The Frenchman Julien A. Lacroix is a very sympathetic human being, acting under his own name (rather ghostly and glitchy Ambient / Experimental / Electronic Music), as Ninurta (eerie and horrific Ambient; with a fine collab in 2020 together with Chile’s Filmy Ghost), as α Ori (Glitch / IDM / Experimental / Cyber-Electro), and as Moloch Conspiracy.
I have no idea about the background of this collective, called Scepter & Crown. I think it is a newly formed band, which consists of the members S (guitars and vocals, as well as the main lyrics), G (drums), and H (textures). The trio hails from Maryland, and more specifically from the city of Baltimore.
The Finland based act Dispyt did not disappoint at all with their debut Den Ständigt Närvarande Ångesten, originally independently released in 2017 and re-released (+ re-mastered) in 2019 via Belgium’s Immortal Frost Productions. It is that very same label that now takes care of the releasing duties for the sophomore full-length album, Under Tiden Jag Sålde Min Själ Till Satan.
Armenia-based (Funeral) Doom label Funere once more comes up with a unique piece that twists with atmospheres and emotions. During its young existence, this label did release just a limited amount of things, but without exception all of them are quite unique in approach and professional in essence. Quite the same, evidently, goes for this debut recording by a mysterious Icelandic act.
Even during harsh and uncertain eras, new labels arise out of the putrid depths. Please bid welcome to Grind To Death Records, a pretty young label based in Malmö, Sweden, which focuses on the harsher side of Death Metal (Brutal / Slam / Grinding Death Metal) and Grindcore. The label did start enormously tranquil, with only two releases in 2020 – yes, that’s it – but I have the feeling that this isn’t but an omen, the quiet before the storm, and I expect a tornado on skull-crushing material yet to come.
The current Ambient scene cannot be seen without the influence of the Boström siblings. Pär Boström is a name you might recognize from his involvement with e.g. Aindulmedir, Kammarheit, Altarmang or Cities Last Broadcast. With his talented sister Åsa, he’s active as well under the moniker of Hymnambulae, and these beautiful people are the main forces behind Hypnagoga Press too.
After a Volume I, quite often, normally, there might be a Volume II as well. And ah, this proves that we, people from the Lowlands, are smart asses, because our respectful Hell Awaits crew and their young Sounds Of Hell promotion and distribution outfit indeed came up with a second volume, which, indeed, follows the first one (logic thinking is courtesy of Flemish soil for sure).
There are different definitions, or explanations, for the world ‘arallu’. But most of the time, it refers to the Mesopotamian / Babylonian / Sumerian mythologies, with ‘arallu’ being a kind of entity, or a genie, spawn from Enki, master of storm winds and bringer of darkness, then again referring to the underworld itself, where the dead got judged by the deities Nergal and Ereshkigal; a dimension also known as Irkalla, Kur or Ganzir.
Once in a while (often more than once in a while – aah, life is good…), you just get blown away by a debut release of a (new) act. Well, let me introduce you to German formation Voreus. Okay, this band consists of members already known from bands like Funeral Procession, Abominations, Imperceptum, The Chainsaw Demons or Fiat Nox, but that does not necessarily mean another interesting thing coming up.
After the Lahti, Finland based act Avafrost split up, some of its members decided to continue spreading their word of joy and peace, so they did form a new act, Plaguebreeder; the moniker of this band being at least as sweet and tolerant as the message they want to bring. …quite prophetic back then, quite topical too lately. Indeed, with poems dealing with human extinction and post-nuclear devastation, their message is filled with cheer and mirth.