As spring rolls in, vacations and family obligations are getting me behind on reviews, so here are several short ones to tide everyone over until life settles down.
Novembre – URSA
After a nine-year hiatus, the Italian doomsters are back with their eighth album, URSA (a.k.a. Union des Républiques Socialistes Animales). Novembre effortlessly switch between lilting gothic melodies and potent aggression. While the softer moments are the greater focus, the music takes the listener on an emotional roller coaster and gives beauty to the impending sadness.
(Special thanks to Fresnno Media for the complementary review copy.)
Rating: 8 / 10
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Release Date: 1 Apr 2016
Available at Amazon.com, iTunes, and other retailers.
Cult of Luna and Julie Christmas – Mariner
Collaborations can be tricky, but Cult of Luna and Julie Christmas strike a perfect balance with one another. Both parties complement each other perfectly, with neither overpowering the other. The album comes across as a singlular vision and if you can get past the song lengths, you’ll find it a rewarding listen.
Rating: 8 / 10
Label: Indie Recordings
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Release Date: 8 Apr 2016
Available at Amazon.com and iTunes.
The Beast of Nod – Arrival
Masquerading as a technical death metal band with progressive tendencies, Boston’s The Beast of Nod kick off their second EP, Arrival, with some challenging, atypical riff work. While the vocals don’t always work for me, it’s an enjoyable enough experience to recommend these guys if you’re looking for something out of the typical norms.
Special thanks to Against PR for the complementary review copy.
Rating: 7 / 10
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Release Date: 3 Feb 2016
Available at Bandcamp, Amazon.com, iTunes, and other retailers.