If we didn’t have just a stupid deluge of awesome metal this year I’m not sure what would happen. Nothing good. We’d just be overrun stupidity and mediocrity and nostalgia fuck fests as far as our stupid eyeballs could see. And I supposed those things are happening but at least we have metal to combat the insanity. Here’s some right fucking now.

Thingy – Morbid Curiosity
This is really intricate and technical indie rock and is really outside of my wheelhouse. The only frame of reference I have for this band is that there’s some members from Rocket From the Crypt, a punk oriented band I used to like in the 90s. Thingy sounds nothing like Rocket at all but that’s where I was coming from. This is wild and fun, sharp left turn music and I really dig it, despite not being familiar with their cult level history.

Riot V – Armor of Light
Riot Managed to keep their previous album’s line up for this new one, surprisingly and it’s loaded to the gills with all the Riot-y goodness you’ve come to expect from them. Massive amounts of classic power metal, some more boogey, rock n roll songs, songs about being metal, and pretty good by Riot’s standards. There’s a re-recorded version of the song “Thundersteel” because it’s the albums thirtieth anniversary and Riot has been chasing that album ever since. I don’t think it needed re-recording but it sounds decent. Stupid fun like always.

Varathron – Patriarchs of Evil
I’m a huge sucker for Greek black metal and Varathron’s overtly cultish yet theatrical take is one of my favorites. They continue to make top notch albums and remain true to their roots. Great band, great music.

Voices – Frightened
Voices, like the band they fell out of before it decided to reform, Akercocke, almost revel in their unpredictability. Hence their new album, which was released to with little fanfare, takes their weird, progressive death metal infused black metal atmosphere sound and turns it on it’s head. Their first album was certainly not as mesmerizing as their second, London, but Frightened goes all Katatonia/Killing Joke gothic/slightly industrial/avant-garde/melodic. And I fucking dig it.

Aura Noir – Aura Noire
It’s Aura Noir and it’s a fucking black metal thrash attack like always. Sure it’s not as frantic and intense as the classics and there’s more Motorhead in them now than black metal but it’s fucking awesome as always.

Violation Wound – With Man in Charge
If you ever wanted to know what Autopsy would sound like as a punk band Violation Wound aims to please. I never really considered that existing before but now that Autopsy main man Chris Reifert made it so I’m glad he did. This is no bullshit punk rock. Just go for broke punk music with those unmistakable Autopsy vocals which work amazingly well in this context. Pretty fucking fun.

Encircling Sea – Hearken
When I caught wind that Encircling Sea had a new one out I thought “oh cool, I recall enjoying their post-ish, atmospheric black metal take.” That is until I heard Hearken and it’s sludge like, heavy post rock, doom-ier style. I thought I was mistaken for a moment, but no, it’s just the band evolving. I enjoyed the surprise and I think the change in style suits them better, makes it more their own if you ask me. Solid all around.