Five For Friday: January 5, 2024

Greeting, Decibel readers!

This week’s edition of Five for Friday is kind of a mix of fresh new releases and a catching up on some interesting work left over from December. You’ll also notice that the selections below are all from lesser-known and obscure artists. It’s a bit of a light week for new stuff, which provides a chance to give these underground voices a boost. But don’t worry, the deluge will return with a vengeance next week, thus flipping the challenge of “too few albums” back to “way too many albums” ( … most of them bad).

Anyway, check it out.

Decedent – Persistent Ruin

The kind of music to play when you’re digging the graves of your enemies. I love the absolutely crushing guitar tones here, as they pair nicely with the cavernous vocals. The well-placed pinch harmonics are a solid touch as well. I also like how the band characterizes their style: “Mid-Michigan Sepsisgrind.” (lol)

Stream: Apple Music

Fall of Gnosis – Deathlike Illusion

The kind of music to play when summoning the souls of the slain to do your bidding for all eternity. This one-man death doom powerhouse comes to us from South Carolina, courtesy of Vargheist records, which apparently specializes in this sound. Definitely a project worth watching, and perhaps one day, worth worshiping.

Stream: Apple Music

Haywire – Conditioned for Demolition

The kind of music to play when you’re sick of talk. This no-nonsense Boston hardcore band comes to us courtesy of CT-based label Daze Records. This style of hardcore has been done countless times, but it takes real chops and dedication to make it exciting and fresh again. I think the key to keeping hardcore afloat and interesting is to maintain an audible connection to the style’s punk roots, something that got lost a bit in the monochrome sound of the 2000s. Haywire‘s style has all the hallmarks of modern hardcore, but has a stripped-down quality that keeps it feeling raw and unhinged, even bordering on powerviolence at its most frenetic moments.

Meridion – Caverns

The kind of music to play with you’re escaping to your mountain hideaway. You also like keyboards. This kind of dark and doomy death metal doesn’t typically feature keys, but the band does it so well it’s a wonder more bands don’t do it.

Stream: Apple Music

Threnomancy – Beholden to the Nightspirit

The kind of music to play when it starts snowing when you peer outside your lair on a cold evening. No edition of Five for Friday feels complete without a raw black metal album, especially one as good as this. It’s got that 90s second wave sound, lots of great riffs, and perfectly distorted vocals. The kind of record people like to sound clever about when they say, “Ugh, it sounds like typical black metal.” Yes, that’s the whole point you moron.