Five For Friday: July 9, 2021

Greetings, Decibel readers, we’ve got a fantastic roundup of records for you today.

The last few weeks have seen a set of releases from some of the best bands in the world, so we had to take the time to make sure you took them for a spin. These include Norwegian titans Darkthrone and Mayhem, along with the latest from the resurrected At the Gates. But we’re not just here to reinforce the popularity of well-known acts. Be sure to give a listen to Felled and Funeral Chasm as well, two great bands making mighty strides in their respective fields.


At the Gates – The Nightmare of Being

The latest from the Gothenburg masters resides in the same territory as their previous post-reunion records: atmospheric, heavily layered melancholy. However, there’s a definite turn back to where At War With Reality left off, that being a well-produced and slightly more progressive and plodding variation on Terminal Spirit Disease. I say this because it still boasts a full, slick production (perhaps a little too much), but has more memorable moments of palm-muted punch that make songs stand out more than the hazy mess of To Drink From the Night Itself. This allows songs like “The Paradox” and “The Abstract Enthroned” to stand out against more progressive explorers like “Garden of Cyrus” and “The Fall Into Time.” It’s the sound of a band experimenting and testing the limits of their second incarnation, as much as With Fear I Kiss The Burning Darkness did with their first.

Stream: Apple Music

Darkthrone – Eternal Hails……

Speaking of new incarnations, the latest from Darkthrone shows the band reach the next stage of evolution. Eternal Hails…… plays like a combined tribute to ’70s progressive rock, doom, NWOBHM, and classic American heavy metal if it was performed by Celtic Frost. The result is a fist-pumping delight of excellent riffs, pounding beats and those mid-ranged throaty vocals we’ve come to love in this stage of Darkthrone’s reign. Darkthrone’s artistic legacy is unimpeachable at this point, but the band’s post-Sardonic Wrath output hasn’t been even in its quality or memorability, even if every album is fun and worth spinning in its own way. This latest entry belongs squarely in the top portion of that output. I still can’t get over how awesome the guitars are on “Hate Cloak.” Brilliant.

Stream: Apple Music

Felled – The Intimate Earth

If you ever wanted to hear what My Dying Bride would sound like if they made folk-infused atmospheric black metal, this band would definitely satisfy your curiosity. And there’s no gimmick to what Felled does here, the over-the-top aspect of the string instruments and clean vocals provide real feeling and drama to the music. Imaginative and thought-provoking stuff.

Stream: Apple Music

Funeral Chasm – Omniveral Existence

Sometimes a band picks a name that perfectly sums up what they’re about. You know what the deal is here, it’s dark, mournful funeral doom. The Evoken-worship is strong with these guys. You’ll never hear me complain about that.

Mayhem – Atavistic Black Disorder / Kommando

Nothing wrong with a nice little bonus to an excellent album. Daemon is the best album of Mayhem‘s post-DMDS portfolio, and this EP contains some extra material from those sessions, along with a new track, “Voces ab Alta,” and a few covers. And hey, Discharge approves of their cover, so they must be doing something right!

Stream: Apple Music