Fleshgod Apocalypse – Veleno

Italian masters of orchestral death metal Fleshgod Apocalypse have worked meticulously to perfect their grandiose music vision which fully comes to life with the merciless yet utterly elegant new album “Veleno”.

Just like the title suggests the strong obscure feelings of “Fury” come from the band’s extreme metal roots that generate tremendous chaotic moments featuring simply relentless guitar riffs, precise drumming and the ruthless growls of Francesco Paoli but such furious momentum will naturally embrace the sublime elegance of the intricate symphonic arrangements & solemn choirs.  

The dramatic guitar melodies and refined orchestral textures in the beginning of “Carnivorous Lamb” give you a chance to breathe before entering a hostile sonic realm filled with untamed drum blasts, super fast guitar riffs and savage growls while Paolo Rossi’s clean vocals enhance the delightful theatrical aspects of the melodic passages.

“Sugar” was rightfully chosen as first single and still represents one of the most intense moments on the album hitting you in the face with frantic technical rhythmic patterns and a memorable yet absolutely ferocious chorus glowing through the complex concoction of abrasive guitars, stylish melodic phrases and majestic orchestrations.

The rhythm slows down on “Monnalisa” to emphasize the opulent symphonic tapestries and the baroque flair paying homage to the many classical Italian virtuosi, the genius of Paganini often comes to mind as inspiration, and certainly such sumptuous melodic essence, well expressed by Veronica Bordacchini’s flawless vocals and by the dazzling guitar melodies, has the necessary charisma to capture your attention.

On “Absinthe” the classical elements shine bright through the magnificent symphonic waves that surround Paolo’s melodramatic vocals and Francesco’s hellish growls creating a darkly poetic contrast that will be further amplified by the neoclassical accents of the guitar work and the primordial impulse of the relentless rhythmic patterns.

Listening to “The Day We’ll Be Gone” feels like a night at the opera as Veronica takes the center stage with a bewitching operatic vocal performance accompanied by the classical finesse of the perfectly melancholic piano melodies, the poignant melodic guitar soloing and the ravishing atmospheric gloom.

“Embrace The Oblivion” will conquer the listeners with its wicked technical death metal approach as the guitar work holds an essential role in the creation of massive monolithic grooves but also with its compelling darkened epic aesthetics as Paolo’s vocals and radiant orchestral layers emphasize the theatrical nature of the song which will naturally fade into the classical allure of the piano piece on the title track that closes the album with profoundly nostalgic nuances.

The spontaneously explosive sonic evolution of Fleshgod Apocalypse today leads to a unique elaborate music style that deserves your utmost attention and appreciation as “Veleno” is the legit incarnation of such ambitious artistic vision and its consequent vivid emotional turmoil that always feels palpable within the exquisite blend of classical splendor and enraged extreme metal force.

October Tide – In Splendor Below

Swedish melodic death/doom metallers October Tide, featuring former Katatonia members Fredrik and Mattias Norrman, are ready to share with the world their new darkly emotive sonic journey incarnated by the sixth studio album “In Splendor Below”.

“I, The Polluter” has what it takes to grab your attention with impactful rhythmic dynamics and menacing growls inspired by classic death metal but eventually the exquisitely melancholic themes will become more prominent through elegantly cold guitar melodies and brooding tonalities.

“We Died In October” has a calmer mood starting with deliciously darkened guitar phrases flowing gracefully within a doom tinged sonic realm and the rhythmic segments certainly sound fierce accompanied by obscure growls yet tend to leave behind excessive brutality to highlight such melodic splendor.

Even with a slower tempo “Our Famine” still relies on a gelid melo-death essence offering sorrowful guitar melodies characterized by depressing yet absolutely gorgeous tonalities that shine particularly during the minimalist contemplative breakdown.

On “Seconds” the shimmering melancholic guitar melodies once again will impress the listeners while the mighty harsh rhythmic patterns and the moody atmospheres tend to emphasize familiar mournful doom tonalities.

On “Envy The Moon” guitars continue to deserve the spotlight effortlessly shifting from galloping riffs to extremely gloomy melodies according to the contrasting nuances that characterize the whole album and the result is another heartfelt harmonious soundscape that will ultimately feel like a wintry daydream.

October Tide truly demonstrate the ability to express a multitude of poignant feelings through the winning blend of refined melodic waves and extreme metal roots behind the creation of “In Splendor Below”.

Helheim – Rignir

Pioneers of Norwegian Viking metal Helheim have been proudly representing their Norse heritage through music and lyrics for over two decades and the tenth album “Rignir” is filled with darkly melancholic feelings inspired by the weather in Bergen.

The exquisite melodic essence of the title track is certainly fueled by an inner melancholia and guitars shift from tranquil harmonies to increasingly darker distorted riffs maintaining utterly somber tonalities just like  the crestfallen emotions expressed by the clean vocals.

On “Kaldr” you can perceive a primal rhythmic approach as guitars acquire blackened elements following a faster & darker rhythm that will eventually embrace a folk oriented melodic ensemble with lovely atmospheric nuances and elegant melancholic guitar leads.

“Hagl” begins with gorgeous dreamy guitar phrases and serene vocals creating an idyllic soundscape but later there is a change of pace as the rhythm becomes harsh with a series of intense blackened guitar riffs accompanied by a dramatic vocal delivery channeling solemn Viking metal vibes.

The magical guitar melodies of “Stormviðri” cannot go unnoticed constantly channeling sheer wintry melancholia with an overdose of gloomy instrumental passages flowing gently through understated atmospheric waves emphasized by the majestic passionate clean vocals that will occasionally evolve into tormented growls.  

Once again the alluring strength of “Vetrarmegin” comes from the refined melodic guitar leads yet the rhythmic patterns here can also offer fiery blackened elements and consequently generate an obscure mood definitely amplified by the borderline ferocious growls.

Celebrating a genuine devotion for Norse heritage and the beauty of nature, “Rignir” successfully depicts gloomy autumn days and gelid winter nights as Helheim confidently combine an aggressive rhythmic approach with sophisticated melodic tapestries.  

Enforcer – Zenith

Swedish heavy metal band Enforcer took longer than usual to create with total freedom the big & loud new album “Zenith” which showcases a proper old school songwriting approach and a pure passion for the glorious era of ‘80s metal and hard rock.

“Die For The Devil” is such a fun track filled with catchy guitar licks that lead to a groovy rhythmic section while at times an inner nostalgia triggers bittersweet melodic moments enhanced by heartfelt vocals.

The mood gets slightly darker and maybe even more serious with “Zenith Of The Black Sun” as the guitar work can successfully deliver somber melodies as well as quite bombastic riffage and glamorous soloing while Olof Wikstrand deserves the spotlight for his charismatic vocals.

“Searching For You” is clearly inspired by old school speed metal as a tight series of crunchy guitar riffs diligently follows galloping rhythmic blasts leading to a full blown flamboyant guitar solo that will grab your attention.

The strong spirit of heavy metal is at the core of “The End Of A Universe” with the addition of  major epic vibes channeling familiar power metal dynamics through steady polished guitar riffs and impressive high pitch vocals.

Blasting another round of entertaining epic grooves “Forever We Worship The Dark” relies on soaring guitar riffs and a vibrant sing along chorus that once again emphasizes Olof’s vocal abilities.

“Ode To Death” marks a majestic conclusion for the album evoking darker feelings through refined guitar melodies that gracefully surround Olof’s fervent vocal delivery and will later evolve into a massive heavy metal ensemble spiced up by another inflamed guitar solo marching through the solemn atmospheric nuances.

“Zenith” is an explosive collection of heavy metal anthems clearly dedicated to fans of such classic style and certainly you will immediately notice that Enforcer pay homage to this timeless genre with pride and devotion.


Hedonihil – I

Hedonihil is a new thrilling project featuring the talent of Juuso Raatikainen, Mikko Kotamäki and Juho Räihä of beloved Finnish band Swallow The Sun and the result of their collaboration is the untamed sonic assault of the debut album “I”.

“Otherworldly Embrace” opens the album with a lugubrious atmosphere creating a suspenseful mood so you realize that something is about to happen and in fact violent death metal dynamics will be unleashed with undiluted fury through harsh guitar riffs and thunderous drums briefly interrupted by darkened harmonious phrases.

“The Hedonist Anthem” has an inner gloomy melodic soul courtesy of some alluring melancholic guitar melodies but also an utterly hostile sound that generates fast punishing rhythmic patterns further enhanced by merciless growls crawling out of a blackened abyss.

The creepy atmospheric arrangements of “Temple Of Venus” embellish the wrathful rhythmic core impeccably created by super fast drums and crushing guitar riffs but once again shimmering guitar melodies provide some stylish variations.

The misanthropic attitude of “Anti-Human Agenda” relies on another series of frenetic guitar riffs, major hellish growls and consequent menacing rhythmic blasts that call for instant headbanging and demand to be played loud.

The cold-blooded force of “Better Tomorrow” comes from the aggressive rhythmic dynamics as unstoppable guitars ensure solid mosh pit friendly grooves spiced up by some ominous atmospheric accents.

Hedonihil aim to deliver massive blackened death metal anthems and they absolutely succeed as all the tracks on “I” sound relentless, spontaneously brutal and full of negative vibes only demonstrating the eclectic musicianship of this brilliant trio.

Novarupta – Disillusioned Fire

The genesis of Novarupta begins when Swedish musician/composer Alex Stjernfeldt leaves The Moth Gatherer following his desire to explore different music territories and the result is the debut album “Disillusioned Fire” which also features a collaboration with several renowned vocalists.

“Stones” features a strong vocal performance by Tomas Liljedahl that matches the gloomy emotions expressed by the bittersweet guitar melodies flowing through the monumental heavier sludge oriented rhythmic patterns.  

Featuring Jörgen Sandström on vocals “Pyroclastic Flows” stands out for the enchanting melancholia infused guitar melodies that will certainly move the listeners yet there is a darker aura lingering throughout the song that often will lead to harsh guitar riffs and fierce instrumental dynamics.

Featuring the unmistakable intense growls by Mikael Stanne of Dark Tranquillity “Mare Tranquillitatis” successfully depicts desolate soundscapes through a moody blend of nostalgic melodic phrases generating contemplative moments and feverish guitar riffs that dictate a more aggressive rhythm.

Hypnotizing cold melodies are at the center of “Ourang Medan” and Martin Wegeland of Domkraft delivers a passionate vocal performance that naturally emphasizes the dramatic atmospheres, the darkened guitar tonalities and the frenetic rhythmic crescendos.

The sonic realm of “Disillusioned Fire” feels immensely dark yet somehow comforting and since the first listening you can easily comprehend that the musical direction of Novarupta is fueled by genuine emotions, uncertainty and pain.

Eluveitie – Ategnatos

Swiss folk metal superstars Eluveitie embark on a brand new epic journey with the 8th album “Ategnatos” which seems to have all the necessary elements to satisfy the devoted fans featuring the band’s signature blend of melodic death metal and magical traditional folk tapestries accompanied by a real string quartet.

Without any hesitation the title track manifest the band’s successful folk metal formula focusing on epic cinematic soundscapes meticulously crafted by traditional instruments such as hurdy gurdy and bagpipes that enrich the recurring lavish melodies but the band never forgets to add some darkened heavier dynamics with intense rhythmic crescendos, bold guitar riffs and ominous growls.

The opulent multi-layered folk arrangements of “Black Water Dawn” tend to steal the spotlight leading to a particularly enthralling melodic ensemble emphasized by the lovely vocals by Fabienne Erni while groovy guitar riffs & soloing channel the expected heavier momentum.

“A Cry In The Wilderness” offers elegant atmospheric textures followed by a more substantial melodic death metal approach with the right dosage of crunchy guitar licks and ravenous growls while the melodic spirit naturally comes to life through the intricate folk harmonies.

“The Raven Hill” favors ancient folk vibes that lead to solemn chants and enchanting harmonies as the instrumental passages can sound absolutely melancholic but also playful following an entertaining upbeat rhythm.

Featuring guest vocalist Randy Blythe of Lamb Of God “Worship” incarnates a darker essence through prominent savage growls and a rather fierce guitar driven assault while the harmonious folk nuances also tend to match such sinister mood with mysterious atmospheres and somber melodic phrases.

“Breathe” is a particularly catchy track where a mix of soothing folk melodies and catchy guitar riffs create a sumptuous soundscape around Fabienne’s glowing vocal performance and a memorable widely accessible chorus.

“Rebirth” maintains major epic vibes and dwells in a classic melo-death sonic realm as it can sound utterly vicious with loads of fast energetic rhythmic segments and massive guitar riffage obviously amplified by the intense growls in contrast with the softer spellbinding atmospheric moments.

“Eclipse” closes the album with a minimalist atmospheric approach that allows the listeners to truly appreciate Fabienne’s passionate & haunting vocal performance.

From beginning to end “Ategnatos” is a majestic opus destined to conquer even more fans as despite some major line up changes Eluveitie appear in excellent shape ready to embrace a new bombastic chapter in their successful career.

Vltimas – Something Wicked Marches In

Vltimas will be inevitably categorized as a supergroup since this new band features Rune “Blasphemer” Eriksen (ex-MAYHEM, AURA NOIR), David Vincent (ex-MORBID ANGEL) and Flo Mounier (CRYPTOPSY) that joined forces to create crushing hymns to darkness on the anticipated debut album “Something Wicked Marches In”.

The title track symbolizes the exquisite dark music pathway chosen by Vltimas with ominous melodic accents that introduce a massive killer combo of fierce drumming and belligerent guitar riffs certainly inspired by traditional death metal dynamics amplified by David’s signature obscure growls and spiced up by tasteful guitar licks.

The primordial darkness of “Praevalidus” comes to life through a brutal approach generated by relentless rhythmic blasts that hit you in the face yet within such hellish sonic realm guitar leads have the opportunity to craft intense darkened melodies.

“Monolilith” is still drenched in darkness and the rhythmic patterns can slow down significantly to emphasize the dramatic grim vocal delivery and the refined sinister guitar phrases that add a sense of impending doom and gothic grandeur to the classic death metal backbone.

Darkly inspired atmospheres & arpeggios open “Last Ones Alive Win Nothing” leading to compelling dismal soundscapes while a series of opulent guitar melodies inevitably evokes a whirlwind of tormented feelings easily matched by David’s menacing growls.

On “Marching On” darkness continues to be triumphant as abrasive guitar riffs and monumental drums generate anthemic death metal segments within an asphyxiating sonic realm while once again the lead guitar work stands out crafting sophisticated melodies.

The fact that Vltimas is the joint effort of brilliant musicians foreshadows the uncompromising strength and the serious effort incarnated by “Something Wicked Marches In” which will definitely satisfy all acolytes of extreme metal with its palpable diabolical charm.  

Asthma Castle – Mount Crushmore

Stoner/sludge metal collective Asthma Castle is a new name in the metal scene but features veteran musicians and the debut album “Mount Crushmore” demonstrates the band’s natural ability to create monolithic heavy grooves.

“The Incline Of Western Civilization” doesn’t require a constant fast rhythm to sound absolutely crushing because the monumental guitar riffs, the bold bass backbone and the mighty drumming successfully build monstrous grooves from beginning to end channeling raw energy as well as some catchy darkened vibes.

On the title track the instrumental patterns become increasingly heavier relying on a cohesive series of aggressive guitar riffs and such fierce groovy approach is certainly amplified by enraged screams and thunderous drum blasts while the guitar solo brings some enjoyable gritty stoner rock elements.

“Here Come The Black Ship” offers simply unstoppable heavy grooves as guitars once again ensure instant headbanging with fiery riffage and add compelling doom inspired melodic licks that eventually lead to a slower profoundly dark immersive momentum.

First of all “Brazilian Catbox Incident” is definitely an interesting title and this track features consistent super groovy rhythmic dynamics channeling a familiar heavy sludge blueprint enhanced by the borderline brutal vocals while lead guitars spice up such belligerent rhythmic patterns with absolutely catchy melodic phrases.

Asthma Castle self describe their music style as “hefty metal” consequently on “Mount Crushmore” you can expect an overdose of intense guitar driven grooves that will certainly keep you entertained.   

Bergraven – Det Framlidna Minnet

Swedish avant-garde progressive dark metal act Bergraven never refrains from exploring contrasting themes and diverse music territories in fact such visionary approach naturally leads to the enigmatic soundscapes of the latest album “Det Framlidna Minnet”.

On “Allt” the primal blackened momentum inevitably channels desperate and chaotic feelings following fast drumming and diabolical growls but the mood drastically changes when guitars acquire jazz inspired tonalities leading to edgy rhythmic variations and softer tonalities.  

The melodic splendor of “Den Följsamma Plågan” comes from the melancholic arpeggios that certainly generate a peaceful mood accompanied by fragile atmospheric accents yet this track holds a dark soul clearly fueled by traditional black metal as guitar riffs can acquire ominous tonalities matched by the enraged growls.

It’s not surprising to hear that melancholy and bleakness are essential elements on “Minnets Melankoli” which features an intense contemplative nature expressed by cathartic acoustic passages in contrast with the raw energy of the blackened dynamics.

“Till Priset Av Vårt Liv” is an ambitious track that offers a plethora of sonic variations starting with unusual rhythmic segments characterized by borderline dissonant guitar riffs and sophisticated jazz inspired progressions while the dreamy melodic essence emphasizes an inner desolation with loads of darkened guitar tonalities accompanied by anguished screams.

As Bergraven constantly maintain an experimental approach “Det Framlidna Minnet” always showcases great style diversity borrowing the undiluted fury of black metal or simply creating unexpected melodic tapestries.