Pure Wrath – Ascetic Eventide (Atmospheric Black Metal)

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Indonesia is not a country I think of when looking at atmospheric black metal. However Pure Wrath are sure to make both me and many others change their views on where great atmospheric black metal is produced from. Pure Wrath started as solo project in 2014 by Januaryo Hardy (aka Ryo). Energized by the essence of Earth, including nature, vision, and the call of solitude Ryo set off to create the Pure Wrath of nature itself in musical form. The end result is nothing short but greatness, a wonderful debut that will surely make a mark in the atmospheric black metal scene.

Pure Wrath brings a lot of energy and the use of various sounds and instruments (such as flute and piano) to create different emotions to the listener is wonderfully put together on Ascetic Eventide. The tracks really catches the atmosphere just like their names implies. Colourless Grassland feels desolate but yet calm and one with nature, Mountain Calls feels cold, harsh and barren (takes me back to the whole Wayfarer experience I had last year). This feeling of solitude and being one with nature that Ryo wanted to capture the essence off with Ascetic Eventide he has really achieved. It’s epic and raw, just like nature itself.

Ascetic Eventide is a work of art and stands tall in the vast atmospheric black metal discography that’s out there. I look forward to hear more from Pure Wrath in the future, until then I am more than happy to have one of this years big surprises on repeat when I want my mind to wander away and try to become one with nature. Pure Wrath’s debut album Ascetic Eventide is out now through Hitam Kelam Records.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/purewrath
For fans of: Saor and Wayfarer
Favorite song: Clouds Retiring

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Trees of Eternity – Hour of the Nightingale (Doom Metal)

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What do you get if you take some of the best doom musicians from Sweden and Finland? You get Trees of Eternity! Featuring members who’s played or play for heavy hitting doom bands such as October Tide, Swallow the Sun, Wintersun and Katatonia you can’t call this anything else than a doom super group. What’s sad with this project, which started in 2009 but Hour of the Nightingale is the bands debut, is that this will be the one and only release with the singer Aleah Liane Stanbridge. She sadly passed away after a long struggle against cancer in April this year.

The album reflects the true doom metal sound. It’s very dark and gloom, got a haunting feeling to it and Aleah’s voice together with the doom veterans instrumental play is just out of this earth. You can’t help but to feel sadden and think about all the love and sorrow you will or have experienced in life, even onto death.

This is a different type of doom metal than for example October Tide as this is not infused with death metal and consists of clean singing. Hour of the Nightingale is definitely one of the best doom albums of 2016, depending if you want your doom metal with death metal influences, clean singing or with growl your vote might differ. What I do know though is that Trees of Eternity has made a superb debut and it’s a crying shame that the band won’t feature Aleah’s beautiful voice yet again.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/treesofeternity
For fans of: Swallow the Sun and Draconian
Favorite song: Eye of Night

Khemmis – Hunted (Doom Metal)

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Just a year after their debut Absolution Khemmis are already back with the sophomore release Hunted. One could think that Khemmis, who by the way are named after an ancient Egyptian city, were rushing things and that the quality might have lowered since Absolution. This is not the case at all though! Quite the oposite, Khemmis has refined their sound and their solid musicianship with the behemoth riffs are just as good as last year if not even better. The emotions lashing out off the instruments hitting you head on is a thing of beauty and sometimes you might even hear the mighty Gods of Black Sabbath and Iron Maiden influence, or even possess, Khemmis as there is no way a new band can pull out two great albums in two years. I mean think about it, the band formed in 2012, released an EP in 2013, at this stage still rather unknown, then just bam Absolution hits and they are in the running for album of the year award. As a debut that’s sick of course, but releasing an album next year to be in the running for album of the year again, that’s just maddness!

Khemmis keeps on surprising and they might just take the doom metal genre to new hights with their majestic display of classic rock and doom made into one. Not only is the music top notch and catchy, the album artwork is stunning which alone should grant this album a place in your collection.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/khemmisdoom
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/khemmisdoom
For fans of: Pallbearer and Conan
Favorite song: Three Gates

Saor – Guardians (Atmospheric Folk/Black Metal)

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Starting off like an intro to Braveheart with crows singing, bagpipes playing and thundering riffs Saor lays the foundations on their latest release Guardians right from the start. It has to be said that Guardians is the first album I hear from Saor, even though I’ve heard a lot about them since Roots came out I’ve never actually sat down and listened to one of their albums. So why the name Saor? Saor means “free” and “unconstrained” in Gaelic. The name was inspired by the Scottish independence motto “Saor Alba” which translates to “Free Scotland”. Perfect for Andy Marshall’s solo project which lyrical theme revolves around the Scottish heritage and landscapes.

The music is very beautiful and atmospheric, what you would probably have guessed. However it also adds that harsh tone from the vocals and guitars making it change phase when needed and adds a lot of depth to the sound. I really love how Saor uses bagpipes and violins as it just makes me take in the celtic atmosphere and almost feeling the sorrow and grief the Scottish have endured. Or as to quote my favourite song on the album (they are all great though) Hearth:

“I’ve wandered through the ancient glens
Where the air is filled with sorrow
and climbed to the highest of peaks
Walked amongst the haunted ruins of my nation
There’s nowhere I’d rather be
This is my home
My heart
My soul
My hearth”

Simply beautiful, yet a saddening masterpiece and I hope you will all take an hour of your time to experience this amazing album. Now I need to book a trip to Scotland…..

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/saorofficial
For fans of: Winterfylleth and Panopticon
Favorite song: Hearth

Traitors – Mental State (Deathcore)

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Mental State starts in 120km/h and it never stopps. You can be sure that Traitors brings you 36 minutes of pure, fast, groovy deathcore. I’ve never actually been a big fan of Traitors, up until now that is. I think Mental State is a milestone in their discography and it has certainly got me into listening to their older stuff more. That in itself is a good grade for an album.

The lyrics are angry and hits on many important subjects in todays society about how people act and behave towards others. Great lyrics are only as good as the performance of them though and Traitors will make sure you headband while they lash out some truth. The whole album just feels so complete and on point on what a lot of people need to hear and get into their heads.

All in all Mental State really got to me. It’s a great album and this is coming from a guy that wasn’t all down with the Traitors hype train. I am now though! Traitors have persuaded me to become a fan with this sweet Mental State release. If you haven’t already then give this album a listen today!

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Traitorsfl
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/TraitorsBandUSA
For fans of: Enterprise Earth and The Ten Last Seconds of Life
Favorite song: Irrelevant

Taiga – Sky (Atmospheric/Depressive Black Metal)

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How about some Russian depressive black metal? Taiga is a three piece band who has existed since 2013 and Sky is their third full-length album. Really quick work. The album starts off with massive riffs and reels you right in to stay and listen an hour to what Sky has to offer. Taiga slows it down on the later songs and gets into a more gloom and depressive mode with shrieking vocals that feels quite unsettling, quite cool.

Taiga has managed to release yet another class depressive black metal album with an very melancholic atmosphere and emotions. Sky brings you into a state of mind of anguish and sorrow in a very beautiful way. They mix the slow and heavy riffs with faster powerful ones in a way that just adds to the album and doesn’t feel forced. I can recommend this to any atmospheric or/and depressive black metal fans out there.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/TaigaOfficialPage
For fans of: Is and Rotten Light
Favorite song: Вверх