti-TV 666 might have a decent answer for you. 'Aidattu Tulevaisuus' delivers six high-octane krautrock tunes with the raw energy of punk and the immersive nature of shoegaze. I admit, it is something different from the usual slabs of rock 'n roll that appear here but 'Turbo-Mondeo' and 'Aidattu tulevaisuus' can easily get your behind shaking. My favorite here is the somewhat slower 'Rauhankone', which might be described as a down-to-earth space rock track. Recommended? Hell yeah!
Vitor Joaquim - Impermanence
ambient / electronic / experimental
Hailing from Porto, Vitor Joaquim is a sound sculptor and visual artist, active around the strange borders between soothing ambient and otherworldly noise. This new album, 'Impermanence' contains seven tracks, revolving around repetitive soundscapes, almost subconscious loops and immersive musical textures. Here and there vocals samples have been added to increase the narrative nature of the music. That, along with the minimal soundscapes, makes the title track my favorite here but I'm sure that every fan of decent ambient music can appreciate these sounds. Obviously, this comes highly recommended.
Han - Tuning the Invisible
ambient / drone / experimental / noise
An even more noisy and experimental variation on ambient sounds comes from Han, a project by Vitor Joaquim and Emidio Buchinho. This album revolves around live improvisation and real time processing, which results in something severely unusual and highly experimental. Yet, behind the gritty freestyle on the guitar, beautiful ambient loops lurk. These seven tracks are weird, immersive in one way, yet restrained and peculiar. Somehow this album feels like the early days of drone experimentation, when artists were exploring the other possibilities of their instruments. In all, this is an interesting release to dive into, but only for experienced avant gardists...
October - Dark Hymns
A fifteen minutes EP with four tracks, Dark Hymns lives to the glory of its simple, but energetic and suggestive title. With a very dark, subtle and obscure sound, the sensitive premises of the style are afflictive to the fullest – despite being paradoxically peaceful and serene –, and seems to anticipate the imminence of a profoundly terrible doom. While the work presents to the audience a very simple and surreal sound, its nuances are dense, and the excellence of its atmosphere dissipates a graceful and somber fear over the boundaries of the melodies. There is nothing too exceptional or extraordinary about this work, but for dark ambient genre enthusiasts, the vivid, morbid intensity displayed by the artist behind the project is certainly vast, very meaningful, and spiritually consistent.
Collapse Project - Crossing Lights
electronic / darksynth / dark electro / synthwave
Crossing Lights is an album released on June 22, by German electronica/ synthwave act Collapse Project. A wonderfully splendid album, with eleven tracks – Where everything began, Crossing Lights, Arise from the darkness, M.e.n.s.c.h., Pursuit,
Bloody Dancefloor, Cemetery Walk, Starfighter, Nightshift, Test Drive and Rewind – this marvelous and majestic state of the art work has colorful harmonies, a vibrant, lucid and energetic pace, an intense and cohesive style and a superb sense of rhythmic rapture. With softly pungent, dense and dynamic mordacious melodies that engraves its formidable intrinsic strength at the voracious pace of the music, the album is fulfilled with a tremendously aggrandizing and creative originality, displaying a talent that has everything to stand out as uniquely authentic in the contemporary underground scene. Showcasing a sensational musical grandeur whose artistry is effectively sidelined with the most vivid and hallucinating melodies, the genuine musical abilities of Collapse Project is a gigantic cosmic evolutionary step in what concerns the general development of the genre. With some of the most beautiful songs that I’ve ever heard, Crossing Lights is an unprecedented milestone in the history of electronica. Certainly, deserves not only to be fully appreciated, but highly highlighted as one of the most beautiful, sensational and singular albums ever conceived.
Extremity - Coffin Birth
Coffin Birth is an album released on July 20, by Californian death metal group Extremity. With eight songs – Coffin Birth / A Million Witches, Where Evil Dwells, Grave Mistake, Umbilicus, For Want Of A Nail, Occision, Like Father Like Son and Misbegotten / Coffin Death – the record is a satisfactory, lucid and efficient, but hallucinatory and hazardous death metal album, that works decently the most traditional elements of the genre. With heavy, fast rhythms that exposes the voracity of their style, Extremity showcases a peculiar, brutal, direct style, atrocious to the core of its corrosive nature. Despite the fact that the album at some rare passages becomes a little predictable and monotonous, this does not affect the general layout of the sound, nor does any damage to the competent and precise style of the band. Their aggressive strength is somewhat inherent to the most brutal and extreme ramification of the genre, and the name of the band certainly stands for it. While you can’t expect too much of innovative features on this record, Coffin Birth displays a decent amount of virtuosity, talent and definition, and certainly honors the genre with a virulent and passionate degree of astounding sonorous hostility, that will entertain avidly the most dedicated enthusiasts of extreme death metal.
Khemmis - Desolation
grunge / stoner rock/ power metal / black metal / alternative rock
Released on June 22, Desolation is an album by alternative post grunge/ power metal rock group Khemmis. With six tracks – Bloodletting, Isolation, Flesh To Nothing, The Seer, Maw Of Time and From Ruin – this gracefully peculiar, audacious and cohesive record showcases the splendid abilities of a band that does an amazingly superb and exceedingly sophisticated work in their amalgamation of several different genres and styles of music. With a power metal core heavily infused by a post grunge alternative rock density, the music of Khemmis has its own singular and energetic creative groundwork, fuelled by an outstandingly voracious and rude nitroglycerine spontaneous synergy, that explodes directly in the brain of the listener. A little reminiscent of more classic and mainstream acts like Manowar, Creed and Blind Guardian – although exposing a formidable degree of uniqueness – the band does a surprisingly splendorous and excellent work on Desolation, that reveals itself as a marvelous, profoundly genuine and sensational album, all the way through. Undoubtedly, Desolation deserves to be classified as one of the greatest masterpieces of the year.
Lossy - Gated Soul
A beautiful, outstanding, lancinating and colorful EP, Gated Soul has four tracks: Blues For Jekyll, Last Raver, Hocus Pocus and To The Woods. With beautiful melodies, and very sensible, delightfully plausible harmonies, there is a genius spontaneity coming out from these songs that actually make you feel quite enthusiastic about it. With an exceedingly serene, but at the same time ostensibly sensational and mandatory vibe, the artist reveals a subtle, but formidable sense of originality on the framework of the sound that is the embodiment of this work. From within, the melodies gradually expand from a synergy that relocates the rhythm directly to the point of its graciously moving syncope. Exposing lucidity and showcasing an extraordinary degree of creativity, this electronic music artist from Great Britain has no fear in demonstrating his superb, masterful and singular talent, that easily reinvigorates in a more sophisticated sonorous artistry the greatest elements of electronica. Here you have four amazingly wonderful songs, that you will be pleased to hear over and over again.
Moloch Letalis - Krwawy Sztorm
black metal / death metal
A very impressive, hostile and energetic album – although widely using exceedingly crude and conventional elements by some standards – Krwawy Sztorm, by Polish extreme metal group Moloch Letalis, is an aggressive, furious and bloodthirsty album. Only thirty minutes long, the record has nine tracks: Wielka Egzekucja, Sztorm, Krwawa Ziemia, Zatańczysz Ze Mną Kurwa W Piekle ?, Przysięga, Zdychaj Psie, Palownik, Gotowy Na Piekło and Żar. With ostensive and abrupt rhythmic grievances, the style of the group is simple and direct, a little reminiscent of punk rock, given the atrocious voracity, objectivity and rudeness of its style. With a solid fidelity to the most brutal aspects of the genre, the work is amazingly competent and full of acid rage. Although there is nothing too aggrandizing nor original about the work, certainly this album is a pearl for avid enthusiasts of the genre, since Moloch Letalis literally practices closely the most ardent, extreme, raw and violent aspects of death and black metal, executing a refined breed of these marvelous genres. If you like astoundingly heavy material, Krwawy Sztorm is something you would like to hear.
McClane - The Cavern of Noise
electronic / techno / industrial
With six tracks – Entrance of Gargoyles, Dance or Die, The Order, Mechanical Vampire, The Cavern of Noise and Theunderdogme 2018hardrem1x – The Cavern of Noise, by techno industrial French artist McClane is a formidable, very intuitive and lancinating work. With abrasive and disruptive rhythms, increasingly grotesque and infuriating harmonies, cohesive dilapidation of sound and very unpredictable, dense musical compasses, The Cavern of Noise is an interesting work of art, astoundingly engraved at forefront of the best tradition of techno music. With elements that plays on the fundamental axis of the noise and industrial genres, the artist evokes at the colorful blast of the music an atmospheric vitality that rejuvenates the harmonies and the anatomy of the music. With a lucid, compulsory and graceful creativity that is exponential to the ardent mordacity of the melodies, on this album, you certainly get the best the genre will ever offer you. The title track – The Cavern of Noise – is absolutely the best, and will leave you with the dense exposition of what electro techno music should really sound like.
Blutvial - Mysteries of Earth
Mysteries of Earth, released by British black metal group Blutvial on July 5th, is a formidable, lucid and splendorous album. Fully energized, mortally intense and with sordidly aggressive, rapturous and impulsive, but lugubrious and poetic guitar lines, Mysteries of Earth is better described as a marvelous state of the art work. With ten amazingly placid and cohesive tracks – beneath the moon, black silence, existential rite, vault of unrest, carving nihil, midwinter's halls, urnacht, doomed to eternal night, in praise of noctula and where graves spring open – this fantastic work, besides its subtle originality, extraordinary grandiosity and proverbial musical audacity, consolidates firmly and brings about intrinsically the best qualities of the genre: hostile mordacity, somber harmonies, an aggressive stylish impetus, creative melodies, a rapid pace and an exceedingly volatile density. With the organic virtue of a profoundly vital and conscious musical dynamic, you can certainly highlight this record as one of the best black metal pieces released this year. Mysteries of Earth is a punctuating device and a majestic work of art in the history of the genre.
Cosmic Autumn - Cosmic Autumn
Cosmic Autumn is the debut album of an eponymous black metal project from Germany. Released on July 13, the record has five tracks: The Last Deception, Event Horizon, Indistinct Visions, Realms Of Eternal Light and Solitude (Instrumental). With a beautiful and very original musical layer, very sober and proficient, the sound is definitely strong, sensitive, dynamic and fundamentally cohesive. Although the record retains the fury typical of the genre, Cosmic Autumn is also a lesson on sincere and poetic artistry, as the music revolves itself around a shroud of mortifying serenity, like a twilight that dies in the agony of an everlasting moment of unspeakable affliction. Since the music translates into sound these imponderable passages of pervasive anger, the overall loyalty of the project’s style to the genre is emphasized, but without compromising the ability of the artist in showcasing his own peculiarities. A very good work, that certainly exposes the mordacious talent of an exponentially promising black metal artist, Cosmic Autumn is the opening gate for a musician that has everything to aggregate into the genre a whole new conjuncture of possibilities, with his audacious and ostensibly brilliant creativity.
Stone Age Mammoth - Earthborn
stoner rock/ psychedelic rock
Earthborn is an album released by Greek stoner rock group Stone Age Mammoth. Forty minutes long, the record has seven tracks: Fearless, The Dark, Whispers, The Mysterious Life Of Mr Krips, The Secret, Earthborn and My Darkest Hour. An exceedingly calm, methodic and meticulous, but exceedingly vigorous and lucid album, undoubtedly, Earthborn is a fantastic state of the art work, that dissects, reverberates, comprehends and exposes the best aspects the genre has to offer. With singular, serene and soft guitar lines, a configuration of sonorous walls that grows from the sincere stylish leniency of the group and a marvelous sense of timing that knows from instinct what has to be done, Stone Age Mammoth has a formidable artistic security and a powerful domain over the genre, that comes out naturally. Revealing itself as a graceful masterpiece as the album evolves and revolves around its own atmosphere of calmness, omniscience and existential perception, the glorious creativity of the group certainly highlights them among other bands of the genre. With a singular conjuncture of sonorous qualities, Earthborn deserves to be greatly regarded, widely appreciated and publicized as the wonderful and fantastic work of art that truly is.
ColdWorld - Nostalgia
Nostalgia is an EP released on July 23 by German black metal artist ColdWorld. With five tracks – Cosmos Devourer, Demon Speed, The Dark Ages, Let The Devil In and Silva Nigra – the EP, almost twenty six minutes long, is concise. Exceedingly beautiful, with the typical elegance that is an engraved milestone of the artist, the proverbial guitar lines and the poetic harmonies anticipates the general conflagration of its overall majestic serenity, deeply fulgurated with the sensible character of its everlasting, elegant and somber horizon of artistry. With rapid passages that are profoundly surrounded by graciously atmospheric interludes, the music on Nostalgia is overloaded with the imperial fragrances of its own rudimentary darkness, that is sustained by a lucid and dense, but marvelously whimsical ferocious resentment, whose vitality extrapolates the shadows of its own arrogant beauty. With everlasting precipices of color surrounding the rhythmic fortunes of the songs, I must confess that I wasn’t particularly overwhelmed by this work. Nevertheless, Nostalgia has all the elements that are characteristic of a ColdWorld work, and, to a certain extent, has enough qualities to be deemed valuable for its sincere and splendid level of singularity.
Phet - Return
post rock / experimental
Return is a three tracks EP released on July 25, by a musician from India, who works under the nom de plume of Phet. With three marvelous songs – Return, Distance and Liberation – Phet works very distinctively the interior perception of the harmonies, to articulate an ascendant, protuberant and expansive, but at the same time discreet, lucid and introspective degree of sonorous exhilaration. With a pungent, incisive axis of conscious melodic devices, correctly assimilated by the lenient, but purposeful stability of its glorious symbiosis of organic dissonances, that seems lethargic at first, the intrinsic nature of the rhythmic serenity that grows within this musical horizon slowly works towards the digressive elements of the harmonies, revolving around a certain complexity that obliterates the cosmic volatility of its formidably eloquent style. With a futurist, colorful, modernist musical approach that made the external shape of the songs, indeed, to sound in an exceedingly beautiful and elegant fashion, Return can be positively described as a very gracious, audacious and original work of art. The last track, Liberation, I would certainly highlight as my favorite. If you want to listen to something very surprising, astute and genuine, I definitely recommend this marvelous and surreal EP.
Federico Dal Pozzo - Untitled_VNZ
ambient / experimental / noise
Deadsmoke - Forest Of The Damned
doom / sludge metal
Antoine Panaché - Pleasures
experimental / avant garde
Misantronics - Zührpruym
drone / electronic / ambient
Woes - The Coldest Place Is Within Myself
hardcore / crust / black metal
Brass Owl - Brass Owl
psychedelic rock / stoner rock
Dead Man's Eyes - Words of Prey
indie / alternative rock / psychedelic rock
Jübl - Thinking Sweet
dream pop / trip hop
Autger - Eucharistia, Praedestinatio Gemina
dark ambient / neoclassical / dark jazz
Dr Space - Dr Space's Alien Planet Trip Vol 1
krautrock / psychedelic rock
A Scar For The Wicked - The Unholy
death metal / deathcore
Stelios Ventas - Faded Flower
Feelament - Hate Delivery
Founded in 2005, Indian company Transcending Obscurity has grown from a small pr-business to a worldwide acclaimed metal label. Their output is hugely impressive and many of their albums are unique masterpieces. The hardworking people behind the label do everything in their power to spread the word of extreme metal to the audience in a convenient and friendly way. We get heaps of mails from them, promoting new albums, but we don't always get the chance to pull them from beneath the massive pile of albums to be reviewed. So, to show our respect and support, we thought a big ass Brieviews Special would be a great idea. Here is a selection of fine tunes from Transcending Obscurity but feel free to browse their bandcamp and find whatever suits you. I'm damn sure you will...
Crawl - Rituals
Lurk - Fringe
doom / sludge metal
Sathanas - Necrohymns
black metal / thrash
Gaerea - Unsettling Whispers
Down Among The Dead Men - ...And You Will Obey Me
death metal / crust
Sadistik Forest - Morbid Majesties
Nigredo - Flesh Torn - Spirit Pierced
Arkheth - 12 Winter Moons Comes The Witches Brew
(*) Apparently, flat earthers now claim that Australia is an elaborate hoax. (read)
De Profundis - The Blinding Light Of Faith
Depravity - Evil Upheaval
Greytomb - Monumental Microcosm
Jupiterian - Terraforming
doom / sludge metal
Warcrab - Scars of Aeons
sludge / death metal
Norse - The Divine Light Of A New Sun
Somnium Nox - Terra Inanis
An Evening With Knives - Serrated
post-metal / doom / alternative rock
Autger - God Kissing Carrion
dark jazz / ambient / experimental / trip hop
Lamirāl - This EP Has No Name And It's Alright
Gray Dog - The Deal
Paulie Jan - Yukio (A Brief Sonic Evocation)
dark ambient / noise
Lachrymose - The Unseen
doom / occult metal
Disowning - Battle of Neverness
Gravecoven - Coughing Blood
black metal / doom / death metal
Vandal Moon - Wild Insane
post punk / synth pop
Sense Fracture - In My Escape I look For A Weapon
breakcore / industrial
Richard James Simpson - Sweet Birds Of Youth
alternative rock / blues
style of Tool and quite a bit of grunge - vocals that remind of Cobain included. So go buy this one if you appreciate something that refuses to fit into one box.
Nhung Nguyen – Oblivion
ambient / experimental
White Hills & Der Blutharsch And The Infinite Church Of The Leading Hand - Desire
krautrock / psychedelic
Der Blutharsch And The Infinite Church Of The Leading Hand & Derniere Volonté
psychedelic rock / krautrock / neo folk
Pink Cocoon - Alienation
doom / blues
JK Flesh – Wasplike
Moloch - The Other Side
electronic / darkwave
Burning House - Tracer
Eye of the Destroyer - Violent By Design
Alexandre Navarro - Imaginations
ambient / downtempo / post rock
Valyria - Into the Dying of Time
death metal / power metal
Anthony - Get Over U
americana / alternative rock / indie
Eyes on the Machine - Eyes on the Machine
progressive / death metal / black metal
Right, time to dive into the pummeling world of metallic extremism again, and what better way to do it than with an album like this one. I don't really know what "Mot" means in Italian or English but in Dutch "een mot op uw bakkes" means "a punch in the face". Actually, that pretty much describes this album.
Thirty five minutes long, this release by Italian metalers Will 'O' Wisp is a complex, multi layered and awe-inspiring piece of death metal. It's laced with influences, not only from black and death metal but also many other metal subgenres and then there's even more.
From the very beginning this album smashes your eardrums to pieces. Most of the time they do that with mindbending death metal, seemingly inspired by acts like Nile, Krisiun and Dimmu Borgir. Fierce guitars, an array of growls and screams and an overpowering drums attack will mercilessly assault your sanity. But, like I said, there is more. How about influences from good old fashioned thrash metal, the likes of Kreator, Testament and Slayer? These tunes contain some intense riffs.
To top it off, Will 'O' Wisp added heaps of orchestral instrumentation and atmospheric synths, ranging from ancient horror movies soundtracks to bombastic classical compositions. This must have been an amazing journey to write, rehearse and record. Getting all these elements together in such a coherent way is definitely not an easy task but somehow these Italians have pulled it off. In all 'Mot' is a mesmerizing piece of extreme metal, one that obviously comes highly recommended.
Polish extremist Kingdom have been slashing and grinding their way through the brutal underground for many years. Their new album does not show any sign of slowing down, on the exact contrary. With 'Putrescent Remains of the Dead Ground' Kingdom delivers an intense and punishing death metal album, here and there enhanced by blackened elements and even influences from sludge metal. Yet, above all, this is one deliciously putrid extreme metal album, one that every fan of the genre can easily appreciate. So prepare yourself for an epic death metal beatdown the size you have rarely experience before.
The album contains eight tracks, most of them rather short. Yet, the sheer speed and brutality of the whole thing is so suffocating that those eight tracks will probably be more than enough to stomp you into a bloody pulp. 'Walls of Askalon' quickly lures you in, grabs you by the throat and throws you wall-to-wall until you beg for mercy. 'Putrescent Remains' knows no mercy. In fact, none of these tracks to. Most of the track here drive on machine gun snare drums and piercing riffs so ultimate deletion is inevitable.
'Black Light to the Rotten Wombs of Disgrace' is my personal favorite. It's one of those tracks that will kick you face down in a puddle of mud, intestines, vomit and blood and shove you around in there for a few minutes. And you'll love it. You'll love the punishment Kingdom delivers. Like I mentioned in the opening paragraph, every fan of brutal and high speed death metal can easily appreciate this. In the end, the pulverising 'Karma Slayer' and the cover of Immortal's 'Blashyrkh' beautifully finish the job, but you might already be dead by then...