At The Gates Live at House Of Blues in Chicago

Following the acclaimed release of the album “To Drink From The Night Itself”, available via Century Media Records, Swedish melodic death metal legends At The Gates are currently touring across North America and the sold out show at House Of Blues in Chicago featured a killer setlist that included some classic favorites such as “Slaughter Of The Soul” and “Blinded By Fear”!

Tribulation Live in Chicago

The atmosphere gets spooky & decadent when Swedish breakout band Tribulation takes the stage at Bottom Lounge in Chicago. Emerging from a surreal underworld and floating on stage like elegant corpses to spread their unique metal blend Tribulation celebrates the success of the latest release “Down Below” performing the songs “The Lament”, “Nightbound”, “Lady Death”, “Lacrimosa” and many more!

Dark Tranquillity Live at The Forge in Joliet

Known as one of the most beloved European bands ever Swedish melodic death metal masters Dark Tranquillity always deliver a super energetic show that you cannot miss! Here is all the live action from the show at The Forge in Joliet where Dark Tranquillity performed an impeccable mix of songs from the latest offering “Atoma”, such as “Forward Momentum” and “Clearing Skies”, and iconic tracks such as “Monochromatic Stains”, “The Wonders At Your Feet” and “Therein”!


Omnium Gatherum – The Burning Cold

Formed in 1996 Finnish melo-death metallers Omnium Gatherum have always been devoted to the Scandinavian blend of melancholy & brutality that will never fail to be relevant and appreciated worldwide, therefore it will be easy to fall in love with the strong emotions behind the new effort “The Burning Cold”.

“Gods Go First” doesn’t waste time and hits you right in the face with rhythmic blasts of traditional death metal yet the band is also ready to delight the fans with intense shredding moments and a series of smooth & dismal guitar melodies which will rightfully take the spotlight throughout the tight rhythmic segments.

On “Refining Fire” there is a demand for speed and bold grooves as the recurring darkened mood is always matched by ferocious growls and galloping guitar riffs but as expected a melodic soulful ensemble will bring hints of positive yet profoundly contemplative vibes.

“Rest In Your Heart” might sound like a ballad since tempo is significantly slowed down and the beloved cold melancholy is extremely emphasized with the addition of atmospheric textures and dominant somber melodies but there is still a fair dosage of crunchy guitar riffs throughout the song’s structure.

The gloominess of “Be The Sky” is immediately evident with soothing melodic splendor and will influence deeply all the nostalgic tonalities and gentle poetic guitar harmonies in the midst of enraged growls and precise rhythmic patterns.  

“Driven By Conflict” can sound rather vicious focusing on sharp guitar riffs and a simply crushing rhythmic section that thrive on accelerated tempo and heavy grooves without compromising the melodic spirit embodied by the lead guitar work.

The closing track “Cold” is full of triumphant melancholy that reminds us why we love melodic death metal so much. Starting with the immense gloom of atmospheric layers and sweet arpeggios the song unfolds seamlessly to reveal that irresistible darkness that inevitably dominates the vibrant melodious guitar progressions and the moody rhythmic dynamics.

Certainly on “The Burning Cold” Omnium Gatherum shows the ability to compose alluring melodies but besides the consequent inner sadness this album repeatedly builds a climatic aggressive momentum fully embracing the classic Nordic melo-death trademark.  
The Burning Cold

Marduk – Viktoria

The blackened legacy of Swedish icons Marduk is renowned worldwide and its blasphemous essence continues to be crucial in the current metal scene therefore it’s not surprising that the newest release “Viktoria” maintains intact the band’s signature style.

“Werwolf” aims for a direct brutal impact as guitars fully embrace the feverish fast dynamics of what is unanimously considered traditional black metal and the delivery is precise and deliberately bold resulting in a perilous mixture of absolutely harsh tonalities, sirens announcing an imminent attack and venomous growls.

On “Tiger I” the rhythm section drastically slows down yet never sacrifices the primordial blackened core that emerges with bold energetic blasts while guitar riffs acquire an ominous melodic temper foreshadowing imminent catastrophe and maintain a steady sense of hopelessness.

“The Last Fallen” belongs to the hellish depths of black metal as extra dark guitars march triumphantly eventually gaining monstrous rhythmic dynamics accompanied by utterly ruthless growls.

There is no escape and no time to breath on the title track as the entire instrumentation deliberately embrace a savage blackened rhythm and the occasional borderline melodic guitars evoke sheer desolation.

Channeling arcane vibes “Silent Night” becomes even darker with enticing malevolent guitar melodies that could not feel heavier despite the quasi contemplative atmosphere and the dramatically slower rhythmic approach.

On “Viktoria” Marduk are not interested in special effects or astonishing innovations as the traditional black metal is the chosen pathway that continues to dictate the sinister tonalities and a no frills ferocious delivery.

Lucifer – Lucifer II

The second coming of rockers Lucifer starts when vocalist Johanna Sadonis finds Nicke Andersson as the perfect songwriting partner and the result of this new collaboration is the long awaited sophomore album “Lucifer II” which naturally conjures a dark sonic realm inspired by heavy rock of the late ‘60s and ‘70s.

“California Son” is not your standard rock revival song because Lucifer’s personal identity adds intriguing twists even if the vintage vibes are definitely influencing the wild guitar driven grooves. A subtle darkness flows through the crunchy guitar riffs which spontaneously lead to delightfully entertaining solos with the perfect dosage of gritty & melodic textures while Johanna proves to be a charismatic frontwoman.

As we are feeling a bit lost in the middle of nowhere, most likely an arid landscape or a cemetary, “Dreamer” emerges with sultry harmonies and Johanna’s aptly dreamy vocal delivery while the rhythm slows down significantly to enhance the darkened hues and sheer nostalgia of the melodic guitar work which often will still naturally acquire bursts of explosive energy through groovy crescendos and killer solos.

“Reaper On Your Heels” amplifies classic doom nuances and consequent moody melancholia leading to a lovable melodic ensemble spiced up by many groovy moments where guitars continues to channel glorified rock flavors but also add extra dark momentum.

With a winning groovy rhythmic core “Aton” features loads of catchy melodies reaching the acme with the memorable chorus and while the instrumental passages are utterly entertaining, especially when flamboyant guitar leads take the center stage, there is an underlying emotional turmoil.

The darkly decadent guitar riffs of “Faux Pharaoh” and Johanna’s enchanting vocals will inevitably put a spell on you as this track screams doom from beginning to end offering plenty of delicious gloomy grooves with psychedelic twists and bewitching melodic guitar licks surrounded by particularly sinister atmospheric arrangements.

It would be hard to resist the sultry magic of “Evening Wind” as a laid back and extremely nostalgic mood effortlessly enhance Johanna’s poignant vocal delivery while the soulful guitar melodies and the impressive vibrant leads rightfully hold a rather crucial role throughout the whole song.

The future of Lucifer looks bright as the advent of “Lucifer II” with its inner melodic splendor and gloomy grandeur will definitely attract a wide audience and fully reveal the band’s talent and genuine passion.