Holy fuck, I can’t believe I managed to put out an update list two weeks in a row. Fucking killing it. Speaking of killing it, metal is. Another week full of absolute crushers and next week is shaping up to be even more massive. The year of metal roles reminding us that we in fact always have metal.

Marsh Dweller – Wanderer
I listened to some of this projects first album based solely on main dudes involvement in Seidr, a band I worship, and it was fairly fun. Sort of a melodic, early In Flames tribute with some natural environment overtones. Enough to have me interested when I saw the announcement for the new album. What I wasn’t expecting was a complete musical and tonal shift. Mind you I’m not complaining, but the shift is rather drastic. The In Flames melodic worship is here, sparingly, or more so weaved into this vast, post black metal, Agalloch-ian soundscape of winding and twisting compositions. There’s death metal, goth overtones, electronic elements, and much more. It’s explorative and unique and massively impressive.

Allelic – The Smoke of Atavistic Fires
This is a whirlwind mix of so many different ideas. It’s mostly a traditional folk album with all sorts of classic instruments and compositions going on, but then there’s some searing black metal thrown in every now and then that peppers the album with a nice intensity. Sometimes it just gets to be too much with the aggressive drumming, all the instruments, harmonicas, chanting, and things off time. It’s a lot blasting you at once. In it’s quieter, more reserved moments it’s a thing of beauty and maybe some more reserve would help this album go further. You don’t have to do all the things at once.

Rodent Epoch – Rodentlord
This is some nasty, Finnish, black as fuck, trashy, punky, metal. Super aggressive, super dirty, and with a killer fucking name. Dig it.

Utstøtt – Járnviðr
Atmospheric black metal is hard for me to deny at any time but especially this time of year. Utstott hits all the right spots with their hyper melodic, atmospheric, folky black metal take, which doesn’t sound all that different on paper but theirs a rawer, classic black metal take on here as well that really adds some extra bite. Crazy awesome guitars and just tasty as fuck riffs, this is a killer album for a Fall afternoon.

Antiverse – Under the Regolith
I love bands that might not be trailblazing, or experimenting, but just know what they are, know their style and just fucking bring it on all levels. That’s Antiverse. They’re straddling the fence of melodic death metal and hyper intense thrash, but more on the death metal side of things, but their intensity and quality of songwriting is just top notch. Add in some sci-fi goodness and you have on of the most enjoyably catchy and ground stopping albums of the year.

Brainoil – Singularity to Extinction
Pretty much what I was expecting, which is to say, fucking fuzzed up, nasty as hell, sludge with a heavy death metal influence. I mean, that’s Brainoil, and that’s why they fucking rule.

Green Death – Hallowmass
Green Death is a weird band for me. Over the course of the past two albums they’ve veered into somewhat more “mainstream” metal sounds. I don’t know how else to describe that. A slight infusion of those radio friendly metal styles. However, on the new album they’ve thrown everything in to their typical thrash sound. There’s elements of death, doom, goth, some “core”-ish tendencies, and what really excites me, some power metal, but the more aggressive power metal like Satan’s Host does so well. Particularly some of the soloing. This is what Iced Earth should sound like, and all of the more polished metal acts, which is to say, good fun, good riffs, nothing serious.

Thrawsunblat – Great Brunswick Forest
Goddamnit, another album from a great folky, black metal band that done went acoustic on me. I suppose it’s my fault for not paying closer attention but I sure was looking forward to a new metal album from Thrawsunblat, AND Winterfylleth for that matter. That being said, of all the acoustic albums from metal bands this year, Thrawsunblat handles it the best as they write songs that work perfectly as acoustic and stripped down songs which makes them feel like complete and thought out compositions and not just acoustic songs that would sound better as metal songs. I suppose I should have expected Thrawsunblat to crush it no matter what they’re doing.

Esoctrilihum – Inhuma
Not content with releasing one amazing album this year, Esoctrilihum wants to finish out the year the way they started it: with incredible French black metal madness. If you heard their previous album Pandaemorthium you know what kind of weird, evil, avant-garde, eccentric music this band is capable of and there’s no shortage of that on Inhuma, but this time that’s all coupled with an unyielding ferocity. And it’s oh so tasty. Maybe a bit less eccentric than the previous album but the added punch adds it’s own unique weirdness. Another killer album from I, Voidhanger Records who are proving to be the leaders of unique and original metal.

Realm of Wolves – Oblivion
My buddy Steve found this one randomly on Bandcamp. I guess it’s the same guys from VVilderness but with a couple other musicians. Whatever the story, the album is fucking phenomanal. It moves through atmospheric “Cascadian” style black metal (evident from their song “Cascadia”), classic 2nd Wave Black Metal ideas, Finnish Melo Death sensibilities, some doom, and atmosphere, atmosphere, atmosphere. It’s actually nicely hitting the spot I thought that new Thrawsunblat would. What a tremendous find.

Until next time, make mine metal…