CRYPTS OF DESPAIR (Lithuania)
Condemned To Life
— Vocal extremes, hurricane of death noise and crushing beat with an underlying melancholy. A powerhouse of an album.
— Sinister, meditative drone pace builds to a cacophony, with pockets of grind and sludge and death chugging. Runner-up up in my Best of 2016, and another hit.
THE ARMED (Detroit)
— 90’s-esque indie blended to modernity with a Converge-textural hardcore, industrial and synth, and pop. 19 musicians include some famous ones.
DESOLATE REALM (Finland)
— 2-piece heavy metal includes all the good stuff, including a jamming guitar, breaks into ballads, and a heavy dose of headbanging.
Unity of light
— Lovely goth vocals in a richly melodic and romantic electronic dark wave.
SPECTRAL LORE (Greece)
Initiation Into The Mystery
— Last year’s split with Mare Cognitum led to this chaotic, beautiful, abstract and ethnic black metal.
BONES OF THE EARTH (Arkansas)
— The unexpected galaxy-driven compositions took me out of what I was listening to. Already a unique mix of doom, proggy sludge, droning guitars, and chomping hardcore
BONE CUTTER (San Jose)
Sea of Broken Needs
— 2 thumbs-up to the song titles. Short and sweet crushing grindcore and death that is unexpectedly charming.
Tyfels Antlitz (Wie e Huerä zwei Chind empfanget)
— Just picture these dudes in Heidi-pigtails on a Swiss countryside singing their fantasy medieval and orchestral black metal. .
CICADA THE BURROWER (Madison)
Where Old Crystals Grow
— Shimmering with sharp waves right under the surface. Meandering jazz meets raw aggression. All proceeds off this record go to the ACLU, yah!
PAYSAGE d’HIVER (Switzerland)
— Paysage d’Hiver’s “Wanderer” continues to explore an alien world. A shorter album than last year’s stunner, but still a raw biting wind.