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The Best Post-Metal Album - Metal Storm Awards 2017





Very few bands can match the gargantuan wall of sound Amenra makes with every album. It's not only the sheer heaviness of the fiery riffs, the funerary tempo, or the painful screams of the singer that put a lump in your throat, though... It is the dreadful emotional turmoil the band delivers with each mass and their themes of introspection and suffering. Animalistic, yet still touching to the very end, and certainly one of the highlights of their discography.

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A post-metal engine with some black metal fuel injection, End Of Chapter features ominous riffing, tension-building riffs employed within slowly developing songs as the basic framework of song and album flow. Now inject with some full-on thundering blasturabation to energize everything. While these elements are found in all sorts of acts these days, with Au-Dessus they are particularly well-executed and arranged, which keeps the release intriguing from start to finish. If this is the end of the chapter, bring on the rest of the book.

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These Russians have pulled off something very hard to do in the realm of post-metal: mix doom and psychedelic influence flawlessly in the music. Spacey atmosphere, precise instrumentation, and a delicate mix and production values arc the sound towards a much fuller and more refined experience. Science fiction is the theme and it is very easy to get emotional and impassioned.

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The range of Grimen captures elements from alienated, darkened landscape post-metal sounds, with a fair share of dirty "sludginess" and sovereignty of slowly paced doom at some point, covered with a massive dose of relentless vocals on top of it. With this exquisite, and somehow unique, release, the band is showing a high standard of quality no less than well-established groups within their subgenre.

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Móðurástin is an album that starts revealing itself slowly especially since the longer songs only come in the second half, and there is black metal involved. Móðurástin manages to strike a balance of both the catchy and the interesting. As far as the latter is concerned, the soundscapes on this album are amazing on most tracks. As far as the former is concerned, one listen to "Nátthagi" should leave you with an earworm.

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It's been 5 years between major releases from this underrated Portuguese post/sludge metal act, but they have continued right where they left off. Bludgeoning, layered guitar riffs, deep, inviolable bass and percussion are interjected with caustic and rigid vocals. The droning nature of the songs makes a perfect soundtrack for anyone wanting to tread a scorched landscape or Black Earth.

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Music is an escape; it can take you to other places, and Rosetta takes you far away from here. These melodies and harmonious voices are like paintings in the sky and you get lost in them, contemplating existence. The growls are sparser here, only used for maximum impact, much like the delicate nature of the songs. With Utopioid, Rosetta has created something truly memorable.

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Miasma, the debut full-length from the Warsaw-based sextet ROSK, is a prime example of post-black metal done right. We get a decent dose of emotions with excellent centering between clean and harsh vocals. Of course, there is no lack of heavier parts and tremolo-picking guitars. Everybody will find something to enjoy. This is just further proof that Polish metal is currently at the top.

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It takes a special kind of Icelandic band to conjure such spare, bleak soundscapes as can be found on Berdreyminn, perfect reproductions of that beautiful, northern expanse from which Sólstafir hails. Over the years, this band has matured into a master of atmosphere, and the mournful, ethereal vocals and piano that carry much of the album prove as much time and again. The grooving bass and driving drum beat on songs like "Ísafold" make Berdreyminn sound post-punk as much as post-rock, at least when the distorted guitars and emotional wails aren't pulling the album back towards metal, but whatever kind of post- Sólstafir play, they're surely the darlings of it.

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Set And Setting are definitely not your average post-metal band, throwing a hearty dose of sludge and subtle black metal riffing into their mix to make things a lot more interesting than usual. The mix results in a varied sound that fluctuates well between a heavy and rhythmic one moment to a caressing, floating-type feeling the next. Ever beautiful, always uplifting, and very creative, with this album, Set And Setting have essentially crafted the soundtrack to Terence McKenna's dreamscapes.

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