Immortal – War Against All

Norwegian black metal titans Immortal embark on a new musical journey through the frostbitten soundscapes of the long awaited 10th studio album “War Against All”, composed and performed by Demonaz.
Like a declaration of war the title track just seems unstoppable as the monumental drums build a perilously fast rhythmic core enhanced by the malevolent combo of insane growls and visceral guitar riffs.
Throughout “Wargod” the crunchy guitars spontaneously lead to groovy dynamics without an exaggerated speed but certainly maintaining a gelid black metal approach embellished by a softer contemplative momentum.
“Return To Cold” takes you to a remote forest surrounded by dramatic atmospheric textures and guitars skillfully combine compelling somber melodies and fierce riffage.
The instrumental track “Norlandihr” revolves around a cold blend of Nordic melancholia infused melodic waves and inflamed blackened rhythmic blasts that emphasize the masterful guitar work.
Within the gloomy realm of “Blashyrkh My Throne” a mournful melodic essence emerges through recurring refined arpeggios nevertheless the vicious growls and the unrestrained guitars generate blistering rhythmic patterns.
Undoubtedly Immortal stay true to their majestic black metal legacy delivering sheer fury and undiluted darkness throughout “War Against All” which will instantly please their loyal acolytes.

Deathstars – Everything Destroys You

It’s hard to believe that we had to wait over eight years but finally Swedish deathglam masters Deathstars make a glorious comeback unleashing pure energy and undiluted darkness throughout the new full-length “Everything Destroys You”.
“This Is” revolves around bombastic rhythmic patterns featuring a winning combo of gritty guitar riffs, industrial style electro layers and rich atmospheric textures ultimately leading to a super catchy chorus.
“Anti All” is surrounded by a cold atmospheric ensemble that highlights recurring somber tones and contemplative harmonies but the rhythmic section gradually picks up speed & strength to build some abrasive grooves.
The title track tends to follow a slower tempo skillfully blending gloomy multilayered synths and memorable rhythmic dynamics around Whiplasher Bernadotte’s baritone vocal delivery which also amplifies a sinister mood.
“Between Volumes and Voids” packs a punch with an overdose of relentless crunchy guitar riffs and the chorus is absolutely addictive embellished by delicate female backing vocals and refined atmospheric tapestries.
“The Infrahuman Masterpiece” begins with deeply melancholic melodies and often puts the spotlight on the fascinating atmospheric waves nevertheless guitars are always ready to craft plenty of robust grooves.
On “Angel of Fortune and Crime” the industrial flair becomes evident through the wicked heavier guitar work amplified by nightmarish vocals and enriched by an appealing mix of dramatic atmospheric arrangements and futuristic electronic accents.
In the end you won’t be able to resist the stomping rhythmic galore and the seductive gothic vibes of “Everything Destroys You” and even if it took a while Deathstars proudly manifest a wild creative force.

Overkill – Scorched

Thrash metal legends Overkill have been around for four decades and the release of the twentieth studio album “Scorched” clearly demonstrates that they are still unstoppable staying true to their legacy while expanding their sonic vision.
The title track stands out for the flamboyant guitars leading the way to a merciless rhythmic assault fueled by the monolithic drumming and obviously Bobby Blitz amplifies the savage old school thrash metal spirit with his signature screams.
Throughout “Goin’ Home” the charismatic guitar leads can maintain sorrowful melodic vibes nevertheless the abrasive riffage and the extra speed inevitably generate colossal thrash grooves.
The towering rhythmic section on “The Surgeon” unleashes sheer fury as the fast chunky guitar riffs demand constant headbanging and the solo adds some pleasant fancy licks.
Surrounded by a darkened aura “Twist Of The Wick” certainly highlights the musical prowess through the impeccable variegated guitar work shifting from scorching riffs to elegant slightly melodic leads enriched by solemn choirs
On “Wicked Place” the relentless guitars continue to build insanely energetic grooves and wicked leads around Bobby’s ravenous vocal performance ultimately leading to a sinister atmospheric grand finale.
“Fever” still packs plenty of classic thrash grooves to ensure a full blown moshpit yet the slower passages add a dramatic depth with contemplative atmospheric arrangements and nostalgic guitar phrases.
As the title aptly suggests on “Scorched” Overkill are literally ready to set everything on fire proudly delivering all the expected massive thrash grooves with the addition of tasteful melodic accents.

In Flames – Foregone

Swedish icons In Flames are ready to begin a new successful musical journey with the highly anticipated album “Foregone” which clearly represents the future of the band exploring wider modern metal territories without necessarily forgetting their glorious melodeath roots.
Listening to “State Of Slow Decay” you can perceive the massive heaviness of the earlier days as the monolithic rhythmic section goes on a savage rampage to create harsh dynamics enhanced by the insanely aggressive growls.
“Foregone Pt. 2” features recurring sorrowful arpeggios emphasizing the passionate clean vocals nevertheless guitars have the chance to acquire heavier tones generating powerful rhythmic blasts.
The mellow passages of “Pure Light Of Mind” highlight a sophisticated melodic composition as the crispy guitar phrases smoothly unravel around Anders Fridén’s impeccable vocal performance.
As the title suggests there is a darkened essence lingering through “In The Dark” relying on the strength of the fierce guitar riffs yet all the mighty grooves ultimately lead to a rather catchy chorus.
With a loud & groovy rhythmic core “A Dialogue in b Flat Minor” is meant to be played live and please a big crowd as guitars fully embrace a luminous modern sound especially evident in the radio friendly chorus.
“End The Transmission” closes the album returning to angered themes that demand vicious growls and unrestrained guitar riffs to build a generous dose of hostile rhythmic patterns reminiscent of an old school formula.
With the release of “Foregone” In Flames definitely appear in excellent shape working hard to perfect their distinct songwriting style combining memorable guitar driven grooves and elegant melodic motifs.

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.

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.

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.

Therion – Leviathan II

During their successful 35 years career Therion have developed a perfect blend of symphonic grandeur and mystifying gothic metal and now they reach another significant milestone with the release of “Leviathan II”.
“Litany Of The Fallen” has an evident epic flair as the solemn operatic choirs perfectly complement the sharp guitar riffs and the cinematic atmospheric arrangements.
“Alchemy Of The Soul” mainly focuses on deeply melancholic guitar melodies and the soulful violin enriched by the delicate vocals yet the rhythmic section can acquire heavier tones through the bold riffage.
“Lunar Coloured Fields” has a classical operetta flair with a dramatic vocal delivery and understated orchestral layers but at times the atmospheric ensemble can manifest a significantly darker essence.
The mood changes on “Lucifuge Rofocale” as the energetic guitar riffs become more dominant following a classic heavy metal inspiration amplified by the powerful male vocals while the choirs maintain a flawless symphonic approach.
“Hades And Elysium” embraces a mellow yet intricate composition as the refined orchestrations and the soothing melodic phrases unfold gently around the poignant vocal duets.
A mystical aura surrounds “Codex Gigas” which naturally shifts from enigmatic atmospheric layers to a harsh darkened rhythmic momentum easily emphasized by Thomas Vikström’s intense vocals.
With “Leviathan II” Therion choose to please their loyal acolytes staying true to their signature symphonic metal formula so you can expect opulent orchestrations, impeccable vocal performances and plenty of catchy heavy metal elements.

Behemoth – Opvs Contra Natvram

Polish extreme metal titans Behemoth make a majestic return with the sophisticated obscure realm of the twelfth studio album “Opvs Contra Natvram”.
You cannot escape the blasphemous force of “Malaria Vvlgata” as the relentless riffage and the hammering drums easily create an asphyxiating rhythmic rampage.
The mood changes a bit on “The Deathless Sun” as the guitar leads & charismatic solos acquire enigmatic tonalities generating quasi melodic moments emphasized by the triumphant chorus without sacrificing the inner blackened fury.
On “Ov My Herculean Exile” guitars focus on slower passages and the consequent decadent atmosphere naturally evokes tormented feelings further enhanced by the dramatic vocal delivery.
“Once Upon A Pale Horse” offers ominous melodic phrases highlighting the somber guitar work yet the precise drumming proudly delivers a fair dosage of memorable blackened grooves.
“Thy Becoming Eternal” stays true to a devilish black metal formula with unstoppable guitar riffs and extra speed but certainly benefits from the solemn choirs to convey a mysterious flair.
“Versvs Christvs” shows a contemplative and refined songwriting approach as the sheer beauty of classical piano accompanied by whispered vocals introduce a solid series of aggressive rhythmic patterns enriched by a savage guitar solo.
Over the course of three decades Behemoth bravely forged an uncompromising sonic vision that today continues to symbolize rebellion and individuality throughout the labyrinthine soundscapes of “Opvs Contra Natvram”.

The Halo Effect – Days Of The Lost

Featuring extraordinary musicians Gothenburg’s newest melo-death metal supergroup The Halo Effect proudly releases the highly anticipated debut album “Days Of The Lost”.
The golden days of melo-death metal are perfectly represented by the infectious riffage of “Shadowminds” which marks a memorable beginning combining an overdose of harsh guitar riffs, sweeping melodic phrases and modern atmospheric tapestries.
The title track picks up a faster energetic tempo enhanced by the hammering drum blasts and Mikael Stanne’s visceral growls while the crispy guitar leads and the excellent solo focus on a polished melodic essence.
During “Conditional” the slower moments clearly emphasize a gloomy mood through elegant guitar phrases but the precise rhythmic section certainly has the chance to provide proper death metal patterns.
“In Broken Trust” skillfully showcases an ideal balance between fiery guitar driven grooves and cathartic melodic passages within a refined atmospheric ensemble consequently the soulful clean vocals amplify a beloved Nordic melancholia.
The poetic strings intro of “Last Of Our Kind” swiftly leads to a quite aggressive rhythmic rampage highlighting the perfect combo of relentless riffage and gruesome growls featuring guest vocalist Matt Heafy of Trivium.
Staying true to an irresistible melo-death formula “The Most Alone” brings a contemplative closure with a captivating series of darkened melodic crescendos and soothing wintry guitar tonalities.
“Days Of The Lost” is bound to conquer all acolytes of the legendary Gothenburg melo-death scene with plenty of melodic hooks as The Halo Effect never fails to showcase true passion and brilliant musicianship.