Alkaloid – Liquid Anatomy

The second release from the mighty Alkaloid, proves that these guys are evolving and growing immensely as musicians. Truly progressive, which seems to not be so common these days.

“Kernel Panic” starts the album off with a very Rush/King Crimson vibe going on. Which then leads into some more traditional death metal elements. It sets the tone for the journey that this album will take you on.

“A Decreed By Laws Unwritten” opens with an absolutely mean riff in the style of Morbid Angel, but more intricate. Even the vocal approach is similar. I love that these guys mix the old school sound with the modern sound so seamlessly. There’s a very eerie clean break that leads into some grooving riffing, and some ripping soling… of course. An overall very cool track.

“Azagthoth” opens with some very eastern sounding percussion and rhythms, accompanied by some interesting use of harmonics. It then starts to groove like no other, with a ton of different vocal styles. I really dig the riffing in this track. And the “Azagthoth!” sounds so evil. You get a lot packed into this track.

“Liquid Anatomy” has a very cool melodic clean intro, with some really haunting vocals. The overall vibe changes things up a bit on the album. It showcases a different side of the band.

“Chaos Theory And Practice” opens about as “in your face” as it gets. Very chaotic and dissonant, followed directly by a very badass riff (Again very Morbid Angel styled) which I absolutely love! There’s a very cool riff that bounces back from heavy chords and scattered harmonics, with a haunting lead over it. It creates a very cool vibe, with some very memorable vocals on top of it. The same idea gets played around with throughout the song. This is one of the highlights for me, being that it really showcases the band’s versatility and compositional skills.

“Rise Of The Cephalopods” is the 20 min epic on the album. There’s an interview where Hannes talks about how he came up with the initial musical idea for it. It’s definitely my favorite track. We’ll just leave it at that…

For me, this was one of my top albums of the year. Every track stands out on its own. Truly progressive. I recommend buying this, and supporting these guys.
Liquid Anatomy

Tsjuder – Throne Of The Goat

Norwegian cult black metal stalwarts Tsjuder are proudly releasing a new edition of their first EP “Throne Of The Goat” which includes the original tracks and a complete re-recording.

There are two full track on this EP and both the 1997 original recording and the new versions share the same raw blackened energy that will inevitably characterize the band’s entire discography.

The new version of the title track is certainly more polished and benefits from fancier gear but the cult black metal dynamics are still intact with thunderous guitar riffing galore, demonic growls and super fast & brutal rhythmic segments.

“Dying Spirit” often follows a breakneck speed and as traditional black metal dictates evokes absolutely bleak soundscapes with evident oppressive feelings fully expressed by raw guitar riffs, ominous growls and scattered diabolical melodic moments.

Needless to say the sonic realm of “Throne Of The Goat” is made of undiluted darkness and hellish nightmares hard to leave behind as Tsjuder shows the fans how it all started.
Throne of the Goat

Nocturnal Graves – Titan

Australian extreme metallers Nocturnal Graves are ready to spread undiluted darkness and uncompromising ferocity on the newest full length “Titan”.

On “Resistance” the mood is absolutely oppressive as the band knows no restrain and unleashes a tight series of guitar riffs staying true to old school extreme metal elements while ominous growls and extremely somber melodic leads diligently amplify the song’s inner darkness that acquires impending doom tonalities in the final moments.

The blackened force of “Ecdysis, Shedding Weak Flesh” is immediately palpable as killer guitar riffs lead the scene relentlessly accompanied by steady abyssal growls and precise rhythmic sections that here do not feel exaggeratedly fast but rather give space for darkly contemplative and dramatically slow moments favoring the grim melodic guitar work.

“Bow Before None” conjures a traditional blackened thrash essence with menacing riffage that at times feels simply unstoppable following merciless rhythmic blasts spiced up by inflamed lead guitars and a darkly cathartic momentum.

On “Silence The Martyrs” guitars hold a hellish raw energy and drums dictate a breakneck thunderous speed but there are still introspective moments where lead guitars focus on more melodic and variegated progressions.

The title track is a triumphant hymn to darkness as venomous guitar riffs and drums successfully build ruthless grooves but a massive blackened aura persistently surrounds and influences the intense melodic solos.

Nocturnal Graves have a clear music vision in mind and never refrain from delivering an overwhelming dosage of brutality so you better be ready to mosh & headbang like there’s no tomorrow when you listen to “Titan”.
Titan

Nightmarer – Cacophony Of Terror

Emerging from the darkest depths of metal Nightmarer proudly releases the debut full length “Cacophony Of Terror” confidently exploring extreme metal territories to achieve a unique music identity.

As darkness descends “Stahlwald” evokes oppressive soundscapes through technical guitar work shifting from ominous relentless riffing to slower doom phrases while eclectic tempo variations generate borderline chaotic moments.

“Skinner” continues to revolve around a series of variegated instrumental passages where guitars skillfully craft highly somber progressions leading to punishing grooves perfectly supported by the sinister power of the precise rhythmic section.

On “Fetisch” a neverending darkness leads to asphyxiating faster progressions that will often sound rather ferocious as the band blends dissonant elements and doom tinged melodies within well balanced rhythmic segments.

“Tidal Waves Of Terror” immediately offers dissonant guitar work bearing a melodic doom core that will recur throughout the song amplifying a darkly contemplative mood but will eventually morph into a series of menacing super heavy rhythmic dynamics.

Introduced by nightmarish atmospheres “Death” is constantly surrounded by feelings of absolute despair as guitars will follow unusual tempo changes and favor dramatically slower melodic progression to fully evoke a sense of inescapable terror further enhanced by ravenous growls.

With a distinct sonic manifesto in mind Nightmarer is ready to conquer a solid status in the underground metal scene and “Cacophony Of Terror” is a pitchblack work of music dedicated to lovers of the blackened dissonant tonalities of modern extreme metal.
Cacophony of Terror

Drudkh – They Often See Dreams About the Spring

Ukrainian black metal band Drudkh  returns with the new release “They Often See Dreams About the Spring” crafting traditional blackened momentum as an oppressive shroud of gelid winter descends on the listeners.

While there is a remarkable atmospheric approach on “Nakryta Neba Burym Dakhom” reminiscent of modern blackgaze style with some fascinating contemplative & dramatically slower melodies this lengthy track still revolves around many traditional black metal elements as a thick darkness fuels raw and faster rhythmic sections.

“U Dakhiv Irzhavim Kolossyu” feels calmer and ethereal with an immediate melodic approach as guitars put together graceful harmonies yet the blackened heart of the song still emerges occasionally with growing intensity as drums and riffing acquire punishing black metal dynamics.

The album closes with the impenetrable obscurity of “Bilyavyi Den’ Vtomyvsya I prytykh” where the band confidently unleashes massive blackened energy with an overdose of ferocious rhythmic blasts and desperate growls briefly interrupted by scattered melodic moments resulting in a rather desolate soundscape.

“They Often See Dreams About the Spring” is an album immersed in total darkness from beginning to end as Drudkh diligently continues to channel mysterious melodies and indisputed black metal fury.

Glorior Belli – The Apostates

French black metal band Glorior Belli returns triumphantly with the latest effort “The Apostates” showcasing strong black metal roots leading to a traditional ferocious sound but there is much more to be discovered on this album.

Emerging from a familiar realm of darkness the primary guitar riffs of “Sui Generis” hold fiercely menacing tonalities as an ominous aura fills the atmosphere even when the rhythm section slows down with malignant groovy melodies and a sense of impending doom.

On “Deserters Of Eden” you can perceive a strong blackened essence as guitars & drums unravel thunderous fast dynamics accompanied by the expected dosage of furious growls yet the band will deliver also groovy guitar driven rock twists that certainly add diverse nuances to the primary heavier core.

The title track begins with enthralling guitar work focused on the creation of profound darkened melancholy but also loads of catchy rock grooves confidently embracing different styles to ultimately craft a refreshing music blend that cannot be unnoticed.

On “Jerkwater Redemption” there is no space for orthodox black metal rules as blackened rock grooves keep on rolling with catchy guitar riffs that effortlessly blend obscure tones further enhanced by diabolical growls and accessible rhythmic patterns.

To some “Rebel Reveries” might sound like a shot in the dark because Glorior Belli temporarily ditches the black metal obscurity to boldly embrace a soothing Southern rock melodic galore but it does make sense for a band that doesn’t care about pre-defined genres so there are also loads of sing along melodic hooks built over pleasant but still somber guitar harmonies.

“The Apostates” certainly revolves around a fair dosage of magnificent blackened essence but the true highlights of this work of music must be found in the inner sonic diversity that often channels catchy rock grooves as Glorior Belli demonstrates audacious creative force exploring classic rock territories.

Chaostar – The Undivided Light

Fans of Greek titans Septicflesh are certainly familiar with Chaostar, the spellbinding experimental project led by guitarist and composer Christos Antoniou, and the new long awaited release “The Undivided Light” definitely holds a theatrical essence and an adventurous spirit that once again aims to defy standard music genres.

The bewitching elegance of Androniki Skoula’s voice introduces the hypnotizing sonic realm of “Tazama Jua” which delivers a fascinating blend of majestic classical arrangements with baroque symphonic accents and modern ambient layers that seamlessly surround the theatrical vocals throughout the song.

“Blutbad” initially focuses on minimalist melodies and highly dramatic operatic vocals creating a quite enigmatic atmosphere that in the final part will lead to more complex orchestrations channeling exquisitely darkened vibes.

The title track favors mysterious electro/ambient arrangements that smoothly accompany Androniki’s stunning operatic performance through a captivating orchestral crescendo which features classical graceful melodies, epic cinematic composition and slightly dissonant rhythmic variations.

“Ying & Yang” offers a softer approach with luminous arpeggios and otherworldly vocals that flawlessly create intensely emotional melodic cascades in the midst of wistful atmospheres while the mood becomes utterly enthralling as traditional instrumentation crafts delicate melancholic harmonies.

From a Chaostar album you should expect the unexpected as Christos draws inspiration from the pristine beauty of classical music but doesn’t refrain from exploring other music territories such as electronica & rock leading to the dramatic composition of “The Undivided Light” which delivers a truly unique sonic experience.

 
The Undivided Light

Deathwhite – For A Black Tomorrow

American trio Deathwhite raises the bar with the release of the first full length “For A Black Tomorrow” focusing on the creation of melancholia infused melodies and an emotional music journey.

“The Grace Of The Dark” immediately showcases the whole album’s gloomy mood blending cohesive guitar melodies and occasional softer contemplative moments through a series of understated elegant rhythmic crescendos always enhanced by a quite genuine vocal delivery.

The desolate mood of “Poisoned” is fully expressed since the very beginning where graceful acoustic harmonies will introduce gothic tinged grooves but will often return to add extra melodic depth and emotional intensity which is also matched by the naturally heartfelt vocals.

“Eden” feels even more melancholic with distant dreamy arpeggios naturally evolving into darker melodic soundscapes where guitars certainly hold a prominent role providing a generous dosage of sorrowful harmonies as well as some more energetic rhythmic dynamics.

“Death And The Master” immediately channels a profound melancholia that will inevitably captivate the listeners with sorrowful minimalist melodies which will soon embrace a distorted darkened rhythmic momentum as guitars build mid-paced catchy grooves and maintain a prominent melodic essence in the solo.

The title track definitely doesn’t deviate from the contemplative music formula which here is further enhanced by a smooth familiar ensemble of crispy guitar riffs and plenty of crestfallen melodies that will recur throughout the song channeling darkly emotional vibes with growing intensity.

While “For A Black Tomorrow” is not exactly groundbreaking, Deathwhite confidently embraces 90’s dark metal signature elements and fills the album with several pleasantly introspective moments & consistent accessible melodic grooves that will easily attract lovers of such genre.

Hooded Menace – Ossuarium Silhouettes Unhallowed

Finnish doom cultists Hooded Menace demonstrate to be truly dedicated to authentic extreme doom metal on the latest effort “Ossuarium Silhouettes Unhallowed”, a work of music aptly devoted to the darkest shades of this timeless genre.

The lengthy album opener “Sempiternal Grotesqueries” bears the mark of traditional ‘90s funeral doom as guitars craft impeccably melancholic melodies recurring through the heavier rhythmic maze built by fierce riffing & drumming while monumental growls contribute to amplify the harsh aspects of this track but melodic guitars will gain the spotlight again delivering familiar & beloved gothic allure especially palpable in the solos.

“In Eerie Deliverance” certainly stays true to the title as a haunting atmosphere permeates the powerful rhythmic patterns with a generous dosage of heavy riffs embellished by weeping harmonies and ethereal female vocals that will carry a feeble luminous essence while additional melodic guitar work continue to evoke pure doom desolation.

Like a monochromatic funeral march “Cathedral of Labyrinthine Darkness” is filled with slow super heavy rhythmic segments perfectly represented also by massive thick bass lines as the whole instrumentation channels maximum obscurity but melodic guitars are always present to create moments of understated gothic finesse.

Starting with a forlorn series of gothic tinged arpeggios “Charnel Reflections” fully embraces an eerie mood with exquisite melodic concoctions drenched in utter misery & melancholy as classic doom dictates keeping a balanced mix of dreadfully thick riffage and contemplative harmonies that will always evoke pleasantly darkened nuances.

From beginning to end “Ossuarium Silhouettes Unhallowed” dwells in a realm of unfiltered darkness where Hooded Menace meticulously weaves perennial gloomy melodies and bursts of death metal aggression.

Shining – X – Varg Utan Flock

Swedish controversial band Shining is often surrounded by stories of madness and erratic behavior but nobody could ever deny that Niklas Kvarforth is one of the most talented creative minds in the extreme metal scene and the tenth album “X – Varg Utan Flock” continues to unfold the band’s unique music pathway through intensely dark nuances and unrestrained emotions.

“Svart Ostoppbar Eld” immediately drags you into impossibly darkened depths with untamed raw guitar riffing introducing primordial black metal roots as the tight rhythmic section acquires chaotic speed and extremely cold tonalities while Niklas delivers painfully savage screams. Yet this oppressive blackened urgency will be interrupted by soft melancholy infused arpeggios and bleak melodic tapestries rightfully culminating with a pleasantly heartfelt guitar shredding solo.

“Gyllene Portarnas Bro” will easily become a favorite track with its palpable inner demons and exceptional emotional quality embedded in the brilliant guitar work as the exquisitely poignant recurring guitar melodies feel simply addictive and unforgettable. Here Niklas focuses on a dramatic vocal delivery with the expected dosage of outpouring charisma and anguish while slow burning graceful melodies and enchanting arpeggios keep a dominant role throughout the song even if there are occasional bursts of blackened fury.

“Jag Är Din Fiende” offers faster infectious blackened rhythmic dynamics with sharp guitar riffs marching frenetically through layers of subtly majestic Nordic bleakness and Niklas’s voice is absolutely filled with inspired theatrical anger but Andy La Rocque’s compelling guest guitar solo brings a marvelous classic metal mood into such obscure sonic realm followed by a sorrowful dreamy breakdown.

The classical piano piece “Tolvtusenfyrtioett” is made of pure melancholy and provides a contemplative break before entering the epic darkness of “Mot Aokigahara”, a song that certainly matches the dreadful moody atmosphere of the entire album. Refined, almost relaxing, arpeggios surround Niklas’ haunting vocal performance and lead guitars continue to impress the listeners with loads of passionate harmonies before a ghastly brutality takes the lead for the last time with fierce riffing & drumming enhanced by ominously ardent growls.

Regardless of any gossip about disputable behavior and suicidal messages, Shining’s music should always be the center of attention and with “X – Varg Utan Flock” Niklas & co. confidently goes beyond the average characteristics of a black metal album with a remarkably radical songwriting approach that will definitely solidify their seminal status in the current metal scene.