Holy shit, this week just fucking knocked me for a fucking loop. Between all the anticipated new releases and seeing Blind Guardian live this is has been a banner fucking week for metal. No doubt. Four albums I’ve been looking forward to came out this week and all four of them did not disappoint. I even found time for some albums that are completely new to me, some new stuff from bands I just got into and a nice surprise. I fucking love metal. It never lets me down.

NEW STUFF: (Click the titles to be awesome)

Vermin Womb – Decline
Some Denver black/death/grind nastiness from some of the dudes in Clinging to the Trees of a Forest Fire and Primitive Man. Exactly what you expect it to sound like with those players, nasty, grimy, furious, and over in about 20 minutes. Solid.

Martröð – Transmutation of Wounds EP
An international super-group, so to speak, consisting of members from Chaos Moon, Skaphe, Wormlust, Misthyrming, Leviathan, and Aosoth, and from a group like that you’d expect some eclectic black metal, which is exactly what you get. Foreboding, dissonant, immersive, crushing black metal at that. Not sure what the likely hood of a band like this keeping it together but I would be interested in hearing a full-length from the group. This is pretty solid.

Battle Dagorath – I – Dark Dragons of the Cosmos
I only recently got in to this band when my buddy sent me one of their first album Eternal Throne and their third album Cursed Storm of Ages (which I haven’t listened to yet) so I was pretty pleased to see they had a new album out so close to my discovery of the band. Based on the other album I’ve heard, this is fucking awesome as well. Cold, ancient, ethereal black metal with heavy focus on the keyboards. It’s a hearkening back to older days of black metal but not in a homage/tribute sort of way. It’s just a sound from a different time, that still feels complete and fresh.

Oathbreaker – Rheia
I feel like we need a new way to label these newer bands besides “post.” It’s used as a catch all for bands experimenting with styles and sound within the metal landscape it’s almost a knee-jerk label at this point. Thanks Deafheaven. That being said, this one is post-y all over, mashing multiple genres together with that modern, ethereal sound that I think makes everybody use the “post” label. However the main point of focus here is Caro Tanghe and her amazingly devastating and beautiful vocals ranging from crushing screams to sorrowful croons. Highly emotional and heavy all at once, this band continues to kill it.

Winterfylleth – The Dark Hereafter
Winterflylleth are back with what they do best… high atmospheric, folk oriented, black metal, though much more concise and direct this time. The album clocks in at only 40 minutes, their shortest to date and much shorter than their typical hour plus. I’m fine with that as it’s a much more focused sound. Not gonna say it’s their best but it fits in well with their style and discography. The Ulver cover of “I Troldskog Faren Vild” is on point.

Asphyx – Incoming Death
Asphyx have been doing the Asphyx thing, consistently for decades now, which is to say, barebones, straightforward death metal, and they do it well. Asphyx style is really that they are so stripped down. My buddy referred to them as “party death metal” which is fairly accurate. They set the mood, you can bang your head to it and it can exist in the background and still be appreciated. However this new one seems a bit more lively, a bit more aggressive than usual. It’s still Asphyx doing their thing but it sounds better than they have in a while. A nice surprise when I was expecting more of the same.

Alcest – Kodama
Alcest will not go back to black metal. If you’re still one of those people clinging to that hope or shitting all over the band because they aren’t black metal anymore, this album isn’t going to do anything for you. It is, however, another step forward for the band, fusing inspiration from Japanese folklore into their “post/gaze/whatever” eclectic style. Yes, this one is a bit more metallic than Shelter was but it’s fitting for the concept of how nature and humankind exist together. The nature side of the music being lush, warm, ethereal, atmospheric, uplifting and simply beautiful, just like Alcest is, just like they seem to always be.

Odal – Geistes Unruh
Fuck, I need to listen to this band more. I have two of their older albums but shit, I must have been sick or something when I heard them because this new one fucking rips. Furious, melodic, pagan fueled, German black metal. Just a whirlwind of awesome fury, riffs, and presence. Killer fucking album.

OTHER JAMS:

Oxiplegatz – Sidereal Journey
Atrocity – Todessehnsucht
Thornbridge – What Will Prevail
High Spirit – Motivator
Katatonia – The Fall of Hearts
Spirit Adrift – Chained to Oblivion
Hyperion – Seraphical Euphony
Bal-Sagoth – Battle Magic
Dark Forest – Beyond the Veil
Witherscape – The Northern Sanctuary
Blind Guardian – Imaginations from the Other Side
Ribspreader – Bolted to the Cross

Until next time, make mine metal.

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