Five For Friday: April 24, 2020

Greetings, dear readers! Suit up for another week’s worth of fantastic metal releases to get you through these quiet, desolate hours in quarantine.

This week you’ll find proper raw black metal, proper dark death metal, proper trad metal, proper dissonant death metal, and whatever it is that Katatonia’s up to nowadays.

Äkth Gánahëth – Crowned in Shadows

If you’re a certain kind of pain in the neck, you think that the best black metal sounds like this slab of raw, synth-laden darkness. Well, not to worry, because you’d be correct. This rules. Apparently Death Kvlt Productions has a vinyl release in the works for this as well.

Black Curse – Endless Wound

Sometimes a supergroup side project totally supersedes the sterling reputation of the members’ home bands. Don’t get me wrong, Blood Incantation, Spectral Voice, Khemmis and Primitive Man are all important forces in the legion of modern metal. But yo. YO! This is some seriously dark and destructive stuff. Experimenting is cool and all, but at it’s core, death metal should be dark, obnoxious and upsetting in all the right ways.

Cirith Ungol – Forever Black

Take notes, kids, this is trad-metal done exactly right. After all, it comes from an actual classic heavy metal outfit formed in the primordial cauldron of the 1970s. A comeback attempt is always risky, depending on how well the band members have aged. Never mind aging gracefully, these dudes are aging with glory!

Stream: Apple Music

Katatonia – City Burials

The gods of gloom return. City Burials sees the band shifting their sound after, lets be honest, a long plateau in the output. Since 2006’s The Great Cold Distance, Katatonia’s style has been fairly solid and predictable, their death-black and death-doom days long past, and the moody twists of the early clean-vocal albums ironed into straightforward melancholy. But City Burials has a conspicuous electronic element, and at times a more upbeat vibe that almost recalls peak-era Bush (yea, I said it, and I’m here for it!).

Stream: Apple Music

Ulcerate – Stare Into Death and Be Still

Darlings of the enveloping and all-consuming storm of dissonant death metal, Ulcerate is back with the follow-up to 2016’s Shrines of Paralysis. Riffs and drums fly at you so fast, that you’re instantly purged into a smoky darkness that bears down on you. If experimental brutality is your deal and you haven’t started worshiping these guys yet, now is a good time to start.

Stream: Apple Music

Author’s note: This post originally stated that Bandcamp was waiving its revenue share today. It is in fact doing so on May 1, not today. The author regrets this error.