Schammasch - Contradiction

Melodic Black/Death 11.12.2014

Here's one of the few albums from this year that's actually deserving of all the hype it's been getting. The sophomore effort from this Swiss foursome is amazingly detailed and incredibly varied in its songwriting. At times takes a slow and trancelike black metal approach, with surprisingly beautiful solos to accompany. At others, pounds you into dust with a furious death metal crunch, and at other moments still is extremely relaxing in its attention to melody and atmosphere. A powerful blend of personalities, and a worthy addition to any extreme metal fan's musical library.

Perhaps one could say the diversities are... a contradiction?

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Mr. Doctor, Deadsoulman
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Progenie Terrestre Pura - Asteroidi

Inside Samus Aran's brain 20.10.2014

Coming off of a powerful debut with last year's U.M.A, this Italian BM duo decides to follow it up with a curveball, a nonmetal EP. Best be off with you if you're looking for the more aggressive side of the band's personality with this one. Asteroidi is for those listeners who delighted in the ringy ding ding electronics of the debut, and wished to see the band go deeper with them, an effort at which they certainly succeed here.

Beware the Metroid scum.
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Introspekrieg, Ag Fox



Mare Cognitum - Phobos Monolith

One man Atmo Black 08.10.2014

If you're a serious follower of this style, you know the usual. The project of Jacob Buczarski, Mare Cognitum is raw and hard hitting black metal, but also interspersed with all those beautiful, melodic, and dreamy undercurrents that we all know and love and that've come to make this style so goddamn good when it's executed right. Highly recommended for fans of Chaos Moon, Spectral Lore, Sombres Forêts, etc. And shoutout to my buddy Fearmeister for turning me onto all the great stuff on I, Voidhanger's current roster, definitely a label worth investigating.

BANDCAMP.
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BloodTears
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Blood Of The Black Owl - A Banishing Ritual

Sioux Drone 14.08.2014

The one man project of Chet W. Scott, Blood Of The Black Owl is a hypnotizing journey through foreboding sounds and monolithic landscapes. Native American themes abound, with use of wind flute and some drony, chant-like vocals to help heighten the vibe and make you feel as though you're being banished by the ritual of the album's title. This album may be four years old, but screw it: if you're down with the whole drone/dark ambient nonsense, this is definitely one you need in your life.

Begin the daze.
Picked by: Apothecary



Bölzer - Soma

Blackened death 11.07.2014

The hype surrounding the band following the release of Aura last year is proven not undeserving with their second EP. Riffs with a great hook, a thundering old school death metal sound with a bit of a modern twist, and subtle threads of black metal that hold all the seams together. If your expectations were high for this, chances are good you won't be disappointed.

Check out "Steppes" over here.

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Terra Tenebrosa - V.I.T.R.I.O.L. - Purging The Tunnels

Cuckoo metal 11.06.2014

The nightmarish Swedes return with a short 25 minutes of material left over from the recording sessions of their previous two albums, hence the title. Bearing more structural resemblance to The Purging, but also oozing with the delicious dark ambient cloak that made The Tunnels so good, this EP can be seen as a bit of a bridge between the two, that may also be dropping some hints as to where their sound is going in the future. A bit brief, but for those who simply can't get enough of the band, this release is mandatory.

Bandcamp.



Surachai - Ritual

Psychotic Eletronica 04.06.2014

What's that, you want a description? Ok. Have an Andromedan alien come to Earth, learn the language of some obscure African tribe, and then play synthesizers while singing over them in that language. Then play the recording backwards, and that's something along the lines of what you get with Ritual. Surachai is definitely not one to do something more than once, and this new album is a radical, yet curious departure from his previous releases that were more grounded in metal.

Bandcamp
Picked by: Apothecary
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Teitanblood - Death

So much brutals 19.05.2014

If you've been getting on the blackened death craziness that's been being served up lately from bands like Bölzer and Ancient Ascendant, here's one you definitely shouldn't pass up. Cold, nasty without sounding forced, and with an occasionally horror-esque atmosphere to top it all off, the sophomore effort from these Spaniards is just as good, if not better than their debut, and that's saying something.

Give "Anteinfierno" a spin over here.



Spectral Lore - III

Ambient black metal 04.05.2014

Well this is definitely an album for the one man fanatics like myself if I ever heard one. Admittedly not as good as the previous Sentinel, but the drop in quality is very minimal, and Nihilus Ayloss continues to deliver in spades. Raw and hard hitting, but also interspersed with plenty of dreamy and mesmerizing undercurrents, to create a feeling not too unlike floating in some sort of otherwordly, cosmic ocean. "The Veiled Garden" in particular is nothing short of mindblowing.

LISTEN.
Picked by: Apothecary
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Cloak Of Altering - Plague Beasts

2 hawt 4 labels 24.04.2014

Mories de Jong, ever the proficient craftsman, is back with his second full length of the year (first being the second Seirom album, which you need in your life): the third installation from his Cloak Of Altering project. Here you'll find the usual bag of tricks that's come to be associated with this ride in Mories' carnival: black metal interspersed with industrial and other nightmarish electronic/ambient touches, painting a picture that's both beautiful and deranged in all its repulsive splendor.

Get on it, ye hipsters.

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Mr. Doctor, Ag Fox



Nadja - Queller

Ambient Drone 03.03.2014

Four tracks, slightly over 40 minutes long. In this case, that means that we're dealing with some master crafters of pure, drony goodness. If you're familiar with Nadja and the ten thousand releases that make up their discography, you know the dilly by now: slow, monontonous doom, but also with a hidden sense of dreamlike melody that hints at many great things lurking beneath, and muddled vocals that create even more of an otherworldly vibe. More structured and heavier than their previous Flipper effort, but still unquestionably within their style.

LISTEN
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!J.O.O.E.!, Mr. Doctor



Wijlen Wij - Coronachs Of The Ω

Epic Funeral Doom 17.02.2014

The sophomore release from this potent Belgian trio is a stimulating journey through four heaping slabs of funeral doom. However, this certainly isn't evil and soul-crushing in the traditional understanding of the style. With Wijlen Wij, clean vocals, suprisingly good melodies and grooves, and even a few audio samples combine to form some of the most upbeat and overall interesting funeral doom I've heard in quite awhile. Opener "Boreas" is nothing short of amazing.

Stream it on Bandcamp.

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Hexis - Abalam

Filthy Blackened Hardcore 30.01.2014

Recommended for fans of Lord Mantis and Indian, Hexis are pretty much the sonic equivalent of jumping into a septic tank. Proceed with caution.

Stream on Bandcamp.

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wormdrink414, Mr. Doctor
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Ea - A Etilla

Epic Funeral Doom 14.01.2014

Returning in full force with the band's distinct signature, A Etilla is a massive journey through a single slab of sorrowful doom landscapes. Builds up great in its pacing, and strikes an excellent balance between dark melodies and an entrancing ambient touch.

Listen on Bandcamp
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Abattoir, Troy Killjoy
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Altar Of Betelgeuze - Darkness Sustains The Silence

Stoner death metal 01.01.2014

Start your year off on a good note with the debut from this interesting Finnish group. Harsh and death doom-ish at points, but also has a surprisingly groovy edge to it, with clean vocals that sound as if they could easily fit in your typical desert stoner band.

Check out a few tracks on their Bandcamp, "The Spiral Of Decay" in particular.

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