I think we’re going to be knee deep in some amazing new releases for the rest of the year. This week had some great releases and a couple of new surprises. So let’s get to it! I discovered Stryvigor on a review site and they play some great, semi-atmospheric black metal, which is on display on their new album Forgotten by Ages. I kept seeing stuff about Iron Reagan and decided to give their new album The Tyranny of Will a try. It’s some pretty fun, cross-over, punked out thrash. Pretty much what you would expect from members of Municipal Waste. Another new discovery this week was Ancst and their new album In Turmoil. Ancst play a sort of atmospheric, crust, doom, black metal style of music much like Agrimonia and Nux Vomica. I’ve been a sucker for this sort of cross pollinating and enjoyed this album. A turn on the more experimental note is the new album Kwade Vaart by Mondvolland. I discovered this band earlier this year based on the news this album was coming out and checked out their previous album in preparation. Some experimental, sort of folkish black metal. Solid.
Darkenhöld – Castellum
Darkenhöld was a suggestion from a friend earlier this year and they hit me like a ton of bricks. Their old school black metal aesthetics, mixed with atmospherics and gothic imagery all surrounding, well, castles, was a breath of fresh air. I love that early, Hammer Horror-esque aspect of black metal and Darkenhöld delivered that in spades. Of course, I was eagerly awaiting their new release and of course, it did not disappoint. More atmosphere, more castles and more awesome. These French guys sure know how to make black metal.
Myrkur – Mykur EP
There’s been a lot of hype and speculation surrounding this mysterious one-woman black metal release. I’m no so much concerned with who she is, but the music she’s making. After all the hype, this album fell a little short. It’s a nice change of pace to hear a female solo artists amidst the sausage fest that is black metal but this album relies a little to much on her influences, mainly that being early Ulver. She has a tremendous voice and music is solid for the most part. I hope this is a continuing project and not some one-off side project from what might be a musician who’s regular gig is far from black metal.
Audrey Horne – Pure Heavy
Leave it to the Norwegians to out do American rock and roll. Despite the band members metal pedigrees (one of them being involved in the incredible I album Between Two Worlds), Audrey Horne is a straight up rock and roll band. No sub genre or “post” label attached. If rock radio got some of it’s balls back and played music like Audrey Horne, I might tune in more then never. That being said, the new album didn’t strike me as much as their previous. It lacks some of the “rocking” for lack of a better term. Still pretty solid, great hooks and catchy songs. Rock’s not dead after all, Gene Simmons.
Num Skull – Ritually Abused
Relapse re-released Num Skull’s 1988 debut album this week, remastered and ready to thrash your face off. I was unfamiliar with this band until recently and once I heard the preview for the new re-release I knew I would have to hear it. Holy hell, if this isn’t the thrashiest album you might ever hear. Take all the thrash bands and amp them up 100% and maybe you’ll get close to Num Skull. I love this sort of dirty, go for the throat thrash that bands like Morbid Saint, Demolition Hammer and earlier Kreator made and this, well this is even nastier. Get this album.
I was sort of in a death metal mood this week. You can tell from the rest of the list:
A Sound of Thunder – Time’s Arrow
Triosphere – The Road Less Travelled
Morbid Angel – Altar of Madness
Panopticon – Roads to the North
Obituary – Cause of Death
Cancer – Death Shall Rise
Ripping Corpse – Dreaming With the Dead
Cannibal Corpse – Eaten Back to Life
Cannibal Corpse – Butchered at Birth
Death – Leprosy
Bolt Thrower – Realm of Chaos
Gorguts – The Erosion of Sanity
Cryptospy – None So Vile