Welcome to another edition of EMV Audiofeast Aftermath! This is the forum where I round up the releases of the past month via a selected playlist. Plenty of extreme metal flavours guaranteed. For March’s audiofeast I’ve selected thirteen tracks and ten of them originate from Scandinavian countries. Just shows where my focus is at. You can follow me on Spotify (extrememetalvoyager) and stay updated on what’s circling the ears of the Extreme Metal Voyager. So without further ado, let us get started!
Beseech’s first full-length album in a decade was a pleasant listening experience. A re-entry after a longer hiatus is always tricky. There’s loads of expectations coming from both yourself as an artist and the longing audience that wished you never left in the first place. A collection of smooth and seductive gothic rock songs, musically somewhere between mid era Paradise Lost and Lacuna Coil. “Mr. Uninvited” is but one of many catchy choruses off “My Darkness, Darkness”.
Australia’s Inverloch have quite simply put out a monster of an album. Crushingly heavy with piercing mournfulness, the five tracks on “Distance / Collapsed” feel like a streamlined exercise of Disembowelment’s monumental pastimes but clearly aims to be a dark, unsettling experience. “Cataclysm Of Lacuna” is the outro track, trudging with solemn lead melodies and funeral riffs able to devour time itself.
Enough already! You might think that the resurgence of Swedish death metal has come to a point of implosion. Think again. Gothenburg’s Miasmal have shown on their recent album “Tides Of Omniscience” that this type of music still can have some edge to it. While there’s no denying the classic inspirations, the songwriting attempts many different routes. “The Pilgrimage”, I think, really gives off the full spectrum of what these guys are up to.
File under “surprise of 2016”. Obsidian Kingdom basically came out of nowhere and possessed this author’s heart from the very first track. This might be a bit of an oddball musically at first to many people, and while there’s not that much metal going on there’s an abundance of exceptional progressive songwriting tied with some heavier moments here and there. This is a special journey that needs to be experienced as a whole. Recommended!
Sarke’s “Bogefod” ended up being way better than I originally had anticipated. It shies away from the obvious black metal sounds and instead applies a deceivingly progressive approach to the individual songs and the lyrical concept that is dealt with. Love it that the album is just over thirty minutes long but feels like it’s much longer, and I mean that in a good way. Nocturno Culto owns!
The “Skuggsjá” album has the potential to transcend whatever it wants! Such a strong statement, a colossal body of musical art and it comes in just the right timing; at a time when the world is in a completely tumultuous state and human values are questionable at best. Immeasurable respect towards Einar Selvik and Ivar Bjørnson for taking me on this trip through innovative neofolk and black metal soundscapes.
A band that stayed fresh through two releases, much neglected by the masses, disappeared for a decade, returned again in 2013 and continued to blaze their own trail. Convulse’s fourth full-length album, while still death metal at its core, reeks of advanced musicianship inspired by both progressive and jazz influences. Playful and old school while giving the middle finger to the spotlight.
Norwegian death metal. Not something you hear too often and for quite obvious reasons, since the style really didn’t flourish in the same way it did in the U.S. and Sweden. “Violator” is another addition to the steady pile of proof that death metal from Norway has a face-melting intensity regarding riffs and overall song structure while also serving darker, reflective moods. Killer release!
Another Norwegian band that has adapted death metal into a black metal songwriting basis. “Psychopathology” rips and tears through nearly fifty minutes leaving little to no room for beautifying artistic pauses. This is a beast of an album and has that misanthropic black metal aura around it. I think the death metal influences are very useful in giving the already aggressive nature of the music a weighty viciousness. A nicely balanced album.
The “vikings” in Amon Amarth have been a longtime music companion of mine. I’ve made my opinion on their recent releases pretty clear. The same goes for “Jomsviking”. I can’t really get into the more traditional metal approach and comparatively elegant sound production. No matter how perplexed I may be about the band’s profile nowadays, thankfully the trend of having a couple of cool tracks doesn’t seem to go away, “One Thousand Burning Arrows” is one of them.
Carrying the flame of Bathory in most of their albums, it was only a matter of time before Ereb Altor started to work on a Quorthon tribute album. “Blot – Ilt – Taut” improves upon the audio sonics of some of extreme metal’s most significant tracks, “Twilight Of The Gods”, “A Fine Day To Die” and “Blood Fire Death” being prime examples. A beautiful remembrance to a timeless national legacy.
The general rule is: if the band is unsigned, check them out! I’m glad I stumbled on King Goat. The band’s debut album features some great doom metal with progressive sounds and spacious psychedelia all wonderfully woven together into a interesting sound. These guys need to be brought to the centre of attention as soon as possible. Recommended!
A last minute entry comes in the form of Gloria Morti from Finland. “Kuebiko” somehow fell under my radar but since feasting on the album I’ve gotten a lot out of it. Musically, this has some parallels with fellow countrymen Sotajumala, the main difference is that Gloria Morti works with wider atmospherics and subtle dissonances. Another great death metal album and a band that deserves more recognition than they’re getting.
This has been an EMV publication on extreme metal music. Hopefully, you’ll get something out of it. As always, if you want to skip my descriptive powers, check out the full assembled playlist below. Feel free to write me comments below or message me on Facebook if you’ve got some feedback. I’ll be back in May with another EMV Audiofeast feature!
EMV playlist – Audiofeast March 2016
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