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Terra Relicta Top 20 Of 2017



01. Sólstafir
- Berdreyminn
02. Ulver
- The Assassination Of Julius Caesar
03. Au Champ Des Morts
- Dans La Joie
04. Anathema
- The Optimist
05. God Body Disconnect
- Sleeper's Fate
06. Peter Bjärgö
- Animus Retinentia
07. Friends Of Alice Ivy
- The Last Days Of Fenwyck
08. Isenordal
- Shores Of Mourning
09. Phallus Dei
- Black Dawn
10. Au-Dessus
- End Of Chapter

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Nocte Obducta - Totholz (Ein Raunen aus dem Klammwald) (2017) - Review

Band: Nocte Obducta
Album title: Totholz (Ein Raunen aus dem Klammwald)
Release date: 26 May 2017
Label: MDD Records

Tracklist:
01. Innsmouth Hotel
02. Die Kirche der wachenden Kinder
03. Trollgott
04. Totholz
05. Ein stählernes Liedt
06. Liebster
07. Wiedergaenger Blues


Soon after the release of the album Mogontiacum (Nachdem die Nacht herabgesunken), which saw the light of the day last year, one of the most respected bands of the German black metal scene, Nocte Obducta, are back with a new full-lenght, Totholz (Ein Raunen aus dem Klammwald). The German band was formed in 1993 under the name Desîhra, between 1995 to 2006 acted as Nocte Obducta, has been called Dinner auf Uranos after and in 2011 returned as Nocte Obducta once again. The line-up consists on Torsten, known also from magnificient post-black metal band Agrypnie, on vocals, Marcel, also in Kamera Obskur on guitars/vocals, Stefan (Horresque) also on vocals and guitars, Flange (ex-Agrypnie) on keyboards and vocals, Heidig on bass and Matze (ex-Agathodaimon) on drums. Since the beginning of their career Nocte Obducta has been highly acclaimed by some and under-rated by others. The case is the band is not in the average, common sense, rather, they always let their music open to add whatever they decided that sounds good and express their unique style.

Totholz features seven songs with 42 minutes playing time, it’s an ingenious progression from their previous work, Mogontiacum. Nocte Obducta remains steady in their rough metal roots with typical harmonies, a mild doom metal atmosphere with many rhythmic variations and well structured arrangements. The German lyrics add a special charm, the language "per se" imprint a mature, intense and rawer tone.Totholz is an oppressive and cold form of "old school" black metal plus creativity. 20 years of road give all the charm to this album, that sounds much clearer with psychedelic tones in many parts of the tracks, the quality and palatability leave no doubts.
The somber instrumental intro, "Innsmouth Hotel," transported me to dark, moist and ghostly alleys, where murderous creatures lurked. “Die Kirche der wachenden Kinder”, sounds very interesting with those 90s keyboards and the aggressive guitar riffs and in some point sounding almost crystal dreamy. Special mention to the bass that sounds dynamic and centered. “Trollgott” is clammy with a primitive dark rock vibe.
 
The album title track, “Totholz”, is a watershed between the initial tracks that are dedicated to a black metal old school and the rest of the album. From my point of view, the second part of the album consisting of the tracks "Ein stählernes Liedt", "Liebster" and "Wiedergaenger Blues", is much more open and clean in terms of sound and compositions. In addition to introducing quite different elements, it often caused me some discomfort. I really enjoyed the tracks, “Die Kirche der wachenden Kinder”, "Trollgott", "Totholz" and "Liebster". While "Ein stählernes Liedt" and the last track, "Wiedergaenger Blues", did not please me, unfortunately. The first sounds less interesting and much more mellow than all other tracks. Then "Wiedergaenger Blues", which is an epic more than 15 minutes long song that uses subtle piano melodies allied with acoustic guitars in some point falls in too much psychedelic world of Pink Floyd.
 
I must confess that I haven't heard of the band until the moment I listened to this last album, but the extensive and rich discography showed me throughout the albums that this band is very perceptive in its musical expression. A band with this quality cannot be neglected, instead it should be revered for its originality and ability to dare without fear.

Review written by: Felin Frost
Rating: 8/10

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Band: Atrium Carceri
Album title: Archives I-II
Release date: 22 March 2016
Label: Cryo Chamber

The dark ambient powerhouse Atrium Carceri is back with something a little different this time around. Archives I-II looks back on the last ten years of the Atrium Carceri project. Simon Heath chose his favorite lost gems and gave them all a makeover by way of re-editing, mixing, and mastering into two long tracks totaling almost an hour and a half. Archives I-II is the first long form album by Atrium Carceri, Simon has used two long tracks, almost a full album length each. Archives I-II has everything that an Atrium Carceri fan could possibly hope to hear. Within these two tracks are many of the hallmarks of the dark ambient and specifically Atrium Carceri sound. While considering this for review I listened quietly with headphones, as well as on the metro, also with larger speakers while gaming, while going to sleep, and while reading. Archives I-II was the perfect companion in each instance. The production value and creative talents are pouring out of this release and I promise it will not get old any time soon.

Read a full review HERE