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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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Mist Of Misery - Shackles Of Life [EP] (2017) - Review

Band: Mist Of Misery
Album title: Shackles Of Life [EP]
Release date: 31 August 2017
Label: Black Lion Records

Tracklist:
01. Shackles Of Life
02. Placid Drowning
03. Broken Chains
04. A Dreamless Void (Euthanasia part 2)
05. Dagon
06. Opening Chapter To A Solitary Confinement
07. Closing Chapter

It was almost exactly one year ago when the world of extreme musical art was struck by the amazing debut album of Swedish rising gods of depressive and symphonic black metal - Mist Of Misery. The album named Absence really caught many fans of the genre by a surprise, and now these Scandinavians are back with a new offering, the first EP in series of two to be released this year, the second one, Fields Of Isolation will hit the stores later this year. Shackles Of Life is a 30 minutes long beautiful darkened art of utter gloom and mesmerizing melancholy, and believe it or not, Mist Of Misery, did kind of a culmination of everything you have ever heard so far that could be described as DSBM, symphonic, ambient or atmospheric black metal. And if you heard and enjoyed in their debut album, like I did, then let me assure you that this one is for sure one step above it. This is music for adventurists, it's a dark and intense journey into depths of your inner self.

If compared to their debut album, Shackles Of Life is similar to it in some terms, a bit more ambiental, but what's most important, it shows a step forward in process of songwriting, lyrical depth and overall atmosphere. Mist Of Misery create very versatile music, making their own sonic world, which unites many different genres of black and dark art, but Mist Of Misery nicely manage to make everything so very flowing and coherent. Shackles Of Life is dramatic, it's quite introverse and emotionally charged music filled with serene arrangements of synths, endless melodic guitar harmonies, gothy piano touches and stirring melancholic vocals which range from suicidal shrieks to typical black metal ones and spoken words. There are a lot of symphonic elements, female and male chants here and there, as well a good portion of ambiental soothing parts, neoclassical arrangements and yet much more. I can't forget to mention a guest vocalist Paolo Bruno of the mighty Brazilian band Thy Light.

Already the opener "Shackles Of Life", which is the closest one to DSBM, shows what kind of maturity this band reached. With such intense and fast, yet simplistic drumming, captivating melodies, highly atmospheric yet melancholic sound, desperate shrieks that make your bones tremble and nicely inserted melancholic piano passages, it offers one of a kind sonic experience. The band keeps the pace always at a high rate, but manages to insert well some short soothing interludes like are piano driven "Placid Drowning", "A Dreamless Void", "Opening Chapter To A Solitary Confinement" and so very depressive ending with "Closing Chapter".

What we get are three proper tracks and four interludes and beside before mentioned "Shackles Of Life", my favorite one is the absolutely epic "Broken Chains", which unites all the best things from elements mentioned before. It's haunting, captivating and in a strange way catchy. This track has such density and rich soundscape that is simply mindblowing, not to mention what kind of a gloomy atmosphere is reached with synths and some chants in the background. What kind of impact have those driving melodic guitars and soul consuming vocals that are simply great, very dynamic and creating kind of a mournful aura. The sound is highly immersive, sometimes almost cinematic and near to kind of a horror soundtrack. Metalheads will of course enjoy in "Dagon", a track which sometimes reaches the very border of symphonic death metal, but still it nicely fits in here with those devastating guitar riffs and adds a lot to the dynamics of this EP.

Mist Of Misery did absolutely a stunning work on this EP and considering that another one is on its way, fans of DSBM, melancholic and symphonic black metal, actually every lover of fine dark music art should be rapturous. Beside great music, the tracks have a great replay value and everything is as well very well produced and mixed. It would be a sin if you don't get this EP, it's very near to perfection. It's simply one of those releases that rarely comes out.

Review written by: T.V.
Rating: 9/10

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Treading on the musical and cultural border that links dark punk with goth, Horror Vacui is one of the most singular additions to the current roster of sinister rock bands. With its debut album, In Darkness You Will Feel Alright (2012), they already managed to recover what moths had eaten over decades of boring replicas. They merge elements from deathrock, post-punk and gothic rock with a strong personality into songs that keep intact the band’s punk belligerence. In that sense, Horror Vacui recalls the days when groups like Vex, Lords Of The New Church, UK Decay or The Dark - just to mention a few - freely moved among those shadowy punk-rooted territories, just before they splitted apart into distinct genres. Horror Vacui regains the bygone grandeur of sinister rock from a honest D.I.Y. instinct.

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