Monday, April 23, 2012

Dråpsnatt - Skelepht

Genre : Folk black metal

Do you remember about Dråpsnatt? Although seriously underground, the guys still shine in the folk black scene, and definitely deserve more attention. They're back with Skelepht, a piece of agressive, grim folk metal, and a serious challenger for "album of the year 2012" if you ask me. Compared to their previous efforts, I'd say that this release features more melancholic, sometimes kinda depressive sides. Vocals are once again mostly despaired and agressive shrieks placed in the foreground, but I mean... those ones are really expressive, more than many black metal bands, where it's just about "hey, let's shriek because black metal goes that way". No, it's seriously honest, there's no happy boozing or trolls, it's all about sincerity.  It's even easy to feel it among the few clean vocals, which are definitely sincere and deep too. Technically, it's even a bit wrong to tag this "folk", even though there are some great acoustic parts, mainly consisting in pianos and cold, echoing clean guitars, more melodic than actually folky. Musically speaking, it's just what black metal should be. No blastbeat spamming, no boring repetitions, Skelepht just comes and go, moving, sometimes slower, deeper, darker, sometimes faster. Sometimes meditative, sometimes crushing. Some real atmosphere in the end, with every single element shining with quality. And an impressive maturity.

Some awesome previews? Here you go with Klardrömmar and Intigheten. And follow Dråpsnatt on Facebook.

Other reviews from Dråpsnatt:
   - Hymner till undergången

Monday, April 9, 2012

Infinitas - Journey to infinity

Genre : Depressive black metal

At first, I was quite reluctant to listen to this. Depressive black metal is moving toward directions I'm not enjoying recently. There are more and more poor one-man bands, with always the same pictures, same logos, same song structures with blend and boring walls of sound behind crying vocals. Well, this is completely un-imaginative for the most part. But we're not talking about Infinitas here. Even though it could visually let us think it's one more boring ripoff project (I've already seen that logo somewhere, huh), it's quite rich and well-executed. Well, it's not too depressive either, except the vocals maybe, which are at best for the genre, and not too redundant. Actually, there are not too much vocals, and they're kept as a background. Technically speaking, it's once again something we've already heard before, but to be honest, it's done the right way. Guitars have a nice melodic line, acoustic at times, and the background is perfectly set with really catchy, melodic walls of sound, setting a real urban atmosphere. And I think this is really the best part of the release. All in all, Journey to infinity is not something completely new, not at all to say the truth (I've already seen that logo on bands with the same sound, yay!). But it's a very good performance in the genre, definitely worth a check.

Not sure which songs to pick, so let's try Hinter grauen Wänden and Ein Hauch von Ewigkeit. And follow Infinitas on Facebook.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

From oceans to autumn - The flood / The fall [EP]

Genre : Instrumental post-metal

Still very underground, From oceans to autumn is nonetheless one of the most interesting acts in the instrumental post-metal genre. This EP features two long tracks, with a strong ambient touch, mainly thanks to background guitars delivering kind of an hypnotizing sound. Not huge riffs or power chords here, things are more kept a soft way. What's quite unusual, is how bass is mostly set in the foreground, making both the songs very consistent and deep, to say the truth. Drumming lines move from ambient to fast. As a result, these tracks are mostly repetitive, but in a good way, catchy and relaxing. Worth a listen, for sure!

You can check out both the songs on the EP, The flood and The fall. And follow From oceans to autumn on Facebook. The flood / The fall is available as a free download on bandcamp.

Other reviews from From oceans to autumn:
   - Equanimity
   - Return

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Stroszek - A break in the day [EP]

Genre : Neofolk

It's been a while since I haven't been posting neofolk. Well, problem is I have hard times finding really pretty neofolk recently. However, Stroszek is worth a mention! First, it's not instrumental, but rather features some really interesting and beautiful female vocals. Usually, I'm not really into those, but here they fit quite well, maybe because the acoustic guitars carry them perfectly. Well, and that's all you have here. A couple acoustic guitar lines, and those vocals. Stroszek makes it very traditional, and this is typically what you can expect from some neofolk : beautiful melodies with a hint of melancholy. Check it out, if female vocals don't disturb you!

Here are a couple songs for you to check, mostly instrumental Secrets of the earth and Green jade. And follow Stroszek on Facebook. A break in the day is available as a free download on bandcamp.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Year of no light - Nord

Genre : Post-metal / Sludge

Year of no light's debut album was re-released not long ago, with a second disc including many works from their earlier demos or splits. As such, it is time to dig it again. Quite a tricky release if you ask me, because of many different atmospheres, unusual song structures and different approachs to the same genre, as this album actually merges instrumental post-metal, sludge, doom metal and drone. Vocals are not proeminent here, actually they are really in the background, maybe too much sometimes, as they're able to deliver a real aggressive feeling which we'd surely appreciate more if a bit louder. Technically and musically speaking, Nord is heavily guitar-oriented, as there are very few keyboards there, and as most of the ambient sounds are actually made through slow guitar droning. But those successfully setup a really gloomy atmosphere here. For that, Year of no light are undoubtedly masters in the genre, as one can really feel despair and darkness anytime in these songs. Even in the instrumental ones, which represent a good half of the release. Something to check out if you enjoyed despaired melancholy and soundscapes devoid of light.

Check out a couple songs, like the awesome Par économie pendant la crise on éteint la lumière au bout du tunnel and an instrumental, droning one, Qu'importe qu'ils me haïssent, pourvu qu'ils me craignent. And follow Year of no light on Facebook.

Other reviews from Year of no light:
   - Ausserwelt

Winterfylleth - The mercian sphere

Genre : Folk black metal

I'm sure you know me enough by now. If I speak about some good pagan stuff, you can expect some serious epicness, and not cheesy happy melodies like in those hyped bands I won't talk about here. The mercian sphere is one of those pure, respectful pagan/folk black metal albums. Everything is perfectly balanced here, be it the instrumentation, featuring a real, honest black metal with enough blastbeating, crushing rhythm and melodic guitars, and sincere vocals, or the album arrangements, with some very nice acoustic breaks, melodic folk parts, or clean male choirs which perfectly suit the atmosphere. Songtitles may sound a little pretentious at first, and I was quite worried about that before I gave this album a spin. Then, all this was forgiven, because The mercian sphere is a jewel in the sincere pagan metal scene.

By scary songtitle and amazing sound, I meant this: The honour of good men on the path to eternal glory. Check out The ruin too, with its very nice acoustic part. And follow Winterfylleth on Facebook.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Endless melancholy - Memories [EP]

Genre : Instrumental ambient

Piano and violin, that's all. In terms of instrumentation of course, because Memories is more than that when talking about emotions. Depending on your mood, it can easily express either melancholy, or beauty. However, I'd rather go for the first one through those slow, never-ending notes. But hey, aren't melancholy and beauty quite linked, anyway? Music here successfully demonstrates than such emotions do not necessarily need depressive black metal to be spread. Memories features eight short tracks, completely instrumental, with both instruments : melancholic piano and depressed violin. Most of the time, it's really minimalistic, and that won't be something to blame, since the compositions do what they intend to : talking to your heart the easiest possible way.

Just pick a couple songs and see : Secrets long forgotten and These waters remember our smiles for example. And follow Endless melancholy on Facebook. Memories is available as a free download and listen on bandcamp.