Five For Friday: July 7, 2023

Have you ever wondered what makes fireworks different colors? Apparently it all has to do with what metals are chosen to go along with the black power that makes everything go “boom”:

They all have the main ingredient — black powder — and are then combined with a certain chemical or mineral. That chemical or mineral will then make the firework a different color after it reacts with the heat from the explosions.

For example:

To create red fireworks, strontium is used. The mineral is also used in ceramic magnets and oil and gas production. Sodium, the fourth-most abundant mineral in the world, is used for yellow fireworks. Blue fireworks are created with copper.

What does this have to do with this week’s new releases? Well, we did just celebrate Independence Day here in the United States, so at least some of you must be growing your eyebrows back from poorly-advised revelries. And the specifics behind different types of fireworks serve as a great metaphor for different types of heavy metal. All types of fireworks have black powder, and are altered by carefully chosen additives to produce a certain effect. So it is with different styles of metal, some of which you’ll hear represented below.

It also helps that a lot of the album artwork is extra colorful this week. Next year someone should market an extreme-metal fourth-of-July celebration. Would be great to hear some of these tunes set to fireworks. (I mean, how many times can you listen to the “1812 Overture,” really?)


Blackbraid – Blackbraid II

Powerful and captivating black metal that takes you deep into the woods and mountains and whispers ancient stories into your ears. Fans of bands like Vanum will find a lot to like here, with the robust production doing nothing to dampen the eternal fires harnessed here.

Stream: Apple Music

Coffin Mulch – Spectral Intercession

This is the kind of metal that makes you want to take a shower after listening. I mean that in a good way! It’s super dirty death metal played with an extra mean hardcore edge!

Stream: Apple Music

Lycanthropy – On the Verge of Apocalypse

Harsh, brutal and totally obnoxious. It’s everything you’d want from a grindcore band. It’s the kind of hateful and speed-obsessed noise that never gets old, as it satisfies a need that never goes away.

Serpent Corpse – Blood Sabbath

Solid death metal inspired by the Swedish masters and Darkthrone‘s first album, with perhaps a slight touch of Vader for good measure. Everything comes together nicely on this album, but it’s the super-atmospheric vocals that really draw you in and add an uncommon element to the band’s sound.

Stream: Apple Music

Static Abyss – Aborted From Reality

Damn, these guys didn’t waste any time making a followup record. For those of you who love Autopsy but wish they’d lean harder on the doom side of their sound, you need to get hip to Static Abyss.

Stream: Apple Music