Five For Friday: July 22, 2022

Greetings, Decibel readers!

This week’s group of new releases is a particularly eclectic set, one which features many bands seeking out new and interesting sonic realms. These bands represent the urge to take a style you love and try to give it a future, or at least a representation that says “I was here, and you know it was me.” From the noir decadence of Imperial Triumphant to Wake‘s grind-infused revaluations, this is a week for daring explorers.

And if that’s not your thing, there’s a band who plays standard Swedish melodic death metal as well. Can’t knock that.


Ernia – How to Deal With Life and Fail

Infectious, unhinged grindcore from Spain. Ernia has a definite talent for knowing when to plow full-steam ahead, and for recognizing when it’s time to crush you. This makes for a catchy and rewarding listen. Whenever you think grindcore might have spent its last breath, a band like this comes along with the power to electrify that corpse back into a frenzy.

Stream: Apple Music

Imperial Triumphant – Spirit of Ecstasy

The emperors of the avant-garde return to unleash their latest swath of royal decrees. Sound and fury signifying … something I can’t quite put my finger on. I suppose that’s the idea.

Stream: Apple Music

Moonshade – As We Set the Skies Ablaze

I feel like this is a style of metal that will never truly go out of style. Portugal’s Moonshade worship at the church of Swedish melodic death metal, especially Dark Tranquility, Clayman- and Reroute to Remain-era In FlamesSoilwork, and Finland’s Kalmah. The band take the style into the 2020s and do it all the justice it deserves. So many guitar harmonies!

Transcending Rites – Worship of the Triumvirs

Raw, evil, atmospheric black metal. It’s the kind of black metal you can get lost in, immersing yourself in the flowing guitars and reverb. But you’re not getting lost in the forest or anything like that. You may start there, but you’ll end up something altogether darker and mysterious. Although, I’m usually not a fan of when bands string together 10+ minute-long songs, Transcending Rites makes every minute count. Think of Paysage d’Hiver but not as “cold.”

Wake – Thought Form Descent

Wake picks up where 2020’s Devouring Ruin left off, with their very own blend of grind, death, prog, and hardcore continuing to explore new dimensions. The band shows one of many paths open to artists who start out with a crushing, straighforward sound and seek to take it somewhere grander and more dramatic. Indeed, “drama” might be the operative word for this excellent record, one which strikes the listener more like a classical compositional suite rather than a metal album. But don’t get the wrong idea, this thing still totally slays.

Stream: Apple Music