2016 is determined to not end quietly and the metal masses seemingly have decided to unleash hell over the remainder of the month and next month. Could be everybody is looking to get theirs on one of these  year “best of” lists, or could just be that metal is the most generously giving genres of music. Whatever is causing the recent onslaught of new material, I’m grateful for it. Here, enjoy some with me:

NEW STUFF: (Click those fucking titles)

Wretch – Wretch 
The bands debut full-length and follow up band to the end of Gates of Slumber, so if you’re familiar with Gates, you’ll know what kind of doom awaits you on Wretch. Wretch, however, is a little more immediate, less precise with their doom, but still, very similar. It’s fairly decent, if not great.

Sumerlands – Sumerlands
Some more classic/ 80’s metal worship. This band sounds like 70’s and 80’s metal got dropped in a blender. It’s equal parts Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, and Mercyful Fate. Really digging the recording of the bass and drums on this. Usually the guitars get so much attention in this kind of band. It’s thumping on my head is infectious. Overall, pretty fucking rocking and head banging, which is what I expect from bands like this.

Eternal Champion – The Armor of Ire
Even more 80’s metal worship and from a couple of the members from Sumerlands as well! This one is more in the Manilla Road, Chastain vein of metal. More epic, more power, more grit. I read a review saying it was the Ralph Bakshi’s “Lord of the Rings” compared to Peter Jackson’s. That’s as apt a description as there’s likely to be. Suffice to say, if you’re into this sort of thing, this is fucking awesome.

Deathspell Omega – the Synarchy of Molten Bones
True to form, Deathspell unceremoniously released their new EP last night, and of course, it’s a fucking monster. I find this band incredibly hard to dissect or review in any coherent way and this album is pure Deathspell, so if you’re familiar with their challenging, intricate, dismal, French black metal insanity, you’ll probably enjoy this one. I sure as hell do.

Fiave – Dall’alto Di Una Roccia
Beautiful and grand Italian atmospheric black metal. Lots of nature worship, lots of soundscapes to back that up, but with some of that avant-garde, Italian flair that makes it stick out. Solid release.

Civil War – The Last Full Measure
The only reason I ever checked this band out is because it contains the lead singer of Wuthering Heights, Nils Patrik Johansson, who’s a perfect combination of Dio and Hansi Kursch, with a little added bite. I’m not a big fan of Sabaton so those members involvement doesn’t concern me, though they seem to be trying to stick it to Sabaton by focussing on the same military focus. This album is more traditional power metal style, more grand in nature than the previous. Straight forward with those insane vocals, and to my ears, sounds a lot like Wuthering Heights, which is all I fucking want from Nils, but until that happens, this is a suitable alternative. Which is to say, this is fucking awesome power metal.

Blazon Stone – War of the Roses
I took a chance on this band this year based on their name alone, which is a Running Wild album title, so I was pretty sure this was going to be pirate themed power metal, and it is. The new album is along the lines of the last one, pirate themed songs, but not pirate theatrics. The band itself sounds like a mix of speed/traditional/early power metal. Their last album was much more early Blind Guardian influenced, which is weird seeing as Running Wild is clearly the inspiration, but this one smooths things out and goes more power metal. It’s pretty fun, if nothing else, and if you like this sort of thing.

Bròn – Ànrach
Highly atmospheric black metal with a healthy dose of ambient mixed in. Beautiful music and artwork, from Scotland which always excites me when I find a good metal band from there as there are very few. This will be a good one for the upcoming winter.

Vader – The Empire
Vader is my favorite musical comfort food. They always hit the spot when I’m in the mood for straightforward death metal, though they’ve been bringing back the thrash influence more recently which makes it that much more tasty. Vader won’t reinvent metal anytime soon but I’m not asking them to, just keep doing what you’re doing, boys.

Furia – Ksiezyc Milczy Luty
Big fan of this bands previous album. This one seems like a departure in style. Very ritualistic, looming, plodding, Rotting Christ/Triptykon vibe going on here. There’s still some killer black metal moments blended in. Not certain about this one yet. May be a grower.

Barrow Wight – Kings in Sauron’s Service
Crazy traditional/doom metal with black metal style vocals, humorously devoted to Tolkien. What else. But it’s damn good, and damn fun. Plus how can you not get a kick out a song called “No Sleep till Gondor” or “In League with Sauron.” It’s tickling both my Lord of the Rings and my metal nerd bone.

OTHER JAMS:

Saor – Guardians
October 31 – Bury the Hatchet
Calabrese – List for Sacrilege
Solar Mass – Pseudomorphosis
Spiral Architect – A Sceptic’s Universe
Tardigrada – Emotionale Odnis
Sonanta Arctica – Ecliptica
Alcest – Kodama
Fuath – I
Vital Remains – Forever Underground

Until next time, make mine metal.

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