Sumeru – Summon Destroyer (Doom/Stoner Metal)

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If i say Australia, what will be the first things to pop up in your heads. I would say Kangaroos and AC/DC. The subject at hand have a stronger connection to the second one. With a windy noise for an intro the band open up their album, and we get presented to the Doom/Stoner act Sumeru.

The name Sumeru is taken from the Hindu (some more religions from the south east Asia) it is the five-peaked mountain, that in their faith contains the center of all that is physical, metaphysical and spiritual. The band saw the light in 2009, with Sydney as their birthplace, 4 of 5 members have had a past in the band Lomera, a pure blooded Sludge metal band. A project that existed in the years 2011 to 2015. Sumeru are here with their second full-length album, with the title Summon Destroyer. In the past they have released an EP and the follow year the debut record, in 2014.

In their homeland, the big continent from way below on the Equatorial line they are famous for showing their feelings and energy at 100%. Through the music that they perform, you will hear a massive stone crushing creation that will suit a myth from the past. With doom shall they come and with pure power they sure do.

The music present itself best as different layers of sound, which we can hear a rhythm section that very well know it’s capacity of groove, and with staggering guitars that escalate the feeling and maybe even beyond so. It really feel like a live recording, because of all the energy and that is also a reputation that they carrying with pride. They also include some nice lines with an acoustic touch, that I personally enjoy.

From start to finish, there will just be one purpose, energy…and plenty of it. I can not help to mention those beautiful strings in the opening on the last track, their magnum opus “A New Ritual”.

Sumeru have toured with the big acts, within the same genre, where they have been a supporting band for bands like YOB and Torche…to name a few. The band have after a decade really put a level of quality in the Doom/Stoner genre in their homeland, they will not let that go in the easiest way.

This Autumn will be a lot heavier, with the upcoming release from this Aussie power house.

Written by K.P.

Label: Medusa Crush Recording
For fans of: Khemmis and Mastodon
Release date: October 26th, 2018
Favorite song: Embrace The Cold
Score. 3.5/5 Very good

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Beyond Creation – Algorythm (Progressive Death Metal)

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When one of your favorite bands release a new album you know the hype is real. It’s a double edge sword though because when you’re that hyped and have the bar set so high as Beyond Creation the backlash if the album doesn’t live up to the high expectations will hurt a lot. I can calm you all down already by saying it lives up to the hype.

It starts off with an epic intro that could easily be in a sci-fi movie as it moves into the Entre suffrage et mirage. A good opening that ends with a great solo, so we are off to a good start but it didn’t have those transitions I want in Beyond Creation. Surface’s Echoes I think is a bit out-of-place with its intro but around one minute in I recognize the core Beyond Creation sound and it becomes a better track than the previous. I’ve always felt that for Beyond Creation to get the most out of track they need to be 6-7 minutes long, which this one is and it makes the band being able to change the tempo and sound a lot during a song, letting it unfold as its meant to. It’s one of the bands strong-points to me, how a song can feel so complete and have all these different elements to it which some bands need a whole album to do. They show a lot of this on Surface’s Echoes, even though I can’t get the first minute of the song the rest is gold. Finally with Ethereal Kingdom you get the whole experience, an intro that sets the tone nicely leading into a beautiful solo and it feels more complete. It also transition really nicely into Algorythm which together with The Inversion are my favorite songs on the album. They showcase what Beyond Creation is all about in a good way. One may say Algorythm lacks a standout track like Earthborn Revolution or Coexistence which in some ways is true but I feel with time Algorythm will be one of their most memorable tracks. It grows on me with each listen.

Algorythm as a whole is a more progressive experience than their earlier albums, for the good and bad that brings. There are some moments that’s a bit slow to me due to this change but at the same time I don’t mind this at all as a whole. It’s definitely a bit different though but with the core Beyond Creation sound of course. They haven’t gone and switched completely but you should be ready that this is a bit of a change in style from The Aura and Earthborn Evolution. All in all Algorythm won’t be my first choice of album when I look back at Beyond Creation’s discography in the future but it’s yet another solid album from a band that set the bar insanely high on the debut. Their skill is showing throughout in both songwriting and instrumental excellence. While it’s not perfect (I think Earthborn Revolution is a perfect album mind you) it’s a well executed album that’s a must have for prog/tech-death fans all around. Beyond Creation doesn’t let you down.

Written by J.B.

Label: Season of Mist
For fans of: Obscura and Augury
Release date: October 12th, 2018
Favorite song: Algorythm
Score: 4/5 Incredible

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Karg – Dornenvögel (Atmospheric Black Metal)

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Austria have done so much for the people, who have always had the music attached to the heart, or very close to it. All the way back to the 18th century and forward, that is the first reason of two.

The second one is, that if there is something that will make all metalheads say something good about Austrian metal/atmospheric scene it’s because it’s legendary..with bands in the frontline like Belphegor, and for me, a personal favorite…Summoning. But this is not an article about them, this is about the one man band Karg (not to be confused with the Viennese Hardcore act, with same name).

Karg is here with it’s sixth full-length released album, Dornenvögel (German for The Thorn Bird). V.Wahntraum, more famous as the multiartist J.J. Who also is the driving vocalist behind Harakiri For The Sky.

Karg was formed in the summer of 2006, and between 2010 to 2014, it existed as a “complete” band, meant for the live scenes. Karg stopped to play live in June 2014 for various reasons, but it has not stopped J.J. to continue his work in the studio, and in 2018, he succeeded to deliver his latest work.

The sixth studio album, Dornenvögel, may be his most complete album to date. An album that is not afraid of speaking about sorrow and grief in the most depressive, direct way. Phrases of misery, that seems to be forever stuck in the shadows, but still..still there is also a melancholic touch, with that in my mind..I will say that it’s a divine hand trying to reach in the dark after it’s partner to find a path through the mist. Karg have also made a excellent choice of guest musicians from acts like Lunar Aurora, Downfall Of Gaia and many more. Because of this release, a reincarnated Karg will be risen up from the ashes to perform live in 2018/2019.

There is so much influence from genres, that I lose my count, with everything from Post Metal to Shoegaze, Grunge, but never without the Atmospheric Metal as a ground. The result. An magnum opus with dark dystopian tales…pure art from this multiartist (that is also the creator behind a very beautiful artwork, so to say). A work that will grab people to the core, with it’s music, with it’s lyrics, and conquer the souls in a never-ending loop of solitude.

Written by K.P

Label: AOP Records
For fans of: Alcest and Harakiri For The Sky
Release date: November 16th, 2018
Favorite song: Advent
Score: 3/5 Good

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Vreid – Lifehunger (Melodic Black Metal)

37332763_10155275267032202_6849947339281399808_nA lot of you probably knows this but I will say it anyway. Vreid was formed after Windir split-up due to the death of Valfar. The band is seen as one of the big ones in the vast Norwegian black metal scene. Lifehunger is the bands eight full-length album, meaning they are clearly veterans of black metal by now. Personally I think both Windir and Vreid have released a lot of great albums during the years with very few, if any, bad albums. With that in mind I obviously had high hopes for Lifehunger, especially since I loved the singles I heard prior to the albums release.

What starts off oh so well with the beautiful intro Flowers & Blood onwards to One Hundred Years and Lifehunger, two of my most played tracks this past month, becomes a big mess in the end. The Dead White is ok by all means but already there the quality drops, it feels a bit uninspired. Then the worst choice of a track on Lifehunger comes on, Hello Darkness. I can’t even tell last time I heard a song so out-of-place like this one. Not only that, it’s not a good song by itself either. The album does pick itself up a bit with Black Rites in the Black Nights but there is no real life to that track either. Sokrates Must Die and the instrumental track Heimatt ends the album on a high note at least, but the damage is already done. I had a lot of hope for this album, it could have ended in my top 40 end for the year list, but instead it’s a disappointing end product were two great songs can not save it from being rather mediocre by Vreids standard.

This is incredibly hard to set a score on in the sense it has some of the highest highs but also lowest of lows. I will definitely keep on listening to a couple of the songs mentioned many times in the future as well but I will probably not feel like re-visiting the album as a whole again. Biggest disappointment for me this year as I expected a lot more from Vreid than this. With this review I also present the new score graphics! Original design made my Mörtuus Art (check out the official The Metal Gamer t-shirt) while edited by Rob “Baggers” Baggaley.

Label: Season of Mist
For fans of: Windir and Cor Scorpii
Release date: September 28th, 2018
Favorite song: Lifehunger
Score: 2.5/5 Decent

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Surgery – Absorbing Roots (Death Metal)

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What do you get when you bring some friends together to create a band that loves death metal? Surgery! That could both be a joke but also the name of a band from Slovakia that makes some sweet old school death. The Swedish scene is the most inspirational source for Absorbing Roots. What I hear is something along the lines of Entrails meeting Jungle Rot with early years Amon Amarth in order to together create this sound that takes you back to the 90’s. This is good stuff and it’s really catchy. Songs like River in Silence and Depressive Reality get stuck in your head for days with it’s slick riffs. Funny enough I think the follow-up Hands in Chains is one of the low points though, where I honestly couldn’t hear the lyrics “why did I do it” at first and thought it was some Slovakian words coming out. That aside the song just seems a bit off from the rest of the album.

I’ve heard this kind of music countless of times before but it is also the genre I love the most so I can basically never get enough of it. Fans of old school death metal don’t need to look no further, here is a good example on how to deliver crushing death metal the way Sweden did in the early 90’s. This is a great way to celebrate the old times even though it has some flaws. If you’re tired of hearing another Grave or Entrails copy then this isn’t for you but for those of us that always want more of it then this is 30 minutes worth spending, granted it might not be that memorable.

On a side note I am also adding what the score means (for those of you that don’t check that section) on all future reviews!

Label: Support Underground
For fans of: Jungle Rot and Entrails
Release date: February 19th, 2018
Favorite song: Rive in Silence
Score: 3/5 Good

Revenge Prevails – False Hope Cruelty (Black/Death Metal)

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In Sweden there is a thriving underground black metal scene so there is no surprise Revenge Prevails is another promising act from the country. The band formed in 2008, it took it’s time to find a stable lineup and the debut album Dark Trembling Solace had to wait to see the light of the world until 2015. The band is quite influenced from the second wave of black metal where you can hear a lot of dark mysticism a la Mayhem for example but also some of the crushing agression that Dark Funeral offers. The album starts off really well with sweet varied riff after riff and Josef Svensson raspy vocals being just as good as they were on the debut. Having the female bass player Isabella Ramare accompanying on vocals is big step from their debut and it does add variation, with more power to their shadow concept as well.

There is two flaws on the album to me though that does bring the score down from what it could have been. Just like I thought on their debut this is too long of an album. There are very few bands out there who can do over one hour albums well without losing the listener in the process. Sadly this was not the case here. There are some highs and lows and well when it lasts for this long the lows feels lower than they are to me. The inconsistency along with the length holds the album back in my opinion. Sadly it doesn’t matter then if Revenge Prevails does a great job feeling rather unique with their music (one of the reasons it was hard to add “for fans of” and it’s probably a bit off), which is not that easy today, and have some memorable songs. These two things does add two really big bumps along the road though. Also I have to add the album cover doesn’t do it for me, maybe because I am used to a lot of covers being great work of art nowadays.

In the end it’s a good journey, albit a bit too long. If they trim the fat and make the journey a bit shorter then I think they will reach a new level and it the overall experience more enjoyable. Into the Depths, Shapeshifter Dawn and Habeas Corpus are examples of great songs that I will come back to often. They’ve also made some steps in the right direction from the debut but I do think they can make even bigger leaps to get closer to the top.

Label: Independent
For fans of: Dark Funeral and Mayhem
Release date: August 4th, 2017
Favorite song: Habeas Corpus
Score: 3/5

Golgata – De Dömdas Gryning (Black Metal)

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I was lucky enough to stumble upon the Swedish black metal band Golgata last year when I did some album searching. A quick recap on the band. They come from an county in Sweden called Småland, an area that has giving the metal world bands such as Skogen and Netherbird but also one of the best black metal festivals in Mörkaste Småland. The EP I reviewed Trälen was a good album and better than their debut Industrial Thoughts, however I personally hoped they would go all Swedish on their lyrics and also have an even more atmospheric approach as I thought that sound was a greater fit for them.

I am happy to say that’s exactly what they’ve done with their third EP De Dömdas Gryning! When it comes to the underground Swedish black metal scene, especially those bands that sing in Swedish, I think this is when it all comes together perfectly. The raw and melodic style is still intact but with a lot more atmosphere to it, it’s very easy to get caught up in this music and everything that happens around you means nothing. It’s just you and the music. Golgata has done a fantastic job improving with each release and it’s safe to say this is their best EP yet. 13 minutes of pure Swedish black metal that I’ve now listened to for days and can’t get enough of. If you’ve missed Golgata before now is the time to dig into their discography, listen to their journey as a band and witness how a new dark underground act is rising from Sweden once again. Also I need to know one thing that’s been driving me nuts. On the opening track Profet the intro and outro reminds me of something, if it’s from a movie, series or whatever I do not know. I just know I’ve heard that part, or something very close to, many times but from where? If you do know it feel free to comment!

That note aside you will do best to give De Dömdas Gryning a few listens, especially if you’re a fan of bands like Skogen, Dråpsnatt, Stilla and Auðn. One of the better black metal offerings I’ve heard all year and I can only hope Golgata releases a full-length sooner rather than later.

Label: Independent
For fans of: Skogen and Dråpsnatt
Release date: August 30, 2018
Favorite song: De Dömdas Gryning
Score: 4/5