Excommunion – Thronosis (Brutal Death/Black Metal)

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Been waiting to review this EP for quite some time now and lucky I was to receive it in the latest The Metalhead Box so I could listen to it on an actual cd. Excommunion is a band I am not too familiar with but I’ve heard good stuff about them. The band was formed in 1998, Colorado, and are known for playing brutal death metal with atmospheric black metal elements, which is exactly the reason they caught my eye. That and the two band members Christbutcher (bass, vocals) and Kyle Spanswick (guitars, vocals) both being active members of Nightbringer. So there has to be a lot of potential in a band like that.

Oh and was I right! The opener Twilight of Eschaton is freaking brutal! I swear to you this is an EP you do not want to miss. I understand perfectly what they mean with atmospheric black elements joined together with the sheer force of brutal death metal. It’s a sound I haven’t really heard before but hell I love it. You can hear that this is death metal from members you usually associate with the black metal scene with influences from both Nightbringer and Enthroned being heard here and there. Just like Morbid Angel, Incantation and Immolation makes their influences on Excommunion.

Each track stands tall on their own, none being the weak link. I could choose either one of the tracks for my favorite song, not just due to the four songs being being solid with none standing out. Rather I think they all do in their own right.

Ladies and gentlemen be taken in by this whirlwind of darkness like me, you deserve it. Thronosis is my rite into Excommunion and I am ready for them to lead the way. One of the best releases I’ve heard all year.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Excommunion
Label: Dark Descent Records
For fans of: Enthroned and Morbid Angel
Favorite song: Twilight of Eschaton
Score: 4/5

Shores of Null – Black Drapes for Tomorrow (Doom Metal)

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Candlelight Records used to be a label I always looked at when I wanted the more extreme quality music. Sure they still got Emperor, Winterfylleth, Shade Empire and Limbonic Art that I like but they used to have so much more than that! Entombed, Enslaved, Enthroned, Dismember, 1349, Candlemass etc. The list is very long on some of the worlds biggest metal acts that’s been with Candlelight one way or another. From Candlelight we do have one of the best melodic doom albums you will hear this year though. It’s the Italian band (I’ve told you, this is probably Italy’s biggest metal year) Shores of Null that bless us with their sophomore album Black Drapes for Tomorrow. The band was formed in 2013 with members from the likes of Zippo and Noumeno.

Black Drapes for Tomorrow offers the same kind of high quality doom metal you’re used to hear from heavy hitters within the scene like Katatonia, Daylight Dies and Novembers Doom. This is the first time I hear Shores of Null and they are blowing me away quite frankly. I can’t really find a single song that isn’t good, and it gets better each time I play it. I’ve heard from others that told me about Shores of Null that this record is a safe path and a bit weaker than their debut Quiescence. If it is then I’ll be damn that album is nearly perfect, just like this is a hidden gem within the metal community every doom fan should be all over, safe path or not. Straccione’s vocals are perfect for this kind of music and the guitar duo Raffaele Colace and Gabriele Giaccari are in sync like it’s almost a symbiosis.

As I said before this album is so damn good and solid through and through it’s hard to pick favorite tracks (second album in a row, lucky me). If I had to then it would have to be Donau, Tide Against Us and We Ain’t Ashes. If you need your fill of gloom and darkness then Black Drapes for Tomorrow is an album you can’t miss. Shores of Null sophomore album Black Drapes for Tomorrow is out now through Candlelight Records.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/shoresofnull
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/shoresofnull
Label: Candlelight Records
For fans of: Katatonia and Daylight Dies
Favorite song: Tide Against Us

Coldborn – Lingering Voidwards (Black Metal)

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Coldborn is the brainchild and soloproject of Norgaath. Norgaath is a very active and creative user of the black arts in music as he is also active in Nightbringer, Grimfaug and Onirik. Being from Belgium and really active within the scene it is no surprise it has attracted a very known musician to join him on this debut album. Joining him on drums is no one other than Belgiums black metal pride Enthroned’s Menthor on drums.

Starting off the five tracks of Lingering Voidwards is the almost 13 minutes long The Call of Death’s Clarion. The feeling you instantly get is being alone in the dark cold winter, fitting for the bands name. Soundwise this is very old school early 90’s black metal worship. My mind wander towards legends like Emperor, Immortal and Darkthrone as I listen to this album. Which is of course a good grade just that.

All in all Lingering Voidwards is a good black metal album for anyone wanting to experience the old school sound. And with this album I also wish every metalhead a Happy New Year!

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Coldborn
For fans of: Emperor and Darkthrone
Favorite song: In Solitude

Unlight – Antihelion (Black Metal)

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Antihelion is the bands 7th satanic black opus. As you can tell by the number of albums they’ve released Unlight are no new blood to the black metal scene. In fact they are one of the long running ones from Germany, being formed in 1997. Worth mentioning is that one of their favorite bands are Bathory according to their info page. Who wouldn’t get their hopes up then right? As a matter of fact this is my first time listening to the band but after Antihelion I am looking forward to dig into their discography.

Unlight takes influences from all kinds of genres actually, not solely black metal, as there are also death and trash parts in there at times. The riffs in The Bone Trumpet for example does not really scream black metal but it got some serious punch to it nevertheless. All in all I liked this album, it’s fast and heavy, melodic, blastering drums, killer riffs and great vocals. What is there not to like then?

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/unlight.org
For fans of: Urgehal and Enthroned
Favorite song: Apollyon Nadir