I missed last week’s update due to a case of being on an awesome vacation so lucky you, you get two weeks worth of new metal releases!
Before I get into that, I wanted to bring to your attention my new blog series on Tumblr here. I finished up my doom metal exploration series and have decided to keep moving on with that idea, but expanded to all genres of extreme metal. Each weekday I’ll be featuring a review of an obscure, overlooked, older, or neglected album from the dark corners of metal. I’m trying to keep this focussed on stuff that doesn’t get the attention it deserves. So keep an eye out for that. I’ve already got two entries up for it, just scroll down some.
So, on to the new releases. Two weeks worth of awesome!
Beautality – Einfallen: A Tale ov Torment & Triumph
Wow. This is a “everything but the kitchen sink” approach to metal. The base is black metal but there’s doom, death, gothic, post-whatever, clean vocals, growls, and shrieks. It’s an interesting attempt but at a running time of one hour and forty five minutes, I don’t think I’ll be revisiting this much.
Katavasia – Sacrilegious Testament
A greek, black metal supergroup, so to speak. This album is very folkish in nature. Not like all those heathen, folk, polka bands but there’s an archaic sort of charm to it. It hovers closer to the black and roll than straight up black metal. A solid listen, through and though, if not a bit by the numbers.
Der Weg Einer Freiheit – Stellar
More German black metal. I quite enjoyed their previous album but I feel like this one blows it out of the water. The songs are more focused. Theirs a nice balance of serene and punishing black metal. It’s not overtly German like the recent Helrunar proved to be. More along the lines of Lunar Aurora but with more brevity. This is a good one.
Abstracter – Wound Empire
Abstracter weave a tapestry of disparaging and visceral sounds on this, their second album. Another band taking liberties with black metal, doom and crust similar to Agrimonia or Nux Vomica. I love the combination and between these three bands, none of them sound the same even though they are in the same sandbox. While those two bands get a little long in the tooth, Abstracter pulls off this album in just over 40 minutes, which is the perfect time for this album. Solidly impressed.
Dynfari – Vegferð Tímans
I discovered this band last year around this time when I was looking for Icelandic metal bands to provide the soundtrack for my trip to Iceland. This was one of the bands I gravitated towards the most so when I caught wind they were releasing a new album, of course I was interested. Dynfari are firmly in the atmospheric category of black metal and this album has ramped up the melody and beauty of their music. The last three songs or the “Vegferð” trilogy, make up most of the albums run time and is easily the show stopper of the album. The scope and beauty of these songs in breathtaking. This is highly recommended and might be on the playlist for a good long time.
Perdition Temple – The Tempter’s Victorious
Some rip-roaring, blackened up death metal from Florida. Perdition Temple features Bill Taylor of Immolation on guitar, but more importantly from Angelcorpse, as well as Gene Palubicki on bass, also from Angelcorpse. If you’re familiar with the latter, you kind of know what you’re in for with Perdition. While they won’t replace the awesome Angelcorpse, they’re a pretty good fill in.
Judicator – At the Expense of Humanity
Another killer band hailing from Salt Lake. What do they know that I don’t? Anyway, Judicator are a power metal band, through and through. They sit somewhere in between the straight forward classic approach and the over-symphonic mixing an equal amount of both. Some songs veer more in either direction but this is the type of power metal I really lean towards. Great songs, great guitar playing, catchy vocals. Power. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the vocalists slight nods to Blind Guardians Hansi Kursch. He doesn’t have the same chops at Hansi but every so often he channels that sound.
Eternal Valley – Ascend to the Unknown
I found this one-man band last year while looking for under the radar, awesome black metal releases. Eternal Valley hasn’t been around more than a couple years but has been rather prolific releasing five full lengths and an EP. The music is atmospheric black metal with an emphasis on the the atmospherics. This album went a little against the previous and took a rougher approach to the production and amped up the funeral doom atmospherics. I really dig this band. Sure, this album is a bit long in the tooth and it’s not ground breaking but Eternal Valley has a knack for this sort of metal and it shows.
Magic Kingdom – Savage Requiem
So far this has been a solid year for power metal/epic metal and Magic Kingdom have added another awesome album to the mix. This symphonic heavy power metal. Not like Epica or Nightwish, more along the lines of Rhapsody, but with a tad more thrash and heaviness to it. Like a good epic power metal album, it clocks in at over an hour and is just a shredder all the way through. Many fist raises accord during the listening of this album.
Strung Out – Transmission.Alpha.Delta
Strung Out and me go way back. Back to my early teen days when I discovered punk and I’ve always check out their new albums when they come out. While I enjoyed their earlier, poppier, catchy as hell first couple albums, I think the band really took a turn to great with Exile in Oblivion, expanding on the heavier side of their sound and getting damn near metallic. This album is the perfect picture of both of their sounds, wrapped up in their infectious, catchy melodic styling. I never expect much from the punk genre anymore, at least the old guard, but this is just as surprising and satisfying as that Propaghandi album from a couple years back.
Unrest – Grindcore
I gave this band a shot based simply on the pedigree of bands the members have been in. Between the three of them, they also play in (or have played in) Crypt Sermon, Woe, Vektor and Kreig. When you call an album Grindcore it’s a pretty straight forward way of telling you what to expect and grindcore is exactly what this album is. Twenty six minutes long, paying tribute to the grindcore of yesteryear but with an intensity and rage that hasn’t been present in grinder of late. Napalm Death, in my view, is still killing it and is the top of the mountain for grind but these guys are giving it a solid go and killing it in the process.
Sorcerer – In the Shadow of the Inverted Cross
It seems this band has been around since the 80’s but could never find their footing as members left to be in other bands like Tiamat and Therion. Now, in 2015, they’ve released their first full length. It’s epic doom on the grandest of scales, paying heavy homage to Candlemass but throwing in some power metal for good measure. Not as doomy as the recent Crypt Sermon album, another new band paying homage to the classic epic doom sound of days gone by. I dug this album quite a bit.
Murg – Varg & Björn
For a band that has no previous releases, this album is rather mature and complete. The Swedish duo harken back to the prime time of black metal, but with a modern sensibility and production. If fist pumping, black metal anthems are what you crave, Murg has you covered in spades.
Corpo-Mente – Corpo-Mente
I’m not exactly sure what to make of this release. I knew it was going to be different considering one of the members also does duty in Igorrr but I wasn’t familiar with vocalist Ricinn. There’s definitely a metal element to this but it’s buried under weird soundscapes, trip-hop beats, orchestral symphonies and Ricinn’s beautiful voice. There aren’t words that can really capture or explain what this band sounds like. I read somewhere “experimental opera” but that still doesn’t really explain it.
Ashbringer – Vacant
I stumbled on this randomly and seeing as the one-man band hails from Minnesota, which has produced some great metal, I figured I would give this a go. It’s pretty straightforward atmospheric black metal. Heavy on the atmosphere and melody. It’s not bad by any means but it’s a lot more of the same. Solid listen though.
Eisflammen – В Cтихии…
My buddy shared this with me and as I scrubbed through the youtube video I was intrigued so I gave it a whirl, completely unaware of this band. It seems they are a new band formed from the remains of two Russian bands I haven’t heard of either. It’s some raw, atmospheric black metal with a little dabbling of post-metal/rock elements. Pretty solid through and through and a pleasant new discovery.
The Rest of My Jams:
Eyehategot – Take as Needed for Pain
Saint Vitus – Born Too Late
Paradise Lost – Gothic
Axis of Advance – Obey
Axis of Advance – Purify EP
Enforcer – From Beyond
Trouble – Psalm 9
Zylkon-B – Blood Must be Shed
Cor Scorpii – Monument
Wayfarer – Children of the Iron Age
Thy Primordial – Where Only the Seasons Mark the Paths of Time
Candlemass – Epicus Doomicus Metallicus
Until Next Week…