When you first look upon the album art, you have a feeling that this could be good. Labeled as ‘extreme death metal’ (a genre that is already pretty extreme), Veld releases this new album called “Daemonic: The Art of Dantalian.” With eager ears I dove straight into this album and my ears, nor this album, deceived me. What a collossal release!!!! Blending the things that we love from Hour of Penance, Hideous Divinity, Behemoth and Nile: VELD comes in and completely devastated me with their sound and amazing speeds. Featuring some tactics and talent I’ve been waiting for a long long time now, Veld delivers what may be the heaviest death metal album of the year.
The Ragnarok Prophecy’s new album “Makeria” is the first of a multiple album concept story, with each song further laying out the history and setting of this land. One thing for sure, is that this band can create this civilization with big metal riffs, digital drumming and raw vocal usage. The energy and delivery isn’t fully death metal, but it’s packing a punch that dm can give. There are a lot of melodies and different inspired passages on this album that’ll grab your attention while listening to ‘Makeria’, some of those being classically inspired or just a hands down heavy metal ass kicking. The Ragnarok Prophecy has a big time sound and it’s an easy album to enjoy.
Beyond Dishonor is a metalcore act (Even though I think they are more along the lines of a edgy/aggressive hardcore act sort of like The Tony Danza Tapdance Extravaganza) from New Jersey and I’ve known about these guys for awhile now due to quite a bit of Facebook circulation and things I’ve seen from the scene up there. This Generation EP is my first true listen to the band with critical ears and I must say….these guys know how to create some body moving music. The use of groove, breakdowns and overall high energy atmosphere makes this EP fun to listen to.
Well here we are AGAIN! Since I’ve become a fan of Sviatibor (it’s been a year now) I’ve heard 3 crushingly brilliant atmospheric black metal releases since then. I am happy to report that Dans La Splendeur Des Dieux (In Splendor Gods) is indeed the 4th one now that truly creates riveting dark atmosphere all while conjuring up big time guitar riffs and scathing black metal vocals. Thomas Hornstein once again gives me another album that I can turn on and get lost in, this time though he brings out some elements of experimentation that works well with his ultra brooding and dark sound.
Wilderun returns with a funded sophomore album that has their majestic song writing that could be found on the first album, “Olden Tales & Deathly Trails”, with some added death vocals, atmospheric/symphonic sections, expansive progressive guitar riffing and folk melodies all blended together. Sleep at the Edge of the Earth is no let down as they show off nothing but top tiered musicianship and songs that are captivating on all fronts.
Battlemaster‘s “Battlehungry and Swordsworn” combines thrash tempos, deathly riffing and blackened vocals to give us an unholy sound of fierce metal. A crushing effort that focuses on speed and loud guitars. 7 out of 10
Dark Charybdis‘ new self titled EP is a crushing release that can swing from brutal death metal to deathcore. Focuses on speed, tone and brutality to deliver their ultra heavy sound. 7.8 out of 10
Jason Yorke is the mastermind and sole member of the band Eternal Valley, an amazing atmospheric black metal act who is consistently pumping out grand scale stuff for us all to consume. Last year, we were graced with a full length and then an EP, which made me an instant fan of his work and I couldn’t wait for his new stuff. Recently, Eternal Valley released an album “Ascend to the Unknown” and it’s another fine example of expansive music that creates monolithic atmosphere while giving us raw black metal at the same time.
Try to pronounce that: “Hjørungavågr”. Unless you are a Viking mythology master or from Iceland, you’re more than likely not going to know how to pronounce it. Regardless, Utstøtt’s epic viking metal will make you feel like you are already wearing battle gear and strapped with a sword and shield. Hjørungavågr is the follow up to 2013′s EP “Legender Odin” and that release blew me away and I listened to it over and over. The free release was new to me at the time, as I was not used to free music via Bandcamp quite yet and then I was lucky enough to obtain the cassette, which earned even more play time since my truck had a tape deck in it. Themed around the Norse naval battle of Hjørungavågr, the album follows the battle up to a pagan warrior’s death, followed by his journey through Freyja’s realm of Folkvangr. Thus giving us the plot, lore and music of the album and it’s a mighty big journey of music.
Uli Jon Roth’s is the guitarist for the Scorpions and he re-records Scorpion songs in a new vision on “Scorpions Revisited”. It’s an okay listen but rough to get through as it’s just plain. The songs can be big and the music is good but it’s just boring after awhile. 19 songs is a little much. 6.5 out of 10
Occultist Blackened Death Metal at it’s best here: Black Flame delivers fiery music that leaves everything smoldering and covered in ash. These Italian bastards want to watch everything burn and their music portrays their hatred and energy very well. Black Flame’s sound isn’t groundbreaking but it’s a testament stating how black metal doesn’t need to always be atmospheric or epic to be good. Like Marduk’s latest album, you’ll be headbanging and air riffing along with the music while you jam Black Flame’s new album.