Mordenial – The Plague (Melodic Death/Trash Metal)

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Formed in early 2000 the band has had quite the shaky start and it wasn’t until 2015 Mordenial released their debut album Where the Angels Fall. Since then the road has been clear though and The Plague is coming out just two years after the debut with the same line-up. The band has strong ties to one of my favorite old school death metal acts Paganizer as two out of three members are also active with them. With that said Mordenial does not play traditional old school death metal but instead they play a more melodic metal side fused with death and trash. Having more in common with In Flames and At the Gates than Paganizer.

The Plague is a riff friendly album. If you’re a fan of catchy solos and riffs you are sure to get your fill here. With lyrics dealing with the concept of a plague and how people justify terrible acts by pretending to be chosen by a God or Gods they touch on a subject that is very real even today. The opener The Plague doesn’t leave me breathless so to say but I get a few nods in here and there, whereas Daylight is Gone is starting to get me more into the album. It’s not until the fifth track No Empathy I really dig this though. With the slower melodic songs Save You All and especially All Has Vanished following up nicely. However the album never manages to grab my full attention. Sure there are some sweet riffs and solos here and there but it’s not enough for me to appreciate the 44 minutes Mordenial offers. Slow start, a better ending but in the end not what I had hoped for.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Mordenial-524164104262270
Label: Black Lion Records
For fans of: In Flames and At the Gates
Favorite song: All Has Vanished
Score: 2/5

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Carpatus – Malus Ascendant (Black Metal)

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Hailing from Brazil we got a band that I personally hadn’t heard of before in Carpatus. The band was formed in 1999 and were active until 2010, same year their guitar and bass player Ravager (aka Lucas Mandelli) sadly died in a car accident. Five years later Dizruptor picked up the band again, this time as a solo project (Animus Atra didn’t rejoin and instead Carpatus used Morbus Deimos on session drums). Since the reformation Carpatus joined Black Lion Productions and have been getting ready to release Malus Ascendant upon the world. Malus Ascendant is the bands third full-length (notable that this is the band’s first worldwide release).

Straight away you notice the musical influences. Malus Ascendant got a lot in common with the more melodic side of black metal looking at bands such as Emperor and Satyricon. The album is full of great melodic riffs that’s easy to get sucked into, with badass vocals resembling some sort of hybrid between Infernus from Gorgoroth and Ravn from 1349. Take into account that Morbus Deimos does a great job on the drums and you got yourself a sleeper hit (to me it is since I’d never heard of the band nor this album before writing this). If you got a soft spot for tempo changing black metal with melodic touches that doesn’t sacrifice any of the aggression, then this is an album for you!

The album is produced by notable Brazilian underground producer Marcos Cerutti, and was later mastered in Sweden by the legendary Dan Swano. That in itself states the band doesn’t hold back and is a stamp of approval that this is great black metal in my book. Malus Ascendant is out now through Black Lion Records.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/carpatus
For fans of: Emperor and Satyricon
Favorite song: The Cold Autumn Sunrise

Frowning – Extinct (Funeral Doom Metal)

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German band Frowning is a tale of one man, Val Atra Niteris, being so impressed with the mesmerizing music of bands such as Evoken and Pantheist that he eventually founded his very own project in 2011. The debut Funeral Impressions came out in late 2014 and just like that Val’s solo project Frowning turned into an admirable name inside the funeral doom metal scene. Now the time has come for the long awaited follow-up which he named Extinct.

Extinct is a five track album which gives you a but over an hour of cold atmospheric death and suffering. Originally when I started this blog I didn’t have too much love for funeral doom metal (nor atmospheric black metal) as I cared more for melodic black or raw old school black metal at the time. During my time as a blogger though I’ve come to understand, expand my knowledge and love for music though which has made me come to realization how beautiful this kind of music can be.

Frowning’s expression of suffering, depression and sorrow through music is nothing short but bitter sweet harmony. I am left cold and alone, finding a place within me that few wants to explore but is spiritual and makes you grow. Only when you’ve been at the abyss can you know what true despair feels like and learn from it. The mournful growls, eerie cold melodic atmosphere and slow desolate tones from the guitar will all together guide you through this journey. A journey I hope you dear reader will take with me.

Extinct is a masterpiece within funeral doom and Frowning has once again show the one man band is a force to be reckoned with. Extinct is out now Black Lion Records.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/frowning.band
For fans of: Funeral Tears and Ahab
Favorite song: Encumbered by Vermin

Sons ov Omega – Reign (Melodic Black/Death Metal)

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It’s been a while since I reviewed an album from Black Lion Records, a record label I’ve come to love for underground metal, so it’s about time I do so. Sons ov Omega is a new and upcoming band from Umeå, Sweden featuring the talented Tiamat Invictuz who is in the black metal band Wormlight too (who are also on Black Lion Records). The music differs a lot between the bands though.

So what are the Sons ov Omega about? Well for one they got some of the coolest stage paint I’ve seen (look it up). It goes perfectly fine with their lyrical theme which is very mystic and songs about occultism, mythology and darkness keeps on raining over me. Sound wise they sound like a crossing between Opeth, Enslaved and Edge of Sanity, taking influences from all three with a melodic/progressive side on black and death metal. Also comes to show you can still be playing great black metal even with a lot of clean singing and melodic parts. If anyone even disbelieved that fact, seeing as Bathory showed that being possible in the very start years ago. Just has to be said as sometimes I hear people saying clean singing doesn’t belong in black metal.

I’ve come to listen through this album several times these past days. There is something new to notice every time I listen to it and for me that makes an album extra special and lasts longer. My favorite song has changed each time, which is a really good thing. It’s full with great riffs and tempo changes between a sweet melodic harmony to a utter destruction. Fans of older Opeth, Enslaved or Edge of Sanity will surely love this as there aren’t too many newer bands around that I know of who produce music like this. So take the opportunity when it comes.

Sons ov Omega’s debut album Reign is out now from Black Lion Records.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/sonsovomega
For fans of: Opeth and Enslaved
Favorite song: Pandora

Netherbird – The Grander Voyage (Symphonic/Melodic Black Metal)

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Netherbird are back! After splitting up just two years ago most of the band got back together earlier this year, with some new additions, and have already produced another full-length album in The Grander Voyage. Having been around since 2004 the band are veterans within the scene having had some of the best cover art there is in my opinion. The band are now signed with Black Lodge Records as well, one of my all time favorite labels (Sabaton, Amorphis, Candlemass etc), which is great to see and a quality stamp.

Just like Netherbird has before they play a very Dissection influenced melodic black metal, just the way I love it. They don’t deliver anything revolutionary and innovating to the genre, but they don’t have to. Netherbird are still a tight group that know how to bring you those killer riffs, changing the tempo just the right way, bringing in instrumental tracks that guides you towards the mayhem they are about to release and giving you that saddening dark atmosphere while doing so. The hissing, rasping vocals are just about the right volume too, a little distant but still there to add depth to the music. Very Dissection like and good!

I think The Grander Voyage is one of Netherbird’s best releases (The Ferocious Tides of Fate being my favorite). If you’re an old fan of Netherbird then you will definitely love this. If you are a new to Netherbird then you are off to a good start with The Grander Voyage.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/netherbird
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/netherbird
For fans of: Dissection and Naglfar
Favorite song: The Silvan Shrine

Mist of Misery – Absence (Symphonic/Depressive Black Metal)

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Hailing from Sweden featuring members from Hyperion. Seeing as Hyperion has released one of the best albums this year, I couldn’t let Mist of Misery slip my gaze. Also this is the third time I review an album from Black Lion Records (reviewed Hyperion and Vindland earlier), where all albums have been a pure joy to dig into. Absence is the bands second full-length after releasing Black Autumn 2011 in, yes you guessed it, 2011.

Even though Mist of Misery consists of two (out of their three members) Hyperion members their sound differs quite a bit. Both bands do draw influences from Dissection, who I just can’t stop praising, but in Mist of Misery’s case they sound more like Totalselfhatred and ColdWorld. Another two great bands to draw influences from. Absence got some very beautiful instrumental parts that lays the foundation of the depressive mood you are about to hit. Take the song Absence as an example, you can almost feel the cold death from the instrumental parts alone.

The whole album focuses a lot on setting the tone through slow symphonic piano, guitar and drums playing with other type of sounds like the sound of the wind in the background. Mist of Misery does it really well and after listening to Absence I am left here pondering about my existence, and it is really beautiful.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/MistofMisery
For fans of: Totalselfhatred and ColdWorld
Favorite song: Mist of Misery

Hyperion – Seraphical Euphony (Melodic Black/Death Metal)

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Ever wondered what Dissection would sound like today? Well don’t fear dear reader as Hyperion’s debut Seraphical Euphony takes you to an occult world heavy influenced by the dark masters Dissection. This has Storm of the Light’s Bane written all over it. Funny enough I think that’s one of the best Melodic Black/Death albums ever released so calling it a good influence is an understatement. Has to be said this also bodes well for my Black Lion Records backlog, the label Hyperion belongs to and a label I only heard of a few days ago (thanks to Vindland) and started writing down their list of bands to go through. So far I’ve heard two really great albums coming out of the label, not bad.

Back to Hyperion. You can’t tell this is the Swedes debut album. Everything from the riffs, songwriting to production is well made. They should be up there along the likes of Dissection and Naglfar when you talk about good melodic black metal, they are just that good. Thank you Swedish metal demons for embracing the world with another top tier band. Welcome the era of Hyperion, your new demonic demon God.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/HyperionSwe
For fans of: Dissection and Naglfar
Favorite song: Empyrean Yearning