Norse – The Divine Light of a New Sun (Blackened Death Metal)


Hailing from Australia we have a band whose name would makes me think they were from Scandinavia, Norse. Norse were formed in 2005 and have since the creation released two EP’s and three full-length albums with The Divine Light of a New Sun being Norse third release.

One thing you need to know before giving the album a spin is that Norse delivers some of the most wicked and dark blackened metal I’ve listened to. The atmosphere and sound is so dissonant and filled with the purest darkness that only people with nothing but darkness in their hearts will dare to listen through this album and understand it. I really like the way Norse creates this twisting, heavy and unsettling aura around me, making me succumb to madness. This is an experience unlike any other that’s been released this year and fans of Portal, Wolves In The Throne Room and Altar of Plagues will have a great time. It’s not something for everyone but at the same time Norse isn’t a band trying to make metal music for everyone.

The Divine Light of a New Sun is out now through Transcending Obscurity Records.

For fans of: Portal and Altar of Plagues
Favorite song: Synapses Spun as Silk


Earth Rot – Renascentia (Death/Black Metal)


Starting as a two-piece by Thomas Waterhouse and Jared Bridgeman who wanted to create some grindcore Earth Rot was formed in 2013, all songs were eventually discarded though and the band added three more members as well as changing genre to a mix of black and death metal. Now the band play their music to celebrate all that is dark and vile in music, taking influences from grim bands such as Gorgoroth, Anaal Nathrakh, Septicflesh, Svart Crown and Naglfar. All bands who got different takes in music style but also got that mist of darkness surrounding them. Since the start Earth Rot have been very active already released two EP’s and a full-length and now adding their sophomore full-length to the discography with Renascentia.

Active as the band may have been I’d actually not listened to any of their songs before grabbing a hold of Renascentia. Hence I did not know what to expect coming into this album. Now I know though, this is the same type of darkness that Naglfar ships out from when setting sail to conquer the world. Earth Rot is such a fitting for a band of this filthy caliber and at times I can even hear some of their early grindcore influences. Hell on The Bones That Lay Beneath the Earth they even got a freaking saxophone solo! When I read up on Earth Rot’s history, their influences and how they want to portrait sinister noise shaped by the world around you I had my hopes up that this was going to be good. I am glad to tell you guys that they deliver exactly what they promise.

This is one of those happy surprises that makes me want to dig into a bands whole discography. It’s not perfect but the world isn’t perfect, it’s sinister just as Renascentia. Take it from the band itself Earth Rot will rain down filth upon you. Earth Rot’s Renascentia is out now as an independent release.

For fans of: Naglfar and Anaal Nathrakh
Favorite song: Funeral Pyre

Valhalore – Voyage into Eternity (Folk/Viking Metal)


This is a journey, or as the album title says a Voyage into Eternity. Starting off with a storytelling voice and calm melodies it soothes the listeners mind. It eventually becomes a epic symphonic blast of melodies as it was Nightwish together with Eluveitie themselves recording this. Vocals ranges from the high and lows, growling and clean singing. With three members in the band sharing vocal duty it sure does give the album an extra twist and different ways of telling this story of Vikings. The ferocity in the music is like that of the berserker’s of old and the melodies clings on inside your head like the ballads from Blind Guardian or Amon Amarth. Across the Frozen Ocean for example really does make me think about the legendary song The Bard’s Song by Blind Guardian.

I get the feeling of going on adventures when listening to this album. It’s the sort of epic music that takes you to the epic worlds from Lord of the Rings, Witcher or Dragon Age. The use of various types of instruments like mandolin, cello and whistle puts that extra epic mark on Voyage into Eternity. To me Voyage of Eternity is the definition of epic folk music. Not only due to the use of various instruments with great melodies and riffs but also due to the great song-writing and great use of different vocals to deliver a sweet story. Plus the fact I love vikings, any story with vikings in it is a plus in my book!

Valhalore was a big surprise to me. It’s well produced and features so many elements I like in good music this is an instant classic for me. Fans of bands such as Ensiferum, Wintersun, Eluveitie, Blind Guardian and the likes take heed (and of course drink mead). Valhalore are here to stay and their debut Voyage into Eternity is one of the best releases so far this year. Voyage into Eternity is out now as an independent release.

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For fans of: Eluveitie and Blind Guardian
Favorite song: Guardians of Time

Boy Eats Girl – The Answer to Infection (Deathcore)


Australia, basically the main country of extreme music within the deathcore sphere. I first heard about the one man band due to the single She Shattered Like Glass a couple months ago but didn’t really look into the full EP until today. The Answer to Infection features six tracks and a total playtime of 20 minutes (the intro being a instrumental track). Boy Eats Girl is the solo project by Rick Pinto but he has brought some friends with him on his debut EP! Malleus Maleficarum features the upcoming talent Niko Apostolakis (Until We Die) and the title track The Answer to Infection features Ashton Head (TheSawneyBeanPhenomenon). Both doing great work on their respective tracks.

I like the samples within the songs as they add a horrifying touch to the whole album. Pinto has done a good job with his debut EP, instantly sending a message to the listener with it’s brutal music and extreme lyrics. You can be sure The Answer to Infection will be played on several deathcore playlists for quite some time to come.

For fans of: Until We Die and A Night in the Abyss
Favorite song: She Shattered Like Glass

I Shall Devour – The Misanthropist (Deathcore)


After an amazing EP Manipunation that came out in 2013 the Australian deathcore deities I Shall Devour have come with their debut full-length release The Misanthropist. I have to say I Shall Devour has come a very long way in a short amount of time and has to be one of the bands every deathcore fan should follow, if you aren’t already. The band got some of the most refreshing sound in the genre, mixing it up with some symphonic parts, sometimes almost sounding like melodic black metal meets deathcore. They are one of the more technical bands I’ve come across in deathcore, those thundering riffs will leave you in awe, while they switch tempo so smooth you can hardly notice it.

There is not a single bad track in The Misanthropist, you can listen to this album over and over again and yet you will still find something new to dig. May it be that dreamlike guitar in the distance in Of Delusion you all of a sudden fall in love with, how sick the drum-tempo is on VI and just adds to that headbanging urge. Or the grooviness coming from the bass in Awaken All, really making you waking the fuck up. Whatever it is you can be certain I Shall Devour has released, or unleashed, a beast in The Misanthropist. One that will be going hard in my stereo for years to come. If you are only getting one deathcore album this year then choose wisely and make sure you take I Shall Devour – The Misanthropist.

For fans of: Thy Art is Murder and Walking Dead on Broadway
Favorite song: Spiteful Nature

Be’lakor – Vessels (Melodic Death Metal)


The name Be’lakor is the name of a demon from the tabletop game Warhammer. A game probably many of you have played or know someone that has. I like when bands do that, same with Ereb Altor being from Dungeons and Dragons. Anyways Be’lakor way of playing melodic death metal I’ve always held in high regard against bands such like Insomnium, Omnium Gatherum and In Mourning. Bands who have probably influenced Be’lakor a lot along the way and it’s nice to see an Australian band do something so well that’s quite heavy associated with the Nordic metal scene.

Vessels is the fourth release from the band and Be’lakor just keeps on releasing great albums. Granted I have to say I don’t think this is their best release but then again it is very hard to beat Stone’s Reach which is already a melodeath classic. Still Vessels will leave you satisfied and Be’lakor have made their already great discography even greater.

For fans of: Insomnium and Omnium Gatherum
Favorite song: An Ember’s Arc

Stormtide – Wrath of an Empire (Symphonic Folk/Death Metal)


What’s this, an Australian band that’s doing epic folk/death metal Ensiferum, Whispered, Alestorm (and more) style? To me that’s always been Europe’s (especially Finland and Germany) domain so nice to see a band from down under creating some epic music. The lineup of six formed in 2013 and released their EP, A Skalds Tale, the same year with Wrath of an Empire being the bands full-length debut.

They have certainly taken inspiration from Whispered as the core sound has a lot in common (almost sounding Japanese like on some tracks) with the Finnish samurai masters. There are differences though, lyric theme isn’t japanese at all for example as it’s more of a journey of a hero getting born and fighting off an evil empire. Power metal style!

I really like this type of music and I’ve enjoyed Stormtide’s Wrath of an Empire all the way through. I wouldn’t say it stands out but if you are a fan of the genre, like me, you should definitely give this album a try.

For fans of: Whispered and Ensiferum
Favorite song: Ride to Ruin