Five For Friday: March 25, 2022

Greetings, Decibel readers!

It’s an exciting week for new releases, with some big names stacked up: Abbath, Desolate Shrine, Falls of Rauros. It’s one of those weeks that starts to shape people’s end-of-year lists early on. Abbath’s Dread Reaver will be in the running for “most fun” album, Falls of Rauros competing for best atmospheric black metal, and Astral Tomb probably occupying a strange category all their own.

But the point of art is immersion and enjoyment, not analysis paralysis. So with that, enjoy the music!

Abbath – Dread Reaver

In his post-Immortal days, Abbath has managed the ultimate artistic feat for someone in his position. He’s maintained a clear stylistic link with his past — his gravely voice is still there, and the guitar tone is basically unchanged from Sons of Northern Darkness — while forging his own hard-rocking future. Three albums in, Abbath is playing for keeps, and winnings are all for the fans.

Stream: Apple Music

Astral Tomb – Soulgazer

Brutal. Weird. Bizarre. But still brutal. Astral Tomb doesn’t quite sound like anyone else, though there’s clear influences of Disharmonic Orchestra, Demilich, Incantation, and Immolation in there. The best thing about them is that they go in strange and odd directions, without feeling zany or avante-garde. Did I mention it’s brutal?

Desolate Shrine – Fires of the Dying World

It’s on Dark Descent, so you know what you’re in for, and you know it’s going to be good. As expected, the Finnish death-dealers bring every ounce of dark energy to Fires of the Dying World with the titanic riffs, crushing drums, and horrifying vocals. It’s the kind of record that gets better the louder you crank the volume.

Stream: Apple Music

Falls of Rauros – Key To A Vanishing Future

Falls of Rauros, over the course of six albums, has garnered a dedicated following with their own blend of black and folk metal styles. It’s the kind of music that immediately evokes waves crashing, snow falling, and eagles soaring. Judging by the artwork, I imagine that’s what they’re going for.

Stream: Apple Music

Night Demon – Year of the Demon

I often talk about the glut and overcrowding of the trad-metal market. It’s true of virtually ever style of metal now, with recording and releasing material easier than ever. But don’t be fooled, there’s still a lot of great stuff out there. Night Demon has been doing this for more than 10 years, and Year of the Demon is a collection of some rare singles and 7″ releases. The release also includes live covers, including a rousing rendition of Iron Maiden‘s “Wasted Years.”

Stream: Apple Music