For the new Check 'Em All compilation, we have selected interesting releases by the six different bands from Sweden, Ukraine, China, France, Italy and Russia. Later in the article you’ll find a prog metal with clean vocals in the spirit of Karnivool’s and Muse’s soloists, a side project of Kauan’s members, a black metal with the Chinese folk instruments, the debut album by the musicians from Öxxö Xööx and Igorrr, a new single by the Italians Darkend with vocal by Mayhem’s Attila Csihar, as well as the composition dedicated to Dyatlov pass.
Port Noir — "Any Way The Wind Carries"
Release: April 1, 2016 via Century Media Records
The new selection is opened by "Any Way The Wind Carries" from the Swedish prog-metal trio Port Noir. Sensual vocal by the musician with the telling name Love Andersson, reminds a little Matthew Bellamy's and Ian Kenny's singing, and the very emotional music, diluted with electronic elements, sounds like a light version of Karnivool. This combination, completed with excellent production, will be interesting to fans of both above-mentioned bands, prog metal in general and the beautiful clean vocals.
a noend of mine — "The Serenity's Eve"
Release: March 15, 2016 via Pest Productions
In early spring, Kauan’s musicians Anton Belov and Alex Vynogradoff presented the debut album of their acoustic side project a noend of mine, the genre of which they defined as "quiet rock". The album entitled "The Serenity's Eve" came out on March 15 via Chinese label Pest Productions. This 8-track album is noticeably influenced by the musicians’ own bands Kauan and Vin de Mia Trix, and their venerable colleagues Katatonia and Steven Wilson. But if Vin de Mia Trix's and Kauan's records belong to doom/death metal, post-rock genres with a prevail depressive mood, a noend of mine’s music on "The Serenity's Eve" with Vynogradoff’s clean vocals can be tagged as "melancholic post/progressive rock".
Zuriaake — "Sleepwalking"
The single from the album "Gu Yan" released on October 15, 2015 via Pest Productions
Black metal with Chinese folk instruments — so, briefly, you can describe the track "Sleepwalking" by Zuriaake. I'm always impressed by the bands who skillfully express in their music a national flavor and "Sleepwalking" is a 20-minute opus of atmospheric black metal enriched with guzheng (a plucked string instrument) and erhu (a two-stringed bowed instrument) sound. According to this concert photo, a tribute to traditions is also reflected in the musicians’ image.
Corpo-Mente — "Corpo-Mente"
Release: March 24, 2015 via Blood Music
"Corpo-Mente" is the eponymous debut album of the French band who plays experimental opera and trip-hop music. If you’re into Öxxö Xööx or Igorrr, then you should definitely listen to this release, recorded by above-mentioned projects’ members. And in case you like the beautiful and powerful vocals on "Corpo-Mente", belonging to the French singer Laure Le Prunenec, then pay attention to her side project Rïcïnn, which is soon to release the debut LP "Lïan".
Darkend — "Of The Defunct"
Release: April 25, 2016 via Non Serviam Records
"Of The Defunct" is the latest album of the Italian metal band Darkend. The album recording, except the band’s six main members, was also joined by the guest musicians Attila Csihar (Mayhem), Niklas Kvarforth (Shining), Sakis Tolis (Rotting Christ) and Labes C. Necrothytus (Abysmal Grief). Recently, they released the grim black-and-white video for their first single, the title track "Of The Defunct", recorded with Mayhem’s vocalist.
Second To Sun — "Red Snow"
The single from the album "The First Chapter" released on November 16, 2015
Recently, there has been an incredibly intense interest of the musicians in the Dyatlov Pass incident. Taken place over 50 years ago events, inspire not only the musicians who are familiar with this story from an early age, but also the Swedish post-rockers, who dedicated to Dyatlov Pass the same-named track on their new album. This time, the tragic campaign story was touched on in a new track "Red Snow" by the Russian project Second To Sun. The composition features several rearranged traditional songs from Khanty and Mansi people, one of which called "Kukushka" [Cuckoo] can be heard at the end of the track. Also for creating an atmosphere, Second To Sun added to "Red Snow" the samples of shamanic tambourine, woman voice singing in Khanty language, drunken young men vocalizing, and the scrunching sound of the footsteps approaching the tents.
Photos in the preview pic: a screenshot from Port Noir’s video "Onyx" and the bands’ press photos