Reviews
Arcana Coelestia - Nomas

Funeral doom has always seemed to me to be split into two distinctly different camps. On the one hand, you have bands that are absolutely dark, desolate, and ominous with their sound, such as Evoken or Wormphlegm. And then, on the other, you have bands that prefer to take more of a relaxed approach, making things a bit brighter and epic in the process. Bands like Arcana Coelestia.

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Posted: 16.11.2014 by Apothecary | Comments (4)

Reviews
Adimiron - Timelapse

As Doc Godin astutely noted in his review of Adimiron's last album, this Italian quintet has a very distinctly Gojira sludgy-crunchy-grind thing going on. While its predecessor bore the unmistakable air of a band simply trying to ride the coattails of their heroes, Adimiron have really hit the ball out of the park with Timelapse.

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Posted: 16.11.2014 by ScreamingSteelUS | Comments (1)

Reviews
Nader Sadek - The Malefic: Chapter III

This mysterious Nader Sadek, artistic director of his eponymous musical enterprise, has assembled a veritable A-Team of metal musicians to breathe life into (or, perhaps more appropriately, beat life out of) his dark tales. I suppose a team of Expendables might be a more seasonable reference, but the members are all under 65, and there are only four of them aside from the boss man. With Rune "Blasphemer" Eriksen (late of Mayhem) and Cryptopsy's Flo Mounier behind guitars and drums, as well as previous guests Travis Ryan of Cattle Decapitation and Marcin Rygiel of Decapitated returning to the scene of the crime as full-fledged members, Sadek sure knows how to pick his friends.

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Posted: 16.11.2014 by ScreamingSteelUS | Comments (3)

Reviews
Liv Kristine - Vervain

A Liv Kristine album that doesn't suck outright. The way things have been degrading year after year, an album after an album, there has been, frankly, little to no expectations on my part regarding the release of Liv's recent works, be it her solo or with Leaves' Eyes. Given that, all that Vervain had to be to impress me, was to be a notch above decent to make its mark. Thus, for the past weeks I've been trying to figure out if it amounts to anything more than that.

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Posted: 15.11.2014 by Ivor | Comments (2)

Reviews
Isole - The Calm Hunter

The Calm Hunter meanders as it seeks out more melodious terrain for Isole's doom metal. This decision brings with it an inconsistency in the catalogue of the Swedes, who have maintained a style of their own under the Isole name ever since their debut in 2005.

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Posted: 15.11.2014 by R'Vannith | Comments (6)

Reviews
Idol Of Fear - All Sights Affixed, Ablaze

Avoiding any genre classifications, Idol Of Fear presents us dark metal as cold as their Canadian dwellings. I guess at times I'd call this black metal with flair but at other times that feels completely wrong. There is much melody to be had, and enticing guitarwork, but the gruesome vocals and tightly suspended atmosphere bring to mind harsher metal offerings. It's like Idol Of Fear didn't fit in with the cool kids at black metal school so he started hanging out with the other rejects and got really into the occult and rebelled by playing melodic music. Or something.

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Posted: 14.11.2014 by Susan | Comments (0)

Reviews
Obituary - Inked In Blood

One could be forgiven for ignoring Obituary's new album Inked In Blood. After all, how different can one expect it to be, given that the band effectively stalled their sound in 1990 and seldom bothered adding anything new? In some ways they would be right, but Inked In Blood somewhat rejuvenates the Obituary sound.

On the surface this is the Obituary we all know. However, there are some differences that make this a far more interesting release then the last spate of Obituary comeback albums.

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Posted: 13.11.2014 by deadone | Comments (4)

Reviews
Lyria - Catharsis

This is the kind of album that is impossible for me to resist. Self-released, with a huge help from a crowdfunding campaign, and one that rewards the listener with endless enthusiasm, warmth, and easily one of my favorite songs of the year. Lyria's Catharsis is at once symphonic, heavily dosed in alternative, and melodic at every turn.

My first exposure to the album was with the video track, "Jester," a song that does not waste time with experimenting or trying too hard to be anything but what it aims to be: a superbly catchy melodic track with some stellar vocals by founder Aline Happ. The main guitar riff, played here by session guitarist and producer Celo Oliveira, is developed throughout the song fluidly with classic arrangements, from lengthy chords to front and center heaviness. Eliezer Andre's drumming delivers the backdrop that keeps the focus uptempo without overshadowing the melody, and some well-placed programming gives the song the extra touch of atmosphere.

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Posted: 12.11.2014 by dismaleuphony | Comments (9)

Reviews
Narrow House - Thanathonaut

I've wrestled with this review for quite some time now, sort of dreading typing it up. The biggest reason for this is Narrow House is another of those more "extreme" doom bands that has migrated into far less harsh territory. In and of itself, that isn't a bad thing. See also - Ahab, Process Of Guilt.

However the band was coming off the really fantastic A Key To Panngrieb - an album that cracked my top 10 of a 2012 that was chock full o' awesome albums. Coming from an album simultaneously harsh and extremely interesting, the first several spins of Thanathonaut just seemed relatively straightforward and lacking in some of the wildcard factor that made A Key intriguing.

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Posted: 11.11.2014 by Xnoybis | Comments (2)

Reviews
Corrupt Moral Altar - Mechanical Tides

Guys, guys, do you remember this? No matter how far you'd get those fingers up your ears, you couldn't just enjoy the first few minutes of your movie because you got your eardrums punctured? Yeah, well, Mechanical Tides starts exactly like that: with a loud bang that you will only associate with good memories in the future.

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Posted: 10.11.2014 by Ilham | Comments (5)

Reviews
SSS - Limp.Gasp.Collapse.

Limp. Gasp. Collapse. is SSS's most modern-sounding album so far. Not that crossover hasn't been going through a more popular resurgence and isn't, on it's own, "modern-sounding" now, it's just that this thing seems to borrow more from metal-styles and production-styles championed after the mid to late 80s.

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Posted: 10.11.2014 by wormdrink414 | Comments (2)

Reviews
At The Gates - At War With Reality

Full disclosure: At The Gates is one of my favourite bands. And when I say that, I don't mean in my top 50. They are in the running for #1. It's been almost 20 years since the release of Slaughter Of The Soul, an album considered by many (myself included) to be one of the finest melodic death metal recordings ever. At last, they are back with a new album - At War With Reality.

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Posted: 10.11.2014 by Mattybu | Comments (6)

Reviews
Winter In Eden - Court Of Conscience

British 5-piece Winter In Eden previously released debut and sophomore albums showing nice potential but I've been waiting for them to release one that was finally really good. At long last, they've done it. Fans of symphonic metal can rejoice in a solid album for their genre, one that doesn't skirt commercial tendencies or try to be any other band. Winter In Eden has really accepted their own sound and is not apologizing for it.

The music is dark, elegant, and hypnotizing. It could easily appeal to fans of gothic metal as well. On one hand I wouldn't really call this album high-energy; more that it's kinda chill, laid-back, and even rock-oriented at times. On the other hand, the energy level grows slowly throughout; it definitely sneaks up on you by the end.

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Posted: 09.11.2014 by Susan | Comments (1)

Reviews
LoreWeaver - Italic

Italic keeps one hand on streamlined melodic prog at all times, but beware that other hand, it's off grabbing at everything and getting sticky in other music. If you like your prog to be really weird then this may not satisfy, but everyone else can be assured of twists, turns, and surprises. And like good prog should be, it'll take repeated listens to fully comprehend these elements.

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Posted: 09.11.2014 by Susan | Comments (1)

Reviews
Cult Of Fire - Čtvrtá Symfonie Ohně

Cult Of Fire are one of those bands. What do I mean by this exactly? Essentially, that they're a band that's never been content with being grounded in one particular style. Of course, this is no new feat, but given the fact that these Czechs are still only 4 years old, it's quite impressive. Their debut EP and Triumvirate were raw, atmospheric-tinged black metal, the recent one with the Hindi title was drenched in Eastern influences, and now 2014's Čtvrtá Symfonie Ohně EP is a sort of neoclassical ode to Czechoslovakia, and perhaps the band's fullest embrace of their culture yet.

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Posted: 08.11.2014 by Apothecary | Comments (27)

Reviews
Sin7sinS - Purgatory Princess

If you adore the pop-symphonic genre and are hungry for some new blood then I'd recommend Sin7sinS. The music is fun, quite heavy, and the variety among tunes seems like it'll lead to some great replay value. If, and only if, you absolutely ADORE the pop side of the symphonic genre.

With words like "Princess" and "Sins" I think you know pretty well what to expect. Add the cover "art" and musicians' stage names and you could pretty well bet money on it.

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Posted: 08.11.2014 by Susan | Comments (1)

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