January has given way to February and winter has us firmly grasped in it’s icy death hand. Good thing the metal is there to keep us warm, or cold, depending on how you’re feeling. This week provided plenty of new metal to fill either desire.

NEW STUFF: (Links in titles) 

Fuath – I
It seems, almost out of nowhere, the main man behind the incredible Saor released his new side project, Fuath. If you’re familiar with Saor and his rich, vibrant, celtic influenced, folk black metal, you’ll not get that with. Taking more of a page from Vemod or Paysage d’Hiver, Fuath is a winter-worn atmospheric black metal love letter. And it’s fucking amazing.

Striker – Stand in the Fire
Stiker’s brand of party ready, traditional metal is infectious in a fun way. They know what kind of band they are and what kind of music they want to play and they just fucking do it. This new one finds them incorporating a little more power metal and thrash but it’s still the same, good time jams.

Seer – Vol. 1 & 2
Some solid doom/stoner metal with a bit of a post-ish vibe/traditional metal thrown in. Overall pleasing, if not brain shattering.

Cirith Gorgor – Visions of Exalted Lucifer
This is my first go around with this band but it seems they have a lengthy career. I can’t speak to their previous efforts but this is some solid, meat and potatoes, extremely aggressive, satanic black metal.

Obscura – Akróasis
I’m not a huge fan of extremely technical death metal (save a few bands) but I’ve always had a soft spot for Obscure, especially now after finding out their vocalist and guitarist is also in Thulcandra. I find the genre generally full of endless wankering, more obsessed with showing off how well and technical they can play their 8 and 10 sting guitars, however, while Obscura are definitely doing that, they’ve incorporated some sweet melodic sounds and some genuinely catchy riffs and songs. It’s a fun listen.

Rotting Christ – Rituals
I’m a sucker for Rotting Christ. Since they started merging their more gothic, heavy metal style with their earlier black metal style it’s produced some awesome albums. Their previous one was fucking killer and this one follows suit. It’s that mix of black and goth metal, adding in some mystical, chanting, atmospherics and a nasty doom vibe similar to what Triptykon is doing. Heavy as fuck.

Urgehal – Aeons in Sodom
Urgehal play a particularly infectious style of evil black metal. I’m a big fan of their 2006 album Goatcraft Torment. In 2012 their lead singer died and instead of packing it in they’ve released a new album substituting a different notable black metal singer on each song in replace of their departed singer. Some of the featured singers are Hoest of Taake, Niklas Kvarforth of Shining, Nattefrost of Carpathian Forest, Nag of Tsjuder, and most notably, Nocturno Culto of Darkthrone fame, who turns in probably the best performance on the album. This is an awesome way to continue to band and pay tribute to a fallen metal brother.

Gehennah – Too Loud to Live, Too Drunk to Die
Only a mere 20 years after their last release, Gehennah is back with some more Motorhead infused, party, black thrash, with an emphasis on party. This band seems like they were locked in a time capsule and unleashed 20 years later. This style is often imitated and paid “homage” by current bands which might be why I’m not to enthused about this release. It’s a fun jam, don’t get me wrong but there’s nothing that captivating about it.

Khthoniik Cerviiks – SeroLogiikal Scars (Vertex of Dementiia)
Progressive yet primative death/black metal from Germany that is rather adventurous and original. Crafty creativity and intense playing. If they keep this up, I can’t wait to hear the results.

Chuck Ragan – The Flame in the Flood
I guess there was a video game released not to long ago called The Flame in the Flood and Chuck Ragan did the soundtrack for it. Little did I know video games have soundtracks but it’s Chuck so obviously I need to hear it. Typically, it’s fucking awesome. It’s more bluegrass-ish and country than he typically is, similar to his work with Bristle Ridge, sans Austin Lucas (although John Snodgrass is on one of the songs). I’m just going to go ahead an consider this another Chuck Ragan album because it’s awesome and full of all the amazing magic that makes his songs so captivating.

Love Sex Machine – Asexual Anger
Love Sex Machine’s last album was a dirty little slab of fuzzed up, sludged out, doom metal so when I was told they had a new out I was anxious to hear it. This is more of their infectious, French styled, sludge. More fuzz, more heavy crushing riffs. Maybe a little less filthy, lyrically wise, but an awesome 42 minutes to be sure.

OTHER JAMS:

Black Witchery – Desecration of the Holy Kingdom
Witchery – Restless & Dead
Running Wild – Gates To Purgatory
Running Wild – Under the Jolly Roger

Until Next Time…

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