Five For Friday: February 23, 2024

Greetings, Decibel readers and honored guests!

As you enter the building, you’ll see various exhibits on display today. From the latest masterworks from Borknagar and Morta Skuld, to the return of long-dormant composers like Job For A Cowboy. So please, enjoy your time here, but please, don’t touch the artwork.

Happy musing:

Borknagar – Fall

As always, Borknagar crafts their mix of second-wave black metal, prog and Viking metal into an entrancing and atmospheric world all their own. It’s a treat on multiple fronts, from the musicianship, to the compositional skill on display, to the moments that bring that fury that birthed the band all those years ago.

Stream: Apple Music

Darkest Hour – Perpetual | Terminal

I’ll never pass up an opportunity to boost the top-line of 2000s metalcore. I was a huge fan of Godless Prophets & the Migrant Flora in 2017 and am stoked to see the band back at it again. Darkest Hour was one of the bands that best personified an era: the blending of Gothenburg melodic death metal and post-1987 hardcore, and they continue to do so here.

Stream: Apple Music

Hand of Kalliach – Corryvreckan

Here’s how I described Hand of Kalliach in our premiere of “Fell Reigns”:

It’s exhilarating when you get to hear a band execute a style perfectly. Hand of Kalliach delivers folk-infused melodic death metal in the absolute best way possible. The band brings heavy and rich guitar tones and weaves them with a mix of harsh and melodic vocals, topped off with infectious rhythms and traditional instrumentation. It’s a fascinating combination of aggression and atmosphere — a balancing act between power and mystery that draws you into the band’s sonic realm.

Stream: Apple Music

Job for a Cowboy – Moon Healer

While I’ll always think of Job for a Cowboy as the band who put out probably the best deathcore release of all time, it has been cool to see them evolve in various ways since the MySpace era. Here is how Nick Schendzielos describes the writing process for Moon Healer in our recent interview:

It was a long, arduous writing and recording process. We were always planning to put something out to follow the last record, but we all had stuff going on and there wasn’t much availability in the collective schedule. Then we all started sending each other music, and that eventually added up to having quite a bit of music. It wasn’t until, like, 20218 when we started being like OK. here’s eight or nine solid songs. Then we kept puting things through the refiner, and there were many revisions and so many different versions of the songs. There were a lot of times that we never thought it would see the light of day, but we’re so glad it did.

Stream: Apple Music

Morta Skuld – Creation Undone

Crushing, old-school death metal from one of the style’s longest-running bands. This is basically the sound of buildings collapsing and mountains splitting in half. Maybe throw in a tornado or two.

Stream: Apple Music