Oh fuck, it’s June. Here’s a whole bunch of awesome new music that should be filling your filthy fucking ears.
Necros Christos – Domedon Doxomedon
This one was right at the top of my highly anticipated list. Fucking Necros Christos, a band that’s produced some of the best death metal of the new millennium and this is this last fucking album. What a hole they’ll leave. Not to go out with a whimper, Necros Christos new album is a massive two hours long so if you know Necros you know that means about an hour and a half of just crushing, vile, evil, spiteful death metal, and a about a half hour of religious/cultish flavored sounds and interludes. But nobody does it better and I’m glad we got one more stunning release from this band before they leave us worse off without them.
Morgengrau – Blood Oracle
Damn good, hook filled, meat and potatoes type of death metal. No OSDM or homage/worship stuff, just fucking death metal played heavy as fuck.
Exmortus – The Sound of Steel
Exmortus is simply just fun. Their mixture of death metal, thrash, and neo-classical guitar work is so stupidly fun it burrows itself in your brain, deep. The album is sheer riff and solo and melodic, classical fueled guitar solo after classical fueled guitar solo, sprinkled with lyrics about ultra metal things like battles, riders of doom, strength and honor, but the lyrics are really just the appetizer for those riffs. Just fun. Just so much damn, stupid, fun.
Remete – The Winter Silence EP
This is D., the sole musician behind Woods of Desolation’s new project. Remete is a highly atmospheric black metal style harkening back to the early days of the genre when the the atmospheric qualities were more raw. Heavy Burzum influence here. It still has some of the more melodic and ethereal qualities that makes Woods so engaging but through a different, colder, filter. Damn good EP here.
Wayfarer – World’s Blood
Following Wayfarer for three albums I know I think this is the one where they’ve finally found their own voice. Their past two albums were excellent, focussing on the nature oriented, atmospheric black metal style, they did it extremely well but there was a bit of sameness to them, as are the pitfalls of such specific genres. On World’s Blood they’ve kept those elements for sure but added more of a progressive black metal element as well as a dark, post, moodier, americana folk tinge to their sound. Did I mention it was produced by the Krallice dude so that’s probably part of the reason there, but whatever, this album is killer and I love watching this band unfold and expand with each new release.
Svalbard – It’s Hard to Have Hope
My Satan, this is a beautiful album, which is a bit of contrast to the the extremely politically charged lyrics dealing with entirely not beautiful topics, but the highly melodic and uplifting hardcore/crust/punk music is hard to deny. So is the message as lead singer Serena Cherry aggressively pummels you with messages about freedom, reproductive rights, sexism, sexual assault, designer dogs, class struggles, and other such messages of endurance and fortitude against those who would perpetrate such things. And the music is fucking stellar. Pardon my hardcore and crust ignorance but it doesn’t sound like any other band I’ve heard. Maybe some Agrimonia if they ditched the heavy, sludge side of their sound, or White Lung if they were way, way, way, more aggressive, but I fucking dig it, for the music, for the voice, and for it’s sheer beauty.
Nils Patrik Johansson – Evil Deluxe
Since Wuthering Heights has decided, despite not being broken up, they’re going to take their sweet ass time making a new album I’ve been left with no other choice then to follow amazing vocalist Nils Patrik Johansson through all his other bands. This being his first solo album, it’s very similar to his other bands IE over the top Euro power metal with Johansson’s theatrical, Dio-like power metal snarls, which are top-notch on this album. It’s no Wuthering Heights, but it’s still fairly fun, if not a little run of the mill power metal. There’s some stand out moments, especially with Johansson’s vocals but I just wish it was a Wuthering Heights.
Uada – Cult of a Dying Sun
I’ll admit I was as bowled over by Uada’s first album as everybody else was. To my ears it sounded a lot like what Mgla was doing, and doing better for years. That’s to say hook ladened, rawer, orthodox black metal, but I enjoyed their take on it. I thought if they could just add a little of their own style they would be a force to be reckoned with… and here we are with their follow up album, and it’s exactly that. I’m finally onboard the Uada hype train. They kept that same hook crazy approach but amped it up with a ton of melody, which makes those hooks oh so fucking tasty, some atmosphere, some other instrumentation, and now they are fully on their own feet and fucking better for it.
Witch Mountain – Witch Mountain
Witch Mountain’s second album South of Salem was the first album I bought on Bandcamp and I’ve been following them ever since. I was a little disheartened when I read that their singer Uta Plotkin was leaving after their previous album as her voice was a big part of their doomy appeal but on this new album all those fears are put to rest because new vocalist Kayla Dixon was fucking made for this band. They still have their swaggering, blue infused, witchy doom sound going on, which is already great and now they’ve gotten a little more “rocking” if that makes sense. It’s similar to Royal Thunder where that blues inspiration is heavier and more aggressive. Still very much a Witch Mountain album and a damn fine one at that. Maybe one of their best.
Skogen – Skuggorna kallar
Nordvis Produktion boasts a stellar roster and one near the top for me is Skogen. They’re nature focused black metal and folkish overtones is completely captivating as they don’t sound like every single other black metal band you image when you see words like “folk” and “nature.” Adding in a heavy dose of death/doom on this album it makes Skogen’s sound even more adventurous and engrossing. Killer stuff.
Veldes – Storm Borrower
Veldes has a lock on his particular style of highly emotional and atmospheric black metal and each new release he nails that formula every time. My usual critique of his albums are that they start off so strong and usually fall off into atmospheric noodling but this one doesn’t tread that familiar ground. It keeps the momentum going and while yes, the atmospheric elements are up front and center, it keeps the balances and energy going throughout. Super solid band.
Nervosa – Downfall of Mankind
Nervosa first struck me with their unrelenting thrash assault on their previous album and while they aren’t redefining the sound they certainly had an enduring love of the genre, particularly the rougher around the edges, older German thrash sound. On Downfall of Mankind Nervosa take that aggression and multiply it to almost death metal like areas, or at least that era where thrash was transitioning to death metal but nobody knew what it was going to be. Super fucking satisfying.
Urarv – Argentum
I can’t pass anything up that Aldrahn is involved in. For those missing out he’s one of the vocalists for Dodheimsgard among other awesome projects like The Deathtrip and Thorns, and has one of the most unique and interesting voices in all of metal-dom. Urarv his his more recent avant-garde/black metal project. Just like the last album it’s not as “out there” as you’d hope from Aldrahn. It’s certainly progressive and “avant” and that fusion of black metal with the punk/hard rock drive is still there, being the most intriguing part of this band. The album is a mere 26 minutes, which I didn’t think would work for this sound but it seems to be just the perfect amount of time to get in and get out before it starts to become ponderous. Solid effort, once again.
Neko Case – Hell-On
I don’t venture into mainstream, hipster, indie rock very often but Neko Case and her folk infused crooning always gets me. Hell, I didn’t even know there was bullshit hipster associations with her until she was name dropped on Parks and Rec. Regardless, I’m endlessly infatuated with her music and I don’t give a shit about any of the scene cred involved with saying so.
Ritual Necromancy – Disinterred Horror
It’s so refreshing to hear a death metal album that isn’t steeped in nostalgia but one that’s steeped in atmosphere, evilness, and just sheer death metal pounding. Ritual Necromancy just fucking crushes you for 38 minutes of dark and brooding, solid as fuck death metal with inescapable atmosphere. Of course, this is on Dark Descent Records and continues their killer release streak.
Akhenaten – Golden Serpent God
More Colorado metal getting recognition is only a good thing and Akhenaten are offering up something different. From two of the members of Colorado’s symphonic black metal band Helleborus, Akhenaten also revels in that symphonic bombast but from an intense fusion of middle eastern musical influences and Mesopotamian themes. Combine that with an Industrial backbone and some Emperor worship and you have Akhenaten. Helleborus is ok but this outpaces that by a mile. Originality goes a long way with me.
Forest Mysticism – Hearken EP
D. from early in the article with Remete and Woods of Desolation has yet ANOTHER EP release this week (and I haven’t even gotten to his other project Unfelled). While he doesn’t shake the atmospheric elements entirely from this project, where Remete was more early Burzum worship and Woods is more depressive, melodic black metal, Forest Mysticism is more of a lo-fi, early Darkthrone sort of vibe, but with highly melodic guitar riffing and some acoustic passages. Dude is seemingly doing no wrong and while I’d rather just have a new Woods album, I’ll take whatever he’s giving.