Tusmørke & Spectral Haze – Elektriske Skrekkøgler og Forhistoriske Fremtidsfabler (2015)

Author: Jan Jakobsen

Band: Tusmørke & Spectral Haze

Album: Tusmørke Vs Spectral Haze – Elektriske Skrekkøgler og Forhistoriske Fremtidsfabler

Label: Duplicate Records

With an album titled as weird as Elektriske Skrekkøgler og Forhistoriske Fremtidsfabler, roughly translated to “Electric Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Future Fables”, you know you are in for a treat. This split consists of two of Norway’s best progressive and spacey rock outfits of the 2010’s. Tusmørke is 70’s progressive rock made in 2015 in every sense; they got the Jethro Tull flutes, the Yes esque-vocals and the general weirdness of King Crimson. They have already released two critically acclaimed full-lengths and their live shows are notoriously experimental, performing mainly unreleased material. The other half of this split is space rockers Spectral Haze. Their music is a cosmic journey through space and time, heavy Sleep influence mixed in with a drugged out atmosphere. Relax, eat some mushrooms and travel throughout outer space together with Spectral Haze. Continue reading

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Dean Cascione – Shred Crusade (2015)

Author: Dave

Band: Dean Cascione

Album: Shred Crusade

Label: Independent

More than thirty years after Yngwie Malmsteen exploded onto the stage with his solo career, the effects of said explosion are still rippling throughout the metal world. And our current case study is Dean Cascione, who has shredded out three full length albums over the last decade, all paying homage to the great Swedish godfather who started the whole thing. Cascione’s project is a small, independent one but he still managed to put together a decent band as well as get a few folks like David Shankle, Joe Stump, and Dave Mercado to join him in the studio for a few of the tracks. Continue reading

Akitsa – Grands Tyrans (2015)

Author: Crono

Artist: Akitsa

Album: Grands Tyrans

Label: Hospital Productions

 

Akitsa is a black metal band hailing from my homeland, Canada! This is their fifth full length, but because they are a small black metal band, this is their eighteenth actual release, because splits and EPs. So Akitsa has an impressive back catalogue to dig into, and that is definitely something I have to do, because Grands Tyrans has impressed me. Continue reading

The Visit – Through Darkness Into Light (2015)

Author: Gay For Gary Oldman

Artist: The Visit

Album: Through Darkness Into Light

Label: Independent

 

Raphael Weinroth-Browne, perhaps best known for his neofolk/dark folk project Musk Ox with Nathanaël Larochette (acoustic guitar guest for Agalloch), teams up with extraordinary vocalist Heather Sita Black for a record which is as sombre as it is energetic. As virtuosso as it is restrained. As atmospheric as it is punctuating. It’s one cello and a voice. This is not metal, but fans of metallic-minded neofolk and neoclassical in the vein of Vali, Musk Ox, Neun Welten, Rodriguo Y Gabriela and the Primordial-led Season of Mist neofolk compilation (One and All, Together, For Home) may be interested. Continue reading

Blazon Stone – No Sign of Glory (2015)

Author: Dan

Band: Blazon Stone

Album: No Sign of Glory

Label: Stormspell Records

Forget Alestorm if you like pirates, Blazon Stone is the real deal. No Sign of Glory is the second album of Blazon Stone, a side project of Cederick Forsberg whom some of you may know as the guitarist of Rocka Rollas. And you probably guessed it, there is a reason this project is named after one of Running Wild’s triumphs. After the debut Return to Port Royal (also referencing Running Wild’s Port Royal), which was praised by many fans as the album Running Wild never released, No Sign of Glory takes the worship into the second round and let me tell you something, there definitely are more than enough signs of glory to be found here! Continue reading

Gnaw Their Tongues – Abyss of Longing Throats (2015)

Author: Gay For Gary Oldman

Artist: Gnaw Their Tongues

Album: Abyss of Longing Throats

Label: Crucial Blast Records

How do you review a record which seeks to be as dissonant, distorted and atonal as possible? How do you review a record which seeks not only to bury any melody in layers of atmosphere and static, but to actively avoid it altogether? A record which, by it’s own design, cannot distinguish tracks by melody, rhythm or discernable riffs? Continue reading

Skepticism – Ordeal (2015)

Author: Bloodshot Grub

Artist: Skepticism

Album: Ordeal

Label: Svart Records

Skepticism, one of the founding funeral doom metal bands, has taken an unexpected approach in recording their fifth full-length album, Ordeal. This isn’t a live album in the traditional sense, because, excepting the last two tracks (“Pouring” from Stormcrowfleet and “The March and the Stream” from Lead and Aether), the material has never appeared before on a recording. It was, however, recorded live before an audience in a concert venue. According to interviews, this was done to capture what they felt was an ineffable magic and energy present at their live shows. It’s an interesting idea, and I’m convinced it has the potential to capture a band’s music in a raw and authentic but also very effective way. That’s certainly the case with more traditional live albums, where the nuanced audio control possible in a studio environment is sacrificed in favor of pure live energy. Perhaps, then, this album would be best taken as a case study in how not to approach a live recording. Continue reading