While your smoking your brains out today, how about you put some metal in them before you completely fry them? I’ve got you covered:
Skeletal Remains – Devouring Mortality
Goddamn this is how you do death metal if you’re going to jump into those muddied waters of old school worship. Devouring Mortality surely has a classic sound and you can hear their influences but instead of trying to mimic one or two bands from the past, or an entire regional style, Skeletal Remains uses it as a base to build on. They never go too far or get to exploratory, sticking to a more traditional pummeling of riffs and drums. It all comes together as something familiar but new at the same time, and oh so satisfying.
The Damned – Evil Spirits
I mean, it’s The Damned. They’ve been classic for so many years now and this new album does nothing to disrupt that status. True to their unpredictable and wild form, this album draws from all of their career: it’s got some goth stuff, some punk stuff, some rock n’ roll stuff, some rockabilly, and the band sounds great. Dave Vanian’s vocals are on point and he sounds just as great as he ever did. It’s The Damned and it’s fucking awesome.
Wallachia – Monumental Heresy
What a criminally underrated band. Wallachia has (sporadically) been putting out killing symphonic styled black metal since the mid 90’s. On their latest album they keep that cutting melodic edge they’ve honed but add in some heavier death metal elements. With the lofty production and added folk elements it reminds me more of the Czech greats Master’s Hammer, than any of their Norwegian contemporaries but Wallachia’s ability to separate from the pack has always been their strength. This album fucking rules and so does this band. Another killer release.
Rotten Sound – Suffer to Abuse EP
What’s to say. If you like Rotten Sound’s Swedish guitar toned grind you’ll like this. I do so this is nothing but satisfying for me.
Habak – Un minuto de obscuridad no nos volvera ciegos
Crust punk from Mexico that dabbles in the Agrimonia, melodic side of the genre but to a more hyper extent adding in some post rock elements and an uplifting emotional feeling. Twenty minutes long and to the fucking point.
Unreqvited – Stars Swept to the Sea
A lot of post, shoe-gaze, ambient, depressive, atmospheric black metal going on here. Probably more on the ambient, atmospheric side of things than black metal. I feel like a lot of these bands are just inching their way to complete ambient and stumbled on some black metal along the way… but I am a sucker for this stuff and this is pretty well done and rather beautiful.
Inferi – Revenant
Another “tech” death band that hits the spot for me despite my insistence that I don’t like tech death. Inferi are technical as fuck but not showy and just right killer fucking, furious death metal songs. This time through they’ve added just the slightest of symphonic flourishes that adds just enough flavor without descending into oh say Fleshgod Apocalypse territory where it’s just a cacophony of orchestra and metal riffs. I’m not sure if “reserved” can ever be used to describe tech death but Inferi are very aware of how far to push it and keep it just at the right balance.
Wiegedood – De Doden Hebben Het Goed III
It seems that Wiegedood are getting more and more aggressive with each entry into this series of albums. This being the third one they’ve gotten more riff focused and speed focussed and work on creating atmosphere that way. It reminds slightly of Black Cascade from Wolves in the Throne Room, but played more urgently. Whatever is going on there I think this is the standout album from them to date.
King Goat – Debt of Aeons
Another highly anticipated one for me based solely on their super sleeper first album from 2016. While on that album King Goat definitely fused a lot of prog in with their doom, Debt of Aeons brings the doom to the forefront. Not to say there isn’t the prog element, it’s an incredibly ambitious album like before, but it is more on that heavy, plodding, doom side of things. The highly creative side of doom things, that’s to be sure. Maybe not as immediately impactful as the first album was but I can let that slide seeing as how fucking good and unique they are.
Ghastly – Death Velour
Joining the ranks of bands like Horrendous, Morbus Chron, and Tribulation, Finland’s Ghastly started with a death metal soul and quickly started exploring new areas on this their sophomore album. Death Velour is a swirling, psychedelic embrace of death metal, adding in atmospherics of weird, ghostly overtones and experimenting with song structure and instrumentation that puts you in an eerie cult-like trance of, weirdness. But it’s also undeniably death metal as well so double fucking thumbs up for doing something new while so many are content to look backwards. Killer album.
Ails – The Unraveling
There’s probably no way this album isn’t going to be compared to Ludicra, given how revered that band was and how two of it’s main songwriters, Laurie Sue Shanaman and Christy Cather are members of Ails. I don’t think that comparison is even a bad one as Ails seems like the spiritual and sonic follow up to what Ludicra left. Having already established the boundaries of black metal Ludicra pushed Ails is almost free to revel in that creativity. Yes, it’s a black metal album, but a vortex of progressive elements and melodic touches make it a killer black metal album. It’s also a refined album, with little to no fucking about so they can get straight to the black metal. Surely if you liked (loved) Ludicra there’s plenty here to be happy about.
Sleep – The Sciences
Despite the fact that I don’t enjoy weed, I do love me some Sleep and the new album sounds like they picked right up where they left off twenty years ago. Stoner-fueled, slow, plodding, riff heavy, doom awesomeness. It’s Sleep all the way.
Wild Hunt – Afterdream of the Reveller
Wild Hunt are one of the more underrated of the weird, prog influenced black metal bands floating around in the ether. We can’t all be Oranssi Pazuzu. Wild Hunt flirt with that level of weird but don’t really all in. Instead they mix it up with some crushing death metal, a combination which gives the band even more of a unique perspective. Crazy songs, awesome playing, Wild Hunt have another killer album on their hands here.
Until next time, make mine metal…