Black Vulpine - Demo (2013)

Female fronted stoner metal might not be the flavor of this month, or any month for that matter. But Black Vulpine have been honing their craft for the better part of a decade. Their new demo might not be the be all and end all for the genre, but it is an open door to the future.

Of Solitude And Solemn - Starlight’s Guide (EP) (2014)

Though his budget doesn’t match his talent, Joe Hawker is doing amazing things with his home studio and a broad imagination. Of Solitude And Solemn is quickly becoming synonymous with symphonic post doom, and “Starlight’s Guide” will certainly help further that connection.

Alcest - Shelter (2014)

Alcest has always been a genre bending act, thanks largely to the artistic depth of mainman Neige. But on their new album, “Shelter” it looks as though they have become a victim of their own expectations, leaving behind grit and contrast in favor of beauty without the beast.

A Crisis Of Faith…

A quick read for you tonight on how we can make 2014 different for music.

Human Fortress - Raided Land (2013)

Is it a blessing or a curse to be mysterious? When you don’t know what you will get, it leads to intrigue and anxiety. Human Fortress may not have crossed into the top tier of the metal scene, but they’ve always been hovering near the line. Maybe “Raided Land” is just enough to push them across.

My Dark Lake - Tenebris Icon (EP) (2013)

Here’s what we know about My Dark Lake: They are from the Ukraine. That’s about it. But what we don’t know about them personally does not discourage what we do know about them musically. With some deft instrumental work and foresight, “Tenebris Icon” is an EP that could be so much more.

The Lion’s Daughter & Indian Blanket - A Black Sea (2013)

Collaboration. It;s a word that few in the music industry understand. A feature on a rap song doesn’t count. A solo in a rock song doesn’t count. What The Lion’s Daughter and fellow St. Louis brothers Indian Blanket have done is write an album, together, that showcases the talents of both to the audiences of both. “A Black Sea” is an album of the year contender; and a strong one at that.

Sometimes We Make Music - Forgotten Tales (EP) (2013)

The name says it all. Sometimes We Make Music. From the remnants of one project comes another, a splash of symphonic metal, folk inspirations and grandiose soundscapes. And while “Forgotten Tales” has some glaring flaws, it’s an EP that will, hopefully, change “sometimes” to “more often than not.”

Operadyse - Pandemonium (2013)

No need to mince words here about how great a year it’s been for metal in general. When debut albums have the emotional hold on you that this one does, you are witnessing something special. Much like Elessar, Operadyse aren’t waiting to unveil a masterpiece, and “Pandemonium” would be the crowning achievement for any symphonic metal band.

Burning Shadows - The Last One To Fall (EP) (2013)

With a new album on the horizon and a new set of recording digs to break in, Burning Shadows wants to give the masses what they want; new music to tide them over. With an EP of material old and new, this finely tuned five piece is ready for the leap. “The Last One To Fall” is the start of the rise.