Arising from the darkened countryside of the island country of Taiwan is quintet (male guitarist Chiang joined later) Blair Witch, with four females leading the way. Sad to say they are going on hiatus, but that does not deter the fact this is possibly the best Black Metal album to come out of Taiwan in ages (albeit ChthoniC), mixing clear Carpathian Forest sounds with the ferocity of the Taiwanese culture, Blair Witch are in their own league and with their debut EP 'Imprecation' giving all the green lights to state this is a band that clearly has the musicianship powerful enough to overthrow Taiwanese Metal leaders ChthoniC, is pretty much the truth. Blair Witch, brings a whole new level of darkness, with that in mind, Taiwan has spoken.
 RHYS STEVENSON
What is it with Gothic Metal and the Spanish that seems to make both worth without error or fault? Niobeth, the Symphonic / Progressive Gothic Metal quartet from Spain make their long-awaited return with their sophomore album 'Silvery Moonbeams', twisting the atmosphere like unravelling wrapped sweets with the taste of el classico being amidst the elegancy of this band, such dramatic music would provide the apt soundtrack to the Real Madrid vs. Barcelona fiasco. Sounding similar to that of Dutch band Within Temptation, this Spanish lot are sure to make a name for themselves if not an attractive gem to major labels.
[7.5] RHYS STEVENSON
'The Awakening Of Gaia'
As majestic as the great soprano's hitting the high notes in the coliseums, Italy's Gothic Metalcore magicians Crysalys weave a sensual and emotional stream of operatic vocals in the form of Therion-cross-Nightwish whilst being embodied by the brutality of Metalcore. After eight years their long awaited debut album took full flight and delivers a heavenly outburst of dominant female vocals and a solid backbone of riffs, crushing drumming and an atmosphere rivalling any dramatic spills found in the Inter Milan vs. AC Milan riposte. Crysalys are leading the way forward for the darkened side of the once criticised music genre, for the Italian band it is only just the beginning.
 RHYS STEVENSON
'We'll Show You Mosh, Bitch!'
Polish crackpots Terrordome give the all out nuclear blast with their debut album 'We'll Show You Mosh, Bitch!', laying tight riffs, mentally bruising drumming and soul-ripping vocals, the Brutal Thrashers rage out of the stables with a monstrous thundering of apocalyptic audio-waves. Whilst conventionally the vocals are not really clear, the music gives its fair share of absolute precise composition. In the end, although an extremely brutal and heavy release, the downside lies with the vocals, but this will not deter the band from making a long-lasted impression.
[6.5] RHYS STEVENSON
DIGIMETALWORDL / AUSTRALIS
This is the sophomore album from Chilean Groove Thrash merchants Ratzinger, flinging a whirlwind of neck-breaking thrash with groove elements to sound out an utter cataclysmic explosion of South American metal. '2012' may serve as a literal precedent to the year 2012, but whilst that may remain as an opinion, the fact lies within the truth that Ratzinger is perhaps the best Thrash Metal band in the Chilean Metal scene. Whilst the vocals sadly are not the greatest, the music fails to let down and so rescues the album in its near entirety; but definitely an album worth checking out.
 RHYS STEVENSON