LÜÜP – Canticles of the Holy Scythe (Review)

LÜÜPLÜÜP is a, (deep breath), Greek one man experimental avant-garde blackened classical band, (phew), and this is his third album.

Canticles of the Holy Scythe features 37 minutes of music that consists of a black metal undercoat, which has then been fully fleshed out and painted with colours from folk, progressive, avant-garde, ambient, and classical music. Continue reading

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Suns of Sorath – Flowers of the Lily (Review)

Suns of SorathThis is the debut album from Suns of Sorath, a progressive black/death metal band from the US.

Flowers of the Lily boasts a lot of complex, technical playing. This has been structured into progressive music with black/death leanings, and peppered with avant-garde, classical, and jazz influences. Continue reading

The Thirteenth Sun – Stardust (Review)

The Thirteenth SunThis is the debut album from Romanian progressive metal band The Thirteenth Sun.

This is a mix of the progressive versions of both metal and rock, one that manages to do justice to both.

The album has a professional, well-rounded production that shows off the band’s skills. Theirs is a strong, full-bodied sound that allows them the freedom to make the most of their music.

Continue reading

Locust Leaves – A Subtler Kind of Light (Review)

Locust LeavesLocust Leaves are a Greek avant-garde/progressive black metal band and this is their debut album.

This is black metal that embraces classic, thrash and progressive metal in its search for a perfect form of artistic expression. Continue reading

Créatures – Le Noir Village (Review)

CréaturesCréatures is an avant-garde/experimental black metal one-man project from France and this is his debut album.

The vocals on this release are quite varied, shifting and morphing in line with the demands of the music. Apparently multiple guest vocalists contribute to the tracks, each having a different part to play in the narrative.

Sometimes we get a voice that’s full of commanding authority and blackened malice, sometimes even Continue reading

Laster – Ons Vrije Fatum (Review)

LasterLaster are a black metal band from the Netherlands and this is their second album.

We’ve met Laster before, both on their debut album De Verste Verte Is Hier and on their split with Wederganger. Both times they’ve impressed with their atmospheric black metal, and this continues with their newest release. Continue reading

Todtgelichter – Rooms (Review)

TodtgelichterThis is the fifth album from Todtgelichter, who play progressive/avant-garde black metal.

Rooms comes across as a combination of Enslaved and Madder Mortem, with a side-order of some of Arcturus‘ work. The resultant mix reminds of a post-black metal version of Obscure Sphinx. Which, considering who good Obscure Sphinx are, is an exciting proposition.

The music generally fuses elements of Continue reading

Sulphur – Omens of Doom (Review)

SulphurThis is the third album from Norwegian black metallers Sulphur.

Here we have an interesting release that combines a few different things into one. Omens of Doom is black metal that adds progressive, sometimes quirky, layers onto the razor-sharp modern style that it employs. Some elements of death metal and the avant-garde get a look in too, all incorporated into the comprehensive song structures.

Continue reading

Winterhorde – Maestro (Review)

WinterhordeThis is the third album from Israeli melodic/progressive Black Metallers Winterhorde.

Winterhorde use melodic Black Metal as a base to launch their epic brand of music from. On this base, they build firm structures of progressive Metal and symphonic/orchestral enhancements, all of which work together to produce Maestro, an Extreme Metal extravaganza.

If you combine elements of Black Metal with bands like Dimmu Borgir, Borknagar, Vintersorg, Arcturus and Nevermore, you’ll have a good idea of where Winterhorde are coming from. Continue reading

Pogavranjen – Jedva Čekam Da Nikad Ne Umrem (Review)

PogavranjenPogavranjen are a Croatian avant-garde Post-Black Metal band and this is their third album.

Pogavranjen are one of many Post-Black Metal bands who are not content with the base genre and are intent on pushing boundaries and experimenting with the genre to help them get to the sound they want. In this case, this means twisting the core style in avant-garde, progressive, jazz and psychedelic ways, mutating it into the end result on Jedva Čekam Da Nikad Ne Umrem.

In addition to the standard instruments, the band use keyboards, synths, trumpets and trombones to achieve their vision. All of these are well-played and the musicians clearly know what they’re doing, whether it’s playing more straightforward parts, more involved, jazz-inspired free-form chaos, or building atmosphere with grim intent.

Coming across as a curious mix of Ephel Duath, Arcturus, Manes and Solefald, the band spend 45 minutes building up intricate and textured soundscapes, taking the listener on a compelling journey into the abyss.

The vocals mainly consist of well-performed cleans that are full of presence and an authoritarian charisma. They immediately catch the attention and provide a focal point while the music travels down multiple paths of darkened delights.

Jedva Čekam Da Nikad Ne Umrem is a real slow-burner of an album, requiring multiple listens to truly give up its secrets, and even then it keeps some back, jealous of its esoteric knowledge. It’s worth the effort though, as Pogavranjen’s avant-garde stylings are definitely on the right-side of quirky and this album is full of impressive sounds and moods.

Recommended.