April’s unrelenting onslaught of new metal continues unabated without concern for any of our necks. Not that I’m complaining. Better than to be in a drought. Plus, we still need killer jams now more than ever. Bring on the new metal!

And some non-metal…

NEW STUFF: (Better be clicking those titles)

Torgeir Waldemer – No Offending Borders
Some absolutely beautiful, soulful, singer/songwriter folk music with a bit of rock/classic rock influence added in. If it weren’t for his name, I’d never have guessed based on the music that this was Norwegian. It sounds so authentically American. Great stuff here.

Bestia Arcana – Holokauston
Twisted, dark, occult-ish, and atmospheric black metal from most of the Nightbringer members. Released the same day as the new Nightbringer after label disputes or some kind of drama. Night as good, in my opinion, as the new Nightbringer but compelling in a different way. Similiar themes and tones I think but maybe more of a death metal influence here. More structure? Whatever it is, it’s another solid project from these gentlemen.

Wolfbrigade – Run With the Hunted
Damn good Swedish crusted up hardcore but with that oh so sweet Swedish melodic nature. It makes it seem more death metal-ish seeing as most hardcore bands are afraid of anything melodic but it works in a punk-ish sort of way, unlike Nails Entombed worship.

Suffocation – …Of the Dark Light
If you’re a Suffocation fan there’s plenty to love here. I’m not crazy about the band after Pierced but I like this more than some of their middle and later career stuff. It won’t make my best of list but hey, it’s Suffocation and they still crush lesser tech death metal bands.

Coldfells – Coldfells
Supremely emotional, insanely catchy, and crushingly massive blackened doom metal from the guys in Nechocnwen. I said blackened doom because that’s where this fits most comfortably but they veer more into a slightly classic fuzzy doom style but heavy on the well, heaviness. There’s a lot swirling around but it’s an awesome mix, with some pleasant surprises and not just doomy for doom’s sake.

Night Demon – Darkness Remains
I am unabashedly fanboy-ish about this band and I don’t even care. They aren’t reinventing any wheels, just playing straight up classic NWOBHM styled metal but they do it with such enthusiasm and god damn catchy songs it’s hard to not get caught up in it. On this, their second album, they keep the pace at a brisk run, rarely going down for those slower, groove oriented songs like on the first album. There’s a more punk vibe to this one, doubled with more of an Iron Maiden (if you couldn’t tell by their Iron Maiden worship song “Maiden Hell” complete with numerous Maiden references and a Dickinson “scream for me”) attack that keeps the album bouncing from song to song. And as if I couldn’t like this band any more they go and cover my favorite Dio Sabbath song “Turn Up the Night.” Fucking killer.

Labyrinth – Architecture of a God
When it comes to Labyrinth you can’t get better than the two Return to Heaven Denied albums, so that’s all I really ever bother with. I’ve been aching for some new (good) power metal and when I saw that Labyrinth had reformed and were putting out a new album I was intrigued even knowing they probably couldn’t top those other albums, but like I said, I ache for good power metal. Keeping a nice mix of power metal and progressive elements, Labyrinth doesn’t forget the drama and theatrics that I’ve come to expect from Italian power metal, and crafts some truly great, albeit cheesy, songs. Not better than Heaven Denied, but possibly equally as good. Good show, Labyrinth, good show indeed.

Les Discrets – Predateurs
This is a straight up, post rock, shoegaze, album. Whatever tiny connection to metal Les Discrets ever had are long gone on this album. That being said, this isn’t really my thing but I enjoyed the album. I’m sure it’s meant to be a headphone album but I enjoyed just having it on while I was working and not really focussing on it. It’s light, airy, tons of atmosphere, pretty much what you’d expect from this sort of music.

Mourners Lament – We All Be Given
Oooohhh I dig on this. This Chilean band is clearly a fan of the old death/doom albums of Paradise Lost, Anathema, Katatonia, and their likes. A little more doom and growling in the vocals and slightly less gothic but man I’m a sucker for this kind of metal. If you like those early Peaceville Three kind of death doom this one is right up your alley.

Farsot – FAIL•LURE
Farsot, to me, has always been the little black metal band that could. I see so many bands get credit and praise for doing exactly what Farsot does while Farsot does it better and  yet nobody is praising Farsot. And that’s a fucking shame because this band has nothing but killer metal to give. As far as this new one goes, the band has gone in a more atmospheric direction letting wide open soundscapes and lighter, airy passages surround the music. With three albums now I’m beginning to understand this is a band that you can’t predict what they will do. They still have that melodic flair (well melodic for German black metal) and they still have that slightly avant-garde quality, particularly in the vocals, but they’ve also added some more traditional black metal riffing and sounds, even some doom elements. Maybe not as good as Insects but this band is still amazing to listen to.

Coltsblood – Ascending Into the Shimmering Darkness
This is my first encounter with this band and I feel like I’m still making up ground in the doom genre. Coltsblood, to my ears, mix up death, doom, funeral doom, traditional metal, a slight punk vibe, and just cover it all with a fucking dirty as hell production and tone. I dig it. Fucking nasty doom.

Devil – To the Gallows
Some 80’s worshipping traditional metal with some snarly punk-ish vocals. Slightly doom-tinged, which are my favorite parts on here. When they’re just doing the regular old 80s worship it’s kind of boring, especially in a week where Night Demon knocked that fucking studded bracelet out of the arena. Ok album.

OTHER JAMS:

Foreseen – Grave Danger
The Smith Street Band – More Scared of You than You Are of Me
Vintersorg – Till Fjalls
Mortuus – Grape of the Vine
Pan.Thy.Monium – …Dawn / Dream II
Sentenced – Amok
Cryonic Temple – Blood, Guts & Glory
Sleep – Dopesmoker
Mastodon – Blood Mountain
Mastodon – Crack the Skye
Satan’s Hollow – Satan’s Hollow
Nightbringer – Terra Damnata

Until next time, make mine metal.

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