We’ve made it through the first month of 2015 and metal is doing it’s damnedest to keep pace with how incredible 2014 was. This month was an onslaught of top quality metal with some albums that may already be in contention for best of 2015. No kidding. This week alone provided a couple that might end up on that list. So here’s to Febuary. There’s a couple albums on my list for that month I’m highly anticipating.

New Releases

Calabrese – Lust for Sacrilege
Oh Calabrese. You string me along so well. Calabrese is a horror punk band from Arizona. Their first two albums are quiet classics (in my opinion) of the genre but ever since their third album The Traveling Vampire Show they’ve steadily been decreasing in quality culminating with 2013’s forgettable Born with a Scorpion’s Touch. It seems they are back with a new album Lust for Sacrilege which I missed because they’ve changed their awesome bright colored, EC horror, greaser look to a very Sisters of Mercy sort of look. The album however is a step back in the right direction. They’ve gotten a bit darker and less humorous but the music is solid again. Not great and maybe the writings been on the wall for a couple albums that they may never be as good as they once were. Damn shame as their are so little decent horror punk bands left.

Vivus Humare – Einkehr
Another new discovery for me, this German band seems to be riding a wave of successful albums since their reformation in 2007. I’m not sure how their other albums compare but this one is a beautiful slab of atmospheric black metal. There are moments of great melody and atmosphere punctuated with intense and blistering black metal. Nothing really ground breaking except how well constructed and executed this album is.

Grimoire – L’aorasie des spectres rêveurs EP
I heard a preview song from this album a couple months ago and immediately put it on my list to check out. I went to read up on the band and discovered that this is the project from the drummer of Forteresse and Csejthe, two excellent bands, so my expectations were raised quite a bit. This EP is stunningly beautiful. It’s a stunning take on the atmospheric/ambient black metal with more of the focus being on melody. Right in the vein of old Alcest, Heretoir or Wolves in the Throne Room. This one may be a force to be reckoned with this year.

Visigoth – The Revenant King
See my review from earlier today here. Suffice to say, this album is incredible.

Thulcandra – Ascension
I only became aware of Thulcandra recently and was introduced to them as a “Dissection Worship” band. I figured when their new album dropped I would give them a shot because who doesn’t like Dissection? Man, Dissection Worship is right on the money. The thing is, they don’t just pay tribute to Dissection, they seem to be making the logical progression of what would have been the follow up to Dissection’s The Somberlain (I’m not counting Reinkaos). They’re clearly talented and paying tribute to Dissection in a way that is more then just copying their sound. Fairly impressed with this album for what it is.

Hate – Crusade: Zero
Usually, just the words “polish death metal” is enough to grab my attention. I wasn’t familiar with Hate before this week and those key words were mentioned in a review I read so I figured I would give it a try. Another thing of interest is Hate’s guitarist also shares duties in the awesome Kriegsmaschine with M. from Mgla. That being said, I know that Hate has been around awhile, but to my ears they sound like Vader, albeit a tad more technical. I think I would just rather listen to Vader, to be honest.

Keep of Kalessin – Epistemology
I only recently started to really get into Keep of Kalessin. I had heard Armada before but it didn’t seem to stick with me. My buddy gave me Through Times of War and Reclaim and I was hooked. If you haven’t heard those albums, pass this one up and check those out ASAP. They are incredible samples of melodic black metal mastery. I guess after that they sort of just forgot how to make stellar albums. This new one is more focussed on orchestration, clean singing and pomp. It doesn’t hold a candle to those previously mentioned albums. It’s not bad, per say, it’s just after hearing how good this band has been, it’s hard to take this current sound seriously.

The Rest of the List

The Black – Priest of Satan
Summoning – Minas Morgul
Siculicidium -Utolsó Vágta Az Univerzumban
Oxiplegatz – Sidereal Journey
Acid Bath – When the Kill String Pops
DragonForce – Sonic Firestorm
Orden Ogan – Ravenhead
Falls of Rauros – Believe in No Coming Shore
Solstice – New Dark Age
Scald – Will of Gods Is a Great Power
Melvins – Gluey Porch Treatments

Until Next Week!