Album: The Dark Nears
Label: Humid Records
Genre: Symphonic dark metal
‘Dark metal’, while being more an umbrella term than a genre itself, gives a strong indication of the gloomier side that metal has to offer, and Trocaria offers this on their début album The Dark Nears. Blending elements of symphonic, gothic and doom-death metal, the duo of Joan Palmer on instrumentation and Jon Slough on harsh vocals aim for a minimalist approach, dominated by orchestration and dialed-back guitars, with the vocals and piano often left to carry the album.
Album: Cosmic Sorrows
Genre: Symphonic extreme metal
Do you remember those chance encounters that turn into full-blown love affairs at first listen? The bands who tell you, from the first moment, that you are going to highly enjoy whichever brand of music they have to offer? This affair happened with me, the band in question being Svartalvheim, a New Zealand band I discovered while researching for the There’s Metal Here series (post here). Their music is symphonic extreme metal, evoking influences from both Greek and Italian quarters, but their style is unique enough to avoid cries of plagiarism. Cosmic Sorrows is the début album, after an untitled EP in 2009, and it’s a rip-roaring ride from full-on blasts to flowing cinematic orchestration, and a frequent melding of the two.
Another EP I regrettably slept on from last year was that of Scottish sympho-metallers Concept Of Time, who seem to be gearing up for new material. For now, check out my thoughts on Breathe below.
Concept Of Time passed under the radar for me, but have been playing for a few years, having released a demo and two EPs of their dark symphonic metal style. The latest of which, Breathe, I discovered by word of mouth, looking for bands akin to Kamelot. What I actually discovered was a band who sound more akin to Evergrey (both of whom have played live with Kamelot, logically).
Artist: Týr/Moonsorrow, supported by Crimfall (tour) and Richthammer (local)
Venue: Escape, Wien, AT
Genre: Pagan Folk Metal/Pagan Black Metal/Symphonic Viking Metal/Blackened Death Metal
Vienna was shaping up to have a blast of an evening with the tour lineup that was announced. Three strong metal acts with varying degrees of pagan leanings, all touring on recently released albums and all producing music that work great in a live atmosphere. Escape, a pub of around 200-capacity in the room downstairs itself, didn’t know what hit it. Moonsorrow and Týr were co-headliners; some may argue that they are different sounds, but, as Mitja and Ville [Moonsorrow] pointed out, pagan metal is not governed by genre stylings but by an atmosphere, which was certainly present at this concert.