At the start of the week, I had the idea that I would try and focus on more beautiful, hopeful music this week. Yet, as you’ll see, by Tuesday that idea was long gone – and by Thursday, and the way the American government seemed to be treating survivors of sexual assault, nothing felt appropriate save absolute rage. Fuck the patriarchy. Burn it all down.
I’m not sure exactly what happened, but it barely seems that long ago that High on Fire were first unleashing their highly effective brand on sludge-laden, riff-heavy doom metal upon the world. Yet somehow, it’s twenty years since the band first formed. Not that you’d necessarily know it from listening to Electric Messiah. Album number eight from the Matt Pike-led trio is a monster of Godzilla-sized riffs, drums so crushing that could shatter buildings, and vocals as powerful and charismatic as they come; so, all is it should be, then. And yet, there’s an almost progressive edge to some of these songs that, somehow, sits comfortably alongside High on Fire’s riff-fueled fury.
Label: Tenacity Music
Rock’n’roll’s simple, isn’t it? You put together some riffs that make people want to dance, play them loud, and you’re pretty much sorted. That’s the theory, anyway; in practice, it’s much harder to get those qualities just right, and to write songs that are as fun to listen to as they are to play. It’s a balance that The Crotals largely get right on new album Horde, with plenty of swagger, and a heaviness that’s reminiscent of Entombed-via-Motorhead. Throw in some Kverlertak-esque grooves, and Horde becomes an interesting proposition, that’s a lot of fun; but it’s also one that is slightly less than the sum of its parts.
And so, another month, another selection of short reviews. As always, it’s an eclectic selection, taking in a dark abmient soundtrack by Guillermo Pizarro; classic speed metal from Wardance; a reissue of some occult black metal, courtesy of Shaidar Logoth and Sentient Ruin; retro-rock from Wheel in the Sky; stomping hardcore from Peace of Mind; and some crushing death metal in the shape of Skeletal Serpent‘s self-titled EP. Enjoy!
Album of the Day for the past week took on a distinctly death metal flavour as the week went on, but there’s still plenty of variety to be found, with as much emotional heaviness and there is musical. Enjoy!
Label: Rotting Throne Records
We all need a band like Allfather in our lives. The UK five-piece exemplify all that is good in metal, with their mission in life seemingly to be to remind us all of just how much fun heavy music can be. With a combination of sludge-tinged riffs, commanding, gruff vocals, and an all-around “fuck you” attitude, Allfather are here to make heads bang. They achieved just that with first album Bless the Earth With Fire, and now follow-up And All Will Be Desolation continues that mission, with tighter song-writing, a greater sense of confidence, and impassioned lyrics that do their “riffs against fascism” merch justice.
So, we’re a bit over halfway through 2018, and there’s been some excellent records released. Most notably, 2018 is shaping up to be an excellent year for death metal – bands such as Tomb Mold, Our Place of Worship is Silence, Memoriam, Slugdge, and practically everyone on the Dark Descent Records roster are killing it with top-tier death metal. Things aren’t quite so grand when it comes to black metal, but the new Immortal is pretty note-worthy, and there’s been a few other strong releases in the underground – including the final release by Cosmic Church.
Here, I’ll pick out ten of my favourite records released so far this year, in alphabetical order. Hopefully you’ll find something new here to enjoy, or be reminded of something you were in to earlier in the year. Enjoy!