Whoops. I missed last week’s update and I’m sure it broke your fucking hearts. Well, now I’m back with twice the metal so you don’t have to cry anymore.

We’re halfway through October and it’s about that time where I start to prepare my best of the year list. I know not many people read these posts of mine but I like to at least have some idea of what I’m talking about, and I (clearly) love metal, analyzing it, dissecting it, just obsessing over it. Some albums that come out are an instant addition to the list but some are growers, some are dark horses and some require a closer look. You’ll see it reflected in the list below.

Speaking of best of… the new Panopticon album came out today and I’ll be damned if a better album comes out this year. Go listen to it right fucking now.

NEW STUFF: (Links in the titles)

When Bitter Spring Sleeps – Spirit In Flames
I love Pagan Flames and support them as much as I can. That being said, This new album is fairly solid, until the end. It sort of peters out into ridiculousness during the last two songs. The rest of the album, good solid, nature worship metal in the vein of Primordial.

Blood Stronghold – The March of Apparitions EP
Unsurprisingly, this EP is fucking killer. Nightwolf makes some of the best black metal around these days.

Vreid – Sólverv
Although this band rose from the ashes of the fucking incredible Windir, I didn’t get on board with them until their 2011 release V. If you’re looking for another Windir type band, this isn’t it. There’s some elements left but not many. Their past two releases were going in a thrash-ier black metal direction but on this new one, they’re back to a more melodic, traditional black metal sound. It’s solid, through and through with some killer guitar and vocal work.

Thy Catafalque – Sgùrr
I was curious about this new album as the last one was a bit of a double edged sword for me. I loved the black metal music with the extremely prominent keyboard effects overlaid. It’s labeled as “avant garde” black metal but I don’t find it to be that. It’s a bit different but no so much that it’s experimental. The downside were the vocals. Mostly clean vocals but this weird caterwaul type of clean vocals. Clean vocals can work in black metal but in this case, it didn’t. Well, thankfully on this new one, he ditched the clean vocals completely, went for more pain long screams, amped up the ferocity of the black metal and kept the cool keyboard sounds. This one is a massive improvement and one heck of an album.

So Hideous – Laurestine
There’s a meme going around that states something to the affect of “Metal is Modern Classical Music,” or at least that’s the gist of it. If ever there was a band that strengthens that idea it’s So Hideous. I was a big fan of their previous album and their hyper-orchestral take on atmospheric/post black metal so I was anxious to hear this new one. Not much has changed this time around. The symphonic elements are right up front, the black metal aspects are powerful and it’s a solid album. Kind of pretentious and cheesy but I think it works.

Veldes – Descent EP
Their last EP was a nice surprise I found while cruising Bandcamp. Low and behold I found their new EP and it is also a nice surprise. More heavy on the atmospherics this time around with more etherial and beautiful passages but it doesn’t skimp on the black metal either.

With the Dead – With the Dead
I’m not sure how many bands have spun out of the collapse of Cathedral but here’s another. This one features the main Cathedral man Lee Dorrian and it’s a mixture of the doom-ier, stoner-y side of Cathedral with a heavy dose of what Triptykon has been up to. It’s okay. I would just prefer to listen to Cathedral or Triptykon.

Panopticon – Autumn Eternal
This was, hands down, my most anticipated album of the year and guess what? It’s another fucking masterpiece from Panopticon. It’s a monument of music. Panopticon makes some of the best music I’ve ever heard, of any genre, ever. This one is a bit more melancholic than the previous two but it works in all the right ways. It’s like a slightly different flavor of Panopticon but just as amazing as the others. This is the final entry in his trilogy started with Kentucky and I’d be hard pressed to tell you now which is my favorite of the three but looking at them as a whole, I can’t even express how amazing they are. I’d hold them up there with Ulver’s black metal trilogy. Yes, it’s that fucking good.

Cult Leader – Lightless Walk
This came as a recommendation and I’m glad I checked it out. It’s a pummeling mashup of various styles, mostly crust and sludge, that just starts punching you in the throat right out of the gate. Damn fine release.

Sielunvihollinen – Hautaruhtinas
Dirty, nasty, punked up, Finnish black metal. Some killer guitar riffs and melody. Fucking crazy fun.

OTHER JAMS:

Bekhira – L’Elu du Mal
Horrendous – Anareta
Celestia – Apparitia – Sumptuous Spectre
Denner Shermann – Satan’s Tomb
Blood Stronghold – From Sepulchral Remains
Griffin – Flight of the Griffin
Satan – Atom By Atom
Darkenhold/Naastand – Split
Darkenhold/ Fhoi Myore – Split
Deceased – Supernatural Addiction
October 31 – Bury The Hatchet
Kreator – Extreme Aggression
Orden Ogan – Ravenhead
Blaze of Sorrow – Fulgida reminiscenza EP
Grimoire – L’aorasie des spectres rêveurs EP
Hate Forest – The Most Ancient Ones
Caïna – Setter of Unseen Snares
Napalm Death – Apex Predator-Easy Meat
Misþyrming – Söngvar elds og óreiðu
Death Karma – The History of Death & Burial Rituals Part I
Hate Eternal – Conquering the Throne
Descendents – Enjoy
Descendents – I Don’t Want to Grow Up
Arch Enemy – Black Earth
Descendents – ALL
ALL – Pummel
Hagfish – …Rocks Your Lame Ass
Crypt Sermon – Out of the Garden
Ruby the Hatchet – Valley of The Snake
Thrawsunblat – Canada 2010
Misery’s Omen – Hope Dies
Sühnopfer – Offertiore
A Forest of Stars – Beware the Sword You Cannot See
Sarcasm – A Touch of the Burning Red Sunset
Leviathan – Scar Sighted
Galar – De Gjenlevende
Dynfari – Vegferð Tímans
Macabre Omen – Gods of War – At War
Metal Church – Metal Church
NettleCarrier – Black Coffin Rites
Akhlys – The Dreaming I
Arcturus – Arcturian
Panopticon – Roads to the North

Until Next Time…

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