Five For Friday: April 23, 2021

Greetings, Decibel readers!

We’ve got some catching up to do over here. While there’s definitely a lot of good stuff coming out today, there are just some records I need to make sure are on your list. Sure, most of you will know about the new Cannibal Corpse, but that doesn’t mean we can’t boost the death metal titans’ new album one more time! Along with them you’ve got some solid death-thrash, the swan song of Lake Bodom, and my two favorite albums of the year so far (scroll to the last two).

So, enjoy!

Bodom After Midnight – Paint the Sky With Blood

From our review of Paint the Sky With Blood:

“Unsurprisingly, the two original songs here, “Paint the Sky With Blood” and “Payback’s a Bitch,” could well have fit onto any past COB album. The new rhythm section, ex-Santa Cruz bassist Mitja Toivonen and Paradise Lost drummer Waltteri Väyrynen, keep up the high-tempo pace of these final two Laiho compositions. The keyboards are not as prominent as on some past COB albums, but still get locked down onto the guitars at key moments, repeating one of their most distinctive quirks. Laiho’s guitar playing is more fluid than technically flamboyant here, but that is also true of much of his past work. To end his career with these two songs is neither a disgrace nor a high point; Bodom fans will surely appreciate them as the bonus that they are, and rue the lack of further Laiho compositions.”

RIP Alexi Laiho.

Stream: Apple Music

Cannibal Corpse – Violence Unimagined

From our review of Violence Unimagined:

“The overall richness of this release is stunning, be it the staircasing whorl of “Slowly Sawn,” the weird spatial patterns of what should’ve been the album closer, “Overtorture,” the thematic red herring of “Follow the Blood” or the fact that the latter’s lead at 3:03 evokes—against all fucking odds—Crimson Glory’s Transcendence. “

Stream: Apple Music

The Crown – Royal Destroyer

From our resident African Grey’s commentary on Royal Destroyer:

“So, here’s the deal, with a healthy dose of doom, hardcore punk, but this is a death/thrash record, and not a bad one at all. There are some weird moments, but all in all it’s basically what the Crown are known for. The production is good here, a little polished, but hey, that’s them. “

Stream: Apple Music

Këkht Aräkh – Pale Swordsman

At the end of 2019, on the eve of our pandemic-era nightmare, this solo Ukrainian project put out the brilliant Night & Love. A raw black metal opus, the album mixed its pure devotion to rawness and riffs with a curious penchant for sad and romantic poetry almost bordering on goth or emo. On his latest album, Pale Swordsman, the Crying Orc picks up where he left off, but plucks some of the extraneous pedals from the rose to make for a truly fantastic piece of black metal art. One of the best black metal albums of the year, by far.

Stream: Apple Music

Paysage d’Hiver – Geister

This one belongs in that category as well. Wintherr is a generous man, gifting us a compendium of long, atmospheric masterworks last year with Im Wald, and then immediately following it up with this. Geister is the perfect follow up in that it trades length for brevity, grandeur for aggression, largess for punch, and lots of indecipherable screaming at the beginning of every song. You can’t keep the wanderer down.

Stream: Apple Music