The second Friday the 13th of the year and it’s only March. This week, however, was a lucky week for new metal. There were a couple of albums this week I was really looking forward to and they did not disappoint. It’s hard to say it’s a bad week when there’s a new Dødheimsgard in the world.

Aside from that, I’m almost through with my doom metal discovery series and I’m still playing catch up on a slew of recommendations. Here’s to the metal!

New Stuff

Galar – De Gjenivende
I’m a big fan of this bands previous album Til all heimsens endar and when I first got it, I played it into the ground. In the long stretch between albums I sort of forgot about them but when I saw their new album on the release schedule I immediately perked up with anticipation. This one continues in the same vein as their previous, melodic, norse-centered black metal. I think there’s a bit more focus on the melodic side this time with more beautifully sung, Norwegian vocals, sting instruments and piano segments but the overall the album is stunning. If you’re into the Vintersorg, Borknagar realm of black metal this should be right up you alley. Or if you just like awesome music.

Dødheimsgard – A Umbra Omega
It’s been 8 years since their last (and amazing) album but Dødheimsgard are back with a welcomed continuation of the avant-garde black metal. The experimentation in chaos continues with their key take on industrial, some weird jazz and a vocalist that is break-neck in his delivery and twists. While I didn’t grab on to it at first as much as their previous albums, it’s still a powerhouse of an album and well worth your time.

Árstíðir lífsins – Aldafǫðr ok munka dróttinn
The Icelandic Helrunar? Is that something I can say? Anyways, the comparison is apt as both play atmosheric black metal steeped in their countries history and well, both share the same vocalist, who sounds like what I imagine Christopher Lee would sound like if he were to sing in ancient Icelandic. Árstíðir lífsins new album, like their last (and Helrunar’s) is a doozy, clocking in at around an hour and half and to be honest, it doesn’t need to be that long, but by the time the last song rolls around you’re lost in it. Beautifully played and executed, this is another metal treasure from Iceland, which seems to be producing quite a few these days.

Dorthia Cottrell – Dorthia Cottrell
Dorothia Cottrell is better known as the front woman of the doom metal band Windhand (a band I only know by name, but I may have to change that soon). This, however, while covered with a sort of “doom” fog, is a country/blues/folk album, and a damn good one at that. Dorthia’s voice is mesmerizing. There’s a slight country twang in it but mostly it sounds sorrowful and honest. Like good country should.

Aetherian – Tales of Our Times
I’m a bit of a mark for these recent melodic/death/doom bands that have been popping up. Sure, they are bit repetitive and it’s hard to expand the sound. I sometimes get confused which song is by Insomnium or Omnium Gathering. This bad fits squarely in that sound. They have a bit more edge to them but the ethereal landscape and moody disposition is there, just with a bit harder of an edge.

Ranger – Where Evil Dwells
Ranger is unapologetic when it comes to their influences. This is like time capsule of 80’s speed metal, unearthed and set loose. I guess there’s something to be said about being a modern band and playing music that is so marked in a specific time. If I went into this blind I would assume this is an 80’s band. That being said, it’s a damn fun listen. If you’ve heard speed metal before, you’ve most likely heard this but these guys are having fun and add a little bit of an edge to it with some serious Venom worship showing its horns in numerous places.

Enforcer – From Beyond
More speed metal! Where as Ranger was like a moment caught in time forever, Enforcer, while drawing heavily from 80’s speed metal, through in a good amount of classic metal, NWOBHM, and power metal to sure up their approach to speed metal. While Ranger is more “go for the throat,” Enforcer has a sense of fun to them and, some incredible riffs.

The Rest of the List

Floor – Floor
Thy Primordial – Where Only the Seasons Mark the Paths of Time
Thy Primordial – The Crowning Carnage
Warning – Watching From a Distance
disEMBOWELMENT – Transcendence into the Peripheral
AX – Extirpation
AX – Glare of Autumn
Decathect – Clad in Darkness
Noothgrush – Erode the Person
Misery – From Where the Sun Never Shine

Until Next Week…