Misery Index Live in Chicago

With the release of their latest album “Rituals of Power” in March, Misery Index are currently on a North American tour alongside Nails. Their show at the Metro in Chicago showcased their unique punk/grindcore influenced death metal sound, with a setlist that included new hits such as “New Salem” and “Hammering the Nails,” as well as classics like “The Carrion Call” and “Traitors”.

Gaahls WYRD – GastiR – Ghosts Invited

Renowned prolific black metal vocalist & composer Gaahl has created the new anticipated debut album “GastiR – Ghosts Invited” under the moniker Gaahls WYRD which certainly showcases distinct black metal roots but deliberately goes beyond such genre following an experimental and theatrical vision.

“Ek Erilar” is drenched in undiluted darkness as dense atmospheric layers add mystical depth to the asphyxiating blackened rhythmic patterns but there are also some epic moments well expressed by the sober distant chants and grave melodic guitars that amplify the mysterious vibes.

“Ghosts Invited” sometimes sounds less extreme stepping out of the traditional black metal formula but still maintaining a thunderous blackened force and in the end the dramatic clean vocals and the gloomy guitar progressions become more intriguing.

On “Carving The Voices” the darkened aesthetics acquire contemplative vibes through the sophisticated guitar melodies and the solemn vocal delivery that certainly evokes a multitude of grim feelings well supported by the primal rhythmic dynamics lurking in the dark.  

With faster menacing rhythmic bursts “Veiztu Hve” returns to a more aggressive approach filled with steady monochromatic guitar riffs and mournful melodic accents surrounded by massive sinister chants and haunting atmospheres.

The obscure allure of “Within The Voice Of Existence” is constantly generated by ghastly whispers accompanied by the slow hypnotizing guitar progressions that will eventually evolve into a series of arcane rhythmic crescendos within an impenetrable darkness.

“GastiR – Ghosts invited” focuses on cryptic nuances and contrasting tonalities rather than a full blown black metal assault and ultimately Gaahls WYRD craft an extremely dark opus that is bound to trigger curiosity in the underground metal scene.

Numenorean – Adore

Canadian post black metallers Numenorean worked hard for three years to craft the sophomore album “Adore” which has the potential to conquer the listeners with cathartic instrumental passages and fiery blackened force.

The melancholic nuances evoked by soft soulful guitar melodies on “Portrait Of Pieces” showcase evident shoegaze inspiration and are certainly essential throughout the entire song while angered feelings are fully expressed by the blackened rhythmic crescendos and ravenous growls.

On “Horizon” the black metal energy of the album is confidently unleashed since the very beginning through a fast merciless rhythmic assault but such aggressive approach doesn’t sacrifice the melodic aspects that will later emerge through emotive harmonious guitar phrases.

“Stay” is a brief track that emphasizes the melodic essence and the dreamy shoegaze elements of the album as hazy atmospheres surround mellow darkened guitar melodies and emotional clean vocals.  

The daydreaming mood of “Coma” allows poignant guitar melodies to take the center stage before embracing a fierce increasingly darker soundscape fueled by relentless blackened guitar riffs and obscure tonalities.

The title track successfully maintains the balance between contrasting tonalities offering loads of dramatic melancholia infused instrumental passages and lovely contemplative arpeggios executed in proper modern post-metal fashion while the mighty rhythmic section leads to moments of sheer blackened fury.

Even if Numenorean are still relatively new in the current metal scene they already have the ability to express their own personalities through music and words embarking on a sonic evolution that becomes increasingly powerful on “Adore”.

Vltimas – Something Wicked Marches In

Vltimas will be inevitably categorized as a supergroup since this new band features Rune “Blasphemer” Eriksen (ex-MAYHEM, AURA NOIR), David Vincent (ex-MORBID ANGEL) and Flo Mounier (CRYPTOPSY) that joined forces to create crushing hymns to darkness on the anticipated debut album “Something Wicked Marches In”.

The title track symbolizes the exquisite dark music pathway chosen by Vltimas with ominous melodic accents that introduce a massive killer combo of fierce drumming and belligerent guitar riffs certainly inspired by traditional death metal dynamics amplified by David’s signature obscure growls and spiced up by tasteful guitar licks.

The primordial darkness of “Praevalidus” comes to life through a brutal approach generated by relentless rhythmic blasts that hit you in the face yet within such hellish sonic realm guitar leads have the opportunity to craft intense darkened melodies.

“Monolilith” is still drenched in darkness and the rhythmic patterns can slow down significantly to emphasize the dramatic grim vocal delivery and the refined sinister guitar phrases that add a sense of impending doom and gothic grandeur to the classic death metal backbone.

Darkly inspired atmospheres & arpeggios open “Last Ones Alive Win Nothing” leading to compelling dismal soundscapes while a series of opulent guitar melodies inevitably evokes a whirlwind of tormented feelings easily matched by David’s menacing growls.

On “Marching On” darkness continues to be triumphant as abrasive guitar riffs and monumental drums generate anthemic death metal segments within an asphyxiating sonic realm while once again the lead guitar work stands out crafting sophisticated melodies.

The fact that Vltimas is the joint effort of brilliant musicians foreshadows the uncompromising strength and the serious effort incarnated by “Something Wicked Marches In” which will definitely satisfy all acolytes of extreme metal with its palpable diabolical charm.  

Misery Index – Rituals Of power

For American death metal quartet Misery Index it’s time to unleash a ferocious uncompromising sonic assault conceptually revolving around dystopian themes with the sixth full-length “Rituals Of Power”.

“Universal Untruths” opens the album with ominous guitar riffs evidently inspired by classic death metal while the cohesive rhythm section gradually builds up asphyxiating grooves accompanied by massive angered growls.

“Decline And Fall” gets more chaotic demanding extra speed and instant headbanging as hellish growls guide you through belligerent grooves filled with sharp guitar riffs while the fiery shredding of the solo renders everything less hostile.

On “The Choir Invisible” guitars hold an essential role delivering solid technical progressions  as well as subtle melodic accents in the solo while the relentless heavy riffs lead to darkly energetic rhythmic blasts deeply emphasized by the majestic drumming and the untamed growls.  

The title track packs a series of ruthless guitar riffs once again well supported by the steady crushing rhythmic dynamics that generate loads of savage grooves bearing the mark of old school death metal spiced up by the less intimidating darkened vibes of the skillful guitar leads.

“I Disavow” immediately aims to destroy as the rhythm becomes perilously faster with galloping infectious guitar riffs and monumental drums until the lead guitar takes over to craft some grave melodic phrases.

Listening attentively to “Rituals Of Power” it becomes clear how the whole album is mainly  fueled by pure wrath and primal force as Misery Index seem simply unstoppable consistently showcasing a taste for insane speed and brutality.

Windswept – The Onlooker

Formed by Drudkh mastermind Roman Sayenko Ukrainian black metal project Windswept is set to spread absolute darkness with the sophomore album “The Onlooker”.

“Stargazer” tends to sound utterly ferocious with super tight guitar riffs and savage drums bearing the ominous mark of traditional black metal and such primal force inevitably leads to an asphyxiating sonic realm.

While the sonic assault of “A Gift To Feel Nostalgia” arises from the darkest abyss of metal there are hints of moody melodic melancholy emerging through the uneasy and frenetic rhythmic patterns.

From beginning to end the bleak mood of “Insomnia of the Old Men” relies on hellish growls and fast rhythmic blasts which will eventually slow down a bit to emphasize the bitter guitar tonalities.

On “Times of No Dreams & No Poets” extremely tormented growls, relentless guitar riffs and scattered melodic accents build up a constant sense of desperation as the whole instrumental ensemble diligently unleash all the fury of classic black metal.

“Bookworm, Loser, Pauper” is another hymn to darkness faithful to the black metal legacy with particularly obscure guitar tonalities and a frantic no frills rhythmic core that demands extra speed and nightmarish vibes.

“The Onlooker” aims to constantly channel an uncompromising raw energy to efficiently depict the darkest soundscapes and the sonic pathway chosen for this album probably is not too far from Drudkh’s discography as Windswept are also devoted to traditional black metal.

Rotting Christ – The Heretics

During their thirty years careers Greek metal masters Rotting Christ have worked relentlessly and passionately to establish the recognizable distinct music style that today on the brand new album “The Heretics” continues to naturally blend spellbinding melodic grandeur and primal extreme metal roots.

The ominous mood of the album is palpable on the opener “In The Name Of God” which is fueled by a savage blackened force leading to an obscure rhythmic march with galloping guitar riffs and intense drumming but the tempo often slows down to enhance a dramatic approach favoring the gothic beauty of the melodic guitar leads and mystical atmospheric arrangements.

The spiritual aura of “Vetry Zlye” comes to life through the ritualistic chants & narratives as the mysterious atmospheric waves are embellished by the bewitching vocals performed by Irina Zybina while the heavier instrumental ensemble focuses on the majestic rhythmic dynamics and the sharp guitar work.

As the fierce guitar riffs naturally lead to epic grooves, the darkened charisma of “Heaven And Hell And Fire” is constantly generated by esoteric chants and Sakis’s enraged growls while the song’s melodic splendor is meticulously crafted by the gloomy refined tonalities of the guitar phrases and the fancy energetic soloing.  

“Hallowed Be Thy Name” feels even more mystical with massive solemn choirs and theatrical spoken words that acquire an essential role within the song’s extremely dramatic atmospheric realm while the heavier instrumental passages become sporadic but still capable of channeling immense darkness.  

The cinematic intro of “Fire God And Fear” foreshadows another cryptic hymn to darkness and inevitably everything feels like an ancient ritual as soaring guitars confidently build understated blackened grooves that reach an arcane acme with the dazzling melodic opulence of the guitar solo.

Inspired by Edgar Allan Poe “The Raven” holds a darkly poetic soul and evokes extra dramatic depth with loads of fascinating theatrical narratives accompanied by impeccable haunting melodic guitars while the catchy yet gloomy rhythmic core still features a fair dosage of sinister aesthetics and bold guitar riffage.

Absolute devotion and an indissoluble connection with arcane myths are the fundamental elements behind the stylish composition of “The Heretics” and while Rotting Christ are still following a path of undiluted darkness all the songs on this album hold a surprisingly accessible melodic essence that can be appreciated by a wider audience worldwide.

Altarage – The Approaching Roar

Spanish metal extremists Altarage seem to have no interest in fame and continue to keep their anonymity as well as a rather nihilist approach that feels very dominant throughout the latest effort “The Approaching Roar”.

Listening to “Sighting” you can rest assured that this is not music for the masses as the initial somber dissonant tonalities introduce a monstrous heavy rhythmic section that could not feel darker with cavernous growls and belligerent guitar riffs that simply seem unstoppable.

The beginning of “Urn” deliberately feels unnerving with warped bass tones and a suspenseful mood while massive rhythmic patterns will soon create an impenetrable wall of sound interrupted only by some ominous guitar leads.

With a dramatic rhythmic core “Cyclopean Clash” belongs to an obscure abyss as the monolithic guitar work emerges with dissonant tonalities and extra darkened aesthetics following enigmatic tempo variations.  

“Inhabitant” is full of abrasive guitar riffs that diligently maintain arcane vibes fueled by the primal extreme metal elements while the rhythmic segments effortlessly shift from a fast gruesome assault to atmospheric mournful moments.

“Chaworos Sephelln” continues to channel undiluted obscurity but this time the infectious death metal patterns are suddenly interrupted by a mystical atmospheric crescendo followed by an increasing sense of desperation fully expressed by the doom tonalities of guitars and the utterly dramatic rhythm.

Without any hesitation Altarage dwell comfortably within a brutal chaotic sonic realm on “The Approaching Roar” leading to an uncompromising heavy work of music that could certainly sound too hostile to the faint of heart.  

Insanity Alert – 666 Pack

Austrian crossover thrashers Insanity Alert have put together a massive thrash party on the third full length record “666 Pack” and all you need to do to fully enjoy this album is get ready to headbang and bring a six pack.  

“Thirstkiller” gets the party started with the necessary raw energy of tight thrash guitar riffs diligently following a steady galloping rhythm that becomes increasingly enraged on “The Body Of The Christ Is The Parasite” with enthusiastic grooves and rebellious screams.

“All Mosh / No Brain” is an instant favorite with its inner insanity that inevitably leads to party grooves and of course a major moshpit with an overload of crunchy guitar riffs.

On “Cobra Commander” there are anthemic thrash dynamics and some grindcore elements resulting in another energetic straightforward tune.  

The rhythmic section doesn’t really slow down on “Echoes Of Death” and the thrash revival approach is still dominant ensuring chugging guitar riffs and belligerent drumming.

“Chronic State Of Hate” is all about savage stomping and strong ‘80s vibes as the rhythmic section gets faster and wilder accompanied by frantic screams.

A Skullcrushin’ Good Time” offers another round of infectious guitar riffs still paying homage to classic thrash metal while “Demons Get Out!” adds an enjoyable diabolical/horror mood to the main relentless rhythmic patterns.

In case you needed more darkness “Dark Energon” has a major devilish essence that demands violent catchy rhythmic dynamics with the additional entertaining variety of the skillful guitar soloing.

Listening to the unstoppable frenetic grooves of “666 Pack” you can tell immediately that Insanity Alert is always ready for no frills classic thrash metal and good time so you should probably join this crazy party.