Remember I kept telling you how awesome April was going to be for new releases? Well, this is the week where all the awesomeness decided it wanted to be unleashed all at fucking once. I’m not kidding, I went through 16 new albums this week. To be fair, two of them aren’t metal. BUT THAT LEAVES 14 METAL ALBUMS IN JUST ONE WEEK THAT ARE FUCKING KILLER! Most of these were on my list but there’s a few new discoveries AND a couple bands I really enjoy that I had no idea had new stuff coming out (cough Cloud Rat cough Ereb Altor cough). So check these out and don’t let me hear you complaining about how there’s no good music anymore. This week proves that statement is stupid.

New Releases: 

Tribulation – The Children of the Night
I’m sure Tribulation are going to take a lot of flack for the continual progressive nature of their sound. This one goes even further with that. It would be hard to call this a death metal album. More like a heavier goth-y, prog influenced album with harsh vocals. I dig it and enjoyed this one maybe a little more then their previous.

Kontinuum – Kyrr
I’m not sure this band deserves the “post” black metal label they get. Certainly, there are some black metal elements but I find this band to have more in common with current Katatonia or Paradise Lost, albeit a more progressive approach. It’s a very gothic, dark metal sort of approach and considering the amount of killer black metal Iceland has been putting out, you would think a a band that doesn’t sound like any of those other bands might get labeled fairly. Oh well, what’s in a label. The point being, this album is pretty rad if you you’re into the sort of bands I listed with a “post” bend to them. I am so this works out for me.

Lonesome Wyatt and Rachel Brooke – Bad Omen
I’m a fan of the Those Poor Bastards and their weird, horror, gothic, old-timey take on country music but I’ve got to say I’ve really enjoyed Lonesome Wyatt’s and Rachel Brooke’s collaborations, maybe more so then the Poor Bastards. Her voice lends a sense of beauty and loss to the already dismal and forlornness of Wyatt’s music. It’s less horror and more misery. The two compliment each other perfectly.

Khors – Night Falls Onto the Front of Ours
This is my first sampling of this Ukrainian black metal band and I was fairly entertained by this album. Similar to man of their Ukrainian black metal contemporaries, Khors’ black metal is nature and pagan oriented and they utilize more of an Insomnium type of melodic death metal approach to the music. I wouldn’t say it’s black metal in the strictest sense of the genre. It’s a solid outing though and kept me engaged all the way through. Maybe not a classic but a good listen.

Akhlys – The Dreaming I
This is a side project of Nightbringer’s Naas al Alcameth. Nightbringer produced one of my favorite albums of 2014 and if your familiar with that band you’re probably prepared for what Akhlys sounds like. There are a lot of similarities – the repetitive, dismal, murky, scary sound of Nightbringer transfers over but maybe with a bit more melody and more ambient noise. I’m a huge fan of Nightbringer so this really hit the spot.

Red City Radio – Red City Radio
I’m a sucker for this sort of punk. Super emotional, melodic, poppy at points. When it comes to newer pop punk I just really want to hear catchy songs. Red City Radio borrow a page from the Nothington handbook, which is sort of a more harmony driven play on Social Distortion’s past couple albums. Good hooks and lyrics. No complaints.

Délétère – Les heures de la pest
Adding to the list of awesome bands from Quebec is Délétère. This being their debut album, a blistering slab of orthodox, atmospheric black metal that while harkening back to black metal heydays, keeps its foot firmly planted in the current day.

Downfall of Nur – Umbras De Barbagia
Again, the label “post black metal” rears its head. This does have a post feel to it but its got a more dark and haunting vibe going to it. It’s more akin to blackened folk metal or what is going on on the new Leviathan album. Anyway, this band hails from Argentina and they are killing it with this, their first album.

Sacral Rage – Illusions in the Infinite Void
Greek speed metal for the win!

Deathblow – The Other Side of Darkness
Old school, nasty, Slayer, Kreator styled thrash metal from Utah. Proving again that Utah is just killing it, metal wise.

Kroda – Ginnungagap Ginnungagaldr Ginnungakaos
This is one of my highly anticipated albums for this year. Their previous album is one of my favorite folk/pagan black metal albums. Ukraine is fairly well known for this sort of black metal and Kroda may have surpassed, in my mind, bands like Drudkh, and Nokturnal Mortum. You can’t go wrong with any of these but the new Kroda is so passionate, so powerful, so spine-tingling. It demands to be heard.

Green Death – Manufacturing Evil
A fun thrash band from Iowa. They incorporate cool artwork into their product and really make it something fun and worth having. Their last album had a companion comic that was pretty rad. This album sees them going more towards that power metal/thrash area that Iced Earth did so well for so many years. The vocals share a hint of Iced Earth’s original singer as well. Good fun, solid riffs.

Unleashed – Dawn of the Nine
You know what you’re getting with Unleashed and that’s kick ass fucking viking death metal. The formula hasn’t changed but why fix something that isn’t broken. It’s one thing to be pushing boundaries and expanding on the template of metal but there’s also something to be said about a band that can consistently put out awesome record after awesome record. Unleashed is that band.

Ereb Altor – Nattramn
Ereb Altor continue their unabashed love of all things Bathory. There’s a lot of Bathory worship bands out there but I don’t mind when it’s done so lovingly and with a bit of the bands own sound thrown in. This one is less on the nose as their previous, adding more symphonic and black metal leanings to the mix and it’s a solid good time.

Cloud Rat – Qliphoth
Cloud Rat is quickly becoming one of my favorite grindcore bands. They manage to keep the fury and intensity of grind but merge it with other such ferocious aspects of crust, d-beat, hardcore and even chill it down with some post rock/punk. This is their second full length and this one may be high on the list for year end.

Lustre – Blossom
I stumbled on to this band’s last album randomly and was really taken by their hyper atmospheric approach to black metal. This new album doesn’t stray far from that path. This isn’t blistering, intense, break neck black metal. More time is spent devoted to the atmospheric soundscapes of the tranquil and serene. The vocals are kept to a minimal. It’s a beautiful, reflective composure. Not for casual listening. The mood’s got to be just right for this one.

With all that new stuff, there wasn’t much time for anything else.

Here’s the Rest of My Jams:

William Elliot Whitmore – Radium Death
Belenos – Chants De Bataille
Black Witchery/Revenge – Holocaustic Death March to Humanity’s Doom
Mork Gryning – Tusen ar har gatt…
Devastation – Idolatry

Until next week…