Deathwhite – For a Black Tomorrow (Review)

DeathwhiteDeathwhite are a melodic metal band from the US and this is their debut album.

Having enjoyed Deathwhite’s material on 2014’s Ethereal and 2015’s Solitary Martyr, I was pleased when their obvious talent was recognised by Season of Mist. I’ve enjoyed witnessing them develop as a band over the years, and now we finally have Continue reading

Hooded Menace – Ossuarium Silhouettes Unhallowed (Review)

Hooded MenaceThis is the fifth album from Finnish death/doom band Hooded Menace.

Whenever I have a craving for death/doom, Hooded Menace can always be relied upon to satisfy it. 2015’s Darkness Drips Forth was a very enjoyable trip into Hooded Menace’s dark world, and now it’s time to revisit it as they unleash 42 minutes of new material. Continue reading

Promethean Misery – Ghosts (Review)

Promethean MiseryPromethean Misery is a one-woman project playing atmospheric and doom metal-influenced neo-classical music.

After her extremely impressive and enjoyable Bloodlet EP from earlier in the year, this new album contains more alluring, dark, and wonderfully-realised music. Continue reading

Vallenfyre – Fear Those Who Fear Him (Review)

VallenfyreThis is the third album from Vallenfyre, a death metal band from the UK.

Featuring current and ex-members of Paradise Lost, My Dying Bride, and Abhorrence, in Fear Those Who Fear Him Vallenfyre deliver 39 minutes of ugly, nasty death metal. Continue reading

Unothera – Broken (Review)

UnotheraThis is the début EP from Unothera, who are a melodic doom/death band from the Netherlands.

This EP consists of 5 tracks – two actual songs and three piano movements.

The songs take influence from the likes of My Dying Bride, Katatonia and Paradise Lost, with sorrowful atmosphere aplenty. Keyboards are also used to add depth to the misery that the band exude, and I think these are particularly Continue reading

Abyssic – A Winter’s Tale (Review)

AbyssicThis is the début album from Norwegian Symphonic Doom/Death band Abyssic.

Well this is an absolute monster of an album. At 79 minutes in length and featuring just four tracks, Abyssic certainly know how to provide the listener with a lot to get their teeth into.

A decent stylistic reference point for Abyssic would initially be the old Peaceville roster, with bands like Anathema, My Dying Bride and Paradise Lost all providing an idea of what the base of the band is like. Only longer and more epic, of course. Once you have this in your mind’s eye, mix in some more modern, epic funeral Doom from the likes of Monolithe, as well as a sterling Classical influence, and you’ll have a good idea of what Abyssic are getting up to here.

The symphonic aspects of Abyssic’s sound are big, bold and unashamedly impressive. Abyssic don’t hold back, and nor should they. This is a band that manage to incorporate the symphonic and Classical elements into their sound in a holistic and complete way, rather than having them just added on at the end. The music easily takes on a cinematic legendary feel and each of these long songs feels like a story. Nay, a saga.

A Winter’s Tale benefits from a huge and lavish production that allows all of the different parts of their repertoire to sound clear and crushing. Thick guitars and textured keyboards merge together with the crushing drums to provide the listener with a very engaging and absorbing listen. The songs may be long, but if you have the time to spare for them then there is so much here to enjoy.

For the most part the vocals are deep, dark growls, of the kind that are pretty much standard for Death/Doom. That’s not to say they’re not effective or don’t do their job though.

Long they may be, but these songs justify their own existence by being so damn impressive and well-put together. The band know their stuff, that’s for sure. Amazingly, given the length, these tracks don’t get boring and the lavish, lush orchestration is a constant joy to listen to, especially when combined with the heaviness of the guitars.

This atmospheric album really nails the best parts of the Death/Doom style for me, and the overwrought symphonic elements are just candy to my ears, pulling the whole thing up to another level.

Very highly recommended.

Moaning Silence – A World Afraid of Light (Review)

Moaning SilenceThis is the début album from Greek Gothic/Atmospheric Metal band Moaning Silence.

Featuring the kind of sound that was making big waves late 90s/early 00s, Moaning Silence play it well and I haven’t heard too much like this of late.

Combining the drawn-out Gothic sorrow of My Dying Bride with elements of Anathema’s approach, Moaning Silence have created an album that pays homage to the emotive, expressive side of Metal. There’s also an Anathema cover included for good measure.

Both male and female vocals appear, with the male vocalist’s voice having a quality to it that’s somewhere between the singers of My Dying Bride and Sentenced, while the female singer has a liquid, silken quality to her voice that is quite enticing.

This kind of style has been done to death, of course, so whether you enjoy what Moaning Silence have to offer depends on where your saturation point is for this kind of thing. I’ve pretty much reached mine, but I can still appreciate that Moaning Silence do what they do well, and there are some nice ideas on this release that show a lot of promise for the future. In fact, I enjoy them at their most when they’re relaxing a bit and letting the atmosphere flow naturally, as in tracks like The Last Days of December, (which is also notable for its lovely guitar solo and Classic Rock vibe).

As a début album, there’s still a lot of work to do for the band; I think they need to find their own style a bit more and also tighten up both the writing and the sound. Having said that though, there’s still a lot to enjoy on A World Afraid of Light, and I do like that this isn’t the ostentatious, flashy, overly-commercial brand of Gothic Metal either; this is a more earthy, honest interpretation of the original style that birthed a thousand Lacuna Coils.

So, give them a listen and see what you think.

Favourite Track: On Fragile Wings. Just a damn good song.

A Dream of Poe – An Infinity Emerged (Review)

A Dream of PoeA Dream of Poe are from Portugal and play Doom Metal. This is their second album.

This is Traditional Doom Metal that’s rich of texture and hue, laced with a subtle Gothic influence and plenty of majestic melodies; think My Dying Bride-esque.

The singer has a charismatic voice with just the right amount of drama added to the performance. He adds a lot of colour and flavour to the tracks and acts as a focal point for the misery-drenched music.

The songs are long, drawn-out explorations of beauty and tragedy, coming across as chapters in an epic tale of loss and woe.

Subtle keyboards underscore the emotive themes while the guitars provide a bedrock for the evocative atmospheres to attach themselves to. The songs are slow, moody and full of dark feelings.

Each track takes its time to get where it’s going and there’s no impetus to make things hurry along; this is a very good thing as the relaxing pace of the music is quite hypnotic and it’s easy to just switch off and absorb this album.

This is 56 minutes of quality Metal. Highly recommended.