Halloween is next week and usually this is where I’d tell you about what I do to celebrate the holiday. Music, movies, books, comics, I like to revisit this time of year, but I’m not feeling Halloween this year, which is a fucking bummer. That doesn’t preclude all the killer fucking metal that came out this week. It might not be horror themed or what not but even when I’m bummed about Halloween, the metal is good and it makes me happy.
This week had a ton of new releases but Saor swooped in late in the week with the full stream of their new album and completely demolished everything in it’s wake. There’s good stuff to be found this week but fuck, that new Saor is a beast.
NEW STUFF: (For the love of Samhain, click the titles)
Ultar – Kadath
Folky, atmospheric, post-y, Russian black metal. Fairly typical of this kind of black metal, but has some lush, beautiful moments that stand out, and some killer cover art. I’d look forward to what they put out next.
Manzer – Beyond the Iron Portal
I consider Manzer and fairly fun band, with their traditional infused black n’ roll, thrash, style. This album is more of the same of that with maybe more leaning on the NWOBHM classic style. Just some good fun here.
Arkona – Lunaris
This is my first encounter with this band (though I have a couple albums from the folky/pagan Russian band of the same name) even though they’ve been kicking around the Polish black metal scene since the early 90s, and I’ve gotta say, this is fucking awesome. Synth heavy, Gehenna style of evil, scary black metal with just enough atmospherics to show off some truly beautiful passages. I’m late to the party on this one but better late then never, some asshole says.
Krypts – Remnants Of Expansion
Crushing, dismal, weighty, experimental Finnish death metal. Feels like a thousand pounds pressing down on your head. Pretty fucking good.
Myrkgrav – Takk og farvel; tida er blitt ei annen
Norwegian folk infused black metal. When I say folk do I mean folk. If there was such a thing as blackened folk metal this would bet it. More folk then metal, but not in that ridiculous theatrical way that so many of these “folk” metal bands do it. It comes close, it really does, but in keeps it just at bay. A little long but overall fairly fun.
Hail Spirit Noir – Mayhem in Blue
I was just in the mood for something new and almost serendipitously Hail Spirt Noir fell on to my radar. I hear this band is often changing things up so I’m not sure how this new one represents the band as a whole but their blend of hard rock, black metal, psychedelic/progressive, and punk is a potent mixture. This reminds me of a heavy, nastier, (cough better cough) Hammers of Misfortune and I fucking dig it.
Tardigrada – Emotionale Odnis
Atmospheric black metal veering dangerously close to depressive black meta, which isn’t a band thing as I like some good dsbm now and then. This pulls back from going all in but it’s still crazy with atmosphere, blazing riffing and those shriek-y style black metal vocals. Pretty solid first album from these Swiss players.
Urfaust -Empty Space Meditation
I really dug their last full length album but the EP thye put out last year is damn near unlistenable. This one has way less of the bizarre experimentation of that EP but still, it doesn’t grab me. Not like Der freiwillige Bettler. It’s ok, just nothing great. Oh well.
Saor – Guardians
Of all the albums I was anticipating this year, this one was probably the most anticipated. I discovered this band (before the name change) by random and have been obsessed with it ever since. His previous album, Aura is a masterwork of atmospheric black metal, and guess fucking what? So is this one. Continuing the folk infused, Scottish heritage themes from the last one, Saor gives us more stunningly beautiful, awe-inspiring, vast soundscapes of utter black metal brilliance.
Khemmis – Hunted
English Dogs – Where Legend Began
Oathbreaker – Rheia
Thrawsunblat – Metachthonia
Ahab – The Divinity of Oceans
Glacier – Glacier
Ulcerate – Shrines of Paralysis
Arkona – Imperium
Exxplorer – Symphonies of Steel
Until next time… Make mine metal!