Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Lonely Star - "Ashen" [2016]

Artist: Lonely Star
Title: Ashen
Genre: Post-Rock, Post-Black Metal
Country: USA
Release date: 2016

Track List:
  1. Ashen
  2. Black River
  3. Fade
  4. Lonely Star
  5. Embrace Of The Universe
  6. Sparks
Another one-woman post-rock/metal project, of which not much is known about: "Just some girl making weird music", and not much else. Anyway, Lonely Star is Alicia M. from Watertown, New York, and she describes her debut album "Ashen" as follows:

"This album includes songs from the split we did with Beautiful Nature and a couple of new ones. I decided to make it darker and added kinda 'metal' vocals. It feels good to put out negative emotions once in a while! But I will be back with more positive music, I promise. :)"

Honestly it's fairly good as it is, no need to make such music more "positive" (which it isn't supposed to be anyway). It's certainly more "metal" than Sylvaine, but the overall aesthetics come from the post-rock scene, and generally remind me of Violet Cold (especially the later releases, such as "Magic Night" and "Anomie"). If you like this sort of romantic, emotional "dreamy" post-rock/metal, then chances are that you'll like this album as well.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Sylvaine - "Wistful" [2016]

Artist: Sylvaine
Title: Wistful
Genre: Post-Rock, Post-Black Metal
Country: Norway
Release date: 2016

Track List:
  1. Delusions
  2. Earthbound
  3. A Ghost Trapped in Limbo
  4. Saudade
  5. In the Wake of Moments Passed By
  6. Like a Moth To A Flame
  7. Wistful
This Norwegian multi-instrumentalist has visited Moscow, SPb and Kiev just a few days ago with a live tour. Of course she didn't visit my village of 1.2 million inhabitants, which is sad but unsurprising. If her music was something close to "Amesoeurs 2.0", I'd seriously consider going to Moscow to see her, but alas - both of her albums sound much more like Alcest than Amesoeurs. For the most part, it's depressive post-rock/shoegaze with some black metal elements, but calling it "metal" would be a big stretch. After all, Myrkur has received quite a lot of death threats for performing a quite similar kind of music and calling it "black metal". Well, I can say that Myrkur's 2014 LP is indeed quite boring (but not as bad as some people made it out to be), and Sylvaine's "Wistful" isn't a masterpiece but still a pleasant listen if you like dreamy post-rock/metal with beautiful female vocals. Hopefully she will release something comparable to the Amesoeurs' s/t LP sometime in the future...

Crown of Asteria - "Karhun Vakat" [2016]

Artist: Crown of Asteria
Title: Karhun Vakat
Genre: Atmospheric Black Metal
Country: USA
Release date: 2016

Track List:
  1. Tietäjä
  2. The Golden Light of Birchwood Temples
  3. Hongotar
  4. Sky-Nail
  5. Black Antlers Above the Lodge
  6. Väki
  7. Kallohonka (live)
Described as a "one-woman atmospheric black metal band from Michigan formed by Meghan Wood", Crown of Asteria can boast 5 full-length albums and numerous EPs released during last 4 years. Most of CoA's music is inspired by the nature of the North, and this particular LP - by Finno-Ugric folklore as well. A pretty interesting subject choice which alone made me want to check this album out :)

According to Meghan Wood's biography at The Horror Zine, she's a graphic designer from Bancroft, Michigan, and she has been a horror fan from a very young age. She has published several poems of her own, and her photography deserves to be checked out as well.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Nuclear Death - "Harmony Drinks Of Me" [2000]

Artist: Nuclear Death
Title: Harmony Drinks Of Me
Genre: Experimental, Progressive Rock
Country: USA
Release date: 2000

Track List:
  1. Electric Spaceboy
  2. Eyes Closed (The Sin)
  3. Sunless
  4. The Baths
  5. Strident
  6. Shoot
  7. Haunted Man-Nimbus
Formed in 1986 by Phil Hampton, Lori Bravo and Joel Whitfield, Nuclear Death were one of the first deathgrind bands in history, and certainly the very first widely known one with a female vocalist. However, that wasn't what really set them apart from many other early death metal bands. They were famous because of their lyrics - which, just as expected from a death/grind band, described very disgusting things, but in a surrealistic horror manner not parallelled by any other band. Phil Hampton definitely has some literary talent, even if his lyrics surely are going to put off quite a lot of people...

This album, however, has nothing to do with ND's early works in terms of both sound and lyrical content, even if it's quite unusual as well. It was recorded by Lori Bravo alone during 1996-97 and released on her own label Cats Meow in 2000, after which Nuclear Death was declared officially split up. It was described as a sort of goth/industrial rock, but I think labels like "progressive" or "psychedelic" would fit it better. Either way, it isn't a metal album in the slightest.

It took me literally ages to find this album online, as it's turned out to be a really rare one - even in the age when nearly anything can be found on YouTube, blogs, or torrents. Yet I finally managed to find it, and I can only hope there wouldn't be any copyright problems with it being posted on here. Still searching for "The Planet Cachexial", an album released by Lori Bravo in 1996, which is rumored to be even more experimental than this one (and seems to have a really interesting concept as well).

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Symphonic Destiny - "The Fountain Of Eternal Life" [2015]

Artist: Symphonic Destiny
Title: The Fountain Of Eternal Life
Genre: Symphonic Metal
Country: Serbia/Hungary
Release date: 2015

Track List:
  1. The Beginning of an Adventure
  2. Compass of Fate
  3. Light in the Darkness
  4. The Magical Sphere
  5. Wayfarer
  6. Garden of Eden
  7. Voice of Temptation
  8. Witch's Cottage
  9. Ghost Town
  10. Well of Souls
  11. The Fountain of Eternal Life
  12. Love (acoustic)
As a long-time tradition, I post something with female vocals on this day, and this time it'll be symphonic metal (which you probably have already figured out from the band's name). Symphonic Destiny come from a small town in northern Serbia called Temerin, but all the members are ethnic Hungarians, and they describe themselves as a Hungarian band on their Facebook page.

The music on "The Fountain Of Eternal Life" is fairly standard symphonic metal, yet I found it more interesting than many other albums in this genre released over the last couple of years. The best track on the whole album is clearly "Light in the Darkness". The album is available on all popular platforms (and on, of course).