The first week of October and it was a pretty fucking good week for metal. Especially a good week for Denver metal. Pretty fucking good indeed…
Occasvs – Nocturnal Majestic Mysteria
Weird and winding, archaic, cultish black/death metal from Chile. Approaching avent-garde, it reminds me slightly of that ritualistic, cult-like, ancient vibe that the Czech extreme bands have going, but more dismal and grimier. The vocalist is a beast of a voice, sounding monstrous and looming adding a huge theatrical element. This one is going to need more listens.
The Chasm – A Conscious Creation from the Isolated Domain: Phase 1
Guuuuuuuuuhhhhhh The Chasm are so fucking good and so very under appreciated. This new album finds them blasting through some metaphysical and psychological themes with their highly creative death metal prowess, but, unique to this album, is all instrumental. No vocals. However it doesn’t feel any less like The Chasm. Now we can debate whether or not the vocals make it death metal or not but the album doesn’t just stay in death metal territory and is highly conceptual and journey like. It’s easy to get lost in the riffing and movement of the music. I’d have to say, yes, I do prefer the vocals but this is another magnificent album from such a killer band.
Blut Aus Nord – Deus Salutis Meae
You’re never really sure what Blut Aus Nord is going to do next. Last album was the fucking phenomenal third entry in their Memoria Vetusta series and found them more in their atmospheric, melodic form of black metal. Now with Deus Salutis Mae the band is playing with their more dissonant, weighty, bleak elements that made the 777 trilogy so captivating. But it’s not the same. They’re always fusing stuff in to the mix, changing things up and getting experimental with things but just for comparisons sake it’s more like the 777 stuff than the Vetusta stuff, but it’s 100% Blut Aus Nord and it will challenge you as much as reward you.
Ewigkeit – Battle Furies 2.017
So Ewigkeit has been making experimental black metal for the better part of two decades and is just floating right under the radar there. Maybe now that he’s one of the new members of In the Woods… he’ll be getting more attention, hell that’s how I discovered him. his new album is a lofty, melodic laced, black metal journey through theatrics and sound. It reminds me of the Agard approach which is like through the entire black metal kitchen in the mix with the sink and refine it from there, meets Immortal. Yeah it’s a weird parring. It’s all over the place but mostly it settles on some folky and spacey landscapes and well produced black metal barbarity. Damn fun.
Air Raid – Across the Line
With so much throw back and old school worship, across all metal genres, there are some bands that revel in the glories of old but still do it in a way that is more than just straight up worshipping for nostalgia’s sake. Air Raid, while firmly set in the 80’s takes their straight forward heavy metal style and injects some top notch writing chops and a modern clean production sound. It makes the album fucking sound good and fucking fun and yeah, you’ll be banging your 80’s head but it doesn’t sound as dated. I know that’s weird to read but it works and it’s a damn fine, fun, and rocking album. Legit.
Encyrcle – Burning Child EP
Speaking of classic sounding inspired bands, here’s Denmark’s Encyrcle. I enjoyed their last album’s speed/heavy metal take and the slightly darker themes they had going. This new EP focusses more on those elements. The song writing is more subdued and moody. The title track “Burning Child” is a 7 minute journey through all aspects of the band, starting with a dark and foreboding intro before launching into some classic heavy metal riffing and some doomier moments later on.
What I like about Encyrcle is they use these elements to inform their own sound. I like this darker side of speed metal as it’s a different angle on the genre. Still, very throwback driven but more unique than most.
Dreadnought – A Wake in Sacred Waves
One of Denver’s more eclectic “doom” bands, Dreadnought spreads their wings on this album to incorporate elements of black metal, post rock/punk, jazz, crust, to their already stellar psychedelic, cultish doom atmosphere and create a stunning work of musical beauty and creativity. Their last album was already top notch but this one is their crowning achievement so far. Fucking excellent.
Primitive Man – Caustic
More from Denver, Primitive Man returns to cave you’re head in under their crushing, massive new album. Full of all the dirty riffs, nasty vocals, and again, heavy fucking doom, Primitive Man add in some bizarre sound clips and effects, some brief interludes, and keep that static going to make you feel like you’re being trapped for eternity in the bleakest place imaginable. Fucking awesome, like always.
When Bitter Spring Sleeps – Star-Thrown
Dolorian – When All the Laughter Has Gone
Gamma Ray – Land of the Free
Dreadnought – Bridging Realms
Holy Moses – Finished with the Dogs
Lunar Aurora – Of Stargates and Bloodstained Celestial Spheres
Vallendusk – Black Clouds Gathering
Until next time, make mine Metal.