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

Five the Hierophant – Over Phlegethon

Doom metal comes in all shapes and forms. And, often, the most peculiar of them are the most intriguing. Enters Five the Hierophant, a trio from London that makes doom their very own way. The most striking aspect of the band’s sound is, of course, the use of instruments seldom heard in metal music: djembe, Tibetan horn, violin, saxophone (though this last one is now rather common sight)… Beyond this, they also take a heavy leaning on drone passages, spoken word excerpts, and a natural sense of song progression and structure. All of this can be found on their … Read more

Squalus – The Great Fish

Bass, drums, keyboards, and vocals. Those are the building blocks of California experimental death metal band Squalus. Their debut album, The Great Fish, walks the line between death and doom metal, with a lot of atmospheric tendencies, some sludge, and synthwave, I guess, into a somehow cohesive whole. Bass-driven metal acts are not a new thing by any means, but there are many pitfalls on the way to make them interesting and appealing, into which many of the contenders inadvertently get trapped. Two of the most obvious ones are the frequency range and the timbral diversity. Squalus hopefully … Read more

Ehnahre – The Marrow

Ever since Douve came out, in 2016, I’ve held the Boston avant-garde doom metal quartet Ehnahre in the highest of regards. Earlier this month, they released their newest experimentation on The Marrow, a four-track, fifty-three-minute slab of slow, heavy, and unbridled contemporary music. Yes, Ehnahre swims pretty close to modern classical music with their compositional approach, a feeling reinforced by their use of contrabass and piano. The band’s long, drawn-out pieces are very atmospheric and even entrancing, often relying on slow, repeated motives and spoken word passages to build a ritualistic summoning of heartfelt and mystic music. The outstanding … Read more

Ex Eye – Ex Eye

We’re not new to the name of Colin Stetson, decidedly one of if not the best saxophone player of recent history. Although his works have been a lot into the ambient spectrum, his recent Sorrow: A Reimagining of Górecki’s Third Symphony is where he brought himself into the lands of metal. Being now part of the new band Ex Eye, his fast, relentless, versatile, and innovative playing style is a perfect match for the blackened doom they spew out. Whether they drone on in drawn-out atmospheric passages or tempestuously stampede during blast beat parts, Stetson is at the forefront, … Read more