This month’s short reviews come a little later in the month than usual, but that’s because so many records I wanted to cover ended up getting full reviews instead; sometimes, that’s just how it goes. That shouldn’t be seen as any kind of slight on these records, though. The Last Martyr‘s modern metal aims for the highest stars; whilst Moloch and Groakwill drag you down to the gutter. Wallowing may tell sci-fi tales, but their music is still very much of this earth; and Death by Fungi offer up some of the finest hardcore to be found not just in India, but anywhere. Finally, Wreck and Reference do what Wreck and Reference do – switch styles, experiment, and offer up something emotionally devastating. Enjoy!
This edition of short reviews take in some very interesting stuff, including one of my favourite releases of the year (which is it? Read on to find out!). It also features a split that, though I find it flawed musically, I can’t help but want to emphasise how much I love it for what it tries to do, and how important it will be to some people. There’s a real mix of the underground and bigger names, with three of the six releases being put out without label support.
So, this month, we have melodic punk; crusty powerviolence; not-actually-war-metal; noise rock; thrash/heavy metal; goth-laced metal that all-but resurrects the spirit of Sister; and blissful blackgaze. Enjoy!
Five days, five… well, actually four records and one song (but what a song!), this week took in grinding powerviolence; atmospheric folk/black metal; forward-thinking, technical black/death metal; and the return of heavy metal legends. Enjoy!
Label: The Sign Records
You know the old saying about not judging a book by its cover? Let’s apply that to the new album by Spanish hard-rock/heavy metal band Lizzies. On Thin Ice might have some of the worst cover art I’ve seen this side of Goatlord, but, as anyone who heard first album Good Luck would surely expect, it contains some of the most kick-ass proto-metal to be released this year (and yes, I’m including the Saxon reissues in that list). Lizzies might be a relatively young band, but they understand all that is good about heavy metal – the riffs, the vocal hooks, the melodies; but more than all of that is the way that Lizzies make the listener feel like they’re on top of the world, with On Thin Ice being a massively empowering and confidence-boosting album.
If last week was a week largely defined by death metal, then this past week was one of hardcore, with some classic metal thrown in to the mix. Enjoy!
Label: AOP Records
Blues for a Dying Planet is an album for those who like their metal to remember where it came from. The debut album from Spiral Skies is rooted in the sounds of yesterday, but manages to take its classic influences – with early metal being a prime part of that, but also folk and blues featuring prominently – and create occult rock that sounds exciting, invigorating these old sounds with new lifesblood. It’s a hugely enjoyable record, packed full of catchy hooks, strong melodies, and incredibly charismatic vocals.
Label: I, Voidhanger Records
That The Crowning Quietus didn’t make my 2017 top five can only be explained by how late in the year I came to the album. Since encountering it towards the end of last year, the latest album from Inconcessus Lux Lucis has been one of my most listened-to albums, with its fearlessly creative take on black-thrash being a constant delight. The initial rush of energy has never worn off, and the progressive aspects of the album find new ways to impress me. It’s one of the best black metal albums of recent times, and deserves to be huge.