I hope this deluge of incredible albums never ends and we all just get washed away in a sea of amazing art and persistent creativity instead of whatever nonsense and horror is typically waiting for us around the bend. Here’s my best choices to help that swell occur:
Fucking nasty as all get out Iowan black metal. The filth on this is amazing.
Isotope – Isotope
So all about crust and anything crust infused. Isotope approach their crust through a sleazy rock n roll vibe that is pure drive and aggression and it’s all the fucking awesome.
Polynove – On the Edge of the Abyss
I tend to be weary of anything approaching symphonic goth metal territory and even I have my cheese limits but Polynove take the operatic style Nightwish/Epica vocals and make it work with a more melodic, death metal, doom sort of style. It still has a healthy dose of lactose but enough less than say Nightwish to make me dig this. Plus some of these riffs are fucking stellar and the rest is pretty damn fun. Don’t be so fucking serious all the time.
Naturalistic and raw Swedish black metal. Simple yet moody and massively emotional, the semi low-fi quality sets and ominous presence, something Murg has always reveled it. Damn good.
This is the debut album from the fictional characters based on the hilarious and poignant comic strip of the same name. Now the comic does an excellent job of pulling back the curtain on extreme metal on it’s own and I’ve never really thought the band that is featured in the comic needed to actually musically exist but all that aside, it’s a decent album. It’s produced by Dan Swano so naturally it sounds incredible and the music is fun if not ripe with the “heard this before” sort of polished, studio friendly black metal. It’s better than it has any right to be existing as pretty much a punchline to a comic strip gag but it’s got a lot of reverence for classic black metal and is enough to make you nod your head for an hour.
Beautiful, mournful, melodic, atmospheric doom/death metal that lived up to all the hype (self imposed) from their debut EP. Perfect for this gloomy spring weather.
Ridiculously infectious crossover thrash that reinvents the idea of punk/metal hybrid, infusing the wild mashup with a biting and ludicrously hilarious attitude. This shit fucking rules all over.
A collaboration between dreamscape folky singer Marissa Nadler and eccentric metal adjacent Stephen Brodsky of Mutoid Man seems like an odd clashing of divergent styles but the end result is something of great beauty and creativity. These two work amazingly well with each other, musically, on something that leans more towards Nadler’s strengths but with slight Americana and dark folk tinge provided by Brodsky’s guitar work. The point is, this is something creative and fresh being made by two exceptional musicians and we need much more of this energy.
This mish mash of Icelandic and German metal players has produced some epically expansive and beautifully bleak black metal albums and the fucking five year wait since Aldafǫðr ok munka dróttinn seems to have only sharpened their skills. Pagan oriented atmospherics abound with tons of low, bass heavy chanting vocals set agains grand, sweeping black metal of magnificent emotional structure could pretty much sum up the band in general but they go all in on all those ideas on this album. True to form the album is a bit long, an hour and ten minutes, which is actually a bit short for them but every second is worth hearing. Fucking killer band.
Bad Religion – The Age of Unreason