Sunday, February 28, 2010

MORTEMIA - MISERE MORTEM (2010)

genre : symphonic/choral black
similar bands : Tristania, Sirenia, After Forever
origin : Norway
strong spot : hmmm
weak spot : sounds like pop death

Take Sirenia's and Tristania's catchy/commercial/pop metal music and add some black/death vocals. All these bands repeat themselves and use the common minor/major chord progressions.
If you like sth like this, you may as well enjoy Mortemia.

7,6 out of 10 goatheads


Friday, February 26, 2010

CARACH ANGREN - DEATH CAME THROUGH A PHANTOM SHIP (2010)

genre : symphonic black
similar bands : Cradle of Filth, Transcending Bizarre?, Tvangeste, Mirrorthrone
origin : Holland
strong spot : almost everything
weak spot : nothing

When I first listened to their previous album my jaw dropped to the ground, this is exactly my cup of tea. Intelligent compositions, beautiful orchestrations, realistic orchestral samples, unusual chord progressions, passion, mightiness, grandeur. This is a concept album where the music blends perfectly with the horror story. A MUST download!

This band is far better than most of the shit released by the big labels, I would recommend everyone to order this album and support bands like Carach Angren.

9,5 out of 10 goatheads


Thursday, February 25, 2010

NE OBLIVISCARIS - THE AURORA VEIL (2007)

genre : melodic/progressive black
similar bands : Winds, Ihsahn
origin : Australia
strong spot : clever use of violin
weak spot : nothing obvious

This is a pretty unknown band that comes from Australia and delivers an interesting album that balances between black metal and progressive melodic doom in the vein of Winds.

8,1 out of 10 goatheads


BORKNAGAR - UNIVERSAL (2010)

genre : melodic/avant-garde black
similar bands : Dimmu Borgir, Amorphis, Vintersong, Arcturus
origin : Norway
strong spot : orchestrations
weak spot : contains a few filler songs

This is the 8th full length album of Borknagar. My main criticism about their works is mainly their tendency to repeat themselves in every new album. Their new one deviates from this rule (don't expect radical changes ) and I have to admit it is a very good album. There are lots of clean voices (Simen Hestnaes offers his brilliant voice in one track) and lots of black metal screams and riffs. The atmosphere is very close to the astral scenery depicted in the cover and most of the compositions are really enjoyable.

8,8 out of 10 goatheads


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

SCRAMBLED DEFUNCTS - SOULS DESPISING THE GOD (2009)

genre : symphonic/technical death
similar bands : Spawn of Posession, Visceral Bleeding
origin : Russia
strong spot : symphonic parts, performance
weak spot : symhponic parts, performance

It may sounds weird but the strong spots of this band are also their weak spots. The symphonic parts are really complex and impressive but if you listen to the whole album, it seems that they suffer from a lack of direction. Moreover, their technical performance is more than obvious but I see no passion, no musical direction, no nothing. However, I have to admit I am not a fan of technical death and maybe I cannot review this album. For fans of this genre this is a perfect symphonic version of a technical death band.

8 out of 10 goatheads


Saturday, February 20, 2010

IN MOURNING - MONOLITH (2010)

genre : melodic/melancholic death
similar bands : Opeth, Daylight Dies, In vain, Ghost Brigade, Noumena
origin : Sweden
strong spot : songwriting, production
weak spot : 1-2 filler songs

In Mourning's main strong spot is not originality, there are tons of bands that try to play descent melodic doom/death. But these Swedish guys simply know how to write and orchestrate very good songs. Their compositions, all the parts, couples, refrains, all their ideas and all the instruments follow specific guidelines and produce a coherent album. Lots of musicians have ideas but the difficult part is to combine all these ideas into a solid composition. In Mourning are good at this. This album is best experienced as a whole, since different tracks depict different moods/feelings (with melancholy being the dominant one).

8,6 out of 10 goatheads


Friday, February 19, 2010

WHISPERED - THOUSAND SWORDS (2010)

genre : avant-garde/symphonic/folk black/death
similar bands : Children of Bodom, Kalmah
origin : Finland
strong spot : use of japanese folk intruments (!)
weak spot : seems different but it's not

Imagine Children of Bodom incorporating a few folk elements in their music and you got the picture.

8 out of 10 goatheads


Sunday, February 14, 2010

SEMEN DATURA - EINSAMKEIT (2009)

genre : avant-garde/melodic black
similar bands : Artefact, Abigor, Mayhem
origin : Germany
strong spot : cult
weak spot : weak production

This is original and cult black metal done the clever way. It has a terrible production that contributes to the whole atmosphere, simplicity in the performance of the band and lots of black metal cliches. Yet it doesn't sound stale but on the contrary it's very fresh and interesting. Well done...

8,5 out of 10 goatheads


Monday, February 8, 2010

ROTTING CHRIST - AEALO (2010)

genre : melodic black
similar bands : Rotting Christ
origin : Greece
strong spot : originality, songwriting, samples
weak spot : no obvious weak spot

The greek black metal armada has returned presenting an album of unique beauty and atmosphere. Sakis has composed some of his best pieces so far ( this guy's inspiration seems to run like an endless river) and, once again, Rotting Christ manage to craft an excellent album that takes the listener to unearthly landscapes from the dark ancient Greek history. The folk elements that were introduced in their previous effort are even more impressive now and the black metal core of the music is more solid than ever. The whole result can be simply described with one word that summarizes everything: Hades.

9 out of 10 goatheads


Saturday, February 6, 2010

ANTARES PREDATOR - TWILIGHT OF THE APOCALYPSE (2010)

genre : symphonic thrash/black
similar bands : Keep of Kalessin, Limbonic Art, Naglfar
origin : Norway
strong spot : performance
weak spot : too much speed gets boring, songs suffer from repetition

This is a very interesting listen that once again comes from Norway. The core of the music is blackened thrash but there are also some symphonic elements here and there that add an extra flavour to the overall atmosphere.

7,5 out of 10 goatheads


Tuesday, February 2, 2010

WINTERBURST - WINTERBURST (2010)

genre : symphonic black
similar bands : Dimmu Borgir, Depresy, Vesania, Imperial Vengeance
origin : France
strong spot : -
weak spot : ''I've heard it before'' category

Once again not much to say here. Typical sympho-black.

7,8 out of 10 goatheads


Monday, February 1, 2010

IMMANIFEST - QLIPHOTIC EP (2010)

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

Not much to say here.More or less typical black metal from the USA. Well performed, dark enough and quite interesting.

7,8 out of 10 goatheads