Album Review – Haunted By Silhouettes / No Man Isle EP (2022)

Hailing from Norway, this unrelenting Melodic Death Metal squad is unleashing upon humanity a short and sweet EP destined to leave their listeners with a deadly taste for more.

Formed in 2013 in the city of Trondheim, Norway, the beautifully named Melodic Death Metal outfit Haunted By Silhouettes is unleashing upon humanity a new EP entitled No Man Isle, a short and sweet follow-up to their 2019 album The Last Day on Earth. Comprised of vocalist Mathias Jamtli Rye, guitarists Per Kristian Grimsland and Stian Hoel Fossen, bassist Ola Nilsen Kjøren, and drummer Håvard Bustad, the band is destined to leave their listeners with a deadly taste for more (along with necks bursting with pain) after listening to their new effort, portraying a style that is an actual evolution of what was once referred to as Scandinavian Melodic Death Metal or once proudly called Gothenburg Death Metal.

And the cinematic intro Departure sets the stage for the quintet to crush our souls in Flock, starting in full force to the infernal growling by Mathias while Ola hammers his bass majestically. In other words, it’s Scandinavian Melodic Death Metal infused with the most visceral elements from Groove Metal, resulting in a true headbanging composition for admirers of the genre. Then we have Selkie, featuring guest vocals by the one and only Björn “Speed” Strid (Soilwork), who makes a powerful duet with Mathias while the band makes sure the atmosphere remains dense and enfolding from start to finish in a great display of Melodic Death Metal. Putting the pedal to the metal it’s time for Icon, where Per and Stian extract sheer electricity and rage form their stringed axes while Håvard “gently” invites us all to slam into the circle pit to the sound of his furious beats; whereas the guitars by Per and Stian continue to embellish the airwaves in the title-track No Man Isle while Mathias roars and growls in anger nonstop, supported by the classy, rhythmic drums by Håvard and, therefore, sounding heavy and melodic at the same time just the way we like it.

The talented and unstoppable Norwegian metallers from Haunted By Silhouettes are waiting for your feedback on Facebook and on Instagram, where of course you can get to know more about the band, their tour dates and plans for the future, and don’t forget to also stream their music on Spotify as many times as you want, and to obviously purchase or stream No Man Isle from your favorite retailer or service by clicking HERE. As already mentioned, the EP might be short in duration, but that didn’t stop the band from delivering tons of awesomeness in the form of their classic Scandinavian Melodic Death Metal, warming us up for their upcoming full-length album which might not have a release date yet, but we know it’s going to be marvelously violent and melodic.

Best moments of the album: Flock and Icon.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2022 Eclipse Records

Track listing
1. Departure 0:26
2. Flock 3:02
3. Selkie 3:24
4. Icon 4:16
5. No Man Isle 5:16

Band members
Mathias Jamtli Rye – vocals
Per Kristian Grimsland – guitar, vocals
Stian Hoel Fossen – guitar
Ola Nilsen Kjøren – bass
Håvard Bustad – drums

Guest musician
Björn “Speed” Strid – vocals on “Selkie”

Album Review – Nocturnal Escape / Uncharted Pathways (2020)

This talented German horde returns with a brand new concept album marking a stylistic change from their original sound to a soundtrack-like Black Metal offering.

Brought into being in 2014 as a recording project by  Leo and Klaus Bergmann after their previous band Bleak disbanded, Augsburg, Germany-based Epic/Atmospheric Black Metal band Nocturnal Escape is back in action now in 2020 with their sophomore installment, entitled Uncharted Pathways, a concept album consisting of five songs with a combined running time of nearly 58 minutes, marking a stylistic change from the riff-laden Melodic Death Metal found in their 2015 self-titled debut album to a soundtrack-like Black Metal offering. Featuring a grim and exquisite artwork by artist Daniela Teichmann, the album also presents to the listener a new growler, Paul Perlberg (replacing Thomas Zimmermann), and a new session drummer, James Knoerl, instead of the programmed drums from their first album, providing the overall sound a more organic and, therefore, more intense vibe.

The serene keys by Leo kick off the 10-minute aria entitled Exodus, evolving into a fusion of classic Black and Doom Metal where Paul roars and gnarls in a true devilish manner, filling every single space in the air with its background choir-like sounds, ritualistic drums and scorching hot guitar riffs, ending in a climatic and melancholic manner and building an instant bridge to Forlorn, once again presenting whimsical sounds blended with the band’s most vicious and extreme side, with Leo and Klaus slashing their strings in great fashion and, consequently, providing Paul all he needs to vociferate like a demon while James dictates the song’s charming rhythm with his sluggish beats. In addition, it becomes crystal clear in this dense and distinguished tune how the band decided to distance themselves from Progressive Death and Black Metal, being now fully invested in a hybrid of Black, Folk and Epic Metal.

Then featuring guest Rüdiger Bergmann on trombone, the trio’s acoustic guitars and low-tuned, rumbling bass lines ignite the also multi-layered and vibrant Tranquillity, morphing into an obscure and crisp Black Metal extravaganza led by Leo and his venomous riffage while Paul adds an extra touch of evil to it with his deep, enraged growls, also bringing forward a few eerie, symphonic breaks to enhance the intricacy and drama of the overall result, sounding and feeling as epic and detailed as it can be. And the band keeps stimulating our senses with their classy extreme music in Insight, where all background elements generate a Stygian atmosphere that will darken your heart and soul. Furthermore, the Black Metal blast beats by James make an interesting paradox with the clean vocals by Leo, resulting in a lesson in Atmospheric Black Metal with Leo’s crisp riffs and solos being the icing on the cake. And accelerating their pace and enhancing their electricity they offer us all the closing tune Departure, featuring guest vocals by Stefan Bauer, with James hammering his drums mercilessly until gentle piano notes permeate the air intertwined with heavy riffs and dense bass lines, flowing into a very symphonic, epic and enfolding finale.

In case you think you have what it takes to face almost one hour of the atmospheric and obscure passages by Nocturnal Escape, you can take a full listen at Uncharted Pathways on YouTube and on Spotify, and of course purchase the album from Apple Music, from Amazon or from the band’s own BandCamp page, where not only you’ll be able to compare their current sound with their debut effort, but you’ll also receive an exclusive remastered instrumental version of the entire album (which means almost 58 extra minutes of instrumental and atmospheric extreme music for your avid ears). Also, don’t forget to check what Leo, Klaus and Paul are up to on Facebook, subscribe to their YouTube channel for more of their music, and let the atmospheric and very detailed Black Metal made in Germany found in Uncharted Pathways penetrate deep inside your mind.

Best moments of the album: Tranquillity and Departure.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2020 Independent

Track listing
1. Exodus 10:20
2. Forlorn 8:35
3. Tranquillity 12:34
4. Insight 12:21
5. Departure 13:54

BandCamp Exclusive Remastered Instrumental bonus tracks
6. Exodus (Instrumental) 10:20
7. Forlorn (Instrumental) 8:35
8. Tranquillity (Instrumental) 12:34
9. Insight (Instrumental) 12:21
10. Departure (Instrumental) 13:54

Band members
Leo Bergmann – guitars, keyboards, clean vocals
Klaus Bergmann – bass
Paul Perlberg – harsh vocals

Guest musicians
James Knoerl – drums (session)
Rüdiger Bergmann – trombone on “Tranquillity”
Stefan Bauer – vocals on “Departure”