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The best new trend in “extreme” (yeah right) metal would seem to be: letting the singing stay ugly while the 10-ton guitar tapestries turn absolutely gorgeous and melodic. This is a big change from the predominant trend of recent years, where guitars could stay tuneless as long as at least one vocalist crooned “clean” (preferably in a goofy but friendly Central European accent) as opposed to, you know, like your favorite Sesame Street ogre. Progress, or what? Of course, 95 percent of the time, the only bands graceful enough to pull the trick off are Scandinavians trapped under ice. Though a few dudes below from California, Illinois, and Tennessee do give it a decent college catacombs try.


AMARAN

Pristine in Bondage

(Listenable Swedish goth-metal album)

Download “Atropine” (MP3)

AT WAR WITH SELF

Torn Between Dimensions

(Free Electric Sound instrumental prog-metal album)

Download “The God Interface” (MP3)

CALLISTO

True Nature Unfolds

(Earache Finnish depressive prog-metal album)

Download “A Cold Stare” (MP3)

Download “Anastasis” (MP3)

DARK TRANQUILLITY

Character

(Century Media Swedish power-goth death-metal album)

Download “Sense Tied” (MP3)

FRANTIC BLEEP
The Sense Apparatus

(The End Norwegian prog death-metal album)

Download “. . . But A Memory” (MP3)

MERCENARY

Eleven Dreams

(Century Media Danish power-goth album)

Download “Eleven Dreams” (MP3)

Download “Firesoul” (MP3)

NOVEMBERS DOOM
The Pale Haunt Departure

(The End depresso-metal album)

Download “Swallowed by the Moon” (MP3)

PLACE OF SKULLS

Place of Skulls

(Outlaw Recordings apocalyptic doomsday-Christian stoner-metal EP)

RISING MOON

They Are as Us

(Crash Music Italian melodic death-metal album)

Download “Cyborg Insane” (MP3)

SEARING MEADOW

Corroding From Inside

(Crash Music Finnish depresso-thrash album)

Download “Infamous Lines” (MP3)

SUBARACHNOID SPACE

The Red Veil

(Strange Attractors Audio House ambient psychedelic depresso-metal album)

YYRKOON

Occult Medicine

(The End/Osmose Productions French melodic death-metal album)

Download “Doctor X” (MP3)

Download “Surgical Distortion” (MP3)

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