Monday, November 30, 2009


genre : avant-garde, industrial, symphonic, metal, gothic
similar bands : Rammstein, Ulver, Therion
origin : Slovenia
strong spot : songwriting, originality, arrangements, atmosphere
weak spot : kidding?

Heavy guitars, electronic loops, strange vocals, choirs, violins and brilliant dark melodies. This is a classic album. It is the soundtrack Andrew Lloyd Webber would compose if he was a gothic fan. The atmosphere is extremely claustrophobic and unearthly, it is an intense listen and a dramatically rich piece of art that every advanced listener should enjoy. Download and play it loud.

10 out of 10 goatheads

Saturday, November 28, 2009


genre : avant-garde, pagan, melodic black
similar bands : Artefact, Solefald, Orakle
origin : France
strong spot : songwriting
weak spot : sometimes french language in black metal is tiring

Cristalys deliver their debut album which is full of french avant-gardism and insanity. Imagine a more speedy and black metal-oriented version of Solefald.

7 out of 10 goatheads

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


genre : melodic, symphonic death/black
similar bands : Chthonic
origin : Taiwan
strong spot : no obvious strong spot
weak spot : lacks originality

Anthelion's music reminds me of their fellow countrymen Chthonic. My objection? Chthonic try to push the envelope more than Anthelion and thus Chthonic are more interesting. Anthelion are more or less an average symphonic black band.

6,5 out of 10 goatheads


genre : symphonic death/black
similar bands : Dimmu Borgir, Emperor
origin : Norway
strong spot : performance, cover
weak spot : ''I've heard it before'' category

Fiendish symphonic parts, demonic riffs, insane drumming and all the other ingredients of a good but not exceptional extreme death/black metal album. Extra kudos go to the clever use and incorporation of the cello in the music.

7,5 out of 10 goatheads


genre : symphonic black
similar bands : Dimmu Borgir, Sothis
origin : Canada
strong spot : atmosphere
weak spot : ''I've heard it before'' category

Well performed symphonic black in the vein of Sothis, Dimmu Borgir, Vesania, Abigail Williams, Dissection and many many others. Sparkles of talent are here and there but sth is missing.

7,5 out of 10 goatheads

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


genre : symphonic black metal
similar bands : Transcending Bizarre?, Sigh, Cradle Of Filth
origin : Switzerland
strong spot : songwriting
weak spot : the duration of almost every track is too long and sometimes this is tiring for the listener

You probably already know Mirrorthrone. If you don't, download immediately.

9 out of 10 goatheads for ''Carriers of Dust''
8 out of 10 goatheads for ''Gangrene''

Monday, November 23, 2009


genre : experimental, avant-garde, extreme metal
similar bands : Unexpect, Diablo Swing Orchestra, Cradle Of Filth
origin : USA
strong spot : originality, diversity
weak spot : kidding?

This is the debut album of a band that is here to stay. Fans of Unexpect and Diablo Swing Orchestra will be pleasantly surprised. It is not so easy to exactly pinpoint the style they play, your ears will come across a bizarre amalgam of dark cabaret parts, spooky accordions, atmospheric black metal touches, punk outbreaks, symphonic soundtrack-ish parts and so many others. I am not going to squeeze my mind more to describe this album, you just have to listen for yourself.

9 out of 10 goatheads


genre : symphonic, melodic death/black
similar bands : Agathodaimon, Graveworm, Dark tranquillity
origin : Italy
strong spot : clever songwriting
weak spot : no obvious weak spot

Rarely do I listen to bands from Italy but Dark Lunacy's music is really enjoyable. Their sound is not so unique but they are talented enough to compose very clever songs and finally differentiate themselves from the bunch of other melodic death/black bands. Their style? Maybe Dark Tranquillity with a symphonic touch?

9 out of 10 goatheads


genre : experimental, atmospheric, progressive, post-rock/black
similar bands : Burst, 65 Days of Static, Mogwaii, Opeth, Katatonia, Leprous
origin : Finland
strong spot : atmosphere, performance, originality
weak spot : no obvious weak spot

Callisto are Finnish, such an origin is like a guarantee that a band is at least descent. But these guys here are more than descent, to be honest they are quite impressive. They play a quite minimalist, psychedelic post-metal type of music that is both melancholic and aggressive but most of all it is mysteriously compelling. Sometimes it sounds like the soundtrack of ''28 Days Later'' or ''The Fountain'', some others it balances between psychedelic doom black metal and post-rock in the vein of 65 Days of Static. Definitely, albums like this stretch the barriers of metal music.

9 out of 10 goatheads

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


genre : avant-garde, progresive, symphonic black
similar bands : Arcturus, Unexpect
origin : Norway
strong spot : songwriting, orchestrations, diversity, performance
weak spot : no obvious weak spot

This is the first album from this band that really impressed me. Their previous albums lacked a certain something I can not specify. In this album we have a nice balance between progressive performance, clever songwriting and experimentation that is not an end in itself but a creative element that contributes to the rest of the music. Brilliant.

9 out of 10 goatheads


genre : avant-garde, symphonic, melodic black
similar bands : Fleurety, Lacrimosa, Dornenreich
origin : Germany
strong spot : originality, diversity
weak spot : lyrics are in German

If you can overcome a vocalist singing exclusively in German, then this may sound like an interesting album. BM riffs, acoustic guitars, violins, pianos, combination between black and clean voices, an overall melancholic mood. Ignore the second track of the album, ''Verklarte Welt'', it is as cheesy as it gets.

7 out of 10 goatheads

Sunday, November 15, 2009

W.E.B. - JESUS HEIST (2008)

genre: symphonic black/death
similar bands : Graveworm, Septic Flesh, Moonspel, Transcending Bizarre?
origin : Greece
strong spot : songwriting
weak spot : there are at least 3 filler songs that ruin the show, some riffs are childish

The Greek combo here delivers an album that has some elements that may charm the devoted symphonic black/death fan. Half of the album is ok but there are also songs like ''Enthorned'' or ''Blossoms Cry'' that are more predictable than a Jennifer Aniston romantic movie.

6,5 out of 10 goatheads


genre: avant-garde, experimental, symphonic, gothic,alternative, extreme metal
similar music : Omen movie OST, Rosemary's Baby OST, Mr. Bungle, Morgul
origin : USA
strong spot : originality
weak spot : -

Fantomas is Mike Patton's (Faith No More) extremely interesting metal project. This album contains some of the most sinister covers you will ever come across. A mix of avant-garde metal and movie themes. Some of the songs will surprise you, I am sure. A 100% must-have album.

1. The Godfather
2. The Golem
3. Experiment In Terror
4. On Step Beyond
5. Night Of The Hunter (Remix)
6. Cape Fear
7. Rosemary's Baby
8. The Devil Rides Out (Remix)
9. Spider Baby
10. The Omen - Ave Satani
11.Henry: Portrait Of A Serial Killer
12. Vendetta
13. Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion - Fantômas,
14. Investigation Of A Citizen Above Suspicion
15. Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me
16. Charade

9,5 out of 10 goatheads

Friday, November 13, 2009


genre : avant-garde, post-black, ambient electronica
similar bands : Arcturus, Shining, Ulver, King Crimson
origin : Hungary
strong spot : originality, diversity
weak spot : clean vocals sound bad at parts, lyrics are in Hungarian

Most post-black metal bands play elevator music with the addition of distortion, they try to be different just to cover up their lack of talent. Fortunately, there are also bands like Thy Catafalque that recently released another intriguing album, so far this is their fourth one. Avant-garde post-black with an ambient psychedelic twist that can ONLY appeal to the experienced and tolerant avant-garde black listeners. Their previous efforts were a bit exaggerative but I think with this one they hit right on target.

9 out of 10 goatheads

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


genre : avant-garde, symphonic black
similar bands : Arcturus
origin : Norway
strong spot : originality, insanity, vocals
weak spot : -

Morgul released two outstanding albums in the beginning of this century and amazed all critics. Their unique avant-garde style and horror ambience are an anthem for expressional freedom and artistic inspiration. They were definitely inspired from the legendary ''La Masquerade Infernale'' but their creations were never based on mimicry. Fans of Arcturus, this is a must-have album (needless to say that if you are not familiar with this band , your jaw will drop)

9,5 out of 10 goatheads

Monday, November 9, 2009


genre : symphonic, doom black/death
similar bands : My Dying Bride, Swallow the Sun, Nox Aurea
origin : Finland
strong spot : melodies, atmosphere
weak spot : sometimes the similarities with the above mentioned bands are severe

I really like the name of the band..the Depeche Mode of metal.... Musically now, another very good doom/death album based mostly on symphonic orchestrations that manages not to sound boring even though it is extremely slow at parts. The first 3 songs are really killers. No need to mention everything else is professionally done simply because these guys are Finnish.

8 out of 10 goatheads


genre : symphonic black
similar bands : Septic Flesh, Therion
origin : Austria

There's no doubt that Hollenthon is one of the best symphonic extreme metal acts. This is their new EP containing 4 new songs plus 2 live recordings.

8 out of 10 goatheads

Sunday, November 8, 2009


genre: avant-garde black
similar bands : Secrets of the Moon, Code, Abigor
origin : France
strong spot : production, drum performance
weak spot : pretentious and fake avant-gardism, parts don't blend at all, all melodies are floating in the air aiming nowhere specifically

Have you realized you are not talented enough to write music? Grab your guitar, write dissonant riffs with strange chord progressions, combine them in a random and naive manner, add some jazzy drum passages and you are done. Reviewers will give you good marks even though you suck.In other words, Reverence suck. I totally agree with a guy's review in :

''Maybe if they got rid of the bad Ved Buens Ende-knockoff clean vocals and wrote guitar lines that were more than just odd chord progressions, they would be a good band. This just sounds like try-hards trying to be different.''

Experimentation is good when it's not fake, when the band doesn't experiment just because they ran out of inspiration. If you want an example of brilliant and inspired true avant-garde black, try Abigor's ''Fractal Possesion''.

5 out of 10 goatheads

Saturday, November 7, 2009


genre : death/black/metalcore/symphonic
similar bands : Septic Flesh, Chaostar, Slipknot
origin : Greece
strong spot : originality, arrangements, samples
weak spot : (this is not an official release)

When Septic Flesh split-up in 2006-7, the members of the band (except Sotiris Vagenas) formed a band that shared lots of similarities with Septic Flesh and Chaostar. This band is called The Devilworx. They never released these songs and they even deleted them from their myspace profile. The songs now uploaded in their profile are more metalcore-oriented and thus, I find them at least mediocre. Do not listen to their myspace page, the promo I recommend here are 4 totally different songs. Fans of Septicflesh, DOWNLOAD IMMEDIATELY!!!!

9 out of 10 goatheads


genre : avant-garde, symphonic black
similar bands : Mercyful Fate, OMEN movie soundtrack, Limbonic Art
origin : Japan
strong spot : original songwriting, choir parts, symphonic parts
weak spot : production has minor flows

If you haven't heard of this band, then I conclude you are not into avant-garde black. Sigh is Japan's leading extreme metal export, having released several high quality recordings throughout their nineteen year existence. This one is their most complete album, integrating various elements such as movie soundtracks, extreme thrash metal riffs and experimental psychedelic music. It is not as experimental as ''Imaginary Sonicscape'', here the band puts emphasis on the overall dark/horror atmosphere of the album. A perfect soundtrack for a cult Japanese horror movie.

9,5 out of 10 goatheads


genre : female-fronted symphonic metal
similar bands : Nightwish, Epica
origin : UK
strong spot : symphonic orchestrations, songwriting
weak spot : common cover, production could be better, 2-3 filler songs

It is hard to find a female-fronted band that is not ridiculous, fake and nerdy (e.g. Lacuna Coil). Whyzdom know how to write good music. Multi-layered and complex synth parts, melodies that don't fall in the trap of being catchy and commercial, concrete rhythm section. Telya, the singer, fails to shine in most of the songs and finally gives an average performance. The reason I strongly recommend this album is its first part and the advanced symphonic passages.

8 out of 10 goatheads


genre : melodic doom/death/black
similar bands : November's Doom, Noumena, Ikuinen Kaamos, Amorphis
origin : Finland
strong spot : multi-layered orchestrations
weak spot : I'd prefer some more new ideas

Swallow the Sun's EP ''Plague of Butterflies'' was so boring that I almost erased this band from my memory. Their latest effort is not that bad, in fact it has very good moments although it is not something groundbreaking. Nice doom/death performed professionally, average songwriting, perfect production.

7,5 out of 10 goatheads

Friday, November 6, 2009


genre : acoustic, dark cabaret, avant-garde, theatrical, black metal
similar bands : Tiger Lillies, Angizia, Sopor Aeternus
origin : Greece
strong spot : overall atmosphere, variety in vocals
weak spot : I'd prefer some electric guitars in the whole puzzle

''What happens when music bring puppets to life?''. Dirty Granny Tales is a stunning mixture of puppet theatre and acoustic experimental music in the vein of Tiger Lillies. I haven't seen their theatrical live show but I have listened to their music thoroughly and it is exactly what we could define as acoustic black metal. Some may find it boring, this is an album that demands several listens to be fully understood.

8 out of 10 goatheads

Thursday, November 5, 2009


genre : symphonic industrial black
similar bands : Dagoba, Aborym
origin : Finland
strong spot : songwriting, performance, vocals, samples
weak spot : no obvious weak spot

Shade Empire have mastered their craft in this album. Industrial sounds in a hyperspeed black/death metal background with the right dose of experimentation (e.g. a saxophone is used in a track). A real pandemonium of chaotic drums, devastating bass lines and violent synths. Dark industrial harmony intertwined with death metal rawness. Finland has done it once again...

9 out of 10 goatheads


genre : symphonic black/pagan
similar bands : Dimmu Borgir, Dissection, Abigail Williams, Hermh
origin : UK
strong spot : diverse song structures
weak spot : clean vocals sound cheesy, terrible album cover and band logo

Pagan and folk metal bands usually suck. Traces are an atmospheric BM band with folk influences but they don't suck.

7,5 out of 10 goatheads


genre : avant-garde, experimental, symphonic black
similar bands : Le Grand Guignol, Carach Angren, Solefald, Dodheimsgard
origin : Netherlands
strong spot : originality, insanity
weak spot : ''love it or hate it'' category

I read somewhere the perfect description for this band:''a horror movie soundtrack meets experimental black metal with hint of electronics''. I have to confirm the above statement and add that these guys are definitely insane. Some years ago, when I first encountered their work I was sure they were French (since France has delivered lots of this kind of sick experimental albums), but I was wrong. Ordo Draconis are a quite unknown Dutch combo but they definitely deserve more recognition in the avant-garde metal scene. They manage to sound innovative and original without being fake, without being ridiculous. Their wicked melodies, vocals, orchestrations and their overall pioneer spirit result in an extremely addictive and unique album that every advanced listener will adore.

9,5 out of 10 goatheads

If you liked Ordo Draconis, download also Rheinkaos-Beta Religion (new track) from

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


genre : symphonic, industrial, gothic, black
similar bands : The Kovenant, Arcturus, Ensoph
origin : Finland
strong spot : sick vocals
weak spot : lack of diversity, terrible album title

In-your-face riffs, majestic symphonic soundscapes, eerie vocals, bizarre orchestrations, sinister lyrics. The album's title promises a pandemonium and that's exactly what the listener finally gets. Chaotic beauty with a sick twist.

7,5 out of 10 goatheads