A Diadem of Dead Stars – Kingdoms Bathed in Golden Light (2016)

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Author: Crono

Artist: A Diadem of Dead Stars

Album: Kingdoms Bathed in Golden Light

Label: Independent

Genre: Atmospheric Black Metal

 

A Diadem of Dead Stars is a band I have been following since their inception with 2014’s The Mist Bearer. While I thought the band had some potential, nothing really jumped out at me as really exciting. They have since released a few brief demos and EPs, culminating in their sophomore full length, Kingdoms Bathed in Golden Light. While the band’s sound has not drastically changed in the brief two years of their existence, I feel like Kingdoms Bathed in Golden Light is a stronger album that once again demonstrates this band’s potential, as well as some fairly consistent growth.   Continue reading

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EP Round Up #3 – Sonic Poison, Miasmal Sabbath

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Author: Goldensundown

Bands: Sonic Poison, Miasmal Sabbath

Albums: Harsh Demonstration…, Miasmal Sabbath

Genres: Death Metal/Grindcore, Death Metal/Crust Punk

Labels: Caligari Records, Independent

Two punky death EP’s are up on the offering slab this round. Continue reading

Dexter Ward – Rendezvous with Destiny (2016)

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Author: Dave

Band: Dexter Ward

Album: Rendezvous with Destiny

 

Genre: Heavy/Power Metal

Label: No Remorse Records

 

 

 

Dexter Ward, named after the novel by metal’s second-favourite literary benefactor (that would be Lovecraft), are a Greek heavy metal band formed within the last decade who have just released their second full-length album. The album is a pastiche of war stories, told from various perspectives and in various times, and not limited to the past either. From the ancient story of the “Stone Age Warriors” up through the “Ballad of the Green Berets” we are given a series of epic and fantastic tales told by the victors themselves. And you’d think with this kind of subject matter, you would expect something a little more than just run-of-the-mill heavy metal. Fortunately, Dexter Ward certainly deliver on this count.  Continue reading

Katavasia – Sacrilegious Testament (2016)

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Author: Gay For Gary Oldman

Artist: Katavasia

Album: Sacrilegious Testament

Genre: Black Metal

Label: Floga Records

 

 

A release from earlier in the year, Katavasia’s Sacrilegious Testament was too good to be overlooked for review. This year has been phenomenal for Hellenic black metal; that unique and recognizable strain of black metal originating out of Greece. Caedes Cruenta has brought the original raw passion back in its purest form, and Macabre Omen pushed it into the new century with a majestic and epic album of the warring gods. For those out of the loop, these newer slew of bands owe their style to bands like Rotting Christ and Varathron, who pioneered the Greek scene in the early 90s, which differed from their Norwegian counterparts by the greater emphasis placed on traditional metal lead guitar harmonies and galloping rhythms, often combined with an occultist, religious chanting.  Continue reading

Warship – The Second Coming (2016)

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Author: Dave

Band: Warship

Album: The Second Wave

Genre: Heavy metal

Label: Unsigned/Independent

 

Greece has long been a bastion of metal of all types, so any chance I get to check out new stuff from there, I jump on it. Hearing about a new heavy metal release from Greece is always good news to me. Well, almost always. The Second Wave is – you guessed it – Warship’s second full-length album and it would be quite an understatement to say that it doesn’t live up to Greece’s reputation. There are some good qualities to it, but they simply are completely overshadowed by other unbelievably bad qualities. I like the production and approach; it’s simple and unpolished and unassuming. Unfortunately, that seems to be one of the very few things I could take away from this. Continue reading

Rotting Christ – Rituals (2016)

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Author: Gay For Gary Oldman

Artist: Rotting Christ

Album: Rituals (2016)

Label: Season of Mist

 

 

Rotting Christ have always held a particularly notable place in my music library. At the end of my middle school days, after discovering new music and bands primarily through early 2000s horror movie soundtracks, I felt that I had discovered the pinnacle of aggressive and evil music in Lamb of God. Expressing this discovery to another student in the first few weeks of high school, he returned the next day with five CDs. Although nostalgia may play a factor, among them, My Arms, Your Hearse is still my favourite album of all time; Dechristianize is still my favourite death metal album, and Rotting Christ’s Sanctus Diavlos is consistently tied with De Mysteriis and the bands own debut Thy Mighty Contract for my personal peak of black metal. Continue reading

Spectral Lore- Gnosis (2015)

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Author: Crono

Artist: Spectral Lore

Album: Gnosis

Label: I, Voidhanger Records

 

 Wow has Spectral Lore ever been busy these past few years. Starting in 2012, they have released a string of monstrous pieces. Starting with their third LP, Sentinel, my personal introduction to Spectral Lore, then following with two splits, the better of the two being the mind-blowing Sol, a concept album about space where Spectral Lore and the equally space-y Mare Cognitum each wrote one track and then co-wrote a third. To follow this up, there was the brilliantly titled III, their fourth album (obviously), which was nothing short of a triumph, cutting away some of more ambient work in favor of 90 minutes of pure atmospheric black metal greatness. Continue reading