If this week had a name it would be “New Fucking Nokturnal Mortum.” Or maybe “The Ruins of Beverast Show Featuring the New Fucking Nokturnal Mortum.” Yeah, that’s the ticket. Despite those albums blowing my brains to gooey bits I did manage to sneak in some other new releases that were fairly good. Check it:

NEW JAMS: (Click those fucking titles)

Seven Kingdoms – Decennium
Cheesed up power metal this band does fairly well. Kind of middle of the road though. Oh well.

Nokturnal Mortum – Verity
I have to admit I let anticipation get in the way of Nokturnal Mortum’s split with Graveland and was a little over zealous with my initial feelings toward the album. Ultimately I thought it was ok but not as great as the band had been on The Voice of Steel. It dampened by expectations for the new album slightly. However, seemingly out of nowhere they released their new full-length and without any pre-hype or promotion I was pleasantly taken with the album. While they’re sort of softer around the edges and there’s more focus on the folk and symphonic instrumentations, it still maintains that melodic as fuck metal structure that made The Voice of Steel so classic. Is it The Voice of Steel good? I wouldn’t say that but it is fucking awesome.

Succumb – Succumb
Some fairly different, dirty death metal with a highly unique vocal approach. Singer Cheri Musrasrik goes for a distant, reverb, echoey, vocal approach which makes the music feel all the more sinister. She also does some lower guttural vocals when need be but the interest of this band lies with the combination of her distinct vocals and the bands, dirty, technical, dark death metal. Very interesting indeed.

Excommunion – Thronosis
The dudes from Nightbringer have been busy to say the least. This is the third new release from the members in the past month, and just like the new Nightbringer and Bestia Arcana, this is a fucking ripper. It’s also the first new album from Excommunion in 15 years. To me, this is the death metal version of Nightbringer. I hate to do that comparison but while they do have a heavy Morbid Angel inspiration, it’s got all the dark and foreboding atmosphere and evil presence that Nightbringer works in. Just in death metal form. Particularly in some of the slower, mid-paced doom-ier moments. There’s enough here to satisfy death metal fans and enough here to keep the band from being another throwback death metal act. And to keep the quality up amongst three bands, that’s something to be commended.

Lo-Ruhamah – Anointing
I tried this out based on a recommendation (and the awesome cover art) and yeah, this one was pretty interesting. Interesting meaning good. What we have here is a mish mash of black metal esthetics, death metal delivery, and post/progressive ideology. It’s a foreboding, dark, and engaging album able to descend into songs that sound downright miserable to passages of sheer technical and musical beauty. Slightly atmospheric in the “atmospheric” black metal sense, but still, that death metal and progressive nature takes hold and then those post guitars and sounds come in to make the whole thing just sound unique and interesting. Very good.

White Ward – Futility Report
I hate to call this “saxophone metal” because whenever the instrument shows up in metal people just can’t seem to handle it. However… the saxophone is a heavily featured instrument on this album. It’s not there to just punctuate like Ihsahn or overtly technical and in your face like Shining (not the asshole one) but it’s perfectly mixed in with the band, which sure, I guess is a post black metal sort  of thing. It’s an interesting mix to be sure but I enjoyed it.

OTHER JAMS:

Mercy – King Doom
Arkheron Thodol – Thaw
Anathema – The Optimist
Medieval Steel – The Anthology of Steel
Savatage – Sirens
The Ruins of Beverast – Exuvia
Aes Dana – Formors
Falls of Rauros – Vigilance Perennial
Heol Telwen – An Deiz Ruz
Vulture – Victim to the Blade
Satan’s Host – By the Hands of the Devil
Jag Panzer – The Fourth Judgement
Grim Reaper – See you In Hell
Grim Reaper – Fear No Evil
Grim Reaper – Rock You to Hell
Dark Tranquility – Damage Done
Bathory – Under the Sign of the Black Mark
Dodecahedron – Kwintessens
Ripping Corpse – Dreaming Dead

Until next time… Make mine metal!

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