[Click on band name for samples and more info]
Kadavrik - Grimm I & II (Testimony)
I kind of expected some Folk Metal with that album title, but instead I was treated to some classic Melodeath in the vein of 90’s-era In Flames (at times). The fourth album from the German quintet employs the harsh vocals, chugging riffs and melodic leads utilized by the early Gothenburg bands without sounding like a carbon copy or falling prey to the breakdown-infused pit of despair that the pioneers fell into later in their careers. Overall, a very fresh update on the Melodeath sound and a must-listen for fellow fans of the genre.
King Giant - Black Ocean Waves (N/A)
The Virginia quintet returns with their 3rd album, mixing a little bit of Orange Goblin with a heaping dose of Southern groove. There’s nothing really groundbreaking or forward-thinking here, just a nice hefty slab of Stoner/Doom. You know what to expect…gnarly riffs galore and hard-driving tunes. If you're into the 90's Stoner Metal sound, check this one out for sure.
My Silent Wake - Damnatio Memoriae (House of Ashes)
This is some pretty solid melancholic Death/Doom from the veteran UK quintet on their 8th album as they continue to carry the flag from the forerunners of the Peaceville scene. These guys have been pretty active, this being their 4th album in the last 3 years, and members seem to come and go, but I don’t hear any lack of focus in the songwriting. The songs mostly stay around the 5-6 minute mark, which allows the band to hone in on the solid riffs without getting lost in some of their overly progressive tendencies that hindered the last release. Fans of Paradise Lost and My Dying Bride should scoop this one up.
Sorrowful - In the Rainfall (Solitude Productions)
Here we have yet another stunning release from the always excellent Solitude Productions, as the label continues to branch out from Russia to bring us incredible Doom/Death Metal bands. This Gothenburg (by way of Mexico) duo conjures up an absolutely punishing sound on their debut album. The guitar melodies absolutely blew me away and the vocals are top-notch. These guys mainly operate in the slow and slower realm, but when they let loose and start thrashing away, it’s something to behold, with Doom riffs doubling over Black Metal drum patterns. Very interesting listen and highly recommended.