Thursday, February 24, 2011


genre :shoegaze, post-black
similar bands :Alcest,Fen, Les Dicrets
origin : Germany
strong spot : the lyrics are not in French (like Alcest)
weak spot :

The circle of bands that play this kind of style is slowly getting bigger and bigger. Well, I have studied some things about musical composition, so allow me to judge this album from a composer's perspective. The music is quite pleasant and trippy, the production fits perfectly, the vocals are desperate and passionate. But this shoegaze post-black  usually includes 'easy to compose'songs. Don't get me wrong, I like some of these bands (Alcest, Les Dicrets, Amesoeurs, Lantlos) but I think all of their albums are mediocre when talking about musical composition. Believe me, it is very easy to play slow or mid-tempo parts full of  minor/major chord progressions that are overused in non-metal genres. The arrangements are also very typical and very common. As a result, the music sounds stale and flat and all these bands sound exactly similar to each other. Who can tell the difference between Lantlos and Alcest or Heretoir? Septicflesh, to give you an example, use their own characteristic chord progressions and orchestrations, their compositions have clever chord progressions, changing of tone or scale in the right time, diverse orchestrations etc etc. I am sure that a composition professor would rate Septicflesh with 8 and Alcest with 3 or 4. By reading the above, you can figure out my point of view about Heretoir's album, which I enjoyed but I doubt that this can last. Last note: I exclude Fen from what I said above, they are seemingly a similar band but their music is much more advanced and sophisticated. They are simply the best band in this genre.

6,9  out of 10 goatheads 

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Tuesday, February 22, 2011


genre : electro/experimental/avantgarde/black/neoclassical/industrial etc etc
similar bands : -
origin : France
strong spot : originality, loops, diversity
weak spot : love it or hate it category

This is an album that falls in the category ''What the fuck!''. If you are open minded enough to show interest for breakbit loops, black metal outbreaks, baroque orchestrations, a little bit of folk, double dosage of perversion and tons of other things played simultaneously, then you'd better hurry up and listen to this one-man project.

8,4 out of 10 goatheads 

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Sunday, February 20, 2011


genre : depressive black / rock
similar bands : Katatonia
origin : Sweden
strong spot : moody atmosphere
weak spot :production is plastic and ridiculous, mediocrity almost everywhere but the vocals

Lifelover belong in a quite famous label and thus receive a lot of publicity. But the truth is that 'Sjukdom' sounds like a demo from Katatonia, when the band wasn't technically competent enough and couldn't afford paying for a descent production. The drum machine (this is not a real drummer for sure) sounds 100% artificial and plastic and there are no drum breaks.There are also popping sounds from the mic, it seems that the band forgot to use a pop shield in the microphone. Totally childish. Now how can I judge the rest of the music? This is almost impossible, but at least I can say that Lifelover's music is full of average moody melodies and predictable song structures.

4 out of 10 goatheads 

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Thursday, February 17, 2011


 genre : post-metal/sludge/depressive black
similar bands : Callisto, Tombs, Virus
origin : Greece
strong spot : originality, grungy production
weak spot :

'The Guilt of Felling Alive'...what a title! The Greeks combine elements from lots of genres and the result sounds really solid and intense. The sound is heavy as hell and deliberately lo-fi . It reminded me of the raw productions of Celtic Frost even though the music is quite different. Doomy, melancholic, psychedelic, minimalist, extreme, unearthly. Definitely an album that deserves attention, here we see sparkles of the future metal sound.

8,8 out of 10 goatheads 

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Wednesday, February 16, 2011


genre : avant-garde/ psychedelic metal
similar bands : Ved Buens Ende, Dodheimsgard, Code, Deathspell Omega
origin : Norway
strong spot : originality, vocals
weak spot : no new elements are presented here, the band is stuck to its typical sound

100% deranged and perverse. Virus continue their unearthly, mind-fucking journey and present an album reminiscent of their previous one ('The Black Flux' was a bit catchier than this one though). The 'avalanche' of dissonant chord progressions and riffs along with the insane vocals produce a unique atmosphere that aims the advanced listeners. My objection is that I would prefer to see Virus evolving and adding new elements to their music. Ok, the recipe was succesfull and they created a hype in the avant-garde scene but is this enough? I am sure they will get a lot of praise for this one (reviewers in web zines like etc are already praising this album before listening to it) but the truth is that they present nothing new here.

5 out of 10 goatheads 

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Saturday, February 12, 2011


genre : avant-garde/symphonic black
similar bands :Winds, Todtgelichter, Ludicra, Fjoergyn, Agrypnie
origin : Austria
strong spot :vocals, avant-garde performance
weak spot : lack of diversity

Hmm, that was a tough one. The album is interesting, the band gives an ideal performance and lots of melodies and riffs can easily stick to your mind. Dornenreich show once again a high degree of originality. My only objection is that  nearly all  tracks sound similar to each other (for example, the band doesn't escape from the minor/major chords recipe). Of course, it is it still a very good album but I reckon it could aim even higher if the band added some extra variety in the compositions and the arrangements.  'In Allem Weben' track  is a real masterpiece.

8,5 out of 10 goatheads 

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Thursday, February 10, 2011


genre :  melodic/doom death
similar bands : In Mourning, Daylight Dies, Swallow The Sun, Noumena
origin : Finland
strong spot : production, melodies, songwriting
weak spot : there are 1 or 2 tracks obviously weaker than the others

Omnium Gatherum once again present excellent melancholic and doomy melo-death.There are also some prog elements and chords introduced here for the first time. This band definitely knows how to write emotional and catchy songs, there are lots of brilliant and clever tunes  that stick to your mind. Maybe their best album so far.

9 out of 10 goatheads 

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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

FEN - EPOCH (2011)

genre :  post-rock/ pagan black
similar bands : Agalloch, Drudkh, A Forest of Stars,Borknagar

origin : UK
strong spot : atmosphere, songwriting
weak spot : nothing too obvious

After their stunning album in 2009, Fen are back again with a new masterpiece full of haunting and beautiful melodies. The pagan spirit is once again present in large doses and the performance is raw but quite sophisticated. There is also a psychedelic/post-rock touch in most of the songs, similar  to bands like Sigur Ros or Mogwai. Fen's melodies are not sweet, pop and cheesy, like in some of the tracks by Amesoeurs, Alcest or Lantlos.Their music is simple,dreamy and calm without being naive. The screaming vocals are extremely expressive and the clean vocals are slightly better than in ''The Malediction Fields''. Fen is the only band of this genre that charms me to such an extend and really takes me to a magical journey. Serene, peaceful, enchanting, magnificent.

9,3 out of 10 goatheads 

password : 666888666
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Monday, February 7, 2011


genre :  post- black
similar bands : Iskald, Dark Fortress, Vreid
origin : Greece
strong spot : performance, clean vocals, Greek chant samples
weak spot : nothing too obvious

A very interesting and diverse debut album from the Greek combo, a musical 'fist' full of  rage and darkness. Most of the tracks are quite sophisticated and complex and there are also some progressive black elements in the vein of Enslaved.

8,4 out of 10 goatheads 

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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

KERBENOK - O (2008)

genre : avant-garde/ pagan/ progressive black
similar bands : Enslaved, Fen, Agalloch, Deathspell Omega
origin : Germany
strong spot :performance, production, originality
weak spot : nothing too obvious

UPDATED Review: ''Kerbenok is a Black Metal Band from Germany.Their songs represent the real spirit of nature.''. This is a quote from the band's page and I reckon it depicts accurately the songs and the atmosphere of ''O''. Complex song-structures and weird songwriting enriched by female vocals, flute and vibraphone result in an abundance of moods and a unique sound. The sound of the clean or grungy guitars and the layers between the different guitar sounds are ideal.

8,9 out of 10 goatheads 

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