Vista Chino – Peace

Hellbound Metal: “The bare bones are still there, you get the sense that this is vaguely familiar, but in the end, it’s probably for the best that they didn’t slap the old name on here, cuz it definitely pales by comparison.”

AtomA – Skylight

Skylight is a science fiction concept album, a sonic escape from the end of the world. As any musical journey through space should be, AtomA’s debut is rich with spectral textures and dramatic development.

The 11th Hour: Burden Of Grief

Grief doesn’t quite capture the emotional atmosphere soaking this debut from Dutch/Swedish duo The 11th Hour. Burden, yes – the album is tormented, weighed down. But grief sounds too frail to describe songs laden with so much heavy gloom.

Glittertind: Landkjenning

Glittertind is essentially a two-man band, which makes tracks such as the rollicking “Longships and Mead” interesting. The song reminds me of something The Pogues or our Canadian counterpart, Sprit of the West, might release – a blend of traditional Norwegian folk melodies with the addition of electric guitars, a slightly sped-up tempo and punk attitude…

Leaves’ Eyes: My Destiny

My Destiny is the most recent EP release from Leaves Eyes. The sound is symphonic metal with a dash of a Northern European folk sound. The overall feeling is to put on your crushed velvet frocks and watch the misty fog over an icy lake.

Ahab: The Divinity Of Oceans

Doom purists may be put off by some of the softer more melodic fare on here but I find Ahab’s diversity refreshing and adventurous in what can sometimes be a rather monochromatic genre. Like waves that swell and then recede, Ahab seems to have adopted a similar approach to their song craft and for the most part it works admirably.