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melodic black metal

CD review DIMMU BORGIR "Eonian"

Veröffentlicht am 3. Mai 2018 von Markus W. in Dimmu Borgir, Eonian, Black Metal, Melodic Black Metal, News, Nuclear Blast, CD Review, Bombastic Black Metal

CD review DIMMU BORGIR "Eonian"

(6/10) In a time when first Dutch tulips start to spread their joyful colors all over Holland, it's the darkness from the North that enters Europe via the backdoor. Norwegian black metal pioneers Dimmu Borgir started a new  mission to shade the brightness of spring with a new album the trio has in the pipline.

"Eonian" is the title of Dimmu Borgir's 10th longplayer, an album that features ten new songs. Considering the fact that "Abrahadabra", the predecessor, was published seven years ago gives the idea of a lot of time for working on new inspiring material.

Unfortunately I have to conclude that "Eonian" isn't the powerful album I expected. I was spinning the album several times, always hoping that it unveils a dark beauty I haven't discovered the previous round. Allow me a metaphor from baseball - bats stay cold when it comes to the new Dimmu Borgir record. The album might include some base hits, but definitely no homerun.

"Eonian" is like the endless flow of water, forced to stay in the riverbed. There isn't any wildness and what you get is the same thing only different. There is a lot of orchestrated bombast added to the album which camouflages a certain lack of inspiration. "Eonian" spreads a feeling of monotony. I haven't expected this at all, which made the disappointment even bigger. To be clear, I really like the earlier releases and I think that records like "Death Cult Armageddon" belong to the milestones of bombastic black metal. The new album though can't live up to these highlight from the North. Black metal is more than some uptempo parts and hoarse vocals by Shagrath. The longplayer misses the energy and enthusiasm of earlier albums. It feels like "Eonian" isn't a matter of heart. It sounds more like a 'must' to fulfill and also the well-done sound, with Jens Bogren at the helm, doesn't make any difference. 

"Eonian" is the first real disappointment in 2018 and even if you're Dimmu Borgir fan I recommend to check out the album first. 

 

(6/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. The Unveiling

  2. Interdimensional Summit

  3. ÆTheric

  4. Council of Wolves and Snakes

  5. The Empyrean Phoenix

  6. Lightbringer

  7. I Am Soveriegn

  8. Archaic Correspondence

  9. Alpha Aeon Omega

  10. Rite of Passage

 

Label: Nuclear Blast

Genre: Black Metal

Release Date EU: May 4th, 2018

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CD review CRADLE OF FILTH “Cryptoriana – The Seductiveness of Decay”

Veröffentlicht am 21. September 2017 von Markus W. in Cradle Of Filth, News, CD Review, Black Metal, Melodic Black Metal, Nuclear Blast, Extreme Metal

CD review CRADLE OF FILTH “Cryptoriana – The Seductiveness of Decay”

(9/10) I can’t even explain ‘why’, but Cradle Of Filth never really went right to the top of my personal playlists. I had them on my metal radar and I liked to listen to them once in a while, but the pure excitement never hit me. Therefor I was curious when I heard about their newest output and I was blown away after having listened to it a few times.

Cradle Of Filth is mainly Dani Filth, being the only remaining founding member that's still active. The band basically became his band over time and it looks like him reaching less stormy water with Cradle Of Filth after some years of line-up changes and more average longplayers.

A turning point was the 2015 album “Hammer of the Witches” that was done again in a renewed line-up. It looks like chemistry within the band is right since then and there's all of a sudden a certain consistence when it comes to involved musicians which had a positive impact of what we get served on “Cryptoriana – The Seductiveness of Decay”. With this longplayer, the band continues a winning streak that began in 2015. Eight new songs bring excellent metal to light (or should I better say to darkness?) Anyhow, this record is a remarkable one that reminds of the earlier times, days when classics like “Cruelty and the Beast” excited metal fans all over the planet.

The first thing that stands out is the powerful and dense sound of the album. Cradle Of Filth creates a rock solid black metal wall that’s bombastic. The beauty though is the fact that the bombast never takes over too much. Guitars and a menacing rhythm section do the best to get into the forefront, adding a harsh touch to each of the songs. Cradle Of Filth makes use of all the elements and ingredients melodic Black Metal has to offer. Listen to the awesome “Wester Vespertine”, a song that gives a good idea of the band’s sound in the here and now. You find back the galloping guitars, a Dani Filth shrieking at his best, cinematic soundscapes embedded in the frames of black metal and female vocals that act as a perfect final touch to this great tune.

In general, Cradle Of Filth put pretty long tunes on the album, with some exceptions. The opener “Exquisite Torments Await” is two minutes spot-on track, before the melodic and racing fast “Heartbreak and Séance” starts an exciting journey told in seven steps of 6-8 minutes of length each. Another benefit that comes with this album is variation in pace and tempo. “Vengeful Spirit”, as one example, starts acoustic and calm before it turns into a raging black metal anthem. But instead of walking on this road for seven minutes, Cradle Of Filth adds twists and breaks which help to keep the listener excited and curious.

I can definitely “Cryptoriana – The Seductiveness of Decay” since it’s heavy, dark, melodic, harsh, bombastic, simple and many-faceted, all in one.

 

(9/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Exquisite Torments Await
  2. Heartbreak and Séance
  3. Achingly Beautiful
  4. Wester Vespertine
  5. The Seductiveness of Decay
  6. Vengeful Spirit
  7. You Will Know the Lion by His Claw
  8. Death and the Maiden

 

Label: Nuclear Blast

Genre: Melodic Black Metal

Release Date EU: September 22nd, 2017

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CD review WINTERSUN "The Forest Seasons"

Veröffentlicht am 29. Juli 2017 von Markus W. in Wintersun, Black Metal, Pagan Metal, Heavy Metal, Melodic Black Metal, CD Review, News, Nuclear Blast

CD review WINTERSUN "The Forest Seasons"

(9/10) What looks on first sight as an EP is, even though containing not more than four songs, a full-length longplayer by Finnish epic metal unit Wintersun.

The ones of you that had a chance to visit Finland have an idea where the inspiration for this longplayer comes from. The Scandinavian country is not only famous for sauna and vodka. It’s also the beautiful landscape and nature that characterizes the Northern region, a view that changes with each of the four seasons.

 

Wintersun took these endless forests as an inspiration for inviting fans to an acoustic journey though nature and myth. Each of the epically long songs stands for one of the seasons, starting with “Awaken From the Dark Slumber (Spring)”. The tune is built on the typical Wintersun trademarks with a focus on melody and harmonies. The opener is, like spring, a light-hearted song by still being still reflecting Wintersun with a 100%.

 

“The Forest That Weeps (Summer)” is next. The composition starts with an acoustic intro that leads to heavy riffs. The song has a majestic approach and is full of small little twists and details which helps to keep the excitement throughout the twelve minutes. Heavy guitars interact with folk-based calmer section, culminating in an impressive choir at the end of ‘summer’.

 

Leafs are getting yellow and orange. “Eternal Darkness (Autumn)” picks up this darker vibe with some animal sounds in the beginning. Nature goes to sleep and so does everything that’s connected to it. Not a surprise that the song expresses this mood with heavy guitars and blastbeats. The song is brutal, especially compared to the first two tracks, and comes with a lot of melancholy that covers they heart of the listener with a grey shade.

 

Tristesse takes over in the final chapter. “Loneliness (Winter)” expresses the feeling of a long winter night in a perfect fashion. The slow beat brings the icy frost right into your living room and you can feel the coldness slowly creepy into everything that didn’t find a shelter. Wintersun captures this feeling in a perfect way.

 

Jari Mäenpää and companions created an album that is impressive. If music is a carrier for emotions and feel, this album succeeded from beginning till end. The cyclus of seasons is done in an excellent way and you can’t let loose. This album needs full attention and a soon as you listened to the first notes you must continue till the end. Wintersun shows that a forest has far more to offer than just a bunch of trees. Great work.

 

 

(9/10)

 

 

Tracklist:

  1. Awaken From The Dark Slumber (Spring)
  2. The Forest That Weeps (Summer)
  3. Eternal Darkness (Autumn)
  4. Loneliness (Winter)

 

 

Label: Nuclear Blast

 

Genre: Melodic Death Metal

Release Date EU: July 21st, 2017

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