Maybe I should stop calling this my weekly playlist if I can’t fucking get it out weekly. Also, I’ve started limiting these posts to only new stuff I’m listening to because A. It’s easier to share and B. We’ve all heard the rest before. So fucking strap in for another almost weekly round of awesome new shit for your crappy ears:

Arkheth – 12 Winter moons Comes the Witches Brew
Crazy, Australian based, Avant-Garde, experimental, black metal madness with a saxophone. I know the saxophone turns people off in metal, and it usually does for me too but the use on this album adds a weird jazzy element over some melodic, atmospheric black metal moments that are really engaging and rather poignant. You have to hear it to really grasp it. Fucking killer, unique, creative album. Love it.

Kalmankantaja – Tuulikannel EP
Based on this bands two albums from last year, anything Kalkmankantaja does is an instant listen for me. This is all the quality of their atmospheric, expressly Finnish black metal style but in two incredible songs. This band can do no wrong.

Solstice – White Horse Hill
The first album in twenty years from these epic doom legends and they haven’t skipped a fucking beat. Though they’re lineup has changed significantly over the years Solstice’s return is a welcome one at that. Grand, magnificent, gargantuan doom metal of the highest order, Solstice bellows through 40 minutes of epic, mournful songs and riff after riff of awesome. This band is fucking killer. They were back in the day and they still are right now.

Mournful Congregation – The Incubus Karma
Mournful Congregation hit all the right morose, dreary, depressing funeral doom notes for me. What I enjoy about this band is that they are firmly a funeral doom band, maybe almost to the point of cheese but with those soaring riffs and miserable vocals I can’t help but get lost in it. Good stuff here.

Necrophobic – Mark of the Necrogram
Necrophobic is so consistently good it’s almost bind boggling. The band has been releasing killer albums for the past 30 years and all of them have been damn good. I don’t think they’ve released an essential album, maybe The Nocturnal Silence could be an under-appreciated classic Swedish album. Other bands should be so lucky to have such a prolific career with so many solid releases and this new one is pure Necrophobic. Killer riffing and precisely focussed black/death metal. So satisfying and complete. This was kind of what I was hoping the new Watain was going to be like. Alas…

Battlesoul – Sunward and Starward
Good lord, Battlesoul aren’t fucking around here. Straight out of the gate they launch headlong into an album that is a sheer, unrelenting folk metal explosion. Folk metal can be hit or miss with me and Battlesoul do veer to the cheesier, pretentious side of the genre I can’t stand but Battlesoul isn’t afraid to shake things up throwing in power metal vocals, operatic female vocals, hardcore vocals, death metal vocals, and changing the music up from black metal speeds to weird breakdowns (not a fan of those) and insane melody all the way through. It’s kind of a mess but super fucking fun and engaging, like their previous album was, though this has the edge if only for the first song “All I Understand.”

Night in Gales – The Last Sunsets
Super melodic, Gothenburg type death metal band but hailing from Germany, though you’d be excused if you thought Sweden. These guys have been around since the mid 90’s and their sound is sort of a mix between Slaughter of the Soul At the Gates and early, hyper melodic In Flames, so yeah, it’s the sweet spot. Nothing crazy unique but it’s got that awesome melo-death style down excellently and you can’t deny those riffs.

Bhleg – Solarmegin
Bhleg’s new album is a monstrous release, clocking in at almost two hours, there’s a lot to unpack here. Mostly it’s nature-focused, atmospheric-like, Swedish black metal. The nature feeling itself invokes a sense of folk inspired rhythms and pacing but it’s not “folk” metal in the familiar way. There’s a lot of layers here and a lot of ideas that need further listens but at it’s length it’s a big undertaking.

NecroPanther – Eyes of Blue Light
NecroPanther are from the Skeletonwitch camp of melodic death/black metal. Super ferocious and melodic. They may be even more melodic than Skeletonwitch, surely more nerdy. Their first album was all about the Terminator movies and this new one is all about Dune. I’ll never read those books so I’m not so much concerned with the concept here but the music fucking rips and scratches that melo death itch something fierce. Colorado represent!

Beorn’s Hall – Estuary
Summoning worship seems to be all the rage these days. Beorn’s Hall clearly draw from that well and hey, I’m a sucker for that sound so I’m good with that, however Boern don’t just blatantly rip off Summoning. There’s a more natural folk to their sound and heavy, blasting moments, and a different approach to atmospherics that keep it rooted in the epic black metal style but also allow it to breath a little more. Good album if you’re into this style.

Hibria – Moving Ground
Hibria’s always a fun time and this new album is pretty much that all around. Their slightly progressive, fun-times focussed speed/power metal is a fairly solid mixture of the extreme and hard rock cliches that works well for head banging results. Simply fun.

Andrew W.K. – You’re Not Alone
It’s been awhile since Andrew W.K. has put out a new album. It’s been even longer since I’ve bought a new album from him but I’ve always been a fan of him as a personality since Party Hard came out and yeah, I’ll say it, I fucking love that album. I think it’s a classic.

Recently Andrew’s been on this “Power of Party” motivational-type adventure, going around the country doing lecture and Q&A type shows, and some music shows, and we caught him doing both and that intense optimism is the core of this new album. It’s more uplifting in tone than he typically is and there’s more light moments, less straight-forward power that his first album is made up of, but you know what, I dig it. I think he’s a cool character and while I don’t agree with his blinding optimism, he’s an awesome musical figure and his music is crazy fun.

Ilsa – Corpse Fortress
Ilsa is another one of those bands that may not be the best band in the world but they are so thoroughly consistently good that it doesn’t matter. This isn’t anything new for them, fucking dismal, dank, death/doom with that crust polish and it hits the spot completely.

Slugdge – Esoteric Malacology
Goddamn, Slugdge fucking rule. Their total devotion to the space slug concept is beyond hilarious, poking fun at metal as a whole, but they have the musical chops to put them amongst the best death metal bands going now. It’s one giant joke but not gimmicky and they do it just so fucking well. This album is getting a lot of attention and it’s about time Slugdge gets some much deserved respect. Take the starch out of your battle vests and let get pummeled by hyper crushing and melodic death metal all about slugs.


Until next time, make mine metal…