Meschera - In Silent Sorrow 9/10
From its traditional beginnings with Alexandra Sidorova’s beautiful melodies you are thrown into the latest release from Meschera. In Silent Sorrow is a track that builds and transcends around a great riff that merges the pagan dark folk and modern metal seamlessly into a cohesive vision.
From haunting whispers to gorgeous soaring heights, the vocals are a masterclass built around a great arrangement and the excellent rhythms that allow the track to breathe and create an authentic sense of majesty that is both tangible and ethereal. It is dynamic, moving and affective in its use of both folk and modern instruments.
Instantly memorable In Silent Sorrow continues the evolution of Meschera that is steeped in history yet burns brightly with modern aggression that is genuine, heartfelt, and enchanting in its heaviness and power!
Forest of Ember Skies - Alexithymia 9/10
After several single releases, Alexithymia is the debut EP from Carline Van Roos of Aythis and Lethian Skies and ushers in another side of this prodigious talent. Different from her other projects Forest of Ember skies explores a more post rock edge that is instantly memorable and tinged with a melancholy that is made haunting by the atmospheric and black gaze passages.
Stay Here with me is a beautiful touching emotive highlight that is represented in both its full and instrumental versions. The double kicks accentuating a gorgeous riff that moves and transcends along with vocals lines into an incredible crescendo. Winters Leaf and Compass with its hidden vocals are simply stunning, at times restrained at others a release of pure emotion. No Regets continues the projects evolution, on first listen more immediate until you delve deeper into its rich tapestries and hidden melodies.
Alexithymia is thirty-six minutes of transcendent beauty that is also powerfully emotive and heavy. Alluring and addictive, it lingers long in the psyche after it is finished and heralds the greatest of beginnings.
Ember Belladonna - The Grove 8.5/10
The Grove marks an enchanting debut from Ember Belladonna. It is a world full of bewitching melodies marked by her beautiful flute work and transportive to lands of dreams and myths that is both beautiful and heavy.
The dual versions of ‘’ Heart of the Grove”’ are both beautiful and touching with its traditional inflections and serene inducing atmosphere. Spirit Woman (featuring Laura Inferno) is its polar opposite, all fire and the multiple vocals punctuated by a sublimely heavy riff and its tale of vengeance. The Grove is an image conjuring journey, whilst Ruination takes the traditional merges the modern metal into a contemporary anthem that is celebrates both the beauty of nature and the horrors that man has inflicted on it, dynamic, at times frantic with a guest appearance from James Delbridge. The Wild Hunt is a brief pure cinematic passage that highlights not only the mastery of her instrument but also great compositions and genuine atmosphere. Tenalach is more sublime beauty yet all too brief.
The goal is to make the flute a lead in a genre it is not associated with, and with The Grove Ember Belladonna has done this remarkably combing classical with metal the result is an album filled with honesty, passion and a genuine desire for expression that is both wonderful and haunting!