Misanthur – Ephemeris (Review)

Misanthur - EphemerisThis is the debut album from Polish black metallers Misanthur.

Ephemeris offers a 56-minute journey into darkness. Spreading itself across a range of styles and genres, including post-black metal, dark ambient, noise, doom, jazz, and industrial, the album is a multifaceted collection of apocalyptic soundscapes brought to vibrant life by a talented act. Continue reading “Misanthur – Ephemeris (Review)”

Cicada the Burrower – Corpseflower (Review)

Cicada the Burrower - CorpseflowerThis is the fourth album from one-woman black metal band Cicada the Burrower.

Corpseflower is an intriguing and engaging collection of tracks that mix jazz, post-hardcore, psychedelic rock, and post-rock into a 31-minute progressive/post-black metal framework that also incorporates elements of blackgaze and depressive black metal. Continue reading “Cicada the Burrower – Corpseflower (Review)”

Neptunian Maximalism – Solar Drone Ceremony (Review)

Neptunian Maximalism - Solar Drone CeremonyNeptunian Maximalism are a Belgian drone/doom band and this is their latest release.

Solar Drone Ceremony was recorded live over a year ago, and consists of a single 54-minute track. The piece is performed by nine people and features a range of different instruments and sounds. Apparently it’s a Continue reading “Neptunian Maximalism – Solar Drone Ceremony (Review)”

Decline of the I – Johannes (Review)

Decline of the I - JohannesThis is the fourth album from French post-black metallers Decline of the I.

After enjoying 2015’s Rebellion and 2018’s Escape, when Johannes appeared I knew I had to sample its dark wares. Armed with a new lineup formed around the band’s core artist, Johannes is a 51-minute journey into thoughtful mood-driven darkness.

These new songs are layered explorations of post-blackened detail and nuanced soundscapes. The music is multifaceted and textured, drawing in a range of influences to build on the band’s black metal foundations. The five songs on Johannes are each masters of their own creation, while still fitting into the whole, and provide the listener with a creative and rich landscape to explore.

Each song boasts a lot of content, with a wealth of good ideas and enriching sounds ably showcased by the band. There’s an epic streak to Decline of the I’s music, more apparent than ever in their latest work. Sometimes it’s hidden in plain sight, while at others it ascends to malevolent prominence. Either way, a certain amount of majestic grandeur is ever-present in the music, and it works very well indeed.

The band’s ability to blend sharp aggression with menacing atmosphere is very effective. I really like the use of guitars on this release. Some of of the riffs and blackened rhythms feel like they cut to the core, and combined with the skilful and inventive use of melodies, contribute to the thoroughly enjoyable and satisfying musical experience that these five songs offer. Lighter moments appear, balancing the blackened heaviness of the distorted sections. Existing somewhere between post-rock, jazz, and experimental atmospheric ambient minimalism, these parts may not be too common, but they add value to the songs.

Piercing screams are joined by darker growls and choral accents. The singers all do a great job, and, like the music, the vocals are very accomplished.

Despite how much I enjoyed both Rebellion and Escape, I think that Johannes is probably Decline of the I’s richest, most complete and well-realised work to date.

Very highly recommended.

Abiotic – Ikigai (Review)

Abiotic - IkigaiThis is the third album from US death metallers Abiotic.

Abiotic play modern death metal that takes influence from the technical and progressive strains of the style, as well as from some elements of deathcore. The promo blurb states that Ikiagi is for fans of bands such as Continue reading “Abiotic – Ikigai (Review)”

Demoniac – So It Goes (Review)

Demoniac - So It GoesThis is the second album from thrash metal band Demoniac, from Chile.

The core of what Demoniac do on So It Goes is razor-sharp hyper-aggressive thrash metal. Bursting with jagged riffs, pierced with molten leads and solos, and crowned with barbed vocals, it’s clear that Demoniac know a thing or two about this sort of music. Continue reading “Demoniac – So It Goes (Review)”

Void Paradigm – Ultime Pulsation | Demain Brûle (Review)

Void Paradigm - Ultime Pulsation Demain BrûleThis is the third album from French black metallers Void Paradigm.

Ultime Pulsation | Demain Brûle may only contain two tracks, (Ultime Pulsation and Demain Brûle), but when each is almost 20 minutes in length, there’s no problem with that at all. Continue reading “Void Paradigm – Ultime Pulsation | Demain Brûle (Review)”

Exocrine – Maelstrom (Review)

Exocrine - MaelstromThis is the fourth album from French death metallers Exocrine.

Here we have a 42-minute blast of technical death metal. Modern in style and feel, with various progressive and melodic elements, Maelstrom makes a good impression. A very, very good impression. Repeated spins only cements this. I enjoyed 2018’s Molten Giant, but this is superior. Continue reading “Exocrine – Maelstrom (Review)”