YOB – Our Raw Heart

Known as one of the most loved and respected bands in the current metal scene YOB returns with the monumental opus “Our Raw Heart” and its genesis is particularly meaningful as it draws inspiration from the recent illness of band’s vocalist/ guitar player Mike Scheidt.

“Ablaze” begins a descent into emotive darkness which certainly bears the mark of doom metal with the towering weight of the whole rhythmic sections but effortlessly deviates from the genre’s expected dynamics as guitars shift from crushing guitar riffs to dreamlike melodic momentum while Mike’s vocals feel uniquely connected to the bleak instrumental passages.

The initial slow enigmatic bass lines and nightmarish atmospheres of “In Reverie” seem to dwell in a surreal limbo between life and death foreshadowing a realm of concrete darkness where guitars constantly amplify the band’s doom roots with impossibly heavy riffage and funereal nuances.

“Beauty In Falling Leaves” offers lavish melodic textures drenched in melancholy or sheer sadness leading to pure emotionally charged vocals and the entire instrumentation deliberately follows a dramatically slower pace to favor the refined guitar melodies which guide the listeners through an anguished sonic maze but will eventually evolve into impulsive heavier crescendos that can undeniably reach the darkest depths of doom metal.

The title track continues an inspiring spiritual journey that at times can feel truly painful as an emotional turmoil influences profoundly the fragile melodic splendor, the harsher doom style progressions and the otherworldly psychedelic guitar work which stands out especially in the song’s final hypnotizing moments.

As the title suggests “Our Raw Heart” is fueled by outpouring authentic emotions which probably contribute the the various uneasy moments scattered throughout these lengthy tracks and YOB demonstrates a rare devotion for music composing incredibly poignant melodies that ultimately go beyond your average modern doom album.
Our Raw Heart

Black Salvation – Uncertainty Is Bliss

Featuring Uno Bruniusson formerly of In Solitude and Grave Pleasures and currently of Death Alley, German psychedelic hard rock trio Black Salvation invites the audience to a unique music journey with the enigmatic nuances and trippy soundscapes of the new record “Uncertainty Is Bliss”.

“In A Casket’s Ride” immediately channels spacey atmospheres with surreal distant dissonant accents before fully embracing an acidic rock groove enriched by unconventional melodic elements while an overwhelming psychedelia influences the darkened vocal delivery and the distorted guitar work that often slows down to achieve a melancholic tone.

On “Floating Torpid” there are some accessible soft melodic rock chords yet guitars also hold a rebellious distorted strength that becomes even more palpable in the edgy solos and certainly the whole melodic essence mixed with a gritty rock soul dominates the song’s structure.

“Leair” is filled with the undiluted melancholy of charismatic vocals and simple chords that will eventually develop a taste for psychedelic uniqueness and undoubtedly the dramatic melodies and avant-garde accents of this track still feel very accessible.

The rhythm of “Grey River” channels positive energy and a rebel spirit as catchy guitars pay tribute to the most enigmatic aspects of retro rock and the band doesn’t hold back confidently jamming their way into a hypnotic sonic realm with full blown psychedelic tonalities.

“Getting Slowly Lost” begins with minimalist arpeggios and subdued poetic vocals channeling a sorrowful mood but soon surprises the listeners with a peculiar rhythmic crescendo full of trippy mystical vibes like a dazed desert rock session and proceeds with a borderline dissonant and savagely distorted momentum.

Black Salvation is not a band interested in creating safe radio friendly songs as they rather explore the dazed kaleidoscopic realm of psychedelic rock with an adventurous spirit nevertheless “Uncertainty Is Bliss” does contain catchy melodic vibes running through the primary avant-garde sonic dynamics.
Uncertainty is Bliss

Integrity – Howling, For The Nightmare Shall Consume

Formed in 1988 Integrity has been known for the influential heavy hardcore music style and continues to unleash such radical force with renewed darkened intensity on the latest full length “Howling, For The Nightmare Shall Consume”.

“Blood Sermon” is a blackened tune that sets a dismal fiery mood with loads of heavy guitar riffs and relentless drumming bearing remarkable black metal elements nevertheless Integrity provides also classic heavy metal accents with scattered guitar melodies through the tight rhythmic core.

Without any hesitation “Hymn For The Children Of The Black Fate” continues to deliver a frenetic fast paced heavy groove with harsh ravenous vocals and thrash stomping attitude spiced up by flamboyant guitar solos.

“Serpent Of The Crossroads” shines for the stellar musicianship showcased by inspired gloomy melodic guitars that will keep a dominant role throughout the song crafting intricate harmonious layers and diverse captivating solos surrounded by a slower but highly atmospheric mournful mood.

“Unholy Salvation Of Sabbatei Zevi” becomes particularly macabre with eerie keyboards introducing an excellent doom oriented slow & heavy guitar driven crescendo and impeccable guitars also focus on the creation of sophisticated lugubrious melodic textures.

“7 Reece Mews” features darkened dreamy minimalist melodies that eventually evolve into a doom obscure heavier core with solemn guitar tonalities and dramatic vocal delivery but enthralling guitar leads also  deliver recognizable catchy classic rock elements.

On the title track the prophecy of impending catastrophic doom is spreading further and brilliant guitar dynamics once again steal the spotlight with delightfully intense solos and powerful rhythmic segments that always leave space for eclectic guitar melodies.

“Howling, For The Nightmare Shall Consume” aptly dwells in a nightmarish apocalyptic realm shifting from audacious heavy assaults to darkly poetic melodies and Integrity goes beyond the generic music categorizations proving to be a relevant band in the modern metal scene.