Ulthar – Providence

Bay area blackened death metallers Ulthar have created a vicious sonic onslaught on the sophomore release “Providence” that will drag you into an obscure world where all hope is inevitably lost. 

The dystopian mood of “Undying Spear” thrives within the technical instrumental progressions revealing an eclectic approach that will ultimately evolve into crushing blackened dynamics with an overdose of abrasive guitar riffs and malignant growls.  

The title track immediately unleashes a brutal rhythmic ensemble channeling some old school death metal elements fueled by unrestrained riffs and pummeling drums yet such hostile sonic realm becomes more interesting with the addition of dissonant patterns and twisted guitar phrases. 

“Cudgel” holds an enigmatic soul within the vitriolic rhythmic assault that seems to emerge from the hellish depths of black metal with the fury of the monumental riffs and the diabolical growls while the lead guitar work often amplifies darkened tonalities and sharp technical accents. 

“Narcissus Drowning” can sound absolutely devastating due to the fast menacing rhythmic rampage featuring venomous blackened riffage but in this chaotic realm guitars are always able to provide diversity with elaborate gloomy progressions. 

Once again on “Humanoid Knot” the savage rhythmic blasts lead to insane malevolent grooves that seem simply unstoppable while the technical guitar work is destined to grab your attention with multifaceted or even unexpected dynamics. 

Ulthar fully embrace the nightmarish vision symbolized by “Providence” which certainly follows an ominous extreme metal inspiration but also provides an intriguing variety in terms of sound and technical musicianship.

Solothus – Realm Of Ash And Blood

Finnish death/doom metallers Solothus dwell within a world of darkness and despair on the third full length “Realm Of Ash And Blood”.

Accompanied by obscure cavernous growls the ominous weight of the rhythmic section on “Father Of Sickness” clearly showcases a traditional doom inspiration while the excellent melodic guitar leads successfully add variety and dismal feelings. 

“The Gallows’ Promise” immediately conveys a darkened sonic realm with mournful phrases swiftly followed by monolithic rhythmic patterns that can unleash dramatically heavier dynamics and remind you of an impending doom. 

On “Below Black Waters” the elaborate guitar work and the slow monumental rhythm generate a gloomy grandeur enriched by extremely sorrowful melodic passages that naturally lead to a passionate guitar solo. 

The grand finale is embodied by the lengthy “A Rain Of Ash” which stands out as the most complex track of the album offering an overload of sharp guitar riffs and charismatic leads well supported by a groovy rhythmic ensemble that will eventually slow down to highlight a particularly dramatic doom oriented momentum enriched by an extensive enthralling solo. 

Throughout “Realm Of Ash And Blood” Solothus confidently show their skilled musicianship and stay true to a lugubrious blend of doom & death metal that maintains a fair balance between harsh grooves and forlorn melodic progressions. 

Spirit Adrift – Divided By Darkness

Arizona based heavy metal outfit Spirit Adrift started as the solo project of multi instrumentalist Nathan Garrett and now has become a full band ready to reach another milestone with the release of the third full length “Divided By Darkness” which focuses on a more elaborate songwriting approach with evident classic metal influences.

“We Will Not Die” has an anthemic structure that aims to grab your attention instantly with explosive guitar riffs and skillful melodic leads characterized by delightful crispy tonalities so the focus here is on the creation of impactful heavy metal grooves.

The strength of the title track undoubtedly comes from the impressive guitar work that delivers loads of sharp riffs again executed in proper classic heavy metal style impeccably supported by a fiery rhythmic section as well as tasteful and often quite melancholic melodic phrases enhanced by soulful atmospheric layers.

Even if it’s not a full blown ballad “Tortured By Time” feels even more nostalgic with truly passionate vocal harmonies surrounded by stylish guitar progressions that add an elegant melodic depth and ultimately emphasize the somber emotional turmoil.

“Hear Her” is full of intense galloping guitar riffs keeping a cohesive series of memorable bold grooves that proudly carry the torch for traditional heavy metal yet sound like a variegated sonic ensemble as soaring lead guitars always add memorable licks.

The instrumental grand finale “The Way Of Return” revolves around massive cosmic melodies and epic vibes with a complex structure that still puts the spotlight on the excellent guitar work this time engaging the listeners more than ever with the hypnotic power of slow burning harmonies intensified by the delightfully psychedelic tinged atmospheric arrangements.

While Spirit Adrift certainly showcase strong 80’s/90’s metal roots at the core of “Divided By Darkness” they also work hard to ensure a compelling sonic diversity and to develop a unique identity that can sound relevant in the modern metal scene.


Ossuarium – Living Tomb

Portland’s death/doom outfit Ossuarium proudly welcome you to the asphyxiating sonic realm of  the debut full length “Living Tomb” that aims to make a monstrous impact in the underground metal scene with a truly nightmarish sonic assault.

An overwhelming darkness dominates “Blaze Of Bodies” as cavernous growls and belligerent guitar riffs lead the way to a doom laden ensemble that besides the aggressive rhythmic momentum features painfully slow and arcane instrumental patterns.

“Vomiting Black Death” holds a funereal mood starting with an absolute desolate doom formula as the slower tempo amplify the weight of the enigmatic guitar melodies and soloing yet the palpable death metal roots will generate some primal guitar driven grooves.

“Corrosive Hallucinations” can easily unleash pure fury with tight guitar riffs and fast drumming but often shifts to less hostile moments with a generous dosage of grave melodic guitar leads that emphasize the profound darkened doom influences following a slower dramatic rhythm.   

A primordial extreme metal force becomes immediately palpable on “End Of Life Dreams And Visions Pt 1” leading to ferocious rhythmic blasts accompanied by ferocious low growls while the guitar melodies still evoke sheer despair.

“End Of Life Dreams And Visions Pt 2” belongs to the darkest depths of metal as guitars seem to focus more on a doom worshipping galore with a rather intense melodic gloom and even fragile harmonies that aim to hypnotize the listeners but never really leave behind the brutal dynamics that characterize the entire album.

Ossuarium confidently begin their music journey following a familiar obscure pathway and you will immediately realize that the ominous creative force behind “Living Tomb” is definitely fueled by a perennial darkness.

Khemmis – Desolation

Following the memorable success of the 2016 release “Hunted” Denver quartet Khemmis is ready to impress a wider audience with the third full length “Desolation” which certainly features the doom tonalities that attracted so much attention but the band also continues to further explore diverse music territories to achieve a unique signature style.

“Bloodletting” doesn’t waste any time focusing on a series of darkened crescendos fueled by mesmerizing guitar melodies that truly express an emotional whirlwind matched by heartfelt clean vocals. Despite the evident melodic nature this song maintains an inner intricacy with the addition of mournful doom accents and moments of blistering rhythmic fury surrounding the grandiose diversity of the lead guitar work.

On “Isolation” you will notice how the whole instrumentation has a shimmering fluidity as loads of highly somber guitar melodies perfectly flows throughout the song well supported by a precise rhythmic backbone but definitely here lead guitars hold a primary role constantly delivering all kinds of remarkable, often profoundly melancholic, harmonies and elegant technical twists.

“Maw Of Time” acquires a distinct rhythmic urgency as drum blasts become utterly fierce followed by thick doom inspired riffage and recurring exceptionally ominous growls while the enticing lead guitar work will immediately grab your attention meticulously crafting deeply darkened melodies and primordial sludgy momentum.

The majestic complexity of “From Ruin” simply cannot be ignored as guitars sinuously create a heartbreaking melodic ensemble leading to various introspective moments where vocals acquire an inspiring passionate delivery. While the melodic grandeur aptly evoke immense desolation and pure melancholy, this song will later acquire dazzling energetic blasts as the rhythmic section picks up speed followed by feverish classic metal oriented guitar leads and extra darkened tonalities.

“Desolation” owes much of its strength to the genuine emotional quality and the intriguing composition as Khemmis is clearly eager to improve in order to conquer a crucial status in the current metal scene.