This week marks the first week of what will be super fucking slammed weeks of new metal for the foreseeable future. At least according to my list. Yes, I keep a list of upcoming albums I’m interested in and their release dates. But holy fuck, this week. This week was insane! As if the new Belenos wasn’t enough, In the Woods… dropped their first album in 17 years, and it’s fucking brilliant. Both these albums are going to show up on the year end list. Mark my words. Or don’t, but at least listen to the fucking music. Speaking of…

NEW JAMS: (Click those titles, fuckers)

Belenos – Kornog
In the six years since the last Belenos release I’ve managed to become a rabid fan of the French black metal band so it goes without saying I was highly anticipating this new album, and if Belenos has a bad album, I’ve never heard it. Taking a decidedly more death metal approach, Belenos doesn’t sacrifice the black metal and atmospherics but adds a whole dynamic with his sound. Fucking killer and another amazing entry into this bands already killer catalog.

High Spirits – Motivator
I’m a huge fucking fan of this band, and main man Chris Black and his projects Dawnbringer and Pharoah. High Spirits play a classic hard rock/metal sound but it doesn’t sound dated. It sounds like those styles progressed into modern times. Lots of bands are just trying to recapture that era whereas High Spirits are talking all that and making something fresh and modern with it. I fucking love it. Amazing album here.

Drudkh/Grift Split – Betrayed by the Sun / Hagringar
Drudkh has been killing it recently. After their last album from 2015 they’ve been releasing a series of splits this year, the first with Hades Almighty and now this new one with Grift (awesome). Drudkh is fucking on fire as always and the two songs from them on this album are all the furious, folk oriented, poetry inspired black metal you’d expect from the band, but with some added urgency and some refined crafting. Fucking killer as always.

Grift seems like a more kindred spirit for this split than Hades Almighty was on the last, not that they didn’t make for a good split, but Grift is much more atmospheric and folk-ish. Not in the same way Drudkh is, which makes for a dynamic split. That and Grift is fucking awesome anyways.

Good bands. Good split. Want more full-lengths from the both of them.

In The Woods… – Pure
This one, holy fuck, this one I’ve been anxiously awaiting all year for. Given In the Woods… classic track record I just knew we were going to be in for a fucking treat, and boy howdy, we fucking are. Right out of the fucking gate I was enthralled with this album. True to form, In the Woods… deliver something different than the previous album. This is not a return to the black metal days of the band, not the gothy days of Omnio. If anything it’s a culmination of all their sounds, progressive and creative, never sounding old or rehashed, never sounding retro nor are they trying to recapture anything. It’s just In the Woods… doing what they do, which is making killer fucking music.

Nox Formulae – The Hidden Paths to Black Ecstasy
Eerie, dissonant, Greek black metal. There’s that ritualistic, mid-paced atmosphere to this album that I think is indicative to the early Greek black metal scene and this band pulls that sound off nicely, while adding some more modern elements, some death metal, and some (shutter) black n’ roll ideas. Pretty solid through and through.

OTHER JAMS:

Apocrypha – The Forgotten Scroll
Dio – Holy Diver
Dio – The Last in Line
Dio – Sacred Heart
Dio – Dream Evil
Vendetta – Go and Live… Stay and Die
Dio – Lock Up the Wolves
Azelisassath – In Total Contempt of All Life
Dio – Strange Highways
Bolt Thrower – Realm of Chaos
Bolt Thrower – …For Victory
Tartaros – The Grand Psychotic Castle
Tartaros – The Red Jewel
Rotting Christ – Sanctus Diavolos
Draugnim – Vulturine
Vex – Sky Exole
Nox Formulae – The Hidden Paths to Black Ecstasy

Until next time, make mine metal!

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