For principal songwriter and frontman Neige, ALCEST has always been a gateway to the otherworldly, a means of exploring his spirituality. An elemental two-piece, completed by long-serving drummer and creative confidante Winterhalter, their forthcoming sixth album “Spiritual Instinct“ finds Neige at his most personal. “This time I had something urgent to put on the table,” he explains. “It is a very cathartic record - something needed to get out of me. It’s darker than usual, and heavier.” Written in bursts both during and after a prolonged period of touring in support of 2016’s hugely successful “Kodama“, the sense of urgency Neige speaks of manifests in a record full of spontaneity, of immediate impact – be that in the breath-taking pace of the tempo changes in 'Les Jardin De Minuit'’ or the sun-kissed harmonies over an impermeable back beat in 'Sapphire', one thing “Spiritual Instinct“ has is riffs, an acknowledgement and celebration of the black metal foundations that anchor their uplifting post-metal. “Some real metal riffs!” agrees Neige. “I come from the metal scene originally and it never really left me; I used black metal as a teen as a way to escape from reality and that’s what I love the most about it. It’s the best type of music to express overwhelmingly darker feelings. I usually don’t speak about my darkness in ALCEST’s music but this time it felt like something I had to do.”
The most notorious black metal band of all times is back! By the power of darkness and the might of black-hearted will no two Mayhem albums have been or will be the same. Thus, the newest offering Daemon is unto itself. Its not the next chapter but rather the next tome in Mayhems authoritative oeuvre. Composed and decomposed with the same lineupNecrobutcher (bass), Hellhammer (drums), Attila Csihar (vocals), Teloch (guitars), and Ghul (guitars)that handled Esoteric Warfare and performed De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas in its entirety over the last few years, Daemon also isnt a retrofit of classic songs like Freezing Moon, Pagan Fears, or Buried by Time and Dust. Thats what the live album, De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas Alive (2016), was for. Daemon is a chance for change, for new hells to be envisioned and offered.
There was a time in which genuine power was felt erupting from the sonic landscape that is now referred to as "old school" death metal. It's genesis was filled with a fresh and vibrant energy and it was the mighty Possessed who initially breathed life into this new and exciting genre. With writing that started in 1982, the first official death metal band created the now classic record "SEVEN CHURCHES" and established the face of the genre permanently. Sadly, like with many artistic pioneers, it was very early on in Possessed's existence that a grand tragedy struck which would put the band on hiatus for almost two decades. After many years of healing, education, renewal, and eventually new writing, there is now a resurgence of life, and the rebuilt, and polished Possessed are due to return with their long awaited album "REVELATIONS OF OBLIVION" this Spring, 2019.
Sweden’s Opeth are preparing to release their most important record to date with “In Cauda Venenum”. Certainly, fans and critics will have their opinion, but few records in the Swedes’ oeuvre are as engaging, delicate, panoramic, intense, and musical as Opeth’s lucky thirteenth. Sporting a clever Travis Smith cover—replete with inside jokes and a nod to King Diamond—a masterful Park Studios (The Hellacopters, Graveyard) production, Opeth’s usual five-star musicianship, and lyrics entirely in Swedish, “In Cauda Venenum” raises the bar markedly. While a record in Swedish is a first—there’s also an English version—for frontman and founding member Mikael Åkerfeldt, the 10 songs on offer feel and sound completely natural. As if years of listening to and being a fan of Swedish rock and hard rock has paid off. In a way, Opeth have come home. But the Swedish lyrics of the primary edition of “In Cauda Venenum” shouldn’t distract from the quality presented in Opeth’s new songs, the lot of which sneak up and take control after repeated listens. “In Cauda Venenum” is like that, tricky in its complicated simplicity, resourceful in its ability to charm with delightful if wistful melodies. Really, it’s just Opeth being Opeth.
FULL OF HELL make their Relapse debut with their most explosive album to date, Weeping Choir. Dynamic, pissed, and wholly urgent, the highly anticipated Weeping Choir is a definitive statement of intent by one of the underground’s most dynamic and virulent entities. FULL OF HELL have once again culled the extreme elements from hardcore, metal, and power electronics to redefine darkness and sheer brutality. Distorted guitars, and ominous, disparate electronics grind and gnash against rapid-fire drumming, as FULL OF HELL take themes of religion, loss, hatred, and set them ablaze. Recorded by the critically acclaimed Kurt Ballou at GodCity Studio, Weeping Choir sees FULL OF HELL fully unleashed. Abrasive, confrontational, none equal!