Adversum - In the Sign of Satan
Aeternus Prophet - Exclusion Of Non-Dominated Material
Afterlife Symphony - Moment Between Lives
Alkonost - Songs of the White Lily
Antimateria - Valo aikojen takaa
Archetype - Mission
Ars Veneficium - The Reign of the Infernal King
Astarium / Antiquus Scriptum - Hymns to the Ancient Northland
Behrrecht - L'aube glacée
Blodorn - Absolu
Briargh - Eboros
Buried Side - Heading to the Light
Carved - Kyrie Eleison
Darker Half - Never Surrender
Darker Half - Classified
Dysylumn - Chaos Primordial
Elyzium - Elysium
Envinya - The Harvester
Era Decay - Our Secred Heroes
Eufobia - Eufobia
Excruciation - [c​]​rust
Harm - October Fire
Headhunter D.C. - Death Kurwa! - Live in Warsaw 2013
Helroth - I, Pagan
Hermodr - Above the Shadows / Past the Quiet Forest
Huldre - Tusmorke
In Cauda Venenum / Heir / Spectrale - Split
Insane Vesper - Layil
Kalmankantaja - Tyhjyys
Korgonthurs - Vuohen siunaus

 

PAGE 2:


Lathspell - Torn Cold Void
Macaria - A Strings’ Dramedy
Mindahead - Reflections
Myr - Habits
Myrkgrav - Takk og farvel; tida er blitt ei annen
Ohtar - Euthanasia of Existence
Panopticon / Waldgefluster -  Split
Reapter - Cymatics
Rex Mundi - Ontology
Stojar - Hammer thunderstorms, in the twilight of battles...
Suicidal Madness - Illusions funestes
The Kreoles - Psycho
Thrawsunblat - Metachtonia
Thy Catafalque - Meta
Timor et Tremor - For Cold Shades
Waldgefluster - Ruinen
Wyruz - Judge and Jury
Xaos Oblivion - Rituals from the Cold Grave
Zaum - Eidolon

 

Band: ADVERSUM
Country: Germany
Title: In the Sign of Satan
Label: Inferna Profundus Records
Year: 2016
Style: Black Metal

Review:
Another cold, icy full-length to balance the hot Summer we had this year, In the Sign of Satan, Adversum's debut album is a pretty straight-forward assault, an ode to what these guys believe in the most, Satan. The lyrical part of this album seems to be their strongest element at first sight, and most of the concept and music here seems to have been imagined and composed by S. who is handling vocals, guitars and bass lines as well, having MDB as second permanent member on drums and N. as session keyboard player, so in fact maybe S. is the one who's more into the Satanism after all. Anyway, the music is as well pretty straight to your face traditional Black Metal, mostly mid-paced rhythmed, without any gimmicks, even the keyboards are rare and not inflicting any "weak" atmospheres to the whole so it all sounds fierce, mysterious and serious. I guess this album has the ability to meet both Raw Black Metal and Melodic Black Metal fans' tastes and as a debut album it sounds convincing, especially on concept level (I'm curious what's the idea behind the cover artwork and what's the link between it and the music). What it lacks are the surprises, some elements to impress, to capture the listener and stick to its mind, maybe the future will bring some of that too. The CD comes with 8 pages booklet featuring lyrics.
Reviewed by Adrian
Rating: 7.5/10

Contact:
adversum.bandcamp.com
facebook.com/ipr666

Band: AETERNUS PROPHET
Country: Ukraine
Title: Exclusion Of Non-Dominated Material
Label: Metal Scrap Records
Year: 2016
Style: Death Metal

Review:
Second full-length album from this Ukrainian band founded in 2010; 4 years apart from their debut album, this new one offers 10 tracks in a bit over 50 minutes of playing time. Their music as described by the label, is old-school raw Black Death Metal a la Novembers Doom, Rotting Christ, Sceptic Flesh, Belphegor, and Behemoth, but unfortunately this is far, far from the mentioned bands in terms of both composition and intensity. Aeternus Prophet's music is mostly slow to mid-paced, almost lazy sounding I might say, with an acute lack of brutality in it, maybe except for the vicious vocals but that's not enough to make it a successful Extreme Metal material. I've listened to a couple of tracks from their debut album, too, in order to compare them, and indeed, the band progressed, it's more credible and intense now, but not enough to impress nowadays when the above mentioned bands are continuously struggling to reach new and new levels of brutality and technicality. All lyrics are in their native tongue, so for countrymates they could be a good addition to the whole (if they are interesing enough), but for the rest I don't think this album will make any difference at all. Sorry, it sound too stale even for an Old-School Extreme Metal release, I wouldn't have been mad about it in the '90's either...
Reviewed by Adrian
Rating: 6/10

Contact:
facebook.com/Aeternus-Prophet-242591719155632
metalscraprecords.com

Band: AFTERLIFE SYMPHONY
Country: Italy
Title: Moment Between Lives
Label: Revalve Records
Year: 2016
Style: Symphonic Metal

Review:
This is the second album of Italian Afterlife Symphony (earlier known as just Afterlife). And from the first bars is almost overloaded with technique, climates, and changes in temperature, mood, etc. This is not a objection from my part, but I do feel that my ears flowing powerful mix of style taken from The Gathering, Garbage, Delight (Polish gothic metal) and Evenscence too, heavily tinted sounds symphonic and gothic (with pathos worthy like Lacrimosa). Sad timbre of the voice of Anna Giusto creates a kind of nostalgia while at times it approaches the female pop ballads known commercial radio stations... I appreciate very complex compositions, all of the tracks on "Moment Between Lives" are refined and pampered in every way. Just as has its charm longing for something indefinite, emanating from every note on the album. It's fun to listen to it, seeing the window late night auroras or gray days of autumn grey clouds with the drizzle. The team submitted a pace over the depth of sound, which at one point missing a little "add gas" for speed. There were also good here, neo folk ballads at the end (three pieces) and the final song "Genesis Of Eternity".
Anyway Afterlife Symphony, recorded good album, while not recorded nothing new - it is simply a high-end crafts for lovers of symphonic gothic metal with elements of alternative rock.
Reviewed by Vilcin
Rating: 7/10

Band: ALKONOST
Country: Russia
Title: Songs of the White Lily
Label: Selfreleased
Year: 2016
Style: Folk Pagan Doom Black Metal

Review:
New Alkonost’s stuff from the first bars recognizes its melodic and beautiful, deep and colorful voice of Xenia Pobuzhanskaya. "Songs white lily" is a colorful story straight from the Russian legends, fairy tales and the Russian Tatarstan. This is a very broad sense, folk metal, which also contains a lot of elements of symphonic metal, melodic doom, prog-metal, folkened gothic-rock, progressive rock and melodic heavy Russian-doped electronics and a pinch of opera motifs. Each song is a separate story, but the whole thing is a powerful monolith. Pathos of these songs is completely different than in other russian folkmetallers. Ksenia’s kind of singing just  make that the heart grows, which in combination with perfectly constructed sounds of guitars, drums and electronics, and listening to good equipment has the effect of spreading brain pulse and take energy! Alkonost very skillfully directs climate plates, rhythms change smoothly so that there is not too large jumps of moods, but there is no effect to be boring. 
Alkonost after some personal changes back and refined new sound (including solos on keyboards, echoes reflecting the effect of emphasizing the depth of sound, vocal reverbs etc.) While remaining in their characteristic pagan fairy-folkmetal sounds. The album ends two pieces of acoustic kept in a climate of folk-singing poetry with elements of folk and medieval yet modern Russian romances. There is power !!!
Reviewed by Vilcin
Rating: 9/10

Band: ANTIMATERIA
Country: Finland
Title: Valo aikojen takaa
Label:  Purity Through Fire
Year: 2016
Style: Black Metal

Review:
Valo aikojen takaa  is just 44 minutes and 10 seconds of pure (including ambient-electronic intro), finnish blackmetal taken from the most deepest hell, However, melodically, electronic inserts and raw guitars sound like a little punk, a little ... even some rock bands of the 80s. And Quorthon’s melodies, of course. In any case, Ahma, the only musician Antimatter, stitched together and moved out of the garage black metal road roller forming machine sound with vocals drawing to a pleasantly melodic abyss. With some neofolk flow from time to time. Valo aikojen takaa are 99 limited digipack copies, for real, deep underground black metal befits, heh...
Reviewed by Vilcin
Rating: 7/10

Band: ARCHETYPE
Country: Canada
Title: Mission
Label: Self-released
Year: 2016
Style: Progressive Thrash Death Metal

Review:
The CD booklet has a special way of listing tracks: instead of featuring the lyrics, each track is coupled with the band's thoughts on it, which is excellent in my opinion, for the French speaking listeners, as everything is in French here except for the tracks lyrics, isn't this ironic? The opening track, Welcome, comes with a phrase that is now stuck to my mind: Welcome is a promise that we will do something that wasn't supposed to be done. This little teaser actually made me very interested and alert on what's about to happen next in this album, it's so weird and fucked up, lacking of any kind of borders, that it's impossible not to stir your appetite. The music on Archetype's debut album is a constant gushing of surprising sounds, imagine the chaos happening when a fireworks warehouse catches fire by mistake, Archetype's music is similar: guitar riffs, solos and leads springing all the time out of nowhere, an absolutely demented drumming, impressive bass lines with their own agenda, and a vicious vocalist that sounds like a mental patient in his worst day. The only problem is the rough, unpolished production simply because this chaos would have deserved better, but I can assure you it won't hurt the experience. If you think Extreme Metal gone absolutely berserk, highly technical and without limits would make your day Archetype's debut album is an absolute MUST! This is a gem!
Reviewed by Adrian
Rating: 10/10

Contact:
archetypemtl.bandcamp.com

Band: ARS VENEFICIUM
Country: Belgium
Title: The Reign of the Infernal King
Label: Immortal Frost Productions
Year: 2016
Style: Black Metal

Review:
Immortal Frost is slowly but surely blooming into one hell of a serious Black Metal label, and here's one of their bands that has grown beside it, starting with their (the band's) debut EP, The Abyss, in 2014. Now it was time for a full-length assault from Ars Veneficium and The Reign of the Infernal King doesn't disappoint expectations; 9 tracks, a bit over 40 minutes of playing time, a traditional, fast paced, melodic at times, opressive type of Black Metal that mostly reminded me of the Marduk legacy, and Marduk being one of my faves you can easily guess I love this album as well. After more than 5 auditions I can clearly say this is one hell of a serious Black Metal album, complete with everything we're used to from the Scandinavian assault of the end of the '90's: fast rhythms, devastating bastbeats and a severe wall of expressive guitar riffs, upfront bass lines and ferocious vocals (I would have liked them to be a bit more versatile though), spiced here and there by melodic leads that only enhance the epic atmospheres without stealing anything from the album's overall imposing atmosphere. Fast, skillful and venomous, a highly promising debut album from Belgium. Released as CD with 16 pages booklet complete with lyrics and artwork that reminds of Medieval witchcraft times.
Reviewed by Adrian
Rating: 8/10

Contact:
facebook.com/arsveneficiumofficial
immortalfrostproductions.com

Band: ASTARIUM / ANTIQUUS SCRIPTUM
Country: Russia / Portugal
Title: Hymns to the Ancient Northland
Label: NitroAtmosfericum Records
Year: 2016
Style: Dark Ambient

Review:
I have mixed feelings about this release, one one hand I find it useless and actually a bit negative impacting for bands to re-release their previous works in an already overcrowded scene, and both projects on this release did this, compiled a mix of old or new but recently released tracks, and on the other hand I quite like the concept of this split, a Dark Ambient homage to cold and Winter and probably to their Scandinavian Metal idols, too (Burzum and Bathory come to mind at first, of course). So both bands left aside their Black Metal (in Astarium's case) and Viking Black Metal (in Antiquus Scriptum's case) sides and offered only mellow, Dark Ambient tracks that actually blend it well together and are pretty expressive, if you give them a chance you can easily have your mind transported to different places in time and space. Getting back to things I don't like I would mention the pictures of the two masterminds, SiN from Astarium and Sacerdos Magus from Antiquus Scriptum, in day by day clothes, nothing to do with the atmospheres they create musically, and even annoying if you think about it, I mean you manage to create such mesmerizing atmospheres and you greet your listeners in jeans and hoodie? Nah, not a good move. I would have also liked to have a story of some sort inside the booklet, something to go hand in hand with the music, something to enhance my experience... Anyway, kudos for the beautiful music, highly recommended if you have a crave for medieval and/or fantasy atmosphere but wouldn't like to watch a movie, just pop in this CD and dream on.
Reviewed by Adrian
Rating: 7/10   8/10

Contact:
astarium.ru
facebook.com/AntiquusScriptum
nitroatmosfericum.ru

Band: BEHRRECHT
Country: France
Title: L'aube glacée
Label: Ketzer Records
Year: 2016
Style: Black Metal

Review:
The 2nd full-length album in Behrrecht history started wih neofolk-ambient intro. Then Bahrrecht imposes a murderous pace interspersed with short layoffs. "L'aube glacée" (all lyrics in french language) on the one hand, black metal sound monolith, on the other hand there is no shortage of surprising pleasantly nostalgic patches and play "pauses", which is not boring. However, the whole stuff is based on the technical sense’s fast and furious.  The penultimate number is something along the lines outro but followed by more robust machine sound. The album was composed by Feanor and filed already in 2012 but not released until 2016.
Reviewed by Vilcin
Rating: 7/10

Band: BLODORN
Country: France
Title: Absolu
Label: Antinomie Productions
Year: 2016
Style: Death Metal

Review:
I definitely have a selective memory, so it was no surprise I reviewed these guys' debut demo almost 3 years ago and to me it seems like I did it just Yesterday; well, this is a lucky case when I remember a band's music so well, it doesn't always happen like this. I remember how much Blodorn's brutality impressed me back then, and luckily enough they still kept that brutality especially in the vocal sector, and kept improving in the instrumental part as well, now adding a bit more groove to their music, but the Brutal Death kind of groove, not sure if you can imagine what I'm talking about, that fast, controlled, balanced outburst of groovy rhythms. The four new compositions featured here are again top class, no doubt, but unfortunately the sound quality is awful; I usually listen to my Metal with headsets (quality headsets), and this time I tried 3 different headsets and they all delivered this music like crap so in the end I'm sure it's not me or my gear, it's a shitty mastering. If I were part of this band I'd take this recording to a real producer and ask him to work his magic; unfortunately in this form it's almost annoying to listen to this EP. But the band is something to keep an eye on, for sure.
Reviewed by Adrian
Rating: 6/10

Contact:
www.facebook.com/BlodornBand

Band: BRIARGH
Country: Spain
Title: Eboros
Label: Lower Silesian Stronghold
Year: 2015
Style: Pagan Black Metal

Review:
I'm used to say about a Black Metal album that it lacks variety, especially now when there are so many materials released all the time, but in this case it's the contrary, Briargh's third studio album sounds like it was composed over a large period of time (actually 2 years) and if it wasn't for the vocals that heavily lack of versatility most of the time, I would have said this is a best of compilation. 8 tracks clocking a bit over 35 minutes of playing time, delivering what could be considered Pagan Black Metal with a healthy dose of complexity and expressiveness, but a bit degraded by the raw and quite thin production. Even though the mastering is not my fave thing about this album, I'm impressed Erun (the only member of Briargh) decided to record the drums live, or at least they sound like recorded live. The tracks are diverse one from another but overall they lead my mind to the '90's Black Metal, or even better Medieval Black Metal scene, and there's plenty to enjoy on this album, but unfortunately they failed to "take me to their world", to involve me as much as to avoid thinking more about technical execution and composition, about details. And here I also blame the crystal clear but still unpolished production, the rough vocals that somehow don't fit with the melodic atmospheres created by the instruments, and maybe also the guest appearance of female vocals on a track, vocals that sound rather scared than melodic, not helping at all; the good thing about this is again the composition level and Erun's ability to go different places yet still delivering a final solid material. The CD comes with an 8 pages booklet featuring lyrics.
Reviewed by Adrian
Rating: 6.5/10

Contact:
briargh.bandcamp.com
trueunderground.cba.pl

Band: BURIED SIDE
Country: Switzerland
Title: Heading to the Light
Label: Selfreleased
Year: 2016
Style: Deathcore

Review:
I'm far from being a Deathcore fan, but once in a while I stumble upon such a release that makes me totally question my tastes, and here is the perfect example, the debut album from Neuchatel based quintet Buried Side is an absolute blast, a fantastic material that kicked my ass so hard I'll be sleeping on my belly for a month. Fuck, these guys are demented, the amount of technical skills, the variety of the compositions, the ability to build and transmit a story in each track, the amount of hooks and especially the amount of surprising elements is astounding. I've spinned this three times already in total awe of how interesting the whole is, of how impressed I am by it. Since I'm not focusing on Deathcore and I'm not an expert at all in it I'll only say this is Deathcore mixed with Metalcore elements, Djent as well, precise to the bone, melodic and enchanting most of the time, and highlighted by the superb guitarists duo (the lead guitar is like straight from the Luca Turilli army), all of this wrapped in an exquisite Egypt-inspired atmosphere that's the sweet cherry on the cake. Most probably my favorite Deathcore album ever, so I absolutely recommend it to you, too. Wow, these guys are the Nile of Deathcore!
Reviewed by Adrian
Rating: -/10

Contact:
buriedsidedxc.bandcamp.com

Band: CARVED
Country: Italy
Title: Kyrie Eleison
Label: Bakerteam Records
Year: 2016
Style: Melodic Death Metal

Review:
„Kyrie Eleison” is the 2nd official album od italian Carved. This stuff, based on melodic death metal include a lot of symphonic motifs. More professional ear catch there some quitefolk-doom sounds like My Dying Bride and Silent Stream of Godless Elegy (e.g. in really great track „Swamp”). Besides, there is also some choral and progressive and groove-deathcore flow. There is some post rock („Heart of Gaia”) elements too and some prog-metal acrobatics (e.g. „Lilith”, „Malice Striker”). "Kyrie Eleison" is really interesting album, there is no satiety form over content. For this, Carved recorded also, as a bonus, melodic Death Metal-cover Bloodhound Gang "The Bad Touch".
Reviewed by Vilcin
Rating: 8/10

Band: DARKER HALF
Country: Australia
Title: Never Surrender
Label: Fastball Music
Year: 2016 (re-release)
Style: Heavy Power Metal

Review:
Third studio album from this Australian band founded back in 2003, one hell of a good release combining influences from both European and Amarican scenes and performed by some highly skilled musicians. Unfortunately for them I guess it's pretty rough to get out of Australia although some bands have proven the contrary. This third album was initially released by the band themselves in 2014 but since they have signed with Fastball they decided to rerelease it to reach more people and it's well worth it, fans of Power Metal / Melodic Heavy Thrash Metal should definitely at least give it a listen. Not sure why the band decided to release this album with only 4 new tracks and the rest, 6 other, taken from the previous 2 albums, but I guess they wanted to offer a best of thing for their activity to date in order to catch some serious attention (and it worked). Heavy Power Metal with major Thrash Metal influences, a mix of Helloween, Iron Maiden, Nevermore, Metallica and especially Merciful Fate I'd say, but not a copycat for sure, a band that sounds surprisingly original and fresh, if that's even possible these days, while still building on traditional patterns. The guitar work is amazing, the vocals are really leading, the bass lines have that '80's full metallic sound, and the drums are precise and intricate although to me they sound synthetic at times, but nothing to bad mouth this band about. I also liked the addition of a '70's keyboard part combined with a Psychedelic-like guitar and Metallica sounding bass lines on As Darkness Fades track, probably my fave track on this album. 
Reviewed by Adrian
Rating: 8.5/10

Contact:
darkerhalf.com
fastball-music.de

Band: DARKER HALF
Country: Australia
Title: Classified
Label: Fastball Music
Year: 2016
Style: Heavy Power Metal

Review:
The most recent recording from these Aussie Heavy Power Metallers is this 5 tracks EP clocking almost half an hour of exquisite music, an EP highlighted again by the band's excellent technical skills. A very enjoyable half an hour, 5 compositions ranging between mid-tempo and fast paced rhythms, professional to the max, and expressive, involving also, that kind of music that makes you rise your fist (or horns) in the air and feel you're a part of a bigger, united family, the metalheads family. Not more to say about this, Darker Half are one of those bands you wonder why you heaven't heard of until now and hope they'll keep up the good work so you can get more of it; true story. 
Reviewed by Adrian
Rating: 8.5/10

Contact:
darkerhalf.com
fastball-music.de

Band: DYSYLUMN
Country: France
Title: Chaos Primordial
Label: Egregor Records
Year: 2016
Style: Atmospheric Black Death Metal

Review:
France again, probably the most fertile ground for Black Metal nowadays, a country where the most hostile music genre ever created found a new host where to grow and bloom more vicious attacks on our senses. In Dysylumn's case Black Metal teamed up with Death and Doom Death and the result is oppressive, desolate, megalithic soundscapes slowly churning your ears; we're treated with 3 long tracks plus intro and outro (it's been a while since I've seen this practice, glad it's still enforced from time to time), almost half an hour of heavy atmospheres with progressive approach on composition, especially on the guitar work, an EP I would recommend to the initiated only as you have to have a background in enjoying similar music in order to get this one. Chaos Priomordial is a bit claustrophobic, it keeps you tight within its own boundaries, and probably there's where their probably only fault comes from, a lack of surprising elements, of loose horizons; who knows, maybe that's their aim...
Reviewed by Adrian
Rating: 7/10

Contact:
dysylumn.bandcamp.com
egregor-records.bandcamp.com

Band: ELIZIUM
Country: Holland
Title: Elysium
Label: STF Records
Year: 2015
Style: Gothic Metal

Review:
Supported by an excellent video for the title-track, Elysium, Elizium's third studio album (although the band is around since 1991!) needed a few spins before I could get it and actually decide if I like it or not, and the result is I like it, really like it. Accompanied with interesting lyrics, a nice booklet artwork and layout, Elizium's music on these 11 new tracks brings life to a sad, nostalgic, sentimental story just perfect for the genre they play, a mix between Gothic Metal and Dark Rock that because mostly because of the vocals took my mind to To/Die/For and Sisters of Mercy. The few Synth insertions are welcome here projecting another dimension to a genre that's mostly for nostalgics nowadays, but the band's main highlight I'd say is their ability to express emotions, to sound credible and honest. There are no real memorable choruses or tracks, but the whole album flows naturally and as a whole is a successful material, I have no doubts fans of the abovementioned genres or bands will find plenty of god things to enjoy on Elysium.
Reviewed by Adrian
Rating: 7.5/10

Contact:
elizium.nu
stf-records.de

Band: ENVINYA
Country: Germany
Title: The Harvester
Label: STF Records
Year: 2016
Style: Melodic Heavy Metal

Review:
It seems the debut album released on Massacre in 2013 was a one time only collaboration between the parts, and here's the band signed with STF now for the follow-up. The first thing that struck me on this new release is how thin the production is, how high everything sounds like, or at least for my taste; I feel like these gracious vocals, and especially the clever riffs would have deserved a fatter, heavier production, not to mention the (few indeed) partes where the female vocals are supported by wannabe growls that sound more like grunts taken from arcade games and I blame production here, too. The compositions on the other hand are great, some tracks are excellent, memorable to a point where some time after the audition you'll find yourself humming them, the vocals of Mery Diaz are top-notch, too, and I'd also like to mention the complex guitar work and the impressively incisive bass lines, but all in alafter the audition I remain with the impression these compositions would have had a bigger impact if there would have been a darker, heavier production to the whole. 
Reviewed by Adrian
Rating: 6.5/10

Contact:
envinya.de
stf-records.de

Band: ERA DECAY
Country: Romania
Title: Our Secred Heroes
Label: Selfreleased
Year: 2016
Style: Doom Death Metal

Review:
The new album Romanian doom/death metallers brings together a large (14 pieces) a very solid metal dose! In addition to the typical riffs and deep, distinctive growl (incidentally, still a twin-like vocals of Hvar with Polish band Atropos), Era Decay tried to sound a little odd tricks, including progressively "Lightning Torches" folkmetalowo in "Sverker", heavy-metal with growling vocals on "The Livid Bond" or stoner flow in "Written in Blood". Thanks to this album, "Our Sacred Heroes" has gained a very sound. The team of Suceavy, the lineup changes, sounds good and gives you advice!
Reviewed by Vilcin
Rating: 8/10

Band: EUFOBIA
Country: Bulgaria
Title: Eufobia
Label: Wizard
Year: 2016
Style: Death Metal

Review:
Despite the title, "Euphorbia" is not a debut album of Bulgarian death metallers, just the third album called simply as a team. This music is not simply and raw death metal too. The degree of twisting sound grows here as listening, so on the death metal spine deposited is more psychedelic, progression but also elements of thrash. From time to time Eufobia interjects a bit of melody, which emphasizes good fast pace and complex sound. Bulgaria still remains a largely "terra incognita" when it comes to metal, the more we reach the truly worthy album Eufobia. Not bad twists the brain, especially at the end of this CD!
Reviewed by Vilcin
Rating: 8/10

Band: EXCRUCIATION
Country: Switzerland
Title: [c?]?rust
Label: WormHoleDeath
Year: 2016
Style: Doom Death Metal

Review:
Classy act this loooong-lasting (since '84!!!) Swiss band, classy and very original, too, I might say, mostly because of its vocalist that sound like Gorefest and Lake of Tears (Headstones era) met at a bar and decided to go for a Doom Death cocktail; it sounds quite atonal but highly original and definitely memorable. This is the band's latest release, their fourth full-length album made of 8 tracks totaling almost 40 minutes of playing time. The music is grovier and more balanced than one could expect from a Doom Death material, but overall the atmospheres these guys manage to create and the patterns they mostly use as backbone for their tracks will take your mind to the '90's golden years of this scene. This is one of those albums that released at a different date (in this case the '90's) would have been a milestone for the genre, that's why I'd recommend you to at least give it a try online, you might be surprised to find one of your new fave bands.
Reviewed by Adrian
Rating: 9/10

Contact:
excruciation.net

Band: HARM
Country: Norway
Title: October Fire
Label: Battlegod Productions
Year: 2016
Style: Thrash Metal

Review:
Third full-length offer from this Norwegian combo, and their second under Battlegod Productions, October Fire is a 9 tracks effort clocking 40 minutes of catchy, energetic, flesh-ripping Thrash Metal. At times the music becomes so brutal, so fast and evil that it would put to shame even a Grindcore band, but still there's a find balance between the brutal parts and the technical, steady thrashing passages, there are even some slower, thrilling elements to enhance the mysterious atmosphere surrounding this album. The vocals are like from the Black Metal territory but they sound so fit for Harm that I'm sure noone will mind them, especially since the tone and energy theyhave it's a perfect addition to the instrumental part. Regarding the instrumental part I'd say: intense, pounding drumming, demolishing riffing (imagine a mix of Testament and Slayer), vicious leads and solos, and a heavy-ass upfront bass line to give you goosebumps. I would have liked a bit more hooks from it, maybe some more memorable choruses, but if you're into brutal and technical Thrash Metal give this one a try.
Reviewed by Adrian
Rating: 9/10

Contact:
harmofnorway.com
battlegod-productions.com

Band: HEADHUNTER D.C.
Country: Brazil
Title: Death Kurwa! - Live in Warsaw 2013
Label: Bestial Invasion Records
Year: 2016
Style: Death Metal

Review:
This is the quintessence of old-school underground Metal: a live album by a traditional Death Metal band from Brazil (one of the biggest birthplaces for this genre) released together with a printed zine from Poland (one of the biggest birthplaces for printed zines in the underground). Death Kurwa! - Live in Warsaw 2013 comes together with the 30th issue of Necroscope 'zine, just one year before Headhunted D.C. will celebrate their 30th annivesary. 6 tracks recorded live during a gig in Warsaw in 2013 and one, the bonus track, recorded live back in 2008 in Jacobina, Brazil, still during a live gig. The sound quality is not the best, obviously, but it's perfect for what anyone would expect from this band: raw, overflowing energy in its purest form, intense Metal of Death! The CD booklet features pictures from that gig plus a story about how Baloff got to meet Necroscope zine (would have been even better if Adam would share the same type of story on how he first met the band and its music), and that makes this gig somehow cult-ish. Excellent idea, well worth supporting! Kurwa!
Reviewed by Adrian
Rating: -/10

Contact:
facebook.com/HeadhunterDc
bestialinvasionrecords.co.uk

Band: HELROTH
Country: Poland
Title: I, Pagan
Label: Art Of The Nigght Productions
Year: 2016
Style: Pagan Folk Metal

Review:
Official full-length debut of Warsaw’s Helroth is a nice surprise from the first sounds of folk "Ortni” (intro) to the last percussion hit. Blackened vocals are outshout the feminine lilt (also including stylized on folklore singing) and heavy/thrash riffs. From  the track „Wilcza Jagoda” ("Wolf Berries") after the „Kwiat Zycia” ("Flower of Life") this album very well broken are neo ballad guitar motifs and stylized on medieval folk. The band also placed on diversifying the sound by a large number of polished, melodic solos and a large dose of folk instruments of the metal. Here is primarily a fusion of gentleness flute and acoustic guitar playing of "pauses" electric guitar doing a really good job. "I, Pagan" is an album whose driving force is the melody and metal claw turns up its pace and atmosphere. Also lyrically stuff of the band picked up the folk issues related not only to the zone of the sacred and profanum or folklore legends. Helroth very smoothly operates climates, so that the disc is full of well thought-hop from romantic nostalgia or idylls (gentle folk) to sudden Slavic demons and other mythological figures that disturb the peace (metal „carnage” with elements of medieval folk). There are also a few pieces of English-speaking maintained in a slightly pathetic climate, drawn from good, scandinavian metal standards. However „I, Pagan” is a very important album in Polish pagan/folk metal stage.
Reviewed by Vilcin
Rating: 9/10

Band: HERMODR
Country: Sweden
Title: Above the Shadows / Past the Quiet Forest
Label: Wolfspell Records
Year: 2016
Style: Depressive Black Metal

Review:
One man band from Sweden, Hermodr was started in 2012 and already has a ton of releases (4 albums, splits, singles, EPs) underbelt, in the Moloch tradition if you know what I mean. Here we have a CD featuring the Above the Shadows single and Past the Quiet Forest EP, both selfreleased in digital format I guess, now released as 3 panels Digipak CD. 6 tracks clocking almost 50 minutes, a slow to mid-tempo depressive, melancholic Black Metal, simplistic in what concerns compositions, with emphasis on hypnotic repetition. Unfortunately it didn't catch my attention after 3 spins, I find it mediocre alhough there's clear potential on the guitar work (I mean the melodic leads, not the obsolete riffs), but the drums parts are too monotone, the vocals, when present, are simple background screams we're all so used to nowadays, and the background keyboards, although atmospheric, don't succeed to impress either. There are too many bands playing this type of music nowadays, maybe I'm overwhelmed by their amount and tend to disregard or misjudge most of them, that's why the best is to try this compilation and make your own mind.
Reviewed by Adrian
Rating: 6/10

Contact:
hermodr.bandcamp.com
wolfspellrex.com

Band: HULDRE
Country: Denmark
Title: Tusmorke
Label: Gateway Music
Year: 2016
Style: Folk Metal

Review:
Huldre is a very interesting representative folkmetal band from Danmark! Singer of Huldre, Nanna Barslev (from folk band Gny too) is endowed with an interesting, low and warm voice. Album "Tusmørke" is entirely based on the Danish beliefs, mythology and folklore. Oh, what is very important, identical terms folk! Riff’s playing guitar very well, "talk" and complement the sound of flutes, hurdy-gurdy and violin, not a drowning ourselves. The proportions between the folk and metal here are very well chosen, and sound perfectly matched. Although the pace of cuts is not murderously-mad, it is very well timed with the melody and mood of the album and kicks ass! "Tusmørke" means "Twilight." A meaning it can have much. Great stuff !!!
Reviewed by Vilcin
Rating: 9/10

Band: IN CAUDA VENENUM / HEIR / SPECTRALE
Country: France
Title: Split 
Label: Emanations
Year: 2016
Style: Atmospheric Post Black Metal

Review:
Ok, I guess this split was conceived in order to actually be received as a full album, or better said as a complete material rather than just having 3 bands display their talent in a few tracks, and I say this because the order of the tracks is not at all what one could expect: the first track is Spectrale, than Heir, then In Cauda Venenum, the Spectrale again, Heir, ending with Spectrale and Heir at last. In Cauda Venenum features only 1 track because that track is a 15 minutes long experiment, an adaptation of Twin Peaks' theme, a pretty famous mystery / thriller series back in the '90's. The good thing about having the tracks featured like that is the fact that it keeps the listener's attention high, prevides plenty of surprises and alternates between aggressive, fast (Black) Metal parts and mesmerizing, Atmospheric ones. 
Without a doubt the main player here is In Cauda Venenum, a band that incorporates violins in its music and the whole music becomes so very atmospheric, enchanting, hypnotizing yet it keeps elements from Black Metal, or better said Post Black Metal, intact, the drums sound organic to the bone, the guitars are sharp and solid, and the vocals, although somehow left in the background, are ice cold and emphasize the dramatic effect of the composition. A melancholic but still intense track that deserves the special place on this split (even the cover art seems to have been made just for this track...).
My second fave on this release is Spectrale, a duo of guitarists including Jeff Grimal from The Great Old Ones, playing atmospheric music based on, of course, guitar work, supported on one of the tracks by a very effective cello part. Spectrale's music is more about emotions, reaching from sunny, Spring-inspired soundscapes, to nostalgic, meditative ones, and even to tragic, dramatic ones. A joy, really.
Heir is a young band blending Post Black Metal with Sludge elements and even Punk attitude at times; they definitely have what it takes, but these tracks feature some parts that sound somehow incomplete. Their compositions are intense and organic sounding, complex and quite intricate in structure, but unfortunately not something to deeply impress. Promising band though, I wouldn't be surprised to hear good things about them in the future.
Reviewed by Adrian
Rating: 8.5/10   6/10   7.5/10

Contact:
facebook.com/incdvnnm
facebook.com/heirbm
facebook.com/spectrale.bx
lesacteursdelombre.net

Band: INSANE VESPER
Country: France
Title: Layil
Label: Art of Propaganda
Year: 2016
Style: Black Metal

Review:
France again, of course, if we're talking about Black Metal it's 50-50 chance it's France nowadays. Insane Vesper seems to be around since 2002, having released a few official materials until now beside the debut album, Abomination of Death, out 5 years ago under the same Art of Propaganda, but honestly this is the first time I've heard of them. Anyway, this is their second full-length album, a 6 tracks effort clocking a bit over 40 minutes of playing time and offering a traditional, fast, hateful, satanic Black Metal. From the start until its end this new material is a sublime discharge of violence and hate characterized mostly by unrelenting drums, hoarse, moribund yet comprehensive vocals that in my opinion could and should have been way more versatile and complex, a very intense and supportive bass line and last but not least, probably the highlight of Insane Vesper's music, an impressively solid, expressive, technical guitar work that brings upfront some highly delicious harmonies and if you take your time to really listen will quench your thirst for classy, intelligent, dramatic Black Metal riffs and leads. The production is top notch, no comments, except for the Latin speaking male choir on the second track that is barely hearable and so less impacting than it should have been, another minus for the overall versatiliy of the vocal part of this album; the lyrical part of it, though, is a whole another story, worth your time reading while spinning the disc. All in all a very good album with some room for improvement for the future. 
Reviewed by Adrian
Rating: 7.5/10

Contact:
insanevesper.bandcamp.com
art-of-propaganda.de

Band: KALMANKANTAJA
Country: Finland
Title: Tyhjyys
Label: Wolfspell Records
Year: 2016
Style: Atmospheric Black Metal

Review:
I alway say that the nowadays melodic types of Black Metal are like the '90's Doom Death scene, the same emotions, the same expression, probably the same followers too. Kalmantkantaja are yet another band that proves my point, their music brings my mind to Paradise Lost, old Anathema, Katatonia or even My Dying Bride, but all expressed through Black Metal patterns. This is the band's 9th full-length album (!) even though they were formed as a band in 2011 and begun releasing albums 2 years later, so we're deling here with a highly productive band that was actually a one man band most of the time and completed its trio line-up only this year; Grim666, the main guy here, composed all the music and Tyrant all the lyrics. All three of them are experienced musicians but what puzzles me is that they all are also active in other bands (Oath, Hautakammio or Wyrd to name a few only), I'm curious to see if they'll manage to keep the same pace of releases. Talking about this new album, it is made of only 5 tracks but it lasts for almost 45 minutes, the perfect duration for such a material. The music is very expressive, atmospheric and involving, with a deep nostalgic / depressive side to it, sinister at times exactly like the excellent cover artwork (I was surprised to find that it's done by a lady who lives in my city) suggests. Even though the tracks are not as diverse and varied as I would have liked in order to be impressed I must say that Kalmankantaja's latest album is an enjoyable, catchy piece of Doom inspired Black Metal that flows smoothly, transmits what it was supposed to and leaves you wanting for more. I would have liked some fast & furious Black Metal parts, too, and a bit more inspiration the the last (instrumental) track to avoid being considered a simple filler. The CD comes with 8 pages booklet featuring lyrics and a bad-ass band photo I find perfect for this music.
Reviewed by Adrian
Rating: 7.5/10

Contact:
kalmankantaja.bandcamp.com
wolfspellrex.com

Band: KORGONTHURUS
Country: Finland
Title: Vuohen siunaus
Label: Woodcut Records
Year: 2016
Style: Black Metal

Review:
There's no need to know the band or anything about them to get they're from Finland from the very first track of this album, it definitely delivers traditional, hateful, sinister yet melodic at times Black Metal the Finnish way. The second full-length from this band featuring 2 ex-members from Horna, is released long after their debut was out, in 2009, and although the band was featured on a few splits and released an EP and a compilation in the meantime, an full-length is always the most wanted and I'm sure their followers are extatic about this new official album made of 7 new tracks and clocking almost 50 minutes of playing time. Good idea to have the lyrics handwritten in the CD booklet, and although they are in native tongue and they don't do much for someone mike me who doesn't understand this language, it would have been a good idea to have someone else writting them, someone who's not a doctor, if you know what I mean... The artwork is excellent, very '90's, very honest, it transpires devotion and meticulosity, well worth it for an album. Getting back to the music, it's highlights are the absolutely demented, very high-pitched yet still grim vocals of Corvus, the devastating rhythm section and the intense guitar work the slips in some melody from time to time, just enough to still keep things highly offensive and hateful. The production is excellent, just listen to the brutality these guitar riffs are delivered and how well such high-pitched vocals are mixed in order to avoid annoying people and at the same time keeping them flesh-ripping raw. Fans of Finnish Black Metal will certainly enjoy it and I say this just because I'm among them. 
Reviewed by Adrian
Rating: 8/10

Contact:
facebook.com/KorgonthurusOfficial
woodcutrecords.com

Email: contact@pestwebzine.com