Thursday, January 28, 2010


genre : avant-garde/ jazzy black
similar bands : Code, Shining VI, DHG, Virus
origin : Norway
strong spot : wicked style and production
weak spot : some people may find it tiring, repetitive

The reviewers will definitely rank this band very high. The truth is that these guys have crafted a very original and paranoid style. The production is extra post-modern and especially the guitar distortion is reminiscent of Muse. Strange as it may seems, the band doesn't use guitar arpeggios but it still sounds like black metal. But is it an album that everyone can enjoy? I suppose not. The average listener will consider it a difficult listen due to its huge doses of schizophreneia, noise and atonality. I have to confess that it is extremely hard to listen to the whole album multiple times even for trained avant-garde ears. So, be prepared.

8 out of 10 goatheads

Monday, January 25, 2010


genre : avant-garde/progressive death/doom
similar bands : Opeth, Katatonia, Porcupine Tree, Leprous
origin : USA
strong spot : eclectic style, songwriting
weak spot : -

This is an exceptional album. It combines a variety of genres, from rock opera to death metal, and it is especially rich in orchestrations and ideas. Violins, saxophones, flutes, folk instruments, synths, pianos fit perfectly with the progressive rock/metal background and the main reason for this is simply the band's clever songwriting. There are many bands that try to be different but few of them can write a ''good song''. The purpose of music is this damn ''good song'', isnt it?

9 out of 10 goatheads

Friday, January 22, 2010


genre : avant-garde/experimental melodic black
similar bands : Graveworm, The Kovenant, Transcending Bizarre?, Arcturus
origin : Hungary
strong spot : pioneer spirit, solid production, performance
weak spot : a couple of cheesy moments

The Hungarian combo here struggles to transcend the metal barriers and deny the conventional metal rules. Whether the experiment is successful or not, I am not sure. There are parts that are reminiscent of other bands and others that are really original and reveal an unconventional beauty.It is worth mentioning that the track ''The Angel and the Dark River'' has a vocalist who sings like the eunuchs in the classical era (they were also called castratos) and sounds utterly ridiculous. Moreover, the track ''Fake'' has one of the most awful and cheesy house/techno passages ever. Even so, ''Weird Constellations'' is an album that worths the shot and some of you may really like. But it definitely baffled me...I simply don't know if I liked it or not.

8 out of 10 goatheads

Thursday, January 21, 2010


genre : atmospheric/melodic death
similar bands : At the Gates, Callenish Circle, Mercenary, In Slumber
origin : The Netherlands
strong spot : diversity, performance
weak spot : slight repetition

Not much to say here...A mixture of brutal and atmospheric death metal. Nothing we haven't heard before.

8 out of 10 goatheads

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


genre : atmospheric/melodic death
similar bands : Opeth, In mourning, Daylight Dies
origin : Norway
strong spot : diversity
weak spot : ''I've heard it before'' syndrome, clean vocals bring metalcore bands to mind and metalcore is a curse for music

Lots of acoustic guitars, lots of melodic guitar lines, sorrowful melodies and an overall melancholic mood. No room for originality here. That doesn't make the album boring though, it is still a very intriguing album. Diversity is what I liked here: you listen to a fast death metal riff and then suddenly the pace changes and you dive in the melody of a sad piano. This album can appeal to fans from a large number of genres.

8 out of 10 goatheads


genre : atmospheric doom/black
similar bands : Cor Scorpii, Kampfar,Agalloch
origin : Sweden
strong spot : atmosphere
weak spot : too minimalist

Minimalist atmospheric black metal from the depths of the cold Swedish forests. I think that this description fits perfectly and gives a hint about the musical direction of this debut album. Recommended if you are in a chill out black metal mood.

7 out of 10 goatheads


genre : avant-garde black
similar bands : Mayhem, 1349, Code, Reverence, Secrets of the Moon
origin : Austria
strong spot : paranoid avant-garde weird songwriting
weak spot : album consists of 2 very long tracks, production is rawer than it should (even for a cult black metal sound)

This was a long-awaited album...Abigor present an album that is highly artificial: it's like the tracks were composed by an intelligent robot rather than a man. Compositions don't flow naturally, they are chaotic and highly complex and seem to obey some mathematical rules (the performance of the band is once again jaw dropping). There are definitely lots of common elements with their previous albums but the scenery here is even more eccentric and avant-garde. Therefore, it needs time to be fully understood. I would definitely recommend it to fans of ''Grand Declaration of War'' by Mayhem.

Note: the new ABigor's album entitled ''Quintessence'' is expected later this year (March or April). The album recommended here contains new stuff but it is actually a split release together with Blacklodge.

8,5 out of 10 goatheads

Sunday, January 17, 2010


genre : avant-garde,symphonic thrash/black
similar bands : Limbonic Art, King Diamond
origin : Japan
strong spot : clever use of horns, clever orchestrations, clever songwriting
weak spot : production is once again a bit messy

This is THE album!!! The best album of the year so far (and one of the best black albums ever) comes from Japan. Sigh's new endeavour sounds like nothing we've heard before and yet it incorporates most of the elements of the band's previous albums. Imagine a progressive/psychedelic/rock band from the '70s experimenting with black metal, after a huge dose of drugs. The analogue/dirty/raw production and the constant use of trombones and saxophone gives the feeling of a '70s ''black metal'' band. It also sounds like a soundtrack from an old cult japanese horror movie. A MUST-HAVE ALBUM!

9,3 out of 10 goatheads

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


genre : avant-garde black
similar bands : Code, DHG, Klabautamann, Virus
origin : Sweden
strong spot : melodic and atonal parts blend nicely
weak spot : monotonous and dull at parts

After Thy Catafalque and Klabautamann, this is another interesting recommendation regarding 100% experimental/avant-gade black metal. The song structures, the melodies, the vocals, the production and the whole atmosphere manifest the pioneer spirit of this Swedish combo. Recommended ONLY for fans of the above mentioned bands.

8 out of 10 goatheads

Monday, January 4, 2010


genre : melodic/avant-garde/progressive black
similar bands : Emperor, Dream Theater, Opeth
origin : Norway
strong spot : performance, originality, songwriting
weak spot : no obvious weak spot

Ihsahn is back with another intriguing album. The style is a bit differentiated, he uses 8-string guitars, it sometimes sounds more progressive and more thrash-oriented than his previous works but anyway who cares... it is still an IHSAHN album. The incorporation of saxophone is a very daring and risky thing to do but according to my opinion it is highly successful. It adds an avant-garde and jazzy feeling to the whole atmosphere. Ihsahn is one of the best metal composers of our time and he is here to prove it once again with a forward-thinking brilliant album.

9 out of 10 goatheads


genre : melodic/atmospheric death metal
similar bands : Dark Tranquillity, Omnium Gatherum, Graveworm, Be'lakor
origin : Spain
strong spot : songwriting, production, vocals
weak spot : songs could vary more

Dulcamara are very similar to the band in my previous post, Be'lakor. Overall, a very nice album, full of aggression and melancholy.

8,5 out of 10 goatheads


genre : melodic doom/death
similar bands : In Mourning, Ikuinen Kaamos, Dark Tranquillity
origin : Australia
strong spot : melancholic melodies
weak spot : songs could vary more

Be'lakor is the first band from Australia to be recommended here. Very nicely performed melodic death metal with an atmospheric/melancholic touch. Imagine Dark tranquillity from ''The Gallery'' era being a little more moody and slow.

8,5 out of 10 goatheads