This is a hefty and ambitious experimental doom release. It has a basis in metal, but frequently incorporates non-metal elements into the music, to great effect. Continue reading
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
How to describe this? It’s not easy. Well, I think I’ll just sidestep the entire issue and call it a metal album and be done with it. Then I’ll run away and hide. So, ‘metal’ loosely covers it in a general sense, I suppose, but what an injustice a simple genre tag can be.
This is an album that’s as insane as the album cover. Continue reading
With instruments such as Cello, Viola, Harp, Machete, Acoustic Guitar and Bajo Quinto, this is not your average release.
Dismballerina play a sort of chamber/classical music combination, that may not Continue reading
This is an ambitious album, containing just over an hour of Progressive, sci-fi-themed Metal that incorporates elements of Power Metal and a slightly more aggressive, heavier Modern/Thrash Metal influence into its Progressive Framework.
As befits the subject matter, this is a very keyboard-heavy release, with both Classical tinges and Electronica coming into play. In many ways the keyboards are the stars of the show; they’re never too far from the action and are an essential part of it, as opposed to being an additionality that could be done without.
The songs are well-written and draw the listener into the vivid world that the band create. Simulacrum certainly know how to play and there are more than enough leads and solos to keep the guitar-fanatics happy.
The singer has a decent voice and his delivery suits the ostentatious nature of the music. Good harmonies and melodies are used and combined with the music it results in the majority of these songs being quite memorable and catchy.
A strong recording allows the band to develop an immersive atmosphere that they manage to keep up for the full playing time. While the keyboards do the most to promote the sci-fi elements of the music, (alongside the vocals/lyrics, of course), it’s the guitars and drums that lend the sound such a modern edge.
Simulacrum are to be commended on this album. They’ve managed to straddle a few different styles within their concept, and it all fits together and works wonderfully.
Well, I have very much enjoyed this. Highly recommended.
This is Symphonic Black Metal that has a strong orchestral component and Classical influences. It has a cinematic feel to it in places and the band do everything they can to foster a real sense of immersion in the soundscapes that they create.
It’s easy to throw words such as majesty, grandeur and epic at Diabolus Arcanium, and all of those words are indeed fitting descriptors for their take on Black Metal. This is larger-than-life music that won’t be to everyone’s taste for that reason alone.
Symphonic Black Metal always takes me back to the mid/late 90s, it just can’t be helped. A lot of people seem to turn their noses up at the more orchestral/symphonic side of things that some Black Metal bands embrace, and to me this is a real shame. Also, with everyone seemingly concentrating on being as evil, cvlt and grim as possible these days, it’s actually relatively rare to find a band who play this style, especially when they play it well like on Path of Ascension.
The singer’s Black Metal shriek is akin to a snarling beast and he takes a traditional approach to his performance, once again reminding me of 90s Black Metal.
The orchestral sounds are varied and clever enough to never become boring, unnecessary or too overbearing. They’re written with just the right balance in mind and enhance the core of the songs while at the same time being essential to their existence. Some keyboard-enhanced bands sound like the Symphonic aspect of their music is simply tacked on as an afterthought, whereas on Path of Ascension it sounds integral and complete.
One of the main reasons it sounds so good, apart from the writing and arrangement, is it actually sounds like a full orchestra playing, rather than just some guy with a keyboard. The fact that it actually is just a guy with a keyboard is quite shocking, that’s how well-done this is.
Ultimately, this is still Black Metal, so there’s a darkened, Blackened core to the band and they keep an aggressive bite to things, even with the omnipresent orchestration. The songs walk a fine line between Blackened barbarity and Classical magnificence.
Diabolus Arcanium have produced an impressive album that’s an engaging and enjoyable listen. The songs hold the attention and ultimately they make you just want to bounce along to them, blast beats or not. And who can say fairer than that?
If you think of bands such as Nile, Behemoth, Melechesh and Septic Flesh you’ll be on the right lines. This is aggressive, atmospheric and dark Death Metal that’s further enhanced by choirs, orchestration and operatic vocals.
The core of the band is fast and brutal, with deep growls and blast beats leading the way. This is tempered by the atmospheric side of the band, which reins in the brutality, (or tries to), so that the band’s grander and more cinematic side can come to the fore.
The technical brutality of the band blurs by as they indulge their atmospheric side and the two taken together merge into something really special. They may not be the first band to play this style but they sound like they’re doing it on steroids. While some Death Metal bands dabble in their Classical components, here they’ve been taken to the nth degree. It’s as if Therion had created reinterpretations of Nile songs and then asked Behemoth to perform them.
These are songs that have real presence to them. It’s undeniable. There are so many stand-out moments on this album that it’s hard to credit. The lightning-speed playing combined with the exotic melodies and the orchestral bombast…it’s a heady mixture and Supernova is nothing if not ambitious.
A lot of hard work has clearly gone into writing and recording these songs and it’s all paid off handsomely. This is an album that feels like a tour of a strange new land, one that’s ripe with danger but worth exploring nonetheless.
Very impressive and very, very good. Make this a high priority listen.
This is a tortuous combination of Doom, Noise, Industrial, Ambient and Classical that somehow ends up pulling you into its embrace before you even really know what’s going on. I’m not a huge fan of Noise and a lot of Ambient leaves me cold, usually because there’s nothing to draw you in. Litost is different.
Here we have elements of Noise and Ambient but they’re joined by the usually far more spirited Classical style. Orchestral sounds and emotive synths provide these minimalistic elements with a vibrancy, albeit a dark, malevolent one.
On top of this we have the Industrial aspect to their sound, and, of course, the Doom. This is not a guitar-oriented project though. It’s there, but used just as one instrument of many. Guest musicians aplenty feature on this release, providing everything from vocals, to mellotron, to taishgoto.
Vocals are few and far between. When they appear they’re quite varied and performed by multiple singers across the album. They’re usually quite low-key and are frequently employed as just another method of delivery; another instrument in this disturbing symphony.
This album is surprisingly emotive and engaging. The layers of synths and orchestral sounds work perfectly with the harsher Industrial base to fashion songs that work their way into your subconscious like hooks into flesh.
There’s a Gothic element to this music, but it’s one that has been killed and buried so that its influence is felt through the remainder of the thing that’s growing in its place. Almost as if the remains of a Gothic ancestry were feeding the music we hear here, so that the influence seeps into the cellos and Industrial sounds almost without anyone noticing at first.
If you’re into music that fuses the Industrial and the emotive with a dark atmosphere then this is definitely one to track down. Whether you’re a fan of Ævangelist, Axis of Perdition, Cloak of Altering, Ulver or Indian, Litost has something to offer you.
A very impressive release; I wasn’t expecting something to merge darkness and light so completely. Litost is a thing of grim beauty.
But not this time; normally Astral Winter is Melodic Black Metal, but for this album things have taken an ambient turn and this release is all about dark soundscapes and sombre melancholy.
These tracks are mournful, droning, slow and relaxed. Light guitars, effects, keyboards, piano, strings and all manner of other instruments and sounds make appearances on this impressive album.
The songs presented here are wonderfully emotive and filled with feelings of darkness and hope intermingled. This is not a miserable album, this is one of darkened allure and ambitious scope.
Although this is an album of 8 tracks it could just as easily have been one long song as the tracks flow into each other and the entire album is a night-time journey into the mysterious and sublime.
Normally when bands take left-tuns like this it’s usually a misstep, but this is the work of a talented musician. This is a quality release by someone who knows what Neo-Classical should sound like and how it must progress and remain interesting to not bore the listener.
The sky at night has been shaped into an album of reflective beauty.