Astronoid – Astronoid

Back in 2016  Boston quartet Astronoid made a memorable debut in the underground metal scene and now it’s time to conquer a wider audience showing the band’s purest form with the brand new self-titled sophomore album.  

On the album opener “A New Color” you will find the key elements of Astronoid’s chosen music pathway as guitars can engage in frenetic and slightly heavy segments with evident prog influences yet the delicate daydreaming atmospheres feel fundamental enhancing the soothing melodic nature of the guitar phrases and solo.  

As the title suggests everything on “I Dream In Lines” flows like a dream with loads of kaleidoscopic melodic textures surrounded by extra spacey atmospheric arrangements and spiced up by the occasional chunky rhythmic blasts.

“Lost” begins with lovely guitar melodies and soothing vocals channeling genuine peaceful feelings that will never really fade away even if the rhythmic core eventually acquires sophisticated prog metal tonalities leading to technical guitar riffing and a significantly heavier momentum.

“Water” holds a strong prog metal inspiration that leads to a crunchy series of tight guitar riffs well supported by an intense rhythmic ensemble while the hazy atmospheric layers and the soulful vocal delivery emphasize the song’s inner melancholia.

“Ideal World” features a captivating melodic essence within a shadowy atmospheric realm yet doesn’t leave behind a heavier core as guitars confidently shift from contemplative luminous harmonies to borderline chaotic harsh riffage following the eclectic rhythmic variations.

While the dreamy atmospheres concocted by Astronoid are reminiscent of modern post metal style this self-titled album relies on a multifaceted songwriting that generates an interesting blend of groovy dynamics and moments of absolute solace.

Lychgate – The Contagion In Nine Steps

Following a multifaceted music pathway Lychgate has earned a solid status in the UK extreme metal scene and the latest effort “The Contagion in Nine Steps” aims to deliver an avant-garde  collection of songs conceptually based on complex philosophical and psychological themes.

With an intoxicating atmospheric ensemble of extremely dark nuances and enigmatic melodies “Republic” opens the album and marks the beginning of a grandiose music journey as Lychgate meticulously craft a blend of ominous orchestrations, unconventional rhythmic variations and somber guitar phrases leading to doom tinged soundscapes and infinite desolation accompanied by theatrical clean vocals and diabolical growls.  

“Unity Of Opposites” continues to evoke surreal soundscapes using dissonant tonalities in the impressive melodic & rhythmic guitar work and consequently putting aside any hint of catchiness as the band deliberately focuses on the creation of intricate instrumental passages naturally surrounded by the arcane grandeur of subtle atmospheric layers.

The somber piano melodies of “Hither Comes The Swarm” effortlessly embrace the overwhelming gloom of hypnotizing melodies maintaining a darkly doom pace enhanced by utterly dramatic vocals & menacing growls while guitars will always hold a primary role delivering additional avant-garde momentum as well as thicker riffing that will eventually lead to a faster blackened rhythm.

With intense epic vibes and triumphant moments “The Contagion” still feels exceptionally gloomy borrowing the ominous splendor of traditional doom metal to craft oppressively and often painfully slow heavy rhythmic dynamics but adds a generous dosage of fancy melodic guitars that inevitably channel a profound darkness in the midst of extremely dramatic atmospheres and theatrical vocals.

As Lychgate focus accurately on mature musicianship and elaborate sonic textures “The Contagion In Nine Steps” is a hymn to darkness that will constantly surprise the listeners with its unique and often uneasy flavors.  

The Contagion In Nine Steps

Wolvhammer – The Monuments Of Ash & Bone

With a revamped lineup and renewed creative energy Wolvhammer emerge from the darkest depths of underground metal to deliver an overdose of undiluted blackened decay on the new opus “The Monuments Of Ash & Bone”.

“Eternal Rotting Misery” clearly stays true to the title and opens the gates of darkness as a profound sense of misery is constantly evoked by the multiple ominous rhythmic patterns fiercely unleashed by steady blackened guitar riffs & menacing drums consequently enhanced by hellish growls.

The impenetrable shroud of darkness of “Bathed In Moonblood And Wolflight” spontaneously leads to a cohesive round of tight blackened guitar riffs which feels impossibly obscure yet catchy in a way that will generate an instant moshpit nevertheless there are inner subdued melodic textures shimmering through the ferocious grooves.

On “The Failure King” guitars become utterly rambunctious following the faster borderline brutal pace dictated by steady thunderous drumming yet this is not an uncontrolled chaos as the band accurately follows the primordial black metal roots but also adds inspired atmospheric & melodic moments featuring a slower darkly contemplative essence.

With a slower rhythm and impossibly gloomy textures “Solace Eclipsed” feels like an atmospheric hymn to darkness with dramatic vocals & arrangements but will eventually offer scattered blackened guitar driven grooves without sacrificing the hazy desolation and melodic melancholy.

Overall, Wolvhammer worked hard to achieve the recurring raw blackened grooves and immense desolation of “The Monuments Of Ash & Bone” which will certainly delight lovers of obscure black metal nuances.

The Monuments of Ash & Bone