Holy fuck, next week is November. This year has been a blur of constant head scratching and overwhelming stupidity, but as I’m sure you’ve heard me say before, the metal is constantly good. Here’s some more good brought to you by this week.
Tyakrah – Wintergedanken
German, atmospheric, wintery, melodic black metal. Nothing all that original but some great melodies, some catchy moments, and some well played music. Solid effort.
Ne Obliviscaris – Urn
Ne Obliviscaris have great moments of beauty tucked into their progressive, black metal, death metal sound and some of it is truly awe inspiring, but for me, the band has gone far more into the prog noodling territory and has lost some of their impact. It also doesn’t help that Cormorant used this same formula to much greater affect already this year. Still some good moments but this may be the beginning of the end for me and Ne Obliviscaris.
Zgard – Within the Swirl of Black Vigor
This new Zgard album has eluded me for the better part of the past couple months but finally no more! And not surprisingly, it’s fucking rad. Like his last couple albums. Zgard is a name that means high quality, folk infused, somewhat theatrical and dramatic black metal, and he does it with the best. This is another amazing album from the project so you should probably get on this one.
Sanctuaire – Feu Sacre
Their EP from last year placed in my Honorable mentions list last year and quietly the snuck out a new full-length that takes all the Canadian atmospheric black metal style and adds a rawer, more primal, battle worn and ready, heathen sound to the mix. Only downside is that 4 out of the 7 songs are all ambient and folk sounding tracks, the longest coming in at 15 minutes. I wish there was more metal on this but overall it’s fucking killer.
Fleurety – The White Death
It’s been 17 years since their last (much maligned ) album Department of Apocalyptic Affairs, and 22 since Min tid skal komme, Fleurety’s undisputed masterpiece and one of the best, if not underated, Norwegian black metal albums. Black metal is a bit of a vague term for this band as they’ve always been more progressive and avant-garde and and just straight up weird and this new album, of course, is a totally different beast. I always find reviewing stuff like this intimidating because there’s so much at work and I don’t have the vocabulary to do it justice but this is a weird, experimental collection of music, vocalists, instruments, and styles. There’s a little black metal to it, one might say it’s kind of the foundation, and it’s adventurous playing and arrangements lean to the more extreme side of music, even if it isn’t really all that heavy.
It’s a bizarre release, but I was expecting as much, and it’s truly a creative one as well. I didn’t have any doubts about their ability to do something worth hearing and this is worth celebrating.
Talv – Entering a Timeless Winter
Raw and distant black metal that is based on repetition to create it’s atmosphere. This album is freezing fucking cold and while I do enjoy this kind of stripped down, repetitive, cold, bleak black metal, I think it’s been done a lot better and a lot more engaging. This may have a spot in the winter playlist.
Lady Beast – Metal Immortal
Fuck yes, some killer traditional heavy metal with a healthy love of all things NWOBHM, particularly Priest and some righteous vocals courtesy of Deborah Levine. So satisfyingly awesome.
Evertale – The Great Brotherwar
Given the dismal showing power metal has made this year I’d be happy to just hear a good, energetic, catchy, enthusiastic album this year and Evertale sure deliver that. They have a firm grasp on making good power metal. Nothing truly remarkable but just being fun is enough and while yes this is simply fun, it’s well constructed and rapturous. Good anthemic German power metal.
Katla – Modurastin
I’m fairly certain the same 14 people make up the entirety of Iceland’s bands. Katla, for example, is from Solstafir’s ex-drummer Guðmundur Óli Pálmason, and Einar Thorberg Guðmundsson from Fortíð. Iceland has been showing off their metal prowess for the past couple years and while Katla circles the genre it’s more of a post rock affair. Very much in the same vein as Solstafir if they were more Katatonia-ish. I dig it for what it is as I think Iceland has a lot to offer musically.
Daupuz – Die Grubenmahre
Straight up German black metal with a huge melodic bend and some acoustic guitars thrown in for good measure. It all feels right and everything is catchy and well played and engaging, it’s just kind of typical though. Good if you like this sort of thing.
Mass Pyschosis – Face
Daeva – Pulsing Dark Absorptions
Gwar – The Blood of Gods
Sun of the Blind – Skullreader
A Sound of Thunder – Who Do You Think We Are
Death Rides a Horse – More God Than Man
Sarcasm – Within the Sphere of Ethereal Minds
Death Fortress – Triumph of the Undying
Labyrinth – Architecture of a God
Ironflame – Lightning Strikes the Crown
Lor – In Forgotten Sleep
Until next time, make mine metal.