Misanthropic Rage – Gates No Longer Shut (Progressive Black Metal)

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My first listen to Gates No Longer Shut was an interesting one. I didn’t quite get it at first and thought it wasn’t my kind of music but it grew on me. So much that I had to listen to it again, and again, until eventually I was there. I’d joined that realm I recently saw in a horror movie called Satanic (cool idea but movie was only decent) and Misanthropic Rage had taken me there. Much like the experience I got from experimental and atmospheric black metal acts Eldjudnir and Veilburner gave me last year I find this disturbing and horrifying but yet it draws me in, one playthrough at the time.

It’s not too common I give albums a review from 2016 but this was such an interesting release I just had to share it with you. Every song feels a bit different. Be it the sense of horror, psychedelic or intense evil Misanthropic Rage gives it to you. I don’t think this is an album for everyone but if you did enjoy my reviews of Eldjudnir, Miserist and Veilburner or the more known acts that play something similar like Deathspell Omega and Dodheimsgard then this is right up your alley. Also how many times do you listen to a progressive black metal album right?

Misanthropic Rage’s full-length debut album Gates No Longer Shut is out now through Godz ov War Productions.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/misanthropicrage
Label: Godz ov War Productions
For fans of: Eldjudnir and Veilburner
Favorite song: Into the Crypt

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Deity – Deity (Technical Death Metal)

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Deity were formed by the duo and long time friends Danny Alessandro and John Massey about 15 years ago (!). They have since then worked on material, letting it grow until they felt it was good enough to be released to the world. Personally I am glad they did as they seem to have unleashed the Deity in a pure form of metal.

The intro is a sweet symphony that doesn’t make you think about death metal at all, since it’s simply beautiful, and I was wondering if I really did listen to death metal act Deity. Beginning of Extinction brings the chaos right to my ears though on song number two and now I feel right at home. Take a bit of Suffocation, smidge of Gorguts and top it off with Death then you got the main influences in the sound of Deity. Lovers of technical riffs, no clean singing and shredding beware as this is an album made for you, the way Deity themselves would like it to sound. The album is filled with great solos and riffs that you can’t stand still on and I wouldn’t be surprised if we see this Canadian (again a great techdeath band from Canada) duo live on stage as a supporting act to the likes of Gorguts, Cryptopsy or Archspire. Or why not even do it with other up and coming bands like Samskaras and Fractal Generator. Would be sweet lineups!

I think this album rocks. Anything from the instrumental songs From Which We Came, We Now Return, the acoustic In Time to the shredding tunes of Rituals is a joy for my ears. Favorite tracks on the album being Beginning of Extinction, Rituals and Illuminate the Unwilling.

Deity’s self-titled debut is out June 2nd as a independent release.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/DeityMetalCA
For fans of: Suffocation and Gorguts
Favorite song: Beginning of Extinction

Rapheumets Well – Enders Door (Progressive Death/Black Metal)

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Are you ready for a sci-fi concept album? Follow the rogue travler Eryos and how he discovered an artifact that would change his place in cosmos forever. This one hour long journey will leave you wanting more of Eryos and his adventures. Rapheumets Well were formed in 2008, North Carolina USA, after changing name from Blue Man’s God (created 2002). Having had a very wide range of influences on their albums, experimenting in classical, ambience and metal music this band stands out. Enders Door is the bands third release after having told other stories within this multi-verse on Dimensions and The Exile.

One thing is certain when you listen to Rapheumets Well, it’s epic. Much like you find Dimmu Borgir’s symphonic black metal massive and sometimes overwhelms you with their orchestral music Rapheumets Well does the same. Differences are many though. The progressive elements and clean vocals (both female and male) makes you think about The Faceless more than Dimmu Borgir. There is also a lot of death metal influences in the music, still very symphonic, which bands such as Fleshgod Apocalypse are known for. The whole sci-fi take on all this is awesome and at times I think on movies such as Tron or Ghost in the Shell while listening to Enders Door. The different directions the songs take is also what makes Enders Door sick out from the rest. It feels like a movie in musical form, and it’s freaking epic!

I can recommend Rapheumets Well to anyone who is out for something a little bit different. It’s a great concept album with various of influences covering a wide range of genres. I would also love to see this band live, from what I’ve read they seem to make it like a play when performing their music. I can imagine it being a great experience in the veins of what Fleshgod Apocalypse or Carach Angren does.

Rapheumets Well – Enders Door is out May 26th through Test Your Metal Records.

Also with this review I will leave you guys for two weeks. Traveling to Tokyo tomorrow and I will not be reviewing any new albums while there. Hopefully I will get the chance to catch a concert on some of the local bands there though!

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Rapheumetswell
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/rapheumetswell
For fans of: Dimmu Borgir and The Faceless
Favorite song: Lechery Brought the Darkness

Fen – Winter (Atmospheric Black Metal)

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Named after a region in England called The Fens, Fen have since their formation in 2006 made a big name for themselves in the atmospheric black metal scene. The band members grew up in this mysterious landscapes, with marshes and wetlands, and this is where they’ve found the inspiration for their music. Winter is the bands fifth full-length release and it’s been three years since their latest masterpiece Carrion Skies.

Fen are one of those bands that brings you epic songs which, more often than not, goes past the ten minute mark. I know this isn’t for everyone just due to the length and you’re probably afraid that you will lose interest halfway through the song. I urge you not to let time be a factor for giving this one a miss, you owe it to yourself to get embraced by this cold and bleak winter that Fen offers you. It’s an album that should be experienced as a whole, which fans of Fen (and quite a few other atmospheric black metal bands) should know by now. It might not be an album where you turn on a song on your way to work which takes 5-10 minutes but see it as an audiovisual journey instead.

The Winter starts somewhat warm and gently. It’s that time of the year where you’re not entirely sure what to wear as the climate hasn’t truly become cold. Then the snapping cold hits and all of a sudden it’s a harsh icy landscape. This is portrayed in the opening song I: (Pathway) as the beginning of Winter is upon us. The songs smoothly transitions on the album, making this an even greater experience to the listener who wants to not only hear but to feel the Winter breeze.

In many ways this is the perfect way to give tribute for the ten years Fen have existed. It brings an interesting concept, with an atmosphere that’s fitting Winter and a journey in mysterious landscapes of darkness and sorrow. This is Fen at it’s finest and you should allow yourself to be absorbed and fully embrace this journey you’re about to take in the cold Winter. It captures the season from start to finish, ending with VI (Sight) that makes you feel that spring might even be coming soon.

Fen’s fifth full-length release Winter is out now through Code666 Records.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/fenofficial
For fans of: Agalloch and Alcest
Favorite song: V (Death)

Longhouse – II: Vanishing (Doom/Sludge Metal)

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Lets bring the tempo down a notch to kick off this week after a few days of aggressive black metal reviews. What I got for you guys today is the doom metal release I’ve enjoyed the most from what 2017 have offered so far. Longhouse is a Canadian band that had a great debut in 2015 with Earth from Fire, now the time is here for their sophomore album II: Vanishing to take their sound even further.

What Longhouse gives to the listener is a great mix of just about everything. There are sludge, doom and progressive influences shining brightly and I can’t help but to look back at one of my favorite albums last year from Khemmis, Hunted, as I give II: Vanishing a spin. Wrenching vocals gets stuck in your head throughout the album that together with the lyrics make this release a bit more spiritual and occult. Before the singing even kicks in though the opening track Hunter’s Moon sets the atmosphere with it’s post-metal gloomy riffs. If that track doesn’t manage to get you in the right mood for a doom/sludge album then I don’t know what will! After that it’s just to sit back, relax and enjoy this very dark trip that Longhouse so kindly offers. You even have some clean doom vocals on The Vigil that makes it a great ending to a great album. It’s with the albums single No Name, No Marker the band really hit their stride though. Here both the song-writing, vocals, riffs and everything else is just in perfect harmony with each other. Knowing that the song is about the horrible acts that took place in Canada where children were abused and died while forced to attend residential schools, leaving them buried with unmarked graves makes it even more powerful. Actually all of the tracks have powerful lyrics, I just find this being extra dark.

There haven’t been too many good doom or sludge metal promos coming my way this year, so I am very happy to dig into this. Fans of Cult of Luna, High on Fire, Khemmis and Neurosis will love this release. Longhouse sophomore album II: Vanishing is out April 14th as a self-release.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/longhouse.ottawa
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/longhouse_Band
For fans of: Cult of Luna and High on Fire
Favorite song: No Name, No Marker

Nidingr – The High Heat Licks Against Heaven (Black Metal)

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First of all I have to start with saying that The High Heat Licks Against Heaven has to be one of the most beautiful album covers I’ve laid my eyes on. That in itself made Nidingr capture me and want me to listen to the album. So who are Nidingr? Nidingr started off as a solo project in 1992, then named Audr (old Norse Auðr: meaning ‘desolate, empty’), by Teloch (Mayhem). He was eventually joined by Blargh (ex-Dødheimsgard) in 1996 and they changed their name to Nidingr (old Norse: Níðingr, an insult meaning ‘scoundrel, a person of hatred and sin’). The band started as a pure Norwegian black metal act but later on changed their style to a more black and death hybrid with a viking theme. During the years the members have changed and Nidingr now consists of founder Teloch together with Øyvind Myrvoll (ex-Dødheimsgard, ex-Myrkur, ex-God Seed (all live)) on drums, Cpt. Estrella Grasa (Kort Prosess) on vocals and Sir (ex-God Seed, Djerv, Gaahls Wyrd, ex-Myrkur (live)) on bass. As you can see that’s some high profile names and that’s always been the case with Nidingr. The High Heat Licks Against Heaven is the bands fourth full-length album.

The music is very dark, there is an atmosphere on this album that speaks of Ragnarok. The lyrics are full with raids, tales of old, death and destruction. The tempo on the songs varies a lot, The Ballad of Hamther having that agressive Norwegian black metal feel to it, whereas On Dead Body Shore they play more of the black and death hyrbid the likes of Behemoth are famous for. Just to on the track after, Gleipnir, slow it down and it becomes almost a sludge and doom fest. I think the difference in approaches while keeping the red line on the songs is Nidingr’s strong point. It’s something special about Nidingr that I can’t really put a name on it. It’s just good music that’s different but really well made from veterans in the Norwegian black metal scene who knows what they are doing. There’s even some well known guests on the tracks Ash Yggdrasil and Naglfar is Loosed, as Garm of the band Ulver and Myrkur makes appearances.

I didn’t like every single track on the album, simply because of the different approaches to them. I would say it’s the same for me and Enslaved, I love what they do for the viking metal scene but some songs are just not for me. However I do respect what Nidingr does just as well and there are a few tracks here I will definitely go back to at times. The album as a whole is a cool piece of black metal that fans of Enslaved, Helheim and Dødheimsgard will like. Nidingr – The High Heat Licks Against Heaven is out now through Indie Recordings.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/nidingr
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/NIDINGR
For fans of: Helheim and Dødheimsgard
Favorite song: On Dead Body Shore

Virulent Depravity – Fruit of the Poisoned Tree (Technical Death Metal)

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What do you get when you get three very talented technical musicians together? You get Virulent Depravity! The band was created by Colin Butler, who is on guitar, bas and vocals duty. He quickly got the attention from well-known musicians within the technical death metal community and before he knew it he had guitarist Malcolm Pugh (Inferi, ex-Entheos) and drummer Kevin Paradis (Svart Crown, ex-live Benighted) in his line-up.

Fruit of the Poisoned Tree is the bands debut album. Get ready for a flurry of blasting solos, high speed tech-death with a very high level of quality throughout the album. You can definitely tell this is the craftsmanship of some veterans in the scene who knows how to maintain quality and pushing themselves all the way through. The guitars and the sound of it takes me back to Spawn of Possession and their legendary Incurso album. Not a small feat. This is one of the more technical albums I’ve heard in a long time, even for a technical death metal album it’s very heavy on the solos and tempo changes. Meaning this is the wet dream to people who like their tech-death as technical as humanly possible. Whereas I am personally more of a Hour of Penance kind of tech-death type of guy I still need my fill of this type of thing too, I just need to be in the right mood.

Virulent Depravity delivers what most metalheads hoped for, a freaking sweet technical death metal album for fans of Spawn of Possession, Origin and Archspire to dig into. Fruit of the Poisoned Tree is out April 7th through The Artisan Era Records.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/virulentdepravity
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/VDepravity
For fans of: Spawn of Possession and Origin
Favorite song: Mechanized Defilement