Fallujah has acquired a lot of appreciation for the signature progressive death metal style and the new album “Dreamless” certainly follows primarily and ambitiously this artistic direction.
“Face Of Death” feels like a triumphant march with borderline dissonant tempo changes but the main guitar melody flows as smooth as possible. The fierce growls might not match the inner atmosphere that holds a dreamlike sonic nature and even when the drums blast faster the melodic theme revolves around polished prog style guitars.
“Abandon” shines for the jazz oriented tempo changes and melodious clean guitar phrases perfectly executed in charming prog fashion. This track has an inspiring atmospheric theme rendered more interesting by the rich embroidery of sonic contrasts featuring angelic female vocals versus raging growls.
“Scar Queen” has a straight technical approach with a cohesive death metal rhythm yet the brutal primitive roots don’t always prevail as the remarkable guitar work brings a taste of dreamy melodies.
The title track represents a strong music declaration with a remarkable attention for details that transpires immediately in the atmospheric and melodic arrangement. The guitar work relies on a sparkly clean sound full of prog style twists and pirouettes easy to love. Yet it’s not all about being relentlessly technical and the daydream mood is quite palpable with the aid of gentle female vocals and surreal keyboards.
“The Prodigal Son” features a harsher rhythm and full blown angry growls but the polished, yet powerful, lead guitar and the ethereal atmosphere smooth the rough death metal edges to create an uplifting vibe.
“Les Silences” showcases a mesmerizing and highly atmospheric soul filled with futuristic elements embedded in a skilled electro arrangement. The band momentarily leaves behind the death metal anger and delivers an ambiance track borderline lounge music style that invites the listeners to take a break and just chill.
Overall, “Dreamless” is a highly enjoyable full length that might lack an overdose of spectacular ideas but successfully portrays Fallujah’s passionate music approach and compelling musicianship.
The most beloved Helsinki vampires The 69 Eyes are finally back with their 11th full length album entitled “Universal Monsters” full of irresistible catchy tunes that will not disappoint their fanbase.
It’s love at first bite with the opening track “Dolce Vita” which runs on a delectable ensemble of dirty coated guitar riffs. Jyrki channels his gothic heritage with deep decadent baritone vocals that carry an overload of dark energy on the super catchy chorus. The music theme here totally recalls the golden era of “Paris Kills” with all the elements smoothly set up in the right place at the right time including a lovely melodic guitar solo.
“Jet Fighter Plane” might sound less romantic with a rather dark pop mood but it still delivers loads of widely accessible catchy guitar riffs with a sticky chorus embellished by melodic keyboards.
On “Blackbird Pie” Jyrki’s performance mixing retro and gothic vibes take the center stage. Despite the groovy gospel style choirs this song might not become an instant hit, yet it pleasantly embraces multiple music styles interpreted with a remarkable vintage rock sound that holds a dirty energetic soul.
“Miss Pastis” has a guitar driven dancey groove full of proper punk raw edges surprisingly adorned by a charming retro organ. Overall, the smooth guitar solos, the trippy breakdown and Jyrki’s semi evil laughter will conquer the heart of every listener.
“Shallow Graves” stays true to the band’s musical legacy, so while the music style feels safe there is that graceful goth ‘n’ roll groove that still lures easily the listeners. Once again Jyrki successfully delivers that cold and gloomy gothic touch that scales down the positive pop style embedded in the riffs.
“Blue” is a slow paced goth ballad with an appropriate icy melancholy emphasized by borderline romantic vocals and surreal orchestration filled with an intrinsic atmospheric daydream mood that favors relaxation.
With “Universal Monsters” The 69 Eyes show that they’re still undeniably good at what they do with a transcendent passion for music and in the end it’s only goth ‘n’ roll but we like it.
With the newest album “Moonlover”, American act Ghost Bath fully embraces the black metal and shoegazing fusion that is becoming a buzzing trend either loved or simply hated. While we all deeply love Alcest, the French pioneers of this genre, it might get some time to get used to the newer bands that are bound to appear in the metal scene.
“Golden Number” is all about sharp guitar riffs that cannot hide an uplifting tone and the lead guitar is almost full of positive energy and hopes for a better tomorrow. The melodies, at times on the mellow side, flow smoothly and there is still an oppressive feeling that we cannot leave behind but the final classically elegant piano piece brings everything in place like it was always supposed to be.
“The Silver Flower Pt. 1” calls for a deep state of relaxation as it has a more decadent approach with a sentimental melancholy vibe graciously enhanced by dreamy arpeggios surrounded by peaceful sounds of nature.
“The Silver Flower Pt. 2” still holds that same mystical atmosphere and a faded sense of hopefulness but the additional distortion and relentless guitar riffing delivers a heavier style with some identifiable black metal roots.
“Ascension” has a more dramatic spirit that hides behind a fast black metal asphyxiating style rhythmic session but becomes more alluring and spontaneous when everything slows down to allow the crystalline luminous guitar work the right moment to shine.
“Moonlover” might be considered an interesting, at times captivating, anthem of the modern blackgaze trend and it will certainly bring Ghost Bath the desired dose of fame & glory.
Swedish act Witchcraft comes back full force from the depth of the underground rock/metal realm with the newest effort entitled “Nucleus”. As on the previous albums, the band remains faithful to a gloomy concoction of old school doom roots and raw psychedelic elements.
“Malstroem” begins with soft arpeggios and magical flutes that lure the occasional listener into a magical nostalgic trip. It’s like being high in the middle of nowhere but the retro doom heavy guitar riffs carry a beacon of light that keeps the grove alive while spellbound vocals deliver a somber feeling.
“The Outcast” relies on a catchy ensemble of guitar riffs that celebrate a psych rock revival. The warm energetic guitar solos and the alluring fairytale style mood make this track a widely accessible tune.
The atmospheric sonic landscape of the title track is rather enjoyable with smooth vocals and simple riffs. Overall, while the slow dreamy moments complimented by a folk attitude sound quite interesting, the rhythm section doesn’t successfully deliver a catchy vibe that could keep the listeners’ attention throughout this lengthy track.
“The Obsessed” is another uptempo groovy guitar driven track with raw no-frills production and the expected retro musical theme. The classic rock bluesy guitar sound with some doomish rough edges and the melancholic mood are quite pleasant but too fragile to become a powerful hit.
“Helpless” has a dramatic down on earth music core filled with melancholic smooth arpeggios complimented by distinctively inspired vocals but the super fuzzy guitar solo is definitely the highlight of the song.
As the retro sounding trend aims to conquer the world one band at a time, “Nucleus” is another good collection of doom/rock songs because, even in modern times, we are all hopeless nostalgic.
My dying Bride has rightfully earned the title of legendary pioneers of gothic/doom metal and has never ceased to amaze the evergrowing faithful fanbase creating majestic soulful works of art. My Dying Bride’s newest release “Feel The Misery” is not just a must-have collection of obscure alluring songs but also an invitation to embark on a perilous journey through the an emotional twisted labyrinth of beauty and pain.
“And My Father Left Forever” is a cathartic complex opus with intense emotional depth. The elegant embroidery of doom melancholic guitar riffs which always pack a groovy beat and classically inspired decadent violin harmonies will inevitably drag the listeners into a spiritual turmoil. Aaron Stainthorpe takes the role of a tormented poet/storyteller and his clean vocals acquire a bleak funereal force that fully embraces the darkly oppressive musical theme.
“To Shiver In Empty Halls” channels My Dying Bride’s darkest primordial heart with heavily glacial haunting growls and impeccable anguished guitar riffs. Aaron’s clean vocals portray a magical wretched soundscape on a morbidly slower tapestry of sheer doom phrases that give way to a nightmarish lullaby.
The title track is another exquisite example of the band’s extraordinary songwriting skills. While Aaron’s vocals hold a mournful bitter strength the unbearable burden of misery becomes more palpable with the intensely tight rhythm section embellished by delicately soothing violin and keyboards.
“I Celebrate Your Skin” flows slow and heavy with gothic romance undertones and a mystical atmosphere that recalls the infamous masterpiece “The Crown Of Sympathy”. The heartbreaking soulful violin melodies and the asphyxiating despair of the escalating guitar riffs create an alluring contrast that culminates in Aaron’s poetic delivery.
“Within A Sleeping Forest” has a gloomy symphonic visionary depth effortlessly adorned by dreamlike shiny violin melodies that leave traces of a dim comforting light throughout the song. The constant perception of hopeless loss and eternal failure reaches a desperate acme with breathless riff patterns and eerie keyboards.
With “Feel The Misery” My Dying Bride delivers once again an eclectic work of music where creative passionate songwriting and dark sublime poetry become indissolubly entwined in a perennial danse macabre.
Monster Magnet’s new work of re-imagination entitled “Cobras And Fire (The Mastermind Redux)”could easily turn a listening party into an extra sensorial experience. Besides the healthy burst of creativity behind this alternative version of the band’s previous release “Mastermind”, there is an overdose of intense psychedelic fuzz that makes everything highly enjoyable just like a good epic trip should be.
“Watch Me Fade” features a stellar retro attitude exquisitely portrayed with the help of an old school organ while the catchy psych guitar riffs add a certain paranoia driven joyride feeling.
“Mastermind” shines for Mr. Wyndorf’s witty and soulful performance strategically centered in the middle of fuzzy loveable guitar riffs and that adventurous stoner groove that feels so damn good even while it’s fading away.
If you dare to follow Mr. Wyndorf’s psych rant on “Hallucination Bomb”, you might get entangled in a slow burning daydream, or full blown hallucination, where a smooth trippy guitar driven rhythm favors spiritual relaxation.
The cover version of The Temptations 1969 classic “Ball Of Confusion” holds the dirtiest garage band rock vibe skillfully mixed with a generous dose of psychedelic enchantment which makes everything super groovy and everybody gets ready to jump or dance uncontrollably.
The highly enjoyable guitar work leading the way on “Time Machine” brings the listener into a psychedelic tunnel where fairies might become real and men might learn to fly or what not. This instrumental mind trip tastes sweet and sour, a bit like The Doors, with everybody dancing in the desert surrounded by cacti and magical fluffy clouds.
You will not need to resurrect the original “Mastermind” to refresh your memory or over analyzes and rationalize the differences between the two albums because the re-imagined songs on “Cobras And Fire” own a brand new spiritual essence that will leave you dizzy and bewildered.
Weeping Silence is a gothic doom metal band from Malta, their fourth album “Opus IV Oblivion” has been released last October via Massacre Records, recorded and mixed by David Depasquale at Spine Splitter Studio and mastered by Andy Horn at The Red Room Studio.
The enchanting voice of Diane introduce the first track, “Oblivion – Darkness In My Heart Anno XV”, the sound is amazing and the contrast with the growl voice of Dario makes it unique.
I can define “Ivy Thorns Upon The Barrow” catchy even keeping the symphonic-doom line. The emotional song ” Transcending Destiny” goes straight to the soul and the guitar solo is impeccable. The album fades out with the dramatic and theatrical “Gothic Epitaph”.
Listening to “Opus IV Oblivion” is a continuous shiver, the amazing clean singing and growls complement each other and fit perfectly on the instrumental section.
We have also to mention the album artwork by Jan Yrlund, inspired by and based on the tomb art at the St. John’s Cathedral in Malta.
Weeping Silence is a brilliant band and with this full-length they demonstrate to be high in the symphonic-doom scene.
Eartheria is a young band from Pori, Finland, their music is a mix of fast and melodic metal, inspired by thrash and modern metal.
The band’s first EP called “Throes of Time” has been released on December 2015 and it’s producted by the band itself.
Eartheria to be a fledgling band demonstrates a musical maturity worthy of a successful band and this EP is the proof.
The EP contains 6 tracks, the sound is clean and they did a great job with the recording and mastering. The listening to each song is addictive, the rhythm part is heavy, guitar solos are executed well and the mutable voice runs from growl to scream.
There is nothing to reproach to this EP, we have to keep an eye on Eartheria because I’m sure we will hear more from this band.
Vorna is a pagan metal band from Tampere, Finland. The band’s music has various influences from black metal to folk and rock. Lyrics are written in Finnish and often deal with themes like nature, myths and struggles of mind.
Their second full length, “Ei valo minua seuraa”, has been released on December 2015 via Inverse Records and it’s been a great surprise for me.
This album transports to another dimension, a journey into the deep immersed in the Finnish nature.
The first track “Harmaudesta” with its melancholy sound and the stunning contrast between musical base and voice catches you, and you want to listen it again and again.
One of the best songs from the album is “Jälkemme”,the particular intro remind of a whiff in glass bottles, the rhythm changes with a wild blastbeat and the guitar solo is sublime.
“Vaipunut” is a waterfall of peace and relax, the feeling to be in the middle of the forest is incredible. From the track “Yksin” has been released also a video-clip.
Keyboards create that magic atmosphere, the bass line is interesting, the guitars are just perfect, the drums runs wild with its blastbeat and the voice gives something of unique, the growl mixed with the the clean voice and the female choir, this is a must have album.
46 minutes of inspirational music, if you like bands like Amorphis and Norther you will love this band.
As the retro trend continues to spread intensely in the current metal scene, and visibly everywhere else, Swedish act Graveyard returns with a brand new release elegantly entitled “Innocence & Decadence”. If you’re ready to take a step back in time and enjoy the consequent sweet mindtrip you will be eager to listen to this album.
“Magnetic Shunk” is a wild psychedelic tune that relies on an uplifting savage tempo and high-register vocals in 70s rock decadent fashion. In the midst of accelerated guitar riffing crescendo, you can perceive a dark soulful reverie that recalls The Doors.
“The Apple And The Tree” is an effective concoction of mellow toned bluesy riffs that pay homage to Hendrix and vintage flirtatious rock groove. The perfectly lovable retro lead guitar work, full of sweet & dirty phrasing, builds an increasingly trippy sensation that must be savored slowly.
“Exit 97” is a languid serenade where every chord vibrates in a dusty field. With an exquisitely fuzzy blues delivery, rhythm and lead guitars create a heavily nostalgic vibe while Joakim Nilsson’s vocals add dramatic warmth in tormented rocker style.
“Too Much Is Not Enough” is a passionate song or a broken love spell that could have been recorded in the early 70s and should have been included in the soundtrack of Velvet Goldmine. The soul style female backing vocals and the absolutely unpolished guitar riffs create a mesmerizing sonic trance with a subtle catchiness that would easily get stuck in your mind.
“From A Hole In The Wall” is another song that calls for the legit abuse of the adjective “groovy”. Instrumentally, everything dwells between smoky blues guitars and heavier, even metal influenced, rhythm sections. Nilsson’s voice keeps the worn-out rocker style with elegant savoir faire while the rest of the band engages in a stoner rock genuine jamming session.
“Hard Headed” has the strongest psychedelic vortex where Graveyard goes on a careless hectic instrumental trip jamming all the way outside of traditional space and time rules. Here the guitar riffs are harder and eclectic keeping a super catchy energetic rhythm while Nilsson’s intense performance evokes the sexy languidness of Robert Plant and the wickedness of mastermind Dave Wyndorf.
“Innocence & Decadence” is definitely a pleasant collection of songs and positive vibes so get your bell bottom pants and floral shirt out of the basement and join Graveyard’s psychedelic journey.