Dismal Spells from the Dragonrealm by Finland’s Druadan Forest isn’t black metal, isn’t goth or darkwave, and most definitely isn’t your average ambient mixer – but it shares common elements of all these as it binds together sweeping sonic portraits of darkness, despair and dread, making this fantasy soundtrack from Werewolf Records a perfect example of dungeon synth done right.

Finnish death metallers Decaying are proud to announce that their third full-length album The Last Days Of War is set for release on May 20th via Hellthrasher Productions. The follow-up to their acclaimed sophomore effort Encirclement features eight new tracks with a total running of 46 minutes and marks the debut of new bass player Sebastian Bergman. A new song entitled “Code Name Overlord” can be streamed via a YouTube clip below!

It’s always nice to find a jewel of a release in the sea of endless promo albums that come my way. It’s not that there aren’t a lot of good releases or acts, it’s just that it’s always cool to find an overlooked gem in the promo pile… Fall of the Idols being one of those such gems. The band’s CD, Solemn Verses, was recently sent to me by Ihate Records and to be honest, I wasn’t really expecting much. The artwork is cool and all, but with a name like Fall of the Idols I was expecting something like power metal.

On January 25th, 2013 Dark Descent Records and Woodcut Records will unleash Poisoned Void, the debut full-length from Finnish death metal four-piece Vorum. One of the most devastating bands in Finland’s underground death metal scene, Vorum blend uncompromising aggression and a hauntingly murky atmosphere with moments of earth-swallowing death/doom for an album that will crush skulls and send children screaming out of the room in fright. A promo video for the track “Dance of Heresy” has been posted online – listen below!

Finnish death metallers, Decaying are proud to share with fans a brand new song entitled “Conditions Futile”. Recorded for the Metal On Metal IV: IVth Crusade compilation, which is schedule for release in early 2013 through Metal Warning, this new song talks about The Battle of Raate Road, an armed conflict between Finland and the former Soviet Union that occurred during the Winter War in 1939. The song can be streamed just below!

Edge Of Haze is a band that I was lucky to stumble across as they’re probably going to be huge someday. Yes, I know, that’s a bit of a strong statement, but after listening to the band’s debut album, Mirage, I am utterly convinced that they will become superstars.

Edge Of Haze are a new alternative metal band from Espoo, Finland. Taking influences from groups such as Katatnoia and Opeth, Edge Of Haze’s songs come across as both ethereal and enthralling. Not sure what to think? Let your ears do the work and just grab this free download of the track “Black Lakes”.

Late last year I had the opportunity to speak with Jarkko Aaltonen, bass player for the Finnish folk metal act Korpiklaani, about their latest disc, Ukon Wacka, and their then current North American tour. This was the second to last show for the band on this leg of the tour and even though they had a blast on this side of the pond they were all looking forward to heading home for the holidays. Here’s how the conversation went.