- Kill or Be Killed
I mean, it's certainly better than the other singles. It just still sounds very lackluster and repetitive to me.
 - Collapse Through a Mind
Kind of a very short EP, I could've gotten a better idea of the sound if it was longer - ends too quick for my liking. Not bad though, I like the eerie buildup to the second track and its crescendo.

Also, cool album cover!

 - Antimai

A more of a happy, indie rock sound than most of their previous albums. This album is very groovy, very synthy, very jazzy, all perfectly balanced together, very playful - unless you pay attention to the lyrics I guess lmao. A perfect lead in from the Indigo Child, although I wasn't the biggest fan of that EP. Also wow, the album cover is gorgeous.

Act VI's hope is finally gone, guys :(.

Favourites: Ring 8 - Poverty, Ring 6 - LoTown, Ring 4 - Patrol, Ring 3 - Luxury

 - False Light
One of the best albums I've heard so far this year.

The opening track starts off with riffs akin to Gojira, and then takes you through a melodic journey. Leviathan is the right name for it, it's a behemoth of a track with a beautiful blend of black metal and jazz. It's amazing. Can you eat a song? I wish you could.

This is a very foreboding album, not unexpected from atmospheric black metal, but the saxophone somehow serves to make it more haunting.

Favourites: Leviathan, Phoenix, Silence ... read more

 - Love Exchange Failure
A mellower album than their debut, Love Exchange Failure has better melodies, riffs, and atmosphere. It abandons most of their saxophone to opt for just a piano based melody, but to be honest I don't mind. This just becomes a great pure blackgaze album. The guitar goes hard - especially in No Cure For Pain.

Favourites: Love Exchange Failure, Poisonous Flowers of Violence, No Cure For Pain, Uncanny Delusions
Can do withour: Shelter (I like piano ballads, but the vocals just don't go well ... read more

 - Futility Report
The only real experience in Avant-Garde metal I have is with Zeal & Ardor, but I am a huge fan of blackgaze and this is, to put plainly, a masterful album, mixing both elements well. Metal goes well with literally every instrument lmao.

The first track is the best of them all by far, but the other songs hold their own too. It's not the best blackgaze album, not when Deafheaven and Alcest exist, but it succeeds in creating a different sound than those bands that works.

Favourites: Deviant ... read more

 - Rotoscope
A very gothic and industrial sound, kind of on the same wavelength as The Birthday Massacre. Interesting EP, especially Sew Me Up, but there's not a lot going on here.
 - Heroine
Honestly, this album is better than their previous one. Most metalcore doesn't really do much for me, but this does. As so many people have said before, the Deftones inspiration coupled with Muse-esque vocals (especially in Hollywood) shine through, both bands that I love and have been a great influence on my music taste. Heroine ticks all the right boxes, much like Loathe's I let It In and It Took Everything did. Jacob Charlton's falsettos throughout compliment the music very well, this is a ... read more
 - The Dark Pool
Metalcore is angry white people music with great instrumentals. :)

Jokes aside, this is one of the strongest debuts I have ever heard in the metal scene. The biggest problem I have with metalcore is that I am unable to differentiate between a lot of songs because they sound so similar and formulaic with a few exceptions, and this album isn't completely immune to it either. Despite that, it manages to sound good. The ambient and shoegazy sound manages to bring a freshness to an oversaturated ... read more

 - Butterfly
Very angsty lyrics, very angry metalcore, but a headbanger. This is a very good EP - one of the best metalcore out there.

Favourites: Parasite, My Design, Joy

 - 13
Thornhill really filled out into their shoes after this EP. The instruments are good - even great but the vocals sound strained, something out of BMTH's first two albums.

Favourite: Xy

 - Tales of Ithiria
This is less heavy than any of their previous albums and not really symphonic metal (the metal part is pretty much absent), but while this album is not bad, the production sounds awful and drowns out most of the instruments and reduces their quality. The narration is also not very wanted, plus the album is short, with about half of the tracks going as short as half a minute. The actual songs, however, are good - only thwarted by the production. Please someone save me from this awful production, ... read more
 - Eppur Si Muove
Another conceptual album by Haggard, this time about Galileo Galilei and how unrelenting he was about his discovery, even in the face of torture by the church for claiming that the sun in fact, does not move around the Earth and it's the other way around. Going against the word of the church was a serious offence, but Galileo, the madlad, recited everything the church told him to say about them being right, and then muttered, as the album name itself states - 'and yet, it (the Earth) ... read more
 - Awaking The Centuries
Haggard draws inspiration from Rachmaninoff's music to create dark and haunting progressive melodies and create a conceptual album that recount the Black Plague through the eyes of Nostradamus. The star of the show is the amazingly done title track which depicts Nostradamus having visions of death and destruction (Humanity is burning tonight.) Being influenced by Rach for such a bleak topic was a very good move, hah, as is evident with the choirs and the intro track.
The vocals sound kind of ... read more
 - And Thou Shalt Trust... The Seer
One of my favourite and MASSIVELY underrated symphonic metal bands, Haggard blends death metal with classical instruments and operatic vocals, much like Theatre of Tragedy but with more neoclassical roots. This band has a monstrous amount of members, the highest has gone up to 21, I believe. In this case, too many cooks do not spoil the broth as the myriads of instruments blend beautifully to create an amazing medley and the death metal and operatic soprano vocals complement each other ... read more
 - The Dying Option
I love the ethereal and dreamy sound that MCC brings with each release. They cite themselves as writing magical rock music, and I agree. While they are not ground breaking in terms of instrumentals or sounds, this is a very pleasant album in terms of ambience and enjoyment. I miss some of the instrumentals that were present in Goodmorning Restrained, but in my opinion, this album does the alternative/post rock sound beautifully and better than GR. The riffs are stronger, and Martin Persner does ... read more
 - Ways We Haunt
There is an interesting mixture of prog, mathcore and djent in this album. I'm not a huge fan of the vocals on most of the heavier songs here, but the band does a good job with the instruments and vocals. On the whole, a good album - reminds me of Black Peaks.

Favourites: Skylights, Fell Under a Spell, Goblin Valley, The Polar Dream
Can do without: Nocturnal Visitor, Rorschach

 - Will Of The People
Man I love Muse. But even Matt's vocals can't save this song - this is the worst of all their songs by far. I had higher hopes, but maybe this album isn't going to be good if the three singles are anything to go by. :(
 - Pirates
Visions of Atlantis have always been an integral part of Symphonic Metal, and for good reason - they have been in the genre for a long time. Like most symphonic metal, their songs start off strong, and they lose their uniqueness to generic instrumentals and vocals in the rest of the song until the bridge. I wish their compositions were more intricate, all of the songs were pretty hit or miss.

Nevertheless, this is a fun, energetic album that gets your blood pumping. Michele's voice reminds me ... read more

 - ...And I Return to Nothingness
While the mixing is not great and the loud guitar drowns out a lot of the vocals, I have nothing else negative to say about this - Will Ramos is an absolute beast. I would recommend watching the one take of To The Hellfire on his YouTube channel for a much better recording and experience.
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AOTY July Playlist