Unleashing one of the most intense and crushing Thrash Metal releases of 2023, today we have Nervosa and their latest opus “Jailbreak”. Prika Amaral and company return with a vicious vengeance and deliver over 45 minutes of crazy fast and extremely crafty music, filled with epic riffs, blistering drumming, and hellish vocals. Perfectly balancing an old-school Thrash vibe with a modern and clean production, this album sounds like a million dollars while beating the listener into submission.
Opening with the thunderous “Endless Ambition”, the band means business from the start. Filled with fast Thrashy riffs alongside crushing drumming, and Prika’s aggressive vocals, this track nicely sets a high-octane tone that is greatly amplified by intense pieces like “Suffocare”, “Ungrateful”, “Seed of Death”, and the blistering album title track that fires on all cylinders. The band perfectly brings an element of melody and explosiveness to the genre that only a handful of bands can deliver, as heard on “Sacrifice” and “Behind the Wall”.
Unleashing a hefty dose of Norwegian Black Metal, today we have Den Saakaldte and their first release in nearly eight years: “Pesten Som Tar Over”. Originally started as a one man project, this now band returns with a vengeance delivering over 60 minutes of dense music. For fans of bands like Ved Buens Ende, Dold Vorde Ens Navn, and similar outfits, this release is filled with crafty riffs and hellish vocals.
When bands go dark for some years, there is always the concern that they might come back sounding dated, however, this is definitely not the case here as “Av Satans ild” is a fierce opening track showing the band didn’t miss a beat. Incisive guitar work alongside your traditional BM snarl, provide a nice core for that Norwegian BM sound, as shown in tracks like “Dødstrett av alt” and “En ode til spinnersken”, which are both over eight minutes long. These longer form songs allow for moody tempo changes and a nicer flow within songs.
Seemingly a straightforward Black Metal outfit, Dismal Aura is a lot more than that as “Imperium Mortalia” showcases. Released via Avantgarde Music, this release delivers around 30 minutes of atmospheric and well crafted Black Metal with subtle influences from the Post-Black Metal scene. With similarities to bands like Saor, Winterfylleth, and Advent Sorrow, this release is quite melancholic and aggressive at the same time.
Always consistently good, Primordial releases are special happenings that take a few years to materialize and a more than several dozen spins to really digest. With “How it Ends” the band continues their ritualistic ways of Doomy and Blackened Celtic Metal. Featuring sixty-five minutes of music spread out in ten tracks, the band shows great refinement and direction with their music. Enchanting and fully immersing the listener since the first minute, this release is another excellent addition to the band’s storied career.
Opening with the album title track, we get a very doomy and decadent mood. Ciáran MacUiliam’s guitars create the distinctive Primordial sound while also having some elements of bands like My Dying Bride baked into the mix. However, we all know that the soul of the band has to be the melancholic vocals of Alan Averill, which perfectly craft a very moody vibe as tracks like “Plougs to Rust, Swords to Dust”, “We Shall Not Serve”, and “Traidisiunta” perfectly mix styles and genres.
Here is a band we never thought we would hear from again: Denmark’s Mercenary makes a triumphant return with “Soundtrack to the End of Times”. For the uninitiated, the band had a great run in the 2000’s with killer releases like “Architect of Lies” and our favorite “11 Dreams”. Crafting a mixture of Melodic Death/Power Metal, the band’s sound is still fresh, powerful and engaging, delivering over 60 minutes of high-octane music.
Opening with the crafty “Burning in Reverse”, the band brings back those excellent memories of their dramatic clean/harsh vocal lines alongside catchy melodic riffs and superb guitar leads. Dusting off the cobwebs early on, the soaring melodies the band creates continue to be top notch as songs like “Heart of the Numb”, “Where Darkened Souls Belong”, and “Through this Blackened Hatred” perfectly showcase their musicianship and experience.
Continuing the tradition of uncovering and promoting some truly unique artists around the world, Avantgarde Music is set to unleash Bolt Gun and their latest release “The Tower”. With five tracks and over 50-minutes of music, this release is quite intoxicating and mysterious, brilliantly covering everything from Doom Metal to Post-Rock to Ambient. Recommended for fans of bands like The Ocean, Cult of Luna, and Neurosis.
Slowly setting a very unnerving mood with “The Tower”, the band patiently unravels their layers as they transition from Ambient territories into heavier Sludgy/Doomy land alongside jazzy Saxophones and harsh vocals. The band excels at creating magical tempo changes that could go into dark territories or just all-out aggression, perfectly weaving together long masterfully crafted tracks with many angles and dynamic shifts like the brilliant “The Vulture”.
Unleashing waves of catchiness and aggression, today we have Finland’s one-man battalion Sielunvihollinen, and their latest full-length release “Helvetinkone”. Featuring eight tracks and over 40 minutes of music, this release relies on crafty guitar melodies and a hefty dose of pummeling drums to create a very lively and refreshing Black Metal. Far from your typical over the top tremolo-picking BM, this band focuses more on intricate riffs and engaging tempos to unleash their fury.
Setting a blistering pace with “Sinetti ja symboli”, the band quickly unleashes ravaging brutality alongside a crafty dose of melody and neat drum patterns. The music tempo is quite diverse, weaving back and forth from a thousand miles per hour, to more melodic and slower passages on tracks like “Raivoni astalo”, “Alkemisti ja tuhoaja”, and “Matkani päässä”. We particularly enjoy the old school Heavy Metal melodies that are nicely incorporated into the BM core.
Continuing their path of cosmic catchiness, today we have Uada and their latest opus “Crepuscule Natura”. Featuring five tracks and over 41 minutes of music, the band unleashes their riff-driven Black Metal continuing with the intensity and magic that “Djinn” left off. Full of highly memorable moments and plenty of headbanging/moshing opportunities, this album is a testament to the band’s search for perfection and polish of their sound and message.
Opening with the “The Abyss Gazing Back”, the riffing onslaught is quickly present with incisive guitars and masterfully crafted drumming. The tempo changes allow for some nice transitions between aggressive passages and more mellow melodic interludes. Without needing many additions or experimentation, the band’s sound is crips and direct as pummeling tracks like “Crepuscule Natura” and “The Dark (Winter)” unleash a plethora of crafty guitar elements alongside moody vibes.
As polarizing of a person as Niklas Kvarforth is, his music is always full of raw and unadulterated emotion. With Shining’s self-titled release, the band continues its path of decadence into weirder and equally disturbing territories. With a (mostly) new line-up that includes additions such as Nick Barker on drums, Alex Friberg on bass guitar, and Charles Hedger on guitars, this album delivers over 50 minutes of chaotic and yet masterfully constructed music.
Opening with the powerful “Avsändare okänd”, we get that slow and atmospheric pace that the band has mastered, with a mixture of harsh snarls, clean vocals, and furious onslaughts of harsh brutality. The dark vibe that the band has been creating over the years, is perfectly encapsulated in the lush “Snart är dom alla borta” with its jazzy undertones and dramatic lead guitars.
Fully righting their musical ship, today we have Canadian legends Cryptopsy and their first full length release in over 10 years: “As Gomorrah Burns”. Returning to that vicious Brutal Death Metal sound from their earlier years, the band delivers eight tracks and 33 minutes of crushing brutality. While the band showed their mettle with a new lineup during “The Book of Suffering - Tome I and II”, this release perfectly blends their old style with newer and fresher Technical DM elements that nicely polish their sound.
The band quickly makes a statement with the pummeling “Lascivious Undivine”, and follows it with the even more blistering “In Abeyance”. The best part of this opening pair of tracks is that you can hear the old-school Death Metal from the band perfectly blended with a fresher and more modern edge of current Technical Death Metal/Deathcore productions. Blasting the listener away, one of our favorite tracks has to be “Godless Deceiver” and its intense drumming, perfectly flanked by chuggy riffs and hellish vocals.