Dig Me No Grave – Immemorial Curse (Death Metal)

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Up for some Russian old school death metal anyone? Dig Me No Grave provides exactly that, and more, as their sophomore album Immemorial Curse is Lovecraft death metal at a high level. Formed in 2010 the band waited until 2014 to release their debut Cosmic Cult, which received good ratings from the critics. Immemorial Curse gives you more of the same concept that worked for them in the first place and it’s just as good.

Starting with an intro that tells the horror of the curse Dig Me No Grave blasts off with Ritual Slaughter. Catchy riffs and a lot of groovy from start to finish with some great solos to top it off, Dig Me No Grave got it all for you. As I’ve said before I am a big fan of death metal and Lovecraft, it’s simply a mix that goes very well together. The album is a bit of a mixed bag for me though. All in all it’s a good listen but it lacks consistency for it to reach the even higher scores as some tracks doesn’t feel quite as strong to me as they could have. In many ways this reminds me of a band I reviewed last year, Grond. Both from Russia, plays death metal and creates music about Lovecraft lore. Must be something in the water over there right?

Immemorial Curse is a great follow-up and Dig Me No Grave is sure to make old school death metal fans happy. It isn’t something I haven’t heard before quite a lot recently and it has it’s dark spots but it’s a solid album nevertheless.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/digmenograveband
Label: Satanath Records / Sevared Records / Wings of Destruction
For fans of: Grond and Monstrosity
Favorite song: Edge of Eternity
Score: 3/5

Nordland – European Paganism (Pagan/Black Metal)

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From England there is a solo project made by Vorh called Nordland which has been a rather active force since the formation in 2011. The self-titled debut in 2012 was well received and Nordland has since managed to release two more full-length albums and an EP prior to European Paganism. One would think with so many releases it might be more quantity than quality, however Vorh has done well maintaining a quite high level on his albums. European Paganism being no different of course.

Nordland’s Pagan ways are something a lot of metalheads are sure to enjoy, me included. With a 27 minute opener (!) in The Mountain the journey starts on this concept album that takes us through epic landscapes. What a journey it becomes, I get a lot of vibes from one of my favorite black metal albums last year. Namely Old Souls by Wayfarer. Cold and stony mountains, nature, paganism and an journey through the old ways is what Nordland offers. While it’s nothing new and something Nordland has done in the past it has to be said this is his best work yet. The primal sound, great song-writing and atmosphere this album creates is sweet music to my ears.

It doesn’t captivate me as much as Wayfarer’s album did last year (they do differ a bit in sound to be honest) but I had a good time on this journey. An experience the more atmospheric and pagan black metal fans should grab to get their fill. Vorh is impressing me with his continuous good releases, growing slightly each time.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Nordland-407362792653859
Label: Satanath Records and More Hate Productions
For fans of: Wayfarer and Winterfylleth
Favorite song: A Burning of Idols
Score: 3/5

The Father of Serpents – Age of Damnation (Gothic Doom/Death Metal)

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From Serbia there is a new gothic doom/death act in the veins of My Dying Bride, Saturnus, Paradise Lost and Moonspell coming full speed ahead. The band consist of members from renown Serbian acts like The Hell, Tamerlan, Rain Delay and Consecration. The clean singing and narrations makes me think of Moonspell, adding the growls and guitar play that feels very much like Paradise Lost earlier work and you got yourself a good baseline for a good doom act.

Personally I’ve never been a Moonspell fan so the parts that sound very Moonspellish actually gets me hoping they had stuck more with the growls. Especially since Tamerlan’s growling reminds me a lot of Amorphis (one of my absolute favorite bands) vocalist Tomi Joutsen. None of the songs on the album really stands out for me but the opening track The Walls of No Salvation along with The Flesh Altar made up for a good start and I had a lot of hope this could be a hidden gem. Sadly Age of Damnation have a string of songs I didn’t find appealing at all up until The Afterlife Symphony with its beautiful violin play and sweet guitar solo makes it one of the highlights I take away from this album. I could definitely recommend this to goth and doom fans who likes the sound of Moonspell, but since I don’t I couldn’t really appreciate Age of Damnation that much. Together with some lack of consistency on the album makes Age of Damnation something I probably won’t get back to any time soon this year. As a debut this shows a lot of promise for the future though and I got high hopes they can make an even stronger sophomore album.

The Father of Serpents debut album Age of Damnation is out now through Satanath Records.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/thefatherofserpents
Label: Satanath Records
For fans of: Moonspell and Paradise Lost
Favorite song: The Afterlife Symphony
Score: 2/5

Moribundo – Raíz Amarga (Death/Doom Metal)

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Are you a fan of bands such as Swallow the Sun, Draconian, Paradise Lost and Amorphis? Then look no further! Moribundo (means “Dying” in Spanish) and the melancholic thoughts you might get when thinking of death is something Moribundo expresses through their music. Created in 2014 Raíz Amarga is the Spanish bands debut album and what a debut it is!

The various influences Moribundo takes from have created a new beast entirely. The use of different instruments like piano and violin combined with the depressed growls creates an almost funeral doom experience at times. Not only that the four tracks are really different to each other, with a lot of variety to the music it makes Raíz Amarga an album you can easily listen to several times without getting bored. Death and despair. Take those words in and what they really mean to you then listen to this and you will experience the bitter rot Moribundo so beautifully expresses.

I found this to be a rather epic experience. It’s sweet melancholic symphonies and variety in music that makes it stand out from the average doom act. Adding the mixing of Hiili Hiilesmaa at Yellow House Studio (Swallow the Sun, Moonspell, Amorphis, Sentenced) and you got yourself one of the better doom albums of 2017.

Raíz Amarga is out now through Satanath Records.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/MoribundoMetal
Label: Satanath Records
For fans of: Swallow the Sun and Draconian
Favorite song: Luz (Ciego Color)

Lava Invocator – Mörk (Black Metal)

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Lava Invocator’s history is a funny one for me. They are a Ukrainian band but got together in a town close to where I live, Lund in Sweden, due to being influenced by the forests, mysticism and darkness that can surround Sweden at times. The duo Ingvaar (guitars and vocals) and Silent (bass) have been working alongside each other for a while, as they also play for Def/Light. Joining them is Yggr on drums to complete the formation of black arts two years ago. Mörk (Swedish word for “dark”) is the bands first album.

What kind of music does Lava Invocator play then? It’s traditional black metal heavy influenced from the 90’s era. It’s raw high pitched black metal vocals together with tempo-changes between melodic riffs and aggressive blast beats. Just as you remember icons such as Dissection, Dark Funeral and Darkthrone spreading their malicious ferocity doing it for many years. They even got acoustic and synth elements which is a nice extra touch and doesn’t feel forced in.

There are some high and lows on this album, but it’s good old black metal that you know what to expect from it. If you can never get enough of black metal then you can’t go wrong with Lava Invocator, they pull off a solid debut album. Mörk by Lava Invocator is out now through Satanath Records.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/lavainvocator
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/lava_invocator
For fans of: Darkthrone and Dark Funeral
Favorite song: Dark Thunder Sky

The Sarcophagus – Beyond This World’s Illusion (Black Metal)

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Continuing my black metal wave up next we have the Turkish band The Sarcophagus. The Sarcophagus are veterans within the scene and one of the longest living metal bands hailing from Turkey, having formed in 1996. Starting as a melodic black metal band this changed to a more raw and aggressive approach with Niklas Kvarforth (Shining) joining in 2009. Still keeping it melodic on some levels but more of a hybrid between pure black metal evilness and the melodic kind. Even after his departure a couple of years later (and the addition of Morkbeast on vocals) The Sarcophagus still plays the same style of black metal that listeners of Mörk Gryning, Setherial, Emperor and Lord Belial will have a lot of fun with.

What The Sarcophagus manages to do is creating a ferocious raw atmosphere along with the more melodic second wave black metal a la Emperor. It’s dark, mystic and got a medieval feel to it. Tracks like Dymadiel are perfect examples of what I mean with feeling medieval. Listen to it and you will feel it too. Most of the album gives you this crazy and evil urge surrounding it that you’re not entirely sure how to react. It’s just bewitching and dark. My favorite track has to be Ain Sof, the melodic aspects on this track makes me think back of Emperor and it’s gorgeous. While Triumphant Divine Terror is a close second due to it’s raw nature. Overall this is a good metal album that takes a lot of influences from the second wave of black metal. Fans that love this era will not be surprised to what The Sarcophagus offers but neither will they be displeased.

Beyond This World’s Illusion by The Sarcophagus is out now through Satanath Records.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/thesarcophagustr
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/TheSarcophagus
For fans of: Mörk Gryning and Lord Belial
Favorite song: Ain Sof