After a real treat we were offered in January (I barely had time to listen to all the great records that were released) February seems a bit like a barren land.
But, still, I managed to find some albums that made the process of watching the snow fall much more exciting.
Long Distance Calling – Boundless
This German band creates instrumental music on the border between progressive rock and post-metal. Boundless is a kind of an album that can be as challenging as it is meditative. A worthy addition to the band’s discography.
Genocide Pact – Order of Torment
Order of Torment will quench your thirst for slow-tempo old-school death metal. This album is not a breakthrough in the genre, but it definitely proves that are new bands out there that are capable of creating more solid records than most of the veterans.
Fu Manchu – Clone of the Universe
Stoner rock monsters Fu Manchu return with a new record filled with trademark groovy riffs and a little touch of psychedelia. Curiously enough, half the length of Clone of the Universe is occupied by the last track, Il mostro atomico.
King Witch – Under the Mountain
We are having a real outbreak of female-fronted doom metal bands in the late 2000’s and 2010’s (Alunah, Avatarium, King Woman, Lucifer, Witch Mountain etc). King Witch is another fine example of this. The Scottish bands takes inspiration from both the classic heavy metal and the early doom metal bands to create their own distinctive sound. And, while the music itself is very good, the key element of the band’s sound, I think, is the impressive vocal prowess of Laura Donnelly. Her voice is soaring above the punching riffs and groovy drums like an eagle in the sky.
Royal Hunt – Cast in Stone
Devil’s Dozen was practically a melodic progressive metal masterpiece. Compared to its predecessor, Cast in Stone may seem like a normal dish compared to a 5-star restaurant cuisine.
But do not let it fool you. While this album may not be as catchy as some of the best band’s works, it still maintains a high quality standard when it comes to songwriting, production and performance.
Ataraxy – When All Hope Fades
It’s a pleasure for me to include in my February list a band that comes from a place that is really close to where I currently reside. And it’s a doubly pleasure, because, apart from the geographical factor, When All Hope Fades is a great record.
The Zaragoza band steers clear of the usual gore topics of your typical death metal. The quartet offers us a slow and menacing kind of music that could be a soundtrack to your worst nightmare that never ends.
And there is also one song that is growled entirely in Aragonese.
Harakiri for the Sky – Arson
Hararkiri for the Sky is a band that learnt how to mix post-metal and black metal influences almost to perfection. The band’s 4th full-length is no exception with its relentless tremolo-picking, blast beats and tormented shrieks accompanied by some moments of calm and observation.
If Arson weren’t almost 70-minutes-long… I usually tend to like long songs, when they have a lot to offer, but in this case there is more repititiveness that I care for.
Usurpress – Interregnum
Usurpress is a band that mixes a brutality of death metal, dirty stickiness of sludge and adds some off-beats characteristic of progressive music to improve the taste of the plate they present with Interregnum. The result is a delicious piece of music that leaves you with some hunger for more.
Maladie – …of Harm and Salvation…
Germany has quite a strong tradition of progressive/avant-garde black metal and, while the members of Maladie call their music “plague metal”, it definitely has some similarities with such acts as Nocte Obducta and Secrets of the Moon. But don’t take me wrong – they are no copycats. …of Harm and Salvation… is an ode to suffering that makes one go mad and have an orgasm at the same time.
And that’s it for the February issue of Metal Periscope.
Hopefully March will be bring us for high quality releases to check out (there are quite a few I am eagerly waiting for).
See you next month and stay metal!
P.S. As always, you can also check out my February 2018 YouTube playlist.