Holy shit, I got two updates in this month. Unbelievable. Maybe I’ll get a couple more in next month on top of my highly anticipated “Best of” lists that I’m sure you’re all dying to read. Until then… here’s some fucking awesome new metal:
Voivod – The Wake
I can’t even begin to try and get into the vast, unique, and prolific career of Voivod save to say if you’re interested in this, their 14th album, you’re probably already familiar with them. I don’t have their entire collection but I’ve always admired how Voivod has always done their own thing and are truly a one of a kind, original band, and have done that while crafting amazing, catchy, intricate, and painfully unique music. This is more of that mastery and Voivod doing Voivod, like nobody else can.
1914 – The Blind Leading the Blind
There was a bit of hype surrounding this album and it sounded up my alley. IE Ukrainian black/death metal. Sure, let’s do it. The band is heavily steeped in WWI (hence the band name) history and the whole thing is centered around that, told through a killer melodic sense of black metal and death metal. To my surprise there was an unexpected Exploited cover of “Beat the Bastards” one of my favorite albums from back in the day and one of the first albums that helped me enjoy more metal. 1914 turns it on it’s fucking head and owns it, turning it into a thrashy, black, death punch to the face.
Sigh – Heir to Despair
I adore this band so I’m inclined to praise whatever it is they’re doing, so of course, I fucking enjoy the hell out of this album. What I’ve come to expect from Sigh is that I never know what to expect except that it’s going to be a very Sigh-like album. I read a lot of reviews decrying Sigh and their outlandish, over the top, and cheesy moments, but to me that’s fucking Sigh. I love the bizarre compositions and crazy mish-mash of genres and styles. That being said, I think this is a better album than their last, Graveward, which I felt was a little more straightforward than I liked them to be. Heir is all weird, more metal, and fucking Sigh, through and through. This band is a treasure.
Funeral Chic – Superstition
This album is a fucking rager. Pure and simply, it fucking crushes. Straight for the throat, nasty as fuck, black metal hardcore punk with no fucks given about homage or genres or scene bullshit. Just fucking killer.
Suidakra – Cimbric Yarns
Fucking hell, I can’t believe I fell for another sneaky acoustic album from a band I was expecting a metal one from. Not that I have high expectations of Suidakra at this point but I always listened to their new albums. Possibly because they were one of the first “extreme” folky metal bands I ever heard. That being said, it isn’t terrible but I’m barely hang on to Suidakra as is, let alone with a overthought acoustic album. Meh. I guess if you’re into this sort of thing it’s something to check out.
Ancst – Abolitionist EP
I’ll take more Ancst any day of the week, except that ambient only stuff they do, but that’s more me than them. But the ambient, drone stuff is gone from this release and it’s all just fucking melodic crust/metal they do so amazingly well. Fuck yes.
Artillery – The Face of Fear
Artillery is never going to be as good as those early albums were and that’s something I can accept. I still have hope that they may at least find their fire again and put out something that is above just “ok.” Face of Fear is not that. They continue to infuse the hard rocking, more power metal, and almost hair metal sound in there and I just can’t get behind that. There’s still some good guitar and some good trashier moments but this isn’t a repeat listener.
A Flock Named Murder – An Appointed Time
My buddy Steve found this one which is flying pretty far under the radar (har har har) but is a damn solid mishmash of metal sounds. It’s a fairly romantic and dreary sort of doom but filtered with a lot of death and blackened elements and some killer riffing. My buddy also said it feels like what Opeth should have become in a modern context. That sums it up perfectly.
Deceased – Ghostly White
Fucking super excited to get this new Deceased in my ears. Deceased and King Fowley is one of my favorite bands/metal guys thanks to his unfaltering devotion to making the best riffs and filthy thrash inspired death metal around. Ghostly White finds the band more in their “weirder” realm of metal similar to what they were doing on Supernatural Addiction or Surreal Overdose, but as always, coupled with the overtly horror overtones. But fucking riffs and solos for days, those one of a kind Fowley drums, and the focus on melody makes this another stellar entry into an already killer discography.
Aevangelist – Heralds of Nightmare Descending & Matricide in the Temple of Omega
Wasn’t too surprised here aside. Aevangelist excel at this swirling, dense, technical, hell-scape, dismal blackened death metal, and have been excelling at it for years now. So many bands trying to pull this off but Aevangelist do it effortlessly. That being said, again, it wasn’t a surprise to hear that they stuck to their guns and made some more truly horrific albums. Two, in fact, only three months apart, but they could have been one album as there’s not much difference between the two. I like Aevangelist, I do, and I think they’re doing their own thing well, just a little goes a long way for me and maybe one album, tightly edited would have been enough this year.
Those Poor Bastards – Inhuman Nature
One of my favorite bands full of weirdos. Bastards music has always reveled in southern gothic, country, hillbilly, gallows humor, and that’s the backbone of this album but they get a little further away from that goth country sound and more to a weird, slightly carnival like level of song performance, as well as some 80s post punk sort of thing. Only this band can make that work without losing one bit of their identity in the process. Satan is watching!
Corpsessed – Impetus of Death
Two releases in now and Corpsessed has delivered quality, Finnish death metal each time. There’s so much of this “cavernous” and murky death metal sound going around nowadays but Corpsessed cut through the crap and write some damn good death metal which sometimes simplicity is key to heaviness. Curious where they go from here.
In the Woods… – Cease the Day
A band I’m completely a fanboy of, I’m beyond excited that they’ve become active again and are putting out new stuff consistently. While I won’t pretend that the newer stuff is as vital as the first three albums, it’s still undeniably In the Woods mastery, weaving in and out of genre and styles. I do miss the nice coating of gothic romanticism they had on Strange in Stereo and the new album, as well as the previous album Pure aren’t as eclectic as I would have liked but their still miles ahead of most bands like this. Surely one of my late favorites of the year and another great entry for this band.
Death Karma – The History of Death & Burial Rituals, Part II
I was totally floored by Death Karma’s first album in 2015. Two members of the super hyped, Czech, Cult of Fire are the masterminds behind this project and if you ask me, after hearing this new album, I’m more excited about this than Cult of Fire. The concept is black/death metal songs about different countries death and burial practices but what makes this so interesting, aside from the masterful composition, is how they incorporate slight musical cues from each specific region. For example, on the new album, which is the sequel to the first album there’s a song about Haitian Voodoo and they mix in some subtle tribal drumming and jungle instruments. Such is the same, albeit different instumentation for Tibet, Scandinavia, New Zealand, etc. They’ve done this for two albums now and it’s fucking brilliant. I wish more extreme metal bands were getting this creative with their music and concepts.
Torian – God of Storms
Some glorious, way under the radar, hyper Euro power metal from Germany. Like all the grandiosity of Stratovarius mixed with the ridiculousness of Gamma Ray and the sing along chorus chants of Orden Ogan. Just perfectly executed, cheese-tastic power metal in a year that has given us very little in the way of good power metal.
Chapel of Disease – … And as We Have Seen The Storm, We Have Embraced the Eye
Holy shit, this one just blew me to the back of the fucking room. I can hardly believe that a death metal band is doing something different, and full on fucking fun. OSDM worship has set the bare so low and something like Chapel of Disease just came storming in here and kicked it the fuck over. Taking death metal, adding a sense of punk rock urgency, and classic rock/blues influenced riffing and soloing, Chapel of Disease have made something unique, vital, and a kick to the face of everybody worshipping at the altar of the old school. Thank Satan for this.
Svartiduadi – Revelations of the Red Sword
That’s what I needed. Some crazy and evil Icelandic black metal and who better to deliver than one of the countries best because everybody from every Icelandic metal band has passed through Svartidauði at one point or another. Or so it seems. Fucking dank, swirling, and dismally evil, Svartidauði conquer black metal and it’s nice to hear a band that arguably kicked off the Icelandic black metal scene 6 years ago with their debut still sound influential and critical now.
Obliteration – Cenotaph Obscure
I’m just so sick of new “old school” death metal bands I could just fucking scream. I know Obliteration were (arguably) one of the first bands to embrace a love for intentionally sounding “old school” like a fucking decade ago but now it’s so oversaturated and overtly hyped that it taints everything. I mean there’s moments here and there where Obliteration really shine but in the end they may be doing some of the better “old school” sound but it all just melds together to me with the hoard of new bands and I just don’t fucking care to hear it any more.
Master – Vindictive Miscreant
Master has only been around for what, like over thirty fucking years at this point? Up until this new album I’ve never given them a real go despite how every new album is met with nothing but praise and they regularly show up on these “overlooked” classic bands list, and yeah, this album fucking rules. Thrashy, death with a Motorhead reverence. It’s solid as fuck, masterfully catchy, and seriously fucking fun. Shame on me. Shame on me.
Stilla – Synvilijor
Stilla were already pushing the progressive nature on the last album so to hear them incorporate progressive leanings with a super fucking raw, 2nd wave of black metal style is pretty fucking rad. Not what I was really expecting but welcomed entirely. Much more vicious, intense and well, rawer than the band has sounded before, Stilla aren’t afraid to do whatever the fuck they want and not sound out of place or dated.
Cantique Lépreux – Paysages Polaires
Pretty solid Quebec styled, naturalistic, raw black metal, but you’d expect that from a band consisting of so many members from Forteresse. Pretty familiar sounding if you’re a fan of that regional style of Canadian black metal, but more decent than some.
Cancerslug – Beating a Dead Whore
Cancerslug is so good at being Cancerslug. IE this album is Cancerslug through and through. Songs about Satan, the singers dick, drugs, sex, and other sleazy and offense topics that only work because the band is so good at writing catchy as fuck, punk driven rock n roll. Somehow I thought this band was supposed to end a couple albums ago so dude could go sing in Doyle’s band, but I guess not since he’s still doing both. Oh well, Cancerslug rules.