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Terra Relicta Top 20 Of 2017



01. Lacrimosa
- Testimonium
02. Sólstafir
- Berdreyminn
03. Soror Dolorosa
- Apollo
04. Ulver
- The Assassination Of Julius Caesar
05. Myrkur
- Mareridt
06. Sun Of The Sleepless
- To The Elements
07. Moonspell
- 1755
08. Au Champ Des Morts
- Dans La Joie
09. Andras
- Reminiszenzen...
10. Svartsinn
- Mørkets Variabler

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Reptyle - Night And The River (2014) - Review

Band: Reptyle
Album title: Night And The River
Release date: 23 May 2014
Label: Équinoxe Records

Tracklist:
01. Ghosts And Machines (Redemption Street Pt. II)
02. Morning Heir
03. What's In A Moment?
04. The Age Of Love
05. Night And The River
06. Ghost Ships For Tomorrow
07. Ways Of Fate
08. Rose Imperial
09. The Long Last
10. Pictures That Stay (East Westphalian Hunger)

Many of us believed that the bold - in my mind fresh and redemptive - hardening of gothic rock in the mid-90's was fated to dissapear with the turn of the century, as only a few long-running acts seemed willing to sustain that guitar-fueled current and newcomers looked were interested more in mere throwback mimicry. Fortunately, incipient outfits then - seasoned gothrockers nowadays - such as the East Westphalian quintet Reptyle have proven over more than a decade that those thinking that way were so wrong. In fact, The Germans have managed to preserve those intense memories through wholly-owned, instantly recognizable forms which have remained unmoved by passing trends.

Reptyle's third full-length album, Night And The River, definitely lives up the band's solid reputation in the gothic rock circuits. It comprises ten tracks of gloomy rock'n'roll, filled with immediacy, catchiness and flammability, but also coated with a tuneful varnish whose aroma lasts in memory. Though Reptyle defies comparison, this repertoire somehow sounds to me like Draconian-era Paradise Lost played by Dronning Maud Land or Secret Discovery and vice versa. Pick up the flashy, explosive opener "Ghosts And Machines (Redemption Street pt. II)" or the wailed, doomy "Rose Imperial" to see exactly what I mean. However Night And The River teems with pleasant surprises, including constant changes of mood, tempo and texture, as well as a flawless, truly signed performing. Thus the instrumental "Ways Of Fate" is an absolute jaw-dropper for gothriders: bass thrums with stadium-size echo and paired with classic riffs at full load. Precise, exuberant percussion propelling the whole thing and sinous strings and keys injecting melancholy in adequate doses when the track shifts down a gear. For its part, "Morning Heir" comes up with a groovy strings/drums interplay like winking at the their compatriots Bloody, Dead And Sexy, even though the song remains 100% Reptyle. Precisely, there's a rich variety of nuances underlying these ballistic tunes. For instance, check the distant-sounding, post-rock guitar buzzings present in "The Age Of Love", which otherwise shines in all its motorized glory and resinous choruses. Also pervaded with rocking allure is "Ghost Ships For Tomorrow", while an ominous vibe is provided in addition. Singer Zulu's harsh, throating invocations result in a maelstrom of churning bass, meandering riffs and haunting synths. Unfeigned, massive gothic rock loads, that you can also find in "The Long Last" and "Pictures That Stay (East Westphalian Hunger)", both of them relying on an anthemic driving that never fails to send shivers down the spine.

Though this five-piece equally blows away when taking their feet off the gas, as demonstrated by the dark grey, mournfully epic "What's In A Moment?", which leaves an stimulant Nephilim aftertaste and, above all, "Night And The River", whose bittersweet tune and far-reaching vocals penetrate deep in mind and, once there, they become perennial. It seems totally apt title for an album where the perdurable and the mighty interacts to the sake of gloom. If you're more into leather than lace, Night And The River should bring a tear of joy to your eye. Strongly recommended.

Review written by: Billyphobia (Virus G)
Rating: 8,5/10

Recommended by Terra Relicta

Band: Nocturnal Depression
Album title: Spleen Black Metal
Release date: 27th May 2015
Label: Avantgarde Music

Baudelaire, Cros, Laforgue, Brusset, Lamartine: the elite names of French literature are presenting the main form of inspiration for Spleen Black Metal, as Nocturnal Depression took their acclaimed works and decided to pour their ideas and ambiance into music. The album title says it all to be frank: the core of music still lies within the roots of black metal - swaying from mid-tempo driven melodies to more bone-crushing parts, with expressive growls and incredibly tenebrous atmosphere. But it's the fluid motion of passages and peculiar use of guitars, vocals and addition of string instruments, which build up the spleen part of it. Spleen Black Metal is one of those albums that is fairly impossible to put into words, because its distinguishing, elegiac atmosphere is its strongest point and speaks for itself. Whatever you may hide inside your soul – shattered memories and dreams of yore - whoever may have broken your heart and spirit; your most deeply buried secrets and scars will come alive when you enter the world of Nocturnal Depression's latest effort. Nocturnal Depression delivered the gloomy, decadent and strangely passionate sensations of the poems in dusky melodies with class and elegance.

Read a full review HERE