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

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Valfreya – Promised Land (Melodic Black/Folk Metal)

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The band’s name caught my eye when I received a promo and I just had to check it out. I found this on The Metal Archives “The band’s name is influenced by one by name of Óðinn, Valföður (Old Icelandic for “Father of the Corpses”) and Freyja, the Vanic deity, sister of Freyr”. A cool fusion of names and from there on I was already in love with the band. Apart from the name the band, as the name implies, sings about Norse mythology and they do it in a very melodic/symphonic (whatever floats your boat) kind of way with with folk and black metal being the two main genres they cross. Promised Land is the Canadian bands second full-length and fourth album over since their formation in 2009.

Promised Land is a concept album following the tale of Eric The Red discovering America while defying the Gods. Between the songs you sometimes have a intermission with a story teller guiding you what has happened and is about to happen. The idea has been done before but I’ve always find it a fun way to to tell a story through a music album. One thing that stood out for me with Valfreya is the band was created by the female vocalist Corinne Cardinal (Crook) who also does the graphic design and is the main composer of the band. Not that often I find black/folk influenced bands have a female in the forefront like that. Kudos to Crook for creating Valfreya and making it all happen as I am sure it can be tough.

Being a concept album I do of course think it should be listened to in full from start to finish. Even more so since it’s a story I like and heard when I was a kid, and I found this a great way to tell the story of Eric The Red. Promised Land is a concept album any fan of Norse mythology will enjoy and fans of symphonic folk with black metal influences will surely have a good time here. Promised Land is independently released and it’s out now!

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Valfreya.Metal
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/valfreyametal
For fans of: Ensiferum and Wintersun
Favorite song: The Choice

Netherbird – The Grander Voyage (Symphonic/Melodic Black Metal)

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Netherbird are back! After splitting up just two years ago most of the band got back together earlier this year, with some new additions, and have already produced another full-length album in The Grander Voyage. Having been around since 2004 the band are veterans within the scene having had some of the best cover art there is in my opinion. The band are now signed with Black Lodge Records as well, one of my all time favorite labels (Sabaton, Amorphis, Candlemass etc), which is great to see and a quality stamp.

Just like Netherbird has before they play a very Dissection influenced melodic black metal, just the way I love it. They don’t deliver anything revolutionary and innovating to the genre, but they don’t have to. Netherbird are still a tight group that know how to bring you those killer riffs, changing the tempo just the right way, bringing in instrumental tracks that guides you towards the mayhem they are about to release and giving you that saddening dark atmosphere while doing so. The hissing, rasping vocals are just about the right volume too, a little distant but still there to add depth to the music. Very Dissection like and good!

I think The Grander Voyage is one of Netherbird’s best releases (The Ferocious Tides of Fate being my favorite). If you’re an old fan of Netherbird then you will definitely love this. If you are a new to Netherbird then you are off to a good start with The Grander Voyage.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/netherbird
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/netherbird
For fans of: Dissection and Naglfar
Favorite song: The Silvan Shrine

Lucifer’s Cold Embrace – Sovereign Heresy (Symphonic Black/Death Metal)

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Lucifer’s Cold Embrace is the devilish solo project by the Dutch talent Martin van Beek. It all started with Martin and his girlfriend sharing the passion for bands like Dissection and Naglfar so Martin decided to write songs for her with the diabolical inspiration they give you. The result is nothing short but a five track EP that captures the very essence of satanic melodies, singing symphonic hate for God while giving love to Lucifer.

The starting song Rising gives me The Serpentine Offering by Dimmu Borgir vibes all over (with a touch of Satyricon). A very good start that definitely gets me going. Lucifer’s Cold Embrace follows it up with Black Death, a foul track about the pestilence that takes me more towards the older Dissection sound and lyrics. It’s just so evil. Then we have my favorite song on Sovereign Heresy, The Gift of Life. I think this is one of the best songs released this year. It makes Jon Nödtveidt (ex-Dissection) turn in his grave with joy that out there is a Dutch mastermind that can follow some of the work he has made legend. Martin then end Sovereign Heresy journey with Serpentine Flames – Embers of Hate and The Shepherd’s Rod. Two just as diabolical songs as the rest of the album and after spending 20 minutes with Lucifer’s Cold Embrace you are left begging for more.

Good thing is though that Sovereign Heresy is the first in a planned series of many and I can’t wait what Martin comes out with next. Everything from the song-writing, music and production is top notch which will give every fan of Dimmu Borgir, Dissection and Naglfar a reason to rejoice as Lucifer’s Cold Embrace takes you.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/luciferscoldembrace
For fans of: Naglfar and Dissection
Favorite song: The Gift of Life

Endemise – Anathema (Symphonic Black/Death Metal)

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Ottawa’s Endemise are no new kids on the block. They’ve been going since 2005 and released three EP’s and two full-length albums before Anathema. Created by brothers David and Dale Sauve they’ve changed in style and molded to what became symphonic black/death metal in Anathema.

Anathema is nothing short but an majestic dark ride that draws evil influences from big names such as Dissection, Watain, Behemoth, Dimmu Borgir and Septic Flesh. During their eleven years of honing their skills Endemise has become a band to keep an extra eye on as these influences have sunked in and made them create their own sound. Anathema is a nice little surprise coming out this year and I am glad Endemise has found their symphonic deadly groove.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Endemise
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/Endemise
For fans of: Watain and Septic Flesh
Favorite song: Blackening

Mist of Misery – Absence (Symphonic/Depressive Black Metal)

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Hailing from Sweden featuring members from Hyperion. Seeing as Hyperion has released one of the best albums this year, I couldn’t let Mist of Misery slip my gaze. Also this is the third time I review an album from Black Lion Records (reviewed Hyperion and Vindland earlier), where all albums have been a pure joy to dig into. Absence is the bands second full-length after releasing Black Autumn 2011 in, yes you guessed it, 2011.

Even though Mist of Misery consists of two (out of their three members) Hyperion members their sound differs quite a bit. Both bands do draw influences from Dissection, who I just can’t stop praising, but in Mist of Misery’s case they sound more like Totalselfhatred and ColdWorld. Another two great bands to draw influences from. Absence got some very beautiful instrumental parts that lays the foundation of the depressive mood you are about to hit. Take the song Absence as an example, you can almost feel the cold death from the instrumental parts alone.

The whole album focuses a lot on setting the tone through slow symphonic piano, guitar and drums playing with other type of sounds like the sound of the wind in the background. Mist of Misery does it really well and after listening to Absence I am left here pondering about my existence, and it is really beautiful.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/MistofMisery
For fans of: Totalselfhatred and ColdWorld
Favorite song: Mist of Misery

Anno Domini – The Cold Expanse (Symphonic Black/Death Metal)

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Australian Anno Domini is another veteran band I’ve come across lately turning 11 years old this year. Having only released one full-length album prior to The Cold Expanse however I might forgive myself for not knowing about them until now. This is one of the very few black/death albums I’ve review, maybe the only one even, that has some clean singing to it. The Cold Expanse starts very epic symphonic black almost Dimmu Borgir meets Ne Obliviscaris like, then change to clean singing but still keeps being heavy. I have to say it works and makes them a bit different than your typical symphonic black metal band, eventhough I think some songs got a bit too much clean vocals to them for being a black/death metal album. The songs really change character well, a trait not many bands try to do, Artificial Divine Intelligence for example got some Egyptian sounding touches to it whereas Primordium got no clean singing at all and is more towards the standard symphonic black metal sound.

Want to experience how it would sound like if Australian black metal had a baby with Norwegian black metal then Anno Domini’s The Cold Expanse is worth looking into.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/annodominiband
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/annodominiband
For fans of: Ne Obliviscaris and Dimmu Borgir
Favorite song: Primordium