I warned you September was going to be a devastating month for new metal albums and now at the end of the last full week of the month, it’s left me beaten, dazed, and in awe. This week saw the release of some of my more anticipated albums of the year and they did not disappoint. There were a few clunkers this week, but hey, you can’t win them all.
Fall is officially upon us and there’s no better compliment to the changing of seasons then metal so get those lightweight coats out and blast your fucking head in with some new metal. Make it Fall.
NEW STUFF: (Links in the titles)
Horna – Hengen Tulet
Sweet Satanic Finnish black metal, Horna has a new album out and as expected, it’s a killer.
Alda – Passage
A beautiful continuation of their already deep atmospheric black metal style. Let me know when Bindrune releases a bad album.
VI – De Prästigiis Angelorum
Black metal musicians tend to be in a ton of bands so I think the “supergroup” tag gets applied pretty generously in this genre. VI consists of members from Aosoth, Antaeus, Aborted, and Merrimack. Combined they remind me a lot of Watain, with a bit more melody and some minor post influences. Good album overall.
Slugdge – Dim and Slimeridden Kingdoms
I was instantly drawn to this bands previous release from 2014 once I discovered their songs were about giant, slimy, interstellar slugs of Lovecraftian proportions. It’s easy to pass on this “gimmicky” type bands and the name alone is enough to turn anybody off but much like the Star Wars themed blackened death metal band Hoth, Slugdge actually has some amazing chops and crafts some excellent, crushing, blackened death metal songs. It’s sometimes hard to take the more extreme of extreme metal serious and it’s refreshing to see a band taking a tongue in cheek approach to their music. As silly as space slugs sound, the band delivers, again.
Sivyj Yar – Burial Shrouds
Stunning follow up to the already incredible From the Dead Villages’ Darkness, the one man black metal crushes this pagan fueled, atmospheric laden album with immense beauty and grandeur. Get the fuck on this album.
Windfaerer – Tenebrosum
Sweet fuck, this is a fury storm of bludgeoning, melancholic, folk-infused, atmospheric, black metal awesome sauce. And I though Vallendusk was going to keep the crown for beautiful and intense atmospheric black metal this year. Windfaerer might have topped them for me. Miles ahead of their EP from 2012 and that one was pretty fucking good too.
Shrine of Insanabilis – Disciples of the Void
Well this is some evil as fuck black metal. Shrine of Insanabilis seemed to just come out of nowhere this week. The band has no previous releases and all the members are keeping their identities hidden, but the music is fucking killer. I mentioned evil, right? Fucking evil black metal that briefly reminds me of bands like Night Bringer and Watain. Killer album.
Black Breath – Slaves Beyond Death
Wow, what an upgrade for an already killer band. I’m a fan of the bands first two albums but they’ve always relied on an Entombed meets hardcore sound that was intense and interesting but on this new one, they’ve shed some of those tendency’s and focussed on metaling up the fuck out of this album. There’s still some of that influence left in the mix but the added, heavier, damn near black metal/death metal riffing makes for a fuller, more rounded album. This one is a doozy.
Kylesa – Exhausting Fire
I’m not sure what to think of Kylesa anymore. I quite enjoyed Time Will Fuse Its Worth, Static Tension, and Spiral Shadow (to a lesser degree) but their last album Ultraviolet left me cold. This new one seems to up the ante on the psychedelic and experimental aspects and the songs where they deviate from their heavier, sludge-ier sound catch my attention more and I seemed to enjoyed those more. The album seems to be all over the place (the “Paranoid” cover is particularly terrible) and for the most part I enjoyed it, more so than the last, but I’m not crazy about it.
Gloryhammer – Space 1992: Rise of the Chaos Wizards
Gloryhammer are back with their ludicrously cheeseball, power metal awesomeness with their new, second album. Gloryhammer are like a comic book version of power metal, using all of the over top cliches and effects the genre is known for, or lauded for, which is quite the feet as if there was a comic book, superhero silliness of the metal genre, it would be power metal. Gloryhammer amplify that by about a million on this new album and if you thought their last effort was over the top, just pop this one on. It’s essential a love letter written to power metal by over zealous nerds, hopped up on caffeine and that energy permeates the album. These guys are just so much fun, and they have the chops to back up the energy. Cheesier than the cheesiest of power metal but oh so delightful.
Graveyard – Innocence & Decadence
I’m a casual fan of this band as this super 60’s/70’s bluesy, guitar heavy, classic rock style really tries my patience but these guys have some good songs under their belt. It’s too bad that most of the album is bit forgettable. I like more of the songs that deviate from their typical throwback sound. I may be over this band.
A Sound of Thunder – Tales From the Deadside
This is kind of a weird one. I’m a fan of this bands previous two albums. Slightly progressive, heavy/power metal with a killer front woman. Where the odd part comes in is A Sound of Thunder worked in agreement with Valiant Comics, who while contributing to the lyrics and artwork, licensed the rights of their character Shadowman for this concept album about, well, Shadowman. The band paid for production and promotion. Now, I’m a comic book fan and a Valiant fan but I haven’t read that much Shadowman so I’m not sure about the story/concept of the album but I can’t really think of that many metal albums based around comics. I don’t think Entombed’s Wolverine Blues counts so that leaves Iced Earth’s The Dark Saga, about Spawn.
All that being said, the music is pretty awesome. More straight forward than their previous albums but well made and damn that singer has a killer voice. Maybe a bit too niche, but fun overall.
Deafheaven – New Bermuda
So here we have the new Deafheaven album, a band that is probably, in the media’s eyes, the most acclaimed black metal band going right now. I won’t get into all of the exposure and praise that is hurled at this band by the fuck load. I actually don’t dislike the band, musically. They have some really stupid marketing tactics and the level of pretension with these guys is ridiculous, but musically, they are just ok. The hype machine is really what lured me in and I didn’t hate their last album, I just think there are many bands who play in this style of post/atmospheric black metal that are doing far more interesting things and craft intensely better music. That being said, this new one is a bit better and I actually enjoyed the slower, atmospheric parts more than the metallic parts. The cries of metal fandom accusing the band of not being metal seemed to have been heard as the band really ups the metal and heavy aspects on this one.
To sum up, Deafheaven are ok, nothing special, but not the worst. I’m sure this will be ranking highly by years end on all the sites but I probably won’t be revisiting it much. The praise is still confounding to me.
Harakiri For the Sky – Aokigahara
Speedtrap – Straight Shooter
My Dying Bride – Feel the Misery
The Skaden – You Will Hope I Had Died
Orphaned Land – Sahara
Until Next Time…