Perchta – Ufång

Perchta is a new Austrian music project inspired by alpine nature, culture and myth and the debut full-length “Ufång” embodies a ritualistic composition that takes you far away from the modern lifestyle. 

On “Erdn” the enigmatic atmosphere introduces a visceral blackened rhythm yet the galloping guitar riffs and the ominous growls are often interrupted by moody folkish harmonies that emphasize the connection with ancestral traditions. 

“Åtem” prepares an arcane ritual with mellow arpeggios and epic chants that will eventually embrace heavier rhythmic dynamics highlighting the mixture of calmer folk tapestries and primal black metal influences. 

The tribal percussions on “Gluat” continue to amplify the ritualistic style of the whole album while the tremolo picking and the creepy growls inevitably increase the inner darkness in the midst of a mysterious atmosphere. 

The lengthy track “Wåssa” offers some magical acoustic harmonies and passionate clean vocals that emphasize a dramatic depth while distorted guitars successfully channel a dark metal essence with mournful melodic progressions.  

“Winta” evokes a peaceful bond with nature focusing on traditional folk instruments to craft glowing harmonious passages and to put the spotlight on the powerful theatrical vocals. 

Perchta has no interest in making music for the masses in fact “Ufång” aims to create a mystical sonic realm where pagan worship, folk nuances and blackened elements entwine in order to keep alive ancient traditions. 

Secrets Of The Moon – Black House

For many years Secrets Of The Moon have been developing an eclectic artistic vision and the inflamed creativity behind the seventh full length “Black House” further demonstrates their ability to convey a darkly emotional ensemble that deserves your utmost attention and might even help you to escape reality. 

Featuring guest vocalist Jules Näveri of Enemy of the Sun, “Sanctum” opens the album conjuring a gelid darkened sonic realm with the fragile beauty of the moody guitar melodies and the intense vocals flowing freely through a gothic tinged rhythmic crescendo that doesn’t really need extra speed to make a memorable impact.  

It’s so easy to fall desperately in love with “Don’t Look Now” as the dense multilayered atmosphere fills the air with a seductive darkness amplified by the soulful vocal delivery and the impeccable guitar phrases can effortlessly evoke a spellbinding melancholia. 

On “He Is Here” everything flows like a daydream within a surreal atmospheric world and the shimmering melodic guitars move sinuously around the poignant vocal harmonies while at times the rhythmic section will generate tumultuous dynamics.  

The introspective depth of “Cotard” is quite evident as the extremely gloomy guitar phrases become an essential part of the intricate composition yet the charismatic rhythmic variations can effortlessly intensify the darkened ardor of the memorable chorus. 

Darkness continues to prevail on the title track which features some subtle blackened elements embedded in the fiery guitar riffs leading to a wilder rhythmic rampage and an impressive flamboyant solo plus the recurring irresistible guitar progressions are destined to get stuck in your head. 

“Mute God” crafts an overdose of gorgeous sorrowful melodies fueled by the wistful guitar tonalities and the eerie atmospheric accents that will ultimately build a bold rhythmic tension while the vocals, featuring Thomas Helm of Empyrium & Noekk, acquire a vibrant spiritual fervor during the super catchy chorus. 

Trying to categorize the music style of “Black House” seems rather futile as Secrets Of The Moon continue to embrace a captivating evolution that today leads to an intoxicating opus offering genuine emotions, exquisite darkened nuances and addictive melodic tapestries.

Dool – Summerland

Dutch dark rockers Dool continue their inspiring spiritual and musical journey on the sophomore full length “Summerland” which is the result of a beautiful evolution destined to conquer a wider audience. 

“Wolf Moon” has an accessible melodic essence that shines under the moonlight for the darkened guitar tonalities expressing grim emotions constantly emphasized by Ryanne van Dorst’s mesmerizing vocal performance and naturally the chorus becomes highly addictive with the catchy heavier guitar phrases. 

Following a moody rhythmic rampage “God Particle” offers elaborate multilayered guitar harmonies filled with exotic tonalities and a subtle surf rock inspiration yet a spellbinding darkness lingers throughout the fascinating instrumental progressions emphasized by the intense soloing and the opulent vocals featuring backing vocalist Farida Lemouchi of The Devil’s Blood & Molasses. 

The title track acquires shimmering dreamy post-rock nuances with a bewitching guitar work that shifts from slow ethereal passages to intoxicating melodies that make you feel like you’re wandering freely within another dimension and Ryanne’s hypnotic voice becomes your ideal spiritual guide. 

“The Well’s Run Dry” is a memorable track that stands out for the seductive darkened aesthetics carefully crafted by the delightful melodic progressions enriched by passionate guitar leads and audacious rhythmic variations while the ominous spoken words courtesy of Okoi Jones from Bölzer certainly intensify the mysterious flair. 

On “Be Your Sins” a thrilling psychedelic quintessence deeply influences the guitar tones leading to soaring grooves and mystifying melodies that will reach the acme with the fervent chorus while the vibrant psychedelic Hammond organ solo performed by renowned keyboardist Per Wiberg adds an overdose of trippy rock vibes.  

“Dust & Shadow” marks a sublime grand finale as lavish atmospheric arrangements and alluring vocals conjure an otherworldly sonic realm where enchanting guitars evoke sheer melancholia with darkly soothing melodies and enthralling soloing that will ultimately evolve into an unforgettable ravishing rhythmic crescendo.  

If you enjoyed the magical soundscapes of the debut album “Here Now, There Then” you will inevitably fall madly in love with “Summerland” as Dool fully embrace their darkened charismatic identity through stellar songwriting and fascinating introspective motifs. 

Drown – Subaqueous

Under the Drown moniker multi instrumentalist Markov Soroka has created the fascinating ambitious opus “Subaqueous” which dwells within a realm of darkness and light with a strong funeral doom inspiration. 

As soon as “Drowned VI: Mother Cetacean” begins we enter an underwater world lulled by the gentle sound of waves. The guitar melodies almost glow within the darkened doom ensemble which can feel quite lugubrious due to the cavernous growls and the monolithic riffs yet everything moves slowly favoring an immersive listening experience and the melancholic motif gains strength from the dreamy tonalities and the blurry atmospheric nuances particularly hypnotizing when accompanied by the ethereal violin during the finale.  

“Drowned VII: Father Subaqueous” can sound quite comforting with refined guitar melodies and the graceful violins that emphasize the introspective depth and might even hold a fragile sense of hope while in the midst of ambient tapestries and aptly aquatic sounds you will also find moments of extremely mournful and significantly heavier guitar riffs.  

Both the two lengthy tracks of “Subaqueous” maintain a classic funeral doom approach that evolves into ‘aquatic doom’ to fit the chosen conceptual themes as Drown takes you on a melancholic journey to the depths of the ocean. 

Sylvaine / Unreqvited – Time Without End

Norwegian composer Sylvaine and Canadian black metal experimentalist Unreqvited team up to create the split album “Time Without End” which showcases their artsy vision through atmospheric textures and exquisite melodies. 

“No More Solitude” is a minimalist track where Sylvaine focuses on an intimate delivery with magical soothing vocals accompanied by lovely piano melodies and subtle dreamy atmospheric accents leading to a profoundly emotional sonic realm. 

“Falling” offers stripped-down arrangements and a slightly darkened flair to emphasize the ethereal nature of the song relying on glowing acoustic phrases and Sylvaine’s delicate emotive vocal harmonies. 

On “Interwoven” Unreqvited aims to create peaceful soundscapes through luminous guitar melodies, elegant atmospheres and sophisticated orchestrations leading to a beautiful dreamy sonic experience filled with nostalgic vibes. 

The moody daydream continues on “Fields Of Elysium” as graceful guitar harmonies flourish through a frail atmosphere yet there are some powerful melodic crescendos that showcase a familiar blackgaze inspiration and fully express an emotional turmoil. 

Both Sylvaine and Unreqvited are talented artists that on the new release “Time Without End” choose to focus on a shimmering composition and a captivating shoegaze essence that will definitely appeal to lovers of such influential subgenre. 

Unreqvited – Mosaic II: La Déteste Et La Détresse

Canadian post-black metal band Unreqvited continues an ambitious music journey on the fourth full length “Mosaic II: La Déteste Et La Détresse” characterized by an experimental approach and compelling darkened nuances. 

“Nightfall” opens the album with a dense melancholic atmosphere featuring understated orchestrations and an overload of mellow contemplative guitar melodies that are bound to generate gloomy feelings that will continue to linger even during the more energetic blackened moments. 

“Wasteland” goes straight to a tormented blackened rhythmic section channeling dismal feelings within an intensely darker atmospheric ensemble yet the shimmering melodic essence will always emerge through deeply melancholic guitar melodies following a dramatically slower tempo. 

“Pale” relies on shoegaze inspired dreamy atmospheric waves emphasized by the nostalgic tonalities of the harmonious guitar work and the delightful piano melodies that guide the listeners through a cathartic sonic realm that will occasionally embrace darker & heavier tonalities during scattered rhythmic blasts. 

“Disorder” feels like a glowing daydream with uplifting piano melodies and serene atmospheric layers that certainly have an essential role yet at times an introspective darkness tends to prevail with grave guitar riffs and distant anguished screams. 

Unreqvited embarks on a therapeutic music journey and as a result “Mosaic II: La Déteste Et La Détresse” often evokes feelings of despair and misery through an evident blackened force but its strength comes from the intricate melodic tapestries that seem to generate an inspiring sense of hope. 

Lotus Thief – Oresteia

San Francisco avant-gardists Lotus Thief are ready to spellbind you with the sophisticated soundscapes of the third full length “Oresteia” inspired by the ancient Greek tragedy by Aeschylus. 

Dramatic feelings linger throughout “Agamennon” which already feels like a theatrical opus best enjoyed in a nocturnal setting to appreciate the inner darkened torments and the elegant atmospheric arrangements that surround the hypnotic vocals. While the compelling melodies at times can sound fragile like a fading dream there are plenty of heavier dynamics as guitars deliver intense riffage with grave doom tonalities further amplified by some ominous growls. 

“Libation Bearers” lies within a gloomy atmospheric ensemble that embraces sultry melodic waves and passionate vocals while the fiery rhythmic section focuses on a darkened post rock momentum that at the same time enhances the groovy patterns and the arcane essence. 

The complex theatrical nature of “The Furies” becomes evident since the initial combo of dramatic choirs and mystical atmosphere that will naturally evolve into a cathartic blend of obscure heavier segments and soulful guitar melodies leading to an epic crescendo. 

“Sister In Silence” begins with hazy multilayered atmospheric arrangements that take you far away but soon the instrumental ensemble unravels an exquisite poetic soul through poignant violin and guitar melodies accompanied by contemplative vocal harmonies in contrast with the brief yet increasingly darker rhythmic momentum. 

The mythical narratives and the diverse tonalities render “Oresteia” a particularly intriguing & memorable work of music and Lotus Thief constantly take the opportunity to sincerely express a multitude of emotions through words and melodies. 


Sun Of The Sleepless & Cavernous Gate – Sun Of The Sleepless / Cavernous Gate

There are some insanely creative musicians in the burgeoning underground metal scene and it’s a pleasure to see Schwadorf of Empyrium, The Vision Bleak and Noekk join forces with Helrunar’s co-founder S.K. to craft the bewitching self-titled split album Sun Of The Sleepless / Cavernous Gate. 

“The Lure Of The Nyght” evokes an irresistible darkness as minimalist arpeggios introduce a blackened sonic realm filled with desolation and bleak emotions fully expressed by the fast diabolical rhythmic crescendo and ominous growls naturally entwined with the poetic slower acoustic melodies. 

Impeccable acoustic phrases emphasize the immersive nature of “To The Moon On Summer Eves” which also delivers an arcane blackened momentum through unrestrained guitar riffs while the melancholy infused melodic tapestries and the theatrical clean vocals inevitably lead to a compelling gloomy grandeur. 

The last track by Sun Of The Sleepless is “Kristall” which focuses on an enticing atmospheric beauty with minimalist acoustic melodies and soft vocals creating a darkly romantic mood. 

“Those Who Walk The Fog” definitely showcases the essential role of darkened essence in the new project Cavernous Gate as vicious growls march through the dense doom tinged guitar riffs and the consequent impetuous heavy rhythmic patterns yet there are many melodic moments featuring exquisite melancholic tonalities. 

With eloquent mournful vibes “Amongst Decayed Grass” relies on mighty guitar riffs executed in true funeral doom fashion and surrounded by aptly lugubrious atmospheric arrangements while the theatrical clean vocal delivery enhances the inner spiritual torment. 

“A Pale Shimmer In The Dark” opens the gate to the darkest sonic realm offering mysterious atmospheric textures and extremely sinister rhythmic progressions accompanied by arcane chants and enriched by brooding melodic guitars. 

Sun Of The Sleepless / Cavernous Gate split album could not sound darker or more poetic in fact the stylish music generated by this unique collaboration will fatally attract all black metal & doom acolytes and hopefully Schwadorf and S.K. will team up again in the future. 

Fen – The Dead Light

British metallers Fen consistently follow a fascinating sonic evolution that reaches the acme on the sixth full length “The Dead Light” which shines for the detailed composition highlighting a mesmerizing post-black metal essence. 

Under a shroud of frost “Witness” is a true symbol of melancholia as fragile guitar melodies create a gorgeous evocative soundscape that will certainly move the listeners and will ultimately embrace a cold blackened crescendo without sacrificing the poignant atmospheric spirit. 

“The Dead Light (Part 1)” amplifies a heavier blackened approach with loads of inflamed guitar riffs and the consequent faster menacing rhythmic patterns that hold a crucial role even if the luminous nostalgic melodies will often emerge to convey profound emotions. 

Channeling an irresistible dreamy post-black metal force “Nebula” offers a memorable blend of delicate melodic waves and fierce heavy rhythmic dynamics while the vocal performance also expresses such contrasting feelings shifting from warm cleans to ravenous growls. 

The misty daydream continues on “Labyrinthine Echoes” which offers cold poetic atmospheres and appealing contemplative melodies while the impeccable rhythmic section will generate cohesive unrestrained grooves fueled by a palpable primal black metal inspiration. 

Within a captivating atmospheric realm “Exsanguination” features another eloquent melodic grandeur with a calmer introspective vocal delivery surrounded by cathartic guitar harmonies gradually acquiring darker tonalities to build a soulful yet more aggressive rhythmic crescendo. 

Throughout “The Dead Light” Fen are constantly evoking pure melancholia in the midst of gelid crushing blackened dynamics naturally entwined with heartfelt melodic tapestries so there are plenty of reasons to instantly fall in love with such darkly alluring release. 

Pencey Sloe – Don’t Believe, Watch Out

The time has come for emerging French band Pencey Sloe to unveil the rich dreamgaze tapestries of the debut album “Don’t Believe, Watch Out” which is destined to make you space out since the very first listening. 

Listening to “Lust Of The Dead” you will immediately start to daydream as the soothing guitar harmonies evoke absolute tranquility but also a darkened emotional palette further emphasized by the exquisite melancholic vocal delivery and the hazy rhythmic crescendo. 

On “Buried Them All” we’re still dreaming the same dream as vocals feel like a lullaby while the slow burning guitars craft immersive melodic progressions and darkly comforting rhythmic segments. 

“All Ok” focuses on contemplative atmospheric waves that take you far away and the mellow guitar tonalities hold a distinct shoegaze essence leading to an overwhelming nostalgia while the catchy chorus naturally channels uplifting vibes. 

The title track is filled with blossoming guitar melodies that flow gently like a distant fond memory and the rhythmic section actively contributes to the creation of gently darkened nuances lingering through the subtle atmospheric ensemble. 

“Sins” can sound even darker with electrifying guitar tonalities yet the main calm melodic soul always prevails through the immense melancholy infused melodies and the enchanting vocal performance. 

A dense almost enigmatic atmosphere surrounds “Empty Mind” which constantly expresses an intense wistfulness through the fragile beauty of the graceful vocals accompanied by spacey guitar driven grooves. 

The future of Pencey Sloe already looks bright because the moody ethereal soundscapes  flourishing throughout “Don’t Believe, Watch Out” are destined to conquer your heart.