Every album that Moonspell releases explores a different facet of their Gothic Metal style, sometimes responding to the one before it in a constant tug-o-war between darkness and light. Their thirteenth album, Hermitage (Napalm Records), is no exception. In contrast to the grandiose symphonics of 2018’s 1755, the band opts for a scaled-back, atmospheric approach with more Prog influence thrown in than usual. It seems to invoke the band’s early vibe without going full throwback and also reminds me of Tiamat or Opeth in spots.
Returning with their tenth full-length album, Norwegian symphonic Gothic act Sirenia continues both the good work and the alliteration of their last couple of studio outings with their latest release Riddles, Ruins & Revelations (Napalm Records). Operatic vocals, a robust rhythm section, pounding riffs and flighty keyboards dominate proceedings, punctuated by some expert lead guitar work and differing vocal styles. Adorned with thunderous breakdowns or quieter, slower sections each cut remains interesting rather than outstaying its welcome.
Bloody Hammers are the Hard Rock husband and wife duo Anders Manga (Vocals, Guitar, Bass) and Devallia (Keyboards/Organ). Hailing from Transylvania County, NC, the Gothic-Metal rockers released Songs of Unspeakable Terror (Napalm Records). Of the Horror-Punk record, Manga says, “When the pandemic hit and I realized I’d be stuck at home for a while, I started thinking I needed to dig into a music project. I was oddly inspired by the unknown, and fear that this plague was gonna wipe us all out. I needed a creative escape.”
Oceans Of Slumber is still exercising their now-signature Progressive/Gothic Metal style but their fourth album comes with a noticeably different attitude. The music is still eclectic and dynamic though the structural shifts aren’t as abrupt as before. The themes and delivery are still driven by heavy emotions but feel more grounded than the overbearing urgency that came with 2018’s The Banished Heart. This is a decidedly more mature execution, which goes along well with the decision to release this album as a self-titled affair.Continue reading
While Nevermore never quite broke into the mainstream, they always seemed to be just under the radar ready to make an impression. The band’s signature combination of proggy rhythms, gothic vocals, groovy chugs, extreme drums, and shredding solos seemed to have something for everyone in the Metal sphere, but their eccentric execution also meant they never found belonging in any single demographic. That all seemed like it was poised to change with their sixth album, 2005’s This Godless Endeavor (Century Media Records), which saw them gain greater exposure compared to their earlier efforts and more unanimous acclaim.
Many consider the British band, Paradise Lost to be the fathers of the Gothic Metal genre. Formed in 1988, four out of the five members have been there since the beginning. This tight-knit group of guys is a prime example of a hard-working band who knows how to stay creative and original. The exploration and determination of this act has led them down some unique roads over the years. After experimenting on albums like One Second (Music for Nations) and Believe In Nothing (EMI), Paradise Lost got back to their roots in 2015. They embraced their Death Metal background with the release of The Plague Within (Century Media Records) and 2017’s Medusa (Nuclear Blast). Now with the release of their sixteenth record, Obsidian (Nuclear Blast), their heaviness is being fleshed out with even more distinct devastation. Continue reading
The ingenuity, inventiveness, and inclination of Finnish artist Tuomas Saukkonen appears to have no limits. He is a composer, multi-instrumentalist, and producer who has been making music magic for a considerable amount of years. One of his many successful ventures is a solo project called Dawn of Solace. Tuomas released his first record, Darkness (Dead Air Records) in 2006 and the betwiching gloom he captured on that release was different from all his other works. Now it’s time to get another taste of this project’s gothic goodness on the new album, Waves (Noble Demon). Continue reading
Twenty-one years ago, way back in 1998 when their star was on the ascendancy and the average metal fan was wondering whether they were Black Metal, Gothic Metal or That’s Not Metal, five years after the infamous ‘Jesus is a Cunt’ T-shirt made them a household name for a variety of reasons, Cradle of Filth release their third album Cruelty and the Beast on Music for Nations. A much-acclaimed tribute to non-vegan Ribena fanatic Elizabeth Bathory. It was a milestone in their developing sound and at the time, I absolutely loved it. Continue reading
When asked about which countries have the greatest Metal bands, Greece certainly has a few that really stand out, with Rotting Christ maintaining their position as the ultimate standard bearers, particularly after the phenomenal success of their previous release, Rituals. All of which piles extra attention and pressure onto their latest album, The Heretics (Season Of Mist), proving their thirteenth album has a tough act to follow.Continue reading
2019 may only be two weeks old, but as shown by our Underground Albums Roundup, the great and the not-so-good of our world are determined to start the year with a bang. Or at the very least, to bury us in a deluge of albums. Seeing as the mean and the nasty had been given a platform, we thought it only fair to shine the light on some of January’s releases beholden of a more melodic or traditional Metal bent to their finery…