De Arma’s new three-track EP Nightcall marks something of a turning point for the Swedish gothic rock band. Following their 2021 album Strayed in Shadows, the band have now signed a multi-album deal with Silent Future Recordings, for whom Nightcall is the first offering.
When it comes to acrimonious splits within bands, some music fans have long memories. Tending to side with one party over the other, many loyal devotees can either be unwilling or simply unable to let go of the past no matter how much water has passed under the bridge in the meantime. The faint hope of some future reconciliation usually remains among the embittered faithful but when death becomes part of the story a grudge often turns into something unforgivable and can last a lifetime.
Detroit’s Midtown is buzzing with culture and is home to some of the best music venues in the city. At the heart of this exciting district rests the prestigious Majestic Theatre. The building is over one hundred years old and carries a lot of music history in its walls. Last Thursday the venue’s marquee lit up with the name Apocalyptica. The Finnish act brought their Cell-0 Tour to Motor City, and they picked the perfect place to promote their latest record. Along with Italy’s Lacuna Coil, the night was set up for an enchanting experience filled with glamor, energy, and theatrics. The brisk April night started off with a queue of symphonic metal enthusiasts lining up around the building. Soon the large and ornate theatre room was filled with eager devotees ready for the music to begin.
Black Metal and groove seem to be fonder of each other as the genre diversifies and the landscape shifts evermore, progressing from the cavernous affair that was early Black Metal. The way in which Agathodaimon takes this trope to task results in an elegantly haunting experience, encapsulated in 10 tracks collectively titled, The Seven (Napalm Records).
Considering that music, and life in general, has become increasingly less local and much more globally accessible and transferable, it is powerful and interesting that there is something intrinsically locked to a place about certain bands and musical styles. And, accepting their protagonists were forging recorded Metal identities since 2000 when there was more of some semblance of “local” and “scene”, it is fair to say that Kuolemanlaakso are undeniably and gloriously Finnish, with national metal musical traits from the land of the thousand lakes littered in abundance throughout their third album, Kuusumu (Svart Records).
It was a cold, rainy evening last Sunday in Motor City, but that didn’t damper the spirits of those attending the metal show happening at The Sanctuary. Residing in the humble hamlet of Hamtramck, next to Detroit, this music venue is the pulse of the heavy scene for the whole city. Many gathered in the quaint sized concert hall because the Doom Metal masters, Swallow the Sun were in town. This legendary act of doom ‘n gloom is on the road promoting their new album Moonflowers (Century Media Records). Plus, they brought along Abigail Williams and Wilderun as their supporting acts, making it a night filled with decadent heaviness.
Swallow the Sun is one of those bands that has created a notable amount of music over the years while remaining true to their own unique sound. They have managed to consistently innovate their thoughtful voice while maintaining their originality. For over twenty years, this Finnish act has been a wheel and stern to the Doom Metal genre. They have steered their ship into the darker depths of this vast category and beyond. It has only been two years since we were given their last album, When a Shadow is Forced into the Light (Century Media Records), yet the founder and writer for the band, Juha Raivio still has a lot to say. The group’s eighth full-length record, Moonflowers (Century Media Records) is coming out to expose their deeper levels of heartache and affliction.Continue reading →
The world is in disarray. Leaders are untrustworthy, people are divided over almost every issue and every day brings new adversity and disappointment. At a time when distrust outweighs optimism there is surely no better opportunity for music to provide a much-needed escape from all the despondency and pessimism. So what do you do if you happen to be UK symphonic Goth metal act Cradle of Filth? That’s right. You release an album called Existence is Futile(Nuclear Blast Records). That’ll cheer everyone right up.
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.