Ok, time for the second part of the “Noteworthy Report – all the great releases of 2016 I didn’t have the time to write about”. Take the time to listen to them and wonder why exactly haven’t you noticed those gems earlier. The big publications impose a “barrier to entry” since in today’s business model of music the Labels can’t anymore. The big blogs and webzines use click-bait techniques to keep themselves afloat. And in between a struggle happens, of bands trying to get their music out there, to the fragmented attention span of the fans. Enough talking, here comes…
Cwealm – Odes to No Hereafter
There are many people that believe melodic black metal was prematurely ushered out the window back in 2000. Astraeus, the mastermind and sole member of this Swedish band, is one of them. Taking the genre from where Dissection left it before Nodveidt’s imprisonment, he expands from there adding modern elements. A really impressive debut album, highly recommended.
Celtefog – Sounds Of The Olden Days
Another one man band, this time from Greece. Melodic, atmospheric pagan black, this album is guaranteed to take you on a trip to battlefields now lost. Their most mature release so far is promising despite its flaws. Keep an eye on them. Listen to it here: https://celtefog.bandcamp.com/album/sounds-of-the-olden-days
Coldblood – Indescribable Physiognomy Of The Devil
High quality technical death metal from Brazil. The insanity of their vocals combined with their powerful riffs are going to leave a deep scar on your brain.
Conceived By Hate – Death & Beyond
If there is one metal genre that thrives in Central America, this must be death metal, usually sprinkled with drops of blood, sweat and …Thrash. This band from El Salvador represents just that.
Cult of Fire – Life, Sex & Death
Occult black metal inspired from Hinduism (although the band is actually from Czech Republic). If I only had a word to spare that would be: soulful.
Darkestrah – Turan
There are only three (3) active bands in Kyrgyzstan right now, and Darkestrah are the oldest among them. Majestic pagan black metal of the highest standards.
Dark Tranquillity – Atoma
This is a band that doesn’t need introductions. Whenever they experiment outside their comfort zone the outcome doesn’t always reflect their quality. But the mark of a great musician is taking lessons from those misfires, and Dark Tranquillity have shown time and time again that they can return to their base character and build with what they learned from their experiments. This is just a good album, so naturally their next will be a masterpiece.
Ellende – Todbringer
Austria has a great tradition in this kind of atmospheric black metal. This is just another great example. Fans of Summoning will greatly enjoy this album.
Fiat Nox – Light the Torches
Debut release of this atmospheric black metal act from Gremany. Demo, EP, you name it, all I know is that these guys know their game and the three songs it contains are both enjoyable as well as promising.
Gherzen – 1917
They say it is bad to judge a book by its cover. I guess this is true for music too, as the debut album of this Russian band easily proves. One of the best atmospheric black metal releases of the year.
Gespenst – Forfald
This album is breathtaking. From start to finish, and despite their quite long durations, these four tracks act as a reminder of why we are drawn to this music. Majestic, dark, phantasmal. Scandinavian black metal at its finest!
Listen to the album here: https://hellthrasherproductions.bandcamp.com/album/forfald
Gruesome – Dimensions of Horror
When Gruesome appeared out of the blue two years ago we didn’t know what hit us. With Dimensions of Horror they continue on the path of Savage Land. Highly recommended for fans of early Death.
Gravatus – LI_E
Experimental black metal from Romania. There is much room for improvement, but it certainly sounds promising, and being in this list means it is way better than most mediocre attempts made by established bands of the genre.
Grok – A Spineless Descent
Old school majestic black metal from Colorado, USA. Feels like it is 1993 again, awesome stuff.
Gjendød – S/T (Demo)
This is probably the surprise of the year. The duo from Trondheim came out of nowhere and released a demo that took the world by storm. Classic Norwegian black metal of the kind we thought lost. Killer riffs, aggressiveness all over the place, bundled with bombastic sound. A must have!
Listen in full here: https://hellthrasherproductions.bandcamp.com/album/demo-2016
Temaukel – Spirit of Wintek
This is some quite epic melodic black metal from Chile. Temaukel is the solo project of Krenn, and they have already released a new single this month.
Throes Of Dawn – Our Voices Shall Remain
Any ‘best of’ list that does not contain a single Finnish band is a fake best of list. Throes of Dawn is one of the oldest bands of Finland and is highly recommended for fans of late Amorphis and Tiamat.
So that was the second part. Two more to go (coming shortly). That’s another handful of music to get you through a day or two…