Summoning – With Doom We Come (2018) – Review

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RockmusicRaider Review - Summoning - With Doom We Come - Album CoverIt is interesting how fantasy novels draw Black Metal acts to them. Yet in truth, the tune they play is no ‘proper’ Black Metal anymore, if there ever was such a thing. Their theme morphed into some type of a sub-genre already some time ago. It remains blackened in a way, but definitely boasts that standalone, plasticky sound that fans will appreciate. A fantasy-laden musical landscape that these backyard studio metal bands exploit. And produce some sort of an over-exaggerated synthesizer-driven and almost artificial sound, decorated in dry, heaving rasps that became their trademark over the years.

Yet for some reason this formula really sticks. It portrays imaginary worlds of cold magic, wonder and epic battles that seem best expressed in lo-fi sounds that emerge straight from the misty lands they depict. And by preference with the heavy-duty drum machine on full display. In a cathedral, atmospheric setting with mighty pre-programmed riffs endlessly spooling off into the misty yonder. And you never know what lurks behind that hazy curtain that they paint so aptly.  [...]  Got hooked? Raid on...!

2016 Top 10 Records

RockmusicRaider Review - Darkend 2016Well, it is time for some 2016 Top 10 reflections on RockmusicRaiders‘ most coveted findings for the last year. And it might turn out to be a few more than ten, but we will keep the official ranking to this magic number. We will just add a few honorable releases to the list that kinda missed this viking fighting ship. The list is also a reflection on those bands that got us thinking and managed to mess up the peace (of mind) and quiet of the writer supreme on this blog.

And it was a funny year: Seamlessly latching on to 2015, many more shades of black have been covered throughout these 12 months. At times it seemed like there is only black, just to find yourself in progressive country for quite long stretches. The symphonic and operatic divisions did not quite convince this year, albeit there are a few pockets of excellence that showed through the blankets of snow copiously covering the countryside. Then what a year it has been with many great names in music calling it quits last year and a new US president nobody expected to win. But enough of this, let’s start, shall we?

Here are the 2016 Top 10 records:

#10 Van Halst – World of Make Believe 

TRockmusicRaider Review - Van Halst - World of Make Believe - Album Coverhe Canadians from Edmonton project a very serious brand of Gothic Metal onto the fan crowd. Their approach to music is two-pronged: First, they take advantage of the amazing vocal presence of Kami Van Halst, wrapping sturdy metal around her singing prowess. Then, they broach serious subjects of social nature throughout the record. This not only renders it a pleasure to listen to musically, but is also challenging intellectually. And this cannot often be said in metal concoctions, where lyrics often are the most neglected aspect of the production.  [...]  Got hooked? Raid on...!

Balfor – Black Serpent Rising (2017) – Review

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RockmusicRaider Review - Balfor - Black Serpent Rising - Album ReviewThe RockmusicRaider offices were literally flooded with Black Metal offerings of all 50+ shades and beyond in 2016. A trend to move towards the dark waters of the river Styx that we saw emerging already in late 2015. And which continues to this day. Indeed anything blackened was pretty much game and lots of it in stellar format. 

Now, 2017 already starts to shape up well. A first pitch black offering reaches us from the cold, cold steppes of the Ukraine. And it promises to be a juice dripping chunk of #metal. Or does it? [...]  Got hooked? Raid on...!