Host – IX

Nick Holmes and Greg Mackintosh of legendary Paradise Lost finally found the time to resurrect the Host project delivering the new full length “IX” evidently inspired by the glorious New Wave and Goth music scenes.
“Wretched Soul” instantly manifests a seductive goth vision as Nick’s haunting vocals flow smoothly through the hypnotizing multilayered synths spiced up by dreamy guitar phrases.
“Divine Emotion” is bound to spellbind you with an impeccable mix of melancholic piano melodies and rich atmospheric textures ultimately leading to a rather addictive chorus.
Throughout “Hiding From Tomorrow” guitars become more dominant crafting steady riffs and sorrowful harmonies enriched by the futuristic electronic elements.
You can appreciate the eclectic synths of “A Troubled Mind” maintaining a gloomy yet dancefloor friendly mood in proper darkwave fashion while guitars can add some crispy melodic accents.
Everything feels bleak on “Inquisition” due to the slower rhythmic patterns and the constant hazy synths surrounding Nick’s contemplative vocal delivery.
The atmospheric arrangements of “I Ran” might sound darker and a bit surreal but the rhythm seamlessly shifts from softer introspective moments to super catchy dynamics.
It’s easy to notice the strong connection between Paradise Lost album “Host” and “IX” as Nick and Greg here have the freedom to experiment following a different musical pathway that naturally leads to fascinating melodies and darkened atmospheres.

Memoriam – Rise To Power

Founded by former Bolt Thrower singer Karl Willetts and Benediction bassist Frank Healy, Memoriam have been unstoppable and the latest release “Rise To Power” is bound to solidify their musical identity within the extreme metal scene.
Throughout “Never Forget, Never Again (6 Million Dead)” the doom elements remain fundamental evidently amplifying the sorrowful lyrical themes through the crestfallen guitar tonalities while the hostile rhythmic section delivers intense grooves.
“I Am The Enemy” definitely stands out for the enthralling guitar work that effortlessly creates a deeply gloomy melodic flow emphasized by the slower rhythmic patterns but the gritty riffage naturally leads to faster and more aggressive dynamics.
“All Is Lost” doesn’t waste any time focusing on the colossal drums and the visceral riffs to consistently channel old school death metal influences but also you can appreciate the tasteful guitar harmonies.
The title track is another solid effort as once again the band skillfully combines charismatic guitar melodies and venomous rhythmic blasts further enhanced by the guttural growls.
Besides the massive guitar driven grooves “This Pain” manifests a strong doom inspiration featuring slower pensive passages where forlorn arpeggios flow gently through an eerie atmospheric ensemble.
Undoubtedly on “Rise To Power” Memoriam craft some memorable songs demonstrating the ability to seamlessly blend the heavy weight of doom and the brutality of classic death metal.

Enslaved – Heimdal

It all started with the infamous Norway’s black metal scene three decades ago and since then Enslaved fearlessly have been exploring diverse sounds and concepts to reach another crucial milestone releasing the thrilling 16th studio album “Heimdal”.
The esoteric journey begins with the ceremonial horn of “Behind The Mirror” which grabs your attention with a complex composition putting the spotlight on the sharp guitar riffs and the consequent majestic rhythmic rampage carefully embellished by soothing clean vocals and surreal atmospheric nuances.
“Forest Dweller” shifts the focus to a compelling melodic grandeur featuring ethereal acoustic passages accompanied by the poignant vocal delivery nevertheless a sinister blackened force is bound to take over through the colossal drumming and the ravenous growls.
Throughout “The Eternal Sea” the fascinating clean vocal harmonies and the crispy guitar tonalities create an epic melodic flow while the galloping riffs lead to a dramatically heavier momentum ultimately channeling the band’s obscure black metal roots.
The title track opens a portal to an ancestral realm as the intricate synths arrangements meticulously craft a perennial mystifying aura around the elaborate rhythmic patterns fueled by the proggy guitar leads and groovy riffs.
Within the kaleidoscopic world of “Heimdal” Enslaved once again demonstrate an eclectic songwriting approach revolving around the most mysterious entity in Nordic mythology and skillfully combining rich prog dynamics and inflamed black metal elements.

…And Oceans – As In Gardens, So In Tombs

Finnish symphonic black metal band …And Oceans begins a new immersive journey in search of enlightenment through the gloomy soundscapes of the new record “As In Gardens, So In Tombs”.
On the title track a sinister atmospheric intro leads the way to a solid series of savage rhythmic patterns featuring relentless drums and clearly showcasing strong black metal roots while the slower passages also add modern synths layers conveying a dystopian feel.
“Within Fire and Crystal” naturally continues to focus on furious blackened dynamics enhanced by ravenous growls while the eerie orchestrations and the guitar leads create frostbitten harmonies.
“Carried on Lead Wings” immediately unleashes a fiery blackened force through the unrestrained guitar riffs but once again the winning combo of surreal synths and cold melodic phrases evoke an overwhelming melancholia.
Throughout “Cloud Heads” the decadent orchestrations maintain a fundamental role surrounding the malignant growls and the vicious rhythmic ensemble fueled by extra speed and venomous riffage.
Within the gelid sonic realm of “Inverse Magnification Matrix” you can still perceive a mournful melodic flair and the blackened rhythmic assault seems unstoppable until the enigmatic synths generate a pensive atmospheric breakdown.
The final track “Ambivalent God” definitely embodies the album’s contemplative themes as the rhythm often slows down to put the spotlight on the crestfallen melodic guitars without sacrificing the harsh black metal momentum.
“As In Gardens, So In Tombs” constantly evokes tormented feelings as …And Oceans focus on a compelling melodic grandeur and at the same time successfully channel a primal black metal essence.

Imperium Dekadenz – Into Sorrow Evermore

German black metal duo Imperium Dekadenz emerges from the Black Forest to spread infinite darkness through the frostbitten soundscapes of the new album “Into Sorrow Evermore”.
Within the pitchblack realm of the title track the classic tremolo-picked guitar work becomes the main focus well supported by the relentless drumming but mournful melodic phrases will flow naturally through such oppressive rhythmic patterns.
“Truth under Stars” immediately unleashes ferocious blast beats and the desperate growls enhance a blackened aura yet the slower guitar leads and the murky atmospheric accents convey harrowing emotions.
“Aurora” relies on the classical beauty of the piano to evoke an overwhelming melancholia and the resulting melodic motifs are further amplified by the gelid tonalities of the haunting guitar work.
The steady drums march and the harsh riffage of “Awakened beyond Dreams” bring back a traditional black metal inspiration but as the tempo drastically slows down the elegant arpeggios enhance a dramatic depth.
On “Memories… a Raging River” the fast ruthless riffs can easily build ferocious dynamics but during the woeful grand finale a gripping melodic essence comes to life through graceful guitars and immersive atmospheric arrangements.
Just like the title clearly suggests sorrow is the center theme of “Into Sorrow Evermore” as Imperium Dekadenz can effortlessly craft a majestic melodic gloom but still manifest strong black metal roots.

Katatonia – Sky Void Of Stars

Swedish masters of melancholic metal Katatonia are constantly embracing an artistic evolution that today generates the vivid soundscapes and the gloomy beauty of the highly anticipated new record “Sky Void Of Stars”
Throughout “Austerity” guitars can acquire heavier tones to create interesting proggy rhythmic patterns marching fiercely through a hazy atmospheric ensemble enhanced by sorrowful phrases and ultimately leading to a vibrant chorus.
“Opaline” puts the spotlight on the surreal yet comforting keyboard arrangements and the crispy guitar leads while the uplifting chorus emphasized by Jonas Renkse’s soulful voice instantly grabs your attention.
“Drab Moon” always evokes sheer melancholia through the sophisticated guitar melodies and the haunting vocal delivery embellished by moody atmospheric waves yet the impeccable rhythmic section can still build a crunchy momentum.
On “Impermanence” the exquisite melodic guitars seem to emerge from a distant dreamland conveying immense nostalgia and perfectly complement the bittersweet vocals courtesy of guest singer Joel Ekelöf of Soen before engaging in a charismatic solo.
“Atrium” marks another memorable moment as guitars effortlessly shift from eloquent melodic passages to super catchy rhythmic crescendos that can even reveal positive energy within the contemplative atmosphere.
“No Beacon To Illuminate Our Fall” perfectly represents the musical universe of the whole album as the composition emphasizes the emotive themes through wistful harmonies and somber atmospheric layers but also focuses on the prog inspiration of the convoluted rhythmic patterns and the consequent heavier guitar work.
The sonic realm of “Sky Void Of Stars” lies in between darkness & light where Katatonia can freely express emotional depth and craft refined melodic motifs without forgetting their strong doom metal roots.

Ville Valo – Neon Noir

The extensive discography of HIM undoubtedly has left an indelible mark and we all remember the devoted fans in tears during their farewell tour back in 2017 but now Finnish Love Metal pioneer Ville Valo embarks on an exciting & heart wrenching music voyage with the debut solo album “Neon Noir”.
“Run Away From The Sun” soothes your soul with beautiful shimmering melodic waves enriched by a catchy mix of subtle atmospheric tapestries and upbeat rhythmic dynamics that constantly revolve around Ville’s vibrant vocals.
The glowing melodic flow of the title track conveys a bittersweet romance definitely enhanced by Ville’s sophisticated vocal harmonies while the darker vibes of the guitar work lead to an addictive chorus.
“Loveletting” belongs to a dreamland as the graceful acoustic phrases are accompanied by hazy synths arrangements skillfully combining pop & rock elements that perfectly complement the dramatic vocal delivery.
“In Trenodia” is all about heartache but it makes you feel good as Ville’s comforting baritone tone flows gently through lavish multilayered atmospheric textures and delightful melodies.
“Heartful Of Ghosts” warms your heart with poetic melodies and modern synths layers that constantly put the spotlight on Ville’s moody vocals while guitars add hypnotizing darkened motifs.
“Saturnine Saturnalia” is absolutely unforgettable and enthralling as guitars finally embrace a beloved doom essence reminiscent of the glorious “Venus Doom” era and Ville delivers a stunning vocal performance reaching the acme with a seductive chorus.
“Vertigo Eyes” focuses on Ville’s deeply melancholic vocals surrounded by a mellow and often brighter melodic ensemble emphasized by the intricate synths yet guitars create captivating rhythmic twists acquiring a more fuzzy raw sound.
Throughout “Neon Noir” Ville dares to explore diverse musical territories proving a striking creative force but at the same time continues to write mesmerizing Love Metal songs evoking heartbreak and gloom.

Obituary – Dying Of Everything

Death metal legends Obituary redefined the genre throughout the 1990s and now they are still eager to write music with passion continuing to solidify their legacy with the highly anticipated new album “Dying Of Everything”.
“Barely Alive” marks a brutal beginning with a savage combo of punishing drum blasts and unrestrained riffage unfolding around John Tardy’s signature ruthless growls.
In the beginning “The Wrong Time” manifests a somber mood but the infectious guitar riffs become simply unstoppable well supported by the monstrous rhythmic section and enriched by a flamboyant solo.
Without the need for extra speed “War” unleashes massive stomping rhythmic patterns though the bold bass lines and the fierce guitar work while John’s vocals sound absolutely vicious.
The title track bears the mark of old school death metal as the relentless drumming and the mighty riffs become more frantic calling for an immediate moshpit yet ultimately lead to a slower sinister breakdown.
While following a mid-tempo the rhythmic core of “My Will To Live” can still convey pure anger consistently building entertaining grooves enhanced by the tasteful guitar leads.
“Be Warned” closes the album with a palpable sense of impending doom as guitars acquire an ominous sound within a dramatically slower & darker rhythmic ensemble.
Undoubtedly the strength of “Dying Of Everything” comes from the memorable rhythmic dynamics and the vitriolic guitar riffs as Obituary proudly stay true to their classic style but successfully manage to add variety.

Mos Generator – Time//Wounds

Heavy rockers Mos Generator reach another milestone with the release of the 10th full length “Time//Wounds” reflecting on the passing of time, dreams and regrets through a multifaceted songwriting approach.
The energetic opening track “Aja-Minor” relies on the shapeshifting rhythmic section that can always surprise you with retro rock dynamics and flamboyant prog elements enhanced by the charismatic lead guitar work.
“(Don’t) Wait Until Tomorrow” often sounds more mellow as the warm acoustic phrases perfectly complement Tony Reed’s laid back vocal delivery but you can also expect mighty grooves fueled by the raw guitar riffs.
“Only Yesterday” once again highlights the mature musicianship as guitars carefully blend gritty riffage and softer harmonies to build diverse rhythmic patterns enriched by moody synths layers.
The longest track “Until We Meet Again (Parts I-IV)” closes the album focusing on a nostalgia infused melodic ensemble yet there are many rhythmic & style variations as guitars manifest a strong 70’s progressive rock spirit as well as a vintage rock flair leading to a magnetic extensive solo.
Listening to “Time//Wounds” you can certainly appreciate the classic heavy rock vibes and the great band’s chemistry yet Mos Generator combine multiple influences to ultimately achieve an eclectic sonic vision.

Threshold – Dividing Lines

UK’s premier progressive metal band Threshold begins a new thrilling chapter with the release of 12th studio album “Dividing Lines” characterized by excellent musicianship and intricate composition.
‘Haunted” instantly showcases the key elements of the whole album, in fact you can appreciate the prowess that generates big guitar riffs and tasteful leads embellished by bittersweet melodic accents and modern electro layers.
“Silenced” stands out for the futuristic mood with robotic sounds and rich atmospheric arrangements while guitars skillfully build bold rhythmic patterns ultimately leading to a smooth melodic solo.
The cinematic synths on “The Domino Effect” introduce an inflamed rhythmic ensemble highlighting a complex prog pathway while the elegant harmonies emphasize a contemplative essence reaching the acme with a flawless melodic guitar solo.
Throughout “Complex” guitars deliberately acquire heavier tones to ensure a groovy approach and the precise rhythmic section generates shapeshifting dynamics always enriched by the eclectic keyboards.
“Lost Along The Way” features a catchy chorus and some harrowing atmospheric waves that contribute to build a palpable rhythmic tension while the compelling lead guitar work provides polished melodic motifs.
The majestic final track “Defence Condition” conveys a significantly darker atmospheric grandeur through the sorrowful tones of the multilayered synths surrounding a winning combo of mighty riffage and charismatic technical solos while Glynn Morgan fully demonstrates his vocal abilities.
The strength of “Dividing Lines” evidently relies on the band’s chemistry and the sophisticated songwriting style as today Threshold are still driven forward by a strong creative force.