Legendarium is a fairly busy band already with two releases, the At the Gate of the Black Kingdom single and the project’s third full-length album Under the Spell of Destruction this year alone. Their latest, Death’s Hand In Yours (Self-Released), is their strongest release of the year.
Batushka and Hate took on The Brooklyn Monarch! I was very excited to be able to see these two Polish black metal titans together on the same bill. Hate, who I’ve seen a few times, always brings energy to the crowd and effectively keeps me coming back for more. Their rifts are heavy and evil, filled with anger and that undeniable black metal spirit. In direct contrast with their crowd, who were surprisingly friendly for being fans of a band called Hate. They were very accommodating to me coming in late and taking photos, and for that I would like to thank them. Fans would let me pop right in and out with ease, though my luck ran out when the almighty Batushka took the stage.
With just a quick glance of the album art to Sacrilege (Personal Records), metalheads can quickly figure out what they are in for. Richmond, Virginia’s Appalling are back with more blasphemous, blackened death metal. According to legend (or possibly the band’s press release) the music on this album is so evil, that God tried to burn the band’s tour van with the group inside.
When Ronnie James Dio joined metal legends Black Sabbath in 1980 the former Rainbow frontman’s appointment couldn’t have come at a better time. Sabbath were a sinking ship. A drowning vessel from which enigmatic frontman Ozzy Osbourne had been trying to escape for some time. However, even though it was painfully clear that new blood had to be added to halt the band’s alarming deterioration the hostility that greeted Dio from some corners was quite shocking.
Hailing from Athens, Blame Kandinsky style themselves as the Greek lovechild of Botch and The Dillinger Escape Plan, and dropped their debut album Spotting Elegance back in 2017, before hitting some high-profile tours around Europe including a support slot with Cavalera Conspiracy.
In the world of heavy music, there needs to be some degree of weird, strange, maybe even taboo. Without this, all we have is anger and aggression with little bursts of sadness. This need is currently being filled by that of Pennsylvania’s own duo dissonant black/death metal group, Veilburner. These two have been dropping full-length releases consistently since 2014 (first I am hearing of it, color me interested) but now the sixth record has disturbed the planet in the form of VLBRNR (Transcending Obscurity). Sometimes the most comforting music, given the right environment and levels of vulnerability, is actually the most uncomfortable music.
Jamie Lenman has been an ongoing stalwart of the alternative rock UK scene since his early days in Reuben. Now with four albums under his belt as a solo act, Lenman has completely reinvented himself and sound to become one of the more eclectic acts England has to offer. After a cover album and a song featuring MC Illaman from Pengshui, where next, could Lenman possibly go? Well, it seems the solo artist has decided to completely disembark his traditional heavier punk rock sound to embrace more indie pop rock avenues with The Atheist (Big Scary Monsters).
The unmistakable pall of monochromatic fear and fright begs the question: should Dystopia A.D. have named their latest record Doomsday Bible? Instead calling it Doomsday Psalm, the album presents an anthology of horrors; a plethora of terror. The end of the physical world becomes the least of your worries.
Martin Persner, formerly a guitarist with Swedish occult metal sensation Ghost – he was “Omega” among the band’s anonymous line-up of Nameless Ghouls – has resurrected an old project (founded back in 2006) to deliver a full-length album of soft, electro-fied rock that is dramatic and atmospheric at times, but without the considerable peaks of his “other” band.
I’ve always pictured the Stockholm-bound The Riven as the Swedish version of Thulsa Doom – similar vibes, similar undertones, and similar upbeat resonances. The RIven, as far as I observe, has always been influenced by the sounds from the golden age of classic rock; the 1970s and 1980s. Their sounds are genuinely hard-hitting, sharp-shooting, and they appear to be the kind of sounds that would make you want to headbang as the exciting memories in your head replay themselves in retrospect whilst you listen to them. In terms of genre classification, they might pass as heavy blues rock with progressive, psychedelic, and classical influences and a strong emphasis on menacing riffs as well as vigorous vocals.