LÜÜP – Canticles of the Holy Scythe (Review)

LÜÜPLÜÜP is a, (deep breath), Greek one man experimental avant-garde blackened classical band, (phew), and this is his third album.

Canticles of the Holy Scythe features 37 minutes of music that consists of a black metal undercoat, which has then been fully fleshed out and painted with colours from folk, progressive, avant-garde, ambient, and classical music. Continue reading

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Agatus – The Eternalist (Review)

AgatusThis is the third album from this Greek black/heavy metal band.

Now this is an interesting release. 14 years after their second album, Agatus return with even more of a progressive/heavy metal approach to their music.

70s progressive rock and NWOBHM influences collide head-on with the black metal background of the group, making for an album that sounds little like any of their contemporaries.

The closest I can come to compare with other bands would be a crazy fusion of Rotting Christ, Vintersorg and Countess, all given a workover by NWOBHM and 70s progressive rock. or something. All I know is it’s infectious, addictive, individual and bloody good.

The black metal aspects Continue reading

Sigh – Graveward (Review)

SighThis is the tenth Sigh album. If you’ve never encountered them before, they’re from Japan and they play Black Metal. At least, that’s what they started out as and they’ve just kind of evolved from there. Avant-Garde Black Metal/Extreme Metal is probably closest to the mark these days, if you have to label it at all.

Sigh are one of the few bands in existence that come even close to being able to be called unique. They definitely have their own sound and identity, even if this has changed quite a bit through the years.

So on to Graveward. This is dense and complex music that features a lot of different parts to the songs. Clearly a lot of work has gone into these compositions.

The Black Metal base is present and correct, as well as the Avant-Garde tendencies. Add to this is a psychedelic influence, powerful cinematic qualities as well as a strong theatrical component and you have an album that’s born to stand out from the pack.

The theatrical nature of the release belies the horror-themed core of the album, but ultimately serves to reinforce it.

As you might think, each track has a lot going on and it’s a lot to take in on first listen. Subsequent spins reveal all kinds of nuances and little things that you didn’t necessarily consciously pick up on first time around.

Choirs and orchestration rub shoulders with Thrash riffs and Blackened croaks. Psychedelic keyboards and operatic vocals join horns and saxophones in backing the distorted guitars. It’s a true melting pot of influences that probably shouldn’t work but it really, really does.

Befitting music that has a lot of different components to it, Graveward features a wealth of guest appearances from well-known members of bands such as Trivium, Dragonforce, Shining, Rotting Christ and The Meads of Asphodel, among others.

Somewhat of a cross between Emperor, Therion, Arcturus and some form of crazy Progressive Jazz, Sigh can always be relied upon to liven things up with their presence and Graveward is no exception.

This is a truly exceptional release that many will probably find overwhelming with its multicoloured assault on the senses. Those who endure, however, are rewarded tenfold for their perseverance.

Essential listening.

Vyre – The Initial Frontier Pt. 2 (Review)

VyreVyre are from Germany and this is their second album. They play Black Metal.

Vyre’s take on Black Metal is one that includes Post-Black Metal and Avant-Garde influences. This results in an album that has plenty of texture and lots of content to offer the prospective listener.

The compositions on this album could almost certainly qualify as artistic Metal, with the ambition and scope of the songs to match.

Imagine the epic soundscapes of Emperor mixed with the occult stylings of Rotting Christ, a Progressive/Avant-Garde influence from Arcturus and the venomous bite of Satyricon…Vyre have produced a top quality Black Metal release that matches up to these lofty comparisons.

These tracks are hugely impressive, with lots of ideas and character included in the songs. Prime, Grade A Black Metal riffs and melodies are enhanced by atmospheric synths and sounds whilst a dark rasp edges out from the abyss. Disembodied cleans occasionally ring out and majestic leads fill the ether with molten Metal.

I love the obvious amount of work that has gone into crafting these songs. There is literally so much to enjoy here. Every time you listen to it you’ll notice something new. It’s heady stuff.

These tracks have been forged to near-perfection by a very talented band. This is Black Metal that’s been effectively coloured and influenced by Progressive and Avant-Garde Metal without losing any of its inherent darkness or attack.

I had never heard of Vyre before this but I’m so glad that I have now. I strongly recommend you get this album. Listen to it over and over again and let the darkness of the void seep into your brain.