Perhaps one day “weekly” will actually mean I post this thing weekly. Strap in because there’s a shit ton to get through this time.
Napalm Death – Coded Smears and More Uncommon Slurs
Well, it’s a Napalm Death album so likely you’re already familiar with them and their sound. This particular compilation is all rarities and b-sides from 2003-ish through 2014-ish and the sound is very much in line with that era and sound of Napalm. If you like Napalm, and I do, this is more of the awesomeness they do. If not, maybe you should start with another album.
Rocka Rollas – Celtic Kings
Just crazy catchy, Euro style, no frills, speed and power metal. This outing the band is a little edgier I’d say. Maybe slightly darker but that probably has to do with the subject matter, which is, of course, ancient battles and warriors and all that good power metal stuff the Europeans are so fond of. Good riffs, good songs, simple fun. Dig it.
Kroda – Selbstwelt
I love when great bands just put out albums with no fanfare or warning. What a fucking great surprise it was to see the email from Kroda with a link to their brand new album. Kroda just slay the folk/heathen/black metal thing and while their last album was more of an ambient experimentation, Selbstwelt finds the band back to it’s folky standards, blasting through killer, sweeping, moving song, after song. I’m not sure this holds up to Schwarpzfad or GinnungaGap GinnungaGaldr GinnungaKaos but new Kroda music is worth celebrating.
Antlers – Beneath.Below.Behold
On Antlers previous album I wrote they sounded like the illegitimate love child of Marduk and Cascadian styled black metal, and they still do, to a certain extent. They’re more aggressive nature has come to the forefront while not so much forsaking the atmospheric qualities as much as incorporating them differently. They’re more melded with the songs instead of featured, if that makes sense. But man, those fucking guitars. So powerful with the constant layering. What a step up for this band. This is a crusher of a sophomore release and a killer black metal.
Mesarthim – The Density Parameter
After a slew of EP’s, Mesarthim finally released his sophmore album and of course the trance, electronic, black metal mix is on full display here. Maybe more so than any of his other releases. I don’t really give know much, or give a shit about electronic dance, trance type music, but something about the way he combines it with black metal and the space/cosmic themes just really hits the spot with me and I find his music so be incredibly soothing and sometimes even moving. Every time he puts something out I’ll check it out for sure, and I’m glad to see he’s can still pull off a full-length.
Runelord – A Message From the Past
I stumbled on this by accident and saw that this is yet another project from the dude behind Blazon Stone, The Storyteller, and Rocka Rollas, so you’d be right to expect power metal. And power metal it is, albeit more on the hard rock side of things. There’s also a note about there being a lyricist and and vocalists so I’m sure there’s some kind of story at work here, but I don’t care. It’s standard harder edged power metal but totally suffers in the wake of the new balls to the wall Rocka Rollas album.
Kacey Musgraves – Golden Hour
What drew me to Kacey Musgraves was her Nashville country style but rebellious song lyrics and attitude. It wasn’t exactly pop country, but it was poppier albeit with some scathing edges and point of view. So on her new album she moved away from all of that and the country aspect got pushed way to the back in favor of a more pop friendly style. To me, she’s lost all of her personality and charm. Damn shame.
Deadly Carnage – The the Void, Above the Suns
A whole lot of post slathered metal genres here. Some doom, and black metal, with that post veneer of tranquil soundscapes and uplifting atmospherics. Such a sucker for this stuff.
Winterfylleth – The Hallowing of Heirdom
Winterfylleth are talented musicians and make great black metal so it’s fairly obvious based on their nature and folk infused music that an acoustic album would be something they’d excel at, and they do. I just really wish this album was done in their traditional style.
Ataraxy – Where All Hope Fades
Soul crushing, death doom from Spain. Coming from the early Asphyx death/doom style, Ataraxy starts there and weaves in their own sense of weight and cryptic evil, as well as an excellent grasp of melody, something these murky death/doom bands seem to be afraid of. There’s an old school sense of style here but the album doesn’t feel dated or like an intentional throwback. Damn good album here.
Sarah Shook & the Disarmers
Following up last years debut album Sidelong with some more roughed edged, heart felt, spitfire country. Simple, honest, effective, good country music.
Alrakis – Echoes from Eta Carinae
And just out of the cosmic void appeared Alrakis’ sophomore release, following their phenomanal debut Alpha Eri in 2011. Alrakis are one of highly ambient and soundscape oriented “space” black metal bands, meaning their music focuses on the cosmos exclusively. What I love about the genre is the music sounds like it’s being made by space, or what you might hear should you be set adrift in the universe. It’s massively sweeping and magnificently beautiful. While the album runs about an hour I’d say maybe half or less is actual black metal, but it weaves in and out of the starry scope and leaves you feeling at peace with your place in the universe.
Leather – II
Man oh man, I’m such a sucker for anything Leather Leone or Chastain related so what a fucking pleasant surprise to see she’s released a follow up album thirty years after her kick crucial Shock Wave album. Leather has such a unique gruff and powerful voice that is seemingly aging like a fine wine, and this album sounds just as primal and forceful and metal as fuck as her previous. I do prefer her with Chastain to her solo stuff but either way you cannot go fucking wrong her. At this point she’s an underrated living legend of metal and she deserves her fucking due.
Our Place of Worship is Silence – With Inexorable Suffering
There seems to be a fair amount of death metal bands playing this dark, chaotic, frenzied, dank atmosphere that bands like Spectral Voice have become so popular playing. It was more refreshing a couple years ago but now it’s getting a little bit expected. This album is still fairly good and there’s a lot of creativity happening with the music, particularly the guitars, but it does get a bit lost with the rest.
Marissa Nadler – Covers 2
Marissa Nadler’s dark and dreary folk/indie style lends itself well to translate other people’s songs uniquely and that’s exactly what she does on her second volume of covers. It’s really a random collection of covers she’s done for various digital releases and if you’re familiar with her haunting sound you know what to expect. In a metal connection she does an awesomely miserable cover of Danzig’s “Blood and Tears” and managed to make Black Sabbath’s “Solitude” more dismal and haunting than the original.
Omit – Medusa Truth, Pt. 2
I haven’t heard Part 1 but this caught my ear and I imagine since it is a Part 2 the first is probably pretty similar. Funeral doom with some operatic/symphonic goth metal style vocals. Typically not a fan of that kind of music but it works well here. It is cheesy, sure, how could it not be, but solid funeral doom chugging and the operatic vocals give it a distinct style. I read the vocalist has another doom band with Vali so that might be worth checking out as well.
Panopticon – The Scars of Man on the Once Nameless Wilderness
Panopticon continues to be amazing. The level of creativity and musicianship this project is functioning at is beyond astounding and should give all other bands pause. This time around Panopticon put out a double album, split almost exactly in half with his true to form, impassioned black metal, and some profoundly emotional folk/country/not metal. The two albums blend seamlessly and initially when I heard this is how the album was coming out I thought the metal side would get more plays but so far I haven’t listened to one side without the other. I don’t care about it being two hours long. It could be seven hours long and it wouldn’t be enough. Album of the year right fucking here.
Until next time, make mine metal…