Oomph! – Ritual

Renowned pioneers of the Neue Deutsche Härte, Oomph! triumphantly reach another milestone with the darkened nuances and über-catchy grooves of the thirteenth full length “Ritual”.

The intense groove laden nature of “Tausend Mann und ein Befehl” is evident since the very beginning as guitars are ready to deliver massive rock riffage yet the song will morph into a more atmospheric & melodic entity with the irresistible chorus and the smooth guitar soloing.  

“Achtung! Achtung!” doesn’t waste any time as guitars focus on fiery rounds of heavy riffs with a distinct industrial influence but there is also a somber melodic streak expressed by the refined atmospheric arrangements and solemn chorus.

The darker tonalities of “Kein Liebeslied” are naturally emphasized by the mysterious vibes of the atmospheric layers and the melodic guitar leads while the electro accents enrich the monumental guitar driven grooves.

Featuring Chris Harms of Lord Of The Lost “Europa” is destined to become a hit blending profoundly darkened guitar melodies and stomping riffs while the majestic atmospheric arrangements constantly evoke a rather mystical aura.

“TRRR – FCKN – HTLR” is probably the most aggressive track on the album clearly fueled by a raw industrial energy, consequently guitars acquire extra crunchy tonalities to create loads of relentless stomping grooves amplified by savage vocals and frenetic nightmarish electro layers.

Solemn orchestrations create a suspenseful mood on “Phönix aus der Asche” which can be drenched in darkness as guitars unleash some heavy stomping grooves but tend to focus more on dramatic melodies that are intensified by the emotive vocal delivery of the chorus and the contemplative breakdown.

The sonic approach of “Seine Seele” is definitely softer and introspective allowing melancholic guitar melodies and heartfelt vocals to become essential elements while the chorus relies on super groovy rhythmic dynamics.

Undoubtedly “Ritual” reconfirms the influential status of Oomph! as the strength of this album emerges from a genuine passion and an intense creative force that lead to a captivating blend of harsh German rock and vibrant melodies.  

Puppy – The Goat

British trio Puppy could become the next breakthrough band with the ‘90s alt rock flavors and grungy vibes the debut album “The Goat”.  

Probably the appealing nature of “Black Hole” comes from the throwback rock tonalities mixed with the enthusiasm of youth so guitar riffs always aim for a fun groovy sound while the melodic passages are all about dreamy nostalgia.

“Vengeance” has its rebellious rock moments with a fair dosage of gritty guitars that could get a party started while vocals can sound super mellow or just dazed matching the underlying grunge attitude.  

“And So I Burn” showcases a healthy classic rock inspiration and should be played at ‘90s themed parties with the raw energy of the chunky guitar riffs and the consequent uncomplicated grooves.

The mood gets significantly darker on “Entombed” which often reminisces of classic heavy metal song as sharp guitar riffs and hazy nostalgic melodies lead the way to extra catchy rhythmic dynamics.

While “Bathe In Blood” has a gruesome title in reality the sonic realm here remains quite accessible as the alt rock spirit is amplified by the several mellow melodic moments mixed with wilder guitar riffs.

Super distorted guitars on “Handlebars” are busy crafting all kinds of rocking grooves that naturally embrace the daydreaming melodies and laid back vocals with a truly nostalgic approach.

“Demons” should or could sound evil but even if guitars deliberately acquire bold tones and a solid heavy rock attitude the core of the song still relies on a big arena chorus and warm melodies.

Puppy have already gathered fans through their various live performances but the entertaining grooves and easy melodies of “The Goat” will certainly give them a chance to reach a wider audience and pave the way for a bright future.

Dust Bolt – Trapped In Chaos

Even if they are from Germany Dust Bolt are absolutely devoted to Bay Area style thrash metal so it won’t be surprising to find retro flavors within the massive sonic assault of the fourth album “Trapped In Chaos”.

“The Fourth Strike” diligently stays true to the traditional thrash metal legacy so throughout the song you can expect monumental grooves generated by a merciless rhythmic section and savage guitars but sometimes Dust Bolt adds a fair dosage of somber feelings with tasteful guitar melodies.

Darkened vibes and contemplative moments on “Dead Inside” deeply influence the whole guitar work leading to a mix of grim melodies and groovy riffage that certainly showcases consistent thrash dynamics without necessarily maintaining a constant breakneck speed.

There are loads of galloping heavy guitar riffs and wicked vocals on “Bloody Rain” so the anthemic groovy thrash aspects are still present but this track actually stands out for the exquisite dark mood of the slower ominous rhythmic segments.

A raw energy and an old school thrash momentum are the essential elements of “Shed My Skin” which will call for headbanging as it’s naturally filled with frenetic guitar riffs, extra wild shredding and fierce drumming.  

With a dramatically slower tempo “Another Day In Hell” is a moody track that tends to leave behind all the rage to convey gloomy emotions through sorrowful melodic guitar progressions and calmer pensive vocal delivery.  

“Chaos Possession” returns to a properly loud unrestrained thrash assault delivering cohesive monstrous grooves with the expected ravenous guitar riffs and thrilling leads well supported by a precise rhythmic ensemble.

If you’re in the mood for solid no frills thrash metal rest assured that “Trapped In Chaos” has plenty of fiery grooves to offer even if there are not exceptional innovations here as Dust Bolt prove to be truly passionate acolytes of such timeless genre.

Undantagsfolk – Den Ondes Fingrar

Featuring Êlea of Noeta and Erik of Grift, Swedish duo Undantagsfolk is ready to share arcane stories worldwide on the debut EP “Den Ondes Fingrar”.

Listening to the dreamy atmospheres of “Då All Tid Försvinner” can be very a relaxing experience as the band creates magical barren folk melodies using harmonium and nylon stringed guitars with a minimalist music approach that allows the delicate vocals to spellbind the listeners.

The title track often feels like a celebration of the beauty of nature as it continues to focus on enchanting detailed melodic progressions and moving tonalities embellished by a heartfelt vocal delivery and this graceful ensemble always flows like a dream evoking feelings of loneliness and nostalgia.

Undantagsfolk are certainly inspired by ancient folk and Swedish traditions, consequently the sonic realm of “Den Ondes Fingrar” is made of sheer melancholy and soulful harmonies that naturally lead to a delightful dreamy sonic journey.

Swallow The Sun – When A Shadow Is Forced Into The Light

The indisputable masters of gloom, beauty & despair Swallow The Sun return with the highly anticipated full length “When A Shadow Is Forced Into The Light” which is an opus inevitably filled with grief but also symbolizes a necessary healing process to emerge from the darkest depths with renewed hopes ultimately proving that love is stronger than death.

The title track is such a magnificent album opener with marvelous refined symphonic tapestries surrounding a perfectly balanced mix of tormented instrumental passages and dreamy acoustic harmonies that allow Mikko’s vocals to effortlessly shift from tranquil cleans to utterly enraged growls yet despite the endless melancholy the guitar melodies seem to glow through immensely darkened sonic waves.

The magical essence of “The Crimson Crown” is drenched in darkness as sophisticated gelid atmospheric arrangements create a stylish melodic ensemble where an intense melancholia constantly influences the poignant vocal delivery and the enchanting guitar progressions which tend to focus on softer crispy harmonies.

“Upon The Water” depicts a cold gloomy wonderland with mesmerizing guitar melodies that guide you through an introspective music journey yet fiery rhythmic blasts and charismatic ominous growls channel raw obscure moments of doom and sheer agony embellished by sumptuous atmospheric layers.

The spellbinding composition of “Stone Wings” will immediately conquer your heart and stir a surreal emotional whirlwind as melodic guitars craft a profoundly darkened & melancholic ensemble emphasized by otherworldly orchestrations and grim doom tonalities while the soothing and highly addictive chorus convey fragile luminous feelings.

With a lavish combo of symphonic & atmospheric arrangements “Never Left” feels like an ode to eternal love that leaves you feeling shattered and guitars are once again impressive naturally shifting from ethereal melodic splendor to subtle doom oriented riffage inspired by a perennial spiritual aura while Mikko’s stellar vocal performance evokes wistful feelings.

The exceptional creative force of Swallow The Sun continues to flourish as “When A Shadow Is Forced Into The Light” might be their strongest release so far and it would be truly challenging to listen to the entire album without being touched by all those genuinely heart wrenching emotions perfectly expressed by the gorgeous and surprisingly widely accessible poetic melodies that become essential within the band’s signature doom/death metal realm.

Incite – Built To Destroy

For metal frontrunners Incite the brand new studio effort “Built To Destroy” certainly represents a significant milestone and they are eager to share with the world such massive collection of heavy grooves.

The title track goes straight to the point delivering a series of visceral guitar driven grooves that will definitely call for instant headbanging with the right dosage of modern metal riffs and belligerent drum blasts while the guitar solo aims to grab your attention with a slick fancy melodic approach.  

The mood of “Ruthless Ways” matches the title as guitar riffs can sound utterly ruthless constantly building vicious grooves supported by a monolithic rhythmic section and amplified by the aggressive vocal delivery.

While the main rhythmic core continues to sound merciless “Human Cancer” channels darkness and torment especially during the brief somber melodic breakdown plus Kirk Windstein of legendary Crowbar delivers some brutal guest vocals.

“Confronting Darkness” offers another round of scorching guitar riffs leading to moshpit friendly rhythmic dynamics fueled by the extra heavy drumming and the angered mood fully expressed by furious growls yet the guitar solo shifts the focus to refined shredding.

Featuring guest vocalist Chris Barnes of Six Feet Under “Poisoned By Power” is faster and inevitably full of rage as monumental thrilling grooves once again revolve around the intense guitar work which reaches the acme with the delightfully wild shredding solo.

“Hate For Life” doesn’t slow down at all so get ready for an overdose of relentless guitar riffs and consequent unstoppable heavy grooves while the guitar solo once again aims to impress with a sophisticated melodic approach.

Dedication and passion are behind the gruesome sonic assault that “Built To Destroy” ensures from beginning to end as Incite stay true to their savage sonic pathway without any hesitation.

Soilwork – Verkligheten

Swedish metallers Soilwork are certainly renowned worldwide for their explosive melodeath style and the highly anticipated full length “Verkligheten” proves once more the band’s relevant status in the modern metal scene with a genuine creative force.

No one could doubt the thunderous charisma of “Arrival” as guitars skillfully embrace heavy dynamics crafting furious riffs amplified by fiery growls but the song’s strength relies also on the poignant melodies, later emphasized by the smooth soloing, and the irresistible chorus.

There are so many cold melancholic melodies on “Full Moon Shoals” that naturally evoke an emotional whirlwind enriched by Björn’s dramatic clean vocals yet this track packs some majestic groovy moments with the right dosage of sharp riffage and fancy guitar soloing.

“The Nurturing Glance” conveys contrasting feelings as calm guitar melodies sound utterly nostalgic yet the faster bouncy grooves are full of positive energy that will be further enhanced by the memorable catchy tonalities of the vibrant chorus.

Featuring guest vocalist Alissa White-Gluz of Arch Enemy growling in the background,  “Stålfågel” revolves around a colder & darker sonic vision with somber atmospheric arrangements, gloomy guitar nuances and loads of crispy bittersweet clean vocals.

On “Witan” a heavier momentum generates plenty of inflamed guitar riffs and borderline ferocious rhythmic dynamics yet the chorus offers vivid melancholy infused melodies.

The dramatic nature of “The Ageless Whisper” comes from the refined guitar melodies and solo flowing through dreamy atmospheres that will eventually give way to a blend of anthemic rock vibes and harsher dynamics.

Featuring the intense growls of guest vocalist Tomi Joutsen of Amorphis “Needles And Kin” engage the listeners with stylish Nordic tonalities leading to extremely enraged guitar driven grooves following a faster roaring rhythm while Björn delivers impeccably heartfelt vocal harmonies.

Since the first listening “Verkligheten” will inspire you with its inner catchy mood and move you with the several melodic moments as Soilwork deliberately disregard any current metal trend to confidently deliver a collection of songs that will give you a chance to escape reality.

Deathchant – Deathchant

The music style of Los Angeles-based band Deathchant is categorized as psychedelic heavy proto-metal and the self-titled debut album promises an unpredictable sonic journey that will certainly trigger curiosity.

The album opener “Pessimist” is characterized by an interesting songwriting approach which ensures an overload of fuzzy rock tonalities in the guitar work and enigmatic psychedelic vibes amplified by filtered vocals but there are also unexpected noise oriented dissonant moments.  

“Control” can deliver peaceful guitar melodies while a wilder series of stoner rock influenced rhythmic grooves dominates the majority of the song as guitars confidently deliver extra gritty riffs, surreal psychedelic accents and even a doom tinged heavier momentum enriched by spacey distortion and feedback.

On “Ritual” fiery galloping guitar riffs diligently build massive groovy dynamics that again showcases an intense stoner rock influence while the dreamy nature of the song will come to life with the inspiring darkened melodic guitar jams.

Since the very beginning “Hex” offers a particularly groovy sonic ensemble focusing on majestic guitar driven grooves fueled by energetic classic heavy rock tonalities that will generate a spontaneous instrumental jam.  

Deathchant are eager to develop a unique sonic pathway drawing inspiration from an intriguing blend of diverse music genres and the debut eponymous album certainly stands out for the psychedelic nuances and the entertaining retro heavy rock soul.


Nailed To Obscurity – Black Frost

Hailing from Northern Germany, melodic death/doom metallers Nailed To Obscurity proudly unleash the new full length “Black Frost” which symbolizes an emotional journey that explores the burdens on our souls and minds through an enthralling blend of harsh tonalities and gorgeous melodies.

The title track marks a majestic beginning feeling like a gelid melancholic wonderland as guitars craft various elaborate passionate melodies, elegantly soothing soloing and even more energetic extreme metal oriented moments within a wistful atmospheric realm constantly fueled by an omnipresent darkness.

On “Tears Of The Eyeless” the obscure death metal roots emerge from a hopeless abyss through fierce rhythmic blasts and massive wicked growls but the band always returns to embrace a graceful melancholy infused mood with poignant melodic guitar progressions and heartfelt clean vocal delivery.  

With an overdose of haunting vibes “Feardom” continues to evoke all kinds of darkened emotions and while the aggressive rhythmic momentum is still essential within the song’s structure the sorrowful guitar melodies accompanied by dreamy clean vocals often steal the spotlight.

The intensely darkened aura of “Road To Perdition” influences inevitably the whole instrumental ensemble that effortlessly shifts from primordial energetic dynamics to the sheer melodic splendor of intricate guitar melodies and inspiring solo which are always ready to channel profoundly contemplative vibes.

Nailed To Obscurity are confidently following a captivating darkened music formula that allows the introspective soul of “Black Frost” to stand out through the intricate melodic waves and the overall wintry mood that certainly matches the album’s title.

Legion Of The Damned – Slaves Of The Shadow Realm

Veteran Dutch extreme metal outfit Legion Of The Damned is proud to unleash an overload of raw energy and undiluted darkness with the colossal seventh studio album “Slaves Of The Shadow Realm”.  

“The Widows Breed” can sound truly aggressive channeling an old school thrash intensity that will trigger instant headbanging with its fast belligerent rhythmic section and the sharp neckbreaker guitar riffs while the lead guitar work is characterized by utterly somber tonalities.

The merciless force behind “Nocturnal Commando” becomes immediately evident with loads of harsh guitar riffs, hellish vocals and ferocious drumming that build a furious heavy rhythmic core interrupted only by scattered dismal guitar leads.

“Slaves Of The Southern Cross” continues to effortlessly showcase a thunderous rhythmic core yet the whole instrumentation often follows a slower tempo to emphasize the ominous vibes generated by blackened guitar tonalities and diabolical vocals.

“Shadow Realm Of The Demonic Mind” begins with a melancholic piano piece but never really leaves behind the extreme metal approach as guitars gallop relentlessly offering all kinds of vicious riffs.

“Priest Hunt” surprises with a eerie & triumphant symphonic intro that will be followed by a solid round of groovy guitar riffs but when the rhythm slows down the dramatic guitar leads and darkly melodic accents definitely steal the spotlight.

“Dark Coronation” is full of tight fierce riffs as guitars still hold a dominant role through the punishing rhythmic progressions which are spiced up by some intensely grave leads while the profoundly dark finale features elegant & mysterious atmospheric arrangements.

Full speed and heaviness are essential throughout the entire sonic assault offered by “Slaves Of The Shadow Realm” yet Legion Of The Damned is also interested in the creation of monumental darkened melodic & atmospheric moments that certainly match and enhance the general obscure mood.