Saturday, October 29, 2011

Tides from Nebula - Earthshine

Genre : Instrumental post-rock

We all know there are many instrumental post-rock bands around. Yet, Tides from Nebula really shine with this album, featuring great, calming soundscapes, with a couple interesting heavy parts. Everything is well played and produced here, drums are especially rich, but all the melodies are very enjoyable too. Still, the most impressive thing is how sounds are arranged together, resulting in extremely rich atmospheres. Earthshine successfully avoids boredom, too, by never being repetitive, and all this makes it a very pleasant and intense listen. Mostly a peaceful one if you ask me, now we're really talking about atmospheric music. But such an atmosphere...

Opener These days, glory days and Caravans will sure make you love it. And follow Tides from Nebula on Facebook.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Celephaïs - Becoming the deceased

Genre : Instrumental post-metal / Black metal

I could have tagged this instrumental post-black, too, but you've got the idea, Celephaïs merge post-metal and black metal elements, without any vocals. Such a combo is quite unusual, and it becomes even rare when you ask for quality stuff. But believe me, now this is! This album manages to create an urban feeling even though there are no lyrics, just with how cleverly it's composed, arranged, and produced. As with other releases in the same vein, distortion is at its maximum to create stunning walls of sound, drumming is rich and intense, and melodies are not forgotten, making for an intense sound that won't get you bored a single minute.

Check out Becoming the deceased and Shroud of mirrors. You should quickly love that sound. Moreover, Becoming the deceased is available as a free download, for exemple on

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Skagos - Ást

Genre : Folk black metal

There aren't many bands which release such good albums like Ást. Think to everything you would ask from folk black metal, including warm acoustic parts with rich melodies, powerful riffs and distorted melodies, deep vocals cleverly mixed, not too loud either... Well, let's face the mere truth, the only flaw here is a couple drumming parts, especially in the first song, that don't sound mastered at all. This is actually pretty bad to start with this, but once you dig this album, you forgive this problem with ease. Skagos offer us a warm and deep folk black metal, highly melodic, with lots of energy that will make you shiver for several nights. Don't miss it.

Be sure to check out Blossoms will sprout from the carcass, a real masterpiece, and A night that ends, as all nights end, when the sun risesÁst is available as a free download on bandcamp, and such an album for free is something you should definitely check out.

Coldworld - Melancholie²

Genre : Atmospheric black metal

Coldworld sure sets a perfect atmosphere, with its frostbitten rhythm guitars, melancholic violin lines, distorted and deep riffs... Not to forget the amazing acoustic parts that are perfectly arranged, and let us witness something else than boring, raw black metal. Only letdown could be vocals, which definitely lack emotion, and this is quite sad when such a melancholic atmosphere is set. This is easily forgiven though, and this album will really make you shiver by how rich it is, how deep it sounds, how cold it feels...

Enough words, you'd better give a listen to Tortured by solitude and the unusual, trip-hop influenced Escape. And follow Coldworld on Facebook.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Deep in thought - Dreamscapes

Genre : Instrumental post-metal

Post-metal also have underground bands to dig. And among the average ones, you sometimes come across a jewel. Deep in thought is one of those. At the edge of both post-rock and post-metal, Dreamscapes sets quite a heavy, yet really melodic sound. Being a one-man project doesn't prevent it from sounding amazingly great, with well-written and audible bass lines, powerful chords, as well as very pleasant guitar riffs. Sometimes fast, sometimes soft, sometimes heavy and distorted, it's hard to get bored while listening to this album. All in all, this is what I'd call a very pleasant surprise in modern music, but more than this, it's a perfect deal if post-metal is usually too heavy for you, or post-rock too slow for you. A clever release.

Get a taste with Ignes fatui and the calming, unusual Awash with light, but believe me, those aren't the only good ones there. And follow Deep in thought on Facebook. Dreamscapes is available as a free listen and download on bandcamp.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Walknut - Graveforests and their shadows

Genre : Atmospheric black metal

Walknut is not strict folk black, but it's for sure atmospheric music! Relying on very little vocals and mostly long  instrumental parts, this album sets for deep ambient sounds, a journey through darkened nature and grim woods. Although, the ambient mood is not setup through clean folk parts. Here, things are kept the dark and metal ways, meaning powerful distorted rhythms, yet not too agressive, even quite calm in a way. Vocals are in the same vein, truly strong and deep growls that are hidden in the background, perfectly fitting the album's concept. You will need to enjoy repetitive, deep guitars and lowered, yet fast drums, but if you enjoy this kind of atmosphere, Walknut is really a good listen as it gathers everything that makes great ambient metal!

The midnightforest of the runes is a powerful instrumental track. Also, check Grim woods.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Dornenreich - Flammentriebe

Genre : Atmospheric black metal

Dornenreich is not a strict folk black metal band, and the influences change with every album. However, Flammentriebe features an agressive and melodic black metal, with many violin lines in the background. Here, it's important to mention how intense the album is. Not only in terms of melodies or voice, but everything seem to fit together so well that's it's very easy to get into this release and to somewhat "feel" these songs. Voices are really energic and personal, rather than standard boring black metal shrieks, they seem to come directly from the heart more than the throat. Violin lines are superb, and the other instruments unleash a good load of punch too. Definitely a rich and strong record.

Fährte der Nacht and In allem Weben should be good examples of what I mean. And follow Dornenreich on Facebook.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Vergissmeinnicht - His own strange songs

Genre : (Mostly instrumental) neofolk

Some artists and bands loose their creativity after their first release. However, Vergissmeinnicht's Whispering solitude was just a warm-up, and now this is really serious business. His own strange songs is a pure jewel among neofolk, with all you can ask for in such a genre. Rich, melodic, melancholic, everything's gathered here. The add of a couple drums give a new warmth to the songs, but that's not the only improvement here. Guitar melodies are more complex and deeper, with better structures. The ethereal vocals return with more mastery, they fit better into the music. Ambient sounds such as storm and water are still way too loud, but that's easily forgiven since they're a minor part of the album. And the rest is gone, which is actually a good thing, because it's so pure that we don't need flutes or other instruments anymore.

Evening moon is pure beauty. Existence too. Why are you still reading? Just listen!

Other reviews from Vergissmeinnicht:
   - Whispering solitude

Thursday, October 13, 2011

We made God - Fragments [EP]

Genre : Post-metal

Yeah, Ethereal Soundscapes is into new releases, too, and EPs. And even unpopular ones, like this free one from We made God. And Fragments shouldn't be so unpopular, believe me, as the guys return with their usual (and perfectly done) atmospheric, melodic, yet energic and strongly distorted post-metal, and those passionate vocals that are indeed worth mentioning, as they add a real strength to their music! Sometimes ethereal, sometimes agressive, the singer has a lot of passion to give away, even if vocals could have been a bit louder in their mix. The main strength of the band is back too, they're able to melt many kinds of music and atmospheres in a twenty-minutes long record, and one can only enjoy this versatile intensity.

Just listen to first song, Untitled, for a good taste of it, and maybe Drón. And follow We made God on FacebookFragments is available as a free download by clicking its title on their website, and if you don't know about them yet, it's definitely a good time and a good way to start!

Other reviews from We made God:
   - It's getting colder

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Alda - Tahoma

Genre : Folk black metal / Neofolk

Alda is one more band of the "cascadian black metal" genre, which is actually nothing more than atmospheric black metal with folk elements, yet not pagan nor viking metal. And even though this genre can't stop growing recently, it's mostly crappy bands with poor production or lack of musical creativity which surface. Alda, however, succeed in avoiding those flaws and sets a perfect black metal sound with interesting and catchy chords that sure won't get you bored at all. Melodies and riffs are huge, and those five songs will surely stuck in your head for a while. The folk parts are merged with coherence and cleverness, therefore it's always a pleasure when those are heared, as they don't ruin the intensity of the album, at all. Anyway, the guys know what they do with those, as they're able to play a perfect whole neofolk song lasting eight minutes in this album. Vocals are the usual shrieks mixed with huge reverberation, but they're as good as the other elements, not wasting things anyhow. There are a couple cleans too, which if they're not the best ones ever, are fine enough to suit the album. All in all, let's face it, Tahoma is awesome!

Please check the opener, In the wake of an iron wind, and Tearing of the weave. And follow Alda on Facebook. Tahoma is available as a free download on bandcamp, and to be honest, such an album for free is something you just cannot miss.

Vergissmeinnicht - Whispering solitude

Genre : (Mostly instrumental) neofolk

If I come to you and say "hey, I found chinese folk!", you're all scared, aren't you? Well, I was, too. However, Vergissmeinnicht has nothing to envy occidental folk bands. What we have here is a very melodic, deep and calming neofolk, with ethereal male vocals featuring a couple english lyrics in the background. Well, that's almost all you have, but who dares saying simplest things cannot be good? They're even the best ones, sometimes. In some cases like this one, no need to add layers of instruments, as the aim is definitely reached, with rich, melancholic guitar and flute melodies. All we want. All you want, too, if you can forgive a couple out-of-tune parts and some noisy ambient sounds, which you should.

A superb piece of this album is for sure Innocent. Also check out Whispering solitude.

Other reviews from Vergissmeinnicht:
   - His own strange songs

Monday, October 10, 2011

October falls - The womb of primordial nature

Genre : Folk black metal

The womb of primordial nature is simply divided into four untitled chapters which consist into a deep journey through black metal and nature, getting darker and more agressive towards the end. Although folk parts are often strictly cut from the black metal elements, there are plenty of rich melodies here, and clean guitars keep playing behind distorted ones. Guitars keep singing and singing during the whole album, and the softened clean guitars parts are warmly welcomed to spare this deep autumnal forest feeling. However, that awesome guitar work is not the only strength of the album, as drums and bass are very interesting too. Vocals could have more strength (which will be the case in A collapse of faith), but they're still really good, and perfectly mixed, so the volume balance doesn't suffer any flow.

What else to say? Let's listen to Part II and Part IV now. And follow October falls on Facebook.

Other reviews from October falls:
   - A collapse of faith
   - Sarastus [EP]

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Omega massif - Geisterstadt | Kalt

Genre : Instrumental post-metal / Sludge

Usually, when it's about sludge, I feel a bit disappointed about the lack of melodies, and the overall heaviness which sometimes get too much and boring. However, Omega massif makes a good attempt in avoiding those flaws, with a strong, distorted and heavy sound, but featuring interesting melodies that stick in one's head, and softened, yet dark parts, that fit in perfectly. Omega massif thus depicts a desertic and frozen world, with an overall cold sound, would it be heavy rhythms or melodies which are kept gloomy enough to fit in the genre.

Get a first taste of their sound with Eiswüste and Arcanum. And follow Omega massif on Facebook.

Other reviews from Omega massif:
   - Karpatia

Vàli - Forlatt

Genre : Instrumental neofolk

Vàli plays a calming and inspiring neofolk, mostly made with warm folk guitars, playing unforgettable melodies. Behind those, are often hidden a couple flutes, pianos, violins, or light female choirs. Still, the strength of Vàli is to setup diverse atmospheres, through the use of complex and rich melodies. Therefore, Forlatt switchs from light parts to melancholic sounds, always kept a very natural feel, without any kind of percussions. Poetic, calming, soothing, Vàli is all that at a time, and undoubtedly one of the best instrumental neofolk of all times.

Enjoy this one through Dypt inne i skogen and Naar vinden graater.... And follow Vàli on Facebook.

Falls of Rauros - The light that dwells in rotten wood

Genre : Folk black metal

Finding good, sincere, and non-viking oriented folk black metal to bring you is a real pain, believe me. Luckily enough, I've been able to find Falls of Rauros, and if you don't know about them yet, it's high time to fix this terrible mistake. The light that dwells in rotten wood is an amazing and epic piece of music, with every element you need to get perfect folk black. Vocals are strong and sincere, yet kept enough in the background to let the guitars shine. And those guitars really need to, for they throw away amazing riffs, melodies, folk parts, and powerful rhythms. Bass and drums have to be mentioned too, as they do a perfect background work, which will really give you shivers, as they carry and support the melodies at best. No happy drunk viking, beers or dragon slaying here, but definitely a perfect nature-bound folk black.

Now really, please check out Awaiting the fire or flood that awakes it and Silence. You know you want to, because you wonder why I'm so excited about it. And follow Falls of Rauros on Facebook.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Year of no light - Ausserwelt

Genre : Instrumental post-metal / Sludge

Some call it sludge, or doom, but I will just say that Ausserwelt is one of the most awesome instrumental gloomy and despaired metal I've ever come across. First, it's completely guitar-oriented, with very few keyboards, and ambient parts are more played through drones than with synths. Songs have quite unusual structures, featuring long parts with tortured guitars, crying riffs and urban-like sounds, diving deeper and deeper into a world devoid of light. Guitars are sometimes played high and fast, then they switch to harsh, loud and low rhythms, not to forget the awesome droning parts. It's hard to describe how well they fit with bass and drums to create a desperate atmosphere, but I can ensure it's a masterwork, and there are very few records that would be able to bring you such emotions, if you enjoy sick and dark music, of course.

Get a taste of those feelings through Perséphone (Enna) and Perséphone (Coré). And follow Year of no light on Facebook.

Other reviews from Year of no light:
   - Nord

Meniscus - Absence of I

Genre : Instrumental post-rock

Post-rock has many hidden gems, and Meniscus is one of them. There's nothing new or unusual in their sound, except maybe the length of the tracks, but it is great instrumental post-rock, strongly bass driven, energic and  just distorted like it should be to keep it between softness and heaviness, with nice and epic melodies that give that somewhat space feeling often associated with post-rock. Tracks are often complex and long in Absence of I, but that makes for a not-boring-at-all music, which is a good thing! Worth checking out, if you ask me.

Check out Cusp and Mother for a nice part of this journey. And follow Meniscus on Facebook.

Other reviews from Meniscus:
   - War of currents

Waldgeflüster - Herbstklagen

Genre : Folk black metal

Dear blog, I've been digging underground folk black metal today, in hope to find a new gem to share with you. Sadly enough, this scene seem to be the wonderland of all musical crimes, and my ears have really suffered in the process. Therefore, I'm back to tell you a little more about Waldgeflüster instead. Herbstklagen is their first album, and if it has less folk elements that we could ask from it, it's definitely a strong record with powerful sounds, powerful vocals and powerful atmospheres. The couple folk parts here have a real autumnal touch, and all in all we feel like thrown in a gloomy and foggy forest quite quickly. Definitely a very good record in the folk black scene, but be sure to like black metal enough to appreciate the raw parts.

The highligths here are Herbst befiel das Land and Wotan song. And follow Waldgeflüster on Facebook.

Other reviews from Waldgeflüster:
   - Femundsmarka: Eine Reise in drei Kapiteln

Friday, October 7, 2011

Self-inflicted violence - A perception of matter and energy

Genre : Post-black metal

Many bands are trying to mix post-rock with depressive black metal and they often fail. Self-inflicted violence, however, makes a pretty good attempt with that release. A perception of matter and energy features quite a calming atmosphere, a catchy and dreamy post-rock sound with tortured vocals, which, if they're not the best ones ever, are kind enough not to be proeminent in the mix, and yet really passionate, which fits the album pretty well. All this makes the tracks go with a soft sound, unusual when we're talking about black metal, mixing interesting melodies with a fine amount of beautiful riffs and a warm melancholy. It's also worth mentioning the amazing piano outro, which definitely deserves a listen!

I would recommand Artificial phenomenon and the aforementioned outro, Realisation. And follow Self-inflicted violence on Facebook.

From oceans to autumn - Equanimity [EP]

Genre : Instrumental post-metal

Equanimity is a short four-track EP setting for an amazing ambient instrumental post-metal. Though, it's a mostly guitar and bass driven sound, and thus it delivers a different atmosphere than what we're habited to. Crying guitars, crushing drums, deep bass lines, and you've got quite a dreamy, yet energic touch, with many layers from soft and gentle to dynamic and heavy sound. Not that it really stands out from the usual post-metal in terms of structure, but it does in terms of quality. So if you enjoy solid, energic, guitar-oriented instrumental music, be sure not to miss that one.

Also be sure to check out Blue and Latitudes, which are incredible pieces of music. And follow From oceans to autumn on Facebook. Equanimity is available as a free listen and download on bandcamp.

Other reviews from From oceans to autumn:
   - The flood / The fall
   - Return

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Nest - Trail of the unwary

Genre : (Mostly instrumental) neofolk

Nest plays a very unusual brand of neofolk. Instead of it being guitar-driven like we're habited to, the melodic lines are played with kantele (a traditional finnish instrument), flutes, and some kind of ritualistic percussions. This gives a very dreamy and calming atmosphere to this album, sometimes darkened by the use of distorted guitars in the background, or deep male vocals. Overall, there aren't many vocals here, it's more a matter of  atmosphere when there are. Nest are among those bands hard to describe with words, but if you enjoy calm, dreamy, yet sometimes dark neofolk, they should definitely please you.

This album features many long songs, check out Hunt which should give a nice overview of their genre, or Moonbow. And follow Nest on Facebook.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Nhor - Nhor

Genre : Instrumental neofolk / Ambient

Nhor is much of an underground project, setting a brand of neofolk highly influenced by ambient pianos. Therefore, guitars are a minor part there, and the main lines are played by a high-reverb piano, giving a real feeling of emptiness. Add this to the fact it's played the saddest possible way, without any vocals, all this creates a huge feeling of loneliness. Nhor is able to set a melancholic, even depressive atmosphere just through a couple notes. But hey, this is not an ugly sadness, no, you know, it's that kind of pure ethereal beauty that'd make your heart feel like it never did before, yet a melancholic way. Piano lovers, don't miss that one, I promise you won't be disappointed.

Words are not enough for this, just dive into The branches are gathered or Giantess, and enjoy. And follow Nhor on Facebook.

Woods of desolation - Torn beyond reason

Genre : Post-black metal

Torn beyond reason sets a depressive post-black metal in its purest form. All you need for such a sound is in the mix, including crushing distortion, shrieking and passionate black metal vocals, blastbeats, darkness and pain. Although songs structure isn't something completly new, the way it's done and the production make it an almost perfect record, filled with emotion, passion, agressivity and gloominess. If those things talk to you, stop reading and check it out!

If you're interested, a couple good listens would be Darker days and Somehow.... And follow Woods of desolation on Facebook.

Wardruna - Runaljod: Gap var Ginnunga

Genre : Neofolk

Wardruna doesn't play common neofolk based on guitars. Instead, we have here a mostly shamanic sound. This includes typical nordic folk instrumentation, featuring jew's harps, traditional drumming, and much more. On top of that, vocals really keep that feeling sincere, with male or female choirs sung in a whole viking way. What makes Wardruna different from the others is precisely that sincerity, this is raw nordic folk like it should be, not modified through other non-original instrumentation. There's a lot to feel on Runaljod but this is defiinitely a complex album that is hard to express with mere words, and that requires more than a single listen to really get into. You'd better dig it if you want to know more about nordic culture and sounds.

Get a taste with Hagal and Jara before you go.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

We made God - It's getting colder

Genre : Post-metal

It's getting colder is one of those releases where you have this feeling that all possible genres melt. Actually, not all, but definitely, there is post-metal and post-rock mixed with sometimes dreamy voices, sometimes hardcore vocals. All in all, it's very well balanced, and that makes this album a real journey across music genres. Vocals are a huge strength there, sometimes chilling, sometimes crying, sometimes agressive. A nice load of emotions on a well-played post-metal base, what do people want?

Check out We have lost the battle, we have lost the war and The start is a finish line to have a preview. And follow We made God on Facebook.

Other reviews from We made God:
   - Fragments [EP]

Gifts from Enola - Gifts from Enola

Genre : Instrumental post-metal

I dare to approximate this as post-metal (sometimes more post-rock but ho well...) even if it gathers many other influences, and is really experimental as such. Gifts from Enola's self-titled album is a rich and complex album featuring five long tracks. It doesn't carry any specific emotion as rhythms and beats are quickly changing, most of the time. Yet it's a very interesting release, with unusual song structures and riffs, and thus is a very good listen just to enjoy warm melodies and catchy drum parts. Definitely a record that should be heard for music before any emotion.

I would really like to recommend Alagoas and Lionized as a couple listens. And follow Gifts from Enola on Facebook.

Hypomanie - A city in mono

Genre : Instrumental post-metal / Shoegaze

Hypomanie's A city in mono is a really interesting instrumental release. Here, guitars are distorted at the highest, and they create powerful and impressive walls of sounds with crushing soundscapes. Also, bass is very loud most of the time, which contribute to the feeling of a trampling music that really makes its way into your body in mind. Song structures are mostly repetitive, mostly regarding drums, and that combined with the sound's strength makes you travel in cold, wide and empty dimensions, that which, however, feature a light of hope at some point, using samples with higher notes. Definitly an unusual listen, recommanded for who's not afraid by high huge distortions.

Maybe You never gazed at the clouds yet, but just do so and Smile (ok, that was ridiculous, but you've got your listenable links!). And follow Hypomanie on Facebook.

Other reviews from Hypomanie:
   - Calm down, you weren't set on fire

Altar of plagues - Mammal

Genre : Post-black metal

If you enjoy urban-influenced black metal, Mammal should really be a pleasure for you. Through an hopeless atmosphere and machinery-sounding guitars, they've been able to kick any kind of light out of this record. All it evokes is a decayed society, shattered buildings, in a post-apocalyptic world. But this is well done, there are a good amount of clean parts and it's not a brutal black metal release, even though drums are really raw and upfront in the mix. If you want to venture through a destroyed, deprived of light universe, Mammal is the right album to listen to, as long as you setup the right mood to go with it... Not to be listened to on a sunny day at the beach!

Check out Neptune is dead and All life converges to some center if you feel ready to venture through this world. And follow Altar of plagues on Facebook.

Other reviews from Altar of plagues:
   - White tomb

Monday, October 3, 2011

October falls - A collapse of faith

Genre : Folk black metal

With A collapse of faith, October falls deliver one of the greatest neofolk influenced black metal albums of all times. They already released pure neofolk albums in the past, so their experience in that genre is quite obvious. But the added black elements are really well incorporated in this album too, including catchy riffs, strong, yet not proeminent vocals, epic structures and folk instruments such as clean guitars and pianos. What is most impressive here are the constant melodies that carry on throughout the album. As such, A collapse of faith is a incredible journey through gloomy landscapes and nature, with a huge lot of emotions. A must have for neofolk and black metal lovers.

Enough words, you should really, I mean, you must listen to Part II and Part III right now. And follow October falls on Facebook.

Other reviews from October falls:
   - The womb of primordial nature
   - Sarastus [EP]

Trifonic - Emergence

Genre : Post-rock / Trip-hop / Electronic

Now this is a very unusual album. It's hard to say if Trifonic is trip-hop with post-rock influences or the opposite, but anykind, this is a band which shows that genres are not enough to talk about music. This album has a good half of instrumental songs, the others featuring female vocals that are typical of the trip-hop scene. The electronic elements melt with post-rock ones so well, that it's hard to say if the sound has an electronic source or not. Be sure you enjoy trip-hop and are not reluctant to electronic music before diving into that one, but once you go through that, you will sure have a pleasant listen!

Check Sooner of later first as it mixes post-rock, trip-hop and vocals in a row, and maybe Good enough for some male vocals. And follow Trifonic on Facebook.

Darkwood - Notwendfeuer

Genre : Neofolk

Darkwood plays neofolk with a big amount of male vocals, a little martial at times, but most of the time the singer is kind enough to make german sound soft and gentle, as opposed to the usual beliefs regarding this language. Thus, this release is an interesting melancholic guitar oriented folk with some violins, including a fine amount of melodies that should stick in your head for a while. Few other elements here, apart from a very shy distorted guitar at times, or some interesting female vocals.

Ostenfeld and Wintermärchen may be among the best tracks on this one. Have a listen!

Final days society - Ours is not a caravan of despair

Genre : Post-rock / Dream-pop

If you enjoy chilling post-rock with those kind of dream-pop vocals, but still using some energic parts, Final days society's album is definitely gonna please you. With its long songs carrying this somewhat space feel often associated with post-rock, it features a light side instead of being some more darkened post-metal. The dreamy male vocals sure contribute a lot to this journey, being distant, calming, yet of a perfect quality, and most of all, not intrusive at any time. It's a fresh record, that will set a nice atmosphere for you to have a soft and cool time. Definitely an ethereal and beautiful album.

For a first taste and yet refreshing journey, check out In this darkness we disappear and Aeons. And follow Final days society on Facebook.

Other reviews from Final days society:
   - Noise passes, silence remains...

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Netra - Mélancolie urbaine

Genre : Post-black metal / Trip-hop

Mélancolie urbaine is a very unsual release, but there aren't many albums around that share such a urban and melancholic feel, hence its name. Not only it carries a good lot of emotions, but in terms of music, it's also very uncommon to hear black metal and trip-hop in a single song. And this is not a failed mix, as Netra put a really strong effort into making this coherent and interesting! The use of vocals is also to mention in a good way, as there are many kind of voices here, including well-fitting movie samples.

Through the fear and City lights are good samples for this emotional urban journey. And follow Netra on Facebook.

Neun Welten - Destrunken

Genre : (Mostly instrumental) neofolk

Although Neun Welten plays strict neofolk, it's not hard to witness some typical metal influences there, such as the use of blastbeats, or strong bass lines. Still, carrying with them many classical instruments and a violin in the foreground, those guys appear to be one of the richest neofolk bands around. Not to say "the more instruments there is, the better it is", but Neun Welten give us a strong and versatile, yet not boring at all release. Very few vocals here, but the appearences of both female and male ones give even more diversity to the album. If you enjoy calm folk and violins, they should definitely please your ears.

Destrunken and Tau are amazing pieces of music. Check those out! And follow Neun Welten on Facebook.

Todtgelichter - Angst

Genre : Post-black metal

With Angst, the guys from Todtgelichter have released a very personnal and unusual album. Taking its roots deep into black metal, Angst features many other elements to mix in, such as post-metal influences, dynamic rock-oriented female vocals, and strong riffs which at times remind some death metal structures. Drumming and guitar playing are worth a very good mention too, as they deliver a godly performance throughout the whole album. On top of this, male vocals are incredibly sincere and emotional. The result is a much richer sound than what we're habited to, with catchy melodies and an urban feel that should stick in your head a long moment. Such a clever, melodic and intense release is something rare, mostly considering the fact this album has virtually no letdown at all. Definitely an incredibly solid record you shouldn't wait to check out.

Neon and Phobos & Deimos should be the best ones to confirm if this album suits your taste. And follow Todtgelichter on Facebook.

Waldgeflüster - Femundsmarka: Eine Reise in drei Kapiteln

Genre : Folk black metal

Waldgeflüster, with Femundsmarka, take their listeners to a long journey across deep nature, lakes, forests and desolate rocky landscapes. Really nature-bound, this album has a unusual structure, with interludes and intro/outro songs not being meaningless fillers. They contribute a lot to the main atmosphere, which most of the time could be identified with the loniless that's experienced in such vast and cold landscapes. Therefore, the album has a huge lot of fully-acoustic parts, mostly played with clean guitars, and some pianos. The other side of this release is an agressive, yet melodic and catchy black metal, with strong and passionate vocals.

A good overview of the album would be the intro song, Aufbruch and the next one, Seenland. And follow Waldgeflüster on Facebook.

Other reviews from Waldgeflüster:
   - Herbstklagen

Saturday, October 1, 2011



Welcome the Ethereal soundscapes, a personal music recommandations blog centered on post-rock, neofolk, and black metal. This blog is, let's say it, trying to have an elitist approach on those music genres, sharing what I'm considering the best, and if of course this is only a matter of points of view, I've often been told that my recommandations were interesting enough to start a blog. By "elitist", that means I'm posting albums I consider perfectly produced, rich, well-executed, and so on... I don't want to share so-called "underground" music which is just some rough black metal recorded by teenagers' in grandma's kitchen.

Ethereal soundscapes doesn't give any marks. It's a matter of choice. Choosing the albums I enjoy most would make any rating useless, as I'd give from 8/10 to 10/10 to pretty much anything around here. Also, reviews being short doesn't mean there's not much to say (and to feel) on these releases, it's just that some people don't enjoy reading long things, and that's why these kind of reviews can be a good deal for them. Keeping it this way is not a matter of laziness, and anyway, there is still much work to keep this blog like I want it to be.

As some people may argue about the musical "genres" I use, let's just say I don't want to have millions of categories and every band labelled in an own genre, as it'd be pointless to make connections between artists. That's why it goes this way:

- Folk black metal gathers every black metal release that relies on folk instrumentation, mainly acoustic guitars, and set a nature-bound atmosphere. It's actually any black metal release somehow related to nature (Agalloch, October falls, Waldgeflüster,...).
- Post-black metal is a tricky genre, which I'll use for modern black metal in general, often the brand of "urban-related" black metal,. Most of the time, it's linked to shoegaze, although this genre is still quite hard to define too (Lantlôs, Altar of plagues, Woods of desolation,...).
- Atmospheric black metal are releases that doesn't feature a raw black metal, yet doesn't fit in the previous genres. Think to black metal that uses ambient sounds, pianos, or depressive black metal (Summoning, Wolves in the throne room, Coldworld).
- Neofolk is used for any fully acoustic release that is linked to nature in some way. It can be instrumental or it can feature some vocals, but in no way it would have metal elements into it. Still, it can have some martial or industrial influences, as those genres are somehow related (Tenhi, Vàli, Neun Welten,...).
- Post-metal is the middle between post-black and post-rock. Although it can have some growls or typical metal vocals however you call those, I will include in that genre the albums I consider too heavy for post-rock, yet not featuring black metal elements, which also include the sludge branch (Long distance calling, Russian circles, Omega massif,...).
- Post-rock is the softer vein of the genre, which will include, here, mostly chilling and calm releases, a great part of those being instrumental, or including non-metal oriented vocals. I won't go in a debate of what post-rock really is, as it would lead to way too much arguing (God is an astronaut, Caspian, Sigur rós,...).

Also, there is one rule in my reviews: no comparison between bands. I know that this is very usual when reviewing to state "oh damn, it sounds like xxx", but I try to avoid this, mainly because musicians still create their own music, even if there are similarities, and because readers may not know about some so-called "reference" in the genres.

Samples on YouTube are not of the best possible quality, so please take this into consideration and be sure that the actual releases sound much better.

Enjoy your stay & listens!