Latest Reviews

There are way too many records released every week - which one should you listen to? We want to help you by reviewing lots of records every week and you can also check out a little teaser before reading the whole thing. And if you want to, you can also browse through our archive and have a look at the amazing records you might have missed out on.

  • Lockstep - Arrival

    02 Jan 2024 - Daria
    ShoegazePost-Rock

    Any sonic seeker here? Be prepared because we’re going to dive into the otherworldly soundscape of Lockstep! The Nashville-based band’s debut EP Arrival, self-released earlier this year, is a well-balanced record that puts together Post-Rock, Shoegaze, a little bit of heaviness and a cup of spacey, almost-ethereal sounds.

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  • Oro - Vid Vägs Ände

    22 Dec 2023 - Knut
    Atmospheric Sludge Metal

    I wrap up this year with anger, anguish, existentialism, and soaring dense emotional music by the hands of the Swedes Oro.

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  • PoiL Ueda - Yoshitsune

    21 Dec 2023 - Stephan
    Avant-GardeProg Rock

    Insane Magma-inspired French Avantgarde Prog Rock band PoiL meets Japanese vocalist and satsuma-biwa player Junko Ueda to tell epic stories from the 13th century in a breathtaking musical clash of eras and cultures.

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  • Nahasheol - Serpens Abyssi

    18 Dec 2023 - Lucia

    Of all the albums released in 2023, Nahasheol’s Serpens Abyssi is definitely one not to miss. The mystic atmospheres it creates, the wrath it exudes, and the driving and dissonant sounds make this album a ritual worthy experience. This is Black Metal at its finest, the perfect mix of all what makes this genre great. We are about to enter into a garden of Luciferian delights where the serpent lies and where you won’t help but to fall under its spell.

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  • The Nude Spur - The Nude Spur

    16 Dec 2023 - Stephan
    ExperimentalFree JazzFusion

    Last year in November I wrote my first and so far only quadruple review on VoS in honour of experimental drummer Jörg A. Schneider’s collaborations series. This year I could take it even further, because since September he has released not only four, but six new duo records plus one album with a bigger band called Glimmen - and all of them would be worthy of a feature. Unfortunately I just don’t have the time for a sevenfold Schneider special, so I simply picked the one which is the most fun and strongly advise you to explore the rest of his discography on your own!

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  • Full of Hell & Nothing - When No Birds Sang

    15 Dec 2023 - Thorsten
    ShoegazeAmbient

    If anybody asks you which record of 2023 has the starkest contrast between absolutely disgustingly dark and heavenly high, then your answer should probably be When No Birds Sang the collaboration record between Full of Hell and Nothing. Mind you, this is a collaborative effort, not a split release. Which might explain why parts of the record sound like The Album Leaf or even Sigur Rós?   The record starts with one of the strongest songs of the year ”Rose Tinted World” which combines the two aforementioned extremes perfectly. On the one hand, we have big, chunky, dissonance-based riffs that could also been perfectly in place on records like Rudiments of Mutilation or Trumpeting Ecstasy by the Extreme Sludge-sters Full of Hell. The whole thing is harsh Sludge clad in even darker Noise and decorated with the screams between guttural growling and Grindcore-shouting. The song then ebbs away into a wall of sound that would easily be identifiable as Nothing’s contribution to the track, but no one really knows with these multi-faceted guys on both ends. This segment is adorned with vocal samples that seem to be more like a part of the whole meandering soundscape rather than meant as clearly distinguishable fore-front vocals. When the end oscillates into a bit of Shoegaze-frenzy it becomes clear that we should not expect anything from this record in the sense of regular structures which follow the normal rules of songwriting. Not for single songs nor for longer passages spanning several tracks.   ”Like Stars in the Firmament” is a peaceful soothing trance in bright sparks and clear tunes, whispered vocals lead us across honeydew-meadows and we can enjoy the slow-motion sunshine – will this be the whole rest of record, all remaining five songs? Well, of course not, even if becomes clearer that this Codeine-like bit of Slowcore or Sigur Ró-sian Ambient Post-Rock is surely one major ingredient for When No Birds Sang. ”Forever Well”, the third track shows that there is not only wonderful highs and dark lows on this record, but that there can also be tracks right in the middle of it, tracks combining both and thus balancing the whole thing. And to point it out – the brute force in the tracks is surely not only an idea by the Full of Hell guys, because there are also some very strong outbursts on the records by PA-based Shoegaze-phenom Nothing. Hence, it is impossible and thus obsolete to say or find out who did here – also because there are moments that could fit both bands, for example the Ambient track ”Wild Blue” which is a wonderful break from any of the wild elements above.   The record by and large is a very introspective one, even though there are several eruptive and even dissonant parts, but more often than not it feels as if we are listening to a bunch of hermits who are trying to find their exorcism in beauty, not in pain. They are sitting in a circle and share their pains and needs and that can sometimes turn into one of the nicest Sigur Rós tracks that the Iceland innovators have never done – the title track is so close to the tracks off of their breakthrough record Ágætis Byrjun that one might wonder if they are Nothing and Full of Hell are covering an obscure b-side one has not heard of before.   When the final track, ”Spend the Grace” starts with something like an out-of-tune flute and we hear the repetitive guitar beats in the background then we are already wrapped up in a warm shawl we would rather crawl deeper into than ever dip our heads out of. Even the slightly foreboding bass line cannot change that and when drums and slow-tempo riff kick in we feel confirmed. These are fellow melancholics who might need to scream more often than we ourselves need to, but their needs are similar and they share them among themselves, with each other and, most importantly, they share them with us. If you still need to shake up your AOTY a bit, please consider this one a strong reason to do so. Wonderfully diverse. Remarkably coherent.

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  • Thragedium - Lisboa Depois de Morta

    14 Dec 2023 - Knut
    Gothic Dark Folk

    If you follow the underground of metal-related music you probably know about this Portuguese band that re-surfaced with a stunning multifaceted release after a 20-year hiatus.

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  • Panopticon - The Rime of Memory

    12 Dec 2023 - Thorsten
    Atmospheric Black Metal

    Sometimes I tend to forget just how much I need certain artists to fulfill needs that they simply tend to best. Nobody does that certain mix of Americana Roots Rock, traditional Folk and well-placed Black Metal better than Austin Lunn, Panopticon, so thanks for giving us another gem to cling on to in the shape of The Rime of Memory!
    There is just something in his music that makes Austin stand out among the myriad of one-man Black-Metal-projects that we have witnessed throughout the years. Musically, it’s not only the perfect blend of his ingredients each presented wonderfully as a whole but also in all each element’s singular simplicity and splendor. The acoustic parts are very clean, very warm and very nurturing and that becomes clear with the very first track already - ”I Erindringens Høstlige Dysterhet”, whose title could be translated as “In The Autumnal Dark of Memory” and please note that autumnal is here connotated as something warm and positive! The track is spreading light into dark and fearsome surroundings, which is clear from the start when you understand that it was a melody sung to lament the loss of the older generations of Scandinavian immigrants and their now also deceased offspring who died during the pandemic. It shall show the impact of the loss of these generations and their treasure chest of stories, emotions and descriptions associated with them moving to Minnesota (and generally the Central Northern US). Memory has always been a major part of Panopticon’s work, as it often deals with the ongoing cycle of the seasons as a metaphor for human life which also moves in a cycle from birth to death, from ashes to ashes, from pre-natal imagination of your parents to the post-mortem memories of those left behind. Even though it being a part of life, it nevertheless is a source for sadness and seclusion when someone you love died.   The record, to me, has a similar feeling as Mono’s Hymn to the Immortal Wind or some tracks by Godspeed You! Black Emperor, because there is a lot of grandezza beneath a track like ”Enduring the Snow Drought” for example. It sounds like a lot of different, calming percussion elements were used in one of the layers underneath the whirlwinds of guitars and blastbeats. Here the intricacies of making these things aurally available without them dominating the whole track with all their high-pitched brilliance is really important, so we have to give a shout-out to the mixing and mastering mastermind Spencer Morris who did such an excellent job!

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  • Ex Everything - Slow Change Will Pull Us Apart

    11 Dec 2023 - Thorsten
    Post-HardcoreNoise-Rock

    Ex Everything is nothing bad, au contraire, it seems as if they can’t do anything wrong which means that there is something in the air with this band! Consisting of members of some famous bands the Bay Area quartet is really one grand entity in the realms of Post-Hardcore and Noise-Rock!

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  • Dead Cosmonauts - Parasomnia

    09 Dec 2023 - Simon
    Heavy PsychPost-Rock

    Dead Cosmonauts invite you to explore beyond the realms of the ordinary with their outstanding album Parasomnia!

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  • Yellow Eyes - Master's Murmur

    07 Dec 2023 - Thorsten
    Dungeon SynthAtmospheric Black Metal

    Wait – were that sheep? The wait is over, we have a new record by Yellow Eyes! The Skarstad brothers and their two fellow band members have given us new food for our ears and man, it is a fine, nine-course menu. But is this really Black Metal? Yes. No. It is both and much more. One thing it surely is: Epic and short.

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  • Faidra - Militant Penitent Triumphant

    06 Dec 2023 - Thorsten
    Atmospheric Black Metal

    How telling can a record cover be? In the case of Swedish one-man Atmospheric Black Metal-project Faidra it is pretty telling in its reversal of belief from institutionalized religion to paganism, moving more into a contemplative humanism and away from a controlling Catholicism. Atmospheric Black Metal at its finest from the country of Bathory and with the sound of Norway.

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  • Clouds Taste Satanic - All I Want for Christmas Is Your Soul

    06 Dec 2023 - Knut
    Stoner DoomSludge

    The crushing instrumental Doom Sludge Psych band from New York set fire to four Christmas songs. It will help you get rid of the earworms you suffer from the Christmas songs that seep into your ear whether you want them to or not these days.

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  • ALDRIG - Yağmur

    04 Dec 2023 - Thorsten
    Athmospheric Black Metal

    Sometimes one hears a debut album, scratches ones head and thinks he has hears or seen that before. As if witnessing the proverbial déjà vu. Maybe there is no debut record this year for which this idea might be more appropriate than for Aldrig’s first full-length Yağmur.

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  • Gnaw Their Tongues - The Cessation of Suffering

    03 Dec 2023 - Thorsten
    IndustrialHarsh Noise

    Gnaw Their Tongues has always been masterclass uneasy listening in a purely misanthropic sense and joy. The newest album by the Dutch one-man-project is called The Cessation of Suffering and when listening to the ten tracks hoping to find solace one might end up wondering if it is possible to sue someone because of the most inappropriate, delusional and nightmare-inducing title ever. No cessation given, just brilliant music.

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  • Fawn Limbs & Nadja - Vestigial Spectra

    02 Dec 2023 - Martin
    MathgrindDrone Doom

    An intercontinental collaboration where two worlds collide and celestial bodies are explored. Vestigial Spectra is as massive and unpredictable as its circumstances and thematic framework already suggest.

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  • ZAHN - Adria

    01 Dec 2023 - Thorsten
    Noise-RockKrautrock

    If their first record was the soundtrack to a fictitious headliner gig at a summer festival during a hot, sticky, herb-induced, sweaty night, then this record is the aural assembly of sounds to be heard during the after-show party after that gig sometime between 3AM and 5AM when the sun quickly rises above the blue hour and into another scorching hangover. Welcome back, Zahn, long live Adria!

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  • Various Artists - You Matter - Part III

    30 Nov 2023 - Knut
    each and every one

    Once more the caring people behind Ripcord Record have enabled 101 artists from 32 countries and us listener to raise money for an organization that works 24/7-365 to prevent suicides. The artists give their music, the label curates a compilation, we buy it, and as such help prevent suicides.

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  • Locrian - Solar Lodge

    30 Nov 2023 - Thorsten
    Industrial

    What do Marilyn Manson‘s “Tainted Love“, R.E.M.’s ”The Lion Sleeps Tonite” and “Leader of the Pack“ by the Donots have in common? They‘re cover versions, well, actually they‘re more like cover versions of cover versions because all three have more in common with Soft Cell, The Weavers and Twisted Sister respectively than with Gloria Jones, Solomon Linda or the Shangri-La’s. The three songs already had a history of being covered (and having been #1-hits as cover versions) before Manson, R.E.M. and the Donots picked up the baton again. Baltimore-based extreme metal outfit Locrian, in a brilliant no-bullshit-move have given us level two and level three of this “game” with the release of their new Solar Lodge-EP at midnight!

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  • Hedvig Mollestad Weejuns - Weejuns

    28 Nov 2023 - Knut
    Eclectic Fusion

    The incredibly talented Norwegian guitarist Hedvig Mollestad is hardly underground anymore. At least not in Norway. Her latest format with a new trio ventures onto the improv scene with a cornucopia of influences from Prog, Rock, Jazz, Space-Psych, Dark Ambient and so forth. It is quite a stunning 80-minute live performance.

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  • Akouphenom - Death ​· ​Chaos ​· ​Void

    27 Nov 2023 - Lucia
    Black MetalDeath Metal

    A journey into the depths of the underworld would not be complete without the proper soundtrack. On this occasion, Akouphenom not only provide the perfect music for it, but also gives us fair warning of what lies ahead and they do it in a way that will leave the listener in awe with their sound that is dark, enchanting, unforgiving and a full-on sonic assault that will leave the listener wanting more.

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  • SÂVER - From Ember And Rust

    26 Nov 2023 - Simon

    SÂVER obliterate the notion of the tricky second album by producing a stunning album of the highest order!

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  • Leonov - Procession

    24 Nov 2023 - Knut
    Atmospheric Post-MetalDarkwave

    Leonov proves with this third full-length once more that they are one of the most creative and innovative bands on the Post-Metal, Post-Rock, Atmospheric Metal, Darkwave, Doomgaze or whatever-genre scene today.

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  • MMTH - Infinite Heights

    19 Nov 2023 - Thorsten
    Post-RockSynthwave

    Attention. This switch is gonna change your body building blocks underneath the black (hole) sun opposite the enemy of Andre Agassi. Jk. Or not?

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  • Marthe - Further in Evil

    15 Nov 2023 - Thorsten
    Black MetalCrust Punk

    With this new record by Marthe it becomes clear again, why people burnt other people at the stake and why the term “witch” is nothing but a surrogate for “person not accepting the rules of a patriarchal society”. Let’s follow that thought a little onward and let’s also follow Marthe a b bit Further in Evil

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