The Wizards – Full Moon In Scorpio

Spanish rock band The Wizards must have found the right inspiration to create the new album “Full Moon In Scorpio” after ‘several intense sessions of drug abuse and hard liquor-drinking marathons at backyard parties’.

“Avidja” introduces the vintage mood of this album as we are stuck in the ‘70s and ready to party all night while chunky guitar riffs confidently keep healthy rock grooves throughout the song.

“Calliope (Cosmic Revelations)” continues to impress with charismatic thick guitar riffing and wild exciting guitar soloing as the whole instrumentation keep a solid enjoyable rhythmic backbone.

“Stardust” still offers gritty spacey grooves but definitely channels traditional ‘70s doom dynamics as tempo and guitars slow down to acquire monolithic weight and darkened dramatic nuances without sacrificing the inner thunderous rock soul.

“When We Were Gods” showcases subtle occult rock nuances and is certainly filled with cathartic darkness. With undeniable passion, vocals pay tribute to Danzig and guitars craft beautiful decadent melodies but there is still space for intense retro rock guitar solos and savage grooves.

The retro rock revival never ceases to amaze and The Wizards demonstrate to know what ‘70s rock is supposed to sound like in fact “Full Moon In Scorpio” turns out to be a wild entertaining album.

Helfir – The Human Defeat

Italian multi-instrumentalist Luca Mazzotta’s solo project Helfir is ready to release the second album “The Human Defeat”.

“Time In Our Minds” immediately showcases Luca’s genuine passion for music. While the style is not astonishingly innovative, this track feature a series of lovely melancholy infused guitar melodies with a crispy clear sound and a mix of growls and clean emotional vocal delivery.

“Light” offers great atmospheric layers and immense melancholy clearly embedded in the well executed soothing arpeggios and whispered vocals.

“Tide” continues to follow a highly melancholic pathway and accessible smooth guitar melodies channel gloomy rainy landscapes and reach a natural acme with an intense guitar solo.

“Chant D’Automne” evokes an elegant emotional sonic palette with fragile lovely arpeggios and relaxed yet highly nostalgic atmospheres.

“Mechanical God” keeps similar nostalgic themes with some heavier guitar driven moments but relies mainly on loads of modern atmospheric electro arrangements.

Overall, “The Human Defeat” holds a pleasant melodic soul and certainly features strong gothic metal influences but tends to go beyond those safe boundaries with the addition of atmospheric/ambient layers.

Chiral – Gazing Light Eternity

Italian one-man band Chiral has released an atmospheric post-black metal album entitled “Gazing Light Eternity”.

“Part I (The Gazer)” kicks off with subtle darkened atmosphere and soon gains ominous rhythmic momentum with steady soaring old school black metal elements but also showcases additional variety with calmer somber guitar melodies.

“Part II (The Haze)” leaves behind the typical black metal fury and crafts quiet melancholic arpeggios surrounded by soothing sorrowful atmospheric layers.

“Part V (The Gazer’s Throne)” showcases a gothic tinged emotional palette perfectly expressed in the minimalist yet quite soulful acoustic guitars and shoegaze oriented mood.

“Gazing Light Eternity” is a cohesive music effort with scattered creative moments and even if there are some raw asphyxiating soundscapes that channel familiar and successful black metal acts Chiral also creates elegant moody acoustic melodies.

Schammasch – The Maldoror Chants: Hermaphrodite

Swiss avant-garde post-metal band Schammasch has great endeavors in my mind and the new EP “The Maldoror Chants: Hermaphrodite” is the first in line of a bigger opus based on the 19th century dark literary work and foundation of the surrealist movement “Les Chants De Maldoror”.

“Prologue” introduces the listeners to an obscure realm and enigmatic spoken words feel like an endless archaic spell through super thick darkened atmospheric layers.

“The Weighty Burden Of An Eternal Secret” feels insanely heavy with a true avant-garde approach and slow hazy soundscapes while mysterious shoegaze style guitar melodies emerge from darker depths to linger through blurry atmospheric layers.

“May His Illusion Last Until Dawn’s Awakening” feels majestic with solemn theatrical vocals and atmospheres but will immediately stand out for the graceful dark guitar melodies that channel intoxicating poetry and otherworldly gothic melancholy.

“Chimerical Hope” combines the primal fury of traditional black metal and the introspective quality of shoegaze melodies as monolithic drums and relentless guitar riffs channel feeling of desolation and anguish.

Besides the enthralling literary themes and the artistic experimental approach chosen by Schammasch, “The Maldoror Chants: Hermaphrodite” is a unique confident work of music infused with an immense darkness and decadence that we all must embrace.

Exist – So True, So Bound

Fronted by Max Phelps, touring member of Cynic and Defeated Sanity, Maryland based technical death metal band Exist has released a captivating complex album “So True, So Bound” which will immediately stand out for the mature progressive music approach.

“Take My Picture” certainly has an experimental yet highly melodic soul with charismatic jazzy & prog oriented guitar leads that often and rightfully steal the spotlight but features also a series of chunky aggressive riffing patterns.

“So True – Imitation’s Flattery” amplifies the melodic aspects with soothing almost uplifting clean vocals nevertheless there is a constant use of crunchy guitar riffs that add a solid death metal backbone while lead guitars relentlessly create multidimensional harmonies.
“So Bound – One of the Herd” offers intricate rhythmic tapestries, often with punishing tempo variations, and certainly guitars continue to surprise the listeners with enigmatic technical prowess and surreal melodies.
Featuring ex Death guitarist Bobby Koelble “To Sever the Strings” is a lengthy multifaceted track that fearlessly delivers another round of spacey music experimentations that blend heavier death metal elements with several brutal momentums and lighter melodic themes.

With enhanced progressive compositions “Fault’s Peaks” shines for the strong bass lines and intricate guitar work that often channels cathartic atmospheric and emotional scenarios.

Featuring experienced musicians Exist might still be considered a young emerging band but “So True, So Bound” showcases talented musicianship and terrific instrumental acrobatics.

Pristine – Ninja

Norwegian rock band Pristine is ready to release the latest effort “Ninja” which aims to conquer new fans worldwide with an explosive vintage rock groove.

“You Are The One” has what it takes to become a hit. Besides the catchy melodic core and the seriously passionate vocals, the highlights will be found in the funky rhythmic sections and the trippy ‘70s influenced guitars & organ combo.

“Sophia” amplifies further the funky bass lines and vocalist Heidi Solheim continues to impress with an intense performance while organ and guitars will lead the listeners through a spacey nostalgic trip.

“The Rebel Song” is on fire with upbeat rhythm, irresistible vintage rock raw grooves and the wild retro melodic guitar and organ soloing deserves the listeners’ full attention.

“The Parade” sounds like a rock summer festival anthem with a love & peace mood, loads of pleasant melodies and exquisite retro rock vibes deeply embedded in the guitar work and organ layers.

The title track immediately offers a healthy dosage of psychedelic melodic phrases courtesy of the true vintage organ sound that dominates the entire song and the guitars are absolutely capable to follow such nostalgic groovy trip.

Certainly “Ninja” owes part of its strength to vocalist Heidi’s soulful performance and the whole band is obviously working hard to improve songwriting skills and achieve a distinct mature sound.

Tengger Cavalry – Die On My Ride

Nomadic folk metal band Tengger Cavalry is ready to explore further exotic music territories with the new album “Die On My Ride”.

The title track emphasizes immediately the importance of traditional instrumentation to achieve a distinct range of sounds. While there are some familiar metal oriented grooves and elegant mellow melodies, the ancient Mongolian tradition of ‘throat singing’ feels very creative.

“Independence Day” features raw crunchy guitar driven grooves mixed with eclectic instrumental passages that channel a palpable folk spiritual aura and deliver bright soothing melodies.

“To The Sky” feels extremely spontaneous, stripped of any redundant special effect it revolves around minimalist yet stylish melodies shifting effortlessly from acoustic to groovy rock segments.

“Cursed” confidently amplifies the folk metal approach with heavier guitar riffs but traditional instruments continue to add more intriguing magical vibes.

“The Choice Of My Mind” evokes intense feelings of tranquility and melancholy with minimalist arpeggios and ethereal melodic tapestries.

“Me Against Me” skillfully blends thick acidic rock vibes and tasteful folk guitar melodies that evoke visions of pristine landscapes.

Tengger Cavalry’s music style is certainly far from average categories and the traditional Mongolian folk that plays a major role on “Die On My Ride” renders the whole album a rather bizarre and unique music experience.

Sabbath Assembly – Rites Of Passage

Sabbath Assembly is often categorized as a psychedelic doom or even occult rock band but the new album “Rites Of Passage” features lyrical themes regarding the complexity of the transitional stages of life and a mature music approach that frequently goes beyond such simplistic tags.

“Shadows Revenge” offers up-tempo psychedelic grooves that sound rather catchy despite the underlying dissonant melodic core while the overall darkened vibe is easily amplified by the somber guitar melodies and enchanting vocals.

“Angels Trumpets” feels quite introspective and captivating with a series of lovable harmonies while guitars confidently acquire a heavy traditional doom vibe that flawlessly match the amplified deeper occult atmospheric layers and spellbinding vocals.

On the darkly slow paced “I Must Be Gone” the vocals are particularly seductive creating a graceful emotional palette and the moody guitar melodies add a deliberate trance effect but later guitars gain heavier momentum as well as atmospheric psychedelic rock elements.

“The Bride Of Darkness” stands out for the bewitching poetic nuances and a gloomy aura that enhances the occult rock themes, guitars can be exquisitely eerie with a stylish doom core and the whole instrumentation appears to be infused with a perennial arcane mood.

The whole mystical mood and darkened nuances of “Rites Of Passage” will inevitably attract a specific audience but this is also a highly melodic album with multifaceted influences that effortlessly crosses music boundaries.

Avatarium – Hurricanes And Halos

Founded by Leif Edling of Candlemass, Swedish band Avatarium crafts an intriguing blend of doom and retro rock mood in the latest effort “Hurricanes And Halos”.

“Into The Fire – Into The Storm” is a winning opener with loads of thick guitar riffs channeling charismatic energy that amplifies the subtle doom elements while the retro style becomes particularly dominant with the kaleidoscopic organ solo.

“The Starless Sleep” is one of the most compelling tracks of the album with a darkened inner soul but also plenty of enjoyable catchy melodies that channel an irresistible 60’s mood. Vocalist Jennie-Ann delivers an impressive passionate performance and the stylish melodic rock guitar work matches the ensemble of somber emotions.

“The Sky At The Bottom Of The Sea” certainly has a poetic mood embedded in the melodies and the powerful vocals. Avatarium delivers an explosive series of guitar riffs that showcases echoes of traditional doom while the retro sound especially palpable in the lovely guitar solos captures a deep sense of nostalgic rock roots.

“A Kiss (From The End Of The World)” starts with an intro of melancholic arpeggios and evolves into a doom somber tune with intense guitar driven grooves while Jennie-Ann confidently demonstrates her vocal prowess with dramatic yet soothing delivery. The highlight of this track is definitely the mystifying slow melodic breakdown with stunning spacey guitars characterized by immense retro psychedelic force.

Overall, Avatarium deserves a big audience as “Hurricanes And Halos” is an exciting cohesive album that stands out for the accessible yet eclectic melodic core and the exquisite vintage style.