In the realm that is black metal, fans are usually treated to anti-religious themed lyrics, a heavy dose of blast beats, and at times, cookie-cutter guitar riffs. However, as black metal has evolved throughout the years, we now get more atmospheric-centric style music with lyrics that tell stories of nature, history, or just simply life itself. Winterfylleth falls into the second category especially with their latest release, The Reckoning Dawn (Candlelight/Spinefarm). Spanning across the entire album are memorable guitar licks, thunderous drumming, backing chants, and accompanying synth work that really ties the complete sound package together. It may not be a visual painting to look at, but the UK outfit certainly put together a fine piece of art.
In these very strange, unprecedented times for the world over (and not just the music world) it must make a few of us uneasy in terms of when does “new music” stop coming out thanks to the pandemic. Well, the good news is the music we are getting right now is simply fantastic! The Acacia Strain have dropped two EPs this year after a surprise full release at the end of 2019. These new EPs entitled, simply, D and E (Rise Records) are certainly under the “short but sweet” category. Each EP only has two tracks apiece, however, this only helps in getting listeners to want more.
Midwestern progressive metal act, The Contortionist, return with another chapter in their transformation story. This particular collection of tracks making up a quick, yet most satisfying, EP is entitled Our Bones (eOne Music). While the group has moved on from their deathcore character, harsh vocals return to this release that brings some promise for future releases as well. Continue reading
Australia’s top extreme metal act, Thy Art is Murder, has returned in another aggressive deathcore release, Human Target (Nuclear Blast). This record is audible adrenaline up through the closing seconds and is the perfect length at thirty-eight minutes for ten tracks. The most rewarding part of this album, however, is that each track does enough differently to keep your attention. Continue reading
Something about EP releases in the past few years have left a bigger impact on me as a listener than full releases. The latest EP release from tech-death veterans Wormed, entitled Metaportal (Season of Mist), is no different in this regard. Four tracks spanning roughly sixteen minutes is a perfect “shock to the system” that is sure to bring in some new fans and turn them on to the rest of the band’s back catalog. Continue reading
In the glorious months of summer, some get excited for barbeque season or even the light-colored beers that are brewed by local craft breweries. I am a bit more inclusive as I enjoy a good barbeque, a cold beer, and upbeat music adding in some atmosphere. Fortunately, Bokassa has returned with their sophomore release in Crimson Riders (MVKA) and it perfectly compliments the summer mindset. Do not get it twisted though, this album is still a collection of heavy music so your backyard party will quickly turn into a rager. Continue reading
Bay Area Thrash veterans, Death Angel, have returned with their latest and some of their greatest collection of bangers in the form of Humanicide (Nuclear Blast Records). From start to finish, this album keeps the intensity maxed out and does not let up. For this reason, having just ten tracks is the perfect length so as not to tire out the listener. Let’s be honest for a moment here, having your heart rate up for over an hour with eighteen tracks can be tiresome. No worries here though as this record is sure to please even the pickiest thrash fans. Continue reading
It’s not often I am interested in compilation releases with a multitude of artists, but Doombanomicon (Black Doomba) really took me by surprise. A collection of thirteen songs by thirteen different artists, all of which express some differing style of doom metal. Think of it as the doom metal subgenre dictionary done by some artists you may not know of quite yet. Oh and the album title is perfect thanks to the reference to the Necronomicon, also known as The Book of the Dead. Continue reading
At this point in the game, it is quite difficult for musicians to find something “new” or “original” in terms of genres. Having said that, there are groups out there that continue to push genre boundaries to make something special. Chicago natives, Varaha, have done just that with their debut full length, A Passage For Lost Years (Prosthetic). Mixing post-metal, black metal, and gothic doom, Varaha has recorded quite a journey that is sure to touch upon many emotions. As a bonus, nine tracks seem to fit perfectly in terms of length where you get the whole message from this album, but it does not overstay its welcome and grow stale. Continue reading
Black metal has really come around for me in the past few years where I was essentially just bored of the genre. While many black metal bands are putting out some solid releases, Nordjevel have really hit the nail on the head with their latest, Necrogenesis (Osmose). This release is more than just thirty minutes of blast beats and some abrasive anti-Christian lyrics. This Norwegian outfit is all about progressing forward while holding onto their roots as well in a well-done harmony. Even the length of forty-seven minutes seems like a little much for a black metal record of the current era, but the welcome is certainly not overstayed. Continue reading