Greetings from the enslaving digital zone! While my instagram and facebook feeds are continuously active, it seems like these mix-tapes are the only thing keeping this blogspace running. Time is a luxury these days, and I don’t have it for many reasons. I could be smart though, do youtube vids, podcasts and lash out whimsical opinions at a more frequent interval. Maybe at some point. Or I could just be disciplined, how hard can it actually be…? Aaaanyway, here’s some tracks that have stuck with me lately.

Usurpress – Ships Of Black Glass
Album: Interregnum
Label: Agonia Records

Seventies prog rock and death metal is an exhilarating mix. Usurpress have released one of the most interesting albums in 2018 thus far. This track has a phenomenal bridge, very Camel sounding, and moves across playful jazz drumming, towering dissonance and old school brutality. I think Mr. Åkerfeldt would’ve approve.

Drudkh – За зорею що стрілою сяє
Album: They Often See Dreams About The Spring
Label: Season Of Mist

Black metal can be infinitely effective when stripped of its pretentiousness and contrived audio and visual dogmas. It’s a very plain approach, Drudkh are letting the instruments mimic the poetic nature of the lyrical themes and the result is nothing less than stunning, like this track shows.

Sammal – Suuliekki
Album: Suuliekki
Label: Svart Records

There’s an outlandish prog scene in Finland. One of the band’s I’ve been enjoying a lot lately is Sammal. Their latest album “Suuliekki” transports you right back to the seventies, wrapped in a warm, organic sound complete with folk melodies and eccentric vocal arrangements, it’s very… cosy, for lack of a better word, as the title track demonstrates

The Crown – Cobra Speed Venom
Album: Cobra Speed Venom
Label: Metal Blade Records

Some are destined to just wreak havoc. The Crown are one such case.”Cobra Speed Venom” will probably go down as the ultimate statement for the band. Speed, aggression, melody, attitude… ready? Blastoff! This is a fun album to listen to, uncomplicated yet devastating. The title track destroys!

Oceans Of Slumber – No Color, No Light
Album: The Banished Heart
Label: Century Media Records

I don’t get the hype around this band. I can’t get behind that sterile drum sound either. Thirdly, the songwriting doesn’t impress me, there are a couple of good tracks, like the title track and the doom-laden “No Color, No Light” (featuring Tom Englund of Evergrey). The band’s material works… when they’re not doing their brand of progressive extreme metal.

Djevel – Det svartner paa likbleik hud
Album: Blant svarte graner
Label: Aftermath Music

If there’s any state of music inflation out there, you’d find it in Norway within its drenched masses of black metal bands. There are a few pestilential draped gems among the innumerable hordes, like Djevel, who are keeping things tidy with an upgraded sonic take on the old school. Aggression and atmosphere are masterfully balanced in this track.

Between The Buried And Me – Millions
Album: Automata I
Label: Sumerian Records

Progressive metal that isn’t too “proggy” (read instrumental wankery) yet has loads of ideas thrown around, is an arduous art to carry out. BTBAM are very adept in this very style on “Automata I”. Musicality, catchiness, experimentation and heaviness, that’s a lot to juggle and yet “Millions” sounds so flawless.

Death Alley – Headlights In The Dark
Album: Superbia
Label: Century Media Records

Picture an adventurous version of Imperial State Electric and you’ve got the sound of “Superbia”. I really enjoy the band’s mix of punk, rock and metal, great sound mix as well. People with any sense of taste, need to hear Death Alley’s latest album. Do it now, it’ll save me time used to pester you into doing so.

Godthrymm – Sacred Soil
Album: A Grand Reclamation
Label: Transcending Records

Shaun Taylor Steels and Hamish Glencross are two influential players in the UK doom scene. Both are now joined together in Godthrymm, a new band forging the classic sounds of Candlemass and vintage Paradise Lost. “Sacred Soil” features some crushing riffs and gloomy leads and a raw sound-mix, trve to the old school!

Demonical – Torture Parade
Album: Chaos Manifesto
Label: Agonia Records

Total jåvla swedeath! Nothing is ever a revelation with Demonical. Then again, they’re among the best executioners of this powerful sound. Brutal and catchy, “Torture Parade” fires molten riffs, furious paces and robust death growling, classic trademarks at work. Death to all but death metal!

Rivers Of Nihil – Death Is Real
Album: Where Owls Know My Name
Label: Metal Blade Records

The biggest surprise of 2018 thus far. It’s been a long time since an extreme metal album crept under my skin. It’s like hearing Ihsahn’s eccentric stylings combined with tech death metal without overdoing the tech part… and there are saxophones! “Death Is Real” might not be the most progressive track on the album, which says a lot.



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