"6 Bands You May Not Know, But Should" - January 26th, 2020 Edition

1. Black Despair (Kyoto, Japan, ASIA)

Album: Death of the Sun (Cosmic Frequency Records)

Release Date: January 5th, 2020

Genre: Melodic/Progressive Death

Contemporaries: At the Gates, Be’lakor, Wolfheart, Abeyance

Digitally released in late 2019, and with physical copies officially distributed on January 5th of 2020, Death of the Sun from Kyoto, Japan’s Black Despair is seventy-four-minutes’ worth of exuberant, melodic death metal. Containing fourteen tracks, many of which that clock in at well over five minutes each, Black Despair’s Death of the Sun is a surfeit of riffs, high-reaching solos, dynamics, and musical exploration. Often progressive and always cumbrous, Death of the Sun is a satisfying listen overall, if not a tad exhaustive (seventy-four minutes is a LONG listen). Highlights include “Dead Star”, “One Word, One Miracle”, “Cage”, and “The Sheltering Sky – Axeman 2”. Rating: 8.5 / 10

2. Horned Almighty (Aarhus, Denmark, EUR)

Album: To Fathom the Master’s Grand Design (Scarlet Records)

Release Date: January 17th, 2020

Genre: Modern Black

Contemporaries: Carpathian Forest, 1349, Dark Funeral, Gorgoroth

Not at all inexperienced, but still somewhat obscure, Denmark’s Horned Almighty have been chanting Satan’s praises since the early 2000’s, and have returned with their sixth full-length effort, To Fathom the Master’s Grand Design. Sweeping, sinister, and utterly merciless, To Fathom the Master’s Grand Design is eight crushing black metal anthems aiming to tear at the very fabric of space and time. Exceptionally produced and adroitly executed, Horned Almighty’s To Fathom the Master’s Grand Design may have just ushered forth a new era in the band’s own history via this impressive release. Don’t skip “Apocalyptic Wrath”, “Antagonism Eternal”, or “The Great Death”. Rating: 9 / 10

3. Aethyrick (Finland, EUR)

Album: Gnosis (The Sinister Flame)

Release Date: January 24th, 2020

Genre: Atmospheric Black

Contemporaries: Summoning, Obsequiae, Drudkh, Macabre Omen

Finland’s Aethyrick burst onto the international landscape with their 2018 debut full-length, Praxis, and although they’ve continued to shun the social media platforms of the world, their fanbase has continued to grow ever since. Returning in early 2020 with their sophomore album, Gnosis, Aethyrick continue to prove why they are one of today’s driving forces of atmospheric black metal. Ethereal and supernal, bitter and bleak, Aethyrick’s Gnosis is seven tracks worth of epic, soaring black metal in all its dark splendor and abstruseness. Some of the finest cuts include “Will Embodied”, “Oneiric Portals”, “Your Mysteries”, and “Golden Suffering”. If you’ve yet to hear Aethyrick, don’t sit on your ass, press that play button NOW! Rating: 9.5 / 10

4. Doomraiser (Rome, Italy, EUR)

Album: The Dark Side of Old Europa (Time to Kill Records)

Release Date: January 24th, 2020

Genre: Melodic Doom

Contemporaries: Candlemass, Hex A.D., Orodruin, Grand Magus

Rome’s Doomraiser have been chug-chug-chugging along since 2003, slowly and appropriately building their fanbase like their sludgy, fuzzy riffs and rhythms seem to call for. Adopting the self-proclaimed mantra of “Slower, Harder, Drunker”, Doomraiser return to bring the dream-like doom on The Dark Side of Old Europa, their first full-length to drop in five years. Hypnotically entrancing, The Dark Side of Old Europa presents eight original compositions that will put your head in the clouds and your neck on a swivel. Crammed with riffs and great vocals, Doomraiser’s The Dark Side of Old Europa is a keen album, if not a little drudging by the finish. Don’t miss the tracks “Chimera”, “The Dark Side of Old Europa”, or “Häxan”. Rating: 8.25 / 10

5. Sometimes We Make Music (Stavanger, Norway, EUR)

Album: Trail of the Fallen (Independent)

Release Date: January 22nd, 2020

Genre: Symphonic Folk

Contemporaries: Ensiferum, Suidakra, Equilibrium, Moonsorrow

Sometimes We Make Music, or SWMM for short, began their quest to make symphonically charged folk metal in 2013, but after putting out their first EP in the same year, they seemed to go into hibernation for some years. But here in 2020, they have reemerged with their independently released debut full-length effort, Trail of the Fallen. Norway’s tenderfoots SWMM have put out an album that certainly will turn some new fans’ heads their way, for Trail of the Fallen is some remarkably addictive material from beginning to end. Sporting clear production and a clear vision of their own sound, SWMM’s Trail of the Fallen is a stunning debut. Be sure to check out “By the Might of the Crow”, “Famine”, “Hymn of the Lost Lord”, and “The Return”. Rating: 9 / 10

6. Coffin Curse (Santiago, Chile, SA)

Album: Ceased to Be (Memento Mori)

Release Date: January 27th, 2020

Genre: Traditional Death

Contemporaries: Entombed A.D., Cannibal Corpse, Gatecreeper, Tomb Mold

Formed in 2012, Santiago, Chile’s Coffin Curse have spent the past seven plus years honing and sharpening their sound, releasing a spate of demos, EP’s, comps and splits to keep their name out there, and building up enough material to release their debut full-length, Ceased to Be. Officially out on January 27th, 2020, Ceased to Be contains eight tracks of putrefied death metal that exude the stench of a thousand disinterred graves. Raw, punishing, and rancorous, Coffin Curse’s Ceased to Be is a staunchly solid debut from this South American duo. Highlights include “Where Sickness Thrives”, “Chopped Clean Off”, and “Feeding on Perpetual Disgrace”. Rating: 8.5 / 10

That's it for this edition of "6 Bands"! Hope you have enjoyed the artists, and if so, please make sure to visit them through the provided links and drop them some much-needed love! Stay metal always, Nunc Dimmitis. \m/


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