Insect Ark – The Vanishing

Insect Ark features a powerful partnership between Dana Schechter (Swans) and Andy Patterson (ex SubRosa) and the new full length “The Vanishing” promises to be a hypnotic sonic experience so get ready to space out like there’s no tomorrow. 

“Tectonic” is surrounded by a blurry atmosphere with drone style sounds that enhance the darkened composition and the guitar work focuses on moody melodic phrases that shine through the steady monochromatic rhythmic patterns. 

On “Philae” the slow burning guitar melodies and electrifying distorted tonalities will induce a trance state and the soft rhythm surrounded by a perennial murky atmosphere amplify the cinematic approach. 

The smooth melodic guitars on “Danube” almost feel like a comforting lullaby even if the tonalities can often sound darker flowing gently through the mesmerizing atmospheric waves and the occasional rhythmic crescendos continue to maintain a dreamy mood. 

The title track tends to stay true to the ethereal vision of the whole album with the perfect dosage of gloomy & graceful melodies yet it showcases major experimental twists leading to borderline claustrophobic atmospheres and dissonant tones. 

Like a wild unpredictable journey “The Vanishing” could take you anywhere, maybe even to outer space, as Insect Ark invite you to join their personal daydream with trippy melodies and enigmatic atmospheres. 

Godthrymm – Reflections

Featuring vocalist/guitarist Hamish Glencross (ex-My Dying Bride, Vallenfyre, Solstice), drummer Shaun Taylor-Steels (ex-My Dying Bride, Anathema), and bassist Bob Crolla, Godthrymm invite you to enter the uncompromising doom sonic realm of the monolithic debut album “Reflections”. 

“Monsters Lurk Herein” begins with intensely melancholic guitar melodies but soon everything gets dramatically darker with the ominous weight of the massive guitar riffs and the grave emotional quality that clearly manifest the band’s mighty doom metal vision as well as an exquisite gothic flair. 

“Among The Exalted” will inevitably evoke a profound sense of pain & misery as the excellent guitar work effortlessly shifts from elegantly nostalgic melodies to ravenous riffage accompanied by the perfect dosage of grim growls and you can constantly perceive the glorious influence of ‘90s UK doom. 

“We Are The Dead” dwells within a realm of pure desolation meticulously crafted by an overdose of gelid gothic tinged guitar melodies ultimately leading to a poignant solo and passionate surprisingly catchy vocals that might get stuck in your head. 

The gothic splendor of “The Light Of You” naturally emphasizes the melancholic tonalities in fact the vocals express tormented feelings and the refined slower guitar melodies will often steal the spotlight while the rhythmic section confidently follows a significantly heavier & groovy classic doom approach. 

The obscure aura of “Cursed Are The Many” demands cohesive extra heavy guitar riffs and the consequent sense of absolute despair lingers through the monumental rhythmic segments and the impeccable mournful guitar melodies. 

Needless to say the masterminds behind Godthrymm are experienced and talented musicians so while “Reflections” is just the beginning of a new darkened musical chapter it already showcases an intriguing creative force and an authentic devotion to doom metal. 

Lord Mantis – Universal Death Church

After a dark time of struggles and feuds extreme metallers Lord Mantis have found a new purpose and creative force leading to the latest venomous offering “Universal Death Church”.

“God’s Animal” certainly holds a fiery blackened sludge core generating a legit overdose of darkly enigmatic tonalities with galloping groovy guitar riffs and filtered spiteful screams while the solo manages to channel the perfect dosage of bleak melodies. 

“Qliphotic Alpha” seems to belong to an underground post-apocalyptic realm as the heavy guitar riffs have a mournful doom flair well supported by the abrasive rhythmic section but later a series of slower arcane melodic guitar progressions will amplify the inner atmospheric desolation. 

On “Consciousness.exe” the crunchy guitar driven grooves don’t really need extreme speed to grab your attention and the whole instrumental ensemble feels quite accessible also due to the comforting melodic gloom and the hazy atmospheric arrangements. 

“Fleshworld” immediately unleashes an aggressive blackened approach further enhanced by the vitriolic screams so the atmosphere becomes pitchblack even when the tempo slows down a bit to focus on a grave emotional turmoil expressed by the somber doom aesthetics of the guitar work. 

The compex final track “Hole” constantly evokes a mysterious aura through the ominous rhythmic maze still characterized by a darkened blend of sludge & doom yet there is a desire to experiment with different styles as the saxophone delivers moody dynamics and the synths create murky psychedelic atmospheric textures. 

“Universal Death Church” marks the renewed union of Lord Mantis and certainly belongs to a realm of darkness and torment as symbolized by the instrumental chaotic moments and the abstract atmospheres. 

Dead To A Dying World – Elegy

Texas based experimental dark metal band Dead To A Dying World has meticulously crafted a quite poignant music experience on the new effort “Elegy” which revolves around an interesting lyrical concept analyzing the end of our kind brought about by our own hubris, greed, and desire for power over one another.

“Syzygy” provides a cathartic introduction for the album as dramatic vocals evoke a profound sense of grief that lingers through the tranquil crestfallen guitar tonalities and the delightful strings.

“The Seer’s Embrace” is a monolithic track that aims to constantly showcase contrasting feelings providing a cohesive blackened rhythmic backbone that inevitably embraces the atmospheric post-metal nuances and the delightful nostalgic viola melodies that will guide the listeners through intricate contemplative soundscapes.

“Vernal Equinox” leaves behind the heavier dynamics to focus mainly on the creation of spellbinding melodic progressions that genuinely evoke an intense melancholia surrounding the marvelous vocals by the talented Jarboe.

“Of Moss And Stone” marks a splendid finale with the classical elegance and the wistful tonalities of the viola melodies accompanied by Jarboe’s emotional vocal delivery and such cathartic harmonious ensemble constantly convey bittersweet emotions and will continue to enrich the monumental harsh sonic realm where the thunderous blackened rhythmic patterns and the tormented growls inevitably express feelings of rage and desperation.

While “Elegy” certainly has some primal heavy momentum what Dead To A Dying World achieve through the calmer melodic crescendos tends to stand out evoking the powerful darkened feelings that we always long for.

Vaura – Sables

After six years New York-based avant/post-metal collective Vaura is ready to share with the world the new album “Sables” characterized by a new wave spirit enriched by a palpable experimental approach.

Overall “Espionage” channels darkwave flavors offering loads of soothing guitar melodies especially enhanced by the inner sadness expressed by the vocals even in the super catchy chorus.   

“Zwischen” can sound utterly mysterious as synths here hold an essential role creating haunting multilayered atmospheric arrangements with borderline dissonant accents while vocals and guitars focus on dreamy comforting melodic lines.   

On “The Ruins (Hymne)” the darkened atmospheric textures ensure a perennial melancholia and such sober feelings are matched by the emotional vocals flowing through the luminous guitar harmonies. 

“Basilisk (The Infinite Corpse)” certainly has an audacious experimental edge as futuristic synths craft enigmatic ambiance tonalities that can sound utterly dark yet at times everything feels fragile like a fading memory as vocals become soft whispers. 

The title track features a blend of cold guitar melodies and moody atmospheric arrangements leading to cinematic soundscapes that will often leave way to a goth influenced rhythmic crescendo. 

“Sables” might not be an impactful album due to the lack of obvious heavy dynamics as Vaura deliberately choose an introspective pathway to depict darkly peaceful soundscapes inspired by multiple subgenres with a prominent goth/darkwave flair. 

Pallbearer Live in Chicago

To celebrate the latest acclaimed release “Heartless”, available via Profound Lore Records, Arkansas progressive doom quartet Pallbearer are currently touring across North America. Pallbearer’s show at Bottom Lounge in Chicago proved that doom metal is still very much alive and their unique sonic blend has rightfully conquered so many fans in the last few years. With an astonishing heavy sound, eclectic crushing grooves and genuinely passionate melodic moments, a hypnotizing darkness descended as Pallbearer performed the new powerful songs “Thorns”, “I Saw The End” and “Lie Of Survival” and revisited older favorite tracks such as “Watcher In The Dark”, “Foundations” and “The Legend”. Don’t miss the opportunity to catch them live once more in North America before they start crafting the next album!