Posts Tagged ‘Stygian Crypt Productions’

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Pagan metallers Pereplut hail from Russia, where some of the finest European pagan and folk metal around is hailing from these days. Their new record, ‘At the Ancient TRimes’, is a beautifully constructed collection of songs that yearn for simpler times, that ache of a certain traditionalist je ne sais quoi that is both heart pumping and heartrending in equal measure. It is out now through Stygian Crypt.

After the melancholic and folky intro track, we begin to delve into ancient Slavic forests, hunting for spirits and places where the touch of modernity has not reached. Pereplut have more than a little Korpiklaani about them, but without the drunken piss taking. Imagine the windswept majesty of Metsatoll but with a little more forest magic. ‘At the Ancient Times’ isn’t all whimsy, flutes and ‘plastic pagan’ moments though; there is a defiant metal heart beating in here that mixes some almost Bay Area thrash moments (‘Тропою волколака’) and some melodeath crunch.

By the time the pastoral shades of the last track fades out, you’ve experienced a journey through lost cultures and folk magic. Pereplut may never become the most famous of this genre, but to miss out on an album of this quality would be a crime. Pereplut deserve your attention, so go support them!

https://www.facebook.com/pereplutband/

http://www.stygiancrypt.com/

https://pereplut.bandcamp.com/

Downcast Twilight - Under the Wings of the Aquila

British metallers Downcast Twilight draw their cover aesthetic from classic black metal yet ply a death/folk blend with a distinct Roman theme on ‘Under the Wings of the Aquila’, their 2016 full length on Stygian Crypt Productions. Their debut record takes us back to the greatest civilisation of all, and is a potent mix of folk instrumentation and death metal heaviness.

An almost infectious melodicism pervades each song on ‘…the Aquila’, inserting a healthy dose of catchiness into tracks like the vibrant ‘Soldier of Pompeii’ or the gloomy ‘The Tyrant and the Sage’. A chunky selection of riffs bring to mind some early Lamb of God, as does the vocals in parts, but the folky elements of ‘The Witches of Anglesey’ are more subtle and hidden beneath layers of crunchy, galloping riffs. Ghostly flute lingers behind the superlative ”The Ides of March’, which has more than a dash of Amon Amarth about it. In fact, the pagan fury of the Swedish giants looms large over Downcast Twilight throughout their debut.

‘Death in Alexandria’ might be my favourite track here, or maybe the brutal kick of ‘The Ironclad Legion’, a little bit harsher than some of the others and that really works for me. ‘Under the Wings of the Aquila’ is a record that shows much promise, and Downcast Twilight have got something a little unique and special about them. Symphonic but not overly so, blending folk and death metals together gently into a solid start that builds with each listen. Awesome.

https://www.facebook.com/downcasttwilight/

http://www.stygiancrypt.com/rel_en.php

The rerelease of Númenor’s ‘Sword and Sorcery’ on Stygian Crypt Productions is a hidden gem of Serbian power metal, and EPIC power metal at that. Drawing influence from the classics by Tolkien, Lovecraft and Howard, Númenor has added a bonus mini CD with 5 extra tracks as part of the package.

After the swelling drama of the intro track ‘Prelude’, ‘Dragonheart’ burns immediately with glorious strings and fretboard fireworks. You can sense straight away the kindred spirit this shares with both Wintersun and Rhapsody (or Rhapsody of Fire, or whatever they’re called now). It’s an excellent statement of intent, and this kind of swelling, fist raising power metal fills the rest of album with excellent songs and music. The harsher vocal/clean vocal duality gives them something a little bit different from a lot of modern power metal. The solo work in ‘The Arcanist’ is cool, and the little interlude moments add that bit of extra drama.

You can feel a bit of northern European influence in here too, with both German power metal elements and Scandinavian folk metal elements coming into force during some of the later tracks, like the Helloween-esque ‘Prince in the Scarlet Robe’ or the gleaming Gothenburg melodies that streak through the potent ‘Dragon of Erebor’. Incidentally, ‘Dragon of Erebor’ is probably up there with my favourite power metal songs this year.

I’m a bit of a sucker for a good fist-waving, overly dramatic power metal album every so often, but ‘Sword and Sorcery’ gives you all those traditional tropes but wrapped up with a bit of an edge, a bit of bite to it. That makes them stand out, and it definitely helps tracks like ‘Bane of Durin’ feel fresh and appealing. Excellent stuff!

http://www.stygiancrypt.com/

https://numenorkingdom.wordpress.com/

https://www.facebook.com/N%C3%BAmenor-130231620372144/