What better way to celebrate Friday the 13th than with a heaping dose of awesome new metal. This week was lousy with awesome new music. It’s weeks like this that reinforce just how amazing the metal genre is. On top of the new stuff, I fell back into 2014 with some late recommendations that are just killer. Some of these would have placed on my “best of” list for 2014. Let’s get on to the metal.

New Releases

Hæthen – Shaped by the Aeolian Winds
Debut by this Philly black metal band. Very melodic and atmospheric. Us Americans are tearing a path to claim European extreme metal. Very solid debut, black as hell and catchy as all get out.

Misþyrming – Söngvar elds og óreiðu
Iceland seems to be blowing up with incredible extreme metal and this album is no exception. I’ve been anticipating this album for months now and finally, without much hype or publicity, they released it. Scorching black metal, atmospheric and melodic in places and pummeling the whole way through. Keep at it Iceland!

Night Demon – Curse of the Damned
There’s been a rash of bands doing a throwback sort of sound from various eras of metal. While the death metal homage bands have been a bit weak, the throwback bands to the early 80’s and classic eras of metal have been fairly enjoyable. Night Demon is one of the current bands that have been doing just that. I’m hesitant to say they are a throw back but they for sure wear their influences on their sleeves. Not as heavy as some of these bands, they seem to take more influence from Diamond Head and early Maiden. Contemporarily, they’re similar to what High Spirits  and Audrey Horne are doing, which is making loving 80’s style music that for the most part, is more interesting and captivating than the original.

Kjed – Skym
Kjed hail from the Netherlands and play a very Scandinavian rooted form of black metal. I’m surprised to hear that this is the bands first release as they sound like a seasoned black metal band. There’s some masterful musicianship going on in this album forming some great black metal songs. A pleasant surprise indeed.

Death Karma – The History of Death and Burial Ritual Part 1
I checked this out based on a one sentence review and the fact that I knew they were from Prague. As soon as it started I knew I was in for a treat. This album just shreds. I looked them up to find out more and to my surprise, this is another project from two members of the incredible Cult of Fire. No wonder it’s so good. Progged up, symphonic, blackened death metal that all revolves around different countries. This is definitely a highlight of this early part of the year.

Manilla Road – Blessed Curse
It’s Manilla Road! Sure they aren’t reaching the levels of their early heyday but their at least consistently “pretty good.” Visigoth may be outshining all other classic metal/power metal bands this year though. This one is a bit ballad-y but still, as I said, it’s Manilla Road and pretty good.

Crypt Sermon – Out of the Garden
I’ll pretty much check out anything Dark Descent Records puts out nowadays so when I found out they were releasing a classic metal/doom album by a new band Crypt Sermon, I was very interested. This albums is rad sauce. Another band that isn’t ashamed to celebrate their influences. Equal parts the doom stylings of Candlemass, the bombastic vocal stylings of Dio, with a little bit of Bathory and a smidgen of Primordial, Crypt Sermon have fashioned a captivating album. This one is going to get a lot of plays, I can feel it.

Drowning the Light – From the Abyss
Another album I figured I would try just based on a preview song and some hype. Little did I know that the man behind Drowning the Light also splits his time with Eternum (among numerous other bands), whose album last year was damn near a masterpiece and placed highly on my year end list. Dude is rather prolific and with just Eternum and Drowning the Light has dozens of releases. I love that sort of creative output. This is some pretty forward, raw black metal with some melody and atmospherics thrown in for good measure. It’s almost relentless in its ferocity and you can help but hear the passion for the music. Without warning, Drowning the Light and Eternum are gaining ground on my favorites list.

2014 Late Discoveries 

Deadwood – Picturing a Sense of Loss
Astrophobos – Remnants of Forgotten Horrors
Shores of Null – Quiescence
Virus of Koch – Lux Et Veritas

The Rest of the List

Grimoire – L’aorasie des spectres rêveurs
Cathedral – The Ethereal Mirror
Dämmerfarben – Herbstpfad
Riot – The Privilege or Power
Saor – Aura
Iron Monkey – Our Problem
Judas Iscariot – Dethroned, Conquered and Forgotten
Acrimony – Tumuli Shroomaroom
Katatonia – Dance of December Souls
Evoken – Atra Mors

Until Next Week…