Five For Friday: February 18, 2022

Greetings, Decibel readers!

This is a great week for death metal fans. We’ve got new releases from the eminently reliable legends in Amorphis and Immolation, along with a set of promising newcomers from all across the musical graveyard. Speaking for myself, the first three albums on this list are solid early entries on my best of 2022 list, and I don’t say that lightly!

Check it out!

Amorphis – Halo

At this point in the band’s life, Amorphis has accomplished the ultimate feat for a legacy act. Their sound is well-established and recognizable, and each new release is a further exercise in honing and perfecting the model. In other words, you know what you’re in for here: lots of riffs, great melodies, bright production, plenty of hooks, and still some harsh vocals to remind you of the band’s origins.

Stream: Apple Music

Cryptic Hatred – Nocturnal Sickness

From a Finnish legend we move to a Finnish newcomer with this crushing quartet. Cryptic Hatred brings everything a fan of death metal could want, from the guitar work, to the songwriting, to the atmosphere. Pulling it all together is Tatu Saves’ blistering drum parts, guiding you through the graveyard and into the burning pits of hell itself. I also love how the band brilliantly weaves slower parts between the blazing speed-runs, as it does a lot to keep the listener curious and wanting more. Play this loud.

Stream: Apple Music

Immolation – Acts of God

With an album cover that immediately invokes the legacy of 1991’s Dawn of Possession, Immolation catapults us into the fires of the 2020s. Acts of God follows a similar trajectory as previous Immolation albums, but with perhaps the best production the band has ever had. This may be a personal quibble of mine, but Immolation has such a singular style, that it’s hard to capture what they do live into a perfect studio product, with each release seemingly missing something. Call it an act of God, but everything just comes together so beautifully on this release that these veterans have created the death metal album to beat in 2022. It’s not going to be easy.

Stream: Apple Music

Lunar Blood – Twilight Insurgency

“Yes, I see you ordered some HM-2-style death metal with the crust influence. Do you want the crust on top, or on the side?” If you like the dust being kicked up by Genocide Pact and Jarhead Fertilizer, you’ll dig this.

Schizophrenia – Recollections of the Insane

Cool death-thrash from Belgium. If you’ve been yearning for a modern take on Arise-era Sepultura with some modern death-metal dynamics thrown in, this is the band carrying your banner.

Stream: Apple Music