King Of Asgard – :taudr:

As ever, the component instrumentation of :taudr: is executed proficiently. Generally, there’s a good duality of sawing, tremolo-picked guitars to generate intensity and atmosphere with chunkier riffs for groove and melody. For example, the lead on the title track has a definite swing and the riff around 2:30 on “The Curse and the Wanderer” has…

Wolfheart – Tyhjyys

It is also a disc of transformation — one that sees Wolfheart traversing from one genre to another, finally giving into their gloomier leanings and going for the melodeath/doom hybrid that the region traffics in so well. And it does so organically across eight songs, starting out with music that feels like it is picking…

In Thousand Lakes – Age Of Decay

Indeed one of the keys to the older melodeath approach might just be that the band’s first album, Lifeless Waters…, was released almost 20 years ago – around the time when the melodeath scene was abuzz. After disbanding for some time, Age of Decay is the band’s first returning full-length, and it captures all the…

Ex Deo – The Immortal Wars

Right out of the gates, “The Rise of Hannibal” presents a mid-paced anthem that succeeds in setting young Hannibal’s account in motion. After a brief and menacing intro incorporating a middle-eastern intonation, the instrumentation escalates with a bombasity that’s not dissimilar to Septicflesh and Kataklysm, while incorporating melodic death melodies comparable to those of Omnium…

Damnation Plan – Reality Illusion

After a brief introduction, settling the listener into the album’s atmosphere, “Beyond These Walls” bursts from the speakers with a riff straight out of Gothenburg. Combined with the by-the-books growls of co-vocalist Tommy Tuovinen, this makes for a perfect headbang-worthy opening. Despite the ferociousness of some of the riffs, this record knows when to reign…

Atlas Pain – What the Oak Left

Folk metal is broad descriptor so I’ll first attempt to capture the essence of these fervent Italians. The best starting point is the compositions and density of Wintersun but with less black metal, more power metal and an ear for cheeriness above grandiosity. What the Oak Left is buoyant and nimble but thankfully avoids the…

Mors Principium Est – Embers Of A Dying World

Where Mors Principium Est‘s fourth and fifth albums sounded more like Part 1 and Part 2 of one another, Embers of a Dying World does a damn good job of simply allowing itself to be its own album. First and foremost: by amping up the orchestral elements…so much so, that Andy Gillion himself jokingly refers…