Silence In The Snow – Levitation Chamber

Silence In The Snow is the joint effort of guitarist/vocalist Cyn M. and drummer Trevor DeSchryver (Wolves in the Throne Room, Lycus, Dispirit, ex-Deafheaven) and the result of this collaboration comes to life through the dreamy sonic experience of the sophomore release “Levitation Chamber”. 

“Time Will Tell You Nothing” puts a spell on you with a darkened cinematic soundscape featuring otherworldly vocals that gently guide you through monochromatic atmospheric waves filled with dreamy vibes and intense melancholia. 

On “Smoke Signals” a mix of gothic tinged guitar tonalities and catchy drumming creates a more energetic rhythm surrounded by understated atmospheric arrangements and the vulnerable emotions expressed by the spellbinding vocals. 

“In The Dark” once again puts the spotlight on the cathartic vocal delivery accompanied by the fragile atmospheric layers and the minimalist darkened melodic tapestries so everything flows like a lovely midsummer daydream. 

“Dread The Low” welcomes you to an ethereal sonic realm where blurry instrumental crescendos and scattered luminous harmonies emphasize the minimalist approach and the emotional drive of Cyn’s passionate vocals will captivate the listeners. 

With its inner emotional turmoil and the evocative melodies “Levitation Chamber” has the power to relax the listeners and Silence In The Snow are confidently evolving into a unique sonic entity within the current music scene. 

Stille Volk – Milharis

In the year of their 25th anniversary French pagan folk pioneers Stille Volk are releasing the long awaited new album “Milharis” which always feels like a unique mystical offering inspired by the old myths of the Pyrenees mountain range. 

Listening to “Sous La peau De La Montagne” you will travel to a pristine ancient forest accompanied by lovely acoustic phrases and ethereal atmospheres as the band carefully crafts tranquil soundscapes evoking immense spiritual energy. 

“L’aurost Lunaire” diligently follows an authentic pagan approach but adds some atmospheric darkened nuances amplified by the arcane chanting style while the traditional instruments can sound delicate and at the same time convey an understated energy. 

While maintaining a soothing folk approach with relaxing acoustic guitars “Le Crépuscule Du Pâtre” also focuses on a mysterious atmospheric ensemble and the resulting darkened tonalities are further amplified by the tribal percussions and the solemn vocal delivery.  

“La Grotte Du Jadis” has a cryptic aura incarnated by the borderline ominous whispers and the gloomy tonalities while the harmonious vocals and the graceful instrumental passages keep alive the magical folk elements. 

“Sacré Dans La Tourmente” stands out for the spellbinding luminous violins that create a dreamy soundscape that feels like a heartfelt celebration of the beauty of nature while the vibrant rhythmic sections lead to enjoyable melodic crescendos. 

The harmonious essence of “Parmi Les Monts Oubliés” generates shimmering guitar progressions with a distinct folk approach and catchy rhythmic patterns while the dramatic chants emphasize the spiritual atmosphere. 

The enchanting primal pagan nature is extremely palpable throughout the seventh album “Milharis” and Stille Volk is probably the only band out there that can evoke otherworldly feelings telling stories about intriguing myths with such genuine devotion. 

Valborg – Zentrum

German band Valborg has mastered a sophisticated primitivism which is definitely a peculiar music style that today leads to the darkened atmospheres and raw energy of the latest effort “Zentrum”.

“Rote Augen” creates asphyxiating atmospheres through relentless drum blasts that could make you feel dizzy while the only interruption that allows you to breathe comes from the moody borderline dissonant tonalities of the guitar work.

Still dwelling in a chaotic nightmarish sonic realm “Alphakomet” has the stomping force of industrial metal with loads of gritty guitar riffs and venomous screams but guitars will also bring glimpses of hope through unusual slower passages in contrast with the fully dissonant finale.

On “Anomalie” a slower dramatic tempo favors utterly bleak atmospheric layers that surround the evident industrial energy of mighty guitar riffs in the midst of flourishing darkened melodic accents and solemn vocals.

“Nonnenstern” definitely has a less hostile approach and actually puts the spotlight on the charming gothic tonalities of the melodic guitar phrases while the vocal delivery shifts from sheer desperation to comforting melancholy.

The final track “Vakuum” stands out for the consistent weight of the doom laden guitar riffs amplified by obscure atmospheric layers that lead to a desolate soundscape until fiery industrial  dynamics take over with pulsating drum blasts.

We can all agree that within the crowded metal scene Valborg’s unique sonic manifesto tends to stand out in fact the enigmatic nature and the experimental approach of “Zentrum” are bound to generate interest among those looking for innovative music.

Dool – Love Like Blood

Dutch dark rock band Dool impressed the audience with the debut album “Here Now, There Then” back in 2017 and while it seems we still have to wait to hear a new full length the band has released the “Love Like Blood” EP which includes a cover of the eponymous Killing Joke classic and two b-side live tracks from Rock Hard Festival. 

“Love Like Blood” is a great cover choice for a band like Dool in fact this fascinating interpretation emphasizes the sultry darkened guitar harmonies with magical atmospheric nuances and the unique vocal delivery of Ryanne van Dorst renders everything passionately mysterious. 

“She Goat” and “In Her Darkest Hour” sound absolutely dark and sultry on this live recording and certainly show the alluring charisma of vocalist Ryanne. 

After many successful live performance it’s evident that Dool has already conquered a solid spot within the underground rock/metal scene as you can hear on the new “Love Like Blood” EP and hopefully they will release more music in the near future. 

Crowhurst – III

Crowhurst is the strictly experimental project of prolific artist Jay Gambit that deliberately aims to incorporate eclectic music styles and sounds ranging from black metal to noise as showcased on the latest album “III”.

“Self Portrait With Halo And Snake” crafts bleak soundscapes through calm guitar phrases and atmospheric layers favoring somber tonalities and monochromatic vocals that will eventually evolve into desperate screams following blurry rhythmic crescendos.

“The Drift” revolves around hazy post-rock/shoegaze inspired melodies and harsh guitar riffs lurking in the background which constantly evoke a profound sense of desolation further enhanced by the super spacey harmonies of the finale.

The immense melancholia of “Ghost Tropic” comes to life with gorgeous guitar melodies and a relaxing tempo until furious blackened rhythmic patterns lead to a drastically heavier momentum amplified by aggressive guitar riffs and tormented screams.

Named directly after an episode of ‘The Twilight Zone’ “Five Characters In Search Of An Exit” can sound claustrophobic or even trippy as massive distorted guitars lead to a primal blackened sonic assault followed by a chaotic realm full of intricate obscure electronic layers and anguished screams.

It becomes evident that “III” belongs to an experimental music niche so distant from standard composition or current trends as with Crowhurst Jay Gambit refuses to be confined within the foreordained boundaries of a specific genre and prefers to create a unique, often enigmatic, sonic experience.

Laster – Het Wassen Oog

Dutch avant-garde post-black metal trio Laster aims to surprise the listeners with the genre bending approach and the unusual soundscapes of the third album “Het Wassen Oog”.

You can easily perceive the enigmatic nature of “Vacuüum ≠ Behoud” as the intricate melodic guitar work incorporates familiar shoegaze elements that later will acquire darker nuances following the menacing faster drumming and the hellish screams to fully embrace a primal blackened force.

On “Schone Schijn” the jazzy incursions and the excellent musicianship lead to a cathartic instrumental ensemble that confidently follows the several tempo variations yet continues to hold an inner black metal inspiration expressed mainly by the creepy atmospheres and the ravenous screams.

On “Haat & Bonhomie” the avantgarde approach is still prominent as the instrumental passages seamlessly shift from arcane blackened rhythmic blasts to softer and drastically slower crispy guitar melodies accompanied by smooth clean vocals.

“Weerworm” feels extremely spacey as the main guitar melodies seem to go on forever creating slow dizzy dynamics that favor the elegant & hazy atmospheric arrangements and leave behind any sign of black metal fury.  

The complex structure of “Zinsbetovering” features intense blackened rhythmic patterns but at the same time often deviates from the expected aggressive momentum allowing guitars to craft soothing harmonies with prominent jazzy vibes and moody shoegaze atmospheres evoking serene feelings.

The traditional black metal roots of Laster always emerge throughout “Het Wassen Oog” with bursts of obscure energy but undoubtedly the strength of the album is generated by the eclectic composition and the desire to freely experiment with diverse music genres.

Hexvessel – All Tree

Formed in 2009 by talented songwriter/musician Mat “Kvohst” McNerney, also known as frontman of Grave Pleasures, Hexvessel is deeply inspired by mythology and ancient folk traditions which naturally lead to the spiritual journey symbolized by the new album “All Tree”.

Listening to “Son Of The Sky” you’ll find yourself in the middle of the woods pondering about life as the folk elements and contemplative vibes shine bright through the peaceful acoustic phrases, the compelling violin melodies and the haunting tonalities of the lead guitar work.

The storytelling approach of “Old Tree” creates a serene yet extremely melancholic mood as violin and acoustic guitar carefully craft minimalist melodies that celebrate the beauty of nature and emphasize the pastoral folk soundscape.

“Changeling” also evokes a profound sense of melancholia with the calm vocal delivery and the shimmering acoustic melodies surrounded by graceful atmospheres enhanced by the delicate flute harmonies.

Like an old fable “Ancient Astronaut” brings the listeners to an arcane realm of ancient gods and enigmatic tales maintaining a wistful folk approach through reflective acoustic passages and somber lead guitars.

“Wilderness Spirit” has a more joyous upbeat rhythm carefully built by dynamic variations with loads of dazzling violin phrases but its lush melodic core still relies on a series of gentle folk acoustic melodies.

The instrumental track “Journey To Carnac” is filled with warm acoustic melodies that naturally convey an overwhelming nostalgia and glow through the subtle atmospheric layers.

“Closing Circles” feels more dramatic and significantly darker with an increasing spiritual intensity that influences the elegant classical nuances of violin and piano as well as the introspective vocal delivery.

It’s not surprising that the themes of “All Tree” revolve around a strong connection between myth and nature as Hexvessel meticulously weave bewitching melodies celebrating Karelian and Nordic folklore with a profound mystical aura.

Nachtmystium – Resilient

Following years of silence and major drama Nachtmystium arises from the ashes, joins the  Prophecy Productions family of artists and begins a new chapter releasing the EP aptly entitled “Resilient”.

The title track is probably the most memorable offering on this EP and you can truly perceive painful feelings and bitter emotions flowing through the dense elegant atmospheric arrangements that surrounds and influence the harsh blackened guitar tonalities, the melancholic melodic moments and the raspy growls.

“Silver Lanterns” has a more straightforward approach that diligently follows an atmospheric black metal pathway shifting from faster nightmarish rhythmic dynamics with the expected dosage of tremolo picking to softer nostalgia infused melodies.

The lengthy track “Desert Illumination” again showcases profoundly grim emotions particularly enhanced by the atmospheric introspective momentum and glowing mellow acoustic guitars while later the whole instrumentation fully embraces colder tonalities leading to a faster pace and consequent heavier blackened passages followed by a rather spacey borderline psychedelic finale.  

“Resilient” definitely sounds like a story of redemption and rebirth therefore these songs must be really meaningful for Nachtmystium and there is enough action to spark interest again in the underground scene but we’ll see what the band will deliver in the future.

Helrunar – Vanitas Vanitatvm

German black metallers Helrunar proudly invite you to join their obscure music journey with the latest album “Vanitas Vanitatvm” with an elegant title that refers to a famous ode by 17th century poet Andreas Gryphius.

“Saturnus” instantly evokes a gloomy grandeur diligently crafted by a grim melodic ensemble that will ultimately embrace a traditional blackened framework with ferocious guitar and drums dynamics leading the way to bottomless obscurity while the mood will become particularly dramatic during the gentle acoustic breakdown.

Since the very beginning “Lotophagoi” sounds more brutal focusing on savage blackened rhythmic sections with fluent tremolo picking and uncompromising speed and certainly the resulting ominous tonalities are further amplified by diabolical growls while lead guitars are ready to add slower hypnotizing melodies.

Simply put “Nachzehrer” is a stunning song where the whole instrumental ensemble is fueled by profound sinister vibes and immense darkness delivering constant fascinating gelid guitar melodies that follow a painfully slow tempo and an inevitable impending doom is enhanced by a mesmerizing series of absolutely dramatic narratives.

“Als die Welt zur Nacht sich wandt” returns to a heavier blackened rhythmic galore offering relentless guitar riffing and viciously fast drumming which lead to asphyxiating feelings until the instrumentation slows down dramatically favoring a brief yet meaningful calmer melodic momentum.

Still dwelling within a realm of impossible darkness “Necropolis” puts the spotlight on captivating melodic guitars that introduce a groovy round of riffs that will eventually morph into a harsher blackened entity but lead guitars also create plenty of delightful slower mournful melodies. The song’s finale naturally fades into the pure melancholy of the enchanting outro “Der Tag an dem das Meer seine Toten freigibt” where delicate yet incredibly intense baroque strings feel like a sincere ode to darkness.  

Conceptually addressing different forms of vanity and narcissism “Vanitas Vanitatvm” revolves around misanthropic themes and undiluted darkness therefore Helrunar rightfully draw inspiration from their prominent black and doom metal roots to successfully convey poetic splendor and total decadence.  

Oberon – Aeon Chaser

The music style of Oberon is classified as Gnostic rock as with this project Norwegian singer/songwriter Bard Oberon has been exploring the inner process of human destiny and the brand new release “Aeon Chaser” continues to have a strong philosophical nature.

“Omega” opens the album with a clever mixture of triumphant arrangements and dreamy atmospheric layers while crispy vocals naturally flow through the intricate proggy rhythmic patterns.

“Walk In Twilight” has a darker mood often amplified by crunchy guitar riffs while the leads are always ready to spice up the cohesive rhythmic core with brighter melodies.

“To Live To Die” feels like a sorrowful ballad following a softer rhythm with loads of minimalist acoustic guitars and mellow keyboards arrangements until a groovy momentum takes the center stage with classic prog oriented dynamics.

Darkened emotions linger on “Black Aura” favoring a heartfelt vocal delivery and melancholic melodies yet the song will drastically change pace and mood with experimental electro arrangements and heavily distorted guitar tonalities that lead to a spacey atmospheric ensemble.

“The Secret Fire” offers fluent rock grooves with vintage vibes and bold riffage yet the lead guitar work features crystalline tones generating interesting proggy melodies.  

“Surrender” focuses on atmospheric soundscapes often characterized by futuristic electro accents but later gives way to fiery bass lines and heavier guitar riffs to deliver catchy prog grooves.

Oberon’s sonic approach always feels widely accessible and drawing inspiration from a multitude of genres the composition of “Aeon Chaser” certainly relies on intricate textures and a profound spiritual aura.