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EXPERIMENTAL/POST METAL

A Progressive Rock Sub-genre


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Experimental/Post Metal definition



Experimental Progressive Metal

Experimental progressive metal is a sub-genre of progressive metal characterized by the incorporation of innovative, eclectic elements, large-scale experimentation and the use of non-standard and unconventional sounds, instruments, song structures, playing styles, and vocal techniques. Experimentation in the music is a major criteria to define the genre where artists often add unique elements to the overall sound, while progressive metal usually has more focus on traditional metal instrumentation and higher levels of technical complexity.

It's nearly impossible to pinpoint the exact origin of Experimental Progressive Metal since experimentation is common in all music genres. Still it is clear that experimentation in the progressive metal sub-genre has slowly but steadily grown in popularity ever since its humble beginnings in the early 1980s.

Just like any other style, Experimental Progressive Metal has a few defining moments that have changed the rules for its sub-genre for years to come. Two of such moments are the releases of the debut album by MR.BUNGLE of August 1991 and its iconic follow up "Disco Volante" of 1995. MR BUNGLE became notorious for their heavy sound and mid-song shifts of musical style. The band has later spawned an array of established avant-garde side projects such as FANT‘MAS, SECRET CHIEFS 3 and ESTRADASPHERE but also inspired new Experimental Metal acts to take the music scene to new heights.
Another crucial artist in the development of Experimental Progressive Metal was the leading Avant Metal band of the 80s, CELTIC FROST. Their eclectic mix of Thrash, Doom, Symphonic and Goth Metal created a dark theatrical mystique that became a major influence among the experimental Extreme Metal bands of the 90s such as MY DYING BRIDE, ULVER, ARCTURUS among others. These bands served as an important source of inspiration for the experimental movement within extreme metal.

The bands listed under Experimental Progressive Metal have all, in various degrees, shed their extreme heritage in favor of embracing influences of the eclectic style going from art rock and ethnic up to free-jazz and even modernist music.

Art Metal
Art metal is a direct continuation of progressive metal but with the longing to expand the themes and styles of music while maintaining the technical complexity of the sub-genre.
These bands are more artistic than their progressive metal peers and tend to experiment, to a certain extent, but not as openly as the bands of the eclectic and avant-garde metal styles. Art metal comes in many shapes and forms. The virtuosity and complete unpredictability of DEVIN TOWNSEND, OSI and TOOL always manages to draw attention of both fans of traditional metal as well as the progressive music audience, while bands like ANATHEMA, DEADSOUL TRIBE and GORDIAN KNOT attract many fans of groove and atmospheric music into their vibrant soundscapes. Other notable acts include GREEN CARNATION, DARK SUNS and ANTIMATTER.

Eclectic Metal
These bands often add unconventional elements to their metal sound, whether it's experiments with various new sounds and styles that are otherwise uncommon in metal or by blending many styles, with metal being the referential core. Whether it's the ethnic elements of ORPHANED LAND's music that combines Middle Eastern folklore with the more traditional progressive metal sound or a completely unique mix of atmospheric, almost ambient, elements fused with metal that can be found in the sound of THE GATHERING, eclectic metal artists will always certainly bring a host of different styles and ideas to the table. Experimental metal can be found in numerous forms while featuring notable acts like INDUKTI, IN THE WOODS... and MAUDLIN OF THE WELL.

Avant-garde Metal
This style is generally considered to be more extreme in both its arrangements but most importantly extremely complex and unpredictable song structures. Compositions have the ambition of trying to breach boundaries of music and generally have significant experimental approaches to metal music. Most of this music borders on the realms of pure avant-garde while still maintaining a solid foundation in metal with technical instrumental prowess. Notable acts include UNEXPECT, EPHEL DUATH and VIRUS.


Post Metal

Post metal arose following the subsequent emergence of numerous newer, grittier metal genres like sludge, stoner, doom, and drone in the late 80's and early 90's, as well as the budding post-rock scene that emerged in the early 90's in Europe and North America. The scene's origins can be heard in several distinctly like-minded, moderately experimental groups in the early 90's, ranging from the noisy grind of GODFLESH, the sludgy, melodic, sometimes punk-like riffs of the MELVINS, and the proggy time signatures and grungy riffing of TOOL or HELMET, to the textural work of DON CABALLERO and the more melodic moments of early BARK PSYCHOSIS.

Arguably the first true and definitive realizations of post-metal emerged in the mid 1990's. The most concrete example was NEUROSIS, who moved farther away from their crust-punk origins and into more atmospheric territories with releases like Souls at Zero and Through Silver in Blood, the latter album in particular being regarded as one of the most definitive releases in the genre even to this day for its revolutionary blend of dark, spanning atmosphere and massively heavy sludge, something that would later come to define the post-metal genre as a whole (indeed, post-metal is often called "atmospheric sludge" as well). It wouldn't be until the early 2000's, however, that the genre's capacity would be fully realized, with releases like ISIS's "Oceanic", CULT OF LUNA's "Salvation", and PELICAN's "Australasia" paving the way for a true scene to emerge, and post-metal has since become a widespread phenomenon that has captivated the attention of many adventurous listeners worldwide.

Post-metal's unique sound is often very long and extremely drawn-out, utilizing oft-repetitive and simple riffs and guitar texturing to create massive buildups and musical climaxes. At times very emotionally evocative, it can be equally soft and soothing as it can be massively dense and crushing. Vocals are used sparingly, if at all (instrumental post-metal is a popular genre, with groups like PELICAN and RUSSIAN CIRCLES even achieving some degree of mainstream credibility), and when they are, they're usually gruff and barked as opposed to growled or screamed, a signature trait of the genre's hardcore roots.

Variations of Post-metal

While it should be noted that many post-metal bands have their roots in sludge metal, there are many post-metal bands that are rooted in other genres of metal. While post-sludge was an almost uniquely American phenomenon, a number of European doom-influenced post-metal bands have risen to fame, namely groups like ANATHEMA, YEAR OF NO LIGHT and CALLISTO; their slow-churning riffs and depressing mood of doom metal fit very well into the post-metal formula. These groups later gave way to more western post-doom-metal projects like JESU, GIANT SQUID, and MINSK.

A number of post-metal bands are significantly influenced by hardcore and post-hardcore, crafting the melodic elements of modern hardcore into their own brands of textural and atmospheric post-metal. This is exemplified by groups like ROSETTA, THE OCEAN COLLECTIVE, CAVE IN, MOUTH OF THE ARCHITECT and BURST.

A subgenre that has emerged to a considerable degree in the last decade is an amalgamation of post-rock and black metal. Black metal has traditionally not been a stylistic influence on post-metal over the years, but bands like ALCEST, FEN, AGALLOCH and ALTAR OF PLAGUES have used the more atmospheric qualities of black metal and the tremolo riffing and incorporated it with a shoegaze-like affinity for heavy, dreamy sounds and guitar effects to create a unique and evocative subgenre that shares many visional and sonic characteristics of post-metal. While the explosion of bands exploring this style is a rather recent phenomenon, there are some instances of this occurring very early in the lifespan of the post-metal genre as a whole. ULVER's debut could be seen as possibly the first album to fall under this definition. For clarification's sake, these post-rock influenced bands are placed in the post-metal subsection of ProgArchives as opposed to the black metal subsection of Tech/Extreme because they eschew much of the harsh tonalities, minor modes, and shrieking vocals of black metal and add a melodic and emotional aspect that makes it much more accessible than their progressive black metal peers in the tech/extreme section.

Today, the most popular post-metal groups are much of the genre's godfathers like ISIS, NEUROSIS, PELICAN, and CULT OF LUNA, though a number of newer bands have risen to fame in metal and prog circles within the last 5 years like INTRONAUT, ROSETTA, and THE OCEAN COLLECTIVE.


--- Definition by Alex and Kevin and the Progressive Metal Team, February 2012 ---

The Progressive Metal Team
Karl (bonnek)
Kevin (Necroncommander)
Alex (Rune2000)
Thanos (aapatsos)
Dave (Prog Sothoth)
Louis (rdtprog)

Experimental/Post Metal Top Albums


Showing only studios | Based on members ratings & PA algorithm* | Show Top 100 Experimental/Post Metal | More Top Prog lists and filters

4.22 | 1341 ratings
LATERALUS
Tool
4.22 | 645 ratings
PART THE SECOND
Maudlin Of The Well
4.34 | 116 ratings
IMAGINARY SONICSCAPE
Sigh
4.28 | 168 ratings
THROUGH SILVER IN BLOOD
Neurosis
4.19 | 595 ratings
TERRIA
Townsend, Devin
4.16 | 640 ratings
JUDGEMENT
Anathema
4.17 | 532 ratings
ZILTOID THE OMNISCIENT
Townsend, Devin
4.19 | 297 ratings
LEAVING YOUR BODY MAP
Maudlin Of The Well
4.58 | 36 ratings
FEA JUR
Lye By Mistake
4.18 | 269 ratings
BATH
Maudlin Of The Well
4.16 | 252 ratings
IN A FLESH AQUARIUM
Unexpect
4.14 | 340 ratings
THE MANTLE
Agalloch
4.19 | 135 ratings
SOMEWHERE ALONG THE HIGHWAY
Cult of Luna
4.13 | 310 ratings
LIGHT OF DAY, DAY OF DARKNESS
Green Carnation
4.12 | 304 ratings
FABLES OF THE SLEEPLESS EMPIRE
Unexpect
4.09 | 801 ratings
∆NIMA
Tool
4.43 | 40 ratings
KHAOOOHS & KON-FUS-ION
Pan.Thy.Monium
4.12 | 238 ratings
PANOPTICON
Isis
4.07 | 558 ratings
ALTERNATIVE 4
Anathema
4.09 | 300 ratings
MABOOL - THE STORY OF THE THREE SONS OF SEVEN
Orphaned Land
4.05 | 843 ratings
WE'RE HERE BECAUSE WE'RE HERE
Anathema
4.07 | 321 ratings
THE DEVIN TOWNSEND BAND: SYNCHESTRA
Townsend, Devin
4.54 | 26 ratings
TűNő IDő TŃRLAT
Thy Catafalque
4.14 | 114 ratings
SOL NIGER WITHIN
Thordendal's Special Defects, Fredrik
4.14 | 107 ratings
THE PAINTER'S PALETTE
Ephel Duath
4.17 | 85 ratings
SUSPENDED ANIMATION DREAMS
Subterranean Masquerade
4.06 | 242 ratings
S.U.S.A.R.
Indukti
4.02 | 841 ratings
WEATHER SYSTEMS
Anathema
4.07 | 183 ratings
OCEANIC
Isis
4.10 | 117 ratings
OMNIO
In The Woods...
4.18 | 68 ratings
SOULS AT ZERO
Neurosis
4.58 | 21 ratings
MYSTER M÷BIUS
Myster Mobius
4.20 | 58 ratings
WRITTEN IN WATERS
Ved Buens Ende
4.37 | 29 ratings
THE LOCUST YEARS
Hammers of Misfortune
4.01 | 273 ratings
…CAILLES DE LUNE
Alcest
4.02 | 191 ratings
WAVERING RADIANT
Isis
3.99 | 282 ratings
OCEAN MACHINE - BIOMECH
Townsend, Devin
4.26 | 36 ratings
A SHADOWPLAY FOR YESTERDAYS
Forest Of Stars, A
3.98 | 305 ratings
DEVIN TOWNSEND PROJECT: EPICLOUD
Townsend, Devin
4.16 | 51 ratings
THE MALEDICTION FIELDS
Fen
4.73 | 14 ratings
ELIL
Fall of Efrafa
4.08 | 76 ratings
PREHISTORICISMS
Intronaut
3.97 | 260 ratings
OFFICE OF STRATEGIC INFLUENCE
OSI
4.25 | 32 ratings
THE GALILEAN SATELLITES
Rosetta
4.01 | 121 ratings
IF_THEN_ELSE
Gathering, The
3.94 | 384 ratings
DEVIN TOWNSEND PROJECT: DECONSTRUCTION
Townsend, Devin
3.99 | 138 ratings
EPOCH
Fen
4.02 | 81 ratings
LEAVING EDEN
Antimatter
3.97 | 133 ratings
NIGHTTIME BIRDS
Gathering, The
4.36 | 21 ratings
ABSOLUTE ZERO
Tetrafusion
3.94 | 218 ratings
THE DEVIN TOWNSEND BAND: ACCELERATED EVOLUTION
Townsend, Devin
4.18 | 34 ratings
UNDERSTANDING CONSEQUENCES
Day Without Dawn
4.01 | 78 ratings
A SUN THAT NEVER SETS
Neurosis
3.90 | 512 ratings
A NATURAL DISASTER
Anathema
4.51 | 15 ratings
TERRAFORMING
Postman Syndrome, The
4.10 | 40 ratings
PAINTING ON GLASS
3rd And The Mortal, The
4.06 | 49 ratings
COGNITIVE
Soen
4.24 | 25 ratings
TOUNDRA III
Toundra
4.16 | 32 ratings
MANTIIS
Obsidian Kingdom
4.79 | 10 ratings
KENTUCKY
Panopticon
3.96 | 105 ratings
VERTIKAL
Cult of Luna
4.11 | 38 ratings
SEA OF THE DYING DHOW
shels
4.02 | 58 ratings
TEETHED GLORY AND INJURY
Altar of Plagues
3.91 | 191 ratings
MARROW OF THE SPIRIT
Agalloch
3.98 | 76 ratings
PRECAMBRIAN
Ocean, The
3.92 | 148 ratings
GORDIAN KNOT
Gordian Knot
4.41 | 16 ratings
MELANCHOLIE≤
ColdWorld
4.04 | 47 ratings
RENGETEG
Thy Catafalque
4.02 | 50 ratings
HEART OF THE AGES
In The Woods...
3.93 | 113 ratings
PELAGIAL
Ocean, The
3.88 | 268 ratings
THE NEVER ENDING WAY OF ORWARRIOR
Orphaned Land
4.11 | 33 ratings
SELENELION
Vaura
4.06 | 41 ratings
BLESSED ARE THE BONDS
Pax Cecilia, The
3.90 | 153 ratings
HOW TO MEASURE A PLANET ?
Gathering, The
4.79 | 9 ratings
BAR-DO TRAVEL
Proghma-C
4.78 | 9 ratings
ACID MIST TOMORROW
Hypno5e
3.91 | 128 ratings
SOUVENIRS D'UN AUTRE MONDE
Alcest
4.24 | 21 ratings
AFFLICTION XXIX II MXMVI
Blindead
4.40 | 15 ratings
DEAD AS DREAMS
Weakling
3.94 | 81 ratings
THE EYE OF EVERY STORM
Neurosis
3.88 | 165 ratings
MANDYLION
Gathering, The
4.27 | 19 ratings
CENOTES
Giant Squid
4.01 | 46 ratings
PLAINS OF THE PURPLE BUFFALO
shels
3.86 | 303 ratings
DEVIN TOWNSEND PROJECT: ADDICTED
Townsend, Devin
4.08 | 33 ratings
OPPORTUNISTIC THIEVES OF SPRING
Forest Of Stars, A
3.84 | 818 ratings
10,000 DAYS
Tool
4.14 | 26 ratings
CARHEART
Virus
3.97 | 56 ratings
THE BEES MADE HONEY IN THE LION'S SKULL
Earth
4.26 | 19 ratings
NOIR
Callisto
3.93 | 76 ratings
ANTHROPOCENTRIC
Ocean, The
4.72 | 9 ratings
DEPARTURE SONGS
We Lost the Sea
3.93 | 75 ratings
OI MAGOI
Hail Spirit Noir
4.19 | 21 ratings
THE RITUAL FIRES OF ABANDONMENT
Minsk
3.88 | 135 ratings
THE ACOUSTIC VERSES
Green Carnation
3.84 | 294 ratings
DEVIN TOWNSEND PROJECT: KI
Townsend, Devin
3.83 | 450 ratings
A FINE DAY TO EXIT
Anathema
4.68 | 9 ratings
MEMORIA VETUSTA III: SATURNIAN POETRY
Blut Aus Nord
3.92 | 77 ratings
EXISTENCE
Dark Suns
4.24 | 18 ratings
THE HABIT OF FIRE
Kekal
3.96 | 54 ratings
THE IMAGINARY DIRECTION OF TIME
Winds

Experimental/Post Metal overlooked and obscure gems albums new


Random 4 (reload page for new list) | As selected by the Experimental/Post Metal experts team

TRANSMUTATIONS
Yakuza
BLESSED ARE THE BONDS
Pax Cecilia, The
REQUIEM - MEZZO FORTE
Virgin Black
ENTHEOGEN
Sika Redem

Latest Experimental/Post Metal Music Reviews


 8 by UFOMAMMUT album cover Studio Album, 2017
4.00 | 2 ratings

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8
Ufomammut Experimental/Post Metal

Review by DamoXt7942
Forum & Site Admin Group Avant, Crossover & Neo Teams

4 stars First of all let me say thanks to my progmate Eetu for notifying me of such a fantastic combo. UFOMAMMUT are one of experimental acts in the Sludge Metal scene (that I'm not familiar with, actually). Their distorted, roughly dissected sounds remind me of the similarity to Ministry ('Psalm 88' is one of my faves), but their texture characteristic is not simple at all. Some complex rhythmic bases, weird electronic waves, and comfortable chorus and harmony amongst deep, harsh phrases should add glamour to their style itself. Very innovative are these addictive charms and vibes, which we might get easily immersed in. Imagine the audience and they both should be synchronized and well-unified on and in front of stage at a gig, too.

They have grabbed and digested completely various elements - doom, death, psychedelic, stoner, electronic, and so on. Crazy impressive are also melodic / rhythmic variations - convoluted melodic quirkiness, horrible quiet moments, or electronic solvent, based upon massive deformation of soundgarden. Musically offensive attitude against (for?) the audience might be heard in general really, but their colourful play / sound essence can be blended with experimental sludge metal style, and needless to say, be well- matured. Flowery flavour here and there in a strong heavy vision ' it's not bad.

 Devin Townsend Project: Transcendence by TOWNSEND, DEVIN album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.62 | 81 ratings

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Devin Townsend Project: Transcendence
Devin Townsend Experimental/Post Metal

Review by Negoba
Prog Reviewer

3 stars More Focused but Still Searching

I love Devin Townsend. He has been my favorite artist for some years now, to the point that my children wear his t- shirts around the house casually. I've given him a number of 5 star reviews. I've seen him live, hmmm, old men have a tough time counting. Most recent concert was in support of TRANSCENDENCE and it was an amazing night.

However, things have been slowly stagnating in Devland for awhile. Most of the newer albums contain scattered glimpses of brilliance with too much good but typical Devy. While the creative well was very very deep, I see less and less new coming from my favorite artist. The prime example of this is his choice to re-record old classics, which actually worked with "Hyperdrive" on ADDICTED due to Annike's new vocals, and to a degree on EPICLOUD's "Kingdom" due to vastly improved production.

But on TRANSCEDENCE, Devy opens with a remade version of INFINITY's "Truth" and completely sucks the life out of it. While the layers are thicker, the sounds more refined, and the sound clearly more polished, the emotion and dynamic impact of the song is dim in comparison. Listen to the two "Alleluia" sections side by side to hear this most obviously. The song is phenomenal, but this version is a shining example of what should have been a bonus track instead of the album lead. Similarly, the cover of Ween's "Transdermal Celebration" just lacks the emotional impact - though I appreciate being introduced to a great song, check out the original if you haven't.

Luckily, there is some spark in this album. "Stormbending," while clearly prototypical Devy, hits the vast space-metal vibe that I love, which is enhanced by it trippy video, and has a fun tapping solo by guitarist Dave Young. "Time is a human construct" should have been the opening line of the album. The lead single "Failure" did not blow me away on first listen, but with a few spins I've come to really appreciate its depth. It highlights how much Devy's already range-y voice has improved substantially over the last decade, and his wah-solo is one of his best. The syncopated riff was awesome live. "Secret Sciences" is a mixed bag moving from elements of 80's power ballad to symphonic quirkiness - ok but not my fave from the album. "Higher" and the title track follow the lead of "Stormbending" - very strong examples of the Devy sound but familiar. "Stars" and "Offer Your Light" fill the now requisite ballad and power-pop slots on the album. "From the Heart" is actually two songs stuck together - another power ballad, and then a New Age exploration which is pleasant enough.

Unlike Z2, TRANSCENDENCE holds together quite well. The flow of the album's high and lows works well. Dev says that he allowed more songwriting input from his band mates and I believe that the performances of the band members benefit from this. The bonus tracks are worth a listen, with "Into the Sun" clearly alluding to Strapping Young Lad days, and "Monkey Mind" representing Dev playing around in the Guitar Hero playground.

Overall, this is exactly what it is - the product of a marvelously talented musician, having honed his craft to a unique signature sound but also having slipped into middle age and struggling to find inspiration. Old fans like me will keep buying and attending concerts, but also reaching for our INFINITY records.

 Kodama by ALCEST album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.79 | 62 ratings

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Kodama
Alcest Experimental/Post Metal

Review by Luqueasaur

3 stars Great blackgaze, but that's all it is: 6.5/10

Blackgaze. Such a beautiful, aesthetic name for a genre. It combines shoegaze's immersion with black metal's heavy and bleak riffages, creating an atmosphere that feels simultaneously warm and melancholic; like a dismal cloudy day, whose dreariness is depressing but, strangely, comfortable. Alcest. Since their first EP, LE SECRET, they solidified their position as forerunners of the genre; however, in their 2014 album (SHELTER), apparently the band changed their directions to pure dream pop/shoegaze. Kodama. A beautiful, nocturnal, cryptic cover (one of my favorite covers ever! The only reason I tried this album, to be honest), with a strange concept (related to the movie Princess Mononoke), and ALCEST's return to their acclaimed blackgaze style.

I can't say as a knowledgeable authority this is ALCEST at the top of their game, but the production, songwriting, and musicianship seem to indicate that, at the very least, they're doing pretty well. Blackgaze's peculiar style is enticing and unique, and through KODAMA's forty minutes, my ears were engulfed in ALCEST's fogginess. While my experience was good, I found the sameness to be KODAMA's biggest issue. Offering little variation, repetitive riffs, annoyingly unintelligible screams (sound awesome but are absolutely impossible to decipher or accompany; additionally, the clean vocals are much better), there's honestly no effort to make the tracks feel different from each other. Perhaps intentionally, perhaps not, KODAMA is shaped, sonically, as a huge, forty-minutes-long song. But who is to blame? Not black metal nor shoegaze are known for eclecticism. ALCEST would naturally suffer from that hereditary dysfunction.

KODAMA (and ALCEST) didn't disappoint but neither did they astound me. While this will undoubtedly be a treat for shoegaze/atmospheric black metal fans, personally, I found it enjoyable but unmemorable.

Oh, let me add nuance to that last word: while I do remember my experience with KODAMA, literally any moment of it that pops in my mind sounds virtually the same.

 Opportunistic Thieves of Spring by FOREST OF STARS, A album cover Studio Album, 2010
4.08 | 33 ratings

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Opportunistic Thieves of Spring
A Forest Of Stars Experimental/Post Metal

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars A Forest of Stars offers up a broader range of sounds than expected for black metal, even in the experimentation- happy realms of the "atmospheric" subgenre of it. Between them Mister Curse on shrieked vocals, T.S. Kettleburner on guitar and bass, and John "the Resurrectionist" Bishop on drums provide all the tools for the black metal side of the equation, but the inclusion of the Gentleman on synths and pianoforte and Katheryne, Queen of the Ghosts on violin and flute allows them to incorporate ambient, folk and Victorian chamber music influences into their sounds.

On this second album, they indulge themselves with long song structures that allow all of these diverse sounds to come together in a psychedelically-tinged blend. Like much of the atmospheric black metal subgenre, this isn't an album for dipping into and out of - you'll want to listen to it all the way through to get its full effect - but I'd say it's decidedly worth setting that listening time aside for.

 Apocalypse [Requiem] by AKROMA album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.75 | 5 ratings

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Apocalypse [Requiem]
Akroma Experimental/Post Metal

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars French band AKROMA was formed back in 2003, and from their base in Nancy they have released four full length productions since their formation, all of them revolving around Biblical themes. "Apocalypse: Requiem" is the most recent of these, and was released through French Label Fantai'Zic Productions in 2017.

An extreme metal album revolving around the Catholic mass Requiem isn't the kind of album one encounters all that often, and in my view Akroma's intense, atmospheric laden and progressive take on this, complete with liberal amounts of orchestra arrangements and mood enhancing voice effects, is enjoyable and comes across as a high quality production. The vocals and relative sameness of the material will be somewhat divisive, but if you fancy bands that blends their extreme metal with liberal amounts of symphonic features then this latest album by Akroma is worth checking out.

 Rengeteg by THY CATAFALQUE album cover Studio Album, 2011
4.04 | 47 ratings

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Rengeteg
Thy Catafalque Experimental/Post Metal

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars This is the first Thy Catafalque album crafted by TamŠs KŠtai as a solo performer (with guests on vocals and cello), rather than as a collaboration with JuhŠsz JŠnos on guitar - and to be honest, if I hadn't looked that up I wouldn't have guessed, because this pristinely produced exercise in blackened avant-metal with ample folk, prog and electronic influences and experimentation feels like a whole-band effort. The entire scope of Thy Catafalque's sonic universe is brought together in album centrepiece Vashegyek, a 14 minute tour de force which should win you over to Thy Catafalque's approach even if no other composition on here does. Pick it up if you like the idea of atmospheric black metal by way of early Tangerine Dream as performed for an Eastern European folk festival.
 Office Of Strategic Influence by OSI album cover Studio Album, 2003
3.97 | 260 ratings

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Office Of Strategic Influence
OSI Experimental/Post Metal

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE & JR/F/Canterbury Teams

3 stars Taking their name from the abbreviated form of the briefly engaged US government agency named OFFICE OF STRATEGIC INFLUENCE (which serves as the title of this debut album), this supergroup was the brainchild of Fates Warning guitarist Jim Matheos who collaborated with Kevin Moore, keyboardist and vocalist for the art rock band Chroma Key. Adding to the well known musicians on board came Dream Theater's Mike Portnoy to fill the percussionist spot and Sean Malone of Cynic to play the bass. Originally the band pursued Steven Wilson of Porcupine Tree to be the vocalist but he declined leaving them to fend for themselves and adopt many of his influences without him. Although intended to be a one-off project and studio band only, OSI continued recording new albums after their debut was met with positive reviews which led the band to continue the project and release future albums.

While touted as a progressive metal band, the truth is that there is little of Dream Theater or Fate Warning influence to be found on this one. The focus of hero worship on this one is primarily limited to the likes of Porcupine Tree's more metal ventures as heard on 'In Absentia' or 'Deadwing' except Kevin Moore's vocal ability sounds more like Eric Woolfson of The Alan Parsons Project fame. Despite his refusal as lead vocalist Wilson did however contribute to the outstanding track 'ShudDOWN' which is the best Porcupine Tree track not on a PT album. Overall the music on OSI's debut is tantamount to the heavier riffing style of PT with songwriting compositions to match all painted with the art rock electronica heard on Moore's Chroma Key project.

The fact is OSI sounds so much like Porcupine Tree that i had to scan my liner notes upon first listen to find out if this was some clandestine Steven Wilson project but other than the guest spot on one track it is clearly not. I feel the band borrowed a little too heavily from the Porcupine Tree sound and granted Steven Wilson's sound was more than a worthy supply of inspiration, OSI tries a little too hard to fully replicate it leaving them with very little original sound of their own. The fact that a Fates Warning and Dream Theater combo effect is totally absent is rather disappointing. The project could've been a much better one if they had. While i can't say i don't enjoy listening to this one as the tracks are catchy, sombre and excellently produced, the combo effect of the PT influences reigning supreme with the lackluster vocal talents of Moore leaves me slightly cold on this one. For those who care less about blatant ripoffs of other's signature sounds, you might like this more than i do.

 Office Of Strategic Influence by OSI album cover Studio Album, 2003
3.97 | 260 ratings

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Office Of Strategic Influence
OSI Experimental/Post Metal

Review by martindavey87

4 stars Now I love Dream Theater! And I love Fates Warning! And I kinda like Chroma Key too! So when Mike Portnoy, Jim Matheos and Kevin Moore banded together to form OSI and release their debut album 'Office of Strategic Influence', I knew it was an album I had to have!

OSI blends all the elements of each individuals respective bands perfectly. Jim Matheos' unique guitar riffs are as impressive as always, especially when backed by the insane drum skills of Mike Portnoy. And Kevin Moore's eerie keyboards add so much depth and ambience to the album, and whilst his vocals do, at times, seem to drone on, they do suit the music very well. It's a very experimental, at times electronic-sounding take on progressive metal, and it works well!

Highlights include 'The New Math (What He Said)', 'When You're Ready', 'Hello, Helicopter' and the haunting 'Shutdown'. It's evident in the songwriting that these guys all know each other well and have a great chemistry when it comes to working together.

But that's not all! If you own the special edition version which comes with a bonus disc, you're in for a treat! While bonus discs are usually nothing more than excuses to release various different versions of an album at higher prices, this one really is worth the price. 'Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun' and 'New Mama' are both nice little ambient pieces, but the real gem is 'The Thing that Never Was', a 17-minute instrumental track that comprises of all the best parts of the album. Doesn't sound like much, but it's actually a pretty decent little extra.

Overall this is a great album for fans who like their progressive metal to be a little more experimental, and if you're a fan of any of the individual members or their respective bands, you will not be disappointed.

 The Malediction Fields by FEN album cover Studio Album, 2009
4.16 | 51 ratings

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The Malediction Fields
Fen Experimental/Post Metal

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Though I found that the followup, Epoch, suffered from a little sophomore slump, I was impressed enough by Fen's Winter to want to go back and explore more of their discography, and I find that The Malediction Fields is a superior example of their early sound. It's still atmospheric black metal with some blackgaze elements, but what makes this a keeper for me is the slightly more prominent post-rock influences, making Fen a sort of UK answer to the likes of Agalloch. Deftly balancing harsher and more gentle musical stretches, Fen display a deft command of atmosphere here, which of course is the name of the game in this particular black metal subgenre.
 Mandylion by GATHERING, THE album cover Studio Album, 1995
3.88 | 165 ratings

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Mandylion
The Gathering Experimental/Post Metal

Review by The Crow
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Mandylion was one of the most influential metal albums of the 90's. At least in Europa!

And I'm confident with my affirmation because The Gathering (and specially Mandylion) started a well-known fever of metal bands led by female voices which remains till today. The influence in gothic metal bands like Within Temptation and Lacuna Coil is obvious. But glimpses of The Gathering can be also heard in more pop-oriented bands like Evanescence, and also in metal bands like Nightwish.

The main characteristic of The Gathering's sound in this album are the strong guitar riffs, the omniscient layers of keyboards and the incredible voice of Anneke van Giersbergen, who in my opinion is the best female metal singer ever. These three elements, helped by a competent production, created a very enjoyable album despite its obvious flaws.

Mandylion starts the album wonderfully with Strange Machine, with its great riff and outstanding vocals, in a sort of symphonic gothic metal both powerful and mellow, and very elegant. The lyrics are not so great, but they accompany the music just fine with its thematic about time travel.

Eleanor is darker, more gothic and pretty negative lyrics, again with some progressive influences and a great bass line. And very gothic is also In Motion #1, an almost symphonic song with tons of keyboards and a beautiful dark atmosphere.

Leaves start with mellow guitars but soon they give way to another dark riff with the typical layer of keyboards. And at this point we can't avoid thinking that this album is a bit repetitive, but the wonderful solo of the song and its instrumental interlude make us forget that.

Fear the Sea is another competent song which talk about the fearsome waters of the ocean, helped by some hard almost- thrash metal riffs. This song contains a long instrumental part which is not very brilliant, but adds a layer of extra setting. And very atmospheric is also the title track, with ethnical percussion and beautiful vocal melodies. A very adequate song for this point of the album!

Sand and Mercury is the longest and also the most progressive track of the album. Anneke don't appear till the sixth minute! And when she appears the song transform itself into pure magic. Beautiful! And JRR Tolkien talks at the end of the song? What more could we desire?

Oh, yes? I know what I desire for this album. A powerful yet beautiful ending track, with a bit of extra melody. And In Motion #2 is exactly that! Maybe my favorite track of the entire album. Just great and with a beautiful cello!

Conclusion: Mandylion is a very good record, almost excellent. Anneke is wonderful, the production is superb and the songwriting very strong although a bit repetitive. Of course, not every prog rock lover will be able to appreciate its quality and influence over the years. But if you like gothic rock, alternative metal and female voices, this album with fulfill all your expectations.

Best Tracks: Strange Machines, Eleanor, Leaves, Sand and Mercury, In Motion #2. But not a single weak song can be found here!

My rating: ***1/2, rounded up to four stars.

Data cached

Experimental/Post Metal bands/artists list

Bands/Artists Country
11 AS IN ADVERSARIES France
19 A.D.D. United States
21 EYES OF RUBY Netherlands
THE 3RD AND THE MORTAL Norway
413 United States
5IVE United States
6:33 France
A LOST STATE OF MIND United States
A((WAKE)) United States
AABSINTHE France
ABANDON Sweden
ABYSSE France
ACROSS TUNDRAS United States
ACYL France
ADMIRAL BROWNING United States
ADRIFT Spain
AFTER MY OWN United States
AGALLOCH United States
AGES GONE Germany
AKPHAEZYA France
AKROMA France
ALASKAN Canada
ALCEST France
ALTAR OF PLAGUES Ireland
AMARA United States
AMATERAZU Portugal
AMBEON Netherlands
AMENRA Belgium
AMESOEURS France
AMIA VENERA LANDSCAPE Italy
ANATHEMA United Kingdom
ANCESTORS United States
AND HARMONY DIES Italy
ANGEL EYES United States
ANTIGUA Y BARBUDA Spain
ANTIMATTER Multi-National
ANUBI Lithuania
AORIA Sweden
APOCALIPSIS Mexico
APOCRYPHAL VOICE Finland
APOKATASTASIA Switzerland
APSE United States
ARCADE MESSIAH United Kingdom
THE ARKITECHT Mexico
ARKTIKA Germany
AS LIGHT DIES Spain
ASIDEFROMADAY France
ASPIRATION Norway
ASTROHENGE United Kingdom
ASTRONAUT DOWN United States
AT THE SOUNDAWN Italy
THE ATLAS MOTH United States
ATMOSPHERES Belgium
THE ATOMIC BOMB AUDITION United States
ATROX Norway
AUSSIT‘T MORT France
AUSTARAS United States
THE AXIS OF PERDITION United Kingdom
AZIOLA CRY United States
BACK WHEN United States
BAK Australia
BARONESS United States
BAT CASTLE United States
BATTLE OF MICE United States
BATTLEFIELDS United States
BAUDA Chile
BEAK United States
BEECHER United Kingdom
BEFORE THE EYEWALL United States
BEHIND THE SUN Israel
BEING United States
ADRIAN BENAVIDES United States
BIRUSHANAH Japan
BISON B.C. Canada
BLACK MATH HORSEMAN United States
BLACK SEA Brazil
BLACK SHEEP WALL United States
BLACKWAVES Germany
BLINDEAD Poland
BLOOD & TIME United States
BLUT AUS NORD France
BOBEL Costa Rica
BOSSK United Kingdom
BOTANIST United States
BRAIN TENTACLES United States
BRIDGES TO DREAMS Canada
BUNKUR Netherlands
BURIED INSIDE Canada
BURN DOWN ROME United Kingdom
BURWEED Finland
BUTTERFLY TRAJECTORY Poland
CAINA United Kingdom
CALDERA France
CALLISTO Finland
THE CANCER CONSPIRACY United States
CANDIRIA United States
CAPRICORNS United Kingdom
CAPTURE THE SUN United States
CARNIVAL IN COAL France
CARONTTE Spain
CATACOMBE Portugal
CAVE IN United States
CELEBRITY SEX SCANDAL United States
CELESTINE Iceland
CHASE THE SUNSET United Kingdom
THE CHRONICLES OF ISRAFEL Canada
CHRYST Austria
THE CIRCLE ENDS HERE Italy
CIRUELO CILINDRICO Spain
CLERIC United States
CLOUDKICKER United States
COALESCE United States
COLD BODY RADIATION Netherlands
A COLD DEAD BODY Italy
COLDWORLD Germany
COME SLEEP Sweden
COMITY France
CONIFER United States
CONSECRATION Serbia
CORMORANT United States
COSMONAUTS DAY Russia
COUNTERVELA Ireland
CRIB45 Finland
CULT OF LUNA Sweden
D.U.N.E. Italy
DAKRYA Greece
DAMASCUS United States
DARK CASTLE United States
DARK SUNS Germany
DARKESTRAH Germany
DARKSPACE Switzerland
DAUGHTERS OF FISSION United States
DAY WITHOUT DAWN United States
DE OMEGA United States
DEADBIRD United States
DEADSOUL TRIBE United States
DEAFHEAVEN United States
THE DEATH OF HER MONEY United Kingdom
DECORTICA New Zealand
DEEP IN THOUGHT Germany
DEFYING Poland
DETERIOR United States
DEVIL SOLD HIS SOUL United Kingdom
DIESTO United States
DIGRESSION ASSASSINS Sweden
DIRGE France
DISAPPEARER United States
DIVINA ENEMA Belarus
DōDSVERK Norway
DORNENREICH Austria
DOTZAUER Italy
DR. SLAGGLEBERRY United Kingdom
DRAWN Norway
DREARE Czech Republic
DREARINESS Italy
DYING SUN United States
EARTH United States
EAST OF THE WALL United States
EBONY LAKE United Kingdom
ECHOES United Kingdom
ECHOES OF YUL Poland
ECHOSILENCE Estonia
EGOIST Poland
EHNAHRE United States
EIGHT BELLS United States
EINNA France
ELLIPSIS France
EMPIRES United States
EMPTY YARD EXPERIMENT United Arab Emirates
ENDER New Zealand
ENDNAME Russia
EPHEL DUATH Italy
EPISTASIS United States
ETERNAL DEFORMITY Poland
ETHERSENS France
EVIL INSIDE Spain
EX CURIA Australia
EX EYE United States
EXOTIC ANIMAL PETTING ZOO United States
EXTINCTION ALGORITHM Romania
FALL OF EFRAFA United Kingdom
FALLOCH United Kingdom
FALLS OF RAUROS United States
FEN United Kingdom
FIRMAM3NT Spain
FLEURETY Norway
FLOOD THE DESERT United States
FOLLOW THE WHITE RABBIT Russia
A FOREST OF STARS United Kingdom
FORMLOFF Norway
FOUNTAINHEAD Germany
FROM OCEANS TO AUTUMN United States
FUTURIAN Canada
THE GABRIEL CONSTRUCT United States
GANON United States
GARDEN OF SHADOWS United States
GARY SUICIDAL KIDS COMMANDO France
THE GATHERING Netherlands
GENERATION OF VIPERS United States
GENGHIS TRON United States
GIANT SQUID United States
GIGANTIC BRAIN United States
GIRE Hungary
GLETSCHER Switzerland
GNAW THEIR TONGUES Netherlands
GODSEND Norway
GONIN-ISH Japan
GORDIAN KNOT United States
GOSPEL United States
THE GRASSHOPPER LIES HEAVY United States
GRAVITON United States
GRAYCEON United States
THE GREAT OLD ONES France
GREEN CARNATION Norway
HAIKU FUNERAL Multi-National
HAIL SPIRIT NOIR Greece
HALCYON Australia
HAMMERS OF MISFORTUNE United States
HAND United Kingdom
HARVEY MILK United States
HEIRS Australia
HELIUM HORSE FLY Belgium
HELLAS MOUNDS United States
HERETOIR Germany
HIPOSPADIA Spain
HUMANFLY United Kingdom
HVOSCH Russia
HYDRA Mexico
HYPNO5E France
IDENTIFIED United States
IDIOT SAINT CRAZY France
THE ILLNESS United States
IN THE WOODS... Norway
IN.OVO Canada
INCOMING CEREBRAL OVERDRIVE Italy
INDUKTI Poland
INTER ARMA United States
INTRONAUT United States
IO United Kingdom
ION United States
IREPRESS United States
IRONWOOD Australia
IRREVERSIBLE United States
ISIS United States
ISTHMUS United States
IZAH Netherlands
JAKEL Canada
JANVS Italy
JESU United Kingdom
JEWY SABATAY Serbia
OLIVER KAAH Finland
KAILASH Italy
KALKI AVATARA Italy
KARABOUDJAN Sweden
KEELHAUL United States
KEKAL Indonesia
KHANATE United States
KHEMEŌA France
KHOMA Sweden
KHUDA United Kingdom
KICK THE BUTTERFLY Australia
KINGDOM Belgium
KLABAUTAMANN Germany
KOLLWITZ Norway
KONG Netherlands
KONGH Sweden
KOSMOGRAD Canada
KRAKOW Norway
KRUGER Switzerland
KYLESA United States
LANDFORGE United Kingdom
LANTLOS Germany
LATITUDES United Kingdom
LEFT BRAIN United States
LENTO Italy
LESBIAN United States
LIGHT BEARER United Kingdom
LITHIUM DAWN United States
L÷BO Portugal
LOOK TO WINDWARD New Zealand
LORUS United States
LOTUS THIEF United States
LUDICRA United States
LYE BY MISTAKE United States
MADE OUT OF BABIES United States
MAHESH Chile
MAMMOTH New Zealand
MANATEES United Kingdom
MANDIBULBE France
MANES Norway
MANUSCRIPTS DON'T BURN Italy
MAR DE GRISES Chile
MARE United States
THE MASS United States
THE MATTERHORN PROJECT United States
MAUDLIN Belgium
MAUDLIN OF THE WELL United States
MEANDERING MINE Germany
MEMORIES OF A DEAD MAN France
MENISCUS Australia
MINDFOLD EXPRESS Bulgaria
MINSK United States
MIOSIS Sweden
THE MIRE United Kingdom
MIRRORTHRONE Switzerland
MISANTHROFEEL Russia
MOANAA Poland
MOD FLANDERS CONSPIRACY United States
MOLOKEN Sweden
MOMENTUM Iceland
MONDRIAN OAK Italy
MONUMENTUM Italy
MORAINES Croatia
MORNE United States
THE MORNINGSIDE Russia
MORTIFERIA Norway
MOSE GIGANTICUS United States
MOSKAU Germany
MOUNTAINS BECAME MACHINES United Kingdom
MOUTH OF THE ARCHITECT United States
MUTYUMU Japan
MY SILENT WAKE United Kingdom
MYSTER MOBIUS Multi-National
MYSTIC Netherlands
NAHEMAH Spain
NAHRAYAN Spain
NANDA DEVI United States
NATIONAL SUNDAY LAW United States
NAUTICUS Finland
NEBRA Switzerland
NERO DI MARTE Italy
NEUMA Poland
NEUROSIS United States
NEVBORN Switzerland
NIHIL Serbia
NINTH MOON BLACK United States
NO HOME FOR HEROES Australia
NO MADE SENSE United Kingdom
NOCTIS Australia
NOEKK Germany
NORTH United States
NOVEMBRE Italy
NUCLEUS TORN Switzerland
OBSIDIAN KINGDOM Spain
THE OCEAN DOESN'T WANT ME South Africa
THE OCEAN Germany
OCOAI United States
OHGOD! South Africa
THE OLD DEAD TREE France
OLD MAN GLOOM United States
OMB Israel
THE OMEGA EXPERIMENT United States
OMEGA MASSIF Germany
÷OOOOOOOOOO France
ORANSSI PAZUZU Finland
ORDO DRACONIS Netherlands
ōRKENKJōTT Norway
ORPHANED LAND Israel
ORTHODOX Spain
OSI United States
OSTROVA Spain
THE OTHER SIDE OF THE SKY United States
OUTOPSYA Italy
OUTRUN THE SUNLIGHT United States
OVERMARS France
÷XX÷ X÷÷X France
PAN.THY.MONIUM Sweden
PANOPTICON United States
THE PAX CECILIA United States
PECCATUM Norway
PELICAN United States
PET SLIMMERS OF THE YEAR United Kingdom
PIKE Sweden
PINKLY SMOOTH United States
THE POSTMAN SYNDROME United States
PRISMA Switzerland
PROGHMA-C Poland
THE PROPHECY United Kingdom
PRYAPISME France
PSYCHOFAGIST Italy
PSYKUP France
PYRAMIDS United States
QUALEACEANS United Kingdom
QUARANTADUE Italy
QUBE Poland
QUESTIONER United States
RADAR Finland
RADIATION 4 United States
RAIN DELAY Serbia
RAINROOM Finland
RAXINASKY Belgium
RED PAPER DRAGON United Kingdom
REFRACTION Ireland
THE REPTILIANS United States
RETURNING WE HEAR THE LARKS United Kingdom
RIVIERE France
ROSETTA United States
ROUTE NINE Sweden
RWAKE United States
RYOKUCHI Japan
SAL Y MILETO Ecuador
SALVICTION Poland
SANNHET United States
SCHIZOID LLOYD Netherlands
SCORCHED SHORE United States
SECONDSKIN United Kingdom
SENMUTH Russia
SENSUAL NOISE Belgium
SEPIA DREAMER Sweden
SEVEN United States
SEVEN NAUTICAL MILES Sweden
SEVENTH EVIDENCE / KA.MMEN Ukraine
SHELS United States
SHELTER RED United States
SHELVING Switzerland
SHEPHERDS OF CASSINI New Zealand
SHRINEBUILDER United States
SIGH Japan
SIKA REDEM United Kingdom
SISARE Finland
SKAGOS Canada
SKEWED SKIES Germany
SKUGGSJŃ Norway
SLEEP MAPS United States
SLEEPING IN GETHSEMANE United States
SMALLMAN Bulgaria
SMOHALLA France
SNOWBLOOD United Kingdom
SO IS THE TONGUE United States
SOEN Multi-National
SOLSTAFIR Iceland
SONS OF ALPHA CENTAURI United Kingdom
SPACEKING Russia
SPRING & YOUTH Serbia
STALINGRAD Spain
STANDING OVATION Finland
STARE AT THE CLOUDS Australia
STATS United States
STEAK NUMBER EIGHT Belgium
A STORM OF LIGHT United States
SUBROSA United States
SUBTERRANEAN MASQUERADE Multi-National
SUFFOCATE FOR FUCK SAKE Sweden
SUMAC Multi-National
SUNPOCRISY Italy
SUPERCONTINENT United States
THE SUSPENDED CONGRESS Ireland
SWARM OF THE LOTUS United States
A SWARM OF THE SUN Sweden
SWITCH OPENS Sweden
SYDERALUS Argentina
TACOMA NARROWS BRIDGE DISASTER United Kingdom
TARANTULA HAWK United States
TELEPATHY United Kingdom
TEMPEL United States
TENOCHTITLAN Russia
TEPHRA Germany
TERRA TENEBROSA Sweden
TESA Latvia
TETRAFUSION United States
THANATOSCHIZO Portugal
THENCE Finland
FREDRIK THORDENDAL'S SPECIAL DEFECTS Sweden
THY CATAFALQUE Hungary
TIDES United States
TIDES FROM NEBULA Poland
TIME ZERO United States
TITAN Canada
TODTGELICHTER Germany
TOMYDEEPESTEGO Italy
TOOL United States
TOUNDRA Spain
TOWN PORTAL Denmark
DEVIN TOWNSEND Canada
TRANSMISSION0 Netherlands
TREPHINE United States
TRIBES OF NEUROT United States
TROLDHAUGEN Australia
TRUTHSEEKER United States
TUSK United States
TWIN ZERO United Kingdom
UARAL Chile
UFOMAMMUT Italy
UNA CORDA United Kingdom
UNEXPECT Canada
UNHOLD Switzerland
UNSOUL Germany
UPRISING FORMALHAUT Ukraine
URNA Italy
USER NE Spain
VAKA Sweden
VAURA United States
VED BUENS ENDE Norway
VIRGIN BLACK Australia
VIRUS Norway
VISCERA/// Italy
VOID United Kingdom
VOID OF SILENCE Italy
VOID OF SLEEP Italy
VULTURE INDUSTRIES Norway
THE WATERS DEEP HERE United States
WE LOST THE SEA Australia
WE MADE GOD Iceland
WEAKLING United States
WHAT MAD UNIVERSE France
WHAT THE BLOOD REVEALED United Kingdom
WHEN DAY DESCENDS Australia
WHIRLING Sweden
WHOURKR Multi-National
WIDEK Poland
WINDHAM HELL United States
WINDMILLS BY THE OCEAN United States
WINDS Norway
ANDY WINTER Norway
WIZARD RIFLE United States
WOBURN HOUSE Germany
WOODS OF YPRES Canada
A WORKING MODEL United States
WORM OUROBOROS United States
WYTCHCRYPT United States
YAKUZA United States
YAVU Chile
YEAR OF NO LIGHT France
YOB United States
YTO SOLREISER Norway
ZEBULON PIKE United States
ZENI GEVA Japan
ZOZOBRA United States
ZVOYN France

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