Crone – Godspeed

Hailing from Northern Germany dark rock band Crone led by the renowned talent of Secrets Of The Moon mastermind Phil ‘sG’ Jonas is ready to captivate the listeners with the first full length “Godspeed” conceptually based on real life tragedies and unfortunate demises.

“The Ptilonist” is filled with dreamy guitar melodies that definitely hold a crucial role in the song’s structure and are fully immersed in surreal and distant atmospheric layers reminiscent of shoegaze nuances but will occasionally acquire groovy rock energy while warm vocals evoke sincere emotions perfectly matching the highly contemplative and rather darkened melodic essence.

“Mother Crone” maintains a dark soundscape with scattered brighter moments but mainly relies on minimalist poetic melodies skillfully crafted by graceful guitars and poignant vocal delivery resulting in an enchanting series of melancholy infused soundscapes.

“Leviathan’s Lifework” becomes more epic with sumptuous atmospheric arrangements embracing a unique melodic crescendo and feverish rhythmic dynamics that will lead to the raw emotions of vocals and the sophisticated beauty of the guitar work which effortlessly shifts from darkly melancholic chords to irresistible flamboyant rock soloing.

Introduced by daydreaming vibes “H” will stand out for the addictive grooves where guitars channel the rebellious mood of ‘90s alt rock and proceed to create darkly wild rhythmic crescendos mixed to absolutely catchy melodic phrases, spacey atmospheric arrangements and passionate vocals.

The majestic title track belongs to a realm of shattered dreams and tragedies with intensely dark atmospheres recurring through the hypnotizing rhythmic maze as guitars confidently deliver moody melodies and energetic crunchy riffs until an enigmatic contemplative breakdown emerges with the ethereal elements of shoegaze and introduces a multifaceted enthralling melodic ensemble that evokes pure melancholy.

Needless to say we need more dark rock bands like Crone in the current music scene and through mysterious soundscapes and intriguing storytelling “Godspeed” will inevitably drag you into the labyrinthic darkened realm that you are destined to love.

Godspeed

Sol Invictus – Necropolis

The good news is that progenitors of the Neofolk genre Sol Invictus are back with the spellbinding new album “Necropolis”, conceptually based on mastermind Tony Wakeford’s feelings of a declining London, but sadly this could possibly be the final release.

With minimalist chords, baroque accents and somber atmospheres “Necropolis Portal” opens the album focusing on fascinating and surreal vocal choirs that successfully evoke an apocalyptic requiem.

“See Them” will stand out for the theatrical vocal duet evoking melancholic feelings in the midst of minimal arpeggios, a soothing mix of atmospheric layers, stylish classical oriented instrumentation and of course folk style flutes.

The bittersweet track “Still Born Summer” begins with apocalyptic vibes and poignant vocalized narratives but soon maximizes the dark emotional quality of the entire album with visionary vocal delivery and a whimsical instrumental ensemble featuring intricate melodies.

“The Last Man” shines for the undiluted darkness and meaningful verses rendered exquisitely elegant by the soft arpeggios and rich Instrumental passages that lead to a surprising classical closure and ensure kaleidoscopic soundscapes accompanied by dramatic vocals and ethereal choirs.

“Set The Table” certainly showcases the melancholy infused essence of Neofolk as refined atmospheric arrangements, lovely piano melodies and smooth rhythmic crescendo gently evoke a darkened yet absolutely relaxing mood.

“Necropolis Egress” amplifies the post-apocalyptic vision that recurs throughout the album nevertheless refined arpeggios and ethereal choirs hold a dominant role crafting dismal melodic fluidity and poetic atmospheres.

Far from being an average album “Necropolis” stands out for the contemplative moments and the fascinating atmospheres that always surround the minimalist harmonies shaped in perfect Neofolk style as Sol Invictus delivers a cinematic ensemble of music & words.

Necropolis

Tengil – Shouldhavebeens

Young Swedish post-hardcore band Tengil will absolutely surprise and captivate the listeners with the spiritual essence, the diverse music approach and the undiluted nostalgia that characterize the sophomore album Shouldhavebeens

“I Dreamt I Was Old” stands out for the enigmatic rumbling rhythm built by a never-ending loop of dazed synths but soon ethereal guitar passages gracefully evoke wistful daydreaming and bright melodic accents further enriched by a deeply melancholic clean vocal delivery that acquires even more poignant vibes when everything becomes quiet and contemplative to favor minimalist atmospheres before embracing a final borderline chaotic rhythmic burst.

With a bittersweet harmonious essence “And The Best Was Yet To Come” is still full of whimsical atmospheric accents but revolves around a proper blackgaze essence with a generous dosage of distorted blackened guitar riffing that will leave enough space for many dreamy melodic passages which will inevitably hold a primary role together with intensely emotional vocals.

“It’s All For Springtime” begins with uplifting atmospheric nuances matched by bright guitar melodies but the song holds a stronger darkened emotional core that will fiercely emerge when a serious blast of distorted guitars and faster tempo takes over followed by edgy experimental dynamics and desperately chaotic sounds leaving behind the earlier wistfulness.

“All For Your Myth” still has experimental textures but a profound sense of nostalgia and longing plays a major influence on the songwriting generating a moody ensemble of soft arpeggios and ambiance atmospheres that belong to a realm made of pale dreams.

In reality it would be hard to categorize the soundscapes of “Shouldhavebeens” as the sonic emotional whirlwind of this album offers a multitude of music influences ranging from modern shoegaze to the obvious obscurity of post-black metal resulting in a refreshing yet highly nostalgic effort.

Shouldhavebeens

Throneless – Cycles

Swedish doom metal outfit Throneless is ready to make an impact in the underground scene with the monolithic heavy anthems of the new album “Cycles”.

Arising from a bottomless cave “Born In Vain” is all about massive crushing doom style guitar riffs, incredibly thick bass lines and monumental drumming which enrich the ominous slow rhythmic dynamics executed as this traditional genre dictates in order to sound truly heavy.

The title track begins with hypnotizing fuzzy melodies but later feels like a monochromatic opus that clearly dwells in the darkest depths of doom metal as guitar riffs acquire heavier tonalities constantly building darker rhythmic crescendos that seem endless.

Far from being a catchy tune “Oracle” is the ultimate super lengthy doom trip or a hymn to absolute misery where you basically get an overdose of slow & heavy riffing with few rhythmic variations immersed in a borderline oppressive atmosphere that enhances the sense of impending doom simply embedded in the desolate instrumental segments and murky desperate screams.

True lovers of doom will easily appreciate the primordial darkness that pervades “Cycles” as Throneless proudly prove to be faithful acolytes of such timeless music genre.

Wyrmwoods – Earth Made Flesh

Hailing from Finland multi-instrumentalist Nuurag-Vaarn has released the first Wyrmwoods album entitled “Earth Made Flesh” which contains an eclectic blend of traditional black metal and multifaceted music styles.

“Break The Seal” begins with an old school black metal approach with tight guitar riffs and raucous growls yet the atmospheric arrangements will contribute to the creation of somber melodies that will eventually evolve into a less obscure and absolutely interesting jazzy moments.

There is so much happening on “The Greater Festival Of Masks” as in the midst of purely chaotic black metal compositions soothing melodies or wild synths arrangements emerge brightly bearing folkish elements and peaceful vibes before the rise of another blackened sonic storm.

Progressive vibes become palpable on “Primordial Waters/The Well Of Urth” where enigmatic guitar phrases and synths layers create a suspenseful mood with strong ambient textures but a violent burst of blackened chaos will take away the apparent peace with dissonant dynamics.

Certainly it’s always impressive to see a solo artist concoct complex and often avant-garde music and in the case of Wyrmwoods’s debut effort “Earth Made Flesh” there are enough rhythmic and style variations to intrigue the listeners.

Glorior Belli – The Apostates

French black metal band Glorior Belli returns triumphantly with the latest effort “The Apostates” showcasing strong black metal roots leading to a traditional ferocious sound but there is much more to be discovered on this album.

Emerging from a familiar realm of darkness the primary guitar riffs of “Sui Generis” hold fiercely menacing tonalities as an ominous aura fills the atmosphere even when the rhythm section slows down with malignant groovy melodies and a sense of impending doom.

On “Deserters Of Eden” you can perceive a strong blackened essence as guitars & drums unravel thunderous fast dynamics accompanied by the expected dosage of furious growls yet the band will deliver also groovy guitar driven rock twists that certainly add diverse nuances to the primary heavier core.

The title track begins with enthralling guitar work focused on the creation of profound darkened melancholy but also loads of catchy rock grooves confidently embracing different styles to ultimately craft a refreshing music blend that cannot be unnoticed.

On “Jerkwater Redemption” there is no space for orthodox black metal rules as blackened rock grooves keep on rolling with catchy guitar riffs that effortlessly blend obscure tones further enhanced by diabolical growls and accessible rhythmic patterns.

To some “Rebel Reveries” might sound like a shot in the dark because Glorior Belli temporarily ditches the black metal obscurity to boldly embrace a soothing Southern rock melodic galore but it does make sense for a band that doesn’t care about pre-defined genres so there are also loads of sing along melodic hooks built over pleasant but still somber guitar harmonies.

“The Apostates” certainly revolves around a fair dosage of magnificent blackened essence but the true highlights of this work of music must be found in the inner sonic diversity that often channels catchy rock grooves as Glorior Belli demonstrates audacious creative force exploring classic rock territories.

Underøath – Erase Me

There is so much hype and expectation around the comeback of Underøath, a band that decided to do a farewell tour in 2013 and didn’t release a record for nearly a decade could be missed or forgotten, but the new album “Erase Me” sees the band undergoing a sonic renaissance with a conscious desire to have creative freedom and deliver a mature songwriting approach.

The album opener “It Has To Start Somewhere” seems to symbolize the band’s rebirth with particularly strong vocals raging through a fair dosage of energetic rhythmic dynamics filled with modern metalcore vibes but also with electro atmospheric layers which successfully embellish the primary combo of thick guitar riffs and catchy melodic textures.

“On My Teeth” starts with intriguing electro arrangements that trigger a wild rhythmic crescendo built by powerful guitar riffage & drumming which will ultimately favor a heavier sonic approach featuring also fierce screams yet the big chorus will always embrace a catchy melodic essence.

In contrast “Wake Me” favors emotionally charged tonalities with loads of subtle atmospheres and a mellower rhythm crafted by a pleasantly accessible melodic ensemble of piano & soft guitar harmonies and certainly vocals become smoother and melancholic putting aside the previously showcased rage.

The initial contemplative mood of ihateit will give way to a super catchy melodic approach, especially irresistible in the sing along chorus, and even if there are heavier metalcore style moments the goal here is to deliver a honest emotional statement through easy guitar melodies and magical atmospheric layers.

On “No Frame” synths become extremely important in the creation of futuristic ambiance vibes and ethereal atmospheres which constantly enhance the expression of profoundly somber emotions yet guitars will occasionally join the electronic core to add extra groovy momentum.

With a melancholy infused piano intro “I Gave Up” is ready to move the audience with the heartfelt emotions embedded in the vocals and melodies but distorted guitars & fancy synths will often crank up the rhythm to offer slick heavier vibes.

Ultimately “Erase Me” might not sound like the album that fans wanted or expected but Underøath is definitely making a bold music statement maintaining a very accessible melodic essence and showcasing a renewed commitment leaving behind any personal hardship.

Erase Me [Explicit]

Kamelot – The Shadow Theory

One of the most beloved bands in metal Kamelot triumphantly returns with the anticipated new album “The Shadow Theory” conceptually based on analytical psychology and the complexity of the human mind leaning on three pillars: The Shadow Empire (The global mind), The Shadow Key (The Resistance) and The Shadow Wall (The veil that blinds us from the truth).

Starting with majestic & somber orchestrations “Phantom Divine (Shadow Empire)” will soon deliver everything you expect from Kamelot as multiple melodic crescendos are skillfully built by a pleasant mix of crunchy guitar riffs and polished leads while vocals focus on a smooth solemn delivery and guest vocalist Lauren Hart of Once Human adds some enraged vibes.

“Amnesiac” immediately shapes a nice guitar driven groove with scattered electro accents but soon embraces an epic melodic essence obviously enhanced by fancy guitar soloing, soothing vocals and consequent emotional mood nevertheless guitar riffs continue to channel heavier vibes.

Right from the beginning “In Twilight Hours” showcases ballad style elements such as extremely melancholic piano melodies floating over elegantly subtle keyboards layers which simply surround the charismatic and emotionally charged vocal duet featuring the charming voice of guest vocalist Jennifer Haben of Beyond the Black.

On “Kevlar Skin” crunchy rhythmic dynamics lead the way with steady guitar riffing intensity amplified by occasional faster drum blasts and compelling guitar acrobatics but the symphonic layers and the widely accessible chorus maintain the expected dosage of melancholy infused melodies.

Lauren Hart returns on “Mindfall Remedy” to deliver another round of fiery vocals in the midst of dramatic melodic soundscapes, power metal oriented guitar driven grooves and extra vibrant rhythmic segments constantly embellished by the understated beauty and cinematic elements of orchestral arrangements and piano melodies.

On “The Proud And The Broken” a generous round of thick guitar riffs swiftly follows a poetic piano piece which certainly evokes the melancholic & theatrical grandeur that will recur throughout the song and influence many instrumental passages while the guitar solos feature additional lovely harmonies as well as technical prowess.

So Kamelot chooses a quite serious concept for this album and quotes Carl Gustav Jung but maintains the expected music blend of refined power metal and symphonic grandeur that the band’s fans are always excited to hear.

Black Foxxes – Reiði

Exeter’s trio Black Foxxes is ready to surprise the listeners with the experimental edge and catchy melodies of the second full length Reiði which is the Icelandic word for rage.

The minimalist guitar melodies and the subtle atmospheric accents of “Breathe” evoke bittersweet feelings certainly matched by the highly emotional vocals that contribute to create a very accessible melodic essence spiced up by distorted textures.

“Manic In Me” feels more positive with crispy rock upbeats and a polished melodic ensemble where the band focuses mainly on the creation of a genuine emotional whirlwind with simple chords yet later guitars add a crunchier rock sound.

Initially “Oh, It Had To Be You” has a romantic vibe with soft piano melodies and melancholic vocals but soon elegant atmospheric arrangements and a melodic guitar crescendo craft more complex rhythmic patterns without sacrificing the primary smooth harmonies.

“JOY” amplifies the alternative/experimental approach as charismatic distorted guitars provide energetic grooves seamlessly entwined with softer melodic passages while vocals shift from rebellious screams to soothing delivery.

“Float On” emphasizes a polished melodic essence fully expressed by intensely dramatic vocals naturally floating through subtle atmospheric layers leading to highly contemplative moments and subdued melodic guitars that will eventually become more present with gritty tonalities.

Reiði‘” is not a metal album nevertheless it has the necessary inner energy to invite the audience to an emotional music journey as Black Foxxes don’t really care about following standard music rules and simply follow their heart to deliver a sincere melodic effort.

Aura Noir – Aura Noire

Since twenty five years Aura Noir have proven many times to be Norway’s blackened thrash metal kings and the sixth album simply entitled “Aura Noire” continues to unleash the band’s grimmest traditions with evident untamed fury.

Dark Lung Of The Storm” opens the album with a generous dosage of obscure and frenetic guitar riffs leading the way to a rather blackened sonic realm but still keeping your favorite thrash dynamics alive and even if the rhythmic blasts are not exaggeratedly fast the whole instrumentation feels incredibly powerful and menacing.

As “Hell’s Lost Chambers” begins with moderate thrash rhythmic patterns and moody blackened vibes built by intriguing riffing & drumming it takes a while to pick up the expected fierce energy which will not necessarily follow the usual straightforward structure as guitars gain a theatrical darkened fluidity during a mysterious atmospheric breakdown.

With growing intensity “The Obscuration” is a black hole of diabolical screams and unstoppable thunderous grooves bearing visceral thrash urgency and delivering an overdose of tight guitar riffs and infectious leads that barely have any melodic hints.

Shades Ablaze” will satisfy your moshpit needs with all the raw energy built by super groovy guitar riffs and precise drumbeats that often acquire extra feverish speed while a palpable hellish mood simply pervades every instrumental passage always enhanced by raspy borderline desperate screams.

The primordial nature of “Cold Bone Grasp” will hit you hard with another round of soaring guitar riffs that go straight to the point with no frills or special effects but an authentic raw blackened essence with the occasional groovy solo marching through solid rhythmic hooks.

Aura Noir’s devoted fanbase will find plenty of tasty guitar driven aggressive blasts throughout “Aura Noire” which feels absolutely relevant in the current scene and should not be considered just a nostalgic thrash metal album.