Tag Archives: atmospheric metal

“Antikosmos” by Arckanum

Artist: Arckanum
Title: “Antikosmos”
Label: Moribund Records
Release Date: 9/9/2008
Style: Black Metal/Atmospheric Metal
Rating: 3.5/5

According to my references it has been about ten years since we had a studio album from the Swedish Black Metal stalwarts Arckanum and the bands mastermind Johan Lahger so that makes “Antikosmis” somewhat of an important event for the genre. I did go into this release with a little bit of a curiosity as back during their heyday I wasn’t really following the genre all that much. Yet as time progressed I found myself digging into the likes of Emperor, Immortal and Dimmu Borgir and from them all was able to better enjoy a powerful release such as this one. The band is led by Lahger, who goes by Shamaatae, and is a musician who holds an early association with a band that would become At The Gates eventually. It’s straight forward Black Metal with a lot of Atmospheric overtones and interestingly enough the entire piece is written in Old Swedish, so unless you speak the language don’t be thinking that you will be able to follow this one with any ease. Despite the language barrier this is right up the alley for those fans of Atmospheric Black Metal and especially other bands like Watain, and Darkthrone who deliver a more traditional style of the genre.
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“Ashes Against The Grain” by Agalloch

Artist: Agalloch
Title: “Ashes Against The Grain”
Label: The End Records
Release Date: 8/8/2006
Genre: Progressive, Atmospheric, Experimental, Dark Metal
Rating: 4/5

When you look to play some cool Atmospheric Doom Metal and your mind starts to seek out the region where some of the better stuff is generated from, you would be hard pressed to come up with Portland Oregon as all that inspirational. Yet, oddly enough the guys in Agalloch hail from there and call it home on top of doling out some of the most dramatic and brooding music of this kind. There is a refreshing, yet Dark and ominous sound on “Ashes Against The Grain”, an album that takes elements of Black Metal and Folk to the mix as well over the haunting guitar riffs. The guitars are rich in echo and decay and they use two styles of vocals (Growls and Clean) which together make the overall vibe of this enthralling CD stretches the boundaries on how genres can mix and be used together. Heavy, but by no means a display a screaming Metal prowess the listener gets drawn in to tracks like “Falling Snow” which at points use power chords that are reminiscent of Type-O-Negative. The blending of the vocals works especially well for the release as you often only hear the two in blistering Black Metal. I felt this gives a positive spin on those who perform different genre styles and shows it’s acceptable to use them in this format as well.
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“Amaranthine” by Gwynbleidd

Artist: Gwynbleidd
Title: “Amaranthine”
Label: Unsigned
Release Date:
Genre: Atmospheric/Progressive/Black Metal
Rating: Very Good

The moment you begin listening to the EP “Amaranthine” by Gwynbleidd you would never in 1000 years imagine that the band is originates from Brooklyn. Yet despite the disbelief this is indeed the case and I proudly present to you one of the rising stars in the world of Dark, Atmospheric, Progressive Metal. The bands EP is 40 minutes in length give or take a minute and it is a winner on several counts; calling to mind the greats that preceded them and who also successfully mixed Celtic, Black, Progressive and Doom elements together. Bands that established levels of acclaim in music that still resonate today. The music of Gwynbleidd is a musical stew with a number of different flavors to enjoy and it is sure to be something that the fans of Opeth, Enslaved and Agalloch will quickly take to. Each of the four songs (and long ones at that) are deep musical expressions which will merit a second and third listen in order to best be appreciated. The band is made up of Michal (leads/rhythm guitars, clean vox), Adam (drums and percussion), Maciej (guitars/growled vox), and Jakub (bass); and they are currently working on a full-length recording. They’ve established some distribution from The End Records and it seems that it is only a matter of time before someone sign up this group for their own recording contract. Good job guys.
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