Author Archive

Existance -Wolf Attack

Posted in Review with tags , on 9th January 2022 by izaforestspirit

Existance
Wolf Attack

Released 29th October 2021
Heavy Metal/Melodic Power Metal
Released via Black Viper Records

Existance - Wolf Attack

Wolf Attack’ is the new album from the French heavy metal band Existance. The group was formed back in 2008 and they have been the opening act for Adrian Vanderberg, Joe Lynn Turner and Skull Fist. This album was mastered by Jacob Hansen who has also worked with U.D.O, Primal Fear and Volbeat.

So what we have here is eleven tracks of very uplifting melodic power metal packed with playful guitar tunes. Highlight Vampire is particularly entertaining thanks to the high-pitched vocals and infectiously catchy guitar riffs. A great start to the album. I also enjoyed Rock n’Roll, another cheerful heavy metal track that is bound to put a smile on your face. The chorus is simple but fun to sing along to and the guitar work is just as lively.

Another track that caught my attention is Sniper Alley which has a varied pace and features some of the most catchy guitar work of the album. Then there’s You Gotta Rock It, a very enjoyable guitar-driven heavy metal song with strong AC/DC vibes.

In summary, I enjoyed listening to ‘Wolf Attack’. It’s a very well executed and highly entertaining album which I would happily recommend to fans of both melodic power metal and classic heavy metal.

8/10

Iza Raittila

Iza’s Highlights of 2021

Posted in Editorial/Opinionated with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 29th December 2021 by izaforestspirit

Another year of no gigs for me but thanks to the Covid 19 vaccine I was able to travel abroad and watch a movie at the cinema. Then new strain of the virus led to new restrictions and event cancellations. It remains to be seen whether I can go to any concerts next year but for now I’m happy with watching live streams and listening to music. Here are my highlights of 2021:

1. Cradle of Filth – Resistance is Futile
Genre: Symphonic Black Metal/Extreme Gothic Metal

Cradle of Filth - Existence Is Futile

It’s been many years since Cradle of Filth have made an album this good. It reminds me of their eerie Gothic horror masterpiece ‘Midian’. Best tracks: ‘Crawling King Chaos’, ‘Suffer Our Dominium’ and ‘How Many Tears To Nurture A Rose’.

2. Therion – Leviathan
Genre: Symphonic Metal

Therion is a band I used to like but I lost interest in their releases over a decade ago. Then I saw their video for ‘Tuonela (featuring Marco Hietala) and I decided to give their new album a go. It turned out to be everything that I love about Therion – mythical themes, operatic vocals and movie soundtrack -style atmospheric symphonic metal. In addition to ‘Tuonela’, my favorite tracks are ‘Eye of Algol’ and ‘Nocturnal Light’.

3. Bodom After Midnight – Paint The Sky With Blood
Genre: Melodic Death Metal/Power Metal

Bodom After Midnight, Paint the Sky with Blood, 10" Vinyl - Backstage Rock  Shop

This one is technically an EP but in this case I decided to make an exception. This is Alexi Laiho’s (ex-Children of Bodom) swansong, the last three tracks he recorded with his new band before he died last year.

4. Helloween – Helloween
Genre: Power Metal

Helloween - Helloween

While it’s no match to ‘The Dark Ride’, Helloween’s self-titled is the most memorable power metal album I’ve heard this year. Very uplifting and energetic from start to finish. Best tracks: ‘Fear of The Fallen’, ‘Skyfall’ and ‘Best Time’.

5. Blue Stahli – Obsidian
Genre: Industrial Rock/Electric Rock

This album is the final part of the industrial artist Bret Autrey aka Blue Stahli’s Dead Channel Trilogy and my favorite one out of the three. Energetic industrial rock at its finest. Best tracks: ‘The Mountain’ and ‘One Last Breath’.

6. Lord of The Lost – Judas
Genre: Gothic Metal/Dark Rock/Industrial Metal

I had some serious doubts about Lord of The Lost being able to produce another good album after the masterpiece that was ‘Thornstar’. The reason why ‘Judas’ is so low down on this list is because I didn’t like the second disc as much as the first. I think that it would have been better if it was shorter. Best tracks: ‘Priest’, ‘For They Know Not What They Do’ and ‘Born With A Broken Heart’.

7. Hate – Rugia
Genre: Black Metal/ Blackened Death Metal

Hate - Rugia

Hate tend to get overlooked by many extreme metal fans and dismissed as a Behemoth clone. Whilst they also come from Poland and they play blackened death metal, the similarities end there. Their music is far less technical than Behemoth but it’s just as dark and bleak. I love the Slavic mythology themes on here. Best tracks ‘Rugia’ and ‘Resurgence’.

8. Lacrimosa – Leidenschaft
Genre: Gothic Metal

Finally a new album from one of my favorite Gothic metal bands. This one has the same melancholic ambience as their previous opus ‘Testimonium’ along with some heavier, more metal songs. Best tracks: ‘Kulturtasche’ and ‘Raubtier’.

9. Blutengel – Erlösung – The Victory of Light
Genre: Synthpop/ Darkwave

For those who don’t know I have a thing for vampires and German electronica which is what got me into Blutengel. The latest opus from the German darkwave duo features several really good dancefloor hits including: ‘The Victory of Light’, ‘Wir Sind Das Licht’ and ‘Darkness Awaits Us’.

10. Eisbrecher – Liebe Macht Monster
Genre: Industrial Metal

If you like industrial, Neue Deutsche Härte and you’re looking for some new exercise music then ‘Liebe Macht Monster’ is the album for you. Best tracks: ‘Es lohnt sich nicht ein Mensch zu sein’ and ‘Nein Danke’ and ‘Dagegen featuring Dero Goi (Oomph!, Die Kreatur).

Honorable mentions:

Ex Deo – The 13 Years of Nero
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sSVkjiUxW0M
Theatres des Vampires – In Nomine Sanguinis
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6XCn6mihi6s
Powerwolf – Call of The Wild
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bf5SMqG-JHk

Most anticipated albums of 2022 – Sabaton – The War To End All Wars, new albums from Suicide Commando and Agathodaimon.

Happy New Year Everyone!

Iza Raittila


Dargor – Descent Into Abyss

Posted in Review with tags , on 19th December 2021 by izaforestspirit

Dargor
Descent into Chaos
Released 6th May 2021
Atmospheric Black Metal
Self-Released

Dargor - Descent into Chaos

Then a lot of people hear the words “black metal” and “Poland”, the first band name that usually comes to mind is Behemoth. Even if their style has shifted away from their black metal roots to create a mixture of black metal and death metal; more commonly known as blackened death metal, they remain the country’s most recognizable and successful extreme metal band. But those who are more familiar with the Polish metal scene will know that there are other black metal bands worth checking out such as Mgła, Vesania or Batushka to name but a few. This brings me to ‘Descent into Chaos’ – the second EP from the Polish black metal band Dargor. The project was launched in 2018. Both their EPs are self-released and available from their Bandcamp page.

So, what we have here are five tracks of melodic atmospheric black metal. There’s a subtle balance between the eerie yet melodic guitar work and the coarse-sounding vocals. The opening track Abysses is a good example of this contrast. The guitars create a haunting atmosphere and the vocalist really does sound like a tortured soul crying out in pain. Another song that caught my attention is Decay which features more eerie and atmospheric guitar tones, ghastly vocals ending with a surprisingly melodic and soothing keyboard outro.

In summary, ‘Descent To Chaos’ is definitely one of the more memorable black metal releases I’ve heard this year. If Dargor continue along the same path they’ll have a bright future ahead of them.

7/10 Iza Raittila

Theatres des Vampires – In Nomine Sanguinis

Posted in Review with tags , on 25th November 2021 by izaforestspirit

Theatres des Vampires
In Nomine Sanguinis
Released 19th November 2021
Gothic Metal
Released via Scarlet Records

Theatres des Vampires - In Nomine Sanguinis

With the notable exception of Lord of the Lost’s ‘Judas’ and the upcoming Lacrimosa album, not too many Gothic metal releases caught my attention this year. Then I discovered that Theatres Des Vampires are back with a new album so I decided to check it out. They’re a band I’ve been following for some time, but I tend to prefer their earlier stuff back when they had Lord Vampyr as their main vocalist. Since he left and Sonya Scarlet became their main singer, their albums have been hit and miss for me. I liked ‘Pleasure and Pain’ and ‘Moonlight Waltz’ but the last one they released in 2016 failed to impress me. So I’m hoping that ‘In Nomine Sanguinis’ will be better.

After a few listens I can safely say that this is a marked improvement when compared to their previous album ‘Candyland’. In many ways it reminds me of the mid-career albums, particularly ‘Moonlight Waltz’. The vampire themes are back and Sonya Scarlet’s haunting vocals have regained their mojo. The album offers a good balance of atmospheric keyboards, melodic vocals and more guitar-driven songs such as The Bride of Corinth. I really liked that eerie and atmospheric keyboard intro on that one. Other memorable tracks include ‘Christina’ thanks to its catchy melodic chorus that really makes me feel like dancing along. My personal favorite is Lady Bathory. Here the vocals take on a harsher, more eerie tone, the guitars are more prominent while the keyboards are more subtle, creeping into the background. The chorus is great too.

Overall, there’s a lot to like here if you’re into Gothic metal. While it doesn’t offer anything dramatically new , as far as Theatres des Vampires albums go this is one is definitely one of the better ones. Good to see that Scarlet and her vampire coven are back in blood.

7/10

Iza Raittila

Duindwaler – Landloper

Posted in Review with tags on 2nd November 2021 by izaforestspirit

Duindwaler
Landloper
10th March 2021
Raw Black Metal

Duindwaler - Landloper

‘Landloper’ is the debut EP from the Dutch black metal artist Daan Bleumink (Hellevaerder, Throne of Time, Whore of the Underworld). The project was launched earlier this year.

So, what we have here are four tracks of raw and extremely bleak-sounding black metal. The vocals resemble monstrous howling and guitars are very rough and harsh. Each song has the same violent and nihilistic feel to it. It reminded me a little of Ildjarn but this is even more crude-sounding. The track that caught my attention was Ontwaakte vlam. It’s easily the most memorable song on the EP with a varied pace and long instrumental guitar parts.

In summary, I like black metal but raw black metal isn’t really my thing. As far as the genre goes ‘Landloper’ is a decent EP which I would recommend to fans of the genre.

6/10

Cradle of Filth – Existence Is Futile

Posted in Review with tags , , on 22nd October 2021 by izaforestspirit

Cradle of Filth
Existence is Futile
Released 22nd October 2021
Symphonic Black Metal/ Extreme Gothic Metal
Released via Nuclear Blast

Cradle of Filth - Existence Is Futile

The leaves have fallen, the nights are getting colder and autumn is now truly upon us. As we approach the Halloween season it seems like the perfect time to check out the latest album from the world renowned British extreme metal band Cradle of Filth. This delightfully eerie-looking opus is entitled ‘Existence is Futile’ and it’s the first album to feature the band’s new keyboard player Anabelle Iranti (also of Devilment). I’ve been a fan of their music since my early teens, so I’ve been really looking forward to this.

Now let’s just take a moment to adore the marvelously nihilistic cover art and Dani Filth’s song titles of lyrical poetry. You can’t really get more Gothic horror than a title like ‘How Many Tears To Nurture A Rose’. Music-wise this album feels like a continuation of ‘Midian’ with dose of ‘Nymphetamine’ mixed in. Crawling King Chaos first caught my attention due to infectiously catchy chorus, impressive riffs and symphonic keyboards. That chorus has been stuck in my head ever since I saw the music video. The aforementioned How Many Tears To Nurture A Rose is packed with thrash metal -style guitar riffs, well placed ethereal backing vocals and Dani Filth’s screams sound as creepy as ever.

The global warming -themed Suffer Our Dominion really reminded me of ‘Midian’, partially due to Doug Bradley’s spoken word intro. In a way it feels like a continuation of where they left off with ‘Her Ghost In The Fog’. It has the same atmosphere with the eerie keyboards creeping in the background paired with Anabelle Iranti’s angelic vocals which provide the ideal contrast to Dani Filth’s abrasive shrieks. The Hellraiser actor then returns to lend his voice for one of the bonus tracks Sisters of the Mist which concludes the trilogy that began with ‘Her Ghost In The Fog’. The spooky keyboards are an absolute treat. I adored Dani Filth’s haunting whispers midway through the track. A true masterpiece of Gothic horror.

In summary, despite of the bleak concept behind it, ‘Existence Is Futile’ is a surprisingly entertaining album to tune into. As far as symphonic black metal goes it ticks all the right boxes. The songs get better with each listen. It’s impressive that even after this many years and several line-up changes Cradle of Filth are still able to create a strong record that’s worth going back to.

8/10

Iza Raittila

Spirit of Rebellion – Time for Global Refusal

Posted in Review with tags on 14th October 2021 by izaforestspirit
Spirit of Rebellion 
Time For Global Refusal
Released 28th July 2020
Death Metal
Released via PRC Music

‘Time For Global Refusal’ is the new album from the Quebec-based Canadian death metal outfit Spirit of Rebellion. They have been active since 2001.

As far as the genre goes, Spirit of Rebellion falls into the brutal and mid-paced variety with the occasional thrash metal riff thrown in. Most of the time it sounds like old school death metal and at times it reminded me of Cannibal Corpse. Having listened to the album a few times, I had some serious trouble telling the songs apart. A lot of them sound very similar. There are no real moments which would allow the listener to have a breather and relax for a while. It’s pretty much a full barrage of relentless drumming, ferocious guitar shredding and guttural growls from the moment that you hit the play button.

Collateral Damages caught my attention due to the thrash metal -style guitar work. The song itself is still very much in the old school death metal category with more brutal growls and more merciless drumming. Apart that none of the other songs really stood out.

Overall, ‘Time For Global Refusal’ is a decent old school death metal album. Sadly for me it doesn’t really offer anything dramatically new or exciting. If I wanted to listen to something similar I would probably listen to some Cannibal Corpse instead.

6/10

Iza Raittila

Sabaton reveal new album details

Posted in Misc., News, Studio Report with tags , , on 8th October 2021 by izaforestspirit

The well renowned Swedish power metal band Sabaton have recently announced that their new album the follow up to ‘The Great War’, will be entitled ‘The War To End All Wars’. Like its predecessor this one will also be focusing on World War I.

Here’s the cover art and track-listing:

Sabaton - The War to End All Wars
  1. Sarajevo
  2. Stormtroopers
  3. Dreadnought
  4. The Unkillable Soldier
  5. Soldier of Heaven
  6. Hellfighters
  7. Race to the Sea
  8. Lady of the Dark
  9. The Valley of Death
  10. Christmas Truce
  11. Versailles

‘The War To End All Wars’ will be out in both physical and digital formats on March 4th 2022 via Nuclear Blast Records.

For more information visit: https://www.facebook.com/sabaton

https://sabaton.bandcamp.com/

New Hate album coming next month

Posted in Misc., News with tags , , , on 17th September 2021 by izaforestspirit

Polish blackened death metal band Hate have a new album coming next month called ‘Rugia’. This will be the band’s first album to feature their new drummer Daniel Rutkowski aka Nir-Sil (Neolith, Redemptor, Virgin Snatch) who replaced Pavulon after he was forced to leave to due to serious health problems.

The title refers to an old word for a German island on the Baltic sea currently known as Rügen. Here’s what their front-man Adam the First Sinner had to say about their latest opus:

“Generally, all the songs on the album are dedicated to the ancient Slavic world – great migrations, wars, battles, and the struggle for survival. But there is also a philosophical level to it, which is very important. Slavic mythology is a collection of universal stories touching upon fundamental issues that we all encounter in our lives. Therefore it is a frame that allows me to write about contemporary problems that I encounter myself from a different perspective. Along the way, I discovered my pagan soul and I encourage people to do the same. I think everybody has this deeper, more profound identity based on understanding our unity with nature, something that goes beyond all the civilizations we have built.”

Here’s the cover art and track-listing:

Hate - Rugia
  1. Rugia
  2. The Wolf Queen
  3. Exiles of Pantheon
  4. Saturnus
  5. Awakening the Gods Within
  6. Resurgence
  7. Velesian Guard
  8. Sun of Extinction
  9. Sacred Dnieper

‘Rugia’ will be available in both digital and physical formats on October 15th 2021 via Metal Blade Records. In the meantime you can check out their new video ‘Resurgence’.

For more information visit: https://www.facebook.com/HATEOFFICIAL

https://hate.bandcamp.com/

Ex Deo – The Thirteen Years of Nero

Posted in Review with tags , on 4th September 2021 by izaforestspirit




Ex Deo
The Thirteen Years of Nero
Released 27th August 2021
Symphonic Death Metal
Released via Napalm Records

‘The Thirteen Years of Nero’ is the new album from the Canadian symphonic metal band Ex Deo. This is the first release to feature their new drummer Jeramie Kling. For those new to the band, Ex Deo is the side project of Kataklysm’s Maurizio Iacono and their main themes are ancient Roman history.

I’ve been listening to Ex Deo ever since their first album so when it comes to their releases, I pretty much know what to expect. Each of their albums offers a symphonic death metal soundtrack to a lesson in ancient Roman history. The last one was about the Punic wars, this one is about the Emperor Nero.

Personally I think that the opening track The Fall of Claudius would have been better off without the movie sample at the start. The song itself is decent once it gets going but I was really tempted to fast forward the speech. Luckily the next track Imperator is much better. Iacono’s harsh growls and the abrasive guitar work offer a sharp contrast to the symphonic parts. Speaking of the orchestrations, as with the previous album, they were performed by Clemens Wijers, better known as Ardek from the Dutch symphonic metal band Carach Angren. I’m a fan of both bands so this is an absolute joy to hear.

Another track which got my attention was Boudicca- Queen of the Iceni feat. Brittney Slayes. The horns in the intro really sound like the start of a battle. The song is fairly melodic due to the guitar work and the orchestrations. Regarding the vocals, the duet between Maurizio Iacono and Brittney Slayes works surprisingly well, creating a balance between the harsh and melodic with some angry growls and shouts to contrast the symphonic orchestrations.

The Fiddle & The Fire deserves a mention. It’s the most melodic track on the album and the intro sounds like a start of a folk song. Yet despite the seemingly pleasant sounding intro, the song has a very eerie atmosphere and the orchestrations give it a certain melancholic feel. It’s easily one of the more memorable tracks on here.

In summary, it took me a few listens to fully appreciate ‘The Thirteen Years of Nero’. Thankfully my patience was rewarded. I discovered that it’s an enjoyable symphonic death metal album with skillfully executed orchestrations. I would recommend it to fans of Septicflesh and Fleshgod Apocalypse.

7/10

Iza Raittila

Sorceress of Sin – Constantine

Posted in Review with tags , on 21st August 2021 by izaforestspirit

Sorceress of Sin
Constantine
Released 6th August 2021
Melodic Power Metal
Self-Released

Sorceress of Sin - Constantine

It’s only been a year since Sorceress of Sin released their debut album. Now the British melodic power metal quintet are back with their second studio effort ‘Constantine’. I’m always a bit apprehensive when a band releases an album within a year of the previous one as there is a big risk that it might seem rushed.

One of the great things that you sometimes get with a good power metal album is that it has the ability to take the listen away on some fantasy adventure. And this is precisely what you get here with front-woman Lisa Skinner acting as the narrator to a series of tales about mystical lands and sorcerers. As a lover of fantasy stories I’m keen to tune in. And straight away the intro ‘Necropolis’ sweeps you away to a mystical city of the dead with what sounds a series of spells before the heavy metal enchantress Ms Skinner begins her tale.

The powerful vocals might be the main focus here but the guitar work is also impressive and uplifting. Another catchy track that caught my attention is ‘Realms of Elysium’ which really shows off the singer’s stunning vocal range. ‘Pathogenic Parasite’ is the first track that really made me pay more attention to drums which dominate the intro right before the soaring vocals take centre stage. It’s great to hear the other band members getting their chance to shine as the album progresses.

Overall I loved the fantasy themes and this has been an entertaining album. I am pleased to say that there were no tracks that I had to skip. So another win for Sorceress of Sin. Keep on rocking!

8/10

Iza Raittila

More details about the new Cradle of Filth album

Posted in Misc., News, Studio Report with tags , , , on 11th August 2021 by izaforestspirit

British extreme Gothic metallers Cradle of Filth have recently announced that their latest album will be entitled ‘Existence is Futile’. This is the band’s thirteenth studio effort following ‘Cryptoriana – Seductiveness of Decay. This will be the first album to feature their new keyboard player Anabelle Iratni.

Here’s the cover art and track-listing:

  1. The Fate of the World on Our Shoulders
  2. Existential Terror
  3. Necromantic Fantasies
  4. Crawling King Chaos
  5. Here Comes a Candle… (Infernal Lullaby)
  6. Black Smoke Curling from the Lips of War
  7. Discourse Between a Man and His Soul
  8. The Dying of the Embers
  9. Ashen Mortality
  10. How Many Tears to Nurture a Rose?
  11. Suffer Our Dominion
  12. Us, Dark, Invincible

Cradle of Filth - Existence Is Futile

‘Existance Is Futile’ will be out worldwide in both physical and digital format on 22nd October 2021 via Nuclear Blast Records. ‘

For more info go to:

https://www.cradleoffilth.com/

https://www.facebook.com/cradleoffilth
https://twitter.com/CradleofFilth

Vader – De Profundis

Posted in Review with tags , , , on 30th July 2021 by izaforestspirit

Vader
De Profundis
Released 30th July 2021
Death Metal
Released via Nuclear Blast

Vader - De Profundis

As a long time Vader fan I’ve been really looking forward to this for some time. For those who are less familiar with the band, I would like to explain that this is not a new album but a newly remastered version of Vader’s second record which was originally released by Croon Records back in 1995. The record label is no longer active and the album has been out of print for decades. This year the remastered version was finally released by Nuclear Blast Records in limited edition CD, vinyl and digital versions.

This is the record that defined Vader’s signature death-thrash metal sound. It features some of the classic songs including Sothis, Silent Empire and Reborn In Flames, all of which are crowd favorites at Vader shows. There’s not a single moment on here where the listener gets a chance to relax and unwind with a slow ballad. Each track is packed with ferocious guitar riffs, Peter’s brutal guttural growls and Doc’s relentless drumming. Ready or not you better buckle up and prepare yourself for a rough ride as this is full steam ahead right until the end!

Sothis and Reborn In Flames are my personal favorites. Both are great examples of classic Vader with their impeccable thrash-tinged death metal guitar work. It’s so good to finally be able to enjoy them on this record.

In summary, ‘De Profundis’ is an absolute joy to listen to. It’s classic Vader doing what they do best. It has taken decades to finally get a remastered version of this album out but for Vader fans like me it has been well worth the wait. If you’re a new listener, this album is a great introduction to the band. If fast-paced death metal with thrash metal guitar riffs is your thing, then don’t hesitate to grab a copy.

10/10

Iza Raittila

Bloody News Online Fest: Insane Summer Gathering 2021 live stream next month

Posted in Festival, Misc., News with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 28th July 2021 by izaforestspirit

Bloody News Metal and Globmetal Promotions are happy to announce the third edition of their live stream festival will take place next month. Bloody News Online Fest: Insane Summer Gathering 2021 will be streamed from their website on 27-28th August 2021. You can watch the event for free.

Check out the line-up here:

27th August

Soulbound
Anna KiaRa
Six Foot Six
PitchBlack
High $tatus
AquileA
Psycho Visions
Passengers in Panic

28th August

Obsolete Theory
STORTREGN
Vessel
X-Method
Mysterizer
King Baal
EAGON
Everlust

For more information visit:

https://bloodynews.ro/en/
https://www.facebook.com/events/513687719867942/





Iron Maiden return with ‘Senjutsu’ this autumn

Posted in Misc., News, Studio Report with tags , , , on 22nd July 2021 by izaforestspirit

It’s been six years since their last album ‘The Book of Souls’, now the world renowned British heavy metal band Iron Maiden have returned with their last studio effort. Bruce Dickinson and co are happy to announce that their new album will be entitled ‘Senjutsu’. Here’s the track-listing and cover art:

  1. Senjutsu
  2. Stratego
  3. The Writing on the Wall
  4. Lost in a Lost World
  5. Days of Future Past
  6. The Time Machine
  7. Darkest Hour
  8. Death of the Celts
  9. The Parchment
  10. Hell on Earth

Iron Maiden - Senjutsu

‘Senjutsu’ will hit the shops worldwide in both digital and physical formats on 3rd September 2021 via Parlophone Records. The band have also released a video for the title track called ‘The Writing on the Wall’.

For more information go to:

https://www.facebook.com/ironmaiden

https://www.ironmaiden.com/

https://www.youtube.com/ironmaiden

Darkthrone – Eternal Hails…..

Posted in Review with tags , , on 10th July 2021 by izaforestspirit

Darkthrone
Eternal Hails…..
Released 25th June 2021
Doom Metal/ Blackened Heavy Metal
Released via Peaceville Records

Darkthrone - Eternal Hails......

The Norwegian duo Gylve Fenris Nagell and Ted Arvid Skjellum, better known as Fenriz and Nocturno Culto, have been making heavy metal music as Darkthrone since 1987. I’m using the term heavy metal music deliberately as their style has changed a lot over the years. Though their first album was death metal, they are best known for the black metal albums released in the early 90s, some of which are regarded as the genre’s classics including ‘Under A Funeral Moon’. Since then they have experimented with a variety of genres including crust punk, thrash metal, hard rock and Motörhead-style heavy metal.

Personally I’m particularly fond of their black metal era. They are a band which I have continued to follow for many years. I can’t say that I enjoy all their works though, some of the more experimental albums are not to my liking. When it comes to Darkthrone, some things always remain the same. They have never followed any specific trends, they just play what they want and they never do live shows. So where do they stand in 2021 with ‘Eternal Hails…..”, let’s find out shall we?

The first two things that got my attention were the beautiful cover art and the song lengths. It is worth noting that there are only five tracks on here and the shortest one clocks in at just over seven minutes. The opener His Masters Voice has a varied structure starting off slow and atmospheric before the thrash metal style guitar riffs hit the spotlight later on. Then they mellow things down again at the end. It’s a decent start but nothing super memorable. Hate Cloak offers some old school Candlemass-esque doom metal with a bleak atmosphere and droning guitars. This might be great for those who love this style but I’ve never been a massive fan of the genre. While it may have the right atmosphere, over nine minutes of droning guitar riffs is a little too tedious for my liking.

Even when the pace picks up half way through the album, the only track that I actually enjoyed was Wake Of The Awakened. Not only does it feature slightly faster thrashing guitar work and less ponderous riffs but it is also the closest thing on here to their old black metal sound. Like most of the album, this one is very guitar-driven but it is more energetic than the others.

In summary, if you are a fan of doom metal then you will most likely enjoy ‘Eternal Hails…..’ In my case, I enjoyed ‘Wake of The Awakened’ and I like some of the thrash metal guitar parts in a few of the other tracks but on the whole the album is too cumbersome for me. I found the song structures difficult to grasp and it took some serious effort to stay focused.

6/10

Iza Raittila

Silver Talon – Decadence And Decay

Posted in Review with tags , on 4th June 2021 by izaforestspirit

Silver Talon
Decadence and Decay
Released 28th May 2021
Power Metal
Released via M-Theory Audio


Silver Talon - Decadence and Decay

‘Decadence and Decay’ is the debut album from the American power metal band Silver Talon. The group was launched back in 2017. The line-up includes: vocalist Wyatt Howell (Sanctifyre,ex-Toxic Witch), two former Spellcaster guitarists Sebastian Silva and Bryce Adams Vanhoosen, bassist Walter Hartzell (Mordant Rapture), drummer Michael Thompson and guitarist Devon Miller (ex-Sabateur).

There’s nothing quite like some good old power metal on a hot summer’s day. The thing with this particular album is that it starts off rather slow. The first few tracks actually made me think that I was listening to some progressive groove metal. Then half way through the record something changed and they decided to speed things up a little. Divine Fury delivers the cheerful and bombastic guitar melodies that I was craving for. It’s about time. Next up is the ultra-catchy, riff- extravaganza Kill All Kings – easily the fastest song on here and my personal favorite. Now this is what I call power metal.

And no power metal album is complete without a ballad track, in this case that is the rather melancholic-sounding What Will Be. Whilst I cannot fault the guitar work or the melodic vocals on here; the majority of the song is a little too lullaby-esque for my liking.

In summary, ‘Decadence And Decay’ is a promising power metal debut. Sadly only handful of the tracks caught my attention so I doubt that I will listen to it again. If Silver Talon produce more songs like ‘Kill All Kings’ then I might consider giving them another go.

6/10

Iza Raittila

Black Sigma – Lost

Posted in Review with tags , , on 17th May 2021 by izaforestspirit

Black Sigma
Lost
Released 1st April 2021
Atmospheric Black Metal
Self-Released

Black Sigma - Lost



‘Lost’ is the debut album from the Belgian atmospheric black metal artist Black Sigma. The project was launched last year by the musician known as Occulta, who used to be the vocalist of the symphonic black metal band Avatar back in the ‘90s.

After several listens I can state that the main two adjectives I would use to describe this album would be ‘atmospheric’ and ‘melancholic’. There is a fair bit of melody in the guitar work and it is paired with haunting black metal shrieks. Occasionally Occulta mellows things down like in the piano outro to Always Alone and the ambient-esque closing track Desolation. The style is fairly similar to the German ambient black metal duo Bann. A lot of the songs have long instrumental parts with the vocals being used sparingly.

The second half of the album includes some subtle doom undertones in the guitar patterns ,for example in the title track. That particular song also features a variety of vocal styles ranging from shrieks at the start, to My Dying Bride -style semi-growls and eerie whispers. I also enjoyed the ambient keyboard and guitar passages on Apocalypse 3.0.

In summary I can confirm that this is definitely my kind of black metal. Black Sigma is one of the most promising newcomers to the scene and I look forward to hearing more from him.

9/10

Iza Raittila

New Impaled Nazarene album coming later this month

Posted in Misc., News, Studio Report with tags , , on 3rd May 2021 by izaforestspirit

Good news for black metal fans. Seven years since their last studio effort ‘Vigorous and Liberating Death’, now the Finnish group Impaled Nazarene are finally ready to unleash their latest opus on the world. Their long-awaited new album will be entitled ‘Eight Headed Serpent’.

Here’s the cover art and track-listing:

  1. Goat of Mendes
  2. Eight Headed Serpent
  3. The Nonconformists
  4. Octagon Order
  5. Metastasizing and Changing Threat
  6. Debauchery and Decay
  7. Human Cesspool
  8. Apocalypse Pervertor
  9. Triumphant Return of the Antichrist
  10. Mutilation of the Nazarene Whore
  11. Foucault Pendulum

Impaled Nazarene - Eight Headed Serpent

‘Eight Headed Serpent’ will be out in all formats on 28th May 2021 via Osmose Productions.

For more information visit: https://www.facebook.com/ImpaledNazareneOfficial
https://twitter.com/campnazarene

Vengeant release second single

Posted in Misc., News, Studio Report with tags , , on 24th April 2021 by izaforestspirit

Here’s something for fans of symphonic metal. Swedish symphonic metal group Vengeant have just released their latest single called ‘The Unreal’. This is the second single following ‘Angel’s Battle Cry’ which came out back in February 2021.

The band was formed at the start of this year and their line-up includes: Danae Komodromou (vocals), Alfred Fridhagen (drums) and Dennis Eriksson (rhythm guitar). Despite the limited number of new music releases, they have already gained a massive following on a variety of social media.

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‘The Unreal’ is available for streaming on all major digital platforms. You can listen to it on Spotify here:

For more info visit:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/vengeantofficial
Instagram: https://bit.ly/38qguw0