Soen – Lotus

Featuring, at various times past and present, former members of Opeth, Testament, Death, Willowtree, and Sadus, Swedish Progressive Metallers Soen are one of that rare breed of ‘supergroup’ that actually makes good music and isn’t just a disappointing ego trip. Soen have spent their career balancing Tool atmospherics and Opeth’s staccato shredding and clean moments to create a style all of their own that is full of light and shade and a back catalogue filled with quality. With their fourth album, Lotus (Silver Lining) the band have crafted their most enjoyable record yet. Continue reading

Death Will Tremble – Departures EP

For those still battling the Doom Metal withdrawal bouts, Death Will Tremble has heard your cries and have gifted you the self-released Departures EP. If 2016’s Mona left you with an itch you can’t seem to scratch, Departures is the remedy you seek. However, that payoff comes with a price: it’s just one new song. Sure, it’s a 14-minute song so I guess you’re getting the most bang for your buck, but boy did I want more. Continue reading

VLMV – Stranded, Not Lost

Pete Lambrou, VLMV’s songwriter, has previously described the outfit as “the background music to an ambient explosion in space”, and for the most part that is apt, but there’s also something incredibly human and relatable to all the space of Stranded, Not Lost (Fierce Panda). Together with fellow Codes In The Clouds member, Ciaran Morahan, Lambrou has managed to create a continuous flow of music that is both slow-building and soaring at the same time. Continue reading

Bell Witch – Mirror Reaper

One track spanning a massive 83 minutes is going to be an intimidating listen no matter which artist spawned it, but when that track is as grief-stricken, slow-building, and earth-shatteringly heavy as Bell Witch’s Mirror Reaper (Profound Lore), it’s going to take more time and patience than some people can muster. Given the deserved attention, however, Mirror Reaper is easily one of the most breath-taking releases of the year. This is a tribute to a departed friend, burdened by bereavement but tragically beautiful, and is not for the faint of heart. Continue reading