Chaos Moon – Eschaton Mémoire

The ambient black metal of American quartet Chaos Moon is unleashed upon the world with their fourth full-length, Eschaton Mémoire. Their usually quite expansive compositions are shrouded in thick fogs of ambient guitars, which sound just like keyboard pads. The album’s forty minutes follow an interesting pattern of tension and release that really drive this album home. Be sure to not miss this unique and intense release.

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Fire-Toolz – Interbeing

Angel Marcloid’s musical essays with Fire-Toolz paid off, as many lauded the black metal and vaporwave crossing sophomore Drip Mental. Now with the third iteration – Interbeing – finally out, we get to ask ourselves: “What more is there to say?” On the one hand, many of the praises and critics of Drip Mental still apply. The odd but fascinating offspring of two radically different musical genres is still as good, if not better, than ever – imagine slowed-down, funky pop tunes from the eighties (or an original composition aimed at mimicking that aesthetic) with screams and blast beats … Read more

Xanthochroid – Of Erthe and Axen, Acts I & II

All the extreme metal fans on the real Earth have been anticipating a return to Xanthochroid’s fictional Erthe since 2012’s immensely impressive debut, Blessed He with Boils. Taking five years to meticulously craft a two-act follow-up, the Californian band have rewarded our patience with Of Erthe and Axen, a cinematic, dynamic album pair that blends the best facets of several metal genres with orchestral folk pieces to produce something totally unique.

The band craft a story that dives deep into a universe they have created. Like their previous release, Of Erthe and Axen comes with a map … Read more

Altarage – Endinghent

Altarage is a sickening death metal band from Spain. Their penultimate release – Nihl – was heavy and muddy and dissonant, and their newest one keeps that ball rolling. Endinghent was released on 13 October, and it’s ripe with forty minutes of the same breed of what’s commonly called avant-garde death metal. Think Ulcerate, Portal, you’re in the right frame of mind. While I would contest the avant-garde label, it’s a great album with a contemporary view on harmony and dissonance, and the chops to sit alongside other better-known names of the same ilk. The guitars are disgustingly heavy and … Read more

Redshift Pilots – Moonlight Synthesis

We recently often write about bands who bridge post-hardcore and progressive metal, it seems, and some also other genres, but here’s one that almost uncompromisingly links it with black metal. Redshift Pilots released their debut full-length album, Moonlight Synthesis, in early October. It impatiently shows its black colours with fervent blast beats and tremolo picking riffs, but then sways into atmospheres of post-rock and post-hardcore ambiances seamlessly and in an honestly impressive manner. Sure, some tracks stay more on one side than the other, like “Overgrown”, which is almost entirely post-rock, but has a blackgaze twist near the end, … Read more

Hybrid Nightmares – Almagest

After their Ages EP tetralogy, Australian progressive black metal band Hybrid Nightmares gaze upwards towards the skies. Almagest is their new conceptual full-length album, and takes you on the journey of the Pilgrim, an unnamed automaton, going to various cosmic spheres in a quest to balance spirituality and reason. Basically, it’s a science-fiction retelling of many classical philosophy concepts. It’s quite rare that black metal bands of that ilk look to the future and out into space, although not unheard of, and Hybrid Nightmares is a strong quintet capable of putting this idea into reality and making it truly enjoyable … Read more

Naeramarth – The Innumerable Stars

Naeramarth is a progressive metal band from Salk Lake City, and their debut album, The Innumerable Stars is coming out on 20 October. Stating influences as varied as Ihsahn, Leprous, Enslaved, and Opeth, Naeramarth cover an impressive range of metal genres, from black metal to doom metal, with a lot of straight-up progressive metal and prog death in-between. “Asterisms” is a pretty much perfect example of this, it covers well progressive black metal, with a very Opethian acoustic guitars corridor in the middle. Thanks to its 8:50 runtime, each part has the time to breathe, but its only about half … Read more

Botanist – Collective: The Shape of He to Come

I was a proponent of Californian experimental black metal project Botanist, when their debut double album, I: The Suicide Tree/II: A Rose from the Dead was released, back in 2011. At the time, it was new and pretty much unheard of, at least not widely so. The following albums, however, felt like mere reiterations on the same themes and a simple reorganization of the same core sounds and ideas; no matter how long you shuffle your salad, it’s still going to be the same salad. That’s why I was [cautiously] optimistic for Botanist’s new project: there was no roman … Read more

Biesy – Noc lekkich obyczajów

Biesy – Polish for “Demons” – will release their debut album, Noc lekkich obyczajów – free translation: “Night of Weak Morals” –, a forty-three-minute slab of dissonant and unforgiving death metal in the vein of Ulcerate and Deathspell Omega, on September ninth. The band doesn’t hide their true intentions, as the album straight away starts with dissonant intervals – the minor second is used and abused, a recurring theme in this genre’s music –, unstoppable blast beats, slow but heavy riffing, and miasmic growls with texts all in Polish. The album is a blast, enshrouded in a toxic mist of … Read more