Haavard – Haavard

Under the banner of Haavard Norwegian guitarist and vocalist Håvard Jørgensen draws inspiration from his native land’s folklore to craft the enchanting eponymous acoustic album.
“Printemps” certainly embodies the whole album’s poetic spirit as the rich acoustic guitars create an irresistible melodic flow and magical folk rhythmic dynamics.
“Heartwood” offers minimalist heart wrenching acoustic harmonies while the viola and the atmospheric arrangements bring darker ancestral tonalities.
“Snøhetta” captures the haunting essence of dark folk through the mournful guitar sound floating through a mystifying atmospheric ensemble.
Following a faster tempo “Eastwood” takes you to a pristine wintry landscape and the violin adds a graceful classical flair to the eerie atmosphere.
“Niende Mars” relies on an elegant blend of soothing strings and flawless contemplative arpeggios that gradually create a dramatic atmospheric crescendo.
Featuring a passionate vocal performance by Kristoffer “Garm” Rygg of legendary Ulver “Mot Soleglad” instantly captivates the listeners with the melodic gloom and the cold tones of the intricate guitar work.
On “Athena” the spellbinding violin and cello movements perfectly complement and amplify the crestfallen acoustic phrases.
As an ideal winter soundtrack “Haavard” constantly conveys a profound Nordic melancholia through the detailed atmospheric tapestries and the soulful acoustic passages which definitely showcase an elaborate songwriting style.

Disillusion – Ayam

German avant-garde pioneers Disillusion embrace a fascinating sonic evolution reflecting on existential questions on the latest eclectic record “Ayam”.
The monolithic opus “Am Abgrund” showcases a complex composition putting the spotlight on the brilliant guitar work shifting from deeply melancholic melodies enhanced by the soulful vocals and the elegant atmospheric tapestries to absolutely fiery rhythmic patterns that can easily grab your attention and express contrasting emotions.
Surrounded by multi-layered hazy atmospheric textures “Tormento” shifts the focus on the speed & fury of the perfect combo of hammering drums and vitriolic guitar riffs ultimately leading to a wild proggy solo.
“Abide The Storm” can effortlessly deliver some harsh rhythmic blasts while the mellow passages featuring wistful guitar melodies and a gentle vocal delivery evoke pure poetry reaching the acme with a charismatic solo.
The magical atmosphere and the compelling melodies of “From The Embers” can take you far away once again emphasizing an emotional approach while guitars certainly have the force to create sophisticated leads and inflamed riffage.
“The Brook” marks a gloomy album closure as the passionate vocals flow gracefully through a delicate atmospheric ensemble while the darkened guitar tonalities and the enchanting piano naturally generate gripping melodic crescendos.
The multi-dimensional sonic realm of “Ayam” can always surprise you as Disillusion skillfully blend opulent cinematic soundscapes, enchanting melodies and aggressive death metal elements to create a memorable work of music.

Venus Principle – Stand in Your Light

Featuring former members of Crippled Black Phoenix and active/former members of At The Gates, Ison, Tacoma Narrows Bridge Disaster and Louise Lemon, British/Swedish psychedelic/progressive rock collective Venus Principle is ready to impress the audience with the spellbinding soundscapes of the debut album “Stand In Your Light”.
Within the dreamy atmosphere of “Rebel Drones” darkly soothing guitar melodies follow a contemplative pathway and eventually acquire fuzzy undertones to build enticing rhythmic crescendos accompanied by an evocative vocal duet.
The intricate melodic ensemble of “Barricades” puts the spotlight on the warm guitar leads and Daniel Änghede’s emotional vocal delivery while the solid rhythmic section has a chance to embrace a hypnotizing psychedelic approach.
“All These Words” naturally combines hazy atmospheric textures and eloquent guitar phrases which emphasize the catchy prog rock elements and the glowing vocal performance can easily channel bittersweet emotions.
“Shut It Down” shines for the immersive melodic tapestries and the ethereal atmospheric arrangements conveying pure melancholia while Daisy Chapman’s delicate voice easily enhances the memorable chorus.
Surrounded by a blurry atmosphere “Drag Nets” continues to manifest a moody melodic soul through graceful vocals while guitars can craft heavier & darker rock dynamics embellished by the elegant saxophone.
The poignant title track favors a slower and softer tempo to highlight the delightful vocal performance flowing gently through a multilayered atmospheric daydream.
Considering the talented artists behind Venus Principle it’s easy to appreciate the detailed composition that generates truly captivating melodic waves throughout “Stand In Your Light” which is destined to instantly grab your attention.

Darkher – The Buried Storm

English doom folk outfit Darkher fully embraces an evocative cinematic approach to create the immersive soundscapes of the sophomore full-length “The Buried Storm”.
On the eerie album opener “Sirens Nocturne” Jayn Malven’s otherworldly voice guides you through a dense atmospheric maze embellished by the stark beauty of the classical violin phrases.
Through the desolate world of “Lowly Weep” the ethereal atmosphere will morph into heavier doom laden rhythmic crescendos fueled by the mysterious distorted guitars and the monolithic drumming.
Like a hypnotizing dirge or a dark lullaby “Love’s Sudden Death” focuses on the lugubrious guitar tonalities and the heavy weight of doom metal influences to create monochromatic progressions adorned by the soft vocals that evoke a decadent romanticism.
“Immortals” constantly conveys immense melancholia through the mesmerizing vocal performance and the poignant arpeggios floating gracefully within a dreamy atmosphere ultimately leading to spellbinding rhythmic patterns revolving around a vibrant blend of impeccable strings and moody guitar harmonies.
The dramatic depth of “Fear Not, My King” becomes palpable as a dreary atmospheric ensemble surrounds the crestfallen cello tones and the delicate vocals while the gelid guitar progressions certainly increase the inner sinister vibes.
As Darkher delve deeper into a kaleidoscopic sonic realm where darkness and light become inevitably entangled “The Buried Storm” has the power to hypnotize you instantly and touch your soul.

E-L-R – Vexier

Swiss doomgaze trio E-L-R channels pure cosmic energy to meticulously craft dreamy soundscapes throughout the sophomore album “Vexier”.
“Opiate The Sun” will inevitably hypnotize you through a mysterious atmosphere that seamlessly evolves into an immersive rhythmic ensemble fueled by the exquisite darkened guitar tonalities and the forlorn melodic accents.
On “Three Winds” the rhythmic section reveals an obscure blackened inspiration following a faster tempo and emphasizing the dominant role of the abrasive guitar riffs while the distant chanting and the gloomy melodic progressions add a captivating mystical flair.
Throughout “Fleurs Of Decay” the mood shifts from a harsh momentum to contemplative passages as guitars skillfully create a monochromatic rhythmic maze and the consequent loop of darkened hazy progressions could induce a trance state.
Emerging from a distant dimension “Forêt” embraces ritualistic vibes through the arcane percussion while the lysergic guitar work evokes mesmerizing shoegaze influence but also a strong primordial doom force ultimately leading to monolithic patterns that will morph into an otherworldly atmospheric finale.
“Vexier” symbolizes an adventurous voyage as E-L-R confidently combine enigmatic psychedelic nuances and surreal darkened atmospheric textures to instantly spellbind the listeners.

Eight Bells – Legacy Of Ruin

Experimental blackened doom band Eight Bells begins a musical and emotional exploration through the hypnotizing soundscapes of the ambitious third record “Legacy Of Ruin”.
Surrounded by a murky atmosphere “Destroyer” opens the album with haunting vocal harmonies and wistful arpeggios that will soon evolve into a heavier rhythmic ensemble showcasing an inflamed blackened flair fueled by visceral guitar riffs and mournful tonalities.
An immense melancholia lingers through “The Well” as the enticing melodic blend of gloomy guitars, dreamy piano accents and elegant violin reveal an intense emotional depth yet ominous black metal influences will occasionally take over generating aggressive rhythmic blasts.
On “Nadir” the monochromatic vocals enhance a spiritual essence and you can even perceive a pale sense of hopefulness as the soft melodic progressions and the poignant darkened guitar tonalities ultimately lead to cathartic rhythmic crescendos.
“Premonition” marks a grand finale highlighting an arcane energy and an elaborate composition which combines ghastly doom melodies and harsh blackened rhythmic patterns featuring relentless tremolo and tormented growls.
Eight Bells confidently follow a multifaceted enigmatic sonic pathway that can easily grab your attention, shifting from evocative melodies to obscure dynamics within the darkened realm of “Legacy Of Ruin”.

Arð – Take Up My Bones

Founded by multi-instrumentalist Mark Deeks, known for his work with black metal stalwarts Winterfylleth, the new monastic doom metal project Arð manifests an epic sonic vision on the debut release “Take Up My Bones” conceptually inspired by the legendary relics of the famous Northumbrian saint Cuthbert and their long journey.
“Burden Foretold” combines solemn chanting and the heavy weight of traditional doom metal while the slower passages can instantly captivate the listeners with the stark beauty of enchanting cello melodies within a brooding atmospheric ensemble.
Following a slow mournful tempo the title track creates an enigmatic mood with theatrical chants and lugubrious guitar tonalities that naturally lead to crestfallen melodic crescendos embellished by the delicate piano.
Surrounded by an arcane atmosphere “Raise then the Incorrupt Body” unfolds a fragile melodic essence through compelling acoustic phrases, graceful keyboards arrangements and a soft vocal delivery enriched by the immense nostalgia of the guitar leads and the cello.
On “Only Three Shall Know ” evocative monastic chants introduce a majestic darkened sonic realm where a meticulous mixture of sublime classical accents and funereal doom laden guitar riffs create a striking dramatic depth.
Throughout “Take Up My Bones” Arð embrace a detailed composition to tell intriguing stories and myths of their native land blending a harrowing doom metal force and alluring melodic tapestries.

Dold Vorde Ens Navn – Mørkere

Emerging from the darkest depths, Norwegian black metal collective Dold Vorde Ens Navn confidently follow an ominous pathway to craft the debut full length “Mørkere”.
“Jeg vil ha det mørkere” has the power to drag you to the abyss as the aggressive combo of relentless riffage and pummeling drums inevitably create an obscure rhythmic maze without sacrificing a memorable groovy momentum.
Following a mid-paced tempo “Løgnens abstinenser” still relies on a raw blackened force certainly amplified by the raspy growls while the sombre melodic guitar work accompanied by theatrical chants immediately evoke an ancient Nordic spirit.
The beginning and the grand finale of “Ensomhetens rytter” feature the sheer beauty of melancholic elegant strings while the rest of the song unleashes a full blown blackened rhythmic assault following the faster monumental drumming.
“Er det måneskinn” showcases an opulent composition as the dramatic orchestrations and the haunting melodic tapestries become the main focus and guitars skillfully deliver crestfallen progressions.
“Syke hjerter” brings closure with a sophisticated melodic approach as eerie guitar phrases and wistful arpeggios ultimately create a gelid sonic realm consequently the histrionic vocal performance shifts from vicious growls to solemn chanting.
Consisting of veterans of the renowned black metal scene Dold Vorde Ens Navn stay true to their Norwegian heritage unleashing ferocious rhythmic dynamics yet never refrain from exploring emotive themes through the darkly alluring soundscapes of “Mørkere”.

Negură Bunget – Zău

Romanian black metal pioneers Negură Bunget pay homage to the legacy of drummer and mastermind Gabriel “Negru” Mafa releasing the final album “Zău” which rightfully symbolizes a labour of devotion and the culmination of a mesmerizing sonic vision.
“Brad” instantly feels like a mystical journey as the traditional instruments and the cinematic keyboards layers craft an eerie atmospheric grandeur ultimately leading to an impeccable blend of harsh rhythmic patterns and somber melodic guitar progressions while the finale conveys a pale peacefulness featuring ethereal female vocals and dreamy harmonies.
The enchanting flutes of “Iarba Fiarelor” take you far away to a forgotten misty forest and the soothing atmospheric waves gradually evolve into a darker sonic realm as the untamed guitar riffs and the ravenous growls channel a primordial blackened force.
On “Obrăzar” the lush atmospheric arrangements evoke the stark beauty of Transylvanian landscapes and continue to enrich the inflamed rhythmic ensemble fueled by the aggressive drumming and the ominous guitar tonalities.
Within the transcendental atmosphere of “Tinerețe Fără Bătrânețe” the frantic rhythmic section unleashes faster obscure patterns while the slower intricate guitar progressions evoke grim feelings amplified by a theatrical vocal delivery.
“Toacă Din Cer” begins with hypnotizing tribal percussion and unfolds like an arcane legend through the darkened allure of the guitar work effortlessly shifting from savage riffs to grave phrases while the traditional instruments create a cathartic finale.
As Negură Bunget carefully crafts the final chapter of the majestic “Transylvanian Trilogy” and a memorable tribute to Gabriel “Negru” Mafa the listeners will inevitably feel compelled to join the spiritual voyage perfectly embodied by “Zău”.

Kayo Dot – Moss Grew On The Swords And Plowshares Alike

Founded by mastermind multi-instrumentalist Toby Driver, Kayo Dot bravely continue to push boundaries and their enigmatic songwriting approach embraces heavier & darker tonalities on the latest full-length “Moss Grew On The Swords And Plowshares Alike”.
Surrounded by a mystifying atmosphere “Brethren Of The Cross” manifests a burgeoning creativity mixing twisted rhythmic segments fueled by crunchy guitar riffs and shimmering melodic phrases, consequently the vocal delivery channels contrasting feelings shifting from soothing harmonies to vicious screams.
The glowing melodic passages on “Void In Virgo (The Nature Of Sacrifice)” simply feel like a beautiful fading daydream as the shoegaze flair of the deeply melancholic tonalities and the understated atmospheric waves surround a particularly heartfelt vocal performance.
“Get Out Of The Tower” puts the spotlight on the charismatic lead guitar work as the resulting wild licks flow through a rather chaotic rhythmic maze enhanced by the monolithic nature of the bold bass lines and the raw emotions of the tormented vocals.
The obscure atmospheric layers of “The Necklace” convey a dystopian vision amplified by the steady pummeling drums and the desperate screams yet the dreamy essence of the smooth arpeggios can evoke a pale sense of peacefulness.
With a fascinating avant-garde vision Kayo Dot takes you far away from a dreadful reality as the shapeshifting soundscapes and the surreal atmospheric ensemble of “Moss Grew On The Swords And Plowshares Alike” seem to belong to a parallel universe.