It’s half way through this fucking dumpster fire of a year so that means all the “best of so far” lists should be starting to pop up. This isn’t one of them, but next week it will be. Mark my words. This week is just my regular “what’s been crushing my brain” update of killer new stuff, of which there was many this week. Cram it all in your stupid head.

NEW STUFF: (Click those titles, fool)

Mahakala – The Second Fall
Greek power metal-lers with a hefty love for doom. Why haven’t these things been melded before? To be fair it’s more on the power metal side but the doom addition gives it a nice crunch. Pretty damn fun!

Solbrud – Vemod
Highly emotional and evocative black from Denmark. I’ve been stuck on this band since I was recommended their previous album Jaertegn sometime last year. Solbrud aren’t quite in the atmospheric category, but they aren’t straight-forward black metal either. They hover around the melodic and visual nature of atmospheric black metal but never go whole hog, still retaining that blasting drive of traditional black metal, but also not going all in there either. Simply, this band blew my mind when I heard them last year, and now they’ve done it again. Fantastic album.

Unaussprechlichen Kulten – Keziah Lilith Medea
Destructively crushing Chilean death metal. A bit avant-garde at times, less traditional and more bombastic in nature. More of a swirling force, but fucking killer.

Gnipahalan – I Blodets Kamp… EP
Yet another project from the ever prolific Beketh Nexehmu mastermind, this time going under the alias of Swartadaupuz, however this time he brought along the awesome Odal’s drummer to help him make his lo-fi, melodic, slightly atmospheric black metal. Only an EP but the two songs on here are so fucking catchy and good.

Cloud Rat/Disrotted – Split
Cloud Rat is on a tear this year with these splits and this one is more of the same awesome Cloud Rat sound, albeit instead of a handful of 1 to 2 minutes songs they go with one 18 minute long song that really allows them to flex their muscles and incorporate all of their sounds at once, IE grind, doom, crust, punk, and that slight goth tinge. It’s awesome. The Distrotted side sounds like funeral doom.

Walpyrgus – Walpyrgus Nights
October 31? Yes! Twisted Tower Dire? Um, fuck yes! While Heaven Wept? Holy fuck yes! That’s what makes up Walpygus, and it’s exactly as awesome as you’d imagine all those bands collaborating would be. Straight up heavy metal, with a slight punk vibe, but the awesome guitar work and vocals of Twisted Tower. This one is all the awesome, packed in to 36 minutes. Fuck. Yes.

Merrimack – Omegaphilia
It’s been awhile since I checked it with Merrimack but I’ve always enjoyed their “spooky” orthodox black metal approach. That’s here completely on the new album but with way more melody. Solid, if nothing else.

Abrams – Morning
Is there such a thing as post stoner doom? How about Baroness or Mastodon worship? These are all things Abrams sound like. I actually like the more post-ish moments the best but yeah, the rest sounds like a less aggressive Mastodon or Baroness from the Green/Yellow album.

Klabautamann – Smaragd
This band caught my eye by being described as “progressive folk black metal.” To my ears, this is more progressive with black metal thrown in and the folk takes a huge backseat. Honestly the description conjured up some awesome ideas in my mind and the music kind of left my mind wandering. Not bad, just sort of there.

White Skull – Will of the Strong
It’s White Skull. Super cheesy, Italian theatrical, fist pumping power metal. Not as strong as their older stuff but silly good fun.

Blaze of Sorrow – Astri
What a great fucking band. Consistently releasing masterful album after masterful album, Blaze of Sorrow is now synonymous with black metal quality. Also, with engaging, beautifully composed, atmospheric music. They may be labeled as an “atmospheric” black metal band but with that sweet Italian dramatic style it makes the band so much more interesting, and well, beautiful. Exactly what I’d hoped it would be, which is to say, fucking awesome.


Mutoid Man – War Moans
Emyn Muil – Elenion Ancalima
Doyle – Doyle II: As We Die
Dead Silent Slumber – Entombed in the Midnight Hour
Dissection – Storm of the Light’s Bane
Allegiance – Hymn till Hangagud
Cardinal Sin – Spiteful Intents
The Storyteller – The Storyteller
Ironflame – Lighting Strike Crown
EbonyLake – On the Eve of the Grimly Inventive
EbonyLake – In Swathes of Brooding Light
Suffocation – …Of the Dark Light

Until next time, make mine metal…