Wormlight – Wrath of the Wilds (Melodic Black/Death Metal)

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Lets get straight to it. Wormlight plays melodic black and death metal the way it has been played for years. Nothing wrong with this at all! Not as memorable as the releases from Necrophobic, Avslut and Nekrokraft have been to me but Wrath of the Wilds is certainly a good album that I enjoyed. It’s 90’s melodic black/death metal worship the Swedish way and I get some Naglfar, Dissection and Unanimated vibes for sure. Seeing as we won’t hear any new material from those bands any time soon (or ever) I say this is a perfectly good album to get your fill! There is no need to reinvent the wheel and Wrath of the Wilds is not only a good debut album, it is also a big step forward from the band since their EP Bloodfields came out in 2015.

The mid-range death growls together with the energetic hellfire the band unleashes is enough to make fans of melodic black metal be pleased with this release. There isn’t really something to point out as bad on this album and the 55 minutes go past with a feeling of satisfaction. However if you do put Wormlight against previously named bands and the new releases from for example Necrophobic then it lacks that extra punch to become an album I want to revisit instead of those. Either way I know a lot of you are like me and can not get enough quality black metal and Wrath of the Wilds certainly does fall into that category. If you only want to try out a couple of tracks it should be “Vittramark” with its icy atmosphere, piano outro (which they do use on several occasions though) and overall a great sounding song. That song along with “Invocation (intro)” leading to “Feast of the Mountain Kin” is a perfect example how to finish an album on a high note.

Label: Black Lion Records
For fans of: Unanimated and Necrophobic
Release date: April 25th, 2018
Favorite song: Feast of the Mountain King
Score: 3.5/5

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Defiatory – Hades Rising (Thrash Metal)

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Swedish Defiatory had an alright debut album in Extinct a couple of years ago. They break no new grounds with their thrash metal but they aren’t trying to either. Defiatory takes their influences from the early years of top names like Megadeth and Exodus while making it a bit more modern. There is surely nothing wrong with that and while I thought Extinct was a bit inconsistent I think their new album Hades Rising has improved. I have to say though I am no hardcore thrash fan so I’m sure many of you diehard thrash metalheads out there might be of a different opinion than me. I take it as I hear it though. If it gets me drumming on my keyboard or something then I know there is something in the music I enjoy, which there sadly was little of in the first album.

About inconsistency, I do like the second part of the album from “Down to His Kingdom” and onward more than the first part. The riffing, solos and general feel to these songs captures me even more so than the start of Hades Rising did. That’s when you can start seeing me stomping my feet on the floor to the drums for example.

Still a decent start but a stronger finish, with yet a bit more consistency and less of a bumpy ride than I had with their first offering. I can’t deny that tracks like previously mentioned “Down to His Kingdom”, “Metatron” and “All That Remains” gets my head banging like it should. Defiatory are improving and I do see them as one of the upcoming bright stars in the Swedish thrash metal scene. It’s pure hard thrash that will appeal to fans of genre.

Label: Black Lion Records
For fans of: Megadeth and Exodus
Release date: May 11th, 2018
Favorite song: Metatron
Score: 3/5

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

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