If the name of the game last week was The Ruins of Beverast and Nokturnal Mortum, then this week it’s fucking Loss and Darkenhold. Holy fuck, these past two weeks have slim but what we did get are some of the best albums to have come out this year. When it rains it fucking pours, or here in Denver, it snows. But good thing this music is perfectly suited for that kind of weather. Or not. It really doesn’t matter as long as you listen to it some. Do that now.

NEW STUFF: (You just better click those titles)

Darkenhold – Memoria Sylvarum
Fucking hell I just adore this band. They’ve not released a band album and their devotion to medieval and castle themes is so devout it’s almost comical, or it would be if the band wasn’t so fucking good. You’ll find the same Darkenhold formula at work here, which is killer melodic, sinister black metal, dungeon synth overtones, and amazing vocals, although they’ve toned down the synth and atmospherics on this one slightly. Regardless, this album fucking rules and Darkenhold has one of the best albums of the year on their hands here.

Solstafir – Berdreyminn
Solstafir was probably one of the first, if not the first, Icelandic “extreme” metal band I heard. While they may not be all that extreme metal anymore, they still craft incredible music. While the band has delved into more post metal/rock territories as of late, Berdreyminn is more metallic then they have been recently. It’s also a more “post” album as well. They seem to want to expand their reaches as well as maintain that original metal quality that made them so unique to Iceland. I think it’s a great album, full of interesting soundscapes and catchy elements as well as exploratory creative paths. Good band through and through.

Loss – Horizonless
Two years ago, hell, a year ago, I never would have believed that I would be so anticipating a funeral doom album that it might be considered for my album of the year, yet here we are with the new Loss album, picking up right where they left off with 2011’s Despond. This is some EPIC, grand sweeping, beautifully morose and hauntingly dark music, and so fucking enthralling. It’s good to know that they could make a follow up just as good, if not better than what they did on Despond. Not to mention it has perhaps the best album art of the year. An amazing release and yes, this is a contender for best of the year.

Triumvir Foul – Spiritual Bloodshed
Filthy and nasty death metal from some of the members of Ash Borer. Probably as good as their previous album but I had a hard time remembering that one. Solid though and some good filth.

Artificial Brain – Infrared Horizon
Technical, yet dismal, sci-fi themed death metal. Technical like Gorguts is technical. Not complex or noodle-y. Oppressive and heavy as fuck with a cool sci-fi theme. Dig the super low and gross vocals as well. Good package all around.

OTHER JAMS:

Oranssi Pazuzu – Muukalainen
Oranssi Pazuzu – Formakologinen
Mule Skinner – Abuse
Foreseen – Grave Danger
Upsidedown Cross – Upsidedown Cross
Demons & Wizards – Demons & Wizards
Arcturus – Aspera Hiems Symfonia
Arcturus – La Masquerade Infernale
Nokturnal Mortum – Verity
Make A Change… Kill Yourself – Fri
Oranssi Pazuzu – Kevat / Varimyrsky
The Ruins of Beverast – Exuvia
Excommunion – Thronosis
Neuraxis – Trilateral Progression
In the Company of Serpents – Ain-Soph Aur
Symphony X – The Divine Wings of Tragedy

Until next time, make mine metal…

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