Kosmogyr – Eviternity (Atmospheric Black Metal)

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What an interesting duo there is in atmospheric black metal band Kosmogyr. The two members Xander Cheng and Ivan Belic are from China and Czech Republic respectively creating an international band that’s really crossing borders. Eviternity is the duos debut album and it sure packs a punch.

The album is atmospheric black to its core with Ivan’s vocals giving it that black second wave kind of feeling to it. It’s melancholic beautiful music that’s yet made with a destructive force in mind. While listening I get hints of Emperor just as much as I do with bands like Grift, Uada and Panphage during the album. The change of pace and use of different instruments such as violins throughout the album are well placed and it’s really interesting to know that a duo so far away from each other can work so well together on a debut album. Eviternity also offers great song-writing all around which is a good reason on why I will probably return to it more than once this year, it’s got good replay value and leaves its mark.

There hasn’t been too many atmospheric black metal albums coming my way this year compared to last year but when they do they’ve been on good quality. Kosmogyr delivers a solid debut that’s worth any atmospheric black metal fans time and one they can build on for future releases.

Label: Independent
For fans of: Panphage and Uada
Release date: March 9th, 2018
Favorite song: Frailty
Score: 3/5

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Magoth – Anti Terrestrial Black Metal (Black Metal)

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Germany might not be most known for their black metal scene (even though they sure as hell got one) but more for their powermetal and thrash scenes. However with bands like Thulcandra, Nargaroth, Endstille, Falkenbach (I know they are mainly viking/pagan) and Dark Fortress leading the way it’s always worth looking out what the scene got cooking. And guess what? There is a new band to follow from Germany with their aggressive onslaught of black metal. Magoth is a name you better keep in your memory as their debut Anti Terrestrial Black Metal is one of the best black metal debuts I’ve heard since starting this blog.

That being said I am a huge Dark Funeral fan and you know what? This album sounds a lot like the early Dark Funeral albums. I am a simple man at times. Music doesn’t have to be groundbreaking for me to like it, it just needs to sound good. Sometimes maybe even, depending on my mood, sound like an influence from one of my favorite bands. Other than that I hear Nazghor, Nordjevel and Rimfrost at times. All of this is some really good stuff in my world. These are bands known for producing quality black metal so there is definitely worse bands Magoth could take after.

All in all this is a superb album right up my alley. I’ve come to listen through this album time and time again since I first heard it and that’s a quality stamp for me. Anti Terrestrial Black Metal is a wicked debut album but I am sure some will slate it for being too unoriginal. I am not one of those people though, I love what I hear and I want more of it.

Label: Independent
For fans of: Dark Funeral and Rimfrost
Release date: June 30th, 2017
Favorite song: Metal Fortress
Score: 4/5

Vvilderness – Devour the Sun (Post-Black Metal)

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I found this gem in my youtube feed the other day. I haven’t listened to an post-black metal album for quite some time but damn did Vvilderness make me want to have a long session with only class atmospheric music. Because that’s what their album Devour the Sun offers. Class atmospheric post-black metal. Only thing keeping this album from hitting the higher ratings is the fact I think the start lacks a bit compared to the second half, which is just superb. New Earth and Aftershine brings you 18 minutes of some of the best atmospheric music I’ve heard in a really long time. Bringing post-black, atmospheric music and folk elements together into one entity is not entirely new but Vvilderness does it well and Devour the Sun is an album from late 2017 you might have missed, like me, but shouldn’t have. Fans of Harakiri For The Sky and Alcest will do well to check this one out.

Label: Independent
For fans of: Harakiri For The Sky and Alcest
Release date: 6 November 2017
Favorite song: New Earth
Score: 4/5

American Standards – Anti-Melody (Punk/Hardcore/Metalcore)

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Lets begin with saying American Standards isn’t your ordinary metalcore band. They infuse punk and hardcore elements into their sound and the music is full of emotions and angst. It’s totally understandable as well, the theme of the band is very political and about the society with all the wrongdoings that keeps on happening. In that sense American Standards are really close to a local band of mine Wolves Within who I also like. On this album though the theme is more about separation than anything else. What makes me get into the band even more is their background, and it’s a sad one. The founding guitarist passed of suicide with the vocalists father to cancer soon after. It’s obvious this shit hurts and American Standards can use their music to let go of these emotions letting it take musical form and they know what they’re talking about. Heavy stuff.

I usually don’t listen to this kind of music but when I can really feel the emotions coming out from the sound and hitting me hard, then I know they got something special going on. Tracks like Bartenders Without Wings and Cancer Eater hits me like an arrow straight in the heart. Anti-Melody might not be an album for everyone reading this blog as I usually don’t go for this type of music but hell even I go out of my box at times. This album has connected with me on a level Architects usually does, granted different types of music but emotionally they hit me the same way. Musically I would say American Standards are the closer to Norma Jean and Every Time I Die than anything else but they sure do have their own twist, creating not just a simple copy of those.

Sometimes the music is more than just music and this is one of those experiences for me. Maybe it will be for you too?

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AmericanStandards
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/AmericanStndrds
Label: Independent
For fans of: Norma Jean and Every Time I Die
Favorite song: Bartenders Without Wings
Score: 4/5

Golgata – Trälen (Black Metal)

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Småland sure knows their black metal. They have one of the best Swedish festivals in Mörkaste Småland, focusing on black metal. Not only that there have been some top notch bands coming from that area such as Skogen and Netherbird. The latest band spawning from that area is Golgata, playing a more atmospheric approach to black metal rather similar to the type of music Skogen and Dråpsnatt are known for. As a fan of that sound I instantly get caught up in Trälen. The hissing and clean vocals works in great harmony that along with the instrumentals creates an eerie feeling you want from a concept album about the life of a thrall, despair and death.

The raw yet melodic style of black metal together with the Swedish lyrics makes Trälen a very dark album and is in my opinion a sleeper hit. The opener Morgonsolens brand are together with När livet tvekar står död and the title track Trälen the best songs from the EP. A big step in the right direction from Golgata since their first EP Industrial Thoughts last year. The change from English to Swedish together with the raw atmospheric approach is definitely something they should build on with the next release.

Label: Independent
For fans of: Skogen och Dråpsnatt
Favorite song: Morgonsolens brand
Score: 3.5/5

Spectrum of Delusion – Esoteric Entity (Technical Death Metal)

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You can never get too much quality techdeath in your life. Spectrum of Delusion knows this and despite this being a debut album coming from a country that’s not really produced a whole lot of techdeath, namely the Netherlands, this band can rock. Spectrum of Delusion has taken it’s time since their formation in 2013 to produce a debut that will be a great starting point, leaving nothing to chance. One of the bands that basically came from nowhere in my eyes but released a killer techdeath album last year was Virvum and I get a lot of the same vibes when listening to Spectrum of Delusion. Both bands took a long time in order to release their debut (granted Virvum took way longer) and both have done really well to release a debut that shakes up the scene, gaining a lot of new fans and leaving people wanting more. Mission accomplished.

Esoteric Entity might not offer anything you haven’t heard before but what they do offer is an insanely tight album with few errors. This has been 36 minutes of joy to listen to through and through. However I do feel like the start was a bit slow compared to the ending of the album. The last three tracks on the album Unborn Tragedy, Mixotrophy and Timelines are really great tracks that shows Spectrum of Delusion on form while the first songs were just good. Which in a year where techdeath has really thrived with top releases from Origin, Decrepit Birth and Archspire just to name some won’t break them into the higher tier of things. At the same time though this is the bands first album, a good one at that, and I am sure this will pave the way for even better releases to come in the future. Spectrum of Delusion is a band I will have an extra eye on to see where they go with their next release. For now I am happy with a tight debut that makes me hope they can be the next big thing within the genre.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/SpectrumofDelusion
Label: Independent
For fans of: Virvum and Tethys
Favorite song: Unborn Tragedy
Score: 3.5/5

After the Storm – Into a New Era (Melodic Death Metal)

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Are you a fan of old school melodic death metal the way In Flames, At the Gates and Dark Tranquillity did in the early 90’s? Then After the Storm got something right up your alley. The band have mixed and produced the music in their own studio and it shows, for better or worse. The production really does feel like it was done 20 years ago which I personally feel hurts the vocals the most. The vocals, drums and guitars doesn’t sound like they are joined together as one to me, something is missing there.

That rant aside I can’t help but to nod my head and smile to music like this. This remind me so much of the music I grew up with and already on the opening track The Awakening I fall in love with the riffs and drumming. Turn up the volume on the vocals and leave out what makes it sound like it’s being played in a church and I would be much happier. The following track Stand Unified gives me the same joy but I can already hear a pattern forming, they end their songs with a solo. Which is fine and all but after a while I might think it get repetitive. There is definitely a lot of emphasis on the guitarplay throughout the album so if you want your melodic death metal with a more technical side to it this is a great way to go.

It’s a shame the production and mixing of this album destroyed it for me. The core of the album is sweet with well performed riffs (which feels a but repetitive at times though) and songwriting but the end result I listen to isn’t good enough to cut it these days. This being the bands debut album I hope they learned something from it and make a better job at mixing it.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/afterthestormmetal
Label: Independent
For fans of: At the Gates and In Flames
Favorite song: Rise as They Fall
Score: 2/5