White Ward – Love Exchange Failure

Ukraine-based post-black metal band White Ward is destined to garner attention within the underground scene as the fervent creative force behind the sophomore full length “Love Exchange Failure” is fueled by eclectic composition and introspective depth. 

The title track is an enigmatic opus starting with minimalist melancholic piano melodies and warm jazz oriented saxophone that will evolve into a crushing blackened ensemble featuring an enraged rhythmic section filled with hostile guitar riffs surrounded by desperate screams and haunting atmospheric layers. 

“Poisonous Flowers Of Violence” depicts a dreamy sonic realm with luminous guitar phrases but such tranquillity won’t last long as the frantic blackened dynamics take over with intense rhythmic bursts often enriched by sorrowful melodic crescendos and detailed atmospheric arrangements that highlight the song’s contemplative nature. 

An irresistible sense of nostalgia lingers throughout “No Cure For Pain” as the saxophone naturally crafts comforting harmonies until a massive darkness prevails leading to aggressive rhythmic segments with precise drumming and galloping guitar riffs but gorgeous melodic elements will eventually emerge evoking somber emotions. 

The complex and meticulous songwriting behind “Uncanny Delusions” is evident as you get lost within the dramatic melodic textures and bleak soundscapes that still embrace a quasi chaotic black metal inspiration while the enticing combo of guitars and saxophone will amplify the overwhelming decadent melancholy with refined darkened melodies. 

White Ward have a unique way to express poignant feelings telling stories about humanity’s existential struggle through the captivating soundscapes that on “Love Exchange Failure” will often surprise the listeners with exceptional diverse dynamics and interesting style variations.

Cloak – The Burning Dawn

This is an exciting time for American quartet Cloak as they are ready to unleash the sophomore full length “The Burning Dawn” which promises to solidify the band’s status with an enthralling darkened essence. 

“The Cleansing Fire” immediately builds a fiery heavy momentum with an overdose of blackened rock grooves ideal for a cool live performance while the melodic guitar leads naturally evoke a sheer melancholia in proper gothic fashion. 

“A Voice In The Night” conveys irresistible eerie vibes through the slower dramatic passages and the bewitching dark tonalities of the guitar work which effortlessly shifts from decadent melodic textures to sharp riffage accompanied by the aptly sinister vocal delivery. 

“Lifeless Silence” certainly emphasizes the melodic grandeur and the gothic allure with understated atmospheric accents and guitars also acquire extremely melancholic nuances without sacrificing the heavier groovy elements. 

The instrumental track “The Fire, The Faith, The Void” depicts an eternal gloom allowing the melodic guitar leads to stand out providing poetic phrases and gelid tonalities that amplify the compelling gothic flair. 

“On Poisoned Ground” relies on a wild black ‘n’ roll spirit consequently the groovy guitar riffs and the bold rhythmic section can showcase an aggressive approach yet there will always be plenty of melodic leads channeling profoundly somber emotions. 

Despite being still a new name in the metal scene Cloak are already shaping their own sonic identity fueled by undiluted darkness and youthful energy in fact “The Burning Dawn” is destined to conquer your cold black hearts with a charismatic blend of haunting melodies and groovy dynamics. 

 

Kayo Dot – Blasphemy

Founded by composer and producer Toby Driver, Kayo Dot has been an outlet for eclectic experimentation which once again comes to life with renewed energy on the new album “Blasphemy”, based on an allegorical story by Jason Byron and destined to surprise the listener with interesting and often unusual soundscapes. 

“Ocean Cumulonimbus” can sound like the sweetest lullaby with peaceful melodic tapestries yet there is a tormented spirit that eventually emerges through the darkened rhythmic bursts and the frantic vocal delivery. 

The gentle melodic passages on “The Something Opal” certainly can evoke a sense of serenity but underneath lies a sort of rebellious mood amplified by the intense vocals within a surreal blend of guitars and synths.  

“Vanishing Act In Blinding Gray” is a perfect example of the polyhedric composition that characterizes the whole album, starting with dreamy melodic nuances that will give way to a more chaotic and unpredictable series of rhythmic progressions featuring theatrical vocals and borderline aggressive guitar dynamics. 

“Turbine, Hook And Haul” offers a cinematic soundscape where the intricate blend of understated atmospheric arrangements and moody guitar melodies bear striking post-rock influences and lead to the creation of a quite emotional sonic experience. 

On “Blasphemy: A Prophecy” synths feel very dominant delivering darker atmospheric textures with distinct goth vibes that constantly surround and emphasize the dramatic vocal delivery and despite the slow paced rhythm this track seems to hold a strong mystical energy.  

“Blasphemy” feels so far from trends and rules as Kayo Dot proves to be brave following a wild sonic vision that aims to mix a multitude of styles and tonalities to create something different yet more accessible than expected. 

Disillusion – The Liberation

The dark technical music style of German band Disillusion has always attracted a selected audience within the underground metal scene but the new release “The Liberation” which is the first full-length in 13 years definitely has the necessary strength to conquer more listeners and to properly celebrate the band’s comeback.

“Wintertide” reaches an incredible melancholic depth certainly enhanced by the inner despair of the vocals, the extremely somber guitar tonalities and the pensive melodic progressions reminiscent of glorious melo-death themes yet there are moments of inflamed rhythmic intensity as faster drumming and shattering riffs march fiercely through the grand grief stricken atmosphere. 

On “A Shimmer In The Darkest Sea” the whole instrumental ensemble slows down to emphasize the atmospheric gloom and the wistful melodic splendor constantly evoking cathartic emotions and an overwhelming melancholia further expressed by the impeccable sorrowful vocal harmonies. 

The title track grabs your attention with the skillful guitar work blending utterly ravenous riffs and elaborate melodic leads often following frenetic rhythmic segments while the vocals can sound quite solemn matching the epic arrangements that will ultimately lead to calmer moments filled with crispy emotional guitar passages. 

There are plenty of catchy vibes on the chorus of “Time To Let Go” which still showcases a compelling brooding spirit with the contemplative vocal delivery and the perfect blend of aggressive rhythmic dynamics and heartfelt guitar harmonies that at times can evoke a sense of hopefulness with luminous nuances. 

There are so many understated emotions flourishing through the complex composition of “The Liberation” and Disillusion embark on such stylish introspective music journey with unrestrained passion and renewed energy. 

1349 – The Infernal Pathway

Norwegian black metal titans 1349 reach a new diabolical milestone with the seventh full-length “The Infernal Pathway” which draws its inner pitchblack energy from the band’s primordial roots yet dares to broaden the ferocious sonic manifesto with darkened melodies & atmospheres. 

“Abyssos Antithesis” packs a series of blistering blackened grooves as fiery guitars and monumental drums are clearly fueled by a devastating primal force while the impressive soloing delivers a precise and intense shredding galore. 

The perilous core of “Through Eyes Of Stone” ensures belligerent guitar progressions leading to an asphyxiating heavy momentum as the rhythmic section simply feels unstoppable and Ravn’s growls certainly amplify the darkly anthemic essence. 

On “Towers Upon Towers” you will find plenty of aggressive rhythmic blasts yet the mighty guitar licks will also channel a profound sense of despair with brooding melodic hints and the vocals will acquire extra dramatic depth. 

“Striding The Chasm” is destined to become a favorite with an intense hellish strength leading to addictive black ‘n’ roll grooves courtesy of absolutely menacing heavy guitar riffs, terrific flawless drum blasts and an utterly savage solo. 

“Stand Tall in Fire” dwells within a perennial gelid darkness shifting the focus to total desolation and gloomy grandeur this time through theatrical ominous narratives conveying an arcane flair through the intoxicating guitar melodies and the insanely sinister rhythmic patterns. 

Undoubtedly at the center of “The Infernal Pathway” you can always perceive the Aural Hellfire that symbolizes the sonic realm of 1349 since their inception but the band also continues to spontaneously evolve in order to create a memorable journey through chaos and darkness. 

Crimson Moon – Mors Vincit Omnia

Black metal collective Crimson Moon have been around for many years but the fourth full-length “Mors Vincit Omnia” raises the bar unleashing major occult hymns that will spread absolute darkness from beginning to end. 

The atmospheric depth of “Vanitas” leads to a diabolical soundscape certainly emphasized by the ritualistic choirs and embellished by the mournful melodic guitars while the tormented growls and the menacing fast rhythmic bursts channel the essential fury of classic black metal. 

Like a hymn to the Angel of Death “Altars Of Azrael” is drenched in darkness as the choral incantations amplify the arcane force of the atmospheric layers surrounding a hypnotizing blend of melodic gloom and fierce blackened dynamics. 

The esoteric essence of “Parcae – Trinity Of Fates” is immediately palpable with the overdose of ominous atmospheric arrangements and the recurring theatrical chants flowing through the desolate melodic grandeur featuring plenty of bewitching guitar harmonies and dramatic rhythmic patterns that can spontaneously evolve into a violent blackened entity. 

The title track lets the darkness prevail and this time the black metal elements feel even stronger with the galloping devilish guitar riffs, the aggressive drumming and the creepy growls rising from hellish depths yet guitars can provide moments of intense melodic despair. 

The mood of “Funeral Begotten” is aptly macabre & morbid as bleak synths and eerie organ constantly deliver hypnotic nuances accompanied by the solemn vibes of the mysterious choirs while guitars seem to favor a grave melodic approach filled with blurry forlorn tonalities following a slower rhythmic section. 

Since the very first listening “Mors Vincit Omnia” drags you into an obscure sonic realm where all hope is lost as Crimson Moon confidently concoct the darkest hymns that will become your new favorite winter soundtrack. 

Mayhem – Daemon

Once again the mighty Norwegian black metal icons Mayhem confidently arise from the darkest depths and invite you to enter the insidious sonic realm of the new offering “Daemon”, an album that probably will be remembered for the complex structures and the overwhelming obscurity. 

“The Dying False King” hits you in the face with malevolent fast tremolo riffs and the consequent magnetic blackened momentum leads to total darkness even when the tempo slows down drastically to emphasize the song’s dramatic depth and the devilish vibes of Attila’s growls. 

“Agenda Ignis” can sound simply ferocious as the precise drumming dictates insane speed yet there’s space for diverse intriguing rhythmic dynamics and the guitar work aims to impress with alluring darkened melodies drawing energy from the intense haunting tonalities. 

The enigmatic aura of “Malum” is incarnated in the esoteric vocal delivery and its theatrical expression of pain and anger while the guitar phrases can easily channel immense sinister vibes lingering through the ravenous rhythmic patterns that rightfully belong to the realm of classic black metal. 

“Aeon Daemonium” is a memorable hymn to darkness filled with the shattering ominous instrumental tonalities and the slower tormented guitar harmonies that surround desperate laments and hellish growls fueled by the cold energy provided by the faster menacing rhythmic core.  

The arcane chanting on “Daemon Spawn” continues to convey an intoxicating theatrical allure and the consequent spiritual aura is further enhanced by the intricate guitar work that often focuses on the creation of hypnotic melodic waves in contrast with the full blown blackened rhythmic force.

The chaotic essence of “Everlasting Dying Flame” relies on a solid series of brutal rhythmic segments so the primordial black metal roots feel particularly dominant yet guitars have the ability to diversify such traditional sonic onslaught with bewitching gelid melodies. 

“Black Glass Communion” reminds you that this might be the darkest album of the year as the savage guitar riffs emerge straight from a hellish abyss and will continue to march fiercely through the perilous blackened grooves embellished by aptly mysterious vocals.  

For the true acolytes listening to the new diabolical opus “Daemon” becomes a ritual and at this point of their glorious career Mayhem know exactly how to express the darkest feelings while staying true to their crucial legacy and at the same time following an ex novo creative force. 

 

Black Star Riders – Another State Of Grace

It didn’t take long for Black Star Riders to garner attention since the release of the debut album “All Hell Breaks Loose” back in 2013 but now a new line-up and an untamed hard rock energy lead to the brand new album “Another State Of Grace”. 

“Tonight The Moonlight Let Me Down” makes you feel good with so many groovy guitar riffs leading to cohesive and fun rhythmic dynamics accompanied by smooth vocals. 

The title track can sound heavier as the guitar work is simply electrifying with massive grooves, flamboyant leads and tight riffage while the sing along chorus will get stuck in your head. 

“Underneath The Afterglow” keeps the grooves going and you know you will have a good time listening to this track as soon as the crunchy guitar riffs take over and the soloing adds extra glamorous elements. 

Featuring guest vocalist Pearl Aday “What Will It Take” has some nostalgic ballad style elements with accessible mellow guitar melodies that aim to emphasize the emotive power of the vocal duet. 

With heavier guitar riffs and fancy soloing “In The Shadow Of The War Machine” acquires some frenetic rhythmic patterns and even slightly darker tonalities but it still stays true to the catchy classic rock themes.  

“Poisoned Heart” goes straight to a catchy mood keeping things uncomplicated with the crispy sound of guitars that can easily deliver sweet melodies and groovy riffs accompanied by the confident vocal harmonies. 

With “Another State Of Grace” Black Star Riders can say to have crafted another anthemic collection of rock songs and while delivering grooves full of positive energy once again they showcase stellar musicianship. 

Foscor – Els Sepulcres Blancs

The atmospheric music realm of Foscor fully comes to life on the latest release “Els Sepulcres Blancs” which is the second chapter of a poetic conceptual trilogy where the band is able to explore intense emotions within the world of dreams and expectations. 

The dreamy themes of the whole album are already evident on “Laments” as fragile piano melodies and hazy atmospheres feel essential yet there are some engaging rhythmic crescendos when guitars acquire heavier rock tonalities. 

On “Malson” the instrumental passages focus on icy harmonies and immense melancholia with the strong post-rock influence of the tranquil guitar melodies and the soft vocal delivery and while there are some pleasant rhythmic progressions everything here belongs to an ethereal sonic realm. 

On “Cel Rogent” there are plenty of intriguing dynamics as guitars can deliver bold groovy riffs yet this is not a particularly heavy track as a profound melancholia continues to linger leading to misty atmospheric layers and graceful soloing. 

“Cançó de Mort” relies on multilayered sentimental arrangements and relaxing delicate guitar phrases with hints of darker emotions or scattered luminous harmonies to create an intimate musical and even philosophical experience. 

On “Els Sepulcres Blancs” Foscor seem to have left behind their blackened roots to fully focus on an introspective musical depth that demands dreamy soundscapes and a taste of poetry to be fully expressed. 

Silvertomb – Edge Of Existence

Featuring Type O Negative / Seventh Void members Kenny Hickey and Johnny Kelly Silvertomb is finally ready to release the debut album “Edge Of Existence” which showcases a multifaceted sonic identity imbued with authentic emotions. 

“Insomnia / Sunrise” was released as first single and certainly gives you an idea of how much darkness surrounds Silvertomb’s music as the multilayered atmospheres and the genuine vocal delivery evoke feelings of grief surrounding the groovy rock dynamics confidently built by the raw guitar riffs and the crispy melodic leads. 

The hazy piano melodies on “Love You Without No Lies” are already drenched in darkness and so many cathartic emotions are flowing through the sorrowful rhythmic patterns and the bittersweet melodic tapestries as guitars effortlessly shift from heavy rock momentum to introspective depth. 

On “Not Your Savior” guitars can acquire strong doom tonalities that inevitably amplify the gloomy feelings fully expressed by the melodic passages and Kenny delivers desperate screams but also calmer heartfelt vocal harmonies. 

The atmospheric keyboards on “One Of You” evoke intense funereal vibes with some fascinating creepy tones that definitely emphasize the monumental guitar riffs as well as the darkened leads and the doom inspiration here feels quite dominant leading to a series of heavier rhythmic dynamics. 

At the center of “Right Of Passage / Crossing Over” there is a massive darkly hypnotic force that generates doom oriented rhythmic patterns with the monolithic weight of the drums while the guitar work also creates refined melancholic melodies embracing a contemplative atmosphere and reaching the acme with an utterly mesmerizing solo. 

While the new sonic incarnation Silvertomb has a classic rock oriented core these extremely talented musicians are willing to explore diverse styles to fully express their remarkable creativity always combined with an intense emotive strength that renders “Edge Of Existence” an inspiring work of music.