Half way through October and this month has been unrelenting in it’s desire to consume all of my life with amazing new metal. Seems to be the trend this year so far. While the rest of the country falls apart at an increasingly stupid speed, metal is bound and determined to give us something worth holding on to. And here’s a shit ton more:
Un – Sentiment
This is funeral doom the way I like it. A good mix of slow, dirge-y, nasty riffs, some death metal moments, some sludge flavor, and oppressing weight with soaring atmosphere. Perfect time of year for this stuff.
Fluisteraars & Turia – De Oord
I’m not usually into splits but Fluisteraars is a name that’ll get me to bite. Their side of the split is fucking gorgeous. They’ve pushed up the scope on their sound and made a massive, atmospheric, post inspired, black metal song and it’s fucking awesome. Not as dark as their previous stuff and I think that might be why I like it so much. I wasn’t familiar with Turia and their dismal black metal approach is fairly engaging, and kind of weird. Some killer guitar on that song, but for me, Fluisteraars is where it’s at on this split.
Farsot & ColdWorld – Split
Now here’s a split where both bands make me highly interested in it, albeit, Farsot is the main reason I’m grabbing this. ColdWorld has a great deal of praise around them but Farsot is criminally underrated, and their bizarre, cultish, swirling, atmospheric black metal chops are on full display here. ColdWorld was pretty much what I expected, which is, emotional, mournful, depressive, almost Suicidal Black Metal. Maybe less so than is typically associated with that band. Farsot wins out for me though. What a great band.
Oak, Ash & Thorn – May Every Altar Linger
Denver is not exactly the hotbed of European folk metal but that isn’t stopping Oak, Ash & Thorn. I used to be extremely into this genre but I got burned out quickly and only a few bands do I still hold a heathen hammer high for. The overly folky bands I can’t even get into but that’s what I really enjoyed about this album, is that while it is wholly embracing folk metal, it’s more reserved and allows the other elements to shine through as well. Like their sweet melodic riffing, the grand power metal boasting, and the blackened, death metal beats. It’s a good mix without going too far into excess but still keeping that heathen warrior vibe. More awesome stuff from Denver.
High On Fire – Electric Messiah
A new Sleep album AND a new High on Fire album in one year? The stoner forces must be aligned or some shit. In complete contrast to the bong induced riffing of that new Sleep album, the new High on Fire is probably as blasting as the band has ever been. There’s little to no, slower, groove, doom-y parts that they’re so good at mixing in with their raucous, rock fueled, Motorhead-like power drive. The album is almost all drive. Just rager after rager, High on Fire style, and fucking massive.
Professor Black – Sunrise
The ever prolific and awesome Chris Black of Dawnbringer, High Spirits, and Pharaoh (to name a few) just released fucking three new albums, because of course he did, and each album has a different “theme” you could say. Just from look at the cover of Sunrise you can tell what this album is all about… Fucking Bathory. Imagine Dawnbringers sweet melodic hard rock/metal, combined with the grand, viking era of Bathory and you have Sunrise. But it’s not just worship. It’s like the melding of two sounds, one that certainly pays tribute to Bathory but also remains Black. It’s pretty fucking rad, scratches that itch I have for more Dawnbringer, and serves as a reminder just how fucking amazing Bathory was.
Professor Black – I Am the Rock
The second of Mr. Black’s homage albums, and there’s no mistaking this one. It’s Motorhead, which is cool because I’ve always thought his band High Spirits had a big Motorhead vibe to it. So this sounds a lot like High Spirits mixed with more of the boogey side of Motorhead, and a little of the “Overkill” drive. And it sure does the fucking trick. Some of those riffs are spot on, and for fleeting seconds, particularly when he has the back up on his vocals, Black sounds like a younger Lemmy. Like the Sunrise album, this is a fusion of Black’s esthetics with Motorhead’s and makes for it’s own beast that surely resembles Motorhead. Fucking awesome all around.
Professor Black – Lvpvs
And on his third new album this week, Black goes for an experimental, spacey, prog, synth style. Every song clocks in at eleven minutes and six seconds, which I’m sure is significant in one way or another, and the music is interesting. It’s probably the more creative, musically, of the three, but it’s not what I go to Mr. Black for. I don’t begrudge any artist their right to fuck around and try new things but I can get this kind of music, done better from other bands. Give me rocking, metal anthems, and sheer power when I put on a Chris Black project. Maybe this is your thing, and it’s not terrible, it’s just the weaker of the three albums. By far, if you ask me.
Ultha – The Inextricable Wandering
Ultha’s melancholic and sorrow filled black metal has a rough edge to it and there’s a vast soundscape to be explored. It’s mostly in the atmospheric black metal range, maybe dipping into DSBM at times, but the moments I enjoyed the most are the Post Punk aesthetics that show up near the end of the album. Fairly good for what it is.
Infestus – Thrypsis
More German black metal! In contrast to Ultha, Infestus play more of a straight forward black metal style that’s more infused with melody and some death metal, and a of course, that fine German precision and marching quality. This one actually has a bit more bite then the previous, which is fucking rad all around. Compositionally it’s more fierce too. Never really know what to expect from this band but I’m always pleased.
Erosion – Maximum Suffering
Fucking nasty as all hell, aggressive as fuck, crusted up, hardcore, sludge. Way more on the crust side though. This one is purely and simply a fucking ripper for all 35 minutes of it’s existence. Get pissed off and listen to this thing.
Stryvigor – Lifelong Journey
Stryvigor’s first album was a solid dose of Ukrainian atmospheric black metal and this, their follow up, is along the same lines. Pretty decent all around, good atmospherics, nasty, Ukrainian vocals, nice melody. Solid album all around.
Unreqvited – Mosaic I: l’amour et l’ardeur
Beautiful and tranquil, post-y black metal, rock, ambient, whatever that is atmospheric as the day is long. Super uplifting and empowering, beautifully constructed and presented. Another fine release from these Canadians.
Terrorizer – Caustic Attack
It’s foolish to hope anything could live up to the magnitude of excellence that was World Downfall and without burying the lead Caustic Attack is no World Downfall, but that doesn’t mean it’s bad. In fact, it’s quite good. Terrorizer has captured the fury and fire with their death-ed up grind and it’s almost like this is the follow up to Downfall they should have made. It’s damn fun, aggressive as fuck, and a constant headbanger. I think that’s something worth celebrating for a band this late into their career.
Deadbird – III: The Forest Within the Tree
This one is not really what I expected. I thought it would be a fairly decent, sludge-y, doom album, and it is partly that, but there’s also a huge amount of traditional metal riffing, crust, and even some grunge-y like flavors. Mostly in the vocals, which at points sound eerily similar to Layne Staley. But then they dove tail into some hardcore areas and you’re left reeling from the crunch of it all. It’s refreshing to hear a band like this throw something new into the mix instead of just rely on the fuzz pedal.
Sargeist – Unbound
Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuucking love Sargeist so imagine my fucking delight when I discovered they had a new album out that was released this very fucking day. It made my whole damn day. Intense, aggressively Satanic, Finnish Black Metal is just what I needed. According to their Bandcamp page the band is almost all new since their last album four years ago Feeding the Crawling Shadows (which fucking rules) and the new gang bring the fucking black metal. The new vocalist fits right in with his nasty, evil, croaks, and the band brings intensely melodic, riff-y, icy, Finnish black metal might. This band can do no wrong and this is easily one of the best straight forward black metal albums of the year.
Aeternus – Heathen
Nothing can take away from those first two Aeternus albums. Those are bonafide classic black metal albums and among some of my favorite albums ever. Even as the band moved more and more into death metal they still brought consistently good albums. Heathen, there first album in five years, brings back a little of the black metal leanings but for the most part is a super solid death metal album with that slightly colder Norwegian flair. A solid album for sure.
Colter Wall – Songs of the Plains
I can’t even get over Colter’s voice. There’s such a tenor of seasoned country stalwart in his crooning you’d never believe this coming out of a 23 year old kid. It’s with such an experienced voice that Colter brings us his second album, which is full of emotional, classic country songs, beautifully sung and performed minimally to perfection. This is the country that needs to be heard.
Dire Peril – Extraterrestrial Compendium
It’s hard not to compare Judicator with Blind Guardian, even after their newest album went above and beyond to dismiss those comparisons, but vocalist John Yelland surely has a lot of Hansi in his voice. And lovingly so. Judicator’s honest and loving embrace of power metal is entirely invigorating. So for the sake of this review, Dire Peril is the Demons & Wizards to Judicator’s Blind Guardian. It’s a collaboration between Yelland and Hellion Prime’s Jason Ashcraft, and it’s a sci-fi infused power metal monster. Ashcraft adds a more galloping, Iced Earth, huge and grand guitar riffing to the mix and of course Yelland’s vocals are phenomenal. The sci-fi bend doesn’t so much come across in the music as it does the vocals and that’s perfectly fine with me. I’m all about the huge guitars and melodic interludes without crazy space sounds or laser blasts or what the fuck ever. This makes two of the years best power metal albums coming from Yelland. Fucking aye, dude.
House of Atreus – From the Madness of Ixion
I’m pretty sure House of Atreus previous album The Spear and the Ichor That Follows made my best of list that year. It’s an album that I’ve jammed too many fucking times to count so to say I was excited about this new album is a fucking understatement. There’s been a lot of reviews comparing their style of power riff worship, melodic death metal to that of Arghoslent, but I’ll never know because that band is a bunch of horrible racist fucks, but this riff factory of awesomeness is masterful. Top it off with their indulgent Greek history theme and you have one of the better and more unique death metal albums of the year.
Until next time, make mine metal.