While April wasn’t an extremely prolific month for metal, I managed to gather some great releases in many kinds of metal sub-genres. Some of them from very well-known bands and some from relatively new but very talented groups of musicians.
Mesarthim – The Density Parameter
Australian atmospheric black metal act Mesarthim graced us with its newest offering in the beginning of April, and it does not disappoint.
As always, the musical style presented on The Density Parameter is a kind of heavily synthesizer-infused black metal that could be an appropriate soundtrack to a birth of a supernova or to a falling into a black hole.
Winterfylleth – The Hallowing of Heirdom
The latest album of this Manchester band is an acoustic one, but that fact doesn’t make it less interesting, because the melodies inspired by the traditional English music and the landscapes of England alike are very beautiful and captivating.
Messa – Feast for Water
Messa is another female-fronted doom metal band of which I’ve heard quite a few during the last 5-10 years. But what makes this one special?
It’s hard for me to pinpoint what exactly separates these Italians from the rest of similar-sounding bands. Maybe those atmospheric moments? Maybe Sara’s haunting vocals? Or the riffs reminding of the classic doom metal bands? The rhythm section that packs quite a punch without ever claiming the protagonism?
More likely the key to the band’s sound is the balance between all the abovementioned elements.
Just sit down, relax and listen to one of the best doom metal records of 2018 so far.
Autokrator – Hammer of the Heretics
Autokrator‘s music is like a sonic equivalent of Chinese water torture. It is slow, menacing and steadily drives you insane with thundering drums and riffs that crack into your skull.
Dark Buddha Rising – II
Despite the title, II is actually already the 7th release of this Finnish band, but also the first EP. Therefore it clocks at 25 minutes, but the quality of the music is as high as it is to be expected from Dark Buddha Rising
The music may be quite meditative and ritualistic, but it does not make it less heavy-sounding and ominous. The band just keeps droning you riff after riff until you are completely immersed into the atmosphere of the record.
Sleep – The Sciences
When such a genre-defining band as Sleep releases a new album after 15 years of silence, it is always difficult not to get one’s hopes up.
However difficult it may be, the best manner to enjoy The Sciences is to take it in as it is, without comparing it to Sleep’s Holy Mountain or Dopesmoker. Then you can really appreciate the musical quality of this record.
Lots and lots of new stoner/doom bands were born in the late 2000s and 2010s, but still Sleep do not seem a fossil compared to the young ones. The band’s music has pretty much everything this particular metal sub-genre is known for: heavy wall of sound, groovy riffs, slow tempo and smoke-infused lyrics.
Cruachan – Nine Years of Blood
Nine Years of Blood continues the “bloody” tradition of the last few Cruachan records (Blood on the Black Robe, Blood for the Blood God), but not only in the title. The music itself is quite harsh, and, while the folk music motives are still present and play an important part, this album may be considered one of the heaviest ones in the band’s discography.
Fans of celtic metal will be entertained this spring: first the new Primordial record, and now this one.
Aura Noir – Aura Noire
While I am not a big fan of Aura Noir‘s music in general, sometimes I am in the mood for this particular kind of old-school metal attack.
These Norwegians do not create anything new, but one has to recognize that, along with the Australians Deströyer 666, Aura Noir provides a stable source of thrashing black metal reminiscent of the first waves bands, such as Hellhammer, Celtic Frost, Bathory and Venom.
Voices – Frightened
Back in 2917 I rejoiced at finally being able to listen to the new Akercocke record as it is one of my all-time extreme progressive metal bands. I even included that album among my personal top 13 albums of 2017.
But the drummer David Gray does not rest on his laurels and this April we get a new record of his other band Voices.
Frightened is the third album of the band that was formed after the split-up of Akercocke, and it follows in the same vein as its predecessors. It is extreme progressive metal that leans heavily on the progressive side, with some weird instrumentation and some peculiar vocals.
Basically, if you enjoy Akercocke‘s music, but are turned off by the vocals, I recommend you to give Voices a try as it may be just a band for you.
Well, that’s it…
I hope you enjoyed my round-up of April releases. As always, you can find the majority of them in my YouTube playlist.
See you next month and… Stay metal!