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Terra Relicta Top 20 Of 2018



01. Aeon Sable
- Aether
02. Amorphis
- Queen Of Time
03. Atrium Carceri
- Codex
04. Dimmu Borgir
- Eonian
05. Behemoth
- I Loved You At Your Darkest
06. The Eternal
- Waiting For The Endless Dawn
07. MGT
- Gemini Nyte
08. Primordial
- Exile Amongst The Ruins
09. Khôrada
- Salt
10. Immortal
- Northern Chaos Gods

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Thenighttimeproject - Thenighttimeproject (2016) - Review

Band: Thenighttimeproject
Album title: Thenighttimeproject
Release date: 8 January 2016
Label: Aftermath Music

Tracklist:
01. The Annual Loss
02. Oneiros
03. Caustic Reflection
04. Dissolve
05. Among Reptiles
06. Empty Signs
07. Amends
08. Desert Prayers

It was in 2009 when Fredrik Norrman left the masters of melancholic rock/metal Katatonia, and it seems that his trademark nostalgic guitar riff, the one that marked the scene so very much, has still a lot to offer. As he satisfies his brute and deeply darkened nature with his main band, the death/doom masters October Tide, Thenighttimeproject is the band which dwells in the most inner and emotional state of human soul. Fredrik got for this project company of two very notable artists, vocalist Tobias Netzell, from the In Mourning fame, along with Nicklas Hjertton, formerly of Mandylon. And the music they create is a surprising one, it's a warm, melancholic and deeply nostalgic soundtrack for those searching to be embraced by the night.

First of all, if you didn't find yourself on the same line with Katatonia's music since Discouraged Ones or with Anathema's albums from Alternative 4 on, then please stop reading this, because this is not stuff for you. But, if you fancy atmospheric, emotional, melancholic, softly riden and deep soundscapes that offer a journey into your most inner thoughts, than this album holds everything you have ever searched for. Thenighttimeproject is pure emotion embraced by darkness and transformed into music. It's not in any way an easy listen, it needs a full devotion from the listener who wants to embark on this restless ship, even though it is based mostly on soothing guitar melodies and warm gentle vocal lines. Thenighttimeproject in a subtle way adds some progressive, doomy, post-rock and even psychedelic elements into the whole picture, so the sound offers quite some interesting undertones.

Even though most of the guitar lines were written during Fredrik's time with Katatonia and he couldn't use them anywhere else, we can hear quite different song structures if compared to his ex band. The opener and in my opinion the best song on the album, very captivating, rather upbeat emotive rollercoaster "The Annual Loss", is the one that can be as well taken out of Last Fair Deal Gone Down or Viva Emptiness, but still it sounds very contemporary, with its own hypnotizing vibe, it has an amazing catchy refrain and some intriguing spacey yet strangely distorted guitar riffs. Then with "Oneiros", "Caustic Reflection", "Dissolve" and especially with the beautiful "Empty Signs" the listener is pushed into the oblivion of melancholy and sadness. When the whole thing could became rather monothone, the most restless tracks up here, "Desert Prayers" and slowly building up, yet soothing "Among Reptiles", the ones where doom metal nature of Fredrik comes to surface, make some interesting amusement. Still if you think that the sound might be too unvaried or monotone, it's not like that, with several guitar experimentations, on some occasions you'll hear also some nice slide picks, soul moving leads, with addition of gloomy atmospheric synths and some electronics in the background the thing gets pretty dynamic and gains a lot of depth. While Tobias's voice gently caresees your senses, just listen to vocally very strong "Amenda", and kind of calm rhythmic line slowly glides through the air, the main emphasis is all over on the beautiful melodic patterns.

Thenighttimeproject is a collection of eight beautiful songs, that will appeal to all those who are into atmospheric and melancholic rock, who are not afraid to be taken away by highly emotional, sometimes distant, but very addictive soundscapes, it's for those of you who know how to devote your time to some high quality music and yet give attention to details. Everything is toped with thoughtful lyrics and very good production. I hope that the story of Thenighttimeproject will continue, because this kind of music, played on a very high level, is not so common. Recommended!

Review written by: T.V.
Rating: 8/10

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Band: Cradle Of Filth
Album title: Hammer Of The Witches
Release date: 10 July 2015
Label: Nuclear Blast Records

Cradle Of Filth promised to go back to their roots with this opus and they were not kidding, ok, not entirely, but that scarry gothy feeling throughout the songs is back again. In a way that's the crucial point in Hammer Of The Witches which still mantains the technical factor heard on the previous album, The Manticore & Other Horrors, on a high level, but like it or not the song structures are much more flowing and ambiance is gloomier than on a couple of previous albums. The pace of the album is for most of the time very fast and explosive, with numerous thrash metal elements, combined with typical heavy metal tradition, blasphemous blackened lines, symphonic insertions and a couple of gothic metal structures, all well balanced together into one hellish dark entity. The sound of Hammer Of The Witches is energetic, rich, dense, very dynamic, groovy and most of all it's intense. The band continues with its tradition of infusing each album with conceptual elements that embolden the songs' dramatic execution, the album's title gleefully flips the historical script, turning the tables on the gruesome witch hunts of 16th and 17th century Europe and exacting some hard-earned vengeance on behalf of all of those who suffered persecution at the hands of religious zealots during that turbulent period in history. The hammer is coming down, hard, and revenge will be sweet indeed.

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