Have you guys ever wondered how often people complain about the lack of new quality Metal in the modern day scene? That is pretty annoying, as here at TMW headquarters we get awestruck monthly on new stuff that is, a) extremely interesting, and b) quite often done by young bands. Let’s take this list of April 2019 as an example. There are once again several demos and a hefty amount of debut albums included. And this is just the top 20 of all the stuff that flooded through the collective music addicted brains of ours this month. So, the next time somebody is complaining about not hearing anything new and interesting, tell them to open their eyes and ears, AND check the following list, for example:
THE METAL WANDERLIST APRIL 2019
20. Hath – “Of Rot and Ruin“
We just hath to have this enlisted! New Jersey’s Hath bring on a debut that is not only first and foremost brilliant, but is dynamic, slightly progressive and heavy as a hippopotamus as well. Certain similarities to Slugdge, Cattle Decapitation and maybe even Opeth are easy to point out, but there is a fair amount of originality as well, making “Of Rot and Ruin” more that mere sum of its influences. The acoustic parts versus the blastbeat dynamic gives the album a nicely edgy character. Impressive game opener indeed!
19. Fetid – “Steeping Corporeal Mess“
Yes, we know it is only one track streaming from the forthcoming album at the moment, but this has not stopped us getting all hyped up over the debut album of Seattle’s Fetid. Damn, this will be some immense and exceptionally heavy Death Metal, if the track “Reeking Within” is anything to go by. It is also remarkable to notice the effect Undergang has had on Death Metal during this decade. What was called as mere guttural noise ten years ago is now a global sound of its own, Fetid being the next evolutionary step in “Undergang Metal”.
18. Vltimas – “Something Wicked Marches In“
If there is a supergroup in modern day Extreme Metal, Vltimas is definitely THE one. Blasphemer, Flo Mournier and David Vincent will need no introductions whatsoever and to the great delight of hordes of Metal maniacs “Something Wicked Marches” In sounds exactly like one would have assumed by reading the resumes of these extraordinary gentlemen. Drums from Cryptopsy, riffs from Mayhem and the vocals of Morbid Angel… Now how is this for a mix? A perfectly executed record, with truckload of riffs, riffs, riffs and riffs to make us all grin like lunatics!!
17. Waste of Space Orchestra – “Syntheosis“
Like it Psychedelic and Extreme? Well, here you have it. A multi-layered record that can be both menacing and laid-back too, when it wants to. There is a big, electric shock like tension running throughout, and even on the mellow parts the listener is left waiting for a massive shit storm to hit windmills, fans and nuclear reactors alike. Three albums down on the TMW list and each of them has been a debut, and such is the case with Waste of Space Orchestra as well. A collaboration album with members of Oranssi Pazuzu and Dark Buddha Rising, “Syntheosis” is a carefully composed journey through different flows of moods, from Krautrock to Black Metal. Something that cannot be fully described, indeed it rather needs to be experienced.
16. Cystic – “The Last Days” demo
Seattle’s Cystic bring on a Punky approach to the whole Filthy Death Metal thing. Reminiscent somewhat the demo days of early Swedish scene, Cystic comes across ugly, effective and D-beaty. A raw bludgeoning with plenty of rusted nails and HIV infected sharp objects included, “The Last Days” definitely manages to capture the total mayhem of… well, the last days.
15. Inculter – “Fatal Visions”
Norway’s Inculter have delivered an album that could be called, quite easily even, the best Thrash Metal album of the year so far. Fans of early Sepultura, Kreator, and Slayer should be banging their heads in approval within the first two minutes. This is not the watered down and diluted, politically correct version of neo-thrash of late, but the real deal. If it’s not fast, it’s real fast, and when it slows down it breaks your bloody neck. So grim, so true, so real indeed. We liked it so much we reviewed it twice!
14. Hellripper – “Black Arts & Alchemy” EP
Ten plus minutes of Blackened Thrash Metal from Scotland. What else one needs, really? A one man band led by Metal warrior James McBain, Hellripper rips (duh!) through youthful takes on the themes introduced by early Extreme Metal greats such as Venom and Motörhead, adding in a bottle of Scotch and some Black Metalish fuck you all attitude to go. Straightforward, nasty and loud – Metal of most enjoyable kind!
13. None – “Damp Chill of Life“
Maybe the most atmospheric piece on this month’s list is the new album of depressive Black Metallers None. “Like clockwork, NONE returns this spring to destroy your seasonal optimism with their oppressively bleak atmosphere“, they announce on their Bandcamp site and in their favour it needs to be said that this is absolutely the case. “Damp Chill of Life” is a real grower of a record for the bleak kind of people out there, getting only better the more you listen to it. We here at TMW believe that once you’ve been introduced to it, this damp chill will not leave your bones for the whole year. What we have here might be a surprise one on many top-lists of the year to come.
12. Gods Forsaken – “Smells of Death“
Another Death Metal supergroup to appear in our April list is Gods Forsaken. Whereas Vltimas is eerie and apocalyptic in delivery, Gods Forsaken have chosen the madman with a nailgun approach while rummaging through a brain melting set of Death Metal. With members of Asphyx, Grand Supreme Blood Court, Just Before the Dawn, Blood Mortized, Amon Amarth and Wombbath onboard, the professionalism is guaranteed. When “Smells of Death” comes with utter catchiness too, it is very easy to say that this baby is a moshpit pleaser of the highest order!
11. Aoratos – “Gods Without Name”
The cold, haunting type of Black Metal Aoratos is known for has been causing a stir around the headquarters here. Fans of Esoctrilihum and Limbonic Art should definitely give this up and coming band from Colorado a go. Some of the tracks nod towards the experimental and noise side of thing’s even, making “Gods Without Name” an album that sounds like your nightmares. Absolutely the worst kind of them. Not the spanky ones, you perv.
10. Crowhurst – “III“
A Noise band doing a Metal album is not exactly headlines by itself, but how Crowhurst manage to tie together the best bits of American Industrial, Gothic Rock and Extreme Metal on their latest album certainly is. Here we have an album that carries many kinds of pains. The aching, yearning, depression, and utter hurt, but also that electrifying, searing kind of rage that rips and tears the brain and guts before bursting out as something unexpected. Crowhurst‘s “III” (No, this is not their third album!) is a varied beast, both versatile and impossible to box into any corner alone. Like Merzbow, Nine Inch Nails and Swedish band Shining thrown into the same recording studio, “III” is an album that defies all preconceptions and yet still comes across as very comprehensive piece. Give this record a chance, as this will most likely win you over by the sheer weight of the greatness of it’s compostion.
9. Chalice of Suffering – “Lost Eternally“
Transcending Obscurity Records is putting Funeral Doom back on the map this year. First Illimitable Dolor have sent very slow and dramatic shock waves through the Metal world with their utterly marvellous “Leaden Light” and then Chalice of Suffering bring out another monolith of melancholy in form of their second album “Lost Eternally“. My, oh my if this is not the best Funeral Doom we have heard in a while! What makes “Lost Eternally” special, is the fact that it has soul, vast planes of emotion, and honest vocals. With out of the box thinking instrumentation wise added, “Lost Eternally” is a must for any Doom head, or any serious Metal head at all!
8. Charnel Altar – Demo 2019
Having appeared already in our February TMW chart list, Charnel Altar is back in heavy rotation (like it never went away, haha) in our headquarters. We just can’t seem to get enough of it, simple as that. One of the most impressive demos of 2019 so far? We’d like to think so.
7. Khnvm – “Foretold Monuments of Flesh“
When Showmik Das of Nekrohowl is onboard, it seems things cannot go wrong Metal wise. “Foretold Monuments of Flesh” is the debut album of Khnvm and it is a Death Metal record one cannot miss in 2019! If into the classic heavyweights like Morbid Angel and Immolation, Khnvm is a perfect match. Intense drumming, monstrous riffs and some of the best leads in Extreme Metal this year, more like a bit of guitar wizardry that actually adds to the composition, not just twiddling away for the hell of it! A big TMW recommendation here.
6. Inter Arma – “Sulphur English“
Like the arrival of a giant herd of war elephants, “Sulphur English” is most likely to be the heaviest thing we will experience in 2019. A hyped up album maybe, but only for a good reason. Reminding us of Triptykon at times, and Morbid Angel the other, “Sulphur English” is a cinematic journey through worlds of Sludge, Death Metal, Doom and even atmospheric Psychedelia. Hard to put this one into any category, like all forward thinking albums are, but let it be known and underlined – If you are into heavy, it does not get heavier than this.
5. The Crawling – “Wolves and the Hideous White“
Yes, this album came out in 2018, but to our great peril we missed it in TMW. Fortunately, great music is never too old to celebrate and The Crawling found their way onto our collective playlists with a bang this year. The Great Mackintosh was particularly taken by this one. Hailing from Lios na gCearrbhach (Lisburn, for us mere mortals) Northern-Ireland, The Crawling have produced an underground hit of an album. Death Doom with intelligent riffing, rolling drums and lyrics that simply cry out pain and loss, “Wolves and the Hideous White” is an emotional thirty five minute ride through one of the most unsung albums of last year. “Nothing is lost, nobody wins, this a time for broken things.” Perfection.
4. Darkened Nocturn Slaughtercult – “Mardom“
It seems that the lengthy break Darkened Nocturn Slaughtercult had in between their latest offering “Mardom” and their previous record “Necrovision” was indeed a needed one. So far, they have been a band that has been ‘very good indeed’, but with “Mardom” they have taken that last crucial step to ‘absolutely fucking perfect’. “Mardom” is second wave Black Metal through and through, very close to “De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas” era Mayhem, but strongly carrying a torch of their own still. On “Mardom” they cluster together 1990’s Black Metal riffs and 1980’s Possessed riffs and tom sounds especially, reaping our souls as they go. It’s hard to find anything to complain about this particular piece, really. “Mardom” is music that defies trends, time and posers – all in equal vigour. Emo-free and without folk music content. Satan approves!
3. Lord Dying – “Mysterium Tremendum“
Every now and then there comes an album that simply rises above 99% of everything released that year, and trust us when we say that “Mysterium Tremendum” by Lord Dying is such a thing. Consisting of a great many familiar elements, but still being far more than the obvious ingredients in any recipe. The third full album of Lord Dying is an IMMENSE step up from all of their previous works. It has bits of 1970’s Heavy Rock and Progressive thinking, a slice of Grunge from its very prime, and a touch of 21’st century heaviness, all soaked in the gravy of utter sadness and melancholy of a modern human being. Classical album format thinking shines through in everything, from the interludes to various climaxes. added to some great cover artwork that sums up the over all feel of the whole record, this is a must have for 2019 if any.
2. Numenorean – “Adore“
Even words as ‘post’ and ‘shoegaze’ might get thrown around quite often with Canada’s Numenorean, don’t be too alarmed. They have plenty of that ethereal moodiness, but also stark Black Metallic substance to stand apart from their most obvious peers such as Deafheaven or Astronoid, for example. There are elements of Melodic Death Metal in here too, but above anything “Adore” can be seen as the next evolutionary step in the line of Canadian metal we have come to love in recent years. Fans of Woods of Ypres and Devin Townsend will both find something to dig into from Numenorean‘s latest, but there’s plenty of Extreme Metal from the underground thrown in for good measure to avoid the most obvious pitfalls of easy-listening. Numenorean is definitely not watered down Extreme Metal, like some of them “post-shoe-black-metal-what-the-fuck-was-that-genre-definition-again-gaze” bands tend to be. With “Adore“, these Canadians have crafted an album that is not only carefully written and rich in productional details, but has also a lot of pure feel and aching melancholy to it. Anger too. And beauty even. There is a great chance that if At the Gates had started out now, they could have sounded a lot like Adore.
1. Mork – “Det Svarte Juv“
Norway’s Mork has been on the verge of hitting the bull’s eye with a couple of albums in a row now, but seem to have finally harvested the promises given with their latest. “Det Svarte Juv” is classic Norwegian Metal from start to finish. A new chapter in a book Mayhem, Satyricon, Immortal, Enslaved, and countless others of their countrymen have carved their name in already. There’s melody here and there’s groove, epic cinematic parts and plenty of that raspy, ripping and hostile Black Metal delivery. The minimalism of Darkthrone, and that almost rocking, yet intelligent feel of Satyricon appearing hand in hand. “Det Svarte Juv” is constantly in motion, yet never in a hurry. It is the relentless motion of the nightfall, a cycle to begin again each time you push play.
And that’s a wrap! See you next month for our mid year best of list!