Posts Tagged ‘Self Released’

Forever Autumn - Howls In the Forest at Dusk

American neofolk/ambient doom group Forever Autumn released their third full length record ‘Howls in the Forest at Dusk’ (how black metal is that name?) earlier this year, and it is the work of artist Autumn Ni Dubhghail, who mixes doom aesthetics with traditional folk instrumentation to absorb the listener in the ancient sounds of the world. It is out now through Bandcamp.

Opener ‘All My Relations’ is haunting, with driving acoustic guitar working with tribal drumming to create an eerie backdrop for the cracking, shapeshifting vocals. There is a certain wistful gloom that works into every strum of the guitar, as if the strings themselves had the stories to tell. The totally unique vocal style adds a lot to this record; when it almost cracks apart in the ghostly ‘Owl Bones and River Stones’ there is an aching fragility to it. The harsher tones really ramp up the atmosphere too, giving a rasping autheticity to the darkness within. The bleak, whispered horrors of ‘The Forest I Know So Well’ is the peak of this record’s gloom.

‘Howls in the Forest at Dusk’ is an album like no other I’ve heard this year. Neofolk is not a genre I delve into often but the ancient traditionalism seeping through every pore of this record is a thing of beauty. Poignant and dark, Forever Autumn have produced one of 2019’s most haunting records.

https://www.facebook.com/HailWoodlandSorcery/

https://foreverautumn.bandcamp.com/album/howls-in-the-forest-at-dusk

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Chiral - The Twilight Songs - part I

Chiral were a band I followed very closely for a number of years, until I fell off a little a few years ago. Their glorious, almost spiritual brand of atmospheric black metal was one of my favourite sounds for a long time, and I just discovered ‘The Twilight Songs (Part 1)’ lurking in my emails from a long time ago. It came out through Heathen Tribes around a year ago, and is one mammoth track.

‘Monumetal’ is thirty minutes of almost everything Chiral do well. The ghostly, haunting acoustics of prime Opeth, the epic sweep of Godspeed You Black Emperor, but lacking the thrilling Cascadian black metal of Wolves in the Throne Room, . We build with acoustic guitar, a touching and soulful rendition that really highlights what Chiral is becoming; a fragile emotional project that hits all the key points to make it genuinely affecting. Sure, there is a distinct lack of the epic, sweeping black metal that drew me in at first, but this is a beautiful, stirring release.

‘The Twilight Songs (Part 1)’ has yet to receive a ‘Part 2’, which I hope comes one day as I yearn to see where Chiral is taking this. A glorious showcase of acoustic emotion and songwriting, this is a project that never fails to impress or affect.

https://chiral27.bandcamp.com/album/the-twilight-songs-part-i

https://www.facebook.com/ChiralItaly

https://chiralitaly.wordpress.com/

The vibrant pink cover of the debut self titled EP from Scotland’s Tyrannus belies the ferocity lurking underneath. Admittedly, the demonic Chthonic skull motif might have given us a clue… It is out now through the band’s Bandcamp.

Opener ‘Bad Spirit’ has a gnarly guitar tone, and brings to mind the earliest days of death metal when there was still a hefty thrash influence. You can feel the early Possessed and Death seeping through, while ‘Demon Under Clay’ has a couple of snarling Mustaine-isms in the vocals too. Megadeth is obviously an influence too, as my version includes a cover of ‘The Conjuring’ which is pretty ace. The production is a little rough, but in a debut EP you have to forgive that to an extent.

Closing with the almost black metal tones of the best track here, ‘Repeating Misery’, I’d call this a rough and ready debut performance, which can easily be tightened up with a little time. The potential is all there though, the guitar tone and fretwork is ace and the songwriting skills have definitely got a spark to them. The best debuts leave you waiting for the next step, and Tyrannus do that here. Great.

https://tyrannus.bandcamp.com/releases

https://www.facebook.com/TyrannusEtImperium/

GhostHello Album Cover.jpg

Ghost:Hello are a family affair, and the trio of stoner rockers from Ohio are releasing their debut record in September, entitled ‘The Sound of Color in Space’. This is a record that demands repeated listens to unlock its glories, but it is just a little too strange in places?

A mighty slab of synth riddled stoner fuzz is exactly what this record gives you from the start. The driving riffs that open ‘Fingerstache’ are immediately addictive, but what really hooks you in are the surrounding synth lines, weird effects and otherworldly vocals that ensure that you’ve never quite heard anything like this before. The strange gloom of ‘Perfect’, the awesome driving bass of ‘Mouth of the Gift Horse’ coupled with the raw vocal; it is the variety in every song that makes Ghost:Hello such an intriguing prospect. Highlights include the tripped out fuzz of Burnout’ and the closing ‘Poison Swan’, that drifts away in squalling feedback.

Equal parts driving stoner rock and weird darkwave, Ghost:Hello have released one of this year’s most interesting records. The tribal, sleazeblues of ‘Nemesis’ sits right next to the eerie, pulsating ‘Bardo State’ and yet makes total sense. A challenging record, but ultimately a great one.

https://www.facebook.com/Ghosthello/

https://ghosthelloband.com/

https://ghosthello.bandcamp.com/

The second record from German sludge/doom band Turin Horse, ‘Prohodna’, follows last’s year’s debut ‘Uncleared’ with more thunderous riffing, oily atmospheres and a powerful vocal performance, but has it got what it takes to take Turin Horse out of the shadows? It is out now through the band’s Bandcamp page.

The churning, sludgey horrors of the title track immediately comes grinding forward, with shredded vocals roaring over a tar thick riff. Hypnotic dirges of nasty, blackened doom loom and lurch from the darkness, while ghostly clean guitar floats amongst the miasma, creating brief interludes of light and space. The majestic heave of ‘Every Seed Every Stone’ is glorious, while the dissonant ‘I Am the Pain’ adds a new, uncomfortable edge. The thick low end helps with the aural density and the visceral roars that accompany tracks like ‘A Hunger’ really add to the nastiness.

‘Prohodna’ is a thunderous, constant barrage of harsh vocals, churning EyeHateGod riffs and a poisonous, smoggy atmosphere. Turin Horse are violent, smothering and raw, and this record does everything to hit that home hard. There are a few moments of respite (the title track), but they are as dark and mesmerising as the brutality. I love this.

https://turinhorse.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/TurinHorse666/

Era of Ephemeris - Among the Stars

Swedish symphonic metallers Era of Ephemeris have just released their debut record, ‘Among the Stars’, and it looks to catapult them into the conversation as top prospects for this style of operatic, melody and symphony laden metal. However, there is a deep and heavy darkness underneath that proves to be an interesting contrast.

There is a rich vein of symphonic, operatic metal running through Era of Ephemeris, immediately apparent with the soaring opening of ‘When a Leaf Falls’. The band however possess a thicker backbite than your Nightwishes or Within Temptations. The chugging riffing releases their Swedish death metal roots, and the combination of stunning female vocals and this heaviness is magical at times. The ethereal ‘Farewell’ leads with more orchestration, while the thunder of ‘Ancestral Vision’ keeps the death metal elements to the fore.

‘Among the Stars’ is a record of crushing riffs and haunting beauty, where soaring melodies don’t interfere with a brutal crunch. Gloriously epic, Era of Ephemeris have debuted very strongly here, and I look forward to what else is to come.

https://www.facebook.com/eraofephemeris

 

Spanish metallers Crucifucked have just released their debut EP, ‘Four Tracks to Ruin Your Life’, and look to set out a stall for some hard hitting stuff. Download it from their Bandcamp now!

‘Rotten Roots’ erupts like some old school thrashy death, even featuring your typical Tom G. Warrior grunt, and has a really good energy and almost hard rock quality lurking under the grimy outer layer. ‘The Goat of Mendez’ chugs along with some solid riffs, and there is some nice old school heavy metal riffing patterns later on. ‘Crows of Downtown’ is a little one dimensional though though, and I think the band will struggle to put together a compelling full length on just this style. The imperious opening to ‘Love is War’ shows what they can do though, and this is a great closer.

A solid and promising debut EP, but Crucifucked have got some work to build on this and create something a little more original and inventive to stand out. Nothing much to criticise here but there hopefully is more to come.

https://crvcifvcked.bandcamp.com/releases

https://www.facebook.com/crvcifvcked/