Greetings, Decibel readers, I hope this roundup finds you well!
Had a rip-roaring good time last night at the Hulder and Spectral Wound show. If you haven’t seen either band live, I cannot recommend them enough, especially if you’re a black metal fanatic like yours truly. Spectral Wound’s set is like a wave of thunder hitting you, as the band effortlessly blasts its way through their violent-yet-melodic signature sound. The drummer in particular just baffles me with how unaffected he is by the constant blasting and rolls he has to do, maintaining an expressionless face the entire time. Whereas Hulder just hits every note I need to hear from a black metal band, from the melancholy riffs, to the dynamic mix of moods and tempos, she really can do no wrong.
Anyway, I can also strongly recommend all the albums detailed below. So get out there this weekend, you have five options for building the perfect soundtrack!
Azaab – Summoning the Cataclysm
Today’s first offering is the debut album from Pakistan’s Azaab. Summoning the Cataclysm is a solid offering of contemporary death metal. It has progressive and technical elements, but still projects this from a straightforward and dramatic style very reminiscent of bands like Hate Eternal. Fun fact: “When Worlds Collide” features a guitar solo from Bobby Koelble, who you may remember as the second guitarist on Death‘s Symbolic.
Egregore – The Word of His Law
Off-putting, strange, unsettling blackened death metal. Egregore‘s sound takes so many shapes that you may experience The Word of His Law as an enlightening trip, a confusing dream, or an outright nightmare all at once. One cool thing that sets this band apart from other “dissonant” practitioners is the use of thrashy grooves that hooks and sets the listener in place before throwing them back into the maw of notes and blasts.
Marrasmieli – Martaidan Mailta
One of the best folk-black metal bands in the world, Marrasmieli returns with their triumphant second album. Between Land and Sky was one of the best albums of 2020, and this album shows no sign of the band letting up in terms of ferocity, atmospherics, or songwriting excellence. The band brilliantly weaves the spirit of Windir into their own mix of folk and second-wave black metal for a glorious sound that never veers into cheese or kitsch. The non-metal instruments aren’t used as a Renaissance-fair-like gimmick, but as a way to enhance the emotional pull of the music. Listen to “The Forest of My Soul” for a perfect example.
Stream: Apple Music
Skumstrike – Deadly Intrusions
Part thrash, part black, part punk, part hardcore, ALL TRUE. This album embodies what it means to kick enormous amounts of ass. Everything you could want for pure, raw metal rage is here: riffs, speed, AND LOTS OF REVERB. Music to blast on the way home from a show.
Viande – L’abime dévore les âmes
Cruel, barbaric, cavernous death metal. There’s lots of bands out there doing this style. But few are still doing it in a way that hits the mark like Viande does here. While the riffs are crucial here, it often comes down to the drums. The right use of pounding vs. blasting can make all the difference in the picture the music paints in your mind. Viande’s canvas resembles something between hell and the swamp.
Stream: Apple Music