10 New Reviews for those Dark winter's nights...
Borknagar- Winter Thrice- CD/Digital ( Century Media)
So this is a big event for those of us as Borknagar fans. As we have all 3 vocalist through out the bands history on " Winter Thrice" Vintersorg , ICS Vortex and Garm are all here to bring one of the most powerful and complex Borknagar album since "The Archaic Course". This album will be a Post Metal/ Avant extreme metal/ Folk Metal/ Viking Metal adventure in a world were bands try to be over the top , Borknagar needs to never be over the top is just comes from the complex guitars, synths, vocal and percussion arrangement. This band does something few bands can imagine. They can make grim, melodic, heavy and symphonic all sound like a flawless collection of thought provoking songs and an album that will give you thrills, chills , sorrow and pleasure through out . The mix of Black, Symphonic choirs and Jazzy sung vocals just is so wonderful to hear again. Borknagar you have made a classic album again and any period fan will love this album but more then that it will bring back the older fans that thought the band was moving into a more commercial element . Winter Thrice is an album that transcends all if the genres of Extreme music and adds a proper progressive touch to the over all album. Extreme music of Northern Europe is very clearly in good hands with this new release..
Amber Asylum- Sin Eater- CD/ Digital ( Prophecy Productions)
Kris Force is back with her Chamber music meets Avant Doom band Amber Asylum. This one of those album that is near and dear to me. As this band has brought me Happy and Sorrow, Joy and Pain and Hope and Loss all through out the albums on such labels as Relapse, Neurot, Profound Lore and now Prophecy production. There is a fragile and darkness to the music while still making you very dark cold heart seem to beat again like it has not in years. The strings, acoustics and Neoclassic elements on vocal and music are just so beautiful and powerful in the minimalist way it's presented to the audience. It truly is the perfect mix of Post Industrial, Post Rock and Neoclassical music that is just what the primitive mind wants and the arrangement make the music snob in you smile. Kris is an engineer and producer as well so she can just feel and hear how to make the most out of any musical moment with Amber Asylum. One of the few bands that have never made a bad album some are difficult listens but they are made to weed out those who are looking for the quick and easy path to redemption. Sin Eater is a jewel in the crown of a majestic career of Amber Asylum. Here's to another decade of these classics being created..
Ur Draugr- With Hunger Undying- CD/ Digital ( A.T.M.F)
If you know anything about this label and what they release you know most things are a roller coaster of extreme musical styles. Well with Ur Draugr surprise nothing changes in any way. We mix elements of Post Black metal , Progressive Death metal, Jazz and Industrial elements into an extremity that will confuse and cause wonderment around each and every corner as this album slithers like a snake to always be one step ahead of where you think they are going. There are even eastern element to the music. If your a fan of bands like Enslaved, Gorguts and Emperor then this is going to be something that will keep showing you new gems on each and every listen. There are even older Opeth and Edge of Sanity moments going on here. They love the 90's Peaceville records sound as there are some doom like movement that come through too. " With Hunger Undying" it's truly one of those bands that you have to listen to fully get the picture. As fans of bands like Agalloch and Katatonia and even Dornenriech are going to love this album. Open you mind and ears and see where extreme music is heading as Ur Draugr will take you there.
Seer - Vol 1 &2- CD/ Digital ( Art of Propaganda)
The album start of as a Sludgy Doom rock album with some heavy heavy low and mix of gruff and melodic metal vocals. As we move more into the album the post metal and North western U.S. Black and Thrash metal elements are sneaking into the music as well. I hear bands like Wolvserpent, Panopticon and even Earth going through out the speaker as I take the journey into listening to what Seer have to offer. There is a retro doom element but its just add a bit of groove that makes it all the better. I even hear pieces of Post Hardcore coming through out the speakers. Is that slow melody that at times I swear they have a love affair with Life of Agony and Type o Negative. Seer is at the heart of it all a Doom band with touches of the elements above. Oh here comes the Electric Wizard and Cathedral moments. This album is very much about the power of the riff and how it can bludgeon those that listen to it and we will welcome it . This album is shockingly wonderful. Check it out .
SunnO)))- Kannon- CD/ Vinyl/ Digital ( Southern Lord )
If at this point in the game you don't know about SunnO))) then your most likely not a fan of the genre , style or sonic revelations that the band for the most part created over a decade ago .. This is Droning sonic Doom with a very blackened industrial and avantgarde through and though. This band knows one thing and one thing well . How to play slow and heavy and let those sounds reverb through your very soul. There is not but a slumbering monster awaking from it's 1,000 yr sleep here. You will never be the same once you hear this band because they have redefined how heavy music can be created and projected to those around them. This is music for a religion that dare not speak thy name and for the devoted to Sunn O))) there will be no alternate to the course and path of their salvation..
Yidhra- Cult of Bathory- CD/ Digital ( Black Voodoo)
Why does there always have to be one.... One that just can't let it rest ... One that can not see this genre is so over played and there is nothing new that can be done. There is St Vitus, Cathedral and Trouble and everything else is just another band that sounds like them. Stoner doom over and over again is like being in a disco stuck listening to new wave music for eternity . There is nothing every fresh and new. Ok I had enough of this retro 2nd rate Black sabbath cover band.. Over and Out , Loud and Clear ENOUGH ALREADY !!!!
Monolithe- Epsilion Aurigae- CD/ Digital ( D.M.P )
Where the 70's element ruined the last review . What we have here is on the polar opposite of that spectrum. Monolithe is a mix of bands like Voivod, Katatonia, Unholy and Esoteric into someone that brings out all the magic and complexity of 70's Prog Rock, Sci Fi metal , Doom and Avant Black metal. There really isn't a lot of words are going to do to help how forward thinking this band is from arrangements to production to the way the synths add a creepy futuristic element to something that is so dark and heavy to begin with. The vocals are more like command on the end times you will either follow or suffer. I just keep listening to this album and see why I have one of the best things in life by review music as I get to hear things and tell you how mind blowing they are so you will not miss out and this is a band not to miss out on.. The tribal element are just icing on the cake for a album and band that are just in league with Blut Aus Nord .. If you like them you will love this..
Hegemon- The Hierach- CD/ Digital ( Season of Mist)
Season of mist love a few styles of music and one of them is Post Black metal with Hegemon. You mix that with symphonic and Futurist Death metal and you have the key to enter the kingdom of this band. There are blast moments, grim vocals, acoustic movements, mid tempo black death all with the love bands like Dimmu Borgir and Old Mans Child and a good helping on Satyricon. There is nothing ground breaking here but again it doesn't have to be as the band is very good at what they do and make it sound like there own . The mix of clean and grim vocals work extremely well with the Symphonic moments. Hegemon you have a well done release know I want to see where the band heads after this. That is the true test for a band like this.
Secrets of the moon- Sun- CD/ Digital ( Prophecy Productions)
Secrets of the moon are one of those bands that mix some very interesting styles you would think would not mesh well but do and seem to make the albums they release an addicting tour de force. Indie rock, Folk, Post Black metal, Blues and Cold Wave sounds into something that sounds more like a Prog/Dark metal unit then a Black metal band. but the tone of the band is very much of that industrial black metal ideal and that does come through at moments on the album. Secrets of the moon are not challenged to use anything in the music to make it sound unique . It's just what they do as music that in not next level for this band is just beneath them and they want to expand and challenge their listeners each and every time they put an album out for those who follow the band. I know pop music is a dirty word to some but with "Sun" there is a pop element and Drifting electronic side that really takes the album to another level. I'm going to say there is even a Goth Punk movement going on here were you can hear bands like The Mission and Sisters of Mercy in the music the present to use. There are few bands that take music this critically but we should all be damn proud and honored we have bands like Secrets of the Moon...
KZOHH- Rye, Fleas . Chrismon- CD/ Digital ( No Colours Records)
Pagan Ambient , Folk Black metal release that is something that at points wants to terrify you and other points wants to preach the black arts to you. There is almost a symphonic element to it all but the organs give it more a ritualistic feeling then symphonic. There is also a very lo fi and raw presentation to the album as whole. There is beauty in chaos and with KZOHH the somber moments are what really shine and make the extreme moments seem larger then left. This will not be an easy listen that is for sure but rewarding that is a very different side of the story. If you like your black metal in left field and almost theatric in nature then you will not only be impressed by this album but will listen to it over and over again. The ambient/ industrial elements are really what make this album stand out. KZOHH you have made an album that if gets in the right hands you will have a small legion of Devoted fans..