At The Gates – To Drink From The Night Itself

We all remember how Swedish melodic death metal veterans At The Gates made a stunning debut in the scene with the album “The Red In The Sky Is Ours” back in 1992 and now the band returns with full commitment and a clear vision to deliver the menacing energy of the new full length “To Drink From The Night Itself”.  

The title track doesn’t waste time and unleashes immediately a fierce rhythmic section with precise fast drumming and super heavy guitar riffs but will often embrace a rather somber melodic essence when lead guitars provide loads of beloved grim melo-death variations reminiscent of the band’s renowned signature style.

In the beginning “Palace Of Lepers” offers a slower rhythm to favor dramatic and absolutely catchy melodic guitars but there are still moments of sheer brutality scattered through the dramatic textures in order to trigger a moshpit friendly momentum always amplified by Tomas Lindberg’ ferocious vocals.

“Daggers Of Black Haze” begins with orchestral grandeur creating a deliciously dark mood that will continue to influence the masterful primary melodic ensemble featuring impeccably obscure guitar tonalities and a general sense of desolation yet the slower rhythm doesn’t necessarily sacrifice the song’s heavy core.

With a generous round of punishing drumming and thick guitar riffs “The Chasm” moves sinuously through a monumental darkness where vocals feel insanely desperate and lead guitars aim to evoke tragic emotions with the perfect melodic fluidity of the solo.

On “In Nameless Sleep” the rhythmic segments can become quite aggressive with feverish riffage and of course the majestic thunderous drums while the atmosphere feels increasingly hopeless with moments full of morbid melancholic melodies until guest guitarist Andy LaRocque delivers a truly charismatic shredded solo.

“The Mirror Black” closes the album with the exquisite darkened elegance and pure melancholy of the final solemn classical orchestrations while throughout the song the rhythm becomes dramatically slower to enhance the utter anguish of Lindberg’s growls and the profound emotions expressed by the melodic guitar work.  

Undoubtedly “To Drink From The Night Itself” preserves the blend of melodic despair and aggressive dynamics that has characterized At The Gates discography yet the band is eager to express an ex novo creative energy and a genuinely passionate songwriting approach that will be absolutely appreciated by the fans and will reconfirm their influential status in the metal scene.   
To Drink From The Night Itself

Drudkh – They Often See Dreams About the Spring

Ukrainian black metal band Drudkh  returns with the new release “They Often See Dreams About the Spring” crafting traditional blackened momentum as an oppressive shroud of gelid winter descends on the listeners.

While there is a remarkable atmospheric approach on “Nakryta Neba Burym Dakhom” reminiscent of modern blackgaze style with some fascinating contemplative & dramatically slower melodies this lengthy track still revolves around many traditional black metal elements as a thick darkness fuels raw and faster rhythmic sections.

“U Dakhiv Irzhavim Kolossyu” feels calmer and ethereal with an immediate melodic approach as guitars put together graceful harmonies yet the blackened heart of the song still emerges occasionally with growing intensity as drums and riffing acquire punishing black metal dynamics.

The album closes with the impenetrable obscurity of “Bilyavyi Den’ Vtomyvsya I prytykh” where the band confidently unleashes massive blackened energy with an overdose of ferocious rhythmic blasts and desperate growls briefly interrupted by scattered melodic moments resulting in a rather desolate soundscape.

“They Often See Dreams About the Spring” is an album immersed in total darkness from beginning to end as Drudkh diligently continues to channel mysterious melodies and indisputed black metal fury.

Orange Goblin – The Wolf Bites Back

For over twenty years British icons Orange Goblin have been truly devoted to the noble art of heavy metal and their irresistible blend of doom & stoner continues to influence and inspire the metal scene as well as the fans. With the latest effort “The Wolf Bites Back” the band returns in excellent shape ready to fearlessly & proudly unleash a collection of powerful songs with nihilist lyrical themes.

The chunky guitar riffs of the witchery themed album opener “Sons Of Salem” inevitably lead to blazing stoner grooves and everything becomes rather hectic as guitars seem just unstoppable until the solo brings extra fuzzy melodic hooks.

The title track begins with somber arpeggios yet this is not a simple melancholic tune as bursts of anger will emerge through the untamed heavy guitar riffs that must be played loud and the raucous vocal delivery certainly enhances the steady gritty rhythmic dynamics.

The super thick bass lines of “Swords Of Fire” conjure impending doom & consequent desolation and are soon joined by the right dosage of darkly monumental guitar riffs before giving way to the abrasive energy of a faster rhythmic crescendo.

Guitars become all bluesy and laid back on “The Stranger” which features a slower mellow pace to smoothly focus on opulent melodic guitar work and the organ’s vintage rock tonalities yet this is a moody track that will eventually embrace a proper stoner groove picking up speed & intensity.

While “Burn The Ships” displays right away a familiar infectious stoner groove a spacey introspective momentum will take over when guitars naturally shift from a wild riffing galore to a rich darkened melodic ensemble accompanied by soulful narratives.

“Zeitgeist” emphasizes a genuine emotional whirlwind and sorrowful feelings as vocals aptly acquire a grim delivery and guitars concentrate mainly on lavish multifaceted melodic nuances leading to the absolutely sparkling vibes of flamboyant solos.

So the world is a disaster and Orange Goblin scream louder to express their total frustration through the raw addictive energy of “The Wolf Bites Back” which will definitely reconfirm their essential status in the metal scene.
The Wolf Bites Back

Voices – Frightened

The fact that British band Voices features members of Akercocke should already trigger your curiosity and the new full length “Frightened” is bound to generate interest with precise musicianship and an uncompromising desire to explore several music styles in order to achieve a unique sonic identity.

“Unknown” immediately showcases otherworldly textures & atmospheres that hold a darkened soul that will often emerge with the chaotic strength expressed by a punishing riffing & drumming combo and hellish screams through the prog influenced tempo variations and consequent intricate instrumental segments that tend to catch you off guard.

While in the beginning “Rabbits Curse” offers soothing melodic flavors and an exquisite darkly baroque atmosphere featuring baritone theatrics accompanied by piano & arpeggios soon an insanity crescendo will lead to several style and tempo variations that certainly bear the mark of prog metal, especially emphasized by the guitar and drum work, yet the band goes beyond any standard music category.

It’s love at the very first listening when “IWSYA” starts with the sheer beauty of acoustic guitars and strings surrounded by precious ethereal atmospheres that instantly favor a poetic intensely melancholic mood that will eventually allow a more obscure rampage fueled by nightmarish screams and blackened guitar driven rhythms.

The complex drumming at the core of  “Dead Feelings” will inevitably contribute to the creation of several intricate progressive and often dissonant moments with the addition of particularly tormented vocals nevertheless this track also showcases elegant melodic textures with a distinct gothic inspiration.

The primary rhythmic section of “Funeral Day” might feel harsher due to the super thick guitar riffs but as the band continues to explore variegated sonic territories the monumental heavier tonalities effortlessly blend with somber guitar melodies and gothic tinged atmospheric arrangements.  

Channeling an irresistible melancholic darkness “Footsteps” features sumptuous orchestrations and gentle melodic progressions elegantly emphasized by mournful classical violins and an intense gloomy vocal delivery that work harmoniously to create a perennial gothic splendor.

“Frightened” is an album that will always keep you guessing due to its inner eclectic nature as Voices deliberately and effortlessly craft multiple unexpected contrasting sonic textures with a highly diverse songwriting approach.

Graveyard – Peace

We were all heartbroken when charismatic Swedish rockers Graveyard announced their breakup back in 2016 so it is a great pleasure to celebrate their return with the raw catchy energy of the new album “Peace”.

The fierce & feverish rhythm of “It Ain’t Over Yet” will get you moving & grooving at the very first listening as the band jams wildly channeling delicious vintage tonalities through moody guitar melodies, steady inflamed riffing and frenetic party vibes that keep on exploding during the flamboyant guitar solo while vocals master the timeless raspy seasoned rocker style.

A somber melodic streak begins to emerge on “Cold Love” as drums and guitar riffs are always ready to deliver undiluted energy but maintain a slightly softer classic rock appeal through grandiose fuzzy waves of sound and Joakim’s voice acquires a bittersweet melancholic delivery.

“Please Don’t” offers a generous dosage of bluesy tonalities as guitars still maintain a dominant role crafting loads of gritty distorted riffs that naturally reach the acme with the sweet psychedelic flavors of the solo and the organ phrases while the whole band effortlessly follow this spontaneous jam.

“Walk On” can certainly feel darker with a desert session style breakdown, a truly contemplative moment full of genuine fuzzy guitar licks, yet throughout the song vibrant guitars never cease to create the right moody groove amplified by the authentic vintage tones of the fancy solo.

“A Sign Of Peace” is the track that will become immediately addictive and must be played loud to fully enjoy its inner true passion for rock as the whole instrumentation confidently & audaciously builds unstoppable groovy crescendos with unrestrained guitar work leading the show and Joakim’s vocal performance is absolutely captivating.

“Low (I Wouldn’t Mind)” is a rather intricate song where darker emotions gradually introduce a wilder rock ride that goes through multiple sonic metamorphosis as the rhythm often becomes chaotic with turbulent beats and acidic guitar driven grooves resulting in a massive psychedelic/multichromatic/hypnotic maze and the comforting allure of Joakim’s voice becomes your only trustworthy guide.

As the retro rock wave keeps on growing stronger in the current rock/metal scene Graveyard still reconfirms to be one of the best acts representing such genre and “Peace” marks an absolutely delightful comeback that deserves your full attention.

Candlemass – House Of Doom

Swedish doom metal pioneers Candlemass will finally release a new full length in fall 2018 but while you’re anxiously waiting you can have a taste of authentic epic doom with the EP aptly entitled “House Of Doom” which contains four tracks that will simply delight the band’s faithful fans.

Starting a descent into darkness the title track aims to satisfy your appetite for true timeless doom metal, yet rest assured that this is not just a revival of the golden days as Candlemass sound extremely relevant and actually necessary in the modern metal scene. Thick darkened guitar riffs lead the way to a familiar sense of impending doom yet despite the profoundly somber tonalities the whole instrumentation effortlessly create catchy grooves further enhanced by the gloomy splendor of the hammond organ melodies adding extra eerie vibes that introduce the epic shredded guitar solo while Mats Levén proves to be an extraordinarily charismatic vocalist for Candlemass.

With haunting towering guitar riffs “Flowers Of Deception” ensures an untamed dismal doom with signature slow and majestic heavy tonalities yet the song showcases also great sonic variety with slick tempo changes leading to fiery grooves and a fervent guitar solo as well as moments of sheer melancholy where bass lines evoke a mysterious aura and Mats’s vocals become particularly passionate with a dramatic delivery.

“Fortuneteller” is not a standard acoustic ballad but certainly puts aside the monumental doom textures to channel an exquisite melancholic warmth with fragile minimalist phrases and subtle folk flavors which allow Mats’s sublime voice and heartbreaking delivery to steal the spotlight.

The instrumental final track “Dolls On A Wall” begins with an overdose of monolithic guitar riffs in perfect doom fashion, consequently the atmosphere becomes perilously obscure as guitars impeccably maintain a heavy mournful groove spiced up by the compelling gloomy dynamics of the guitar solo.

Listening to “House Of Doom” you will long for more and immediately realize that mastermind Leif Edling is back with brilliant ideas as Candlemass appear in excellent shape eager to reconfirm their seminal status in the metal scene.
House Of Doom

Khemmis – Desolation

Following the memorable success of the 2016 release “Hunted” Denver quartet Khemmis is ready to impress a wider audience with the third full length “Desolation” which certainly features the doom tonalities that attracted so much attention but the band also continues to further explore diverse music territories to achieve a unique signature style.

“Bloodletting” doesn’t waste any time focusing on a series of darkened crescendos fueled by mesmerizing guitar melodies that truly express an emotional whirlwind matched by heartfelt clean vocals. Despite the evident melodic nature this song maintains an inner intricacy with the addition of mournful doom accents and moments of blistering rhythmic fury surrounding the grandiose diversity of the lead guitar work.

On “Isolation” you will notice how the whole instrumentation has a shimmering fluidity as loads of highly somber guitar melodies perfectly flows throughout the song well supported by a precise rhythmic backbone but definitely here lead guitars hold a primary role constantly delivering all kinds of remarkable, often profoundly melancholic, harmonies and elegant technical twists.

“Maw Of Time” acquires a distinct rhythmic urgency as drum blasts become utterly fierce followed by thick doom inspired riffage and recurring exceptionally ominous growls while the enticing lead guitar work will immediately grab your attention meticulously crafting deeply darkened melodies and primordial sludgy momentum.

The majestic complexity of “From Ruin” simply cannot be ignored as guitars sinuously create a heartbreaking melodic ensemble leading to various introspective moments where vocals acquire an inspiring passionate delivery. While the melodic grandeur aptly evoke immense desolation and pure melancholy, this song will later acquire dazzling energetic blasts as the rhythmic section picks up speed followed by feverish classic metal oriented guitar leads and extra darkened tonalities.

“Desolation” owes much of its strength to the genuine emotional quality and the intriguing composition as Khemmis is clearly eager to improve in order to conquer a crucial status in the current metal scene.

King Witch – Under The Mountain

Scottish metal/doom rockers King Witch are just starting a promising intense music journey with the intriguing ideas and passionate approach of the debut full length “Under The Mountain”.

Surrounded by inspired somber atmospheres “Beneath The Waves” opens the album ensuring a solid doom core as guitars confidently build roaring riffs and hypnotic melodies shifting from wild grooves to darkened momentum while vocalist Laura Donnelly proves to be the star of the show offering a charismatic rock delivery.

On “Carnal Sacrifice” frenetic guitars unleash multiple massive rounds of heavy riffs contributing to the creation of a steady powerful groove that will require immediate headbanging and such high energy is certainly matched by Laura’s majestic vibrato.

The title track doesn’t waste any time as guitars hold again a crucial role following feverish rhythmic blasts to deliver a rich rhythmic backbone that fiercely channels classic metal flavors but will eventually embrace a slower ominous mood with a fair dosage of doom oriented melodies.

The introspective atmospheres of “Approaching The End” instantly evoke the tenebrous vibes of traditional doom metal as the whole instrumentation follow dramatically slower rhythms and the guitar solos crafts absolutely dismal tonalities while Laura’s cathartic performance will definitely impress the audience.

“Hunger” maintains a slower yet intensely heavy rhythmic ensemble as guitars smoothly blend classic doom riffage and bluesy melodic accents that will become particularly spacey in the sweet psychedelic tinged breakdown followed by a rightfully flamboyant rocking guitar solo.  

Despite being a debut album “Under The Mountain” showcases truly mature musicianship & songwriting as King Witch definitely draws inspiration from the golden days of classic doom rock/metal yet ventures further to achieve a personal style.
Under The Mountain

The Dark Red Seed – Becomes Awake

King Dude guitarist Tosten Larson and engineer Shawn Flemming new musical outlet The Dark Red Seed last year released the enigmatic debut EP “Stands with Death” and now the band is ready to truly reveal a unique music manifesto with the full length “Becomes Awake”.

This intense music journey begins with the mystical tonalities of “Dukkha” soon followed by a mix of crunchy guitar riffs and lavish fuzzy melodies that accompany heartfelt vocals but there are also avant-garde moments featuring dissonant saxophone & synths dynamics that effortlessly enhance the mysterious mood.

“Darker Days” offers familiar dark folk nuances with intricate acoustic phrases and a profound melancholy yet this track features minimalist and absolutely captivating grooves skillfully amplified  by another round of dissonant multi instrumental progressions.

On “Ancient Sunrise” surreal soundscapes are influenced by exotic music flavors with mystical chants floating through shimmering minimalist acoustic passages which will be further adorned by dreamlike atmospheres and horns.

“The Destroyer” gradually guides you through a grim atmospheric maze where vocals acquire a gloomy poetic delivery following a soft passionate melodic crescendo featuring the alluring beauty of strings, graceful acoustic guitars and occasional epic trumpets.  

The darkened rhythm of “Awakening” will ensure a trance state with a steady enigmatic rhythmic crescendo spontaneously crafted by calm atmospheric arrangements and vibrat guitar melodies.

“Diana And Ouroboros Dance” begins with psychedelic distortions that introduce a contemplative mood made of slow burning guitar melodies but the inner chaotic soul of the song is bound to emerge with enticing saxophone passages, wilder vocals and a final charismatic dissonant  momentum.

Becomes Awake

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.