Holy fuck I needed a week like this. Just killer album after killer album packed this week the fuck out and from it we got a couple(!) potential year end contenders. That’s fucking awesome and a welcome sound to help drone out the constant roar of bullshit. I submitted to the metal completely this week and was rewarded for it. You should do the same.

NEW STUFF: (You just better click those titles)

Pagan Altar – The Room of Shadows
The final Pagan Altar album that was somewhat (?) recorded before the passing of long time vocalist Terry Jones and was somewhat re-recorded with Terry’s son filling in some vocals and leaving on last final album from the band. I just recently got into Pagan Altar but this album is fucking awesome. All the NWOBHM meets doom you can handle from one of the classic bands of the genre. A fitting farewell to the band.

Void Ritual – Heretical Wisdom
Some very European flavored black metal from New Mexico of all places. Very much in that chilly, aggressive, spiteful, furious black metal style but with some great instrument work and a serious infective quality with all the seething anger. Solid black metal played well and a notch above the rest of the hordes.

Der Weg Einer Freiheit – Finisterre
Der Weg Einer Freiheit have been making some of the most aggressive and angry yet beautiful and serene black metal for going on 7 years now and every time they put something out I’m instantly going to hear it. This one pushes all those elements even further. The album is a tight package with all the bullshit cut and nothing but the aggression and ferocity left plus those serene guitar riffs. Maybe their best outing yet.

Avenger – Mir v haremu smrti
Avenger quietly released their new album on their new label and simply blew my fucking ears apart. This is the epitome of underrated band and their highly orchestrated, black/death metal, Czech infused sound is always top notch. This album gets a bit more expansive with some acoustic/folk interludes and some weird added effects but that’s not keeping down the insane melodic songs and unruly atmosphere. Fucking killer band and one of the best surprises of the year.

Vulture – The Guillotine
Vulture’s 2016 demo blew my socks off with its rapid fire, full throttle 80s German speed/thrash metal attack and now on their first full-length the band has taken all that  energy and attack added a slight tinge of power metal for flavor making some of the funnest metal I’ve heard this year. Just damn good at what it is and straight forward and honest. Love it.

Portrait – Burn the World
More classic styled metal but Portrait is doing the style justice. Again, not many frills, just aggressive, driving, emotional, riff heavy metal in the classic sense of the genre. Maybe a bit of an old school 80’s American power metal girth to it  but that only adds to it’s force. Solid fun, good songs, head banging 100%.

Akercocke – Renaissance in Extremis
I don’t really have a lot invested in Akercocke but I know a lot of people do and they have gained a level of almost legendary status or are reviled for existing depending on whom you ask. There’s controversy there but I don’t really care. I love that Words That Go Unspoken, Deeds That Go Undone album so I was curious about a new album from them, especially one 10 years in the making. To me this sounds like post/progressive/goth doom/ with some black metal flair and a death metal base. It’s rather eclectic and interesting, and at times excessively theatrical, particularly in the vocal department, and I’m not sure if they’re being cheeky, or if they’re extremely serious. Either way, it’s a fun listen with some amazing moments, some unique moments, and some stuff from out of nowhere, which I think is what polarizes people about this band.

Bonehunter – Rabid Sonic Fire
Little did I know that as well as releasing a new album this year, Bonehunter also released a compilation of all their EPs and unreleased songs, and to be honest, I kind of like this better than the new album. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy their new album in all of it’s Finnish ridiculousness and sleaze, but the comp has so energy and even more ridiculous sleaze it’s hard to not get wrapped up in it.

Sons of Crom – The Black Tower
Sons of Crom hit me like a fucking truck a couple years ago with their non-apologetic, later era Bathory worship and I’ve been stuck on them since. When I heard they were releasing their new album on Bindrune I was beyond ecstatic and it quickly became one of my most anticipated albums of the year, and rightfully so because it’s fucking epic like you wouldn’t believe. And not epic like you’re pretzel peanut butter bagel was, epic in the grand scope of storytelling with impact, of glory, of things larger than oneself. Sons of Crom, while still firmly rooted in the epic metal traditions of bands like Falkenbach, Summoning, Bathory and Caladan Brood have used all that to forge their own sound and become a force to be reckoned with within this genre. Masterfully made, epic as fuck, and a welcome escape into a world of pure fantasy, this album is amazing.

OTHER JAMS:

Argus – Beyond the Martyrs
Amebix – Monolith
Violator – Scenarios of Brutality
Ripper – Raising the Corpse
Vital Remains – Forever Underground
Malevolent Creation – The Ten Commandments
Vader – The Empire
Altarage – Nihl
Chelsea Wolfe – Hiss Spun
Pestilence – Consuming Impulse
Crystal Age – Far Beyond Divine Horizons
Krabathor – Cool Mortification

Until next time, make mine metal!

 

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