March 2008

 •  Posted in: Kogaionon Editorials

Vernal blessings... salutes to you all!

Revived or not, yet certainly grieved by the absence of the snow and saddened by the green that is on its way to burst not solely in front of my eyes, here I am once again to present you some of the important changes in this Metal/Ambient scene.

This year has already brought us great new releases, finely interesting ones, among which ARCANA, AD OMBRA, FEARLIGHT, MIDNATTSOL, STAR OF ASH, CHANDEEN, SLAGMAUR and YGGDRASIL. I'll tell you a bit more about them...

ARCANA released a new studio album, after approximately four years, an overwhelmingly subtle and elegant one, gravitating in the Dark Modern Classical Medieval Wave universe. It is a music seemingly coming from another realm, for another realm to listen to it.

The official debut of the George from the Romanian band AD OMBRA concretized in an album scenting of inspiration from STOA, ELEND or CHAOSTAR, but it also shades off some very brightly structured Ambient elements.

FEARLIGHT come from Russia and follow the appreciated path nowadays, meaning Pagan Folk Metal alike ARKONA, yet they use less aggressive voices within the same assembly of pipes and flutes harmoniously mixing Metal with tradition.

MIDNATTSOL pleasantly surprised me this time, as their album is a curdled one, unveiling me various scents, starting with the early THEATRE OF TRAGEDY and AMORPHIS, all the way towards the current Gothic Metal bands, with a structure centred on Northern influences and focused on the feminine voice, a very dynamic and dominant one.

STAR OF ASH presents a new Avantgarde album, more tamed and melodic than the previous one, with a finely inspired Ihriel ... especially if we are to consider the special guests too.

CHANDEEN is a German Ethereal Wave band, well known for years, but which I barely now have the opportunity to listen to. It is for LYCIA, BLACK TAPE, MIRA fans or for the ones enjoying other bands promoted by Projekt.

SLAGMAUR gave me a deathblow, proving once again that Norway has always been, is and always will be the pure land of innovative, quality and respecting Black Metal! I recommend you the audition of this album, especially for the odd elements that you can uncover... SHINING fans will be thrilled!

YGGDRASIL brought a true Heathen Metal bomb, very elaborated, with multiple sequences, finally a beautiful Melodic Atmospheric Black Metal album.

Well, these are the albums that caught my interest in a special way. ATROCITY is next in line, with their strange sounding yet well processed new album, approaching, in a Metal way, pop cover versions for the 80's hits (Alphaville, Depeche Mode); DRACONIAN bring a paler Gothic Doom Death Metal release, while HEIDEVOLK presents a bombastically atmospheric but at all original Pagan Metal. I've listened to ARGUS MEGERE, a Romanian Metal band, with a highly good execution that surprised me evenly; ORDINUL NEGRU, FOGLAND and EKASIA are the other projects of Fulmineus, but they are more timid in what concerns expressivity. I've truly enjoyed ISOLE, because the Doom Metal release is a well conceived one; I expected more inspiration and dynamism from DARK SUNS, even though their Progressive Death Metal album doesn't sound bad at all, and INVICTUS gives us a ride within a very accessible Dark Ambient Medieval dimension; MANDRAKE shows that they can release a better album, AVERSE SEFIRA insists on the brutal Black Death Metal, and SAATTUE come from Finland with an interesting album if you do not stave on its apparent aggressiveness; NOEKK seems to have made a lateral move - not to say a backwards one - with this new Folk Metal album, while TOWARDS DARKNESS sounds fine in the desperate and depressing slow Doom Metal realm that they've created; VON BRANDEN tries to combine Metal with symphonic elements yet the intention is not clear to me, and further on the playlist you can find plenty Black Metal from MURK, NONEUCLID, I SHALT BECOME and TYMAH.

Some reviews for the playlist' albums will be posted soon, I've already initiated a new contest frame, and moreover you can read an ample material about and with ARCANA at Brasov.

I hope we'll meet again soon, more optimistic, greener and more caressed by the new beginning!!!

March, 2008.