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Bacchus – II

There’s a perversely defiant spirit that runs through it, saturating each riff that strives to reach both heaven and hell. In seeking to explore the profundity of intoxication, Bacchus seem to have become one of the few bands around to replicate the bravado and regret that comes from any good sesh.

20 Years of Debemur Morti Productions

To celebrate 20 years of existence, David Bowes spoke to Debemur Morti Productions founder Phil to discuss the label’s lasting legacy.

As Light Dies – The Laniakea Architecture Vol.II

There is no denying that As Light Dies are musical chameleons. They have demonstrated that throughout their career, and with The Laniakea Architecture they have pushed their ambition and skill to its very limit.

Aara – Triade III: Nyx

It’s a rich slice of gothic drama that just so happens to sound like a bloody great atmospheric black metal record.

Megalith Levitation – Obscure Fire

They have an ability to infuse their heaviest moments with a thick, lysergic groove that makes it seem to crawl and slither out of the speakers. They create miasmas that reek of sulphur and incense, filling all available space with eldritch otherness.

Rotten Sound – Apocalypse

There’s no elitism, just a desire to play fast and loud and to make their voices heard. If you’ve listened to Rotten Sound at all in the past 30 years, ‘Apocalypse’ will feel like an old comrade in arms dragging you back into the fray.

BIG|BRAVE – nature morte

With nature morte, the Montreal trio have expanded the breadth of their sound and message while sacrificing none of what came before.

NAUT – Hunt

There’s enough variation that each of these eight cuts is able to forge its own identity while retaining a ‘last dance before doomsday’ vibe that is as authentic as it is relatable.

Heilung, Eivør, Lili Refrain – Barrowland, Glasgow

Every so often, a line-up crops up that just feels right. One where everyone on the bill has some sense of commonality that goes beyond a similarity in sound and into the realms of the existential, where the same sense of purpose and soul can be felt in every performer. This is one of those nights.

Oak – Disintegrate

Disintegrate feels almost tailor-made for the doom crowd – the colossal scale, melancholy and misery are all hallmarks of the classics while the sense of timelessness that’s so deeply intertwined with its themes feels very much on-brand for a genre so primordial in nature.

Skáld – Huldufólk

Vocally and instrumentally, it’s a triumph of tradition and virtuosity.

GRAVA – Weight Of A God

Weight Of A God is an unpolished treasure, an absorbing and often harrowing work that wastes little time in burrowing under the skin.

Die Sünde – Strega

Strega is a work that is genuinely powerful, sometimes harrowing and at others chillingly elegant, and for anyone seeking the perfect marriage of concept, conviction and sheer sonic punishment, it’s an absolute treat.

Envy – Seimei

They have become so skilled at using every weapon in their arsenal to tug at the heartstrings and inflame the soul that they are simply playing to their strengths. The difference here is that their music can now drag the listener through the breadth of human experience in ten minutes rather than an hour.

Sigh – Shiki

Anthemic twin-guitar harmonies and virtuosic runs, lush goth symphonics, flashes of outrageous psychedelic weirdness and one of Mirai Kawashima’s most eclectic vocals performances to date combine forces to create an album that defies explanation but has to be heard at least once to be believed.

Touccan – Full Sentimental

Touccan are a promising band. Both are capable musicians with the chops to nail a wide cross-section of styles with minimal embellishment, and they are already showing that they can sound eclectic without sacrificing melody or momentum. More than that, they’re simply a fun band to listen to.

Epitaphe – II

II can be thought of as a musical triptych. Its three 19-minute-long pieces are each a distinct artistic work in their own right, filled with a degree of musical and tonal complexity that could easily be stretched out to fill an album, but when viewed together paint a larger picture, an epic journey through Elysian fields and Stygian underworlds.

MONO – My Story, The Buraku Story (An Original Soundtrack)

MONO have shown over the years that they can pull off surprising stylistic shifts and this is one of their most thought-provoking curveballs to date. It avoids the tropes of both post-rock and of cinematic scoring as a whole and instead delivers a quietly beautiful listening experience that hopefully paves the way for future endeavours.

Some Became Hollow Tubes – Unhealthy For Sensitive Groups

An incendiary and energetic work that captures both Quach’s exacting precision for creating unsettling but all-too-natural soundscapes and Girt’s turbulent energy but exists in its own pocket universe.

Sari – A U Se

She takes a largely minimalist approach to her infectiously out-there pop and there’s an inherent surprise with every moment of this record that it’s as expansive as it is.

Lustmord – The Others: [Lustmord Deconstructed]

These are less 16 remixes than they are 16 separate collaborations between like minds, and every one is magnificent in its own right.

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