Five For Friday: October 20, 2023

Greetings, Decibel readers!

This is definitely a week for fans of classic heavy metal. We’ve got the latest from the legends in Cirith Ungol, of course, but look out for the new ones from Blood Lightning and Reckless as well. There’s a unique charm to the stubborn adherence to the sounds of old, before things got extreme, and it’s fascinating to hear how these bands manage to make it still sound fresh. Heavy metal, forever, indeed.


Blood Lightning – Blood Lightning

God damn! This is some righteous heavy stuff! I think this is probably as heavy as classic heavy rock with clean vocals can get, as that guitar tone is simply crushing. Additionally, vocalist Jim Healey carries the sound in excellent fashion, always a challenge if you don’t want to fall into sounding cheesy or like butt-rock. Horns up!

Stream: Apple Music

Cirith Ungol – Dark Parade

Hell yea! You can definitely call this a comeback, as Cirith Ungol shows no sign of stopping — with their second album since reforming in 2015. The album is probably best summed up in the title of the second song: “Relentless.”

Stream: Apple Music

Myrkur – Spine

This is the music Amalie Bruun was meant to make, as it weaves the various threads from across her back catalog and unites them into one cohesive artistic statement. Above everything else, Myrkur is about atmosphere. It’s the sound of a long walk through the woods, mountains and river crossings, in both a literal sense and the landscape of thoughts and memories. Amalie’s arrival on the metal scene was followed by several round of “discourse” among people who spend too much time online. With this record she proves, yet again, that there was always substance beyond such nonsense.

Stream: Apple Music

Reckless – Sharp Magik Steel

It’s on Dying Victims Productions, everyone, you know what you’re in for. If you want the energy and vibe of the early Metal Blade collections from the 1980s, it’s time to get Reckless!

Stream: Apple Music

Vertebra Atlantis – A Dialogue With The Eeriest Sublime

Likewise, you know what to expect from I, Voidhanger Records. And by that, I mean you don’t know what to expect at all. Though in this case, this is a straightforward storm of black metal ferocity. But I don’t mean that as a knock, this is high-quality darkness right here.

Stream: Apple Music