Five For Friday: October 13, 2023

Greetings, Decibel readers!

Gonna start with a bit of tangent this week to give you all a book recommendation. I assume at least some of you like to read. After all, you bothered to start reading this. If you’re looking for a reading companion to the music below, or just something that matches metal’s dark aesthetic, check out Glen Cook’s The Black Company series. I’m sure some older readers might be familiar with the story, as the series has been running since the mid-1980s, but as the world of grim-dark fantasy has expanded it may have been lost in the shuffle. It tells the story of a mercenary company, with it’s historian, Croaker, serving as the narrator. Set in a fictional semi-medieval world riven by wars, magic, horrifying monsters and endless intrigue, the story is satisfyingly dark and violent but also weaves in deep character development and comic relief. Perhaps it will help serve as much-needed relief and escapism today. I highly recommend the audiobook versions narrated by Marc Vietor.

Speaking of escapism, here’s five records to run with today.

Aborescence of Wrath – Inferno

Absolutely unrelenting brutality. This is the kind of death metal that makes you feel like you just got into a fistfight with 10 people. Don’t worry, you won. But you’re still exhausted.

Stream: Apple Music

Krieg – Ruiner

Time for some hyperbole: I think this is Krieg‘s best album. I know The Black House will probably always be the record most people associate with the band, but Ruiner takes the band’s strengths from across its catalog and pushes them to their highest level. The guitars are the driving force here, guiding the listener with melodic and melancholy riffs that play off each other, especially on songs like “Solitarily, A Future Renounced” and “No Gardens Grow Here.” Neill is at his best here as well, his hoarse vocals taken to their absolute limit on some songs, bracing you and demanding your attention. Anyone who denied Krieg’s place in American black metal before today should stand firmly corrected.

Stream: Apple Music

Malformed – The Gathering of Souls

Raw, blistering death metal from Finland. The Gathering of Souls recalls death metal’s early days in the tape-trading underground, and is packed with irresistible riffs and grooves one would expect from a Finnish band. Definitely a band to watch out for.

Stream: Apple Music

Overthrow – Ascension of the Entombed

Another dark and dirty EP, this time with a blasphemous black metal edge. But don’t get too comfortable, as London’s Overthrow has some tricks up their sleeves, with crushing moments that break through the fire and speed. The band’s music has tons of riffs and atmosphere, but is thoroughly moshable as well.

Stream: Apple Music

Seraphic Entombment – Sickness Particles Gleam

Absolute death-metal doom devastation from Alabama’s own Seraphic Entombment. This is the kind of metal that makes you frown and nod aggressively while listening. That’s how you know it’s good. It’s thoroughly dark stuff, but so catchy that it’s kind of fun too. Yes, it’s possible, listen to “Carried By Claws” and you’ll get it.

Stream: Apple Music