Skyblood – Skyblood

Since many years swedish vocalist Mats Leven has worked with several amazing bands such as Therion and Candlemass and now he is ready to begin a new exciting music endeavor as a solo artist under the moniker Skyblood.

“The Not Forgotten” has a catchy melodic essence inspired by classic metal dynamics with the right dosage of steady guitar riffage and bright soloing surrounded by subtle symphonic accents while Mats engages the listeners with a mix of high-pitched screams and soothing vocal harmonies. 

On “Wake Up To The Truth” the atmosphere becomes darker and the symphonic tapestries are more present with variegated opulent layers while guitars deliver a fancy shredding solo and maintain a heavier rhythmic approach around the theatrical vocal delivery. 

“Once Invisible” shines for the elegant melancholia infused piano melodies and charming atmospheric arrangements that lead to a sumptuous dramatic depth further emphasized by the gloomy guitar driven crescendos and the darkly fervent vocal performance. 

“One Eye For An Eye” balances warm melodic textures and powerful rhythmic patterns generating widely accessible soundscapes that are definitely spiced up by Mats’s shapeshifting vocals confidently delivering massive harsh screams and somber harmonies.

The elaborate composition behind the final opus “Le Venimeux” focuses on majestic symphonic orchestrations, poignant classical piano melodies and refined melodic guitar work to create a lavish theatrical experience where Mats can truly express his music identity through a quite compelling and diverse vocal performance. 

Mats worked several years on this new project bravely expressing his personal music taste and exploring different styles that allow him to fully showcase his versatile vocal abilities, as a result Skyblood debut album is certainly destined to surprise the audience. 

Infected Rain – Endorphin

Hailing from Moldova Infected Rain are steadily gaining attention within the modern metal scene and they are ready to raise the bar with the unpredictable groovy & melodic dynamics of the latest offering “Endorphin”.

“The Earth Mantra” relies on extra heavy grooves fueled by the intense djent elements of the guitar work yet there is a soothing introspective momentum generated by ambiance arrangements and enriched by the passionate vocal delivery. 

Following a similar pathway “Black Gold” mixes enraged crunchy rhythmic blasts with bright multilayered atmospheric & electro arrangements that seems to be a successful combo emphasizing the band’s ability to create diverse soundscapes. 

“Symphony Of Trust” amplifies a melodic approach with softer vocal harmonies that aim to evoke sincere emotions especially during the memorable chorus yet the djent/metalcore force is still quite dominant within the cohesive heavier rhythmic ensemble accompanied by ravenous screams. 

“Walking Dead” begins with dreamy atmospheric layers swiftly followed by a massive series of savage guitar riffs but once again comforting melodies keep on flourishing throughout the song with the palpable emotional drive embodied by Lena’s vocals. 

The aggressive grooves of “Taphephobia” are filled with frantic guitar riffs,  feverish screams and darkened tonalities following a faster borderline brutal rhythm yet there is space for uplifting feelings that come to life through calmer atmospheres and delicate vocals. 

“Storm” deviates from the album’s main direction to focus exclusively on shimmering electro waves and subtle atmospheric splendor that also put the spotlight on Lena’s poignant vocals and the consequent emotive themes.

Since the very first listening you can perceive the raw energy and the dramatic depth that constantly express contrasting emotions throughout “Endorphin” and obviously Lena’s versatile vocal performance is destined to attract more listeners. 

Dawn Of Disease – Procession of Ghosts

German metallers Dawn Of Disease confidently follow the beloved pathway of melodic death metal on the latest full length “Procession of Ghosts” skillfully blending the perfect dosage of opulent harmonies and fierce darkened grooves. 

Since the beginning, the title track unleashes all the key elements of melodic death metal with the somber tonalities of the crispy melodic licks and the absolute fury of the galloping rhythmic patterns accompanied by intense hellish growls and enriched by epic atmospheric accents. 

On “May The Waves Take Me” the increasingly dramatic depth influences the memorable melodic guitar progressions and the sorrowful atmosphere while the relentless rhythmic section meticulously creates impactful grooves. 

“Shrine” revolves around bold guitar driven grooves channeling a full blown primal death metal force yet through the fast hostile segments melodic guitars evoke grave feelings with sophisticated harmonies. 

On “Where The Clouds Reach The Ground” luminous guitar melodies and understated atmospheric arrangements become essential amplifying the melancholic grandeur but there is also a solid mix of faster catchy moments and darker nuances. 

It would be impossible to resist the immense melancholia of “Autumn Days” and once again the elaborate guitar work shines for the enthralling melodic phrases which steal the spotlight even if there are enough scattered powerful death metal style grooves to trigger a moshpit. 

“Hypnosis” continues to maintain a grand gloomy melodic essence with loads of tasteful guitar progressions and dazzling darkened soloing in contrast with the savage death metal force fully expressed by the aggressive riffage & drumming as well as the cavernous growls. 

Undoubtedly melodic death metal has become a favorite sub-genre and staying true to such thriving sonic formula on “Procession Of Ghosts” Dawn Of Disease successfully and passionately balance elegant melancholic melodies and furious rhythmic blasts.

Jinjer – Macro

Ukrainian progressive groove metal band Jinjer has already conquered a huge fanbase but now the time has come to impress even more the modern metal scene with the long awaited full length “Macro” which relies on an incredibly versatile sonic manifesto to showcase a refreshing creative force. 

Already the album opener “On The Top” demonstrates that Jinjer goes beyond standard metal categories unleashing utterly brutal rhythmic patterns amplified by spiteful growls while showcasing an excellent technical musicianship and creating a significative contrast with the soothing melodic moments. 

“Pit Of Consciousness” is full of interesting technical twists demonstrating a great maturity within the aggressive rhythmic ensemble which combines eclectic prog flair and extreme metal dynamics while Tatiana Shmailyuk confidently shifts from malevolent growls to emotionally charged clean vocals. 

“Judgement (& Punishment)” is a particularly intriguing track featuring a diverse songwriting approach that will surprise the audience with playful reggae melodies cutting through the thrilling faster prog oriented rhythmic segments.  

“Home Back”can sound ferocious with extra heavy guitar riffs and striking technical bass lines generating solid rounds of ravenous grooves until softer luminous melodies and warm clean vocals take the center stage. 

“The Prophecy” focuses on infectious grooves as the intricate rhythmic blasts demand breakneck speed and guitars constantly create intense progressions that enhance the experimental approach while a contemplative essence spontaneously emerges through the soulful vocal harmonies. 

Jinjer have worked relentlessly to prove their remarkable abilities especially on the latest massive tours so they truly deserve all the attention and appreciation that “Macro” will definitely garner worldwide with the compelling blend of abrasive grooves and sophisticated melodies. 

Year Of The Goat – Novis Orbis Terrarum Ordinis

Swedish occult rock masters Year Of The Goat will inevitably put a spell on you with the arcane grooves and an eloquent exploration of the seven deadly sins on the latest majestic opus “Novis Orbis Terrarum Ordinis”.  

The dark journey begins with the bewitching retro vibes of “Subortus” which perfectly balances nostalgic guitar melodies and monumental doom tinged riffs resulting in a groovy instrumental ensemble that also showcases a major dramatic depth due to the presence of solemn vocals. 

The ‘70s rock vibes of “Luxuria” lead to entertaining rounds of groovy guitar riffs in fact the consequent irresistible rhythmic force makes you want to jump & dance while the guitar soloing channels a satisfying melodic melancholia. 

On “Ira” the elaborate guitar work is destined to steal the spotlight crafting several elegant solos and a multitude of fascinating melodies that flow like a dream evoking an absolutely intense nostalgia accompanied by a particularly heartfelt vocal delivery while later the rhythmic section will concoct plenty of heavier & sinister grooves. 

“Invidia” goes straight to a groovy galore with a super catchy chorus and electrifying guitar riffs so this is probably the most accessible song on the album even when the softer melodies convey a spellbinding darker mood. 

With a theatrical approach “Subicio” is a massive lengthy track that feels like it could go on forever channeling sheer melancholy with an overdose of exquisite guitar leads that constantly enhance the dramatic aspects while vocals also have the power to express so many wistful feelings yet the final part acquires a compelling mixture of epic and esoteric atmospheres.

The occult spirit of “Novis Orbis Terrarum Ordinis” is palpable in every song yet Year Of The Goat often manage to step out of such obscure sonic realm to successfully create catchy music and delightful melodic tapestries that any listener could truly appreciate. 

Life Of Agony – The Sound Of Scars

Already in the early ’90s Life Of Agony were forging a unique music style that today naturally evolves within the striking emotional journey incarnated by the new album “The Sound Of Scars” which is also a continuation of the concept started on the groundbreaking 1993 debut “River Runs Red”.

“Scars” sounds incredibly groovy from beginning to end with loads of chunky guitar riffs and an inflamed rhythmic section with wild hardcore hints nevertheless the memorable chorus holds strong emotional vocal harmonies.  

“Black Heart” will trigger headbanging with the gritty guitar riffs and a rather darkened mood that certainly influences all the instrumental passages while Mina Caputo’s stunning vocals can effortlessly evoke so many profound emotions. 

“Lay Down” shifts from addictive rebellious heavy grooves emphasized by Mina’s powerful voice to introspective melodic moments featuring a soulful vocal delivery and crispy guitar tonalities. 

The deeply somber guitars on “Once Below” emphasize a palpable inner gloom yet the galloping guitar riffs and faster drumming often lead to electrifying groovy dynamics that amplify the raw energy of the catchy chorus.  

“Stone” is filled with contrasting emotions as the rhythmic segments can spontaneously generate abrasive grooves with the right dose of sharp riffage but guitars are also able to craft a pensive melodic momentum accompanied by Mina’s eloquent vocals. 

Feeling like a eulogy “I Surrender” still has a groovy spirit but focuses almost exclusively on the emotive struggles with warm guitar melodies and deeply melancholic atmospheres surrounding Mina’s cathartic vocal delivery. 

The emotional power expressed by Mina’s vocal performance is simply amazing and is one of the reasons why “The Sound Of Scars” can feel so visceral and sincere proving that Life of Agony are still destined to stand out in the current crowded metal scene. 


The Agonist – Orphans

The return of Canadian extreme metallers The Agonist promises to be quite memorable as they have developed an interesting music identity that fully comes to life with passion and fury on the latest release “Orphans”. 

The atmospheric intro of “In Vertigo” introduces a monstrous rhythmic ensemble that demands speed and anger with infectious guitar riffs and stylish leads while the symphonic & operatic arrangements might render the song less hostile emphasizing the dramatic depth. 

“As One We Survive” brings some blistering metalcore elements within the fierce rhythmic section but melodic guitars definitely add the perfect dosage of melancholia which also allows Vicky Psarakis to deliver emotional clean vocals besides angered growls.  

“The Gift Of Silence” goes straight to the point with a belligerent sonic assault but it will eventually leave behind the brutal rhythmic force to favor sorrowful vibes with elaborate guitar melodies and catchy clean vocal harmonies enriched by a dazzling guitar solo. 

“Blood As My Guide” is full of aggressive guitar riffs following technical rhythmic variations embellished by solemn atmospheric arrangements and understated symphonic vibes while Vicky’s vocal performance can sound quite theatrical. 

The title track begins with soft introspective atmospheres swiftly followed by interesting technical guitar driven grooves accompanied by menacing growls yet the melodic aspects often emerge with profoundly darkened guitar phrases enhanced by the intense clean vocals. 

The impactful nature of “Burn It All Down” is immediately evident as the visceral energy of the rhythmic ensemble leads to unrestrained grooves where guitars constantly showcase a remarkable technical approach. 

There is a lot going on “Orphans” which always manages to balance enthralling melodic tapestries and vicious extreme metal dynamics as the music style of The Agonist continues to evolve following new exciting ideas. 

Imperium Dekadenz – When We Are Forgotten

Coming from the depths of the Black Forest of Germany Imperium Dekadenz begin a new sonic journey through dust and shadows on the new offering “When We Are Forgotten”. 

Under a shroud of frost the title track efficiently channels wintry feelings through an abundant dosage of dismal guitar melodies and distant tormented screams while the rich atmospheric approach is definitely an essential element that will inevitably captivate the listeners. 

“Bis Ich Bin” still offers many soulful and borderline depressing melodic moments but the bold ominous rhythmic patterns bearing the mark of traditional black metal become more dominant leading to an extremely dark sonic assault. 

The melancholic depth of “My Solace I (Choirs of Solitude)” is overwhelming as all the guitar melodies successfully evoke a multitude of genuine feelings surrounded by a mixture of bleak atmospheres and dramatic vocals. 

“Abszenz Elysium” offers monumental segments of pure blackened fury through intense cascading guitar riffs and precise drumming that lead to a sense of utter desperation balanced by the lingering solemn tonalities of the atmospheric arrangements. 

“My Solace II (Paths of Perception)” focuses more on gloomy melodic crescendos as vocals acquire sorrowful vibes and guitars channel the darkest tonalities to express a sheer nostalgia that remains the main sentiment throughout the song. 

As the title suggests “Frozen In Time” is filled with gelid tonalities especially palpable within the extra gloomy melodic realm naturally crafted by darkly melancholic guitars which acquire a compelling introspective depth during the slower moments yet can sound absolutely anguished when the rhythm becomes more aggressive. 

The dense melodic textures of “Owl of the Black Forest” once again ensure the creation of a cathartic and extremely melancholic sonic realm so the tempo is a bit slower to emphasize the lush guitar work, the mournful atmosphere and the consequent cosmic gloom. 

Listening attentively to “When We Are Forgotten” you can always perceive an immense desolation and a grand disillusion as Imperium Dekadenz confidently craft melodic waves around sparks of major blackened anger.  

Delain Live in Joliet

Dutch symphonic metal band Delain have built a solid reputation in the last few years and are currently co-headlining with Amorphis on tour across North America. Earlier this year Delain have released the successful EP “Hunter’s Moon” via Napalm Records and few days ago the video for the brand new single “Burning Bridges” which they are performing for the first time live on this tour. As expected the show at The forge in Joliet was packed as the North American fanbase keeps on growing exponentially every time Delain are back on tour and the crowd was quite impressed with the new single “Burning Bridges” and clearly in love with favorite songs such as “Fire With Fire”, “Hands Of Gold” and the melancholic ballad “We Are The Others”. Vocalist Charlotte Wessels delivered bright vocals with great confidence and interacted with the fans throughout the show while despite the absence of drummer Joey De Boer due to visa delays, substituted for now by Jan Rechberger of Amorphis, the band’s chemistry was evident from beginning to end. 

Nemesea – White Flag

Dutch alternative rock band Nemesea put together a tasteful blend of catchy rock melodies and electro beats on the latest album “White Flag” which seems to be carefully designed to conquer the heart of a wide audience. 

“The Storm” opens the album with modern cinematic vibes skillfully relying on luminous atmospheric nuances later enriched by accessible guitar driven grooves and electro twists and it seems clear that all the instrumental passages put the focus on Sanne Mieloo’s bright vocals. 

On the title track the band is ready to channel positive energy with smooth guitar melodies but always add a generous dosage of graceful atmospheric arrangements and vocals diligently follow such framework shifting from a soft emotional delivery to a more energetic momentum.

“Don’t Tell Me Your Name” begins with sultry dancey beats and throughout the whole song moody synths arrangements will maintain an entertaining electro mood that tends to prevail over the melodic rock themes. 

“Fools Gold” revolves around colorful rhythmic patterns with energetic guitar riffs and exciting drumming but will eventually showcase a glowing melodic essence through dreamy atmospheres and melancholic vocals. 

“Ratata” is another enjoyable track that favors the electronic themes of the album mixing darkened atmospheric layers, fiery dancey beats and crunchy guitar riffs that add major groovy vibes in the chorus. 

“Heavyweight Champion” can sound like a classic soulful ballad where Sanne’s vocal performance feels particularly alluring and easily steals the spotlight yet the band manages to render such formula more interesting with some darker futuristic electro arrangements. 

“Dance In The Fire” packs a solid rock punch with robust guitar riffs and bass lines cutting through the sentimental melodic phrases and Sanne effortlessly delivers a strong vocal chorus as well as introspective harmonies. 

In the end even if “White Flag” might not be remembered for some otherworldly innovations or surprising creativity it is certainly filled with profound emotions as Nemesea never miss a chance to emphasize their passionate approach.