Becoming The Lion was originally conceived as an instrumental vehicle for one man’s musical talents. That man, Ross Blomgren self-released ‘Ghosts of a Fallen Soldier’ in 2010. A recording which explored various post-rock and alternative-based moods, it showed off some great musical ideas, despite a few elements that gave away its low budget origins. Most of the music veered towards a solid post-rock sound, but an over-reliance on drum programming and droning keys, in the main, meant things didn’t always turn out quite as well as they could have. Over the next few years, Blomgren released further albums, often opting for a more metal oriented sound and sometimes aiming his music at more of a progressive metal loving audience; each one a step further towards the great record that Blomgren was so clearly capable of making.
In Tenebriz is one of Russia’s more adventurous extreme metal bands. Rather than just settle for plain old black or death metal, their previous releases have fused black metal elements with bits of drone rock and post-metal, lending an almost cinematic feel to their work. Their 2018 release ‘Winternight Poetry’ is arguably their most adventurous, presenting a seven chapter half hour suite telling the story of Kai, whom upon visiting the kingdom of the Snow Queen, is taken prisoner and forever trapped in a world of permafrost. You wouldn’t know that unless you were told, since – as always with things from a black/extreme metal perspective – the lyrics are hard to grasp without the aid of the written word. For most listeners, it’ll be down to the music to do the talking…and luckily, this release features some great sounds and arrangements, befitting of such a brave piece of conceptual and progressive metal.
Exploring a variety of extreme metal traits and breaking up the intensities with elements inspired by soundtracks and world music, this 2018 release from Akhenaten is very interesting. It certainly isn’t your run of the mill death metal release. But then, you should expect nothing less than a sense of adventure and a progressive attitude from an album that “explores the forgotten paths of history” and is “steeped in the mythology of Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia”.
Boss Keloid are a scary bunch. They’re one part art rock, two parts progressive metal, three parts sludge and seven parts obsessed with ‘Zodiac’ era Melvins. On their 2018 LP ‘Melted On The Inch’ they use those influences and their many quirks to challenge, frustrate and eventually entertain. Providing your mood is right – and this is the very definition of a mood record – it can lead to a fascinating trip.