Septicflesh – Infernus Sinfonica MMXIX

Greek symphonic death metal titans Septicflesh finally release the “Infernus Sinfonica MMXIX” show on Blu-ray DVD filmed in February 2019 during a sold out show at the Metropolitan Theater in Mexico City with over 100 musicians from the Symphonic Experience Orchestra, the Enharmonía Vocalis Choir, and the ‘National University of Mexico Children’s and Youth Choir’.

Septicflesh have chosen a stellar setlist for this memorable event in fact the flawless execution, the charismatic musicianship and the majestic production will satisfy the band’s faithful acolytes. “Portrait of a Headless Man”, “Martyr”, “Communion”, “Dogma of Prometheus” and “Anubis” clearly symbolize the irresistible blend of extreme metal and classical grandeur that certainly during this special live concert is further enhanced by the impeccable intricate orchestrations. 

Considering the solemn visionary creativity that Septicflesh have developed and perfected during all these years “Infernus Sinfonica MMXIX” feels like a natural evolution and an essential milestone in their career as the live orchestrations fully bring to life the compelling symphonic splendor that has always impressed the audience worldwide. 

Gaerea – Limbo

Portuguese post-black metal outfit Gaerea embarks on a cathartic journey channeling a primal blackened force and pure melancholia through the captivating soundscapes of the new full length “Limbo”. 

“To Ain” instantly manifests an overwhelming obscurity as guitars engage in fiery riffage and sophisticated progressions that can create fast & aggressive rhythmic patterns amplified by the desperate growls yet a melancholic allure will always emerge through the spellbinding melodic phrases and the dreamy atmospheric waves. 

The untamed blackened essence of “Glare” immediately generates majestic & utterly brutal rhythmic blasts fueled by the insane fast drumming yet within such chaotic instrumental ensemble guitars will also manage to add some vibrant melodic accents. 

“Conspiranoia” dwells within a misanthropic sonic realm as the gelid guitar melodies feel very dominant emphasizing a profound emotional turmoil through many bewitching progressions surrounded by a subtle arcane atmosphere while the cascading blackened riffs effortlessly lead to heavier ominous moments. 

The bleak soundscapes of “Mare” bring closure and highlight the role of the gorgeous mournful guitar melodies flourishing through a hazy atmosphere and creating mesmerizing crescendos but the primal blackened flair will always have a chance to gain intensity through the soaring rhythmic segments.  

As the title suggests “Limbo” feels like a distant world that lies in between darkness & light, reason & madness, as Gaerea confidently showcase a visionary blend of fiery blackened grooves and spiritual harmonies. 

Carach Angren – Franckensteina Strataemontanus

Dutch masters of horror Carach Angren have crafted the new creepy opus “Franckensteina Strataemontanus” inspired by Mary Shelly’s novel ‘Frankenstein’ manifesting a visionary blend of extreme metal and decadent symphonic tapestries. 

The horrific fairytale begins with the spooky soundscapes of “Scourged Ghoul Undead” which unravels an imposing mix of elaborate flamboyant symphonic arrangements and ravenous blackened rhythmic blasts fueled by an obscure force amplified by the devilish growls and the deadly march of the drums. 

The title track shines for the wild extremely intricate orchestrations that immediately create a catchy yet twisted sonic realm where frightful entities lurk in the dark as the nightmarish melodies become entwined with merciless rhythmic progressions enriched by the solemn narratives. 

“Sewn for Solitude” stands out for the neoclassical splendor as the lavish multilayered orchestrations showcase a magical creativity leading to a majestic atmospheric ensemble surrounding the heavier sinister rhythmic core. 

“Operation Compass” welcomes you to a ghastly world that belongs to monstrous blackened rhythmic progressions constantly embellished by the majestic theatrical arrangements blending grave classical tonalities and suspenseful atmospheric crescendos. 

“Der Vampir von Nürnberg” begins with scary playful vibes that continue to successfully emphasize the album’s horror motifs and while the blackened essence is still present the detailed orchestrations convey a fascinating classical grandeur that highlights the crucial role of the eerie melodic themes and the sublime atmospheric layers. 

The dramatic final track “Like a Conscious Parasite I Roam” offers an overdose of gorgeous classical melodies and stylish symphonic textures reminiscent of a baroque operetta that flourishes incessantly through the dark energy of the rhythmic patterns. 

It becomes quite evident that Carach Angren’s music vision is always intriguing due to the magnificent symphonic & classical keyboards arrangements that on “Franckensteina Strataemontanus” constantly enrich the heavy patterns and ultimately create the ideal soundtrack for a horror movie. 

Constellatia – The Language Of Limbs

South African post metal outfit Constellatia recently signed with Season Of Mist and the reissue of the debut album “The Language Of Limbs” now has the chance to attract a wider audience with darkly emotional soundscapes. 

“All Nights Belong To You” confidently follows a wistful instrumental pathway as the dreamy shoegaze atmosphere naturally embraces the crushing blackened rhythmic section and will reach the acme during the slower hazy passages embellished by angelic vocals. 

“In Acclamation” flows like a daydream as the ethereal atmospheric tapestries and the shimmering guitar melodies constantly evoke pure melancholia yet the rhythmic patterns can often evolve into fast & vicious blackened blasts before returning to a calmer contemplative ensemble. 

The eloquent melodic essence of “The Garden” emphasizes an intense sense of longing as guitars tend to focus on soft acoustic phrases, glowing progressions and compelling leads in contrast with the faster mournful rhythmic segments accompanied by desperate screams. 

Throughout “The Language Of Limbs” you will find a monumental blackened inspiration yet the opulent nostalgia infused melodies become the main focus as Constellatia never cease to express poignant feelings.  

…And Oceans – Cosmic World Mother

In the Scandinavian black metal scene …And Oceans are renowned for their compelling symphonic style and after seventeen years they are finally back with a revamped line-up including talented vocalist Mathias Lillmåns of Finntroll and an ex novo energy embodied by the new full length “Cosmic World Mother”. 

“The Dissolution Of Mind And Matter” marks a majestic beginning fully manifesting a bewitching darkened formula that revolves around the exquisite symphonic tapestries and the obscure guitar tonalities in fact the instrumental ensemble effortlessly shifts from unrestrained black metal dynamics to gelid melodic waves. 

The blackened assault of “Vigilance And Atrophy” is carefully built by sharp guitar riffs and thunderous drumming accompanied by fierce growls and enriched by the intricate epic arrangements that tend to enhance the dramatic depth and the presence of mournful melodies. 

“As The After Becomes The Before” begins with an opulent combo of refined atmospheric layers and melancholic guitar phrases that will maintain a shimmering melodic essence throughout the song even if the rhythmic ensemble will become darker & heavier with galloping riffage and ominous growls. 

The magical atmosphere of the title track introduces a blistering blackened rhythmic rampage certainly amplified by the ravenous screams so darkness continues to prevail through the icy melodic accents of the guitar work while the kaleidoscopic keyboards increase the sonic diversity with artsy electronic textures. 

“Helminthiasis” opens with aptly cosmic atmospheric waves that evoke somber feelings and adorn the bleak soundscape while the precise rhythmic section is always ready to unleash blackened grooves with an overload of scorching guitar riffs. 

The darkly enchanting atmospheric arrangements of the grandiose final track “The Flickering Lights” guide you through a lavish melancholic realm that focuses mainly on the fascinating melodic guitar work and the consequent grim emotions flourishing through the monumental rhythmic crescendos.  

Despite the long hiatus …And Oceans are destined to garner attention with the darkly alluring songwriting and the arcane atmospheres of the brand new effort “Cosmic World Mother” which feels like the perfect way to celebrate their comeback. 

Barishi – Old Smoke

Progressive sludge metal band Barishi aims to make a strong impact in the current underground metal scene creating complex darkened soundscapes on the sophomore full length “Old Smoke”. 

“The Silent Circle” depicts a murky sonic realm where the mighty weight of the guitar riffs and the chunky bass lines naturally lead to crushing rhythmic dynamics certainly amplified by the cavernous growls yet within the dense darkness there is also space for contemplative melodic progressions evoking grim feelings. 

The strength of “The Longhunter” can be found within the heavy rhythmic maze channeling the darkest aspects of sludge metal and the eclectic guitar progressions evolve into a wild soloing adding interesting style variations. 

Through the hazy atmosphere of “Entombed In Gold Forever” the guitar work can acquire massive ominous tonalities shifting from crunchy riffage to monolithic progressions that emphasize the doom metal roots while the excellent solo provides some charismatic prog oriented twists. 

On the title track there is a dramatic change of pace as the band focuses on a vibrant melodic ensemble evoking an ancestral connection with nature with deeply melancholic guitar phrases emphasized by a comforting clean vocal delivery and a laid back rhythmic section yet occasionally the significantly heavier guitar riffs will generate colossal grooves. 

“Old Smoke” immediately stands out for the elaborate composition and the ambitious music vision as Barishi clearly works hard to develop a personal sonic identity inspired by a wide range of diverse styles. 

Helfró – Helfró

Black metal duo Helfró arises from the burgeoning Icelandic black metal scene to conjure the coldest and darkest soundscapes on the eponymous debut full length.  

“Afeitrun” brings a shroud of frost as the ominous guitar riffs lead the way to an asphyxiating blackened assault amplified by the malevolent energy of the vocals yet you can almost perceive a mournful melodic flair running through the cascading guitar progressions. 

“Ávöxtur af rotnu tré” relies on unstoppable precise rhythmic patterns proudly favoring the ferocious temper of classic black metal until the theatrical vocal delivery announces a solemn atmospheric momentum reminiscing of an arcane ritual. . 

In the beginning “Þegn hinna stundlegu harma” channels an overwhelming fury with merciless drum blasts and monochromatic tremolo picking yet the resulting frantic sonic realm will eventually slow down a bit to highlight the lugubrious quasi melodic guitars and the eerie atmospheric aura. 

“Hin forboðna alsæla” still dwells in a world of menacing obscurity fueled by the inflamed blackened approach but guitars can skillfully add diversity crafting refined gloomy melodies enriched by the fascinating dramatic vocal delivery.  

On “Katrín” the visceral black metal roots continue to unleash diabolical growls and venomous guitar riffs yet at times the chaotic speed is slightly reduced to enhance the crucial role of the melodic twists and the imposing atmospheric textures. 

The endless arctic darkness is the leitmotif chosen by Helfró and in fact this first album constantly revolves around gelid tonalities and monumental dynamics that generate massive obscure soundscapes. 

Abysmal Dawn – Phylogenesis

The rebirth of death metal masters Abysmal Dawn is embodied by the new menacing full length “Phylogenesis” which promises a cohesive blend of technical musicianship and brutal guitar driven grooves.

“Mundane Existence” clearly retains an aggressive old school death metal approach as the absolutely merciless rhythmic section seems unstoppable but the guitar leads manage to add variety with fiery shredding and prowess. 

“The Path Of The Totalitarian” certainly doesn’t slow down in fact the frantic tempo dictates precise drum blasts and abrasive guitar riffs accompanied by cavernous growls while the elaborate tasteful soloing can bring some mournful melodic accents. 

“Hedonistic” begins with sharp progressions that soon evolve into a straightforward series of violent death metal dynamics and the technical features are definitely amplified by the eclectic lead guitar work.  

Throughout “The Lament Configuration” guitars can channel cold tonalities and an enjoyable  subtle melodic temper especially evident during the excellent solo while the savage rhythmic segments still pay homage to a timeless death metal legacy. 

Undoubtedly covering legendary Death’s “Flattening Of Emotions” is a great choice and the whole band is up to the task delivering fierce technical progressions with an authentic death metal approach. 

The guitar work certainly tends to stand out and keep everything more interesting throughout “Phylogenesis” and in the end it’s evident that Abysmal Dawn are beginning a new chapter with the right enthusiasm. 

Omega Infinity – Solar Spectre

Multiinstrumentalist Tentakel P. of Todtgelichter and vocalist Xenoyr of Ne Obliviscaris joined forces to create the new obscure music project Omega Infinity and the debut release “Solar Spectre” seems to be fueled by an intense cosmic energy. 

Since the very beginning “Mars” delivers a relentless blackened rhythmic assault with belligerent riffage and drumming accompanied by cavernous growls so such harsh ensemble might leave you shattered while the experimental approach provides a mix of frenetic industrial vibes and suspenseful atmospheric layers.  

On “Jupiter” the rhythmic section often amplifies a menacing industrial mood and while the resulting breathless patterns enhance the hostile tonalities of the guitar work the rich ambient layers convey an overwhelming galactic darkness. 

“Neptune” focuses mainly on a multilayered ambient composition and ethereal vocals to create contemplative cinematic soundscapes while the gelid tones of the gritty rhythmic momentum still evoke dismal emotions.

Everything gets darker as “Saturn” returns to a quite chaotic pathway featuring some dominant post apocalyptic industrial motifs that enrich the ominous energy of the tumultuous rhythm and the ferocious growls. 

The blackened rhythmic blasts on “Terra” just seem unstoppable leading to a quite oppressive mood with an overload of frantic guitar riffs yet some moody quasi melodic guitar progressions manage to tone down these aggressive dynamics. 

Omega Infinity define their music style as ‘void metal’ but certainly the extra heavy segments of “Solar Spectre” showcase a strong black metal inspiration naturally surrounded by a dark ambient aura generating an enigmatic sonic realm. 

Hyborian – Volume II

Kansas City sludge rockers Hyborian continue to tell the story of the fictional character ‘The Traveller’ who survives the end of the world on the sophomore album “Volume II”.

“Driven By Hunger” immediately hits you in the face with a massive series of guitar driven grooves full of monolithic riffs that showcase an untamed heavy sludge approach while the soloing manages to channel slightly melodic somber vibes. 

“Sanctuary” continues to unleash serious grooves as guitars lead the way with a generous dosage of harsh riffage mixed with some appealing proggy leads well supported by a powerful rhythmic section and a bold vocal delivery.  

“The Entity” is another charismatic track that relies on the gritty strength of the guitar riffs to build constant pummeling rhythmic dynamics but also showcases a darkened mood emphasized by the dismal tonalities of the intriguing solo. 

“Expanse” sounds rather aggressive as ravenous screams highlight the belligerent aspects of the rhythmic rampage yet there are some calmer prog oriented variations that add glowing refined melodies. 

The grand finale is embodied by the complexity of “In The Hall Of The Travellers” which can maintain an unstoppable rhythmic march and guitars tend to amplify the prog metal influences delivering memorable inflamed leads that will ultimately give way to contemplative melodies and futuristic atmospheres. 

Undoubtedly “Volume II” has all the raw energy of sludge embedded in every guitar riff and you can easily appreciate how Hyborian are gradually and confidently developing a personal music vision.