Enslaved. If you haven’t already heard of them, well shame on you, but this band is a progressive viking metal band hailing from the motherland of all black metal: Norway. In Times is their thirteenth studio album and they still prove that they can still write thought provoking tunes that expand on the genre and what we think about viking metal in general. Enslaved have been writing about frost giants, Nordic gods and lore way before it became trendy and they still seem to keep it creative, unique and entertaining.
Well here we are again: another solid black metal act. However, this time I get a massive blend of instruments, ideals and influences. The use of atmosphere, wind instruments, keys, and wonderful folk melodies really gives Umbras de Barbagia a name for itself. I try hard to grasp at who else is doing this at the moment in black metal. Saor? Close, but Downfall of Nur seems more traditional and less epic. The folk bits combined with the enriched black metal atmosphere pushes aside almost everything else you can think of. This album commands your attention and demands your focus. This may be one of those albums that no one was expecting yet could be the best thing you hear all year.
Black Metal: It’s one of the biggest genres in the metal business right now. There are more black metal bands popping up than ever. It’s definitely one of my favorites and it’s rare when I do not like a black metal band. Thrash Metal: This genre can be a bit toxic for me. On one side, I love the speed, the energy, the vibe and the overall “drink, mosh and headbang” mentality. Then again, most thrash bands are not listenable because they cannot create cohesive riffs and/or the vocalist just sounds terrible. Well Frosthelm blends both black metal and thrash in such a way that I feel like we’re getting something brand spanking new here. Blackened Thrash is nothing new but this band nails what this genre should be.
Fulgora is the dream team of grind musicians coming together to create something a little more diverse, creative and still giving us a raw energy ass kicking. Fulgora’s “Stratagem” is very much a grind album but on a more intellectual level. The way the music comes together is a more planned out process and the way this release grabs me and gives me a good time is unlike anything else in the genre. It’s a good fucking time and I loved listening to this album!
Last time I listened to Oceano, I very much enjoyed it. They embrace the fact they make ultra heavy music while not thinking outside of the bun. They are at it again here and you know what? I still have that same feeling, except with one thing: the music gets dull really fast. The brutality on Ascendants is at an all time high here, making it the better deathcore album I’ve heard this year. I brush off most deathcore these days as they all tend to sound the same and Oceano’s new album is another reminder of why I do not listen to this genre much anymore. It’s good for quick groove and heavy chugging riffs but that is it.
Drowning the Light returns with their new album, From the Abyss, which is a hauntingly dark atmospheric piece with raw steel traditional black metal moments. Blending these two carefully within a cauldron of hate, we get the 13th full length album. Now this may not beat out the already exceptional black metal albums we’ve received already this year but it definitely ranks up there amongst the best of this year. 2015 is a great year for black metal and Drowning the Light deserves a spot light, even though it’s a dull and foggy light.
These sumbitches from Colorado just became one of my favorite bands! Ancient Wind is a new band and their debut album “The Chosen Slain” just takes several things I enjoy about several other bands, gives them a rad and creative twist on them so it’s not a simple mimic and delivers a new tasty metal album for me to consume and enjoy. The Chosen Slain is awesome, melodic, black metal, warrior marching stuff and you’ll bang your fucking head no matter what. Horns up, drinks down yer throat and ALL HAIL ANCIENT WIND!
Pandemia is a Czech Republic death metal band that definitely gives off wild old school death metal groove, sadistic tone, raw tone and dark energy. Been around since the mid 90′s, the gang is back from a 6 year gap from their last album to give us this blazing album “At The Gates of Nihilism”. I wasn’t sure what to expect from these guys since this is my first album by them but I can proudly say that this was a definite headbanger, something I’ll enjoy gladly listen to multiple times.
‘id.’ is a hard to find band online but I somehow managed to get a promo from their PR (Asher Media). It’s still incredibly hard to find them online: no real online social media presence, nothing posted on YouTube and extremely poor to no results found on Google probably due to the software company iD, the makers of Wolfenstein and Doom. This is a shame because these guys have a decent sound, even though it may be derivative from other bands. Their progressive metal sound isn’t inventive and the production is hollow and lifeless. Still, if you wanted an Opeth/Gojira (From Mars to Sirius) writing sound with an indie styled production quality, then ‘id.’s new album is what you’ll need.
Recently, I was blown away by the upcoming release of an progressive doom/sludge release from a band called “Vod”. This album of unorthodox sounds and shapes is called “Tuurngait” and it’ll be the most mind bending album you’ll listen to this year. I was able to shoot some question’s off to Dave Tremblay, who is the mastermind and main writer/performer on ‘Tuurngait’, and he fired back with his answers. Stay tuned because after the interview Headbang or GTFO has the exclusive premiere for the song “Ikuma” from their new album ‘Tuurngait’.