Carach Angren – Dance And Laugh Amongst The Rotten

Renowned for an intense ensemble of theatrical soundscapes and ghastly storytelling Dutch symphonic black metal act Carach Angren is ready to conquer new acolytes with the latest release “Dance And Laugh Amongst The Rotten” lyrically centered on tales about a girl playing a little too long with her Ouija board.

Like a cinematic soundtrack the album intro “Opening” perfectly introduces the listeners to an obscure sonic realm with solemn classical orchestrations.

It’s not surprising that “Charlie” relies on haunting themes with nightmarish atmospheres skillfully enhanced by tasteful classical accents and theatrical choirs. The unique creative force can be found in the epic orchestrations as an undeniable sense of grandeur surrounds and adorns the raw black metal guitar riffing that channel old school blackened fury.

On “Blood Queen” the main rhythmic section can effortlessly acquire the traditional thunderous energy of extreme metal but what renders this track particularly interesting is the theatrical extravaganza enhanced by the mournful piano passages, elegant string sections and the sinister narratives.

“Charles Francis Coghlan” has the cold atmosphere of a spooky winter night and focuses more on variegated somber guitar melodies while baroque orchestral arrangements and sophisticated classical string sections deliver poignant theatrical vibes.

“In De Naam Van De Duivel” amplifies ominous vibes and faster blackened guitar driven rhythms. Like in an entertaining operetta charismatic horror style narratives and flamboyant orchestral passages deliver radiant melodic moments as well as loads of haunting atmospheric layers.

Like sparks of insanity crushing black metal guitar riffs lead the way on “Three Times Thunder Strikes” surrounded by subtle darkly cinematic orchestral layers that later evolve into more intricate symphonic tapestries in proper theatrical fashion.

Since they have a lot of creepy stories to tell Carach Angren deserve a wider audience and while the blackened metal moments are certainly well executed and absolutely enjoyable but what makes “Dance And Laugh Amongst The Rotten” particularly fascinating is the stunning macabre beauty of the orchestral arrangements composed by Clemens ‘Ardek’ Wijers.

Tuesday The Sky – Drift

The new project Tuesday The Sky started when Jim Matheos of progressive metal pioneers Fates Warning felt that a bonus track didn’t fit the band’s music style. Working further on that particular song’s approach Matheos felt the desire to continue to explore and experiment with atmospheric instrumental music leading to the creation of the album “Drift”.

“Today The Sky” has a pure crystalline range of sounds with kaleidoscopic melodic guitar layers, prog oriented guitar soloing and an overall serene atmosphere.

“Vortex Street” has a surreal ambient mood further enhanced by graceful ethereal vocals and textured harmonies that channel a warm sense of inner peace.

Featuring guest keyboardist Kevin Moore “It Comes In Waves” has more prominent prog metal elements with loads of compelling guitar melodies surrounded by soothing ambient layers.

“Westerlies” feels quiet and nostalgic with introspective atmospheres, delicate vocals and a series of smooth inspired guitar melodies.

The title track has spacey electro tinged feelings with intricate yet quite accessible keyboards arrangements and a relaxed mood.

Since Matheos is an experienced and successful musician “Drift” is not your average debut album and its creative ambient/electronica style will certainly surprise the audience.

Beastmaker – Inside The Skull

Beastmaker might be considered an emerging band but with the new full-length “Inside The Skull” the band is eager to show a mature sound spiced up with a macabre mood and intense psychedelic momentum.

“Evil One” opens the album channeling the particular vintage doom soundscape that will have a dominant role throughout the rest of the album, also horror themes and a general darkened mood influence the intriguing guitar melodies.

Besides the obvious lycanthropic atmosphere “Now Howls The Beast” features heavy traditional doom guitar riffs and more mellow yet quite sinister and cathartic melodic passages embellished by guest vocalist Johanna Sadonis from Lucifer. Johanna also offers her spellbinding voice on the track “Heaven To Hell” characterized by slow burning doom guitar riffs and hazy retro rock melodies.

“Of Gods Creation” stands out for the psychedelic accents and hypnotizing guitar solos that just cannot be ignored while the weight of the cascading doom guitar riffs will make you feel dizzy.

“Nature Of The Damned” feels absolutely trippy with enhanced retro mood embedded in the tasteful doom riffs that later gain a blast of higher energy to deliver wild entertaining grooves.

In true doom revival fashion the title track has a raw natural guitar sound that promises a continuous heavy rhythm as lead guitars acquire additional energetic groovy dynamics.

Those who are craving an overdose of darkened retro psychedelic doom will find a lot to love on “Inside The Skull” and even if in terms of songwriting there are few dull moments Beastmaker has definitely achieved an incredibly monolithic sound.

The Wizards – Full Moon In Scorpio

Spanish rock band The Wizards must have found the right inspiration to create the new album “Full Moon In Scorpio” after ‘several intense sessions of drug abuse and hard liquor-drinking marathons at backyard parties’.

“Avidja” introduces the vintage mood of this album as we are stuck in the ‘70s and ready to party all night while chunky guitar riffs confidently keep healthy rock grooves throughout the song.

“Calliope (Cosmic Revelations)” continues to impress with charismatic thick guitar riffing and wild exciting guitar soloing as the whole instrumentation keep a solid enjoyable rhythmic backbone.

“Stardust” still offers gritty spacey grooves but definitely channels traditional ‘70s doom dynamics as tempo and guitars slow down to acquire monolithic weight and darkened dramatic nuances without sacrificing the inner thunderous rock soul.

“When We Were Gods” showcases subtle occult rock nuances and is certainly filled with cathartic darkness. With undeniable passion, vocals pay tribute to Danzig and guitars craft beautiful decadent melodies but there is still space for intense retro rock guitar solos and savage grooves.

The retro rock revival never ceases to amaze and The Wizards demonstrate to know what ‘70s rock is supposed to sound like in fact “Full Moon In Scorpio” turns out to be a wild entertaining album.

Helfir – The Human Defeat

Italian multi-instrumentalist Luca Mazzotta’s solo project Helfir is ready to release the second album “The Human Defeat”.

“Time In Our Minds” immediately showcases Luca’s genuine passion for music. While the style is not astonishingly innovative, this track feature a series of lovely melancholy infused guitar melodies with a crispy clear sound and a mix of growls and clean emotional vocal delivery.

“Light” offers great atmospheric layers and immense melancholy clearly embedded in the well executed soothing arpeggios and whispered vocals.

“Tide” continues to follow a highly melancholic pathway and accessible smooth guitar melodies channel gloomy rainy landscapes and reach a natural acme with an intense guitar solo.

“Chant D’Automne” evokes an elegant emotional sonic palette with fragile lovely arpeggios and relaxed yet highly nostalgic atmospheres.

“Mechanical God” keeps similar nostalgic themes with some heavier guitar driven moments but relies mainly on loads of modern atmospheric electro arrangements.

Overall, “The Human Defeat” holds a pleasant melodic soul and certainly features strong gothic metal influences but tends to go beyond those safe boundaries with the addition of atmospheric/ambient layers.

Chiral – Gazing Light Eternity

Italian one-man band Chiral has released an atmospheric post-black metal album entitled “Gazing Light Eternity”.

“Part I (The Gazer)” kicks off with subtle darkened atmosphere and soon gains ominous rhythmic momentum with steady soaring old school black metal elements but also showcases additional variety with calmer somber guitar melodies.

“Part II (The Haze)” leaves behind the typical black metal fury and crafts quiet melancholic arpeggios surrounded by soothing sorrowful atmospheric layers.

“Part V (The Gazer’s Throne)” showcases a gothic tinged emotional palette perfectly expressed in the minimalist yet quite soulful acoustic guitars and shoegaze oriented mood.

“Gazing Light Eternity” is a cohesive music effort with scattered creative moments and even if there are some raw asphyxiating soundscapes that channel familiar and successful black metal acts Chiral also creates elegant moody acoustic melodies.

Paz Manera- Superbreakout

“Superbreakout” is the debut album of the Italian trio Paz Manera, released last April via AW Recordings, it contains 10 tracks ranging in the various sub-genres of rock.

The first track called as the album is an energetic rock song and I really like the change of rhythm in it. “The dancer” is the first single released and the protagonists are the powerful voice and the catchy melody.

The rhythm slows down with “Island”, the most pop song in the album, the sound slides slightly leaving a sweet embrace along the shoulders. In “Addicted girl” the intro is almost mystic,then it changes in an explosion of rock and the voice sounds more agressive.

“The wanderer” closes the album with its 8 minutes, long songs risk to be boring and repetitive, but that is not the case because everything works perfectly.

This album is a journey into the various shades of rock, particularly it will strike 70’s and 80’s rock lovers, every song is a surprise.
Guitar, bass and drums work harmoniously in each song but the difference is done by the voice that is never foregone.

Paz Manera did a great debut and I’m curious to see what’s going to happen in the future.

Schammasch – The Maldoror Chants: Hermaphrodite

Swiss avant-garde post-metal band Schammasch has great endeavors in my mind and the new EP “The Maldoror Chants: Hermaphrodite” is the first in line of a bigger opus based on the 19th century dark literary work and foundation of the surrealist movement “Les Chants De Maldoror”.

“Prologue” introduces the listeners to an obscure realm and enigmatic spoken words feel like an endless archaic spell through super thick darkened atmospheric layers.

“The Weighty Burden Of An Eternal Secret” feels insanely heavy with a true avant-garde approach and slow hazy soundscapes while mysterious shoegaze style guitar melodies emerge from darker depths to linger through blurry atmospheric layers.

“May His Illusion Last Until Dawn’s Awakening” feels majestic with solemn theatrical vocals and atmospheres but will immediately stand out for the graceful dark guitar melodies that channel intoxicating poetry and otherworldly gothic melancholy.

“Chimerical Hope” combines the primal fury of traditional black metal and the introspective quality of shoegaze melodies as monolithic drums and relentless guitar riffs channel feeling of desolation and anguish.

Besides the enthralling literary themes and the artistic experimental approach chosen by Schammasch, “The Maldoror Chants: Hermaphrodite” is a unique confident work of music infused with an immense darkness and decadence that we all must embrace.

Exist – So True, So Bound

Fronted by Max Phelps, touring member of Cynic and Defeated Sanity, Maryland based technical death metal band Exist has released a captivating complex album “So True, So Bound” which will immediately stand out for the mature progressive music approach.

“Take My Picture” certainly has an experimental yet highly melodic soul with charismatic jazzy & prog oriented guitar leads that often and rightfully steal the spotlight but features also a series of chunky aggressive riffing patterns.

“So True – Imitation’s Flattery” amplifies the melodic aspects with soothing almost uplifting clean vocals nevertheless there is a constant use of crunchy guitar riffs that add a solid death metal backbone while lead guitars relentlessly create multidimensional harmonies.
“So Bound – One of the Herd” offers intricate rhythmic tapestries, often with punishing tempo variations, and certainly guitars continue to surprise the listeners with enigmatic technical prowess and surreal melodies.
Featuring ex Death guitarist Bobby Koelble “To Sever the Strings” is a lengthy multifaceted track that fearlessly delivers another round of spacey music experimentations that blend heavier death metal elements with several brutal momentums and lighter melodic themes.

With enhanced progressive compositions “Fault’s Peaks” shines for the strong bass lines and intricate guitar work that often channels cathartic atmospheric and emotional scenarios.

Featuring experienced musicians Exist might still be considered a young emerging band but “So True, So Bound” showcases talented musicianship and terrific instrumental acrobatics.

Pristine – Ninja

Norwegian rock band Pristine is ready to release the latest effort “Ninja” which aims to conquer new fans worldwide with an explosive vintage rock groove.

“You Are The One” has what it takes to become a hit. Besides the catchy melodic core and the seriously passionate vocals, the highlights will be found in the funky rhythmic sections and the trippy ‘70s influenced guitars & organ combo.

“Sophia” amplifies further the funky bass lines and vocalist Heidi Solheim continues to impress with an intense performance while organ and guitars will lead the listeners through a spacey nostalgic trip.

“The Rebel Song” is on fire with upbeat rhythm, irresistible vintage rock raw grooves and the wild retro melodic guitar and organ soloing deserves the listeners’ full attention.

“The Parade” sounds like a rock summer festival anthem with a love & peace mood, loads of pleasant melodies and exquisite retro rock vibes deeply embedded in the guitar work and organ layers.

The title track immediately offers a healthy dosage of psychedelic melodic phrases courtesy of the true vintage organ sound that dominates the entire song and the guitars are absolutely capable to follow such nostalgic groovy trip.

Certainly “Ninja” owes part of its strength to vocalist Heidi’s soulful performance and the whole band is obviously working hard to improve songwriting skills and achieve a distinct mature sound.