IN TENEBRIZ – Winternight Poetry

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.

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AUTUMNWIND – Endless Fear

Autumnwind isn’t really a band; it’s a huge musical vision where its founder, Abdulrahman Abu Lail writes and plays everything. He uses this one man band as a vehicle for emotional outpouring, in his own words, as a way of “mind-describing” his own feelings through intensive music. This third album makes that theory even clearer by giving its five pieces of music titles which reflect emotive states. The results, as expected, are very heavy, though never so confrontational you’d struggle to listen or, indeed, want to shut off the feelings that Abdulrahman is keen to share.

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AKHENATEN – Golden Serpent God

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”.

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RAM-PAGE – The Grave Of Seven Billion

Formed in 2010, it was less than a year before Russian metallers Ram-Page found themselves in the studio with enough money and support to record their debut album. The resultant LP, ‘The Keeper of Time’ gained enough attention for the band to actually shoot a couple of promotional videos before heading back into the studio to record a second album, eventually released in April 2012. With a similar whirlwind approach, a third release appeared the following year. In metal terms, it seemed these guys were following a similar breakneck approach to working as their 80s thrash and NWOBHM heroes.

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PURE – J’aurais Du

Switzerland isn’t always known for it’s metal bands. Celtic Frost are arguably the country’s finest hard rock/metal exports, closely followed by Krokus, but compared to neighbouring Germany, they’ve never been the biggest players on the musical map. Obviously, size is a factor. That said, black metallers Pure make more noise than about fifty metal bands playing simultaneously and their 2017 release ‘J’aurais Du’ is a frightening experience to say the least.

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