Interview – Jaume Antuñano (Eonian)

It’s time for The Headbanging Moose to chat with guitarist, composer and lyricist Jaume Antuñano about his awesome solo project Eonian and his debut EP The Nomad, among other fun topics.

jaume-antunano-eonian

Jaume Antuñano (Eonian)

The Headbanging Moose: Hi, Jaume! Welcome to The Headbanging Moose, and thanks for joining us for this interview! Can you please begin by introducing yourself to our readers and talk a little about your new project Eonian? How would you label your music?

Jaume Antuñano: Hi Gus! Thank you so much for having me. Eonian is a symphonic black/death metal solo project that I started in early 2020. The pandemic had just hit NYC and we were stuck at home, so I began writing music to keep my mind busy. Originally, this was going to be an instrumental project, but as I started composing and recording, I decided to write lyrics and to incorporate vocals too.

THM: You have just released a fantastic debut EP entitled The Nomad, which I highly recommend for fans of bands like Cradle of Filth and Dimmu Borgir. What’s the main idea or concept behind the album, and how long did it take for you to finalize the entire process until the release of the album?

JA: The Nomad is a concept EP. All five songs tell the story of this mysterious, once powerful character who is condemned by the gods to wander for eternity after falling from grace. Trying to tie all the songs together both musically and through the lyrics made it a little harder, but overall it was a pretty quick process. It took about ten months for the EP to be completed.

THM: I personally enjoyed all five songs from the EP, especially Winter Wanderer and Cleansing Fire. What about you? What’s your favorite song of the EP and why? And you can’t say all five, of course! 😉

JA: This is like choosing between mom and dad! But okay, I’ll go ahead and say Cleansing Fire too.

THM: The main band that plays with you in The Nomad is formed by French vocalist DM, Italian bassist Francesco Loconte, Swedish drummer Freddy Ortscheid and Argentinian musician Diego Soldi. How difficult was it to put together such distinct international project, and how did you get to know each one of your band members?

JA: They all did such an amazing job and I’m so glad I got in touch with them. I can compose parts for different instruments, but I can only play the guitar, so I went on Fiverr and contacted these great musicians to record everything else. After I wrote the songs, I sent them a first demo and midi files, and we went from there. This was entirely done via the Internet and we actually never met in person, but despite all that, this was a very easy process and they knocked it out of the park.

THM: There are also seven other guest musicians on the album, as for example Russian violinist Margarita Chernova and Ukrainian pianist Polina Chornaya. Why did you decide to have so many guests on the album, how did you recruit each one of them, and how happy are you with the final result?

eonian-the-nomad-ep-2021 150px

Album Review – Eonian / The Nomad EP (2021)

JA: The reason behind having all these guest musicians is because I wanted to include musicians from different backgrounds. Some of them are used to playing metal, but some others are not, and I think that added some depth to my original ideas. Each one of them brought something to the table that I wouldn’t have been able to come up with myself, and I’m absolutely stoked with the results.

THM: What’s next for Eonian? Can we expect a full-length album from you in the near future? And as you’re basically a virtual band (at least for now), do you have any plans for a tour either with the same musicians featured on the album or with new local ones from the New York area?

JA:   I already have some ideas for new songs, but it is too early to know if the next release will be an EP or a full-length album. As for a future tour, I would really like it if Eonian became a band, so NYC folks, hit me up if you are interested.

THM: How has this never-ending pandemic impacted your work as a musician? And do you see a light at the end of the tunnel for metal bands now that the vaccination is picking up almost everywhere and concerts and festivals are starting to be scheduled again?

JA: Like many other musicians, new and consolidated, being stuck at home for so long really pushed me to start writing new stuff. Luckily, it looks like things are improving rapidly and that many bands are going to be presenting their new material live soon. I can’t wait and I already marked down a few concerts I don’t want to miss, including your fellow Canadians Unleash the Archers at Le Poisson Rouge here in NYC.

THM: When and why did you decide to move from Spain to the United States? Did it have anything to do with your career as a musician, or was it due to a completely different reason?

JA: I moved to the U.S. in 2011 to complete a Master’s degree in Literature. My plan was to stay for two years and go back to Spain, but I met my now-wife and… never left.

eonian-logoTHM: How different is the metal scene in your home country Spain compared to where you are now in The United States? Any local underground bands from both countries you would recommend to our readers?

JA: There is so many different styles and so much talent out there that I find it difficult to come up with major differences between the current metal scenes of Spain and the U.S. Maybe ten, fifteen years ago the difference was more defined, as European metalheads in general were very into the wave of Power Metal bands and also the Gothenburg sound was huge over there. The elitists will probably correct me, but I think that today there is quite an overlap regarding the genres that metalheads from both countries listen to. As for your second question, I’ll start by giving a shout-out to a couple of bands from my hometown of Valencia: In Mute (Melodic Death Metal) and Retribution (Symphonic Black/Death). And as for New York bands, I’m going to go with Valcata, which is another Internet-produced project that features many different musicians and vocalists from all over the world. Check them out!

THM: Thanks again for your time, and congratulations for your amazing debut EP! Please feel free to send your final message and considerations to our readers, and keep up with the excellent work with Eonian!

JA: Thank you for the interview and for your positive review of The Nomad! I would also like to thank all of the session musicians that recorded in this EP, and Fernán Nebiros, from Peruvian death metal legends Mortem, who was involved in the early stages of this project and whose valuable input helped me immensely. And to the readers, I encourage you to follow Eonian on Instagram and Facebook and to let me know what you think of the EP!

Links
Eonian Facebook | Instagram | Linktree | Spotify | BandCamp | DistroKid

Album Review – Eonian / The Nomad EP (2021)

Raise your horns to the first-class fusion of furious riffs, drums, and vocals with epic choirs and orchestral arrangements carefully brought forth by this international Symphonic Extreme Metal project.

4.0rating

eonian-the-nomad-ep-2021Assembled in 2020 by Manhattan, New York City-based Spanish guitarist Jaume Antuñano, the amazing multinational Symphonic Extreme Metal project that goes by the name of Eonian is set to release their debut EP, entitled The Nomad, a must-have for fans of bands the likes of Cradle Of Filth, Dimmu Borgir and Septicflesh. Mixed and mastered by Simone Pietroforte at Divergent Studios, and displaying a classic cover art by Javier Barjollo and a stunning logo designed by Alice Malvisi from Hexibex Design, The Nomad was fully produced online and includes five songs that blend furious riffs, drums, and vocals with epic choirs and orchestral arrangements carefully brought forth by Jaume together with French vocalist DM (Helioss), Italian bassist Francesco Loconte (Koroth, Kormak), Swedish drummer Freddy Ortscheid (Entrails) and Argentinian musician Diego Soldi on all orchestrations, as well as seven other very special guest musicians from all over the world.

A metal storm is about to begin in Winter Wanderer, featuring guest solos by Indian musician Manish Kashyap (Deathknell) and Spanish musician Isaac “Whitefingers” Solanas (Frozen Shield), with Jaume’s riffage and Freddy’s blast beats generating a bold and visceral ambience, all boosted by DM’s infernal roars; whereas living up to the legacy of Symphonic Black Metal the band delivers the imposing Versus The Titan, where the orchestrations by Diego are superb, not to mention the stunning guest violin solo by Russian musician Margarita Chernova. Then a movie-inspired intro grows in intensity until all hell breaks loose in the Dimmu Borgir-like aria Cleansing Fire, featuring a keyboard solo and arrangements by Mexican musician Andrés Samboní (Desvirtual), once again showcasing all the fury of DM on vocals together with the piercing, scorching riffs by Jaume. It’s time for an epic journey with Jaume and his horde in Delirium, offering us all a keyboard solo by Argentinian musician Pablo Pallares (Utópica) and an electric violin solo by Spanish musician Néstor Català (Tales of Gaia), with Francesco, Freddy and Diego generating a beautiful wall of sounds in the background, before the piano solo by Ukrainian musician Polina Chornaya adds a touch of finesse to the thunderous tune Shores Of A Lost Sea, putting a fantastic and climatic ending to the EP with DM roaring and screaming rabidly amidst a top-of-the-line Extreme Metal sonority.

eonian-logoIn a nutshell, the debut EP by Eonian is without a shadow of a doubt a precious gem hailing from the underground of several countries that truly deserves our admiration, and you’ll soon be able to stream it or purchase it from different locations by clicking HERE. Hence, if you want to know more about the team led by Jaume you can start following Eonian on Facebook and on Instagram and click HERE to not only read more about the project, but to also hire each person involved in the creation of The Nomad in case you’re looking for some skillful musicians for your own metal or non-metal endeavor. In a world where we’re all becoming more and more involved with technology yet at the same time isolated from society, it’s always a pleasure to witness guys like Jaume bringing people together in the name of heavy music, providing us fans first-class Extreme Metal and, therefore, pointing to a bright future ahead of the project. And although the name of the EP somehow represents Jaume’s personal and musical life, as if he is the nomad depicted in the album art moving from one place to another, he’s far from being a solitary man in our Heavy Metal universe as you can see.

Best moments of the album: Winter Wanderer and Cleansing Fire.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2021 Independent

Track listing 
1. Winter Wanderer 4:17
2. Versus The Titan 4:32
3. Cleansing Fire 4:55
4. Delirium 3:37
5. Shores Of A Lost Sea 4:44

Band members
DM – vocals
Jaume Antuñano – guitar
Francesco Loconte – bass
Freddy Ortscheid – drums
Diego Soldi – orchestrations

Guest musicians
Manish Kashyap – guitar solo on “Winter Wanderer”
Isaac “Whitefingers” Solanas – guitar solo on “Winter Wanderer”
Margarita Chernova – violin solo on “Versus The Titan”
Andrés Samboní – keyboard solo and arrangements on “Cleansing Fire”
Pablo Pallares – keyboard solo on “Delirium”
Néstor Català – electric violin solo on  “Delirium”
Polina Chornaya – piano solo on “Shores Of A Lost Sea”

Album Review – Demonia Mundi / In Grembo Mater… (2021)

After over a decade of silence, this infernal Italian horde returns from the netherworld with an amazing, ritualistic concept album based on the figure of the Mother Goddess.

3.5rating

demonia-mundi-in-grembo-mater-2021Born in 1994 in Reggio di Calabria, a coastal city in southern Italy, by the will of their vocalist Daemonia, influenced by obscure Italian metal music, 90’s Epic Black Metal horde Demonia Mundi returns in full force after 12 years of silence with their new long-awaited full length album titled In Grembo Mater…, their best and most ambitious work to date, a stunning concept album featuring a furious metal journey enhanced by beautiful folkish atmospheres that reminds of cult bands such as Death SS, Opera IX, Windir and Limbonic Art. Currently comprised of the aforementioned frontman Daemonia together with guitarists Morlock and Vagrant, bassist Beast and drummer Uw, this Stygian Italian entity brought into being a concept album based on the figure of the Mother Goddess, a ritualistic path in which the music is a soundtrack that leads the listener during the evocation and invocation of familiar demons, realized using also traditional and ritualistic instruments  used thousand years ago during the Matriarchal Era previous to our Patriarchal Era, with the album art representing the double-headed axe, or the weapon symbol of the Mother Goddess.

The fires of Black Metal burn bright accompanied by melancholic acoustic guitars in the intro Iniziazione (or “initiation” in English), with the vociferations by Daemonia setting the tone for A:·A:·Of Black Fogs And Shaded Empires, exploding into a Dimmu Borgir-inspired hybrid of Symphonic and Epic Black Metal led by the incendiary riffs by Morlock and Vagrant, therefore sounding dense and bold from start to finish. Uw and Beast generate a venomous base for their bandmates in the infuriated hymn Et In Arcadia Ego, exhaling sulfur and hatred while once again presenting an old school Black Metal sonority with imposing and epic background elements, ending in a darkly tribal way; whereas an acoustic start evolves into a feast of Black and Doom Metal in Alesa, where Daemonia’s devilish gnarls will haunt your soul for all eternity supported by the pounding beats by Uw and all phantasmagorical sounds that permeate the atmosphere in this hellish composition.

And cryptic, eerie sounds enfold us all in The Golden Bough, before Beast begins hammering his bass in great fashion, once again morphing into a disruptive and vicious display of Symphonic Black Metal that sounds majestic and infernal, with Uw being unstoppable behind his drum set, while razor-edged riffs and the otherworldly growling by Daemonia are the main ingredients in the also demolishing Hieros Gamos, not to mention the song’s skull crushing aura. After such disruptive tune we have Intra Grembo, where the band slows things down a bit and sounds more melodic than before, spearheaded by the stylish guitars by Morlock and Vagrant. However, although they tried to make it sound like a black mass, it unfortunately falls flat in the end. Lastly, another Stygian intro evolves into the early Cradle of Filth-inspired hymn The Horned And His Thousand Whelps, where all band members are on fire with their sonic weapons, in special Daemonia with his vicious roaring and Uw with his violent but very intricate beats and fills, until the music fades into a ritualistic, horror movie-ish ambience that goes on until the very last second.

demonia-mundi-2021In a nutshell, if you consider yourself a lover of the darkest side of music, I’m sure you’ll have an absolute blast listening to In Grembo Mater…, which is by the way available for a full and detailed listen on YouTube and on Spotify, as the album brings forward all elements we learned to love in such distinct type of heavy music through the years. In addition, if you want to put your evil hands on this amazing opus, you can purchase it from several locations including the Cult Of Parthenope’s BandCamp page, Season of Mist, IndieMerchstore and Amazon, or simply click HERE for other places where you can buy or stream the album. Also, don’t forget to follow Demonia Mundi on Facebook for news, tour dates and more of their demonic music. It might have taken over a decade for Daemonia and his venomous horde to provide us fans with a new batch of devilish arias, but after listening to In Grembo Mater… we must all admit the wait was absolutely worth it, inviting us all to worship the Mother Goddess to the sound of their wicked Black Metal.

Best moments of the album: A:·A:·Of Black Fogs And Shaded Empires, The Golden Bough and The Horned And His Thousand Whelps.

Worst moments of the album: Intra Grembo.

Released in 2021 Cult Of Parthenope

Track listing
1. Iniziazione 2:28
2. A:·A:·Of Black Fogs And Shaded Empires 6:49
3. Et In Arcadia Ego 6:13
4. Alesa 5:49
5. The Golden Bough 4:57
6. Hieros Gamos 5:03
7. Intra Grembo 6:43
8. The Horned And His Thousand Whelps 8:16

Band members
Daemonia – vocals
Morlock – guitars, backing vocals
Vagrant – guitars, backing vocals
Beast – bass
Uw – drums

Album Review – Die Entweihung / Kings & Pawns (2021)

An Israel-based one-man army continues to follow an eclectic direction with his new opus, mixing diverse musical genres with Black Metal vocals and Middle-Eastern melodies.

Formed in 2007 by vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Denis Tereschenko (known as Herr Entweiherr during the first years of the project) in the northern part of Israel, three years after moving to Haifa from his hometown Vitebsk, in Belarus, Melodic Dark/Black Metal entity Die Entweihung, which is German for “the desecration”, has just unleashed upon us all the project’s impressive tenth full-length opus, entitled Kings & Pawns, continuing the eclectic direction of some of his previous albums by mixing diverse musical genres the likes of Experimental, Doom and Thrash Metal with trademark Black Metal vocals, Middle-Eastern melodies and lyrics that, just like in the previous two albums, deal with “the confrontation of man and his surrounding world”. Not only that, Kings & Pawns also marks Die Entweihung’s first release in nine years to feature a couple of guest musicians, more specifically vocalists Alexander Ivanov (of Jinx) and Alena “Dark Zero” (of Nocturnal Pestilence), and bassist Anton Shirl (of Tales of Darknord), bringing additional layers of obscurity and mystery to the already idiosyncratic music crafted by Denis, all enfolded by a stylish artwork by Yulia “BooShweak” Asher.

A wicked intro quickly evolves into a metallic feast titled Away into the Night, where Denis delivers at the same time slashing riffs and whimsical keys, working as an expanded intro to The Moustached God, a grim fusion of Experimental Black Metal and contemporary Progressive Metal where Denis gnarls like a creature from the underworld while his beats and fills, as well as his Arabian guitar lines and solos, elevate the song’s epicness through the roof. And our talented and relentless lone wolf continues to pave his path of darkness and harmony in As The Hangover Starts, showcasing more of his classic Heavy Metal riffs intertwined with Symphonic Black Metal keys; whereas enhancing his progressiveness and experimentations we’re treated to the melodic instrumental tune Confrontation, once again displaying a fantastic job done by Denis on the guitars while he also crafts a dense kitchen with his drums and bass. Then guest Alexander Ivanov makes a demented vocal duo with Denis in Kings & Pawns, while our one-man army keeps hammering his drums and extracting sheer electricity form his riffage in a great depiction of his Melodic Dark Metal.

Featuring Alena “Dark Zero”, Iron Maiden-inspired guitars ignite the atmospheric The Nonsense Games, where Alena kicks some serious ass with her Doro-like clean vocals and devilish roars from start to finish; while sounding darker and more primeval than before, Denis and his Die Entweihung bring forward elements from an array of styles in the hypnotizing The Only Thing Worthy to Save, keeping the album at a high level of obscurity. Alena returns in full force in the cover song Working Class Hero, originally released by John Lennon under his solo project John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band in their 1970 self-titled album (check the original version HERE), showcasing all her talent and passion for heavy music and, therefore, resulting in a beautiful rendition for such distinct classic; and the albums closes with another cover song, this time Sons of Moon and Fire, from the 1999 demo Revelation by Russian Black Metal horde Der Gerwelt, a beyond amazing tribute by Die Entweihung featuring guest bassist Anton Shirl (of Tales of Darknord), dedicated to the memory of Dmitry Aarbreck Abramov (R.I.P.) from the original Der Gerwelt lineup (and you can take a listen at the original version HERE).

In the end, as you can see it’s quite difficult to label the music crafted by Denis and his Die Entweihung in Kings & Pawns, showcasing all the dexterity, creativity and dynamism by such talented musician. Hence, the best thing to do in order to try to understand all styles and nuances found throughout the album is to stream it in full on YouTube, and of course purchase the album (and show Denis your utmost support) from his own BandCamp page, from Wings of Destruction’s BandCamp page or webstore, or from Discogs. Also, don’t forget to give Denis a shout on Facebook, getting to know more about his career, his music and plans for the future, consequently inspiring him to always move forward armed with his epic music. In a world where each one of us is either a king or a pawn, and with the discrepancy between those two groups growing exponentially year after year, there’s nothing better than some diverse and epic metal music to help us endure our daily lives, and Denis and his Die Entweihung are among us exactly to help us with that.

Best moments of the album: The Moustached God, Kings & Pawns and The Nonsense Games.

Worst moments of the album: Confrontation.

Released in 2021 Wings of Destruction

Track listing
1. Away into the Night 2:47
2. The Moustached God 6:32
3. As The Hangover Starts 8:36
4. Confrontation 4:02
5. Kings & Pawns 4:53
6. The Nonsense Games 7:12
7. The Only Thing Worthy to Save 6:42
8. Working Class Hero (John Lennon cover) 4:02
9. Sons of Moon and Fire (Der Gerwelt cover) 7:02

Band members
Denis Tereschenko – vocals, all instruments

Guest musicians
Alena “Dark Zero” – harsh and clean vocals & arrangements on “The Nonsense Games” and “Working Class Hero”
Alexander Ivanov – harsh and clean vocals & arrangements on “Kings & Pawns”
Anton Shirl – bass on “Sons of Moon and Fire”

Album Review – Darzamat / A Philosopher at the End of the Universe (2020)

Let one of the best Polish metal bands of all time take you on a one-way journey to the end of the universe with their highly anticipated fifth full-length opus, showcasing their unique fusion of heavy music, philosophy and witchcraft.

It might have taken excruciating 11 years for Katowice, Poland-based Symphonic Black/Gothic Metal outfit Darzamat to stun us all once again with their fusion of heavy music, philosophy and witchcraft, but fortunately the wait is finally over with the release of the beautifully titled A Philosopher at the End of the Universe, the fifth full-length album in the career of such distinguished band that has been worshiped by fans from all over the world since their inception in the distant year of 1995. Produced, mixed and mastered at Gorycki & Sznyterman Studio in Krakow, Poland by Jarosław “Jaro” Baran, one of the most successful Polish music producers of all time, together with Grzegorz Sznyterman, A Philosopher at the End of the Universe is a concept album picking up the story right where its predecessor Solfernus’ Path, released in 2009, left off, including a fragment of a story straight from a classic Gothic novel written by the band’s vocalist and mastermind Rafał “Flauros” Góral together with his poet friend, prose writer and linguist Jesion Kowal, all of course spiced up by the darkly enthralling vocals by frontwoman Agnieszka “Nera” Górecka, the guitars by Chris, the bass by Markus and the drums by session musicians Icanraz and Kamil Bagiński.

An atmospheric, cryptic intro title Reminiscence opens our minds to the dark and visceral music blasted by Darzamat in the title-track A Philosopher at the End of the Universe, where the mesmerizing vocals by Nera make a beautiful paradox with the harsh gnarls by Flauros while Chris embellishes the airwaves with his melodious riffs and solos. Then we have Running in the Dark, spearheaded by the thunderous bass by Markus and blending Gothic Rock and Metal with modern-day Rock N’ Roll while acid poetry flows from Flauros’ demonic roars (“I take upon my shoulders the weight of the world / Blood and ugliness, bitterness and pain / Death, mourning, sadness and deep shadow / Still the world is hard to accept”), followed by Thoughts to Weigh on Farewell Day, starting in a truly menacing way thanks to the Stygian guitar lines by Chris and the infernal growling by Flauros and evolving into a Symphonic and Progressive Gothic Metal feast for admirers of the genre. And Nera once again captivates our senses with her unique voice in The Tearful Game, while the music remains as ethereal and enfolding as possible, or in other words, a metal version of a witchcraft ritual, also showcasing intricate and fierce beats from start to finish.

Investing in a more aggressive but still very atmospheric sonority, the band fires a lesson in contemporary Gothic Metal entitled The Sleeping Prophet, where the lyrics are once again stunningly declaimed by Nera (“The icon of Man on the monument of the world I am / Mors rules the land on the other side of darkness / The serpent is arisen in my breast / I curse and feel when God deserts me”), whereas in Clouds Clouds Darkening All the band sounds like a hypnotizing hybrid of Moonspell and Type O Negative, with all scorching riffs and fast-paced beats providing Flauros and Nera all they need to shine with their “darkness and light” vocal duet. Their second to last ode to obscurity, The Great Blaze, begins in a sexy and heavy manner with Nera distilling her Medusa-inspired vocals while Chris slashes his guitar in great fashion, alternating between somber moments and sheer melancholy, before Darzamat puts a climatic ending to the album with The Kaleidoscope of Retreat, highly inspired by the Gothic movement from the 80’s and 90’s, and with a huge focus on Nera’s enfolding vocal lines, therefore leaving us eager for more of the music by this new era of one of the best Polish metal bands of all time.

I truly hope Darzamat do not take another decade to release a new album, but as we never know what musicians like Flauros and Nera have in mind and what direction they want to take in their careers, let’s enjoy the moment and appreciate the first-class fusion of Symphonic Black and Gothic Metal from A Philosopher at the End of the Universe by streaming the album in its entirety on YouTube and on Spotify, and of course by purchasing it from Daramat’s own BandCamp page, from Apple Music or from Amazon. Those Polish metallers are also waiting for you on Facebook, on Instagram and on YouTube, ready to invite you to their coven and to take you on a melodic and Gothic journey to the end of the universe with their breathtaking new album, consequently (and hopefully) pointing to a busy and prolific period for the band in the coming years.

Best moments of the album: A Philosopher at the End of the Universe, The Sleeping Prophet and Clouds Clouds Darkening All.

Worst moments of the album: Thoughts to Weigh on Farewell Day.

Released in 2020 TuneCore/Szataniec

Track listing
1. Reminiscence 1:41
2. A Philosopher at the End of the Universe 4:28
3. Running in the Dark 4:30
4. Thoughts to Weigh on Farewell Day 4:17
5. The Tearful Game 5:26
6. The Sleeping Prophet 3:54
7. Clouds Clouds Darkening All 4:39
8. The Great Blaze 4:15
9. The Kaleidoscope of Retreat 5:43

Band members
Nera – vocals
Flauros – vocals
Chris – guitars
Markus – bass
Jacek Gut – drums (live)

Guest musicians
Icanraz – drums (session)
Kamil Bagiński – drums (session)

Album Review – Bròn / Pred Dverima Noći (2020)

Embark on an atmospheric voyage to the mysterious and untamed nature of Serbia’s wilderness adorned with enthralling, majestic soundscapes and endless streams of melodies and harmonies.

Through the cosmic mists it descends upon us, Pred Dverima Noći, the new (and fifth) full-length album by Atmospheric Black Metal/Ambient act Bròn. Formed in Edinburgh, Scotland in 2014 as a sonic chronicle of the wanderings of New Zealander KG (from Barshasketh), but currently based in Belgrade, Serbia, Bròn (which by the way means “sorrow” in Gaelic Scottish) has already released a handful of ambient, down-tempo albums exploring life within a sprawling urban expanse since the project’s inception, but now with the addition of drummer GH (from A Forest Of Stars), Bròn has permanently left urbanity behind and has returned to the mysterious and untamed nature of Serbia’s wilderness in Pred Dverima Noći. Recorded, mixed and mastered at Sonorous Studio, and featuring a grim artwork by Khaos Diktator Design, Pred Dverima Noći is adorned with enthralling, majestic soundscapes and endless streams of melodies and harmonies, propelling the listener into the vast expanses beyond the conscious mind throughout its three sprawling tracks, all clocking in at over 15 minutes, being therefore recommended for lovers of the music by Limbonic Art, Evilfeast and Darkspace, among others.

The atmospheric keys by KG grow in intensity in the opening track Dverima Noći, darkening the skies and preparing our senses for an onrush of Stygian and captivating Black Metal spearheaded by KG’s devilish gnarls and the fulminating drums by GH in a 16-minute journey through the bitterly cold lands of extreme music, changing its shape and form as the music progresses while showcasing stunning keys intertwined with venomous riffs. If that wasn’t complex enough for you, Bròn offers us all Usnulu Zlobu Razbudi, which already begins in full force like an infernal tempest, filling our ears with scorching riffs, vicious blast beats and endless obscurity while once again presenting elements from classic Black Metal, Atmospheric Black Metal and even Symphonic Black Metal for our vulgar delectation. Moreover, KG sounds like a true beast with his hellish roars and riffage, supported by the talented GH and his unstoppable drums in this full-bodied, dense and very detailed aria. And the third song from such grandiose album, entitled Zastore Skrai, brings forward more of Bròn’s thrilling and epic fusion of heavy and austere sounds with the finesse of atmospheric music, also presenting elements from Blackened Doom and Depressive Black Metal to make things even more somber. In addition, GH pounds his drums slowly and steadily while KG keeps gnarling with tons of anguish and pain, flowing darkly and embracing our souls majestically until the very last second.

In the end, after the three songs (which offer an impressive combined running time of over 52 minutes of music) from Pred Dverima Noći are over, you’ll definitely feel trapped in the vastness of the Serbian uncharted lands forever and ever, going back to the start to savor every second of such imposing album of Atmospheric Black Metal again and again. Hence, don’t forget to follow KG and his cryptic Bròn on Facebook and to purchase your copy of Pred Dverima Noći from his own BandCamp page (or you can also click HERE or HERE and select your favorite version of the album), inspiring the wanderer KG to keep exploring the most desolate, uninhabited and serene regions of the world armed with his idiosyncratic music, bringing a paradox of peace and violence to our souls just like a feral creature trying to survive in the cold and dark nights out in the wilderness.

Best moments of the album: Usnulu Zlobu Razbudi.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2020 Nordvis Produktion

Track listing
1. Dverima Noći 15:57
2. Usnulu Zlobu Razbudi 19:31
3. Zastore Skrai 16:56

Band members
KG – vocals, guitar, bass, keys
GH – drums

Album Review – Dreams In Darkness / The Souls Pit (2020)

A lugubrious fusion of Gothic and Black Metal made in Argentina by “the soul that cultivates melancholy as a way of seeing the world.”

Dealing with delicate topics such as death, depression, fears and loneliness, Gothic/Black Metal act Dreams In Darkness was born back in 2016 in Tucumán, the most densely populated (and the second-smallest by land area) of the provinces of Argentina, inspired by the music by iconic bands the likes of Lacrimosa, Draconian and My Dying Bride, describing themselves as “el alma que cultiva la melancolía como forma de ver al mundo”, which in English translates as “the soul that cultivates melancholy as a way of seeing the world.” After the releases of their debut self-titled album in 2016 and their sophomore effort Dark Silence in 2018, it’s time for lead singer Giselle Stoker, keyboardist and vocalist Martin Tenebris, guitarist and drummer Cristian Bertrand and bassist Gabriel Nonasco to strike again with their third opus, entitled The Souls Pit, continuing the path of darkness, melancholy and solitude they have been paving since their inception a few years ago.

And melancholic, acoustic guitars ignite the obscure Carrion for the Vultures, where all keys and its background atmosphere remind me of the early days of Cradle Of Filth, while Giselle sounds like a true she-demon with her raspy gnarls, grasping like a Black Metal beast. In the excellent Dark Silence… Desolation, a well-balanced fusion of the most mournful form of Gothic Metal with the austerity of Black Metal, we’re treated to lyrics that exhale anguish and pain (“Bleeding, / Wailing, / In a sky so black, / Dark and immense, / That burns my body. / Screaming in the nothingness, / The crying of the soul, / An imposing emptiness, / That destroys my being.”), and after the cryptic and atmospheric interlude titled Spectral Voices the quarter returns in full force with the grim Bleeding, offering our ears a fusion of blast beats and demonic roars with serene key notes and a sense of hopelessness. Furthermore, the music feels very theatrical from start to finish, with Cristian and Gabriel hammering their stringed axes beautifully in what’s perhaps the creepiest of all songs from the album. And once again with Cristian delivering a solid riffage while Martin keeps the ambience as phantasmagorical as it can be, When the Candles Burn is a slow and steady tune presenting elements from Doom Metal, spearheaded by the scorching gnarls by Giselle.

The interesting ¡Oh… Muerte! is a lugubrious composition led by Martin’s melancholic keys and piano notes where Giselle “abandons” her demonic side and cleanly and stunningly declaims the song’s poetic words in her mother tongue, setting the tone for Beyond the Astral Boundaries, a dark, epic and imposing instrumental extravaganza where Cristian delivers at the same time scorching riffs and intricate beats and fills while Gabriel brings the groove with his bass jabs. In The Hunter we face more of their infernal words powerfully vociferated by Giselle (“I found myself, / In the darkness of my fears. / I become my demons. / And like a wild bird, / Into the forest I sheltered.”), with the entire band generating a fantastic hybrid of Symphonic Gothic and Black Metal with classic Doom Metal with their respective instruments, before another round of vampiric metal music penetrates deep inside our damned souls in the title-track The Souls Pit, where Giselle keeps growling nonstop accompanied by the vicious beats by Martin and the always sulfurous guitar lines by Cristian.

If your souls gets darker and your blood flows stronger through your body to the sound of Gothic and Black Metal, you should definitely give Dreams In Darkness a chance by listening to The Souls Pit in full on YouTube and on Spotify, as well as by following the band on Facebook and on Instagram, by subscribing to their YouTube channel, and by grabbing your copy of their newborn spawn from Apple Music or from Amazon, darkening the skies of heavy music even more. It’s not everyday that we have the pleasure of listening to metal bands from Argentina here on The Headbanging Moose, especially ones as obscure and cryptic as Dreams In Darkness, but whenever that happens we’re always happy to see South American extreme music is alive and kicking, proving once again why the continent has some of the craziest and most passionate fans in the world and why we should keep turning our attention to underground bands like those talented Argentinian vampires.

Best moments of the album: Dark Silence… Desolation and The Hunter.

Worst moments of the album: When the Candles Burn.

Released in 2020 Shadows of Death Records

Track listing
1. Carrion for the Vultures 4:43
2. Dark Silence… Desolation 6:08
3. Spectral Voices 1:38
4. Bleeding 7:30
5. When the Candles Burn 7:03
6. ¡Oh… Muerte! 3:12
7. Beyond the Astral Boundaries 4:09
8. The Hunter 8:28
9. The Souls Pit 5:17

Limited Edition CD Jewel Case bonus track
10. The Souls Pit (Demo) 5:20

Band members
Giselle Stoker – lead vocals
Martin Tenebris – keyboards, vocals
Cristian Bertrand – guitars, drums
Gabriel Nonasco – bass

Album Review – Eshtadur / From the Abyss (2020)

These unrelenting Colombian metallers return from the abyss once again embodying a deathly melodic atmosphere that reaches into realms of darkness and despair through the decay of humanity.

Three years after the release of the fantastic Mother Gray, which led the band to perform across several countries such as Colombia, Peru, Mexico, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, France, Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia, the unrelenting Pereira, Colombia-based Melodic Death and Black Metal unity known as Eshtadur has just unleashed upon us all their fourth full-length installment, entitled From the Abyss, once again embodying a deathly melodic atmosphere that reaches into realms of darkness and despair through the decay of humanity. With a name translating to “rebellion of angels”, this South American outfit currently comprised of Jorg August on vocals and guitars, Alejo Guitarecho on the guitars and Andres El Negro on bass, with the support of Polish drummer Michał Łysejko, seeks to rebel in its own darkened way, embracing the abject reality, while offering in their new album ten potent and multi-layered songs tailored for diehard fans of the extreme music blasted by iconic bands such as SepticFlesh, Behemoth, Fleshgod Apocalypse and Carach Angren, all embraced by the Stygian artwork by Colombian artist Carlos Jácome.

Featuring American guitarist Riche Brown from Mindscar, the opening tune Lowborn Bastard is imposing and atmospheric from the very first second, with Michał being already bestial on drums while Jorg roars deeply and manically, also presenting crisp guitar riffs and solos for our total delight, and pounding their instruments mercilessly the band offers our avid ears the fulminating The Adverse Side, showcasing a fantastic performance by Jorg and Alejo on the guitars accompanied by the thunderous bass by Andres and wicked symphonic background elements. Then we have The Red Door, a neck-breaking hybrid of Melodic Death Metal and Symphonic Black Metal bringing forward cryptic words vociferated by Jorg (“The entrance of the never known / The altered state / I dare you find the door / Can you cross the line?”), while it’s impressive how Michał’s beats can be utterly bestial and intricate at the same time; and they go absolutely berserk in The Fall, blending the most visceral elements from Death and Black Metal spearheaded by the venomous growls by Jorg while their guitars sound as piercing and austere as possible. Following such demented tune, and featuring Swedish guiratist Henrik Danhage from Evergrey, She the Void ventures through the realms of Symphonic Doom Metal, presenting an interesting paradox between Jorg’s deep guttural and the song’s whimsical orchestrations, albeit being a little bit longer than what it should.

Then we’re treated to a very special cover version for the song All She Wrote, featuring Tunisian vocalist Zaher Zorgati from Myrath and once again Henrik Danhage on the guitars, originally recorded by Richmond, Virginia-based Glam Metal band FireHouse in their 1990 debut self-titled album (check the original version HERE), and Eshtadur’s version is simply amazing, bringing tons of metal to the original version’s core rockin’ vibe. It’s time for Eshtadur to put the pedal to the metal and blast the infernal Transient Stranger, where all band members are on fire, scathing our skins with their violence and wrath while Andres and Michał make the foundations of the earth tremble with their blackened, groovy sounds. Those Colombian metallers keep delivering sheer adrenaline, darkness and hatred in The Oathbreaker, with Jorg and Alejo making a demonic guitar duo while Michał pulverizes our senses with his menacing beats and fills in a lesson in contemporary Death Metal, followed by The Fear Difusser, featuring Colombian guitarist Adrián Holguín from Souledge, another round of acid, unfriendly extreme music by Eshtadur showcasing their usual blast beats intertwined with stunning background keys and slashing riffs. Lastly, there’s no better way to end such demolishing release than with an aggressive and furious tune, Disphased Dimension, led by Jorg’s devilish roars and the classic drums by Michał, while Andres brings the groove with his sick bass punches, putting a beautiful finale to the album.

As it happens with several bands from the most distinct parts of the world, it’s always a pleasure for fans of underground metal like myself to witness the organic and exciting growth of bands like Eshtadur, a band that’s not only carrying the flag of Colombian metal everywhere they go, but that has also been shaping up their own music style album after album, sounding more and more unique as times passes by, with From the Abyss representing another spot-on step in their already solid career. Hence, don’t forget to follow Jorg and his henchmen on Facebook, on Instagram and on YouTube, and to grab your copy of From the Abyss or to stream the album in its entirety by clicking HERE, keeping the flame of Colombian Melodic Death Metal burning bright for many years to come. After four ass-kicking albums and extensive tours all over the world, I wonder what’s next for such distinct band, and the answer to that seems quite simple after listening to their new album in full a few times, that Eshtadur will keep delivering first-class metal music no matter what, never selling off nor slowing down.

Best moments of the album: The Adverse Side, The Red Door and The Oathbreaker.

Worst moments of the album: She the Void.

Released in 2020 Blood Blast Distribution

Track listing
1. Lowborn Bastard 5:28
2. The Adverse Side 3:44
3. The Red Door 5:00
4. The Fall 3:46
5. She the Void 6:56
6. All She Wrote (FireHouse cover) 4:17
7. Transient Stranger 4:18
8. The Oathbreaker 4:41
9. The Fear Difusser 4:29
10. Disphased Dimension 4:35

Band members
Jorg August – vocals, guitars
Alejo Guitarecho – guitars
Andres El Negro – bass

Guest musicians
Michał Łysejko – drums (session)
Riche Brown – guitar solo on “Lowborn Bastard”
Zaher Zorgati – vocals on “All She Wrote”
Henrik Danhage – guitars on “All She Wrote” and “She the Void”
Adrián Holguín – guitars on “The Fear Difusser”

Album Review – Raventale / Planetarium II (2020)

A deep and profound journey through the black wastelands of extraneous cosmos offered by a Ukrainian one-man army in the form of first-class atmospheric and extreme music.

Playing what he likes to call “Atmospheric Blackened Metal” since the project’s inception in 2005 in Kyiv, Ukraine, the talented vocalist and mutli-instrumentalist Astaroth Merc, from bands like Balfor, Chapter V:F10 and P’hevda Phenomenon, returns in 2020 with his Atmospheric Black Metal alter ego Raventale armed with his eleventh (and grandiose) full-length album titled Planetarium II, the conceptual follow-up to his 2017 album Planetarium. Recorded at Miasma Studio between 2017 and 2020, featuring a celestial artwork by Belarusian artist Olga Kann and guest female vocals by Ukrainian singer Alina Belova (Helengard, Kauan), as well as a linguistic adaptation by Nataliia GrimMe, Planetarium II extends the analysis of extrapolation of cosmic mysteries, clandestine dimensions and extramundane weirdness, or in other words, it’s a deep and profound journey through the black wastelands of extraneous cosmos offered by Astaroth in the form of first-class atmospheric and extreme music.

Sheen Of Urania works as some sort of  wicked intro led by the crushing, razor-edged guitar lines by Astaroth, dragging us all to the doomed and atmospheric world of Raventale in Extra Terrestrial Arcana, where the imposing sounds blasted by Astaroth generate a menacing and epic ambience perfect for his demonic roars, resulting in a beautiful Atmospheric Black Metal creation bringing to our ears crisp solos, whimsical keys and endless epicness while also overflowing rage and insanity. Not only Drinking Sulfur, Devouring The Sun carries a beautiful name for a song just like what Cradle of Filth would offer us, but musically speaking it’s beyond sensational, with Astaroth and his Raventale continuing to blend classic Black Metal with the Symphonic Black Metal played by Dimmu Borgir and nuances of Doom Metal and Blackened Doom for our total delight; whereas a damned rhythm intertwined with stylish background keys and a futuristic vibe are the main ingredients in the breathtaking Route To Andromeda, with our lone wolf growling in the darkest way possible in perfect sync with his scorching, venomous riffs.

The Moon In The Seventh House, perhaps the most Stygian of all songs, is a lecture in atmospheric and grim music, with guest Alina Belova adding a touch of finesse to the overall result while Astaroth’s vicious riffage walks hand in hand with his blast beats and phantasmagorical keys; and as atmospheric as it can be from the very first second, Let The Fire Burn! is another imposing composition that paves Raventale’s cosmic path to the bold and multi-layered Earth (Alpha & Omega), sounding at the same time very fresh and modern while living up to the legacy of classic Symphonic Black Metal. Furthermore, Astaroth’s infernal growling makes a fantastic paradox with his classy keyboards, while the drums keep the song’s pace vibrant and heavy-as-hell. And finally, the Doom Metal-infused aria A Temple Of My Choice puts a melancholic and climatic ending to the album, showcasing Astaroth’s anguished gnarls, sluggish beats and a feeling that all hope is lost, with the music marching on stunningly while our one-man army simply kicks ass with all instruments from start to finish.

You can show your support to such skillful and hardworking black metaller by following Raventale on Facebook and on VKontakte, and by purchasing your copy of Planetarium II in just a few days from his own BandCamp page, as well as from Ashen Dominion’s BandCamp page or webstore. In the end, we must all admit Astaroth has definitely outdone himself with his newborn spawn, elevating his music to the same level as some of the biggest names of the genre including Cradle of Filth, Dimmu Borgir, Emperor and Septicflesh, to name a few, showing all his hard work through the years is truly paying off, positioning Raventale as one of the most prominent names of the Ukrainian scene and, above all that, offering us fans of atmospheric music the perfect soundtrack for exploring the vastness and obscurity of the cosmos.

Best moments of the album: Drinking Sulfur, Devouring The Sun, The Moon In The Seventh House and Earth (Alpha & Omega).

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2020 Ashen Dominion

Track listing
1. Sheen Of Urania 1:53
2. Extra Terrestrial Arcana 6:38
3. Drinking Sulfur, Devouring The Sun 6:24
4. Route To Andromeda 5:48
5. The Moon In The Seventh House 7:06
6. Let The Fire Burn! 3:27
7. Earth (Alpha & Omega) 6:03
8. A Temple Of My Choice 5:30

Band members
Astaroth Merc – vocals, all instruments

Guest musicians
Alina Belova – female vocals

Album Review – Super Satan / Menetekel (2020)

An incendiary album of German Black Metal overflowing blast beats, pushing sounds and aggressive riffs that will let us all slide down the abyss piece by piece.

With a variety of beautiful, dreamy tracks and silence shattering sounds split into ten hypnotic tracks with a total playing time of over 57 minutes, Menetekel, the debut full-length opus by an infernal Kaufbeuren, Germany-based Black Metal duo comprised of vocalist Stefan Bauer (Disgusting Perversion) and guitarist Julian Gruber (Disgusting Perversion, Pestilent Reign, Running Death, Taste of Desolation) that goes by the curious name of Super Satan, brings to our ears a fast, hard-riffing and overall unconventional style of Black Metal, being highly recommended for fans of bands like Der Weg einer Freiheit and Der Rote Milan. Supported by the heavy kitchen of Nikita Kamprad (Der Weg einer Freiheit, Illusion of Strength) on bass, who also produced the album, and Sebastian Unić (Crimson Death, Pestilent Reign, Kâhld, Hysterie) on drums, Super Satan take no prisoners in Menetekel, with their driving blast beats, pushing sounds and aggressive riffs letting the audience slide down the abyss piece by piece and leading them through the end of all days, all of course sung in their mother tongue German.

Get ready to be dragged down to the scorching pits of the underworld in the phantasmagorical intro Menetekel, or “warning sign” in English, setting the stage for Super Satan to crush our souls in Zwiespalt (“conflict”), with Julian extracting sheer obscurity from his wicked guitar while guest Sebastian delivers traditional blast beats, resulting in a feast of classic and modern Black Metal spearheaded by the demonic roars by Stefan. Then we have another brutal round of Black Metal the likes of Marduk and Immortal in Einklang (“unison”), sounding absolutely demonic and pulverizing from start to finish, with Sebastian going berserk once again on drums while Nikita hammers his bass furiously, whereas the strident, piercing riffs by Julian are the main ingredient in the infernal Mondglanz (“moonlight”), bringing some Hardcore and Grindcore nuances to their already vicious sonority and, therefore, being perfect for slamming into the pit while also presenting groovier and heavier moments.

Dämmerung (“dusk”) is an Atmospheric Black Metal extravaganza led by the electrifying guitar lines by Julian while Stefan gnarls in a dark and anguished manner, remaining sluggish, bleak and melancholic throughout its five minutes of sheer obscurity, and following such venomous tune we’re treated to Wolkenbruch (“downpour”) and its almost 10 minutes of a fantastic hybrid between old school Black Metal with contemporary Melodic Black Metal. Furthermore, Sebastian sounds even more boisterous on drums while very rhythmic at the same time, with Stefan’s deep roars bringing endless hatred and fear to the overall result. Then cryptic sounds and tones permeate the air in Auferstehung (“resurrection”), morphing into a furious explosion of Black Metal infused with Symphonic Black Metal nuances with Sebastian once again adding his share of dementia to the music, while Stefan keeps barking and screaming manically.

Hammering their flammable instruments nonstop, the band pierces our ears and minds with the scorching Weltenbrand (“world fire”), also sounding and feeling atmospheric and epic. In addition to that, you can sense some resemblance to the most vicious creations from Neue Deutsche Härte, while Julian sounds truly infernal with his dark riffing. After such high level of obscurity, it’s time for a hurricane of modern-day Black Metal blasted by Super Satan in Ritual, showcasing razor-edged guitars, fulminating drums and the always visceral gnarls by Stefan, while Nikita and Sebastian bring thunder to the sonority with their sonic weapons. Lastly, blending the imposing sounds by bands like Cradle of Filth, Dimmu Borgir and Emperor, the band fills our ears with hatred and evil in the closing tune Ur, where those German metallers display all their dexterity and passion for the underworld for over eight minutes.

The creativity and darkness flowing from German Black Metal always amazes me, and with Super Satan it couldn’t have been any different than that. Those two talented musicians and their henchmen simply nailed it already with their debut release, which is by the way available for a full listen on YouTube and on Spotify, bringing forth a very cohesive, austere and incendiary fusion of the most diverse styles of Black Metal. Hence, don’t forget to give them a shout on Facebook and on Instagram, and to purchase your copy of such excellent album from their own BandCamp page or from the Thanatoskult’s BandCamp page, as well as from Apple Music or from Amazon. As already mentioned, Menetekel is the perfect soundtrack to the end of everything, proving once again why Black Metal made in Germany is and will always be one of the most interesting and breathtaking subgenres of extreme music.

Best moments of the album: Einklang, Wolkenbruch and Ritual.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2020 Thanatoskult

Track listing
1. Menetekel 1:15
2. Zwiespalt 6:02
3. Einklang 3:49
4. Mondglanz 3:00
5. Dämmerung 5:00
6. Wolkenbruch 9:38
7. Auferstehung 5:45
8. Weltenbrand 7:17
9. Ritual 6:57
10. Ur 8:32

Band members
Stefan Bauer – vocals
Julian Gruber – guitars

Guest musicians
Nikita Kamprad – bass (session)
Sebastian Unić – drums (session)