Pelagos – Revolve

Finnish band Pelagos just started a multifaceted melancholic music journey that aims to enchant the listeners with the enigmatic nuances of the debut full length “Revolve”.

“Code” opens the album with eclectic arrangements that naturally shift from futuristic ambient style to ethereal harmonies fully embracing the soft vocal delivery yet guitars will eventually emerge through the calm atmospheres to create a smooth melodic crescendo.

The minimalist guitar melodies on “River (Proxima Centauri)” hold a primary role in the creation of serene soundscapes where luminous atmospheric arrangements and electro accents effortlessly evoke a moody emotive whirlwind.

Everything flows like in a daydream on “Aphrodite’s Shore” with the elegant rock tonalities of crispy guitars gently surrounded by intricate atmospheres that will often acquire a darker solemn energy.

The soothing atmospheres on “Sea Of Tranquillity” certainly match the song’s title as gentle guitar phrases with subtle prog rock vibes appear to be immersed in spacey electronic layers leading to cosmic relaxation.

“Muted Stars” offers delicate aesthetics as the band skillfully blends polychromatic arrangements, whispered narratives and polished guitar melodies that seem to float freely through hazy soundscapes.

Overall, far from being an average debut album “Revolve” shines for the surreal cinematic arrangements as all the music carefully composed by Pelagos seem to emerge spontaneously from a limbo between space and water.

 

Wilt – Ruin

Manitoba atmospheric black metal band Wilt spent three years working hard on the genesis of the new concept album “Ruin” inspired by Cormac McCarthy’s 2006, post-apocalyptic novel “The Road”.

On “Into The Unknown” everything is bleak and we are trapped in the longest winter as melodic guitars constantly showcase cold saddened tonalities that soon will inevitably embrace a harsher cascadian rhythm but never really leave behind the immense desolation.

“We Read The World Wrong” immediately delivers a solid round of undiluted blackened dynamics that certainly bear the influence of decades of familiar old school black metal while favoring the modern atmospheric approach with loads of impossibly gloomy guitar melodies.

“Veil Of Gold” feels utterly dramatic with a slower introspective melodic ensemble where guitars once again tend to shine concocting an extensive tormented melodic grandeur accompanied by absolutely desperate vocals.

Staying true to the darkest elements and overwhelming anguish of atmospheric black metal on “Ruin” Wilt crafts a cohesive blackened core with few melodic hints resulting in a rather deliberately depressing collection of lengthy songs.

Madder Mortem – Marrow

Even if the current metal scene feels rather crowded a unique band like Norway’s Madder Mortem will always stand out for the ambitious multifaceted songwriting approach and the genuine desire to challenge standard genre boundaries. The result of Madder Mortem zealous music exploration and dauntless creativity is the new opus “Marrow” which from beginning to end demands your utmost attention.

The initial intriguing bass lines of “Liberator” foreshadow an eclectic sonic realm as Madder Mortem embarks on a stylish music journey making their own rules and offering moments of profound melancholy mixed with a series of dense guitar driven grooves that ensure an energetic heavy rhythmic core while the extraordinary vocalist Agnete effortlessly shifts from bold delivery to smooth harmonies.

“Until You Return” feels quite romantic with the perfect dosage of dreamy melodic guitar progressions that naturally accompany Agnete’s haunting voice and once again she proves to be a brilliant vocalist as her talent truly renders this track particularly enchanting. In the midst of waves of of sheer melancholia intensely distorted guitars and strong bass phrases often increase the dark and heavier aspects of this song.   

“My Will Be Done” becomes immediately darker as sharp guitar riffs and a relentless rhythmic section borrow the bold patterns of extreme metal, an influence evidently enhanced also by the fiery growls, yet there is an underlying complexity that spontaneously blend diverse primordial and modern tones.

The title track begins with thrilling heavy guitar blasts but will morph into a more delicate, at times absolutely ethereal, ensemble where unusual melodic segments and Agnete’s poetic vocals will create a surreal sonic realm that will return throughout the song creating a perennial contrast with the darkened doom moments.

The fierce guitar riffs of “White Snow, Red Shadows” are simply irresistible leading to memorable grooves and wild syncopated rhythms yet despite the song’s intricacy fueled by the several remarkable tempo/style variations there is a main melodic momentum that, graciously embellished by Agnete’s vibrant vocals, will become addictive at the first listening.

“Waiting To Fall” is a particularly complex track that might not have an immediate impact as there is a lot going on. Starting with a generous dose of Nordic melancholia and refined melodies, that will recur with growing urgency, the song will often embrace an enigmatic darkness amplified by the grave doom metal tonalities of the harsh guitar riffs while the contemplative dramatic moments are always enriched by Agnete’s passionate vocals.

It’s a great pleasure to see Madder Mortem in excellent shape on the new dazzling effort “Marrow” which feels like another fascinating milestone in the band’s sonic evolution bringing refreshing creative dynamics & avant-garde tonalities to the naturally darkened essence that thrives in each song.

Monster Magnet Live in Chicago

We’ve been anxiously waiting too many years but Monster Magnet is finally touring in North America supporting the new brilliant album “Mindfucker”. The legendary true rocker Mr. Dave Wyndorf and his talented band offered a stellar live performance at Bottom Lounge in Chicago opening the show with the stoner rock attitude of the classic track “Dopes To Infinity”. The faithful fans really loved also the new songs “Rocket Freak”, “Soul”, “When The Hammer Comes Down” and, as expected, went wild during the timeless hits “Space Lord”, “Powertrip” and “Negasonic Teenage Warhead”. When Monster Magnet performed the iconic & unforgettable “Spine Of God” Dave effortlessly hypnotized the entire audience guiding us through a profound space trip. We really hope to see again Monster Magnet as soon as possible, meanwhile don’t miss a chance to catch them live now on this North American tour!

Electric Citizen Live in Chicago

Cincinnati based rockers Electric Citizen celebrate the release of the new album “Helltown”, available via Riding Easy Records, carrying the torch for 70s heavy rock with their energetic live performance at Bottom Lounge in Chicago. Don’t miss Electric Citizen on tour now across North America with the mighty Monster Magnet!

Skogen – Skuggorna Kallar

Swedish blackened folk metal band Skogen are ready to spread immense melancholy and Nordic atmospheres on the new release “Skuggorna Kallar”.

While channeling all kinds of dark nuances “Det Nordkisa Morkret” focuses mainly on melancholic soundscapes, lost in the middle of a forest on a gelid winter day, as guitars craft mellow melodies surrounded by cold heartbreaking atmospheres while blackened dynamics tend to linger in the background providing steady riffing.

“Nebula” showcases hints of hellish black metal with ominous growls but the instrumental passages tend to follow a calmer melodic approach and a sorrowful mood as graceful folk oriented acoustic phrases hold a primary role in the song’s structure.

“Frostland” feels more aggressive with a feverish guitar riffing keeping a rather obscure rhythmic backbone enhanced by the occasional fiery growls while lead guitars channel pure darkness with elegantly somber melodic progressions.

“The Suns Blood” emerges from a sonic realm of uncompromising darkness as guitar riffs acquire extra cold gritty tonalities and the solo is accompanied by an overwhelming sense of despair fully expressed also by the poetic clean chants and the contrasting ravenous growls nevertheless the final minimalist acoustic passages channel a distant serenity.

Like a hymn to endless darkness “The Funeral” is bound to feel more depressing and desolate as soft acoustic guitars lead the way to a sunless soundscape where lavish and desperate guitar melodies create monochromatic textures leading to introspective atmospheric moments carefully crafted by hazy keyboards.

Overall, Skogen’s fifth album “Skuggorna Kallar” is a cohesive effort that skillfully blends primordial black metal vibes and enchanting folk nuances ultimately evoking the wintry beauty of Nordic landscapes.

Epica – Epica vs. Attack On Titan

Undoubtedly Dutch symphonic metal masters Epica have been unstoppable conquering the hearts of so many fans worldwide and they have also proven to be workaholic musicians. This time they are ready to surprise the audience with an unusual work of music as Epica’s latest offering is a special covers EP entitled “Epica vs. Attack On Titan”, previously available only in Japan, which features four metal versions, available also as instrumentals, of the theme songs from the highly successful manga series turned worldwide aired anime “Attack On Titan”.

“Crimson Bow And Arrow” opens with the expected overdose of magnificent operatic choirs further enhanced by massive detailed orchestrations as keyboards become particularly crucial in the song’s structure offering impressive soloing moments while Simone delivers her signature passionate vocals that always delight the fans. The theatrical narratives accompanied by an intense combo of guitar riffing and keyboards layers also increase the epic nature of this track.

“Wings Of Freedom” begins with monumental chants followed by a winning series of melodic phrases yet the song will pick up speed with massive drumming and soaring guitar riffs accompanied by Mark’s venomous growls but will never sacrifice its inner theatrical grandeur with plenty of charming & eclectic orchestral arrangements.

“If Inside These Walls Was A House” is the most dramatic track focusing on gentle atmospheric arrangements and a softer ballad style approach yet symphonic textures will eventually take over.

“Dedicate Your Heart!” can deliver fierce rhythmic crescendos constantly embellished by Simone’s charismatic delivery and sumptuous choirs while the instrumental passages shine once again for the vibrant and diverse keyboards arrangements.

While waiting for the next full length Epica’s fans will enjoy the majestic arrangements, very much in the band’s beloved signature style, that render this collection of Japanese anime-songs quite unique.