Maquahuitl – “At the Altar of Mictlampa”
The thematically Mesoamerica USBM band Maquahuitl delivers a triumphant riff-fest with “At the Altar of Mictlampa.” The melodic structures and compositional direction on this record stands out among the genre’s current landscape. Raw and equally epic, there’s nothing quite like Maquahuitl being made at the moment, and the latest LP is well worth the purchase.
Mörk Gryning – “Hinsides Vrede”
Fifteen years since their last album, Mörk Gryning revives their rightful standing among the old guard practitioners of Swedish black metal. 2020’s “Hinsides Vrede” captures classic writing, while never succumbing to the trend of self-parody, often associated with other’s dubious efforts, on releases, after extended hiatuses. The musicianship, craftsmanship, and production here is top notch. It’s a great 90’s era record, devised and expertly executed, presently.
Perdition Temple – “Sacraments of Descension”
The latest instalment from Death Metal royalty Gene Palubicki, Perdition Temple‘s new record, “Sacraments of Descension” is another essential from the Angelcorpse maestro. Modern sounding, yet delivering every bit of savagery one would expect. This Floridian Death Metal still remains a peak among American contemporaries. The band’s third full length release is a riff-centric showcase of a patented, relentlessness attack from yesteryear. If you’re a fan of that style of USDM, don’t miss out on “Sacraments of Descension.”
Prezir – “Depredation”
Midwestern USMB trio Prezir‘s “Depredation” is their second full-length. The record is a blistering Black Metal barrage of riffs, melodies, solos , thunderous percussion, and virulent screams. Prezir has crafted historically themed Black Metal on “Depredation” that embraces both the volatile speeds of Thrash, and the infectious melodies of the European masters.
Mooncitadel – “Night’s Scarlet Symphonies”
A victorious opus of Finnish melodic black metal aristocracy, Mooncitadel bursts through the gates with their fist full length. “Night’s Scarlet Symphonies” is precisely the style of BM that I’ve grown to enjoy, heralding from the genre hot-spot. The adept instrumentation and composition are skilfully harnessed, giving birth to a standout debut. I’ve listened to this album more than most in the short time since its end of the year release.
The Committee – “Utopian Deception”
“Utopian Deception” is the third LP from totalitarian themed The Committee. This latest effort continues their sonical direction, emulating the anthemic songs of empire. Although, it seems that there are no straight representation of particular Soviet era melodies like on early records. But the effect of the original compositions is much the same, and still focused though their Black Metal looking-glass.
Hate Forest – “Hour of the Centaur”
The Ukrainian Black Metal veteran releases his first Hate Forest full-length in fifteen years. It was well worth the wait. Like all the previous records, “Hour of the Centaur” is another stellar contribution to the band’s prolific catalogue. Finding out about this was one of the pleasant surprises of 2020.
Imperial Savagery – “Lashing the Feral Swine”
Imperial Savagery‘s new album “Lashing the Feral Swine” is a punishing and bestial Death Metal offering. Elements of controlled chaos and viciousness are cornerstones for the success of this Midwestern bombardment. The fist-class vocal delivery is imbued with emotion and venom. It is prime among the DM releases of 2020.
Abigor – “Totschläger” (A Saintslayer’s Songbook)
Austrian black metal powerhouse Abigor released their twelfth full-length record in 2020. A bastion of individualized sound and durability, “Totschläger (A Saintslayer’s Songbook)” is another exceptional offering in a long line of the veterans’ accomplishments. Abigor‘s skill and acumen is on full display here, and the results are exemplary of their longevity.
Azarath – “Saint Desecration”
Polish death metal staple Azarath have released “Saint Desecration,” their seventh LP. This embodies the style of DM that has slipped through the grasp of their countrymen and veteran contemporaries with the cursed passage of time. Nothing unexpected here, and that, in this case, is a positive. The musicianship and delivery is outstanding. “Saint Desecration” is highly recommended for fans of old Behemoth and Belphegor who are disappointed in their recent contributions to the Polish landscape.