Cabal – Drag Me Down

Back in 2018 Danish band Cabal impressed the underground metal scene with the shattering debut album “Mark of Rot” and now the time has come to spread even more darkness and brutality with the sophomore release “Drag Me Down”. 

Featuring Jamie Hails of Polaris the title track has an asphyxiating atmosphere that influences the ferocious march of the crunchy guitar riffs and the relentless screams simply amplify such tormented instrumental assault. 

“It Haunts Me” features Kim Song Sternkopf of Møl and the vocals sound absolutely angered matching the heavy belligerent rhythmic patterns while the cold doom laden atmospheres add subtle harmonies and at the same time enhance the song’s inner darkness. 

A solemn obscure atmosphere lingers throughout “Sjælebrand” and the weight of the abrasive guitar riffs following a slower tempo further emphasizes the doom inspiration while the spiteful screams still stay true to an aggressive formula. 

“The Hangman’s Song” can deliver a venomous sonic assault with faster punishing drum blasts and the guitar work effortlessly delivers a cohesive series of hostile riffs but also adds a fair dosage of mournful tonalities. 

“Bitter Friend” features the talent of Matt Heafy of Trivium and packs monumental groovy dynamics that require immediate headbanging as the guitar riffs fiercely cut through the dystopian atmospheric arrangements. 

“Demagogue” revolves around a ruthless rhythmic core with intense riffage that will leave you breathless and hopeless until everything slows down a bit to favor lugubrious quasi melodic guitar progressions and mysterious atmospheric textures. 

Overall Cabal successfully manages to maintain a super violent approach throughout “Drag Me Down” amplifying a frantic deathcore inspiration but the recurring haunting atmospheres show that there is a desire to step out of a predefined music category. 

Silvertomb – Edge Of Existence

Featuring Type O Negative / Seventh Void members Kenny Hickey and Johnny Kelly Silvertomb is finally ready to release the debut album “Edge Of Existence” which showcases a multifaceted sonic identity imbued with authentic emotions. 

“Insomnia / Sunrise” was released as first single and certainly gives you an idea of how much darkness surrounds Silvertomb’s music as the multilayered atmospheres and the genuine vocal delivery evoke feelings of grief surrounding the groovy rock dynamics confidently built by the raw guitar riffs and the crispy melodic leads. 

The hazy piano melodies on “Love You Without No Lies” are already drenched in darkness and so many cathartic emotions are flowing through the sorrowful rhythmic patterns and the bittersweet melodic tapestries as guitars effortlessly shift from heavy rock momentum to introspective depth. 

On “Not Your Savior” guitars can acquire strong doom tonalities that inevitably amplify the gloomy feelings fully expressed by the melodic passages and Kenny delivers desperate screams but also calmer heartfelt vocal harmonies. 

The atmospheric keyboards on “One Of You” evoke intense funereal vibes with some fascinating creepy tones that definitely emphasize the monumental guitar riffs as well as the darkened leads and the doom inspiration here feels quite dominant leading to a series of heavier rhythmic dynamics. 

At the center of “Right Of Passage / Crossing Over” there is a massive darkly hypnotic force that generates doom oriented rhythmic patterns with the monolithic weight of the drums while the guitar work also creates refined melancholic melodies embracing a contemplative atmosphere and reaching the acme with an utterly mesmerizing solo. 

While the new sonic incarnation Silvertomb has a classic rock oriented core these extremely talented musicians are willing to explore diverse styles to fully express their remarkable creativity always combined with an intense emotive strength that renders “Edge Of Existence” an inspiring work of music. 

Ghost Iris – Apple Of Discord

Danish progressive metalcore band Ghost Iris started as a DIY internet phenomenon in 2015 and now they are ready to showcase their musical growth and passion with the third full length “Apple Of Discord”.

On “The Devil’s Plaything” the classic metalcore elements feel quite dominant as the band skillfully blends belligerent guitar riffs leading to monumental aggressive grooves and soothing melodies to create an enjoyable contrast matched by the combo of brutal growls and heartfelt clean vocals.

“Final Tale” often has a slower tempo that shifts the focus to the intricate guitar work and crispy melodies surrounded by modern atmospheric accents while the heavier grooves are full of crunchy guitar riffs.

The polished melodic guitars and the borderline pop style clean vocal delivery of “Beauty In Expiration” ensures a rather accessible ensemble yet since there’s no need to sacrifice the heavy momentum guitars are ready to deliver thrilling riffage supported by precise rhythmic variations.

“The Rat And The Snake” sounds darker and harsher as angered growls take the center stage accompanied by the noticeable heavy approach of the technical guitar work and the extra cold atmospheric textures.  

There are still plenty of roaring metalcore twists on “Heaven Was Pure Hell” while the melodic aspects are often emphasized by the brighter tonalities of the guitar progressions and the emotionally charged clean vocals.

“Cowardly Pride” confidently aims to deliver bold guitar driven grooves spiced up by dissonant accents and interesting technical accents while the catchy chorus and the subtle atmospheric arrangements ensure a fair dosage of somber melodies.

Ghost Iris can be still considered an emerging band but they already have a clear music pathway in mind and the necessary drive & catchy vibes to reach a wider audience worldwide with the release of “Apple Of Discord”.  

A Pale Horse Named Death – When The World Becomes Undone

Fronted by Sal Abruscato, former drummer of legendary Type O Negative, New York quintet A Pale Horse Named Death is ready to embark on a dark & gothic music journey with the third full length album “When The World Becomes Undone”.

The title track is a multifaceted entity fueled by raw emotions and profound darkness beginning with elegant melancholic piano melodies that will recur through an intricate gothic ensemble featuring hazy atmospheres and a dreadful distorted guitar work that often leads to gritty rhythmic blasts.

Sometimes “Love The Ones You Hate” makes you feel like dancing under the moonlight due to a familiar unforgettable goth rock style that generates sultry darkened grooves blending massive catchy guitar riffs and dreamy melodies that will be ultimately embellished by an electrifying guitar solo.

The dark atmospheric aura of “Fell In My Hole” is immediately palpable as nostalgia infused instrumental passages and passionately somber vocals naturally flow through crunchy guitar driven grooves leading to the dazzling melodies of the guitar solo.

On “End Of Days” guitars acquire acidic rock tonalities and a bit of grunge feelings as melodies & riffs tend to space out through dismal atmospheric waves consequently dwelling in a bleak sonic realm until it’s time for the flamboyant guitar solo.

Following the album’s dismal mood “Lay With The Wicked” constantly offers sheer melancholia with loads of compelling darkened guitar melodies while the rhythmic core can become quite groovy and danceable without sacrificing the inner gloom & doom.

Obviously on a song entitled “Dreams Of The End” the mood must be absolutely dark in fact the gothic elements here are essential in the creation of intricate melodic textures and haunting atmospheric arrangements while the monochromatic guitar tonalities and the grim slower tempo are certainly influenced by classic doom metal.

It becomes quickly clear that A Pale Horse Named Death are destined to follow a darkened music vision which explores personal struggles and genuine emotions so it should be noted that “When The World Becomes Undone” is an album for those brave enough to get lost within its uncompromising gloomy grandeur.

Unprocessed – Covenant

German progressive metal band Unprocessed aims to impress the audience with the eclectic tonalities and the crushing rhythms of the new concept album “Covenant” which lyrically explores the inner universe of a human being.

Constantly surrounded by surreal atmospheric arrangements “Haven” is definitely an intriguing track that immediately showcases meticulous attention for details and complexity as guitars are ready to surprise the listeners blending multiple melodic textures and heavy riffage following several tempo changes that with a palpable prog inspiration will lead to a wild solo.

“Ghilan” becomes darker channeling a futuristic chaos fueled by punishing riffing & drumming yet the melodic essence of this song still has a primary role as guitars sinuously craft enticing passages with an edgy technical approach and vocals effortlessly shift from primordial guttural screams to somber clean delivery.

With a passionately softer approach “The Mirror” shines for the contemplative momentum expressed by the melancholic piano melodies and heartfelt clean vocals while guitars will later add extra rich melodic flavors and technical twists.

“Meridian” clearly focuses on high impact rhythmic dynamics with slick technical segments featuring a powerful bass & guitars combo that are in constant evolution often favoring a fierce heavier approach while ambiance atmospheres evoke a distant sense of serenity.

“Exhale” features the heaviest and darkest moments on the album with extreme metal nuances embedded in the massive crunchy guitar riffing and thunderous drumming that simply create an impenetrable wall of sound leaving minimal space for hints of melodies and ethereal electronic vibes.

Certainly the strength of “Covenant” can be found in the often unexpected tempo & style variations as Unprocessed fearlessly march beyond standard song structures to create intense contrasts and excellent instrumental work.
Covenant

Cabal – Mark Of Rot

Hailing from Denmark emerging band Cabal is ready to conquer acolytes with the incredibly crushing debut full length “Mark Of Rot”.

“False Light” could not sound more oppressive with a hostile approach executed in deathcore style as crunchy guitar riffs call for immediate moshpit amplified by intensely dark atmospheric layers and fierce screams.

Featuring guest-vocalists CJ McMahon of Thy Art Is Murder “Nothingness” begins with arcane synths nuances that will introduce a series of punishing rhythmic patterns keeping a steady sense of oppression and infinite despair further enhanced by utterly furious vocals

“Whispers” continues to channel a profound darkness that gains intensity due to the bold brutality fiercely embedded in the merciless growls and the rhythmic backbone which features modern djent progressions and blurry ambiance breakdowns.

Featuring Filip Danielsson of Humanity’s Last Breath “The Darkest Embrace” offers an enigmatic darkened beginning before fully embracing the expected rhythmic fury that might seem unstoppable focusing almost exclusively on harsh guitar riffs while subtly grandiose synths in the background maintain a creepy atmosphere.

The title track represents a less predictable sonic endeavor as the whole instrumentation is constantly surrounded by massive ominous synths that will efficiently spread haunting sounds and evocative obscurity among the vicious guitar driven grooves providing extra depth and diverse perspectives.

Undoubtedly Cabal successfully maintains an uneasy brutal sonic assault from beginning to end but “Mark Of Rot” also surprises the listeners with the creation of avant-garde atmospheric soundscapes.

The Hirsch Effekt – Eskapist

German progressive band The Hirsch Effekt has released the rather complex new album “Eskapist” which is the result of a confident technical approach and a desire to explore multifaceted music styles.

“Lifnej” immediately challenges the average listener with an aggressive sonic rampage that bears dissonant tonalities in the complex guitar work which constantly  follows rather chaotic rhythmic patterns borrowing hardcore style fury and prog metal technical variety but also features some surprisingly calmer introspective moments.

On “Xenophotopia” the band continues an experimental voyage where guitars tend to display eclectic prog metal dynamics that naturally shift from overwhelming complexity to soothing melodic textures surrounded by peaceful atmospheric arrangements leading to a flamboyant polished solo.

“Natans” reprises that sense of harmonious peace with subtle atmospheric layers and emotive vocal delivery swiftly followed by lovely guitar progressions, this time characterized by luminous crispy tones, which continue to demonstrate the band’s technical talent.  Yet, staying true to a thirst for the unexpected, a change of scenario interrupts what was an apparent calm to give way to a series of tight harsh guitar riffing and faster rhythmic sections.

In the beginning “Berceuse” doesn’t necessarily try to surprise the audience as the band focuses on a catchy chorus and easier guitar melodies, still executed in prog metal fashion, that follow compelling tempo variations and syncopate rhythms.

With somber atmospheric nuances “Inukshuk” puts aside any major music experiment to focus on a softer often surreal melodic composition channeling an emotional sonic palette.

“Lysios” could be a stand-alone opus as it involves massive music variety and is also the darkest track on this album. The modern blend of obscure synths and crunchy guitar riffs & bass lines showcases a particularly heavy approach further enhanced by harsh vocals/screams and later hostile hardcore style rhythmic patterns are suddenly interrupted by an extravagant jazz intrusion that occasionally will continue to contaminate the whole aggressive metal momentum.

There is so much going on “Eskapist” in terms of both songwriting and style and undoubtedly The Hirsch Effekt showcases a high degree of creativity mixed to skilled musicianship resulting in a rather unique & edgy experimental music approach that fearlessly and deliberately pushes boundaries.