Five For Friday: April 17, 2020

Get ready, Decibel readers, this week’s selection is STACKED.

We’ve got some symphonic black metal, some weird black metal, a reliably awesome big name, and some pure pounding rage on top of it all. A lot of us in the states are going on more than a month of quarantine, and it’s clear that regularly doses of sonic insanity are keeping at least a few of us sane.

Oh, by the way, to the tri-state-area contingent: if you’re looking for a venue to help out in these tough times, consider donating to The Kingsland. It’s one of the best places for shows in the entire northeast, hosting an impressive variety of metal and hardcore acts. It has great prices, and really good pizza. So, give it some thought.

Stay safe, stay metal, and enjoy and support the bands below!

Argesk – Realm of Eternal Night

Argesk’s album is a grab-bag of symphonic black metal goodies: excellent melodic riffs, soaring synths and absolutely savage vocals. Matt IH goes for a varied vocal approach that alternates between screams, gutturals and spooky mid-range gurgling. And those gutturals are no joke, I’ve seen him do it in person. And this album is no joke either. This is seriously good black metal.

Azath – Through a Warren of Shadow

Yes! Yes! YES! Trust me, you’ll want what I’m having with this album. When I think “How should pure death metal sound?” — I think of something like Azath’s pummeling and brutal blend of Incantation, Bolt Thrower, Morbid Angel and various blackened-death influences, all woven together into a tapestry of fire and barbarity. Very cool thematic choice here as well with Steven Erikson’s Malazan Book of the Fallen series. This might just be the death metal album to beat in 2020.

The Black Dahlia Murder – Verminous

Along with death and taxes, you can always rely on The Black Dahlia Murder to produce quality death metal. On Verminous, the band continues doing what they’ve done since Nocturnal: take their signature sound and find new ways to flex their stylistic muscles. It’s a smart way to stay true to their forming ideals while also keeping their community of fans loyal and coming back from more. You’ll want several servings of this one.

Stream: Apple Music

Oranssi Pazuzu – Mestarin Kynsi

But for those of you who like their metal to explore, transcend and get weird: get excited. Finland’s reigning weirdos are back with a new album. Check out the video below that I suppose is a critique of … poorly executed urban development? You be the judge.

Stream: Apple Music

Ripped to Shreds – 亂 (Luan)

True speed, true darkness, true grit: the new Ripped to Shreds touches your metal soul in all the nasty places. Although the guitars and vocals are the big highlights here, pay special attention to the drums as well. Those Celtic Frost-esque beats are what really tie this killing machine together.

Stream: Apple Music