Five For Friday: May 29, 2020

Greetings, friends.

Lots of fun, epic stuff in store for heavy listeners this week. Why fun and epic? Well there’s lots of big riffs and unironic bombast to be found here. I’m usually not one for anything too many degrees close to power metal, but if you can take soaring vocals and make them infectious without being too silly, you’ll always get my support. And if you find a way to bring black and/or death metal elements into the mix as well: even better!

Perhaps the word “fun” won’t resonate with a lot of people right now. We’re not really in a fun time. I know it’s rough out there for a lot of people right now. Maybe some of the music below can serve as an escape, or perhaps a meaningful catharsis for those who need it.

Astralborne – Eternity’s End

If you wish Amon Amarth did their dance with some more chaos and grit (like on their first album), you’ll be down with Astralborne. On the other hand, if you really, really, really miss original-logo-era In Flames (Lunar Strain, Subterranean, and The Jester Race), the jams displayed here might fill that void in your soul. This Ohio outfit put out Eternity’s End on their own late last year, but are now re-releasing it with the support of Prosthetic Records.

Stream: Apple Music

Atavistia – The Winter Way

Like I said, this normally isn’t my thing. But these guys take their epic vision and fire it into the sky like a brilliant fireworks display. Apparently this band caught some hate on their first album for veering a little too close to Wintersun’s sound, but as I’ve never listened to said band, I really don’t care lol. Everything comes together so well here and the band shifts from one mood to another so seamlessly that I’m content to boost them just for being great architects.

Stream: Apple Music

Evoker – Evil Torment

This is one of those times when you can judge a book by its cover. You know what you’re getting yourself into here. Old-school death metal, with a touch of ripping and barbaric black metal (hints of crude thrash smuggled in there as well). If you like your music dirty and evil, go on and lock yourself into that sarcophagus and go nuts.

Sorcerer – Lamenting of the Innocent

Featuring veterans from bands like Therion and Tiamat, Sorcerer actually got started back in the late-80s, but much of its material wallowed in obscurity until the band reformed in 2010. The band exudes a doomy energy that skims the surface of power metal without going far enough to lose its core sound, one that harkens back to masters like Candlemass and Trouble.

Stream: Apple Music

Xibalba – Anos En Infierno

But enough of all of that. Throw your drinks down. Push your respectable friends out of the way. Open this pit up. Xibalba (the hardcore one) is back with another deep, devastating and destructive explosion of deathy hardcore. When I think of shows I want to come back to when this horrible time is all over, I think of bands like this. This music was made for negative thinking and negative vibes. Thank goodness.

Stream: Apple Music