Avatarium – The Fire I long For

Swedish doom band Avatarium returns in excellent shape to spellbind you with the grandiose melodic gloom incarnated by the latest full length “The Fire I Long For”. 

“Voices” invites you to enter a world of endless doom with the classic arcane vibes of the guitar riffs marching fiercely through the mighty & groovy rhythmic patterns embellished by the retro allure of organ melodies and Jennie-Ann Smith’s captivating vocal performance.  

While maintaining a fascinating darkened essence on “Rubicon” guitars acquire extremely catchy rock tonalities leading to a sultry melodic solo and memorable rhythmic dynamics surrounded by somber doom atmospheres and haunting organs. 

With a darkened dreamy mood “Lay Me Down” offers gorgeous sentimental melodic guitar progressions following a slower nostalgia infused rhythm surrounded by hazy atmospheric arrangements that allow Jennie-Ann’s passionate vocals to gain the deserved spotlight. 

The dark soul behind the composition of “Porcelain Skull” fully manifests through the grave rhythmic crescendos featuring the sober weight of doom laden guitar riffs and the eerie 70’s accents that will ultimately embrace a bewitching melodic flair emphasized by the soulful vocal delivery. 

You are destined to fall in love instantly with the seductive melodic grandeur of the title track as Jennie-Ann delivers flawless darkly romantic vocals to match the immense instrumental melancholia expressed by the slow burning guitar harmonies and the evocative warmth of the solo that certainly still channel a subtle traditional doomy feeling. 

“Epitaph Of Heroes” celebrates the undiluted darkness of doom metal relying on a massive series of impactful heavy guitar riffs and consequent monolithic grooves enriched by the solemn vocals glowing within the addictive chorus and the vibrant organs providing the perfect dosage of eerie vibes and moody vintage elements. 

“The Fire I Long For” deserves your utmost attention and might be the album that ultimately puts Avatarium in the spotlight as they have created a truly magnificent opus fueled by the timeless magic of classic doom and an enticing melodic composition. 

Nile – Vile Nilotic Rites

Nile have always been a symbol of technical death metal and their latest merciless full length “Vile Nilotic Rites” allows them to move forward with evident enthusiasm and a renewed band’s chemistry.  

“Long Shadows Of Dread” perfectly incarnates the insane power of the whole album through a brutal rhythmic approach built by majestic drums and relentless guitar riffs while the soloing is bound to impress with major technical skills and flamboyant shredding. 

The title track stays true to the band’s native death metal style with unstoppable guitar driven grooves and a monolithic rhythmic backbone accompanied by primal cavernous growls and a generous dose of venomous guitar licks. 

“Seven Horns Of War” is an epic work of music adding loads of solemn orchestrations and symphonic accents that basically get you ready for battle and the unrestrained rhythmic patterns filled with fast vicious guitar riffs are clearly fueled by such theatrical flair. 

“Revel In Their Suffering” features additional grand symphonic arrangements that enrich the persistent tech death dynamics skillfully unleashed by the majestic rhythmic section while the lead guitars grab your attention with intriguing melodic phrases. 

“Where Is The Wrathful Sky” manages to channel a perpetual rage courtesy of precise drumming, spiteful riffage and belligerent growls emerging from some forgotten hellish abyss yet within such chaotic sonic realm you will find fascinating eastern style acoustic passages.  

“The Imperishable Stars Are Sickened” can convey a stylish dramatic depth with understated melodic hints and the recurring elegant acoustic guitars that almost feel luminous compared to the darker enigmatic vibes channeled by the main tech death rhythmic rampage that remains an essential component. 

Exploring the dreads of modern civilization “Vile Nilotic Rites” will inevitably hit you in the face with massive death metal grooves and the expected overdose of brilliant guitar dynamics as Nile proudly showcase a ferocious sonic manifesto.

Kadavar Live in Chicago

It’s been a while since German doom rock overlords Kadavar toured in North America and their loyal fans gathered at Avondale Music Hall in Chicago for a super trippy live performance. Kadavar are currently supporting their latest critically acclaimed release “For The Dead Travel Fast”, available via Nuclear Blast Records, and they were able to fully channel the gothic horror mood of the album and showcase a mind blowing musicianship performing the new spellbinding tracks “The End”, “The Devil’s Master” and “Evil Forces”. Kadavar’s magical live show was truly an intense spiritual experience as the trio constantly created a powerful connection with the crowd and inevitably made us all space out with unrestrained psychedelic jams. 

Cyhra – No Halos In Hell

Featuring renowned musicians Jake E (ex-Amaranthe), Jesper Strömblad (ex-In Flames), Euge Valovirta (ex-Shining) and Alex Landenburg (Kamelot) modern melodic metallers Cyhra return with the sophomore album “No Halos In Hell” showing great chemistry and passion that will certainly solidify their status in the current metal scene. 

“Out Of My Life” offers loads of cool electro atmospheric arrangements yet the guitar work definitely holds a major role with smooth riffage and flamboyant leads while the highly melodic big chorus aims to get stuck in your head. 

On the title track crunchy guitar riffs generate accessible & entertaining grooves even if the melodic essence here remains in the spotlight with a deeply emotive vocal delivery and shimmering multilayered atmospheres. 

“I Am The One” can sound a bit more aggressive as the riffage gains extra gritty energy leading to intense grooves while synths amplify the pop metal approach just like the super catchy chorus that benefits from Jake’s impeccably passionate vocal performance. 

“Dreams Gone Wrong” has some mellow ballad elements emphasized by the perfectly soothing vocals and the dreamy synths yet there are plenty of groovy rhythmic patterns featuring some sharp guitar riffs. 

Instead “Lost In Time” is the authentic full blown ballad of the album focusing on the melancholic piano melodies and the sorrowful vocals that allow Jake to show the intensity of his vocal range and his ability to express a multitude of emotions. 

“I Had Your Back” engage the listeners with memorable groovy dynamics as guitars once again provide constant bouncy riffs surrounded by wistful atmospheric layers and reach the acme with the striking melodic energy of the soloing.   

“Man Of Eternal Rain” is a particularly interesting track offering an elaborate atmospheric background while guitars can sound heavier with galloping bold riffs and still add a satisfying dosage of refined melodies but the solo here is destined to grab your attention with vibrant shredding and dazzling prowess. 

“No Halos In Hell” successfully aims to deliver bittersweet melodies and entertaining hooks resulting in a modern sonic blend that has the necessary catchy vibes to allow Cyhra to reach a wider audience. 

Alcest – Spiritual Instinct

French blackgaze pioneers Alcest worked relentlessly to develop a unique enthralling music style spreading their magical sound all over the world and influencing countless emerging bands. With the release of the sixth full length “Spiritual Instinct” Alcest craft an ethereal collage of passion and melancholy fully expressed by the intricate soundscapes and the evident mystical aura. 

“Les Jardins De Minuit” lies in a limbo between darkness and light as it begins with the understated beauty of melancholic guitars and ethereal vocals that will naturally embrace an irresistible blackened essence reminiscing of the band’s earlier discography in fact the wilder riffage and the tormented growls fit perfectly within the song’s cosmic vision. 

“Sapphire” shines for the moody guitar progressions and the nostalgic vocal delivery that certainly belong to a distant dreamy world even if the rhythmic core has the ability to spontaneously generate wonderful catchy rock vibes that can appeal to a wide audience. 

It feels like dreaming as soon as the epic track “L’Île Des Morts” begins with exquisite darkened tonalities mixed with lovely dream pop elements resulting in a series of spaced out grooves that will acquire an anguished blackened momentum in contrast with the bewitching dosage of fragile emotionally charged guitar melodies emphasized by Neige’s tranquil vocals and celestial atmospheric nuances. 

The title track aptly feels like a spiritual voyage towards another state of existence with a lavish wistful sonic palette that simply cannot go unnoticed with a thoughtful composition focused on shimmering guitar melodies that can express all kinds of uplifting emotions but also an immense melancholy further amplified by the understated atmospheric layers and the comforting soulful vocals. 

“Spiritual Instinct” is a work of music & poetry destined to open new doors for Alcest as they continue to build a distinct legacy pursuing diverse sounds and stylish songwriting ideas inspired by otherworldly feelings to ultimately create a dreamy sonic realm that will inevitably spellbind the listeners.  

Une Misère – Sermon

Emerging from the burgeoning Icelandic metal scene Une Misère aim to grab your attention with an interesting mixture of violent grooves and darkened emotions on the debut album “Sermon”.

On “Sin & Guilt” intense ominous tonalities influence the guitar work that hits you in the face with relentless riffage and the resulting grooves are characterized by menacing precise rhythmic segments.

The title track amplifies a sense of impending doom as guitars develop particularly obscure tonalities leading to a gloomy introspective momentum but you can rest assured that the rhythmic section is always ready to deliver ferocious heavy progressions. 

Hints of pure melancholia can be perceived throughout “Overlooked / Disregarded” in fact guitars craft some cold melodies surrounded by subtle atmospheric layers while the ravenous growls channel massive hardcore energy during the faster rhythmic grooves. 

The wintry mood of “Fallen Eyes” generates darkly soothing arpeggios and peaceful clean vocals focus on an emotional delivery yet guitars will soon return to unstoppable gritty riffs following a rather hostile rhythmic assault. 

You can feel the inner torment of “Failures” within the angered ensemble of crushing guitar riffs, monolithic bass lines and merciless drumming plus such belligerent approach is always amplified by the ruthless screams. 

“Voiceless” offers an increasingly darker atmospheric aura that emphasizes the psychological weight and the consequent anguish while the savage guitar driven grooves accompanied by an overdose of sharp screams successfully channel a serious will to keep fighting. 

Certainly all over “Sermon” you will find strong hardcore elements leading to intense rhythmic patterns yet the sonic pathway chosen by Une Misère is also fueled by a blackened force that matches the themes revolving around existential struggles. 

Wednesday 13 – Necrophaze

Thinking about horror themes in music Wednesday 13 always comes to mind in fact you can expect a frightening sonic experience evidently inspired by classic 80s movies and awful night terrors on the latest record “Necrophaze”.

Featuring a theatrical narration by legendary Alice Cooper the title track marks a grand beginning with 80s inspired synths that build a suspenseful mood while the main heavier elements will emerge with crunchy guitar riffs and a groovy rhythmic ensemble constantly surrounded by a generous dosage of sinister atmospheric layers. 

“Bring Your Own Blood” invites you to an obviously scary party so you better watch yourself as guitars confidently trigger entertaining grooves and the synths tapestries amplify the expected spine-chilling vibes. 

You can easily perceive the horrific serial killer vibes all over “ZODIAC” and again the synths hold a dominant role providing a strong soundtrack style background with multilayered ghastly tonalities mixed with the industrial approach of the rhythmic section. 

Especially in the beginning “Decompose” acquires an extremely gloomy mood with softer atmospheric arrangements but later will unleash loads of catchy guitar driven grooves and a sing along chorus featuring aptly ghoulish vocals. 

The deliciously creepy track “The Hearse” stands out for the profoundly mournful melodies and darkened atmospheres that convey a bewitching gothic glamour consequently the Duke of Spook delivers a particularly malignant vocal performance. 

Despite the macabre title “Life Will Kill Us All” feels almost uplifting with the prominent melodic elements and the high energy of the punk rock grooves that lead to a rather catchy chorus and while the instrumental passages sound less evil the vocals maintain all the freaky vibes throughout the song. 

“Necrophaze” is the ideal horror movie soundtrack, an ode to shock rock and all the creatures lurking in the dark so if you dare to enter the super spooky sonic realm carefully created by Wednesday 13 you will have a lot of fun. 

Exhorder – Mourn The Southern Skies

Nola thrash metal legends Exhorder are finally back, it’s been 27 years since they released an album but “Mourn The Southern Skies” definitely has the necessary strength to gain recognition and a genuine sound hard to find within the modern metal scene. 

The perfect way to start this album is delivering a ripper like “My Time” with plenty of infectious guitar riffs leading the way through a massive series of memorable grooves and the lyrical anger is as impactful as the instrumental ensemble. 

“Asunder” maintains classic thrash dynamics packing an overdose of crushing guitar riffs, killer soloing and consequent fiery grooves but certainly you can also perceive a swampy mood influencing some guitar tonalities and the vocals are still freaking enraged. 

“Yesterday’s Bones” offers another serious round of belligerent guitar driven grooves that keep the thrash element alive & vibrant and certainly showcases the band’s mature musicianship and refreshing passion also with the thrilling progressions and somber tones of the melodic guitar solos. 

“All She Wrote” is straight to the point unleashing scorching guitar riffs and a faster vigorous rhythmic section obviously accompanied by the intense vocal delivery as the mood gets wilder and the smooth chorus brings additional groovy vibes. 

The moody southern spirit is all over “The Arms Of Man” as warm melodic guitars become extremely dominant with some distinct sludge elements following less hostile yet still potent rhythmic dynamics.  

The lengthy title track is a quite elaborate work of music starting with an aptly mournful combo of acoustic harmonies and tasteful melodic passages that will influence the overall mood adding an epic flair yet there are still super groovy moments courtesy of the mighty rhythmic backbone and the fierce guitar riffs.

“Mourn The Southern Skies” has a lot to offer to all thrash metal acolytes around the world and Exhorder manage to engage the listeners with all kinds of memorable heavy grooves and melodic twists which feel like the right way to celebrate their comeback. 


Opeth – In Cauda Venenum

Considered as one of the best bands in the scene Opeth have proudly released the long awaited 13th album “In Cauda Venenum”, undoubtedly an intricate progressive rock/metal opus that manifests an ongoing sonic evolution and is destined to put them in the spotlight once again. 

The complex approach of “Dignity” is immediately noticeable as the guitar work showcases a strong prog inspiration as well as subtle retro rock flavors delivering delightful melodic licks supported by an energetic rhythmic backbone while the softer soundscapes naturally unfold like a darkened fairytale with rich bewitching arrangements. 

Despite the precise execution and almost calculated style variations “Heart In Hand” still feels spontaneous packing some raw energy within the chunky riffage and monumental drumming while guitars freely shift from catchy harmonies to virtuoso soloing and even add major enigmatic psychedelic tonalities. 

A darkly soothing feeling lingers throughout “Lovelorn Crime” which begins with minimalist piano melodies and peaceful vocals and the consequent emotional catharsis is further emphasized by the nostalgia infused multilayered atmospheric arrangements and the flawless luminous guitar solo. 

“Charlatan” amplifies the technical prog aspects with a series of shapeshifting rhythmic patterns that ensure intense groovy moments as guitars tend to focus on heavier riffs and clever progressions embellished by flamboyant keyboards arrangements. 

“The Garroter” is another example of the high degree of diversity that characterizes the album as a distinct melancholic essence is embedded in the lovely acoustic phrases, the charming piano melodies and the soulful vocal delivery while the whole instrumentation will eventually acquire darkly playful tonalities and vibrant jazz influences. 

“All Things Will Pass” marks a majestic closure highlighting a sumptuous dramatic depth with a mixture of mellow dreamy melodies accompanied by ardent vocals and heavier rhythmic dynamics that can evoke the monolithic force of traditional doom leading to a particularly powerful finale with the addition of lavish keyboards. 

When it comes to Opeth there will always be fans missing their early extra darkened aggressive music style while the new acolytes learned to love them because of the fancy progressive songwriting and the magical artistic vision that here on “In Cauda Venenum” continues to impress with sophisticated soundscapes and impeccable musicianship. 

Kadavar – For The Dead Travel Fast

German rock overlords Kadavar always seem to come from another dimension as their music style defies space and time with an irresistible retro rock flair that acquires bewitching gothic twists on the new full length “For The Dead Travel Fast”. 

“The Devil’s Master” immediately showcases the darkened aura that surrounds the whole album as while the ‘70s rock influences remain strong with the overwhelming weight of the guitar riffs and plenty of groovy vibes the slower passages emphasize the captivating occult rock essence. 

On “Evil Forces” the vocals acquire creepy tonalities that certainly match the darker doom tinged instrumental passages but the rhythmic ensemble can always concoct catchy rock dynamics and generate an energetic momentum with the thrilling guitar soloing. 

“Children Of The Night” marks another intensely dark moment as the blend of gentle guitar phrases and trippy rhythmic bursts marching through hazy atmospheres will inevitably put a spell on you and within the perennial esoteric realm the heavier guitar riffage always feels entertaining. 

The hypnotic feelings behind “Dancing With The Dead” seem to come straight from a grave as guitars craft an overload of arcane melodies and darkly exquisite leads in the midst of obscure doom oriented rhythmic crescendos.  

“Long Forgotten Song” continues to convey a profoundly eerie mood mixing intense heavy doom guitar riffs and haunting slow paced melodies as the whole instrumentation seems to dwell within a supernatural limbo where gothic and vintage rock simply embrace while the softer vocal harmonies enhance the song’s dramatic depth.  

Kadavar have already demonstrated their exceptional songwriting abilities but this time the gothic horror concept generates a deeply mysterious sonic experience and “For The Dead Travel Fast” is not an ordinary collection of songs also because everything here constantly reminds you that “magic is everywhere”.