Arrival Of Autumn – Harbinger

Canadian metallers Arrival Of Autumn proudly presents to the world their debut full length “Harbinger” offering an intense mixture of groovy moments and bleak apocalyptic soundscapes.

On “Hurricane On The Horizon” there is a cool blend of polished somber melodies featuring interesting guitar progressions and insanely heavy patterns amplified by enraged vocals as the overall energy is fueled by the evident metalcore attitude.

“End Of Existence” follows a similar groovy music pathway as guitars naturally shift from explosive riffs marching through intriguing rhythmic variations to smooth melodic textures and wild soloing.

On “Witness” brutal guitar driven grooves continue to feel fundamental within the song’s structure leading to steady metalcore dynamics and angered screams yet leaving some space for calmer pensive moments enhanced by hazy atmospheres and clean vocals.

Undoubtedly “Better Off Without” stands out for the charismatic guitar solos and the creepy atmospheric tapestries that evoke the album’s apocalyptic themes just like the grim guitar tonalities and the contemplative clean vocals in contrast with a consistent series of aggressive rhythmic segments enhanced by the ferocious vocal delivery and the crunchy riffage.

While “The Endless” is clearly characterized by a fierce heavy & fast rhythmic core the song benefits greatly from the intricate melodic waves carefully crafted by the impressive lead guitar work and the melancholic atmospheres plus the extra catchy chorus will get stuck in your head.

The album’s grand finale comes with the dismal melodic guitars of “Apocalyptic” that still offers many raw energetic grooves dictated by the belligerent drum blasts but often slows down to rightfully emphasize the dramatic atmospheric textures and the darkened harmonies.  

For a young emerging band like Arrival Of Autumn the main goal is to attract an audience in the chaotic metal scene and the fiery yet approachable soundscapes of “Harbinger” will certainly give them a chance to get noticed.

Cellar Darling – The Spell

Back in 2017 Cellar Darling shared their powerful music vision with the debut album “This Is The Sound” and now the time has come to embark on a new journey symbolized by the sophomore full length “The Spell” which is also a dark fairytale telling the story of an unnamed girl who falls in love with death.  

The album opener “Pain” aptly puts a spell on you with the magical folk arrangements and hurdy-gurdy melodies accompanied by the elegant vocal delivery leading to peaceful feelings in contrast with the heavier rhythmic momentum fully expressed by the crunchy guitar riffs.

While on “Death” guitars can often acquire heavy darkened tonalities the compelling melodic depth comes from the otherworldly flute melodies and the lavish multifaceted vocal harmonies that shift from the catchy delivery of the chorus to the softer introspective delivery.

The title track features immensely melancholic soundscapes as the whole melodic ensemble craft intricate instrumental passages that benefit from the mixture of daydreaming folk nuances and somber guitar work while Anna’s simply spellbinding vocals render this track particularly sophisticated.  

On “Burn” guitars have a delicious edgy rock mood that leads to heavy and utterly eerie grooves following bold rhythmic dynamics but there are also dramatic moments enhanced by the darkly heartfelt melodies and dreamlike atmospheric arrangements.

“Insomnia” shines for the heavier prog influences of the galloping guitar riffs and the eclectic rhythmic variations without sacrificing the inner pensive melodic nature that once again is intensely emphasized by the impeccable warm vocals and the ethereal piano passages.

“Drown” can feel like an immersive sonic experience as well as a dreamy ballad with subtle atmospheric accents and the calming sound of the sea but also features profoundly darkened themes amplified by the gritty guitar riffage in the background while the hurdy-gurdy obviously adds a graceful folk aura.   

On “Death Pt. II” emotions become an essential part of the song that inevitably acquires a profoundly melancholic mood allowing Anna’s voice to take the spotlight with a particularly moving performance accompanied by the sheer beauty of enchanting piano melodies.  

In just few years Cellar Darling have already developed a unique music style that becomes even more fascinating and complex blending edgy prog elements and magical folk themes on “The Spell” which ultimately confirms that the band has great potential to stand out in the current metal scene.

Mark Morton – Anesthetic

Renowned guitarist of Lamb of God Mark Morton has crafted his first solo record entitled “Anesthetic” exploring diverse music styles with total creative freedom and collaborating with several acclaimed musicians and vocalists from the metal/rock scene.

“Cross Off” is the song that everybody has been curious to hear since it features Chester Bennington as guest vocalist and definitely the vocals here steal the spotlight with a passionate and at times even savage delivery supported by massive groovy guitar riffs as well as softer deeply melancholic passages.

“Sworn Apart” marks another major groovy moment with a subtle modern metal approach featuring Jacoby Shaddix of Papa Roach on vocals and a winning mixture of crunchy rhythmic dynamics and melodic elements particularly dominant in the accessible chorus.  

With its Southern rock vibes “Axis” might surprise the listeners but is actually one of the most interesting tracks featuring the unmistakable charming voice of Mark Lanegan that constantly amplifies the warm bluesy tonalities of the guitar melodies and charismatic soloing.

“The Never” packs a more aggressive punch with killer thrash elements which is definitely expected since the guest vocalist is the one & only Chuck Billy of legendary Testament and his monumental signature vocals successfully enhance the darkened grooves crafted by galloping guitar riffs and pummeling drums.

When “Save Defiance” begins you can instantly perceive a change of style as guitars diligently channel classic rock vibes and guest vocalist Myles Kennedy is the perfect choice to embody the catchy rock spirit of the song.

Featuring Randy Blythe of Lamb Of God and Alissa White-Gluz of Arch Enemy “The Truth Is Dead” begins with calm melodies and soothing vocal harmonies but the rest of the song feels like a full blown metal anthem with steady sharp guitar riffs and diabolical growls supported by an intense rhythmic section.

Certainly the intriguing sonic diversity of “Anesthetic” comes from the various artistic collaborations that lead to unique flavors in each song but also from the fact that Mark Morton doesn’t necessarily play it safe and is often willing to push boundaries.

Twin Temple – Bring You Their Signature Sound…Satanic Doo-Wop

L.A. Satanic doo-wop duo Twin Temple make their official debut with the album “Twin Temple Bring You Their Signature Sound…Satanic Doo-Wop” which is bound to trigger curiosity with the unusual blend of Luciferian worship and vintage music style.

The sound of “The Devil (Didn’t Make Me Do It)” is incredibly nostalgic and distant from what we’re used to listen to in the modern music scene with the unique spellbinding vocals and the raw guitar tonalities following a fun upbeat rhythm.

“Lucifer, My Love” is a love song clearly dedicated to Lucifer so there is a certain degree of sheer romanticism and decadence within the languid guitar melodies and dreamy ballad vibes that are certainly enriched by the sultry vocal delivery.

“I Know How To Hex You” might be a curse but doesn’t sound particularly evil as the mix of smooth guitars and jazzy dynamics makes you want to dance and could even put you in a good mood.

“I’m Wicked” relies on warm guitar melodies and enjoyable trumpets following a softer & slower rhythm embellished by charming piano passages while vocals naturally shift from voluptuous whispers to strong rocker delivery.

On “Let’s Hang Together” the vocals sound pleasantly playful and definitely take the center stage once again diligently accompanied by the shimmering melodies of the utterly wistful instrumental ensemble.

“Bring You Their Signature Sound…Satanic Doo-Wop” truly sounds like an old vinyl from 1950 with its old school recording and lack of any special effects and you can easily tell that Twin Temple has the ability to carry the torch for classic rock ‘n’ roll obviously with the addition of occult themes.

Týr – Hel

Representing Scandinavian metal since over two decades Týr return with the anticipated eighth full length “Hel” which naturally stays true to the band’s progressive folk metal style and delivers loads of compelling detailed melodic tapestries.

“Gates Of Hel” immediately evokes the massive epic vibes that will recur throughout the entire album starting with graceful polished guitar melodies that introduce entertaining power metal tinged heavy grooves while the irresistible Nordic melancholia will always influence the passionate vocal delivery and the intricate guitar soloing.

“All Heroes Fall” continues to embody the album’s epic grandeur with fierce rhythmic segments and solemn vocals while the melodic aspects revolve around profoundly somber feelings and tasteful guitar progressions featuring truly impressive solos.

“Ragnars Kvæõi” is a traditional Faroese ballad yet the rhythm doesn’t slow down drastically  but certainly the ancient folk spirit is essential deeply influencing the dramatic vocal delivery and the melodious beauty of the guitar leads generating another immensely epic momentum.

Without necessarily sounding like a standard metal ballad “Sunset Shore” has all the elements to become a favorite offering a catchy chorus, plenty of softer melancholia infused guitar melodies and crispy tonalities emphasized by the memorable fancy soloing.

“Empire Of The North” features many heavier groovy moments diligently built by the harsh tones of the guitar riffs and the belligerent drumming yet there are some majestic melodic guitar passages that evoke a major sense of nostalgia with luminous nuances.

On “Songs Of War” the compelling lead guitar work is bound to stand out since the very beginning with technical musicianship and complex progressions while the rest of the song provides a fair dosage of heavy & groovy riffage supported by a bold yet not necessarily super fast rhythmic ensemble.

“Álvur Kongur” is another traditional Faroese ballad that elegantly pays homage to the band’s homeland emphasizing the strong folk roots and Nordic aesthetics through a sophisticated composition that favors dreamy atmospheric textures and extensive fascinating guitar melodies.

Ancient myths and traditions of the Faroe Islands always feel prominent throughout “Hel” as Týr aim to create a triumphant series of epic soundscapes confidently combining utterly heavy instrumental passages and refined harmonies.

While She Sleeps – So What?

British quintet While She Sleeps continue to gain popularity with their energetic blend of heavy metalcore and catchy grooves that now more than ever have the potential to reach a wider audience worldwide with the latest full length “So What?”.

The sonic formula behind “Anti-Social” can sound quite frenetic mixing steady sharp guitar riffs and angered screams according to metalcore style but all this doesn’t compromise the essential easier melodic approach of the chorus and the electro layers.

“Inspire” often focuses on crunchy guitar driven grooves still featuring familiar metalcore elements amplified by the scattered heavier segments and furious vocals but the song’s main theme relies on a calmer atmospheric & melodic essence.  

The title track offers loads of brighter melodic moments as guitars tend to acquire modern polished tonalities surrounded by dreamy atmospheres but at times the rage becomes real through galloping guitar riffs and faster drumming.

Certainly “Haunt Me” features some cool guitar riffs that successfully channels the band’s heavier roots while the strong melodic ensemble and consequent catchy chorus this time feel a bit darker accompanied by enjoyable subtle atmospheric arrangements.

On “Elephant” the rhythmic sections become more aggressive evoking darkly enraged feelings clearly amplified by the ravenous screams while the melodic passages are characterized by luminous guitar tonalities and atmospheric serenity that enhance the emotional aspects of the clean vocals.

In the beginning the electro elements of “Gates Of Paradise” create a spacey mood that introduces cohesive rhythmic blasts with galloping metalcore style guitar riffs and a sing along chorus while the significantly slower breakdown features an overload of atmospheric melancholia and smooth clean vocals.

At this point While She Sleeps have developed a precise music style which constantly showcases accessible modern metal dynamics spontaneously leading to impactful grooves and big choruses throughout “So What?”.

Hypocrisy Live in Chicago

Fronted by mastermind Peter Tägtgren Hypocrisy finally return to North America co-headlining the successful “Death …Is Just The Beginning” tour with label mates Fleshgod Apocalypse. It all started back in 1992 and certainly Hypocrisy still hold an influential status in the current metal scene so it was not surprising to see such a large crowd of loyal fans at Bottom Lounge in Chicago. Hypocrisy chose a setlist that definitely represents their signature blend of fast & heavy death metal grooves and darkly melodic depth ranging from the classic tracks “Fractured Millennium”, “The Final Chapter” and “Into The Abyss” to the most recent “End Of Disclosure”.