After the sensational 2017 album “Amber Galactic” Swedish classic/progressive rock supergroup The Night Flight Orchestra, featuring Soilwork’s Bjorn ‘Speed’ Strid and David Andersson, is back for more outer space adventures and ready to deliver the latest effort “Sometimes The World Ain’t Enough” directly from an extraterrestrial orbit.
Introduced by a mysterious aura “This Time” will promptly delight you with an overdose of crunchy guitar riffs that follow a flamboyant party mood and when keyboards start to dominate the song’s structure with all kinds of shimmering arrangements and entertaining bluesy piano it’s time to open a bottle of champagne.
Contrary to the title “Paralyzed” will get you moving with irresistible funky & sexy rhythms with smooth polished guitar work and tons of positive energy while Bjorn’s vocals are simply on fire with a glamorous passionate delivery, so once again it’s party time!
The title track relies heavily on easy pop rhythms particularly emphasized by keyboards artistry with strong ‘80s flavors definitely matched by the hard rock tonalities of crispy melodic guitar work that will inevitably reach the acme with the flamboyant solos.
“Lovers In The Rain” has a ballad style approach as a melancholic mood deeply influences the whole instrumentation significantly slowing down the rhythm to embrace softer romantic melodies and atmospheric keyboards while Bjorn vocals channel nostalgic vibes.
“Can’t Be That Bad” is filled with classic rock guitar driven grooves but the polychromatic good vibes of the keyboards arrangements certainly shift the focus on widely accessible melodies and danceable moments.
Just like the rest of the album “Winged And Serpentine” could have been composed decades ago featuring a super catchy round of guitar riffs which are executed in perfect classic rock fashion with authentic ‘80s tonalities leading to an euphoric memorable chorus.
The longest track “The Last Of The Independent Romantics” is a nostalgic trip that begins with an overdose of extra mellow keyboards melodies and spacey atmospheres but soon guitars will gain refreshing energy delivering gritty rocking riffs followed by the raw energy of Bjorn’s intense vocals and the sparkling licks of the blissful lead guitar work.
With “Sometimes The World Ain’t Enough” you can tell that The Night Flight Orchestra is on a serious mission to keep ‘80s classic rock alive spiced up by cosmic themes and fueled by an obviously strong passion for such unforgettable music genre.
Sometimes the World Aint Enough
Started by Sabaton’s longtime collaborator Ken Kängström, Swedish power metallers Follow The Cipher are eager to reach a wide audience with the debut self titled album which focuses on a renowned & beloved music formula in the metal scene with additional modern twists.
“Enter The Cipher” invites the listeners to join this young band in this bombastic music endeavor opening the album with solemn atmospheric arrangements that create a suspenseful momentum that will lead to a super catchy combo of keyboards and guitars. There are hints of classic symphonic metal in the background with a strong inner melodic essence structured to enhance the charismatic performance of vocalist Linda Toni Grahn.
“Valkyria” focuses more on the electro elements of the band’s style ensuring a modern approach yet the traditional power metal influence remains quite important in the songwriting with the right dosage of triumphant keyboards & guitars melodies within the harsher rhythmic dynamics.
Even if the electro arrangements of “My Soldier” still hold a crucial role the overall atmosphere becomes utterly melancholic with the occasional heartfelt piano melodies and Linda’s emotionally charged vocals which contribute to enhance the song’s melodic power metal ballad aspects.
With a polished wall of sound “The Rising” mixes futuristic vibes and classic power metal riffs to ensure maximum groovy force with a slightly dramatic mood while lead guitars always craft melodic passages amplified in the fancy solo.
“A Mind’s Escape” features loads of soothing melodies which shift from the mellow & catchy vibes of the chorus to a deeper melancholy expressed by soft synths layers and passionate vocals but there are also some epic symphonic moments that will create darker atmospheres.
“Starlight” is meant to be played loud featuring another solid ensemble of powerful guitar riffs, entertaining solo acrobatics and flamboyant keyboards but the whole instrumental formula is certainly spiced up by the fierce growls and a heavier rhythmic section.
This is just the beginning of an exciting journey but Follow The Cipher already have a clear sonic manifesto that will appeal to power metal acolytes as the album mainly relies on melodic hooks and crunchy riffage.
Follow the Cipher
Based in Olympia, Washington black metallers With The End In Mind are finally ready to release the debut full length “Unraveling; Arising” which promises a modern mixture of ferocious blackened blasts and gloomy atmospheres.
There is no escape from the nihilist realm of “Sings The Sky” as the apparent peace evoked by the initial shoegaze inspired combo of hazy atmospheric arrangements and graceful melodic guitars is wiped away by a thunderous blackened force that will eventually conquer the spotlight with unstoppable hectic dynamics.
“From The True Source” almost feels brighter as emotionally charged crystalline guitar melodies and fragile atmospheres become the main focus until the unrestrained blackened energy re-emerges through fierce rhythmic segments, reverb galore and distant ferocious growls.
With growing intensity darkness descends on “Wheeling, Endlessly Wheeling” followed by profoundly melancholic guitar melodies that depict fragile & dreamy soundscapes enhanced by gentle female vocals generating a sense of tranquility that will be abruptly interrupted by blackened fury.
With The End In MInd have just started their music journey and seem to be fully committed to the cascadian atmospheric black metal approach that creates a realm of infinite sadness and asphyxiating rhythms on “Unraveling; Arising”.
Known as one of the most loved and respected bands in the current metal scene YOB returns with the monumental opus “Our Raw Heart” and its genesis is particularly meaningful as it draws inspiration from the recent illness of band’s vocalist/ guitar player Mike Scheidt.
“Ablaze” begins a descent into emotive darkness which certainly bears the mark of doom metal with the towering weight of the whole rhythmic sections but effortlessly deviates from the genre’s expected dynamics as guitars shift from crushing guitar riffs to dreamlike melodic momentum while Mike’s vocals feel uniquely connected to the bleak instrumental passages.
The initial slow enigmatic bass lines and nightmarish atmospheres of “In Reverie” seem to dwell in a surreal limbo between life and death foreshadowing a realm of concrete darkness where guitars constantly amplify the band’s doom roots with impossibly heavy riffage and funereal nuances.
“Beauty In Falling Leaves” offers lavish melodic textures drenched in melancholy or sheer sadness leading to pure emotionally charged vocals and the entire instrumentation deliberately follows a dramatically slower pace to favor the refined guitar melodies which guide the listeners through an anguished sonic maze but will eventually evolve into impulsive heavier crescendos that can undeniably reach the darkest depths of doom metal.
The title track continues an inspiring spiritual journey that at times can feel truly painful as an emotional turmoil influences profoundly the fragile melodic splendor, the harsher doom style progressions and the otherworldly psychedelic guitar work which stands out especially in the song’s final hypnotizing moments.
As the title suggests “Our Raw Heart” is fueled by outpouring authentic emotions which probably contribute the the various uneasy moments scattered throughout these lengthy tracks and YOB demonstrates a rare devotion for music composing incredibly poignant melodies that ultimately go beyond your average modern doom album.
Our Raw Heart
The second release from the mighty Alkaloid, proves that these guys are evolving and growing immensely as musicians. Truly progressive, which seems to not be so common these days.
“Kernel Panic” starts the album off with a very Rush/King Crimson vibe going on. Which then leads into some more traditional death metal elements. It sets the tone for the journey that this album will take you on.
“A Decreed By Laws Unwritten” opens with an absolutely mean riff in the style of Morbid Angel, but more intricate. Even the vocal approach is similar. I love that these guys mix the old school sound with the modern sound so seamlessly. There’s a very eerie clean break that leads into some grooving riffing, and some ripping soling… of course. An overall very cool track.
“Azagthoth” opens with some very eastern sounding percussion and rhythms, accompanied by some interesting use of harmonics. It then starts to groove like no other, with a ton of different vocal styles. I really dig the riffing in this track. And the “Azagthoth!” sounds so evil. You get a lot packed into this track.
“Liquid Anatomy” has a very cool melodic clean intro, with some really haunting vocals. The overall vibe changes things up a bit on the album. It showcases a different side of the band.
“Chaos Theory And Practice” opens about as “in your face” as it gets. Very chaotic and dissonant, followed directly by a very badass riff (Again very Morbid Angel styled) which I absolutely love! There’s a very cool riff that bounces back from heavy chords and scattered harmonics, with a haunting lead over it. It creates a very cool vibe, with some very memorable vocals on top of it. The same idea gets played around with throughout the song. This is one of the highlights for me, being that it really showcases the band’s versatility and compositional skills.
“Rise Of The Cephalopods” is the 20 min epic on the album. There’s an interview where Hannes talks about how he came up with the initial musical idea for it. It’s definitely my favorite track. We’ll just leave it at that…
For me, this was one of my top albums of the year. Every track stands out on its own. Truly progressive. I recommend buying this, and supporting these guys.
Germany’s Post-metal powerhouse Long Distance Calling return with “Boundless.” The title of this record couldn’t be more apt, for LDC take a no holds barred approach to songwriting this time around blending all elements of rock, metal, prog, and ambient textures resulting in a compelling and often times emotional listening experience.
Opening track “Out There” begins with a rather simple but huge sounding drum fill cascading into heavy soaring riffs that finally lead into ending that wouldn’t be out of place on one of Steven Wilson’s solo records. “Ascending” kicks things off sounding downright like Mastodon or High on Fire but quickly takes a left turn to riffs that channel Tool or even Cave In. The use of keyboards definitely give Tracks like “One The Verge” a welcome change in texture from the otherwise guitar heavy instrumentation’s
This record took a few spins to really appreciate, but I chalk that up to how multifaceted the writing and songwriting is. Heavy, ethereal, and oftentimes downright Cinematic In scopes, ”Boundless” is exactly as it’s advertised. The record takes you on a journey where the lack of words snap vocals lets the music do all the talking that’s necessary.
This is not just for the post metal Russian Circles fans either. Fans of Steven Wilson, Mastodon, Tool, or Cave In will definitely find an album to appreciate.
Norwegian cult black metal stalwarts Tsjuder are proudly releasing a new edition of their first EP “Throne Of The Goat” which includes the original tracks and a complete re-recording.
There are two full track on this EP and both the 1997 original recording and the new versions share the same raw blackened energy that will inevitably characterize the band’s entire discography.
The new version of the title track is certainly more polished and benefits from fancier gear but the cult black metal dynamics are still intact with thunderous guitar riffing galore, demonic growls and super fast & brutal rhythmic segments.
“Dying Spirit” often follows a breakneck speed and as traditional black metal dictates evokes absolutely bleak soundscapes with evident oppressive feelings fully expressed by raw guitar riffs, ominous growls and scattered diabolical melodic moments.
Needless to say the sonic realm of “Throne Of The Goat” is made of undiluted darkness and hellish nightmares hard to leave behind as Tsjuder shows the fans how it all started.
Throne of the Goat
When a supergroup like Dead Cross releases a surprise self titled EP we are all curious to listen what this new hardcore outfit featuring brilliant artists (Dave Lombardo, Mike Patton, Justin Pearson and Michael Crain) has in mind.
“Skin Of A Redneck” offers blistering chaos with loads of extra distorted guitar riffs that focus on chunky rhythmic dynamics supported by precise drum blasts leading to insane moshpit inducing grooves and grind tones often surrounded by creepy atmospheric layers while Mike’s vocals showcase the expected striking multifaceted delivery.
“My Perfect Prisoner” immediately pushes on the accelerator as scorching guitar riffs march fiercely through a raging chaotic rhythmic realm with inevitable bursts of raw energy consequently amplified by Mike’s infectious screams.
People will be familiar with the last two songs which were on the band’s 2017 debut full length and are included here as remixes. “Shillelagh (Panicker Remix)” becomes full blown electro song with an evident experimental edge that leaves behind the ravenous hardcore delivery.
“Church Of The Motherfuckers (Planet B Remix)” is also reinterpreted in electro style with bits of industrial momentum but maintains an angered mood and crazy sinister vibes.
With two new original songs and two remixes Dead Cross new EP sounds wild & furious and gives you a taste of what to expect in the future from this impressive band.
Dead Cross EP [Explicit]
The new unannounced release “Leather Teeth” by French synthwave or darksynth artist Carpenter Brut is the real soundtrack to an imaginary movie, probably a horror B movie, full of ‘80s glam vibes starring a science geek who will become a rockstar, a popular quarterback and a cheerleader.
The glamorous frenzy begins with the darkened synths melodies of the title track mixing a passion for ‘80s metal expressed by over the top crunchiness and a feverish rhythm that creates suspense for the impending horror.
“Cheerleader Effect” makes you think of old videogames with steady electro motifs and Kristoffer Rygg’s smooth vocal delivery floating through danceable synths and darker atmospheres.
“Beware The Beast” screams classic ‘80s metal, everybody is wearing studded leather jackets riding to the next bar listening to melodic guitars surrounded by loads of glamorous keyboards layers but something evil lurks in the dark.
“Inferno Galore” invites you to dance along the catchy synths that create a multitude of melodies and electro beats and again the whole sound has some inner robotic creepiness and cheesy ‘80s elements but it’s time to party anyway.
Just reading the title “Hairspray Hurricane” you should know what to expect as synths galore, crazy filters and classic metal sounding chunky rhythms craft a surreal sonic realm that feels stuck inside an arcade but you know that something bad is about to happen.
“Leather Teeth” might not sound extremely innovative but is certainly fun as Carpenter Brut confidently and successfully puts together the perfect soundtrack for that particular unreleased movie that was certainly filmed in 1987.
Australian extreme metallers Nocturnal Graves are ready to spread undiluted darkness and uncompromising ferocity on the newest full length “Titan”.
On “Resistance” the mood is absolutely oppressive as the band knows no restrain and unleashes a tight series of guitar riffs staying true to old school extreme metal elements while ominous growls and extremely somber melodic leads diligently amplify the song’s inner darkness that acquires impending doom tonalities in the final moments.
The blackened force of “Ecdysis, Shedding Weak Flesh” is immediately palpable as killer guitar riffs lead the scene relentlessly accompanied by steady abyssal growls and precise rhythmic sections that here do not feel exaggeratedly fast but rather give space for darkly contemplative and dramatically slow moments favoring the grim melodic guitar work.
“Bow Before None” conjures a traditional blackened thrash essence with menacing riffage that at times feels simply unstoppable following merciless rhythmic blasts spiced up by inflamed lead guitars and a darkly cathartic momentum.
On “Silence The Martyrs” guitars hold a hellish raw energy and drums dictate a breakneck thunderous speed but there are still introspective moments where lead guitars focus on more melodic and variegated progressions.
The title track is a triumphant hymn to darkness as venomous guitar riffs and drums successfully build ruthless grooves but a massive blackened aura persistently surrounds and influences the intense melodic solos.
Nocturnal Graves have a clear music vision in mind and never refrain from delivering an overwhelming dosage of brutality so you better be ready to mosh & headbang like there’s no tomorrow when you listen to “Titan”.