Exitmusic – Passage (2012)

Passage

Tracklist:
1. Passage
2. The Night
3. The City
4. White Noise
5. Storms
6. The Wanting
7. Stars
8. The Modern Age
9. The Cold
10. Sparks of Light

Thanks to glorious Spotify I’m discovering a whole bunch of fantastic music recently. Especially in combination with the Last.fm-App and its recommendations I’m listening to a shitload of new stuff. Exitmusic was one of the discoveries I made through using Spotify. And damn, what an immense discovery that is. Aleksa tends to have the most emotional voice I have ever heard in that style of music. This is pure bliss. Words cannot describe how much her vocals touch my innermost feelings. I just love it. The mood on Exitmusic’s debut reaches from melancholic eeriness to some parts, where the light seems to break through an almost irrevocably overcast sky. Meh, I’m degressing here. ‘Passage’, ‘The Night’, ‘White Noise’ and ‘The Modern Age’ are my favorite songs on this almost perfect release. The only criticism I can offer is that the other tracks aren’t as catchy and lack the vibe of the aforementioned.

USA, 2012
Dreampop, Shoegaze
Website || Listen

4.5/5.0

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Forest of Shadows – Six Waves of Woe (2008)

Forest Of Shadows 2008 Six Waves Of Woe

Tracklist:
1. Submission
2. Selfdestructive
3. Detached
4. Moments in Solitude
5. Pernicious
6. Deprived

I had known Forest of Shadows for a long time but it’s only until now that I’ve discovered their brilliance in creating utterly emotional music. It’s been quite a few months, almost years, that I haven’t listened to the entire genre of Doom/Death Metal but somehow I stumbled upon Forest of Shadows whilst skimming my music library. And boy, am I glad that happened. They are able to create such an intense atmosphere of despair and longing without sounding pathetic at all. Especially the clean vocals do the trick for me. At some points they heavily remind me of Katatonia which is no bad thing at all. I can’t really distinguish a particular track as being the best of the whole album because it’s an incredible piece of music altogether. So make sure to check this one out – plus their EP ‘Where Dreams Turn to Dust’.

Sweden, 2008
Atmospheric Doom/Death Metal
Website || Listen

4.5/5.0

Barn Owl – Lost in the Glare (2011)

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Tracklist:
1. Pale Star
2. Turiya
3. Devotion I
4. The Darkest Night Since 1683
5. Temple of the Winds
6. Midnight Tide
7. Light Echoes
8. Devotion II

I must admit that I’ve actually never heard of Barn Owl until a good friend of mine (Drakemirow) pointed out that they have released a new album. You must know that the whole genre of drone is a rather difficult one for me because there are many, many bands that I virtually don’t like but at the same time I came across the most breathtaking and tripping music I’ve ever listened to. Barn Owl is one of these artists that literally take me to other places when I’m losing myself in their sounds. I can’t figure out what exactly arouses these feelings. It has to be the sheer otherworldly composition and the almost perfect dynamics of dreamy interludes with folkish influences. Well, if there is anything left to say… this album is a masterpiece.

USA, 2011
Drone, Ambient, Psychedelic
Website/Listen

4.75/5.0

Burzum – From the Depths of Darkness (2011)

2011_from_the_depths_of_darkness

Tracklist:
1. The Coming (Introduction)
2. Feeble Screams From Forests Unknown
3. Sassu Wunnu (Introduction)
4. Ea, Lord of the Depths
5. Spell of Destruction
6. A Lost Forgotten Sad Spirit
7. My Journey to the Stars
8. Call of the Siren (Introduction)
9. Key to the Gate
10. Turn the Sign of the Microcosm (Snu Mikrokosmos’ Tegn)
11. Channeling the Power of Minds into a new God

No need to introduce Burzum, so let’s get straight to my thoughts about ‘From the Depths of Darkness’, a compilation of re-recordings of some older stuff from ‘Burzum’ and ‘Det Som Engang Var’. This release had quite an impact on me because I hadn’t cherished Varg’s solo outputs that much as yet (apart from ‘Hvis Lyset Tvar Oss’). However, after listening to his newest effort it kinda struck me that this man has some huge talent as a musician. I didn’t remember that his older releases were that entertaining and atmospheric at the same time. Comparing the re-recordings to the original tracks it’s rather easy to say that the rawness (especially of the vocals) of the original versions makes them a lot better than the new ones with their more clean, at some parts even ridiculously happy (‘My Journey to the Stars’) sound. But ‘From the Depths of Darkness’ is no bad release at all. I admit, for ingrained Burzum fans it could be a (huge?) disappointment. On the contrary, ‘I-don’t-really-have-a-clue-about-Burzum-but-I’m-talking-about-it-nonetheless’-people as me gain the oppurtunity to fully discover Varg’s musical potential.

Norway, 2011
Black Metal
Website

3.0/5.0

Tenhi – Saivo (2011)

tenhi-saivo2

Tracklist:
1. Saivon Kimallus
2. Pojan Kiiski
3. Uloin
4. Pienet Purot
5. Sateen Soutu
6. Haaksi
7. Surunuotta
8. Savoie
9. Vuoksi
10. Paluu Joelle
11. Sees
12. Siniset Runot

Being part of my life since the release of ‘MaaƤet’ in 2006, Tenhi could always impress with marvelous, melancholic and atmospheric folk rock. Thus I was really eager about the new album ‘Saivo’ – and wasn’t disappointed. Tenhi surely didn’t reinvent themselves with their new release but they are able to consequently enrich the tried and trusted with varying accents without losing the typical Tenhi sound. ‘Saivo’ is a perfect album for quiet winter nights in order to escape everyday life. And surely one of this year’s highlights.

Behold the vast finnish tundra.

Finland, 2011
Folk-Rock, Melancholic, Dark Ambient
Website || Video to ‘Siniset Runot’

4.5/5.0

The Good Natured – Skeleton (2011)

975461-the-good-natured

Tracklist:
1. Skeleton
2. Wolves

I discovered ‘The Good Natured’ through my girlfriend a few months ago. She dug up the song ‘Your Body Is A Machine’ and showed it to me. I kinda liked it and listened to it quite a few times. Last week I discovered that a new EP called ‘Skeleton’ was released. Incredibly catchy electronic pop (thanks to the singer’s british accent). There are only two new songs but both of them are astonishingly performed and are quite the earworms. I don’t quite know which one’s the best but I catch myself humming ‘Wolves’ more often. It certainly has the vibe:

United Kingdom, 2011
Electropop, Female Vocalists
Website

4.25/5.0

Cara Neir – Stagnant Perceptions (2011)

1321026431_cara-neir-2011-stagnant-perceptions-kopiya

Tracklist:
1. Imperialist Design
2. Return to Torquemada
3. Two-Faced and Tight-Lipped
4. Dethroned and Leprous
5. The Bridge of Despise
6. Amaranthine Figures
7. Temporal Realm
8. The Apothecary
9. Limitless Drift
10. My Apology
11. Not Enough

I stumbled upon ‘Cara Neir’ rather by accident than on purpose through another blog (Unfortunately, I can’t remember its name). The short review appealed to me and because the album can be downloaded for free(!!) I just couldn’t say no. You can expect a 40-minute rollercoaster ride between black metal, crust and sludge without a grain of boredom. ‘Stagnant Perception’ is a supremely entertaining album that reveals further details after each listen. And as I already mentioned: for free!

USA, 2011
Black Metal, Crust, Sludge
Website || Download

4.5/5.0