Tengger Cavalry – Die On My Ride

Nomadic folk metal band Tengger Cavalry is ready to explore further exotic music territories with the new album “Die On My Ride”.

The title track emphasizes immediately the importance of traditional instrumentation to achieve a distinct range of sounds. While there are some familiar metal oriented grooves and elegant mellow melodies, the ancient Mongolian tradition of ‘throat singing’ feels very creative.

“Independence Day” features raw crunchy guitar driven grooves mixed with eclectic instrumental passages that channel a palpable folk spiritual aura and deliver bright soothing melodies.

“To The Sky” feels extremely spontaneous, stripped of any redundant special effect it revolves around minimalist yet stylish melodies shifting effortlessly from acoustic to groovy rock segments.

“Cursed” confidently amplifies the folk metal approach with heavier guitar riffs but traditional instruments continue to add more intriguing magical vibes.

“The Choice Of My Mind” evokes intense feelings of tranquility and melancholy with minimalist arpeggios and ethereal melodic tapestries.

“Me Against Me” skillfully blends thick acidic rock vibes and tasteful folk guitar melodies that evoke visions of pristine landscapes.

Tengger Cavalry’s music style is certainly far from average categories and the traditional Mongolian folk that plays a major role on “Die On My Ride” renders the whole album a rather bizarre and unique music experience.

Sabbath Assembly – Rites Of Passage

Sabbath Assembly is often categorized as a psychedelic doom or even occult rock band but the new album “Rites Of Passage” features lyrical themes regarding the complexity of the transitional stages of life and a mature music approach that frequently goes beyond such simplistic tags.

“Shadows Revenge” offers up-tempo psychedelic grooves that sound rather catchy despite the underlying dissonant melodic core while the overall darkened vibe is easily amplified by the somber guitar melodies and enchanting vocals.

“Angels Trumpets” feels quite introspective and captivating with a series of lovable harmonies while guitars confidently acquire a heavy traditional doom vibe that flawlessly match the amplified deeper occult atmospheric layers and spellbinding vocals.

On the darkly slow paced “I Must Be Gone” the vocals are particularly seductive creating a graceful emotional palette and the moody guitar melodies add a deliberate trance effect but later guitars gain heavier momentum as well as atmospheric psychedelic rock elements.

“The Bride Of Darkness” stands out for the bewitching poetic nuances and a gloomy aura that enhances the occult rock themes, guitars can be exquisitely eerie with a stylish doom core and the whole instrumentation appears to be infused with a perennial arcane mood.

The whole mystical mood and darkened nuances of “Rites Of Passage” will inevitably attract a specific audience but this is also a highly melodic album with multifaceted influences that effortlessly crosses music boundaries.

Avatarium – Hurricanes And Halos

Founded by Leif Edling of Candlemass, Swedish band Avatarium crafts an intriguing blend of doom and retro rock mood in the latest effort “Hurricanes And Halos”.

“Into The Fire – Into The Storm” is a winning opener with loads of thick guitar riffs channeling charismatic energy that amplifies the subtle doom elements while the retro style becomes particularly dominant with the kaleidoscopic organ solo.

“The Starless Sleep” is one of the most compelling tracks of the album with a darkened inner soul but also plenty of enjoyable catchy melodies that channel an irresistible 60’s mood. Vocalist Jennie-Ann delivers an impressive passionate performance and the stylish melodic rock guitar work matches the ensemble of somber emotions.

“The Sky At The Bottom Of The Sea” certainly has a poetic mood embedded in the melodies and the powerful vocals. Avatarium delivers an explosive series of guitar riffs that showcases echoes of traditional doom while the retro sound especially palpable in the lovely guitar solos captures a deep sense of nostalgic rock roots.

“A Kiss (From The End Of The World)” starts with an intro of melancholic arpeggios and evolves into a doom somber tune with intense guitar driven grooves while Jennie-Ann confidently demonstrates her vocal prowess with dramatic yet soothing delivery. The highlight of this track is definitely the mystifying slow melodic breakdown with stunning spacey guitars characterized by immense retro psychedelic force.

Overall, Avatarium deserves a big audience as “Hurricanes And Halos” is an exciting cohesive album that stands out for the accessible yet eclectic melodic core and the exquisite vintage style.

Tusmörke – Hinsides

Already popular in their homeland Norwegian band Tusmörke has released the eclectic album “Hinsides” which conceptually deals with macabre themes and stands out for the incredibly diverse embellished melodies.

“Hjemsøkte Hjem” sounds rather happy and uplifting with funky rhythms, psychedelic organ solo and easy recurring melodies but still holds the enchanted forest folk mood enhanced by lovely flutes.

“I Feel Like Midnight” might sound more accessible due to the English lyrics. Flutes and organ again take the spotlight and macabre lyrical themes dominate the psychedelic tinged melodies and rhythm even if the overall music core sounds more surreal than ominous.

Composed in commemoration of the 666th anniversary of the Black Death in Norway “Sankt Sebastians Alter” is not a simple song but rather feels like a lengthy folk operetta even if there are impressive style and tempo variations that tend to deviate from the standard folk themes. Eerie atmospheres and magical flutes skillfully craft epic mournful melodies as the whole instrumentation builds a series of quite heavy dramatic rhythmic crescendo.

“Hinsides” might not be considered an easy piece of music for the masses as the folk galore is often catchy but not always memorable, nevertheless Tusmörke will surprise the audience with a terrific avant-garde creative force.

Medusa1975 – Rising From The Ashes

American band Medusa1975 is ready to take you on a nostalgic rock trip with the latest album “Rising From The Ashes”.

Listening to “Armageddon” you can tell that Medusa1975 has been around since the 70’s as genuine vintage vibes have a dominant role as they embrace every instrumental passage and shape the explosive combo of organ & guitars.

“Fall Of The House Of Usher” feels particularly somber with slower tempo and loads of retro melodic guitars while piano and vocals channel intense melancholic vibes.

“Into The Night” feels like going back in time as catchy organ harmonies lead the way into a realm of organic guitar rock melodies and catchy choruses.

“9 Circles Of Hell” stands out for the heavily darkened eerie vibes with slow piano passages and highly atmospheric arrangements but also features an overdose of proto-metal/hard rock guitar & organ grooves with a distinct retro style.

Those who love true vintage rock will definitely enjoy the sincere songwriting style and the extremely nostalgic sound of “Rising From The Ashes”.

 

Kobra And The Lotus – Prevail I

Canadian band Kobra And The Lotus fronted by charismatic vocalist Kobra Paige has released the new melodic rock/power metal oriented album “Prevail I” which is supposed to elevate the band’s status and gain a wider audience.

“Gotham” doesn’t really sound like a traditional power metal song even if it begins with epic atmospheres that give way to crunchy guitar driven grooves. Powerful vocals add extra energy to the safe melodic chorus while a more soothing vocal delivery dominates the melancholic breakdown.

“You Don’t Know” is clearly marketed as a radio friendly hit with subtle melodies surrounding the mellow easy chorus that will please everybody but sadly guitars seem to have limited creative space.

“Light Me Up” is your must have rock ballad with emotional atmospheres, polished guitar melodies and passionate vocal delivery in the catchy chorus.

“Victim” attempts to be heavier with a cohesive series of crunchy guitar riffs and other interesting instrumental twists that follow a modern metal approach.

“Check The Phyrg” is an intriguing instrumental track that deviates from the easy melodic power metal recipe and standard mellow moments that dominate the album. This is the only real chance for guitars to take the deserved spotlight with eclectic borderline neoclassical soloing galore that feels organic and well supported by the energetic rhythmic backbone.

“Prevail” channels the glory of traditional power metal with battle-ready choirs, energetic guitar dynamics and particularly strong & loud vocals.

On “Prevail I” every song seems to focus almost exclusively on Kobra Paige’s vocals (which is expected since she is the star of the show) keeping the instrumentation in the background with rare but pleasant lead guitars momentum, nevertheless it’s an easy accessible rock album that targets a younger audience.

Nad Sylvan – The Bride Said No

Renowned progressive rock multitalented musician Nad Sylvan returns with the new solo album “The Bride Said No” which aims to entertain the audience with eclectic songwriting and talented musicianship.

In terms of songwriting and execution “The Quartermaster” is closer to traditional prog rock standards with flamboyant keyboards which provide brilliant solos as well as catchy layers with 80’s vibes.

Far from being your standard prog rock song “The White Crown” feels like a rock operetta with entertaining Victorian theatrics, charismatic and diverse synths melodies but also graceful classical accents.

“Crime Of Passion” features memorable guitar leads and 80’s influenced catchy rhythms but also relies on the sheer power of melancholy and nostalgia to capture the listeners’ attention.

The title track truly feels like attending a musical at the theatre with scrupulous attention for stylish details, several smooth style and tempo changes and a compelling vocal duet. There is always an uplifting mood but also a subtle nostalgia with elegant shimmering atmospheric arrangements and prog oriented crispy clean guitar solos.

With its fancy theatrical mood and interesting stylish arrangements “The Bride Said No” will easily please prog rock connoisseurs.

 

Solstafir – Berdreyminn

Critically acclaimed Icelandic band Solstafir continues to fiercely explore diverse music and emotional territories in the long awaited album “Berdreyminn” which noticeably holds great artistic fervor and surreal creativity.

“Silfur-Refur” shines for the introspective eerie atmospheres created by minimalist guitar melodies, uncontrollable emotions and music are inevitably entwined in the most natural way evoking desolate yet serene landscapes even when guitars acquire crunchy power and darkened nuances.

“Hula” features multidimensional cathartic piano passages that follow a pure desire to go beyond the obvious rock music core in order to achieve an extraordinary sonic intensity. The soft yet grandiose atmospheric arrangements convey an overwhelming melancholy dramatically enhanced by angelic choirs and tormented vocals.

“Nárós” holds the sheer flickering power of dreams as moody guitars shift from slow intricate yet balanced melodies to shimmering catchy riffing leading to a full blown fuzzy rock groove that doesn’t need to be exaggeratedly heavy to impress the audience.

“Dýrafjörður” feels like the eternal battle between light and dark and a deep cold melancholy is always ready to embrace the whole instrumentation. Contemplative vocals, retro fuzzy guitars and melancholic orchestrations contribute to create an impressive array of delightfully fragile harmonies that celebrate the kaleidoscopic beauty of nature.

“Bláfjall” is mournful and dense with cold Nordic beauty and exquisite melancholy embedded in the organ progressions while loads of acidic rock guitar riffs keep steady monumental grooves in a charismatic instrumental crescendo that just seems endless.

It’s not surprising that ignoring standard music boundaries and being eager to shape a unique sonic palette Solstafir continues to attract new listeners worldwide and a majestic album like “Berdreyminn” should not remain confined in the underground scene.

Wednesday 13 – Condolences

Thinking about horror rock/metal Wednesday 13 obviously comes to mind as a prominent figure in that particular genre. Like a spooky resurrection Wednesday 13 is ready to unleash the latest effort “Condolences” and his first release via Nuclear Blast.

”What The Night Brings” reminds the listeners that all kinds of creatures come out at night and introduces the album’s macabre mood with a super creepy concoction of guitar riffs/melodies that deliver a horror heavy rock groove.

On “Blood Sick” old style organ crafts additional gothic atmospheres and vampyric mood while guitars efficiently keep rocking in the background and Wednesday 13 delivers his signature devilish vocals.

“You Breathe, I Kill” packs a raw rhythm with faster pace and deeper menacing vocals while a mandatory overdose of nightmares surrounds the crunchy guitar riffs.

“Cruel To You” is another melodic catchy tune where guitar leads have a more prominent role and a rather fun accessible chorus puts aside the darker side of the album.

“Lonesome Road To Hell” doesn’t really sound evil with a steady punky groove nevertheless there are plenty of easy rock guitar melodies and smooth solo to keep you entertained.

The title track shines for its inner moody mournfulness with graceful gothic tinged atmospheres that feel like walking around cemeteries at night even if it might not be trendy anymore. Vocals acquire an introspective nostalgia and guitar riffs hold an intense darkened groove while an unexpected glamorous melodic solo carries an additional dosage of deep melancholy.

“Condolences” includes 13 songs (cannot be a coincidence) that might need to be taken more seriously than expected as the songwriting is rather simple but the cinematic vintage horror vibes render everything interesting and entertaining.

Life Of Agony – A Place Where There’s No More Pain

It feels like a long time since we had the pleasure to listen to new songs by Life Of Agony therefore the latest release “A Place Where There’s No More Pain” comes with great expectations and curiosity. Life of Agony has gained a strong cult status in the 90’s metal scene crafting powerful rock grooves and genuinely emotional lyrics and the new album still follows such passionate music pathway.

“Meet My Maker” combines a charismatic blend of hardcore aggressiveness and accessible melodies, especially in the smooth and quite uplifting chorus, guitars can easily deliver plenty of crunchy riffing as well as a highly enjoyable melodic solo with classic rock accents.

“Right This Wrong” starts fierce and rather wild with gritty stomping friendly guitar riffs while Mina Caputo confidently channels 90’s influenced vocal delivery adding a generous dose of honest emotions particularly enhanced in the slower melodic breakdown.

The title track delivers another catchy round of relentless energetic guitar riffs well supported by heavy drumming to ensure immediate high impact but also embellished by subtle inspiring memorable melodies.

“World Gone Mad” has a more raw rocking feeling as cascading guitar riffs build a persistent groove that becomes even more addictive with the extra melodic mood of the chorus while Mina delivers a fervent charismatic vocal performance throughout the song.

“Bag Of Bones” channels the gloomy splendor of iconic Type O Negative and proceeds with irresistible heartfelt melodic crescendo that continues to owe immense strength to Mina’s vocals and creates a series of cathartic moody guitar driven grooves.

“A Place Where There’s No More Pain” feels like a mature and relevant work of music written and executed by a deeply united band that fearlessly shares personal struggles and healing processes with the fans, ultimately this album makes you want to hear more music from Life Of Agony.