It’s harder and harder to remain enthusiastic about much of anything nowadays so luckily for us we still have metal. Here’s a bunch of new metal that’s rad and good for lifting your spirits, or tearing your soul apart.
Bloodway – A Fragile Riddle Crypting Clues
Slightly progressive/avant-garde black metal from Romania. I’d heard good things about this band and it’s eccentricities but it wasn’t as experimental or challenging as I was hoping. Still a good listen for what it’s worth.
Eldamar – A Dark Forgotten Past
I never seem to tire of good Summoning worship. The more epic the better when it comes to this type of black metal and Eldamar have that ambient, massive soundscape of epic scale down. Maybe not as rough and tumble as Summoning can get but the ambient quality and Tolkien influence is clearly there. More relaxed and tranquil but good nonetheless.
Tongues – Hreilia
Creative, unique, eccentric, metal. What label I, Voidhanger Records is known for and Tongues fits perfectly into their roster. Mostly made up of a black/doom base, Tongues also dabbles in a progressive/post style that makes their murky, deep sound fairly ominous, and heady. This is an awesome album full of sharp left turns and creative musicianship. Excellent.
Varmia – Z Mar Twych
Some well played and produced folk tinged black metal from Poland. It stays pretty much in an atmospheric black metal area but changes up pace for some more folk oriented, prog-ish guitar riffing and some melo-death/doom moments. Solid through and through.
Valor – Arrogance: the Fall
Ridiculously anthemic and catchy Greek power metal in the Stratovarious vein, albeit with less keyboards. Nothing revelatory but damn fun power metal.
Rosetta – Utopioid
This is a fairly new band to me and there’s a lot going on here. Mostly a huge post-metal/rock sound highly informed by elements of Neurosis or My Bloody Valentine. Again, out of my knowledge base but overall enjoyable when the music actually hits. Lots of long ambient, drone parts that don’t do much for me.
Diablo Swing Orchestra – Pacifisticuffs
I know this band is fucking ridiculous but I just can’t deny how much fun I have listening to their crazy nonsense. It’s almost even beyond stating if it’s good or bad, it’s just Diablo Swing Orchestra making weird, eclectic, eccentric, madness. Of course it’s all over the place musically with a Devin Townsend style “power metal” of metal backbone that holds up all the bluegrass banjo picking, mariachi shuffling, violin striking, disco dancing avalanche of sound. I think they’re fun.
DVNE – Asheran
I was expecting this to be much more sludge and stoner based but I was surprised to hear much more of a post influence and an interesting black metal influence. I’ve rarely heard this sort of progressive sludge/stoner element merge with black metal, at least not so successfully. And it’s not the whole album but for sure the most intriguing parts. Pretty damn good.
Cloven Hoof – Who Mourns for the Morning Star?
I’m not sure why I slept on this one this year as I’ve been a fan of their A Sultan’s Ransom album and it’s NWOBHM power metal force. This is equally on par with that, which is saying a lot but maybe more so in the power metal arena. Still has that classic NWOBHM sound to it. Just fucking solid all around. Classic metal for the modern age.
Skyclad – A Burnt Offering form the Bone Idol
Royal Thunder – Wick
Falls of Rauros – Vigilance Perennial
Walpyrgus – Walpyrgus Nights
Cryptic Slaughter – Money Talks
Sadistic Intent – Resurrection
Gates of Ishtar – A Bloodred Path
Gates of Ishtar – At Dusk and Forever
Yob – The Great Cessation
Ragana – You Take Nothing
Until next time, make mine metal…