Bhleg – Solarmegin (Review)

BhlegBhleg are a Swedish folk black metal band and this is their second album.

Roughly four years after Bhleg’s enjoyable debut album Draumr Ást appeared, the band have now returned with a colossal new album; Solarmegin is a 98-minute celebration of the sun. Yes, that’s right; this album is a big one. Continue reading

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Orphaned Land – Unsung Prophets & Dead Messiahs (Review)

Orphaned LandOrphaned Land are a progressive folk metal band from Israel and this is their sixth album.

Orphaned Land play music that’s inspired and influenced by Middle Eastern melodies and ideas. These elements are skilfully woven into the band’s progressive metal in natural, effortless ways, resulting in characterful and Continue reading

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.