Orchestral folk/viking metal from the Ukraine! Miellnir brings forth powerful hymns of battle, lore and Nordic mythology on Incineration Astern! Blending traditional pagan sounds with modern day cinematic serenade, and topping it off with some melodic death metal really gives Miellnir a powerful barbaric sound. Sometimes a folk/viking band will arrive and they’ll sound similar to something another band has previously done. Miellnir does something a little different and gives us a fresh take on this so called viking metal genre.
Hailing from Belgium, Wiegedood delivers a fierce black metal sound that reminds me of Earth and Pillars release from last year. Just massive atmosphere layered on top of wonderfully orchestrated riffs and writing. The sound on De Doden Hebben Het Goed is blissful, bone chilling intense black metal. An outstanding piece of work, four songs deliver enough impactful music to fulfill those urges you may get for high quality atmospheric metal.
Wiegedood’s creation is really good to not only listen to but to feel. Their music is something that can give your skin goosebumps and make your soul shift. So if you’re on the lookout for the next big atmospheric black metal quest, may I suggest that you embark on the journey that is Wiegedood’s De Doden Hebben Het Goed. One of 2015′s finest black metal experiences.
8.5 out of 10
Midnight Odyssey’s Shards of Silver Fate is 8 songs that reaches out to 2.3 hours (142.40 minutes) mark, which is incredibly long for an album. Even for a double album such as this, you’ll need to have quite a bit of time to yourself to listen to this thing uninterrupted from beginning to end. Which is the ultimate way to fully embrace the majesty that is this record. It’s hard to quit mid song, only to come back to it in a few hours. It ruins the experience as well as the flow of the album. Each song is within the 14 – 21 minute mark, so even getting through one single song can be tough. I drive 35 minutes to work and that is only 1.5 songs per trip! While it’s hard to fully focus on this album, it makes for the perfect background music for working or gaming.
Sometimes I just want to sit and listen to some comforting atmospheres that make me think, let’s my imagination run wild and just calm me the fuck down. Sometimes within this atmosphere I like to toss in a little black metal too, just because I find that genre so damn fulfilling. There are many bands out there that can make these amazing sounds and sole member of Tome of the Replenished nails a great sound on this album. Innerstanding is filled with artistic integrity and creative moments that always shook my soul. To pull a quote from the band’s Bandcamp page: “with Tome Of Replenished he (Hermes) explores the hidden regions of the soul, abandoning himself and the listener to an emotional rollercoaster of transcendental, cosmic beauty.” This quote explains perfectly what Innerstanding is all about.
Antagoniste is a French metal act that captivates the listener with a shifting blend of black metal, sludge, avant garde and progressive darkness. A different and unorthodox approach to black metal, The Myth of Mankind extended past my expectations of what I should be listening for and rather found myself just stunned by what I heard. It’s different, it’s not what I wanted but it’s everything I could have asked for. Yet, it wasn’t nearly as satisfying as it should be.
Mysticisme hails from Strasbourg, France and this trio of black metal warriors gives us a sample of some of the more raw aspects of black metal to be released this year. Répandre is a delightful experience as you trek through harsh bogs of 90′s black metal traditions and sounds. The melancholic tone is matched with the sheer raw power of the musicianship, giving me a good blend of atmosphere without relying too much on synth or electronics and mainly focusing on superb guitar writing to create these sounds. Mysticisme is filled with energy, talent and ready to storm the land brandishing their weapons for a hostile take over!
Fans longing for the next great Bathory (Viking era) album do not have to wait any longer as Macabre Omen brings forth victorious hymns of battle and war with their new album “Gods of War – At War“. Even though that album title is goofy, this release is one that you cannot forget once you’ve heard it. Possibly the next best thing to be released this year, Macabre Omen delivers unforgettable epic black metal fury. Equip your finest armor and grab your swords and shields! It’s off to battle!!!
Melancholic. Depressing. Bleak. These are the central emotions and feelings brought to the forefront for this album. Funeral Oppression’s album “The Prisoners of Life” is a raw depressive black metal release, with huge songs filled with impressive instrumentation and vocal work. The dreadful music soars up and has roller-coaster moments of dreariness and desolation. The music at times races up, giving you hope and optimism but then dives straight back down and smashes you with the hammer of despair. A wonderfully sad album with remarkably beautiful music, Funeral Oppression gives us one of the best black metal albums within this niche. Staying close to Ghost Bath’s release for best in the genre.
Captivating me with Screams of Eternal Emptiness and then immediately dropping the EP Concealed In Nothingness, Eternal Valley not only made a fan out of me instantaneously but gave me enough quality music to enjoy for a long long time. Not even a year later Jason Yorke unleashes another massive full length called Ascend to the Unknown and the musical journey found within these walls of atmospheric bliss will get you lost in the massiveness of empty space and a void that goes on infinitely. That is how big the music sounds and the way the album develops over time just slathers on the enriched feeling of being lost in space. Not without inquiring some damn good black metal and that Eternal Valley styled doom on occasion.
Well here we are AGAIN! Since I’ve become a fan of Sviatibor (it’s been a year now) I’ve heard 3 crushingly brilliant atmospheric black metal releases since then. I am happy to report that Dans La Splendeur Des Dieux (In Splendor Gods) is indeed the 4th one now that truly creates riveting dark atmosphere all while conjuring up big time guitar riffs and scathing black metal vocals. Thomas Hornstein once again gives me another album that I can turn on and get lost in, this time though he brings out some elements of experimentation that works well with his ultra brooding and dark sound.