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.
Formed in 2012, Belgian progressive/post black metal band Soul Dissolution have never been afraid to stretch the confines of black metal. Their 2018 album ‘Stardust’ mixed standard black metal ideas with some surprisingly melodic passages, resulting in something that often sounds like Drama crossed with a very extreme version of ‘Jester Race’ era In Flames, stretching extreme riffs into cold, bleak shapes.
Following their 2004 release ‘From The Land of The Shining Past’, Serbian black metal band All My Sins took a break. Not just an eighteen month sabbatical to regroup, but a full scale thirteen year break from recording. Think about that. A lot could happen in that time. For All My Sins, the biggest change regards their recording budget and sense of vision; although only a four track EP, ‘Lunar/Solar’ dispenses with the demo sound that hampered the band previously and presents four well recorded pieces that, when heard together, very much feel like a song cycle. A heavy, cold and confrontational song cycle, but a cycle nevertheless.