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Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Review: Odradek Room - A Man Of Silt

Since 2010, guitarist Ilya Zernitsky, bassist/keyboardist Sergey Kuznetsov, drummer Roman Borovikov and Artyom Krikhtenko, who takes care of vocals, guitars, keyboards and samples, make music together under the moniker of Odradek Room. Odradek Room's musical style is kind of progressive death/doom metal, but they regularly cross those boundaries. In 2013 they released their promising debut album, called Bardo. Relative Reality. Since October 12th it got a successor. It is named A Man Of Silt and is released as a co-release between Hypnotic Dirge Records and BadMoonMan Music.

So, close your eyes and let the relaxing, dreamy intro Arising In The Void lead you to the world of Odradek Room. A Man Of Silt truly is a great journey through a dreamy, atmospheric world. The basis of A Man Of Silt are atmospheric, often even epic soundscapes. Of course the drums, bass and guitars are regularly present, with Roman Borovikov's drumming skills standing out the most. Sometimes Artyom Krikhtenko's vocals are added, which are phenomenal no matter what style. Whether he grunts, screams or sings with clean vocals, in for example the beautiful Texture Of Reality, Artyom Krikhtenko can do everything with his voice!

While Odradek Room's music is dreamy, it for sure isn't boring. Variation is very important on A Man Of Silt, with the tempo- and rhythm-changes being present. A perfect example of this, is the earlier mentioned Texture Of Reality. It has a slow, acoustic start followed by a hellish scream and a very nice guitarsolo before going back to rest again. For Odradek Room, crossing boundaries isn't a problem. They let us hear influences from for example, prog-, doom- and post-metal, but the start of Mirror Labyrinth sounds even a bit atmospheric black metal-like. Another track which is really standing out on A Man Of Silt is the beautiful Rain Trip. Beautiful female vocals can be heard and the addition of a sax, a unique and unusual instrument in metal, is a real plus. After Divide, which is the heaviest and longest track on A Man of Silt, it is time for the relaxing, hypnotic outro Conditional Eternity. When this outro has ended you are finally aware about how fast the past 50 minutes flew by and you probably want to enter Odradek Room's world again immediately. What an album!

A Man Of Silt is not only a great album, but it is a whole experience on itself. Odradek Room delivers a phenomenal album, very recommended for sure.

Written by Tim van Velthuysen

Odradek Room Facebook

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Review: Anthrophagus - Anima In Decay

Ready for some massive death metal? Because the Belgian guys from Anthrophagus, Glenn Leuckx (lead guitar/vocals), Wout Havaux (rhythm guitar/backing vocals), Antoine Sohier (bass) and Maxime Moreira (drums) got a new album released. After their demo from 2009, Putrefaction Through Retribution and their EP from 2012, Cleansing The Red Light District, they released their first full-length album on November 1st. It is called Anima In Decay. This is their first release with Glenn on vocals (besides guitar) after the departure of Wim Vandenbranden in 2012. It is also the first release on which bassist Antoine can be heard after the departure of Gregory Bars in 2014.

The first track of Anima In Decay, Slaughterhouse Orgy, starts with a creepy intro, to shake you up when Anthrophagus bursts out with their musical violence. Slaughterhouse Orgy is a perfect opener and promises a lot for the remainder of Anima In Decay. Something which immediately stands out are the pounding drums from Maxime. He plays very tight and he appears to be a very solid backbone of Anthrophagus on this entire album. Besides that he, as Anthrophagus' backbone, takes care of a very solid musical basis, there for sure is space for him for to show his skills, which are great! Glenn's growls sound raw and filthy which perfectly fits their death metal. The backing vocals sometimes sound a bit more screamy, which is a very nice addition. Of course, the guitars are very present in a great way, with sometimes even a nice guitarsolo, for example in the before mentioned Slaughterhouse Orgy. The addition of the shredding guitars is also nice. Anthrophagus plays their death metal in a very tight way. Anima In Decay is pretty complex death metal, but it won't be too complex. The complexity is mostly coming from the many rhythm-changes, but it isn't getting proggy.

The energy coming from Anima In Decay is overwhelming. Combined with the fact that there is a lot going on here, makes that this is an album you might need to recover from, in a good way. Or are you strong enough for an immediate replay of Anima In Decay?

Written by Tim van Velthuysen

Anthrophagus Facebook

Monday, January 15, 2018

Review: Andreas Budweiser - Alarm

Andreas Budweiser, you may know his name from the German thrash metal band Predatory Violence, of which he is the vocalist/guitarist. Andreas already released four full-length albums and 2 demo's with Predatory Violence so far. However, in May, he released his first solo effort. This solo debut is called Alarm and is released via the also German label Kernkraftritter Records.

The first melodies of opener Melody Of Scorn are immediately promising and there sure is an old school heavy metal vibe present. While it might let you think about older metal bands, Andreas does surely give his own, personal touch to his music which for sure doesn't sound dated. Variation means a lot for him on this album, there is something for everyone on Alarm. For example, the drums in the faster tracks Alarm and Stalking The Prey could also fit really well in thrash metal. However this isn't very strange, because of the fact that the drummer on this album is David "Dave" Amendt, drummer of aforementioned Predatory Violence. The other person that can be heard on Alarm, besides Andreas and David, is bassist Ralf J. Rock. He gets a bit more space to show his skills in Stalking The Prey. When talking about variation, the electro-influences in Pika-Don and the many tempo-changes are definitely worth mentioning. Andreas' vocals are sometimes a bit low in the mixing, but not very much. His vocals sounds very nice with as highlight Pika-Don, which makes me think about Judas Priest, partly because of the Rob Halford-like vocals. Vocal-wise The Wig is also special, because of the two different styles combined.

On Alarm there are a lot of things happening, but it isn't an overdose. Everything is brought with a lot of energy, which makes it impossible to sit still while listening.

Andreas Budweiser delivers a perfect solo-debut with Alarm. The time flew by listening to it, recommended for sure!

Written by Tim van Velthuysen

Andreas Budweiser Facebook

Fleshgod Apocalypse, Obscura, The Charm The Fury and more at Amsterdam Metalfest, on Saturday May 19th at the Melkweg, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Lurking ominously behind the canaled facade of Amsterdam’s street view, is Amsterdam Metalfests’ haunting spell waiting to be cast. May 19 th marks the first edition in the biggest hall of Amsterdam’s much revered venue Melkweg, The Max, and features an array of metal as symphonic, technical, melodic and stoner-groove are all on tonight’s menu. This year, Amsterdam Metalfest has the support of Buma ROCKS! Doors open at 16:00, tickets cost €22,50 (excl. membership).

Headliner Fleshgod Apocalypse proves that ‘death metal’ and ‘symphony’ make a savage blend. This, combined with their onstage theatrical bravado, promises to be nothing less than a spectacular showdown. The German technical death metal quartet Obscura is the second to last act to play the podium and their latest well-praised Akróasis (Relapse Records, 2016) possesses a sound that borders the virtuose. The Charm The Fury will have the home advantage! After a year of riding the European lands, playing high-profile support shows, this melodic metalcore foursome from Amsterdam finally returns to their hometown.

The first half of this evening is filled with the brutal death metal of the Italian Hideous Divinity, the also-from-Amsterdam melodeath outfit For I Am King, and the icebreaking groovy-sludge-blues of Onegodless.

Fleshgod Apocalypse, Obscura, The Charm The Fury, Hideous Divinity, For I Am King, Onegodless.

The Melkweg is smack-bang in the middle of the city centre, easily reachable by public transport, bike and on foot. It is situated around the corner from the busy nightlife square Leidseplein, and surrounded by hotels and hostels. Do not hesitate to contact us for any travel tips!

Amsterdam Metalfest | Melkweg, The Max
Saturday May 19 th , 2018 | doors open: 16:00
Tickets €22,50 (excl. membership) | pre-sale January 14 th
Lijnbaansgracht 234A, 1017 PH, Amsterdam

Check a live review we did of The Charm The Fury and For I Am King here as well as another live review of The Charm The Fury here. You can also read our album review of The Charm The Fury's The Sick, Dumb & Happy here and read an interview with their vocalist Caroline Westendorp here.

Amsterdam Metalfest Facebook
Metal Amsterdam Official Website
Metal Amsterdam Facebook
Metal Amsterdam Twitter

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Review: Agony By Default - Catastrophes Of The Mind

Agony By Default is a solo project by US-based musician Matthew Brammer. He initiated the project back in 2013, and released an EP back then. Afterwards, Agony By Default underwent some hiatus, until resurfacing in 2017 - a year that was marked by great productivity: Matthew Brammer released one EP and two full-lengths, the second of which is entitled Catastrophes Of The Mind. Let’s give it a go!

After the instrumental, somber and mellow piano intro Premonition, things pick up very rapidly with Mistress Of Agony. This song kicks off with a dark metal intro, spiked with high-pitched screams, and then turns towards a blend between brutal and melodic death metal. Around the middle and especially towards the end, piano tunes add a touch of symphonic metal as well – all in all a perfect track for the darker winter days! Your Gods Still Bleed can be divided into two parts as well: the first half being more brutal and tipping its head towards old-school death metal bands, while the second half is again more melodeath. Less variation is perceivable on Eternity Stares At Me, a classic death metal track, before we can enjoy a perfect mix between brutal death metal and melodic passages on I Am God, And This Is My Grave. The Darkness Within is another purely instrumental track and lets you breathe through before the last two tracks of the record, You Believe In A Lie and Plague, hit you. You Believe In A Lie has a darker note to it than any tracks before, but comes with the same brutal aggressiveness. Plague, the final track, is quite alike its precursor, but ends off with a melodic piano solo that connects well with Premonition, and guarantees a nice round-up of the album.

In conclusion: Agony By Default, a.k.a. Matthew Brammer, has definitely found his style and combines it in an interesting blend between brutal, melodic and symphonic metal, with some splashes of dark metal here and there as well. My personal favorite is I Am God, And This Is My Grave, but the entire record come highly recommended, especially to fans of any of those genres, and let’s hope that 2018 will be another productive year for Agony By Default! 9.5/10.

Written by Julia Obenauer

Agony By Default Official Website
Agony By Default Facebook

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Review: Peace Is Just A Break - Little Boy

Swiss melodic death metal quintet Peace Is Just A Break are around since 2011. While they played several shows up until now, it took until October 2017 to release their debut album, Little Boy. Better late than never - let’s give it a spin!

Little Boy kicks off with Peace Is Just A Break (the track), a very melodic, fast-paced death metal song. Spiked with nice growls and kick-ass lyrics, this track is sure to stick with you for a while. Next up is Alice In Monsterland, a track on which you can discern some influence by In Flames. Like the first track, it’s also spiked with catchy tunes and sticks, also thanks to the title ;) . The album’s third track, Insane Circles, starts more midtempo and stompy, but picks up speed very soon. A perfect track to headbang to! War Is Over is somewhat alike, but that’s surely not a bad thing, as every melodeath enthusiast will truly enjoy this track. Tunguska, on the other hand, starts off way more rock’n’roll-y, but then turns into a full-blown death metal track with some black influences. An interesting combination that is highly recommended to check out. Another great find is the slower Rain, which has even some ballad-like moments in it. A chance to breathe through, then, before the album closes off with two more melodeath tracks of their own, as well as a cover of Maître Gims’ Brisé.

In conclusion: well, it is quite obvious that I really like the album. Why? While it’s clearly a melodic death metal album, it’s not more of the same, but has a nice diversity to it that keeps you, as a listener, engaged from start to the end. Also, production’s great and the guys are very good musicians, so what more is there to ask for? Go check it out! 10/10.

Written by Julia Obenauer

Peace Is Just A Break Official Website
Peace Is Just A Break Facebook

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Preview: Veghel Blackfest at Willemeen, Arnhem, The Netherlands, February 17th, 2018

In a bit more than a month, on February 17th, 2018, it's time for a new festival. After three successful festivals in death metal style organized by Doc Holliday Metal Productions, this time it will be in black metal style. Doc Holliday Metal Productions, who are they exactly?

Doc Holliday Metal Productions is founded by Alwin Roes, bassist of the Dutch band Dead End. In a pretty short time, Doc Holliday Metal Productions' activities were extended and so did their crew with Dave Blummel and Meindert Meinsma being the main men besides Alwin. Nowadays Doc Holliday Metal Productions is an agency for twenty bands, for example the Dutch band Altar and the Belgian guys of Moker. Besides being an agency, they also got their own record-label and -shop. Last but not least, they organize gigs. They do DocFest Metal Meetings at different locations, they have the regularly returning Veghel Deathfest and now they got their first edition of Veghel Blackfest lined up. Besides Veghel Blackfest, the following gigs are already confirmed coming from the Doc Holliday Metal Productions camp:

Death From Within IIat Studio Gonz, Gouda, The Netherlands, March 24th, 2018
Doc's Metal Massacreat De Reunie, Geleen, The Netherlands, May 12th, 2018
Veghel Deathfest IV atDynamo, Eindhoven, The Netherlands, May 26th, 2018

However, first of all: Veghel Blackfest!

As you can probably now by its name, Veghel Blackfest will be a festival for people who dig black metal. However, within black metal there are many differences and Doc Holliday Metal Productions have got that perfectly balanced with this line-up of Veghel Blackfest.

Rotting Christ

Headliner of this first edition is the Greek band Rotting Christ. These Greeks are already playing black metal for a while now and while doing so they regularly use ancient Greek influences in their music. Last year this band existed for 30 years, so they have enough experience to give you a phenomenal show. Curious!

We also reviewed their Rituals album (here) and their Lucifer Over Athens live-album (here).

Rotting Christ Official Website
Rotting Christ Facebook


The other band coming from Greece performing today is Arkhangelsk. In contrast with fellow Greeks Rotting Christ, this is a fairly new band. They just formed in 2015 and released their debut EP in 2016. Last year, Arkhangelsk also played their first shows and made the announcement that they are writing new material. The tracks on their debut EP sound great, so I really look forward to their new material and their performance at Veghel Blackfest.

Arkhangelsk Facebook

Carach Angren

Doc Holliday Metal Productions also makes sure you can support your local scene. They got six bands playing on Veghel Blackfest that are Dutch. The biggest name of these six bands is Carach Angren. This horror metal band plays dark, theatrical music based on concept stories. I already saw them live twice and I also really look forward to seeing them perform again at Veghel Blackfest.

Read our interview with Carach Angren's keyboard-player Clemens 'Ardek' Weijers here.

Carach Angren Official Website
Carach Angren Facebook
Carach Angren Twitter


One of the other Dutch bands is Misanthropia. They play a melodic form of black metal, sometimes even in epic proportions. The in 2016 released album Omerta is a fantastic album with sometimes even some prog-elements shine through. Seeing this live must be amazing!

Misanthropia Official Website
Misanthropia Facebook


The band who is probably the most divergent music-wise today is Ceremony. This, also Dutch, band plays music being more death metal than black metal. However, this offers a variation for the audience. This way, Ceremony can shake the audience's heads while they are headbanging before they go back in black metal modus.

Ceremony Facebook


Dystopia, another Dutch band, play their black metal mixed with some psychedelic doom influences. To do this they use two instruments that can be called unconventional in metal: the trumpet and the trombone. This gives a very nice touch to Dystopia's music and if their show will be as nice as their latest album Chaos Philosophorum, which is released in April, I can't do anything other than looking forward to it.

Dystopia Official Website
Dystopia Facebook


Yaotzin is a Dutch band playing fast black metal, already existing for quite some time. Other than a hiatus between 2009 and 2013 they are going strong in the black metal world since 1995. Based on their music this will be a crushing show!

Yaotzin Official Website
Yaotzin Facebook


The last Dutch band to mention is Noctambulist. This band is formed a short time ago and as far as I know they haven't released any music yet. However, the members of Noctambulist are no strangers in the metal scene. Bassist/backing vocalist Sam C.A. used to sing in progressive metalcore band Discreator. Guitarist Stef Heesakkers also plays guitar in doom metal band Treurwilg, which is also where the band’s drummer Mitchell Scheerder plays in. Last but not least, their vocalist/guitarist J.D. Kay also sings in the modern death metal band Purest of Pain. Based on their Facebook page Noctambulist plays atmospheric post-black metal. Curious to hear their music and see the show!

Noctambulist Facebook

Svart Crown

Svart Crown hails from France and plays blackened death metal. In March last year they released their fourth album, titled Abreaction, which is a great album. The music on Abreaction is very intense and this promises a very nice and intense performance!

Svart Crown Facebook
Svart Crown Twitter


There is only one more band I haven't mentioned and that is the German band Thyrgrim. Personally, this is the band on Veghel Blackfest I am mostly looking forward to. The first time I heard Thyrgrim's music, which was on their 2015 album Dekaden, I was immediately blown away. What an album! The successor of Dekaden, Vermächtnis (released September last year), is also definitely worth listening. Really looking forward to their show at Veghel Blackfest!

Read our review about Thyrgrim's Dekaden album here as well as a Promoting Bands including Thyrgrim here.

Thyrgrim Facebook

This promises to be a very nice afternoon/evening full of black metal, do we see you there at Veghel Blackfest?

Haven't got tickets yet? Buy them here.

Veghel Blackfest event on Facebook
Doc Holliday Metal Productions Official Website

Monday, January 8, 2018

Review: Unleash The Archers - Apex

Despite the fact that Apex is the fourth full-length album of Canadian-based band Unleash The Archers, I didn’t know the band from one of their earlier albums. But I have to say, Apex was a great album to get to know them better. Many bands in the female fronted genre, which is a hideous term by the way, have the standard guitar riffs, keyboards, and melodic vocal lines. But with Unleash The Archers you sometimes think you’re in the 80s again. Sure, the opening song Awakening serves as a bit as a showcase song, where everything that this band is capable of comes together with grunts, heavy guitars and loud drums, making it a powerful heavy metal song. But when you listen to the second song Shadow Guide you can hear that Unleash The Archers is as a band that mixes metal and hard rock a little bit. And this is very refreshing. Being a fan of the 80s classic rock myself, I love to hear screeching guitars and a fantastic female vocalist, because that is what Brittney Slayes is!

Sure, if you ask me her voice would’ve suited better in a hard rock band, but this also works like a charm. Throughout the whole album Brittney Slayes shows what she is capable of. Does the music of Unleash The Archers have no metal at all then? Of course it does! By adding grunts and tuning the guitars down, creating what we call in metal the devil’s tone, Unleash The Archers definitely brings the heavy metal to you! If you combine these metal elements with long screeching guitar solos and some 80s choruses, then you have a great band making great music. The next two songs on the album The Matriarch and Cleanse The Bloodlines really are powerful battle songs. They stand out from the rest and are among the better songs on the album.

In the song Ten Thousand Against One you hear the very tight drums of drummer Scott Buchanan. I already said something about the great guitarists, Grant Truesdell and Andrew Saunders. They play incredibly good and have time for a nice long solo in almost every song. Furthermore, the title track Apex really stands out because, despite the fact that throughout the whole album I can hear that vocalist Brittney Slayes is really good, the quiet part of this song really shows how great a singer Brittney really is! I think that that is the only negative point I have of the whole album, I would’ve liked it if there were some ballads present. But I guess that’s a matter of taste.

So, do you like heavy metal and are you just like me sometimes a little stuck in the 80s? Then Apex from Unleash The Archers is really your cup of tea!

Written by Glenn van der Heijden

Read our review of their earlier album Time Stands Still here

Unleash The Archers Official Website
Unleash The Archers Facebook
Unleash The Archers Twitter

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Review: Apocalypse Orchestra - The End Is Nigh

Scottish bagpipes, heavy guitars and bombastic drums. This is the beginning of the album The End Is Nigh from Apocalypse Orchestra. The opening song The Garden of Earthly Delights immediately has that Viking feeling to it. After an instrumental intro of almost 3 minutes, the low male vocals kick in. This is a pattern on the rest of the album as well. The music of Apocalypse Orchestra is for the most part instrumental. Long heavy guitar strokes, tight drums that support it all and the low orchestral male vocals I spoke of earlier. This, in combination with some folk influences turn every song on this album into a truly epic masterpiece. Yes, you can say that, because every song lasts at least seven minutes. Instrumentally the songs are very similar to one another. But does the album have enough versatility? It sure does! In the second song Pyre you can hear that there is a completely different atmosphere, it is very threatening compared to the more folky feeling of the first song. This is mainly due to the fact that for the first time you can hear grunts. Each song on this album stands on its own and is a different chapter in the story that is being told. Musically every song brings something new to the table as well, but as a reviewer it is difficult to describe what this is for each song individually because it mainly has to do with the feeling of a song, rather than that the song is significantly different than its predecessor. Over the course of the album a story is being told about warriors preparing themselves for the end of all time, the apocalypse. Hence the name of the album The End Is Nigh. To tell a great story you need a good atmosphere. And by adding instruments such as the Scottish bagpipes and the hurdy-gurdy, you immediately think you’re on the battlefield yourself when listening to this album. In the song Theatre Of War a calm male voice narrates from a bird perspective about how everybody is going to battle. In this moment you’re being pulled away from all the direct violence and mayhem. It is a light calm moment in an otherwise dark and melancholic album. This song, that is roughly in the middle of the track list, really is a great intermezzo that can help you catch some air before delving right into the battle again!

The song To Embark serves as a small intermezzo preparing you for the epic closing song Here Be Monsters. In this last song the grunts can be heard again. It is a bombastic closer of a heavy and good album! Like I said earlier, I think that every song is a bit similar to one another. However, that didn’t stop me from completely immersing myself in the world that Apocalypse Orchestra has created, all that is needed is just a little bit of fantasy! They really have outdone themselves creating the wonderful atmospheric tunes about death and decay without neglecting to be stylish about it. If you like metal with an atmospheric ambience, without it being really heavy or technical and are you just as big a fan of Vikings, mythical creatures and other fantasy elements as I am and do you like the sound of Scottish bagpipes and the hurdy-gurdy? Then I would really recommend listening to The End Is Nigh by Apocalypse Orchestra. This is a band of which I hope to hear a lot about in the future. Count me in as a fan! However, I have to say that this kind of music has to suit you. It just isn’t made for everybody.

Written by Glenn van der Heijden

Apocalypse Orchestra Official Website
Apocalypse Orchestra Facebook
Apocalypse Orchestra Twitter

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Review: Serenade - Onirica

A powerful mix of symphonic and goth metal, the band from North Italy (Padova, my last name, namesake!) of Claudia: vocals, Filippo: guitars, Alberto: guitars, Dario: bass and Leonardo: drums astound and pound the stuffing’s out of you with this record.

"To Serve Society With (Our) Their Metal” is a wonderful sentiment from their FB page and that they do, possibly sending people to chiropractors from all the headbanging as a result of their graciously played metal tunes. The hauntingly vocalized intro Insomnia and leading into the speedy When Darkness Will Fall are testaments to that, hard-driving music with ghostly wonderful vox – what a range!

Kill Your Pain is another riff laden, keyboard-haunted number that rocks nicely with flowing harmonies and more excellent voice. Following is my favourite, Hold Me Back with a deceptively smooth slow intro and then crashing wall of sound at about 00:54...devastating!

Their interesting choice for an 8:39 venture Luceafarul, a gothic sojourn into the lengthy poem Lucifer or actually Evening Star by Mihai Eminescu, is supremely well done, soulfully sung and a fantastic job setting this lengthy poem to music.

Personally, too much of the operatic overtones is not my thing, but this has several songs on my mixtape already. The remainder of this delivers in all sorts of ways, and puts itself into the march of female fronted heavy metal. Again it’s all filed under “M” for me, but if this charge needs to be led, by all means, step up.

There is no mistaking the talent here and while the image and sound is that of some already at the front of the lines, they have a more distinctive look and artistry which will certainly do well to set them apart.


Written by Alessandro

Serenade Official Website
Serenade Facebook

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Review: Alder Glade - Spine Of The World

Alder Glade is the solo project of a multi-talented musician from Brisbane, Australia. The term ‘solo’ has to be taken literally, because he can be held responsible for absolutely everything that has anything to do with the music of Alder Glade in any way. To say little is known about the man behind this project does not even scratch the surface of the truth, the man, known only as Drøüyn, is pretty much a mystery. Or maybe a well-kept secret would be a better term, that remains to be seen. Perfectly fitting the shroud of mystery surrounding him, his preferred style of music is atmospheric black folk metal. His previous work consists of two demos in 2014 and 2015, conveniently titled Demo I and Demo II, and a compilation called Exordium, which contains the songs of the two demos. Apparently the title was chosen with premeditation, empathically hinting towards what was yet to come, because two years after its release Exordium is succeeded by Drøüyn’s first full-length called Spine Of The World.

The first thing that struck me once opener Spine Of The World had moved passed its intro was the thin, cold production that immediately surrounds you with a chilling atmosphere you can feel in your bones despite the folky rhythm. An atmosphere that gets even more icy when, without warning, the folky tunes burst into a much more black metal oriented rhythm, complete with an inciting drum line and hoarse, distorted vocal work. Things are even turned up a notch in the next song called Lord Of The Lakes, which for the most part is a downright aggressive song, alternating bone crunching parts with melodic, almost soothing tunes. A combination that prevents you from reaching freezing point, but will definitely stir up feelings of coldness and unease.

Luckily (or not, depending on your preferences) there actually appears to be rest for the wicked here. Sun Ritual offers an oasis of rest and relative warmth in the otherwise seriously desolate and sub cooled world Drøüyn manages to create with his music. It’s not a particularly big oasis though, not even two minutes later the arctic winds return when Kingdom Aflame kicks off in yet another bone crunching black metal rhythm. Here too, like in all the songs on Spine Of The World, the relentless punishing of your ear drums is somewhat softened by the melodic folk parts, making things more varied and interesting in my opinion. The next song, Wheel Of Stars is by far the most compelling, haunting piece of music on this release. Starting relatively quiet and peaceful its lingering composition and ditto vocal line lets the song grow into a desolation and despair breathing track. Closing track Beltane, the longest track on the album clocking over 12 minutes, is composition-wise pretty much a resume of the entire album. Melodic, guitar-oriented parts suddenly burst into raw, rough parts and vice versa, creating the proverbial rollercoaster feeling before ending in a slowly fading outro. A great way to conclude this album.

If I had to decide between the earlier mentioned choices, a mystery or a well-kept secret, to describe Drøüyn and his music I’d choose the latter. Hands down. The interaction between folk and black metal combined with a thin, cold production turns out very well. On top of that, or better, apart from that Drøüyn proves he is a gifted multi-talented musician with a great eye for compositions and adding atmosphere to his songs. This leaves us with six songs that are to be enjoyed right away but will also grow as you replay them. The distinct black metal influences, especially in the vocal department, might scare one or two people off, but overall it will appeal to a wide range of metal fans. This is definitely a more than average album. Way more than average to be honest, well worth your undivided attention.

Written by Henric van Essen

Alder Glade Facebook