I don’t know how I’ve managed to produce this mixtape feature. I should be paying attention to university exams swirling around my life, but I guess you just can’t tame passion. So far so good I guess. I haven’t found the reason yet, but there’s some excellent Polish stuff featured this time, which I’ve been listening a lot to the past month. Striking metalcore and avantgarde music from Iceland are also featured. You’re guaranteed diversity! Risk an ear to the latest EMV mixtape, then blame your inferior taste music afterwards!
Nailed To Obscurity – Devoid
Album: King Delusion
Melanholic metal worship. Some serious nineties era Katatonia vibes at work on this album. Whether that’s criticism or a compliment, depends on your stance on bands sounding similar and if that’s allowed at all *stern smile*! Nailed To Obscurity came as a postitive surprise through a friend. I enjoy this album, especially the weeping leadguitars that pop up throughout the album, I’m a sucker for melancholy. It’s the nectar of life.
Mord’A’Stigmata – Hope
To categorize Mord’A’Stigmata within the confinements of black metal would be a conservative and weak statement. They’re far too adventurous and progressive for that. There’s still a bit of black metal left on “Hope”, but the musicianship, elaborate songwriting and classy sound world, altogether is a far cry from much of the dominating narrative of black metal in recent times. A memorable release of 2017 no doubt.
Vader – Wings
I’m sold on the occasional “going old school” maneuver! Every now and then I need that uncompromising declaration. Vader, the flagship of polish death metal, live for death metal. In black and white that sounds pretty absurd, but with so many great albums out and shooting riff after riff, the band is a sure thing. I love the “Litany” album for that uncompromising spirit. There’s so much badass attitude on this album. They can do pretty much whatever they want, just listen to the disappearing snare drums on “Wings”.
Mastodon – Steambreather
Album: Emperor Of Sand
Mastodon, touted as the next big band, to reach similar status as Sabbath, Maiden and Purple. To me, it’s just four guys sharing a musical heart. Every time the band releases an album, I’ll lock unto it. The blend of catchiness, technicality and immense riffage creates absolute satisfaction. I love it that Brann is singing more and more, and the concept has the same champion stature as any classic seventies prog album.
Vampire – Ghoul Wind
Album: With Primeval Force
This is so fucking good! Blackened thrash with heavy metal thunder added and twin guitars aplenty. Swedish and German influences coming together forming a little musical rascal bent for trouble. Think Dissection and Sodom going apeshit. There’s been loads of blackened thrash lately, but it’s much rarer to find the scandinavian melodicism incorporated into the style.
Bereft – We Wept
The despondent and super heavy atmosphere of Bereft’s second album has etched itself into my head. It feels like a lost Mindrot album mixed with the recent doom/death rejuvenation of Paradise Lost. Now that’s not a bad way to sound, especially if you’re a doom metal fanatic. There are some fast and brutal parts as well, plus the vocal work is killer. The elegiac strides of album opener “We Wept” confirms all superlative adjectives above.
Furia – Wodzenie
Album: Marzannie, Królowej Polski
For the undeground fiends, here’s something a bit more obscure. Don’t worry, it’s from Poland and deals with black metal. Furia has seen the same development as fellow countrymen Mord’A’Stigmata, becoming more complex and explorative with recent albums. The band’s 2012 album, “Marzannie, Królowej Polski”, shows a more primitive yet refined sound with unorthodox song structures and dashes of post metal sounds. There’s some Norwegian influences as well, but there’s that distinct, superior Polish execution.
Dynfari – Sorgarefni segi eg Þér
Album: The Four Doors Of The Mind
Now for some Icelandic stuff. I read about the concept of this album and was immediately drawn towards it. Very interesting stuff, especially when you’re studying sociology yourself. This is not your typical Icelandic black metal. It’s a very avantgarde album, that’s largely instrumental with interludes, narrations and gentle acoustic guitars. It’s not very catchy at all, the album is not trying be catchy by any means, it demands something of the listener. Fairly unique release.
Overkill – Red White And Blue
Album: The Grinding Wheel
Overkill, the bad boys of thrash. Never registered with this band, but the buzz around “The Grinding Wheel” won my curiosity. For a thrash album that’s one hour long, I guess the old saying “more is more” fits well with these veterans of thrash metal. There’s enough groove, growling bass lines and the vocal pizzazz that only Mr. Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth is capable of producing. “Red White and Blue” is perhaps the single song off the album that’s unmistakably full on thrash metal.
Vallenfyre – Odious Bliss
I know there’s a new Vallenfyre album out, and I will get to it, believe me. Still, “Splinters” was a much needed album in 2014. Gregor McIntosh of Paradise Lost, exercises his grisly death/doom brutality and crust loudness on this beast of an album, coupled with trademark lead guitars adding a devastating bleakness into the mix. His voice is quite competent too, growling like a pierced leviathan. “Odious Bliss” is a strong track of many, combining slow and mid-paced tempos, gruesome brutality and Kerry King Inc. solos. Notice the Entombed homage in the middle (for the uninitiated, it’s a short lead lick).
Darkest Hour – This Is The Truth
Album: Godless Prophets And The Migrant Flora
I can’t remember the last time I heard a good metalcore album. Most defintely, it’s because of my lack of trying to listen to the style. Darkest Hour’s latest album has an intensity which I appreciate, the aggression is relentless, giving the ears a good thrashing. Catchy melodies, guitar shredding and moments of epicness are sprinkled throughout the album. Apart from the monotonous screamo vokills, this is a solid work of modern metal music. The aggression levels reach deadly levels on the track “This Is The Truth”.
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