The huge scene from Suomi has bands / projects in between ‘I can’t stand at all’ till ‘hail and praise’. Behexen for sure do belong to the second category. I follow them since their debut Rituale Satanum (Sinister Figure, 1999/2000).
Vladimirs, aka The Vladimirs, are a Cincinnati, Ohio-based Horror Rock formation, formed in 1995 by (former) members of e.g. Thorns Of The Carrion, Estuary and Bad Samaritans. The band did record a rich hand full of albums in mean time, mainly through Bloodpact Music (early years) and Blood & Guts Records (as from 2003’s The Odds Are Against Us).
The very young act Trails Of Sorrow hails from Italy and debuts with Languish In Oblivion through US-based label Domestic Genocide. The duo (vocalist / lyricist Dying Poet Of Funeral Litanies and instrumentalist / programmer / music writer Friedrich Restless Soul) brings a somewhat mystic mixture of both Ambient-Gothic-Doom and Funeral Doom-oriented Dark Metal, emotional, atmospheric and ominous.
Daylight Dies were originally formed in 1996 in Asheville, yet in mean time they relocated to Raleigh (North Carolina). Throughout the years, the band recorded different studio works, amongst which three full length, and without exception all of them were reviewed extremely positively by the international press.
Finnish record label Svart Records are one of the few labels that, lately, succeed to exceed the grey masses with non-commercial yet mostly worthy stuff. A new example of this grotesquery is Mundus Numen, the second full length by German trio Essenz, a band with some Drowned-members in its ranks.
(2009: Metaphysis EP; 2010: debut full length KVIITIIVZ – Beschwörung des Unaussprechlichen, both released through Amor Fati)
Honestly, I do not know that many interesting Doom / Drone projects from Poland, but (one of) my favourite(s) is, for sure, Echoes Of Yul, formed in 2008. This act debuted in 2009 with a self-called album, which did create new possibilities and directions within the international Post-scene. In 2010 we could enjoy an enjoyable split as well, with landmate colleagues Sun For Miles and Guantanamo Party Project.
The x-th Death re-release through Relapse (see the archives-section for reviews done by undersigned concerning several other releases by this protagonist act, as well as some side-projects); this time 1990’s Spiritual Healing, which was another mile stone within Death’s history.
This successor of The Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogues, the sequel on North Caroline-based Between The Buried And Me’s 2011-EP, continues the concept of Prospect I and II, the main characters in a somewhat dualistic, schizophrenic story.
For those who are trusted with this band’s complex, kinetic Modern Metalcore: this album is a ‘highlight’ (read: another continuously next chapter) in this band’s career.
(I haven’t really been such a ‘fan’ in the past, and unfortunately it won’t be different right now)
Seremonia (it’s Finnish for ‘ceremony’, by the way) are a young quartet from Finland, consisting of female singer Noora Federley, Ville Pirinen (g, k, bv), Erno Taipale (d, g, flute) and Ilkka Vekka (b, k, bv and lyrics). Their self-called debut-album was engineered and mixed by Teemu Markkula, who’s part of the band’s live line-up, by the way, and it lasts for just over half an hour.
Hailing from Australia, Mongrels Cross are debuting fulllengthly on Hells Headbangers about one year after the highly acclaimed EP Whoresanna. In the vein of that 2011-EP, this first full length, The Sins Of Aquarius, stands for a mixture of barbaric and venomous Death / Black / Thrash Metal. The tracks are firm, fierce, brutal and pounding, with a nice balance in between fast and slower tempos (yet with a focus on speed, including some blasting eruptions).
Originality = 0, performance = 100.