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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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Xaemora - Pandemonium's Ocean (2017) - Review

Band: Xaemora
Album title: Pandemonium's Ocean
Release date: 27 October 2017
Label: Black Market Metal Label

Tracklist:
01. Beneath Frozen Tombs
02. MSB
03. Wrist Slitter
04. Pandemonium's Ocean
05. Lament
06. Elegy
07. Altars

Emerging from St. Louis, Missouri (USA), Xaemora presents us their full-length debut album, Pandemonium's Ocean. Playing around the scene since 2012, Xaemora brings in the luggage a demo released in 2013 and two EP's, Kingdom Venom I (2014) and Kingdom Venom II (2016). Kingdom Venom I and the successor Kingdom Venom II were very well received by fans of melancholic black metal. The bands line-up has changed along the years, but now the talented musicians together are Hartväig playing guitar, next to vocalist/guitarist Dreathus, known also to be a part of Incineration, Unburied, Tyranny Enthroned and Splatter Whore. The line-up of the band is then completed with gifted Deyanira and her keyboards, Vltir Sarnat the bassist who has joined Xaemora in 2015 and made part of Rites Of Impiety, and W. on drums, known also from Bonerkill, ThorHammer, Acedia, MCF, Tropical Storm!, Vacant Grave and Decapitated Saints.

Pandemonium's Ocean has an omnipresent darkness, frost vocals, furious riffings, deep atmospheric keyboards, a blast roaring drumming during all of the seven tracks. Combining catchy melodies, an intense symphonic atmosphere and the ideal amounts of extreme metal, Xaemora permeate each note and many times approach to Dimmu Borgir's style. Mainly the lyrics talk about misanthropy, chaos  and  death. The first track, "Beneath Frozen Tombs", starts with an impressive speed for a symphonic style, but in its core remains faithfull to the 90s black metal. Great amount of tremolo picking and blast beats are well mixed with Deyanira's symphonic keyboards. I must also say that I feel pleased by the high pitched black metal vocals.
 
As I said this album is heavily rooted in the 90s, they use a great mixture of slow, mid paced and fast parts. A nice melodic guitar solo appears in "MSB", one of my favorites, and not just in this track, you'll get plenty of well inserted guitar leads throughout the entire album. Highlights to the fourth track, "Pandemonium's Ocean", that starts very melodic, almost painful, I'll risk and say that this song is the best of the whole album. The beautiful and crying clean guitar is capable to shivering your hair. The firsts two tracks are in the speed of light and are gradually slowing down, taking the epic posture, typical for symphonic black metal. "Lament" and the last song, "Altars", next to "Pandemonium's Ocean", completes this scene of captivating beauty that Xaemora brings to us, the end of the song with the guitars stealing the scene completely. I loved the last track, brings me a good vibe and is filled with rage.

I would say that in general the album is well structured, it has a well balanced combination of elements, it does not bring out anything new, but it maintains the style, certainly catering to the more traditional fans. Gragoth from Luciferium War Graphics, was responsible for the beautiful artwork, design and layout of the album. Xaemora has been developing throughout its releases, their demo and the two EPs were very nice, but now this album is much more refined and professional. It's a considerable sonic journey into the symphonic blackened machine for a band in the beginning of their carrer.
 
Pandemonium's Ocean brings forth an interesting take on and mix between the extreme rage and the melodic passion of black metal. Their intense blazing guitars, shrieking and harsh vocals, the symphonic/atmospheric keyboards, dynamic bass lines, and intense drums, tell us what I've tried to describe in this review. Xaemora has an intense agenda and have already played with metal monsters like Morbid Angel, Havok, Black Anvil, Tyranny Enthroned and many other well known marvelous bands. For sure you'll not regret to support this guys. Long life to Xaemora and looking forward to the next album.

Review written by: Felin Frost
Rating: 8/10

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Recommended by Terra Relicta

Band: Phelios
Album title: Human Stasis Habitat
Release date: 3 September 2016
Label: Loki-Found

On Passage, Phelios set the template for the sort of music he would make over the coming decade. Deep spacey ambient, with a touch of ritual percussion. Human Stasis Habitat will not be for everyone. With space ambient, comes a subtlety and even flow that will not be loved by all fans of dark ambient. But, that shouldn't stop anyone from giving it a try. Martin has gone to great lengths with Human Stasis Habitat to keep the story moving, keep the sounds entertaining, and keep the listener embraced in darkness and the infinite mysteries of space. For those who already love space ambient, this will immediately sink into your soul. Human Stasis Habitat is surely the most refined work by Phelios, to date. From album art to production to mastering everything here is top notch.

Read a full review HERE