Yeah, yeah, yeah… Weekly, sure, but what really matters is how much amazing music you’re in store for now due to my lack of constant updates. It’s metal Christmas at the end of September. You lucky fucks, you…
Windfaerer – Alma
I’ll never tire of well crafted, well written, over zealous melodic, folk infused black metal. I just won’t. And now that the seasons are just starting to change and fall is creeping in, this sort of music will be in high order. Windfaerer crush it with this album.
Kommandant – Blood Eel
It seems I just straight forget about Kommadant’s previous album leaving me only with The Draconian Archetype so I’m not sure what happened in between that and this new one but the band appears to have toned down the militaristic and regimented approach of Draconian for sheer aggression and despondent death metal and dismal black metal riffs. Which I’m not complaining about, really, but I was kind of expecting some of that flair and uniqueness from that album. It’s still a good showing, vicious as fuck, just missing that certain oomph.
Ancient Empire – Eternal Soldier
Ancient Empire can’t be accused of not being fun. That seems to be their main goal, just to write killer, shred-tastic, solo-rific, straight up heavy metal, and they succeed, admirably at that. No sub sub genres, no exploration or experimenting. Just good head banging heavy metal fun.
Sear Bliss – Letters From the Edge
Sear Bliss has a decently long career with typically overwhelmingly positive reviews, yet I’ve never really grabbed a hold of this band, despite owning and enjoying Glory to Perdition. While they’re labeled as an “atmospheric” black metal band, and yes there’s elements of that, Sear Bliss are really striving to take a stand with their sound and separate themselves from hoard. They do use atmospherics but almost as an instrument, and they use instruments as atmospherics, note the heavy use of horns on this album. Kudos to them for fucking trying and not being content creating typical black metal. They may not be all the way there but they have a sound that’s theirs and does in fact stand on it’s own.
Krisiun – Scourge of the Enthroned
This is Krisiun doing what Krisiun does best, mainly riff heavy, crushing death metal that’ll get in your blood and never fucking leave. Krisiun isn’t breaking the mold on this one, nor are they trying to and that’s fine with me. They’ve honed their sound perfectly. This one I think they’ve got a little more melodic with the riffs and a little more wild, which adds a more creative element and makes the songs a bit more playful but you’d never mistake this for anything but Krisiun. Fuck yes.
Satan – Cruel Magic
Satan just don’t even want to bother with making a bad album. Their comeback has been nothing but stellar and now their third album since said comeback is just as awesome as you’d expect. NWOBHM focussed with speed and thrash elements and their undeniable catchy, swinging style. Satan fucking rules.
Cauldron – New Gods
And carrying the torch for new “trad” metal is Canada’s own Cauldron, who now on their fifth album have stuck to their guns and kept true to straight up plain and simple heavy metal. Just heavy metal. Sing along, riff and solo focussed heavy metal. They even delve briefly into a straight from the 80’s, pop-metal inspired song with “Together as None” which wouldn’t have been out of place in Bill and Ted. Super fun, super catchy, Cauldron keeps it legit.
Attacker – Armor of the Gods
Just what I needed, some aggressive as fuck, righteous power metal, which Attacker does so amazingly. Although it’s just an EP it’s a welcomed surprise for power metal this year as the band has upped the anger and aggression and have reached almost Satan’s Host levels of intensity with power metal. It’s a fun EP from a killer band.
Deathhammer – Chained to Hell
Deathhammer are back with their vicious, nasty, speed metal/thrash attack. I know Midnight seems to get all the attention in this 80’s styled sound but I think Deathhammer are just as good, if not better, and don’t have to rely on the theatrics. Different strokes for different folks but if you like Midnight I don’t see why you couldn’t like Deathhammer.
The Skull – The Endless Road Turns Dark
The Skull, in case you don’t know, is two of the main members of classic Doom band Trouble (named after their album of the same name). They originally started as a way to tour and play Trouble songs but have releases two albums under the name. So if you know Trouble and their straight-forward doom style, you’d do yourself a favor to jam The Skull, as they’re essential Trouble down to the sweet riffs and evil doom vibe. And that’s mostly what I like about The Skull, that their just honest doom metal. No sub sub sub genre stuff here, just killer doom riffing and songs. They do it so purely and excellently I defy you to not get swept up in this album.
Void Ritual – Desolate. Eternal.
Did you hear the last Void Ritual album that was released like 7 minutes ago? It’s almost exactly like that, which is to say hyper intense, melodic, black metal. Just as similar and as good as that last one.
William Elliott Whitmore – Kilonova
While Sturgill Simpson and Chris Stapleton may be getting all the praise for the solo country male stars, I think William Elliot is better than them both. His mix of old country aesthetics with a punk rock and fringe music attitude makes all the difference and helps him create truly beautiful works of music. It’s rather suiting that his new release is a covers album as his absolutely breathtaking cover of Bad Religion’s “Don’t Pray on Me” was how I first discovered him, albeit on this album he changes it up some and makes it a banjo ballad, which in William’s hands, is just as affective. Here’s ten songs that he says helped shape and inspire him and he makes each one of them his own.
Monstrosity – The Passage of Existence
Monstrosity is the long running Florida based death metal band probably best known for providing Cannibal Corpse with vocalist Corpsegrinder (and other members at different times) after Chris Barnes left. It’s probably unfair that that is what most people think about the band because their fucking killer. With and without Corpsegrinder. In fact, I think I like their post Corpsegrinder stuff better. This is Florida death metal through and through but Monstrosity fucking play it like it never got played the fuck out. This album crushes it.
Infera Bruo – Cerement
Infera Bruo find themselves on a new label, Prosthetic Records, for their third album. Already a bit experimental with their black metal, Infera have taken it even further and show off their more progressive side, and even a bit of their goth-ier side. The core is still black metal but they’re playing with it and molding it and trying to form something unique, which is admirable because they’ve already proven to be one of the more original newer black metal bands. This album continues to build on their quality and presence and adds another awesome piece to their catalog.
Tragedy – Fury
Tragedy has cultivated a kind of legendary status and up to this very moment I was completely oblivious to this band so I can’t really comment on their legacy or catalog but what I can say is this EP is pretty fucking killer. To my ears it sounds like crusted up hardcore, which I don’t think you can go wrong with. It’s 17 minutes of pure, punk rock teeth kicking and it’s fucking awesome.
Void Ritual – A New Ritual
Holy fuck, yet another new Void Ritual. It’s very similar to the last one that came out 3 minutes ago. Just combine all three of these recent releases and it’s one, giant, awesome, melodic black metal album.
Grave Digger – The Living Dead
Grave Digger always deliver constantly well constructed, fun, power/heavy metal, and they always will. Grave Digger have a formula and a vision and rarely will they deviate from that. Sure they might throw in some silly instrumentation like on the new song “Zombie Dance” that sounds like a gypsy ho-down, but it’s still Grave Digger and Grave Digger is what they’ll be, and I’ve got no complaints.
Conan – Existential Void Guardian
Holy fuck, is there a grindcore song snuck into this new Conan album? There is, there totally is! Fuck yes. So with Conan you get soul crushingly heavy, self-described “Caveman Battle Doom” and that’s exactly what this new one is. Maybe with some sludge thrown in to the muck but good god, how this is heavy. Oh, and yeah, right out of nowhere there’s like a 30 second grind song. Conan rules so hard that it just goes right along with all the rest of the album. Fucking awesome album.
Deicide – Overtures of Blasphemy
I can take or leave Deicide (except that early stuff, which is killer) but I don’t think their a bad band at all, just a little Deicide goes a long way. I have to give it to them for sticking to their die-hard blasphemous death metal assault for all these years. That being said, I think the new album has a bit more fire in it’s belly then that past handful that I’ve heard. Nothing revelatory but Deicide once made solid to the bone Florida death metal and this one seems to have reignited some of that spark. Good on them.
Sepulcher – Panoptic Horror
Norwegian thrash metal that is more than meets the eye, or ear, as it were. Sepulcher revel in the sonic approach of 80’s death/thrash when the genres blurred lines but not being content with just throwing in with ALL the other throwback sounding bands, Sepulcher weave in progressive guitar playing, d-beat and crust elements, and even some psychedelia and cultish, gothic sounds. And all in a frenzied pandemonium. It’s not this “arena” black/goth stuff that Tribulation is doing, though it’s similarly explorative while retaining the assault. It’s a cool, unique album that while it does fall back on old school aesthetics there’s still enough forward thinking to not have it be so run of the mill and actually have promise. Dig it.
First Aid Kit – Tender Offerings EP
Not satisfied with releasing just a full-length this year, these Swedish, Americana, folk-ers sneak in an encore to their Ruins album from this year and it’s more of what they do so well.
Bosse-de-Nage – Further Still
Post, post, post. I know everybody has their knickers in a bunch (still?) over Deafheaven and they’re likely the first band to spring forth in a conversation about post-black metal, but to me Boss-de-Nage is to band I think of when I think of post-black metal. But Bosse-de-Nage are never one to settle and always make challenging and complex music. Floating between atmospheric, melodic black metal, hardcore, technical, odd timing instrumentation, and highly emotional, Boss-de-Nage will kick your teeth in with creativity.
Neckbeard Deathcamp & Gaylord – United Fascist Evil
If you’ve been paying attention to current metal trends you’ll have undoubtedly see the phenomanal rise of anti-fascist bands Neckbeard Deathcamp and Gaylord, who have both used humor, satire, meme culture, and black metal to fucking nuke all the alt-right championing, nsbm, and bigoted assholes whose voices have become so loud in the scene. Clearly a split release had to happen, and it did, and it’s fucking killer and hilarious and important, just like both of their debuts from earlier this year.
Black Majesty – Children of the Abyss
Black Majesty is criminally underrated for a power metal band. Their Euro-styled, Helloween inspired take on power metal is always triumphant and they put out solid album after solid album and I think that says a lot. Soaring, vocals, extra catchy songs, sing-a-long ready, Black Majesty always comes to play and they always fucking deliver.
Krigsgrav – Leave No Path to Follow
Krisgrav continue to push their atmospheric black metal sound further into that “post” area. Now they haven’t gone full on Alcest or anything like that but the post elements are growing. At the same time they’re falling back on heavier, plodding, slightly progressive parts that remind me a lot of later era Katatonia. So yeah, a mixed bag from this band that continues to grow and shift, and a damn fine listen.
Nazrak – Cantiques Funebres
Beautiful, frantic, ambient infused, melodic black metal from France. Those words might conjure ideas of Alcest or other French bands of that ilk, and you wouldn’t be wrong to think that, but Nazrak is takes those ethereal soundscapes the French do so well and combines it with a more pummeling black metal style. It’s pretty rad.
Cultes Des Ghoules – Sinister, Or Treading the Darker Paths
Cultes has, for me, become one of the most interesting and engaging black metal bands lurking around nowadays. Each album they release is undeniably evil and unique and the band manages to stick to an overall theme of evil while exploring their sound yet keeping it undeniably Cultes Des Ghoules. Sinister, Or Treading the Darker Paths could very well be a sequel, or spiritual successor to their previous double album Coven, Or Evil Ways Instead of Love. The band cut back the run time and went with a rawer, more sinister (yuck yuck) sound on this one that revels in occult plodding and ritualistic drumming. A more methodical album than blasting black metal, and it certainly maintains the “weird” presence the band has, not by trying to be weird, but just by being Cultes. They’ve yet to disappoint and this is another killer release from the band.
Forn – Rites of Despair
Emotionally heavy, funeral/death doom, heavy on the doom side of things with a nice layer of sludge thrown in for pacing. Long and morose, but what else would you expect from doom. Give it a spin if you like this sort of doom.
Boar Worship – Balance of Terror
Local Denver band Boarworship finally released a full length album and just dropped a filthy fucking, doom/death/sludge bomb of vile heaviness all over the fucking place. Coming in at barely 30 minutes, Boar Worship kicks it up with raw, fuzzed out production, skull crushing riffs, and a punk as fuck drive. Nasty and raw, this is fucking sick in all meanings of the word.
Phrenelith – Ornamented Dead Eyes (EP)
Just like their debut, filthy as fuck, disgusting, brutal, captivating death metal. I’m about at my wits ends with all these new death metal bands but man, Phrenelith fucking crushes it.
Until next time, make mine metal…