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Terra Relicta Top 20 Of 2018



01. Aeon Sable
- Aether
02. Amorphis
- Queen Of Time
03. Atrium Carceri
- Codex
04. Dimmu Borgir
- Eonian
05. Behemoth
- I Loved You At Your Darkest
06. The Eternal
- Waiting For The Endless Dawn
07. MGT
- Gemini Nyte
08. Primordial
- Exile Amongst The Ruins
09. Khôrada
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10. Immortal
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Random album

Orkan - Livlaus (2015) - Review

Band: Orkan
Album title: Livlaus
Release date: 11 September 2015
Label: Dark Essence Records

Tracklist:
01. Fanden På Veggen
02. Brende Bruer, Svart Metall
03. Livlaus del 1: Evig
04. Livlaus del 2: Dødens Dal
05. Livlaus del 3: Tusen Sjeler
06. Uforgjengeleg
07. Skodde

Norwegian black metal outfit Orkan are back with their sophomore album named Livlaus, three years after the release of their debut Crimson Canvas. Orkan were formed in 2008 by Taake's live guitarist Gjermund Fredheim and ex-Byfrost drummer Rene Nesse. Having been joined by former Grimnorth bassist Sindre Hillesdal and frontman Einar Fjelldal ex-Gravemachine, Orkan released their debut full-lenght album Crimson Canvas in 2012. Whilst Crimson Canvas is, as described by the band, soundwise behind them and now they've taken their musical vision in a much darker direction, taking the classic Norwegian black metal sound and incorporating into it influences from many other genres, to create atmospheric melodies with haunting vocals and intense blastbeats.

Although Livlaus is unquestionably quintessentional black metal, other influences are woren in, ranging from thrash to almost black'n'rolll elements. Right off the bat with "Fanden På Veggen", it becomes immediately clear that this is not your average run-of-the-mill black metal album, with mid-paced songs and odd tempo changes interlaced with weird little unexpected twists in melody. The vocals are used sparingly as a counter point to the instrumental section, allowing the effects and textures to take the fore, whilst understated screams linger in the gloomy background giving everything a hair-raising eeriness. And like a flick of a switch "Brende Bruer, Svart Metall" launched-straight into what can only be seen as the polar opposite: very fast, aggresive and savage, thus providing the perfect juxtaposition for the melancholic-tinted dirge-like "Livlaus del 1, Evig". And just as you start thinking you're getting a feel for the album, you're struck by the powerfull, rolling and majestic beauty of "Livlaus del 2, Dodens Dal" undeniably one of the highlights of the album for me. "Uforgjengeleg" on the other hand has a bit of that unique Taake flavour in it, althought this by no means suggests that Orkan are on shortage in originality. Noteworthy guest vocal performances by Hoest of Taake and V'Gandr of Helheim further help to bring diversity and already great variety found in this album, making it a treasure-trove of hidden gems from beginning to end.

Livlaus was recorded live in the studio, there was no editing in basic tracks. Vocals and effects were added later later on. The lyrics are in Norwegian and the whole album is based around a loose concept about a lost soul who is trying to find peace in the kingdom of the dead. The inspiration comes from the forest around the home of drummer Rune Nesse and the old sulphur mines in his hometown, Stord, on the west coast of Norway.

Overall, Livlaus is on excellent opus and it was worth waiting for it. I can only imagine what an electrifying experience it must be to see those songs played live! Definitlyy a must listen to for any fans of black metal, and in particular for fans of Norwegian underground. Livlaus is a strong contender for many "Best of 2015" lists..

Review written by: Imago Mortis
Rating: 9/10

Disclaimer: This is a guest review and it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the Terra Relicta staff.

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Band: Alcest
Album title: Kodama
Release date: 30 September 2016
Label: Prophecy Productions

If the band exlored almost every possible element of atmospheric metal and rock, going deep into dreamy pop gaze and before that seeking the evil essence in the most ambiental side of black metal, now everything is staggering, perfectly put together into this musical amalgam of stylistic maximalism that finds its drawing substantial inspiration from Japanese art and culture, more precisely in Hayao Miyazaki's anime film Princess Mononoke. Kodama is just another step in Alcest's never ceasing creative force, it's an album that needs a lot of consequent listens before being completely discovered in all its corners; it boasts with many dramatic subtleties, hidden layers, and to reach that state of mind, when this albums grabs you with its flow, you must be in certain mood, ready to enter this cultural, stylistic and compositional narrative thing that not only upholds the band's trailblazing legacy but actually makes you want to see where they go next.

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