Neverending Winter – Хиус (Review)

Neverending WinterThis is the second album from Neverending Winter, a Russian black metal band.

Here we have 27 minutes of interesting black metal, with punk, progressive, and folk elements mixed in. Continue reading

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Divine Element – Thaurachs of Borsu (Review)

Divine ElementDivine Element are an international black/death metal band. This is their second album.

This is quite a varied release that essentially boils down to about 40 minutes of epic extreme metal.

The music takes Continue reading

Falls of Rauros – Vigilance Perennial (Review)

Falls of RaurosThis is the fourth album from Falls of Rauros, a black metal band from the US.

Falls of Rauros are a band that I know can always be relied upon to deliver. Across their various releases they have produced a wealth of atmospheric and engaging folk-influenced black metal that has never failed to impress and satisfy me. The same can be said of Vigilance Perennial in this regard too. Continue reading

Rudra – Enemy of Duality (Review)

RudraRudra are a blackened extreme metal band from Singapore. This is their eighth album.

Despite being around for a very long time at this point, and despite having first heard of them an almost equally long time ago, this is my first actual encounter with Rudra and their so-called Vedic metal. Continue reading

Drevorod – I Swear to Return Here (Review)

DrevorodDrevorod are an atmospheric black metal band from Russia and this is their debut album.

This is atmospheric black metal with folk influences. It’s well-played and manages to balance the atmospheric/folk sides of the music well, so that the band have an obvious character to their music without it coming across as twee. Continue reading

Thy Worshiper – Klechdy (Review)

Thy WorsiperThis is the fourth album from this black/Pagan/folk metal band Thy Worshiper.

I’ve been following this band for a while now, and their individual take on black metal is always a very welcome listen. Both Czarna Dzika Czerwień and Ozimina were very enjoyable, and it seems on their latest album Klechdy they’ve really Continue reading

Gargantua – Avant-Propos (Review)

GargantuaThis is the début EP from French Progressive Metal band Gargantua.

Gargantua play Progressive Metal that combines some quite eclectic influences to produce a 26 minute calling card that shows off what they can do quite effectively.

To give you a flavour of their style, imagine a mix of The Meads of Asphodel, Sigh, The Black Dahlia Murder and Akercocke, among others. It’s essentially a form of melodic Death Metal with added folk, avant-garde and progressive influences, allowing the band a freedom to experiment and be playful with their influences.

The keyboard and accordion aspect of their sound is quirky and endearing. While not as completely over-the-top as some of the stuff that Sigh get up to, this part of their sound can still be demanding and attention-seeking.

The more aggressive Metal that lays the foundation of their music is tempered by their other influences so that the majority of the riffs have a lot of other stuff going on; the avant-garde and more-emotive aspects of their style are never too far away.

Thrash Metal-esque shouted growls, barely-holding-it-together screams, progressive cleans, operatic choral parts, emotive theatrics; there’s a plethora of different styles employed on Avant-Propos via four of the various band members.

A very promising first release. While not perfect, it shows a creative band willing and able to push boundaries to achieve the sound they want. With a few tweaks here and there to tighten the songwriting up, they could become quite a fearsome proposition in the future.

Check them out.

Thy Worshiper – Ozimina (Review)

Thy WorshiperThis is the latest EP from Thy Worshiper, who play pagan/folk Black Metal.

The band’s previous release Czarna Dzika Czerwień is one that I really enjoyed, so this EP I was eager to hear.

Featuring music that’s heavy on percussion and non-standard instruments, (such as didgeridoo, darbuka and djembe, to name a few), Thy Worshiper continue their individual and characterful melding of folk, pagan and Black Metal influences into their enticing brand of music.

These tracks are rich and layered songs that cover themselves with emotion while providing enough substance and grit to back it up, ensuring that they have produced a real collection of songs and soundscapes, rather than novelty or throwaway music.

Vocally, the female vocals sound even more beautiful and powerful than before, and combined with the rhythmic pulsing of the music are a real highlight. The male vocals remind me of those of The Meads of Asphodel in places on this release more than on their previous album, which adds a different slant for me.

Clearly a lot of work has gone into arranging and composing this EP, and the end result speaks from the heart and burns as deep as fire.

Another sterling release from this important band.

Windfaerer – Tenebrosum (Review)

WindfaererWindfaerer are a Black metal band from the US. This is their second album.

Windfaerer have a Black Metal base which they build on with Melodic Death Metal and Folk-style influences. Their Folky Black Metal vibes are melodically fluid and have an added bite via their Melodic Death Metal influences.

Sharp and streamline, these songs create atmosphere via a variety of delivery methods; whether that be through fast guitars and relentless drums, dual guitars that are subsumed into the Melodic Death/Black easily, or slower, more evocative sections.

Added to all of this is a violin that speaks of the band’s Folk influences and the overall melancholic atmosphere that Windfaerer foster through the faster sections as well as more reflective, slower parts.

These songs are both familiar and friendly; it’s a joyful listening experience, despite some of the darker atmospheres that infuse the music, and it’s one that’s easy to digest and enjoy. These seven tracks are well-paced and well-judged, delivering just the right amount of diversity to hold the interest while remaining cohesive overall.

Windfaerer have produced a strong album that’s a recommended listen for anyone who likes a bit of Melodic Black/Death Metal with some nicely-played violin.