Dark Buddha Rising – II

Finnish psychedelic doom practitioners Dark Buddha Rising are eager to drag you through the mind bending sonic maze of the new EP simply entitled “II”.

Prepare to space out hopelessly with “Mahathgata I”, a super lengthy song that often feels oppressive with several rounds of drastically slow & impossibly heavy doom tinged guitar riffs entangled within monumental drone atmospheres and distant surreal chants yet the band packs multiple rhythmic variations with hidden melodic & contemplative textures but never fails to convey impenetrable darkness.

A sense of despair fills the air on “Mahathgata II” and ominous forces are lurking in the dark as mystical atmospheres and arcane chanting create variegated droning waves that will eventually lead to bursts of monochromatic heavy doom guitar riffs evoking additional occult aesthetics.

The two songs on “II” are seriously drenched in psychedelic darkness and will certainly trigger the listeners’ curiosity as Dark Buddha Rising crafts all kinds of complex enigmatic soundscapes where you might easily & pleasantly get lost.

A Perfect Circle – Eat The Elephant

We all waited patiently to listen to a new A Perfect Circle album and after fourteen years “Eat The Elephant” is here within our grasp puzzling and moving the listeners with a bold artsy manifesto, tales of impending doom and eclectic contemplative melodies.

The title track favors a very soft mood just like a ballad far from the acidic distortions of the unforgettable album “Mer De Noms” and never really picks up speed yet it does hold a darkened intensity with ambiance tonalities and bittersweet emotions expressed by Maynard’s moody vocal delivery and the impeccable monochromatic piano.  

On “The Contrarian” a dreadful atmosphere becomes gradually more palpable fueled by the gloomy splendor of guitars and the bleak beauty of keyboards that create a detailed series of darkly hypnotic melodic textures.

“The Doomed” might be the strongest song of the album featuring an undiluted emotional turmoil of rage and disappointment as we are close to a catastrophic abyss therefore charismatic guitars often follow a frenetic crunchy rhythm matched by the expected vocal intensity but there are also loads of refined melodies skillfully mixed to ethereal atmospheres that evoke surreal soundscapes.

“TalkTalk” maintains a primary emotive mood with shimmering subdued atmospheric arrangements and soothing rhythmic patterns yet several bursts of essential raw energy will fiercely emerge with waves of distorted guitars and dismal borderline enraged vocals.

Smooth atmospheric layers create cinematic moments on “By And Down The River” as Maynard’s voice becomes disillusioned and forlorn accompanied by lavish somber guitar melodies that will effortlessly embrace a wilder distorted crescendo channeling enigmatic emotions.

“Delicious” offers more luminous moments and a faint sense of hope but mainly showcases some beloved ‘90s alt-rock flavors with a fair dosage of guitar driven grooves accompanied by softer acoustic harmonies and further embellished by elegant orchestral & atmospheric segments.

“Hourglass” explores a modern electro sonic realm consequently focusing on bizarre sounds & vocal effects and atmospheric whirlwinds that inevitably lead to futuristic vibes but will eventually blend with classic piano melodies.

“Eat The Elephant” is not written for the fans as it rather represents what Maynard & Co. wanted to write, record and perform regardless of what others might think or want so it just becomes useless to over analyze these intriguing songs which in the end will always generate tumultuous reactions.
Eat The Elephant [Explicit]

Witchskull – Coven’s Will

Australian trio Witchskull is eager to spread massive doom grooves worldwide with the sophomore release “Coven’s Will” which sees the band raising the bar to confidently deliver strong songwriting and skillful musicianship.

The album opener “Raven” is rightfully packed with loud groovy guitar riffs blending catchy rock nuances and hints of traditional doom despair which leads to the creation of a high impact track featuring also sensational vocals.

“Son Of The Snake” revolves around tight rhythmic segments featuring a super thick bass backbone that works harmoniously with the omnipresent heavy doom guitar riffs while the leads channel a somber melodic mood enhanced by the compelling vocal duet with Erica Stoltz and ultimately reach a spontaneous charismatic acme of the guitar solo.

“Demon Cage” is simply wild and a bit hellish with a serious dosage of heavy riffage and solo acrobatics that don’t need special effects or exaggerated speed to induce instant headbanging as a thunderous rhythmic section fiercely maintains a nightmarish groove.

The fascinating darkness of  “Lord Of The Void” will prevail through a chunky ensemble of melodic hooks and blistering guitar riffs that surround the hypnotic lead guitar work while vocals follow the moody inflamed rhythm with exceptionally fervent delivery.

“The Empty Well” is the song that truly screams doom from beginning to end drawing inspiration from the darkest depths of metal with a taste for all things sinister and an impending armageddon as irresistible galloping guitar riffs nicely build a strong groove in the middle of dramatically slower monolithic guitar work and diabolical vocals.

The music journey of Witchskull is still at the early stages but “Coven’s Will” has a mature sound capable to channel the authentic vibes and raw power of classic doom metal.

Cave Bastard – The Bleak Shall Devour The Earth

San Diego based extreme metal band Cave Bastard has put a lot of effort in the creation of the debut full length “The Bleak Shall Devour The Earth” which promises to deliver unrestrained devastation and bleak soundscapes.

“Throes of the Devourer” serves as introduction to the the album’s dark sonic realm with painfully heavy doom tinged guitar chords surrounded by grim atmospheres and distant echoes of despair.

“Neo Genesis” celebrates the band’s ultimate ferocious approach as in the middle of a rationalized chaos guitar riffs march triumphantly through perilously fast and precise rhythmic variations that will later lead to modern dissonant guitar progressions and funereal momentum.

With an intriguing and absolutely grim beginning “Trapped In A World Of Formlessness” is a hymn to asphyxiating desolation with a strong epic and diverse rhythmic structure focused on intricate layers of mournful melodies and crunchy riffage.

Similarly there is torment & despair at the center of “Purity Through Oblivion” where the guitar work continues to hold a dominant role crafting entertaining rhythmic segments and depressing melodic moments.

“Liar Betrayed” can be utterly brutal as the rhythmic section often gains speed and chaotic vibes through punishing drumming and chunky bass lines nevertheless there are also more introspective passages where lead guitars focus on anguished melodies and sludge atmospheres.

Overall “The Bleak Shall Devour The Earth” stays true to its tormented title and fully expresses the extremely dark sonic vision of Cave Bastard.

God Is An Astronaut – Epitaph

With a successful sixteen years career Irish instrumental band God Is An Astronaut is well known for the magical post rock creations that once again will conquer the listeners’ heart in the new work of music entitled “Epitaph”.

The feelings of grief and loss that will characterize the entire album immediately shape the cinematic mood of the title track with emotional piano melodies and ethereal atmospheric layers that introduce the impenetrable gloom of intricate instrumental motifs embracing an intriguing ensemble of fierce distorted momentum and delicate melodic guitar work.

The melodic grandeur of “Mortal Coil” certainly offers plenty of upbeat dynamics focusing on rich epic atmospheres and riffing crescendos without sacrificing the inner dramatic essence that will ultimately gain the deserved spotlight in the final intense acoustic segments.

“Seance Room” depicts an immensely melancholic sonic realm with the effortless beauty of minimalist guitar melodies surrounded by surreal atmospheres yet the instrumental passages will eventually gain powerful post rock tonalities and deliver a complex series of kaleidoscopic synths arrangements and guitar variations that often channel heavier darkened nuances.

The crepuscular soundscapes of “Oisín” close the album with the most somber & raw emotions fully expressed by hazy piano melodies constantly surrounded and dramatically enhanced by moody ethereal atmospheric arrangements that ultimately evoke peaceful yet bittersweet tonalities.

There is a world of pure melancholy and genuine emotions within the poignant instrumental phrases of “Epitaph” so get ready to get lost through the overwhelming gloom of the unique sonic maze carefully crafted by God Is An Astronaut.


Yamantaka // Sonic Titan – Dirt

You could get lost within the sonic labyrinth of “Dirt”, the latest effort generated by the shape shifting creative force of Noh-Wave prog rock collective Yamantaka // Sonic Titan.

“Someplace” flows like a daydream as the band concocts polychromatic atmospheres that will shift from sheer melancholy to brighter moments matched by softly ethereal vocals while guitars spice up everything with intense often chaotic distortion and flamboyant rock acrobatics.

“Dark Waters” does indeed dwell in a darker murky sonic realm where guitars feel utterly majestic delivering frenetic unconventional rhythmic variations as well as luminous melodies but will ultimately embrace savage rock tonalities through hypnotic atmospheric layers.

Crushing distorted guitars lead the way on the rebellious track “Yandere” which packs many melodic rock hooks but definitely goes beyond a standard formula creating all kinds of heavier groovy rhythmic dynamics and contrasting electro elements.

You will be fatally attracted by the haunting atmospheres & melodies of “Hungry Ghost” which in the beginning favors theatrical textures but will soon enter a psychedelic realm of raw guitar riffs and avant-garde saxophone floating through dissonant heavy rhythmic patterns.

On the title track the aptly dirty guitar sound will steal the spotlight delivering fiery rocking grooves embellished by unexpected experimental accents and enigmatic keyboards arrangements with dissonant hints while vocals often channel darkly soothing emotions.

“Out Of Time” follows steady rock rhythmic dynamics packing solid rounds of crunchy guitar riffs and almost polished solos that channel a multifaceted melodic essence that will occasionally re-surface through the intricate yet often surprisingly catchy instrumental segments.

If you are looking for a unique music experience then you will need to grab asap a copy of “Dirt” as on this album Yamantaka // Sonic Titan fiercely pushes standard boundaries to craft a magical and artsy work of music.

Hekate – Totentanz

In the neofolk scene German band Hekate certainly has acquired an elite status which will be re-confirmed with the long awaited new release “Totentanz”

A shroud of darkness descends as “The Old King” opens the album with apocalyptic atmospheric arrangements that will later evolve into a more poetic yet absolutely somber acoustic crescendo enriched by soothing vocals.

“Lost And Broken” maintains grave tonalities within impeccable acoustic guitar melodies that contribute to the creation of surreal soundscapes effortlessly enhanced by reverb and lavish atmospheric layers.

The epic atmospheres and tribal percussions of “Ascension Day” clearly channel authentic neofolk elements as acoustic passages create a sense of natural peace yet synths and narrative samples tend to amplify the apocalyptic elements of the song.

The title track becomes a nocturnal hymn with obsessively minimalist rhythmic patterns and strong gothic nuances that sinuously embrace the increasing intensity of the dramatic vocals. “Desire” feels like a medieval dance or a pagan chant as magical folk melodies take the center stage to evoke mystical and ancestral energy amplified by sumptuous atmospheres and neco-classical tones.

“Am Meere” dwells in an archaic realm where industrial synths and folk acoustic passages embrace to craft unique melodies and enigmatic atmospheres with a distinct theatrical delivery,

“Totentanz” shines for the sophisticated melodies and attention for details that fully evoke the darkest nuances of neofolk as Hekate skillfully creates an hypnotic collection of songs.

Spiral Skies – Blues For A Dying Planet

A new name is about to get your full attention because Swedish occult rockers Spiral Skies are finally ready to spread their darkened magic with the debut full length “Blues For A Dying Planet”.

So many nostalgic rock flavors linger through “Awakening” as guitars are on fire creating a multitude of catchy riffs & melodies that ensure powerful grooves with subtle darkened nuances constantly emphasized by Frida’s charismatic vocals and impressive range.  

“Wizard’s Ball” is the song that will conquer your heart at the first listening because the occult rock vibes become rather dominant as guitars confidently craft absolutely spellbinding melodic textures that fully evoke the darker side of classic rock while Frida’s voice sinuously guides the listeners through deliciously trippy instrumental passages.

“Danse Macabre” is truly an enchanting song where Frida’s voice will once again put a spell on you while guitars shift from darkened slow burning melodies to spacey psychedelic rock tonalities that will ultimately build catchy & hypnotizing grooves.

“Left Is Right And Right Is Left Behind” feels almost sinister with loads of perfectly somber melodic nuances that allow Frida’s magical voice to shine but guitars are always ready to keep a vintage rock groove alive with thick riffs and intriguing leads.

Overall, “Blues For A Dying Planet” successfully evokes the darkest beloved nuances of 70’s inspired rock as Spiral Skies clearly demonstrate genuine talent and passion for such music genre.

Blues for a Dying Planet

Winterfylleth – The Hallowing Of Heirdom

This time British band Winterfylleth has decided to explore traditional English folk music to the fullest extent paying homage to Ancient Britain and the result is the poetic acoustic album “The Hallowing Of Heirdom”.  

“The Shepherd” sets the mood with archaic atmospheric chants that certainly scream folk at the very first listening and this mood is further amplified by a serene melancholic series of minimalist arpeggios joined by the pure melodic beauty of strings.

“Æcerbot” continues to channel peaceful yet strong emotions as smooth acoustic phrases, exquisitely elegant cello & violin melodies and solemn chants truly channel magical folk nuances.

“Elder Mother” could not sound more melancholic with stripped down acoustic tonalities embellished by graceful violin leads that create another surreal atmospheric experience.

The calm tonalities of “Embers” feel extremely somber favoring again enchanting acoustic guitars floating through sober atmospheric layers.

“Latch To A Grave” is made of pure melancholy with subtle otherworldly darkened strings arrangements and lavish acoustic passages resulting in a highly cinematic music piece with enticing spiritual vibes.

Surrounded by luminous atmospheres “The Nymph” is filled with theatrical flavors with soft spoken words, inspired choral harmonies and the vibrant instrumental passages featuring violins and acoustic guitars.

The title track feels particularly mournful with hazy atmospheres and super slow acoustic guitars constantly enriched by the classical splendor of violin & cello and a solemn choral crescendo.

“The Hallowing Of Heirdom” will definitely stand out for the exceptionally delicate melodies that always evoke melancholic yet opulent soundscapes as Winterfylleth draws inspiration from ancient folklore and pastoral poetry to create a heartfelt collection of songs.

The Hallowing Of Heirdom

Midnattsol – The Aftermath

The return of Midnattsol could not be more grandiose as beloved vocalist Liv Kristine has officially joined the band to sing next to her sister Carmen Elise, consequently the long awaited new album “The Aftermath” benefits greatly from this exquisite vocal duet.

Immediately on the album opener “The Purple Sky” you will notice that the Espenæs sisters are bound to steal the spotlight confidently layering fascinating vocals that evoke a multitude of passionate emotions while guitars and keyboards offer triumphantly heavy moments but mainly focus on the creation of graceful melodies as well as folk oriented phrases.

The mythological tale “Syns Sang” features all the familiar elements and nuances of Nordic gothic metal as intricate melodic guitars & keyboards evoke a perennial gloom and the final part of the song will stand out for the irresistible and poignant vocal delivery.

While thick darkened guitar riffs mark the beginning of the band’s interpretation of the traditional Swedish ballad “Herr Mannelig” the mood will soon become increasingly melancholic with elegantly fragile piano melodies amplified by the genuine emotional delivery of absolutely charming vocals yet the rhythmic section will often return to heavier & faster gothic tinged dynamics.

The title track features a similar blend of styles as keyboards constantly provide sumptuous arrangements to support bursts of gothic metal guitar riffing while the lush melodic guitar work and impeccable vocals evoke a mellower melancholic essence.

On “Forsaken” a melancholic mood continues to surround the whole instrumentation as delicate keyboards arrangements and gentle acoustic phrases accompany beautiful dreamy vocals until the gothic metal nuances become stronger when melodic guitars emerge with increasing fervor through the haunting atmospheres.

The short yet absolutely intense final track “Eitrdropar” focuses greatly on a pristine heartwarming vocal crescendo and darkened guitar melodies leading to a perfectly balanced mix of traditional folk flavors and emotive atmospheric grandeur.

With “The Aftermath” Midnattsol has chosen to enhance the folk elements leading to ethereal melodies which are naturally entwined with the heavier & darker gothic metal roots resulting in a pleasantly multifaceted composition.

The Aftermath