Metal Periscope – September 2018

It’s time to raise the Metal Periscope again and take a good look at some of the most notable September releases.

The lazy and hot summer is over and it seems like it’s also “back to school” time for many metal bands hurrying to get out their new albums for the eager public’s appreciation.

I apologise for publishing this article a bit late, but your truly was overwhelmed by sheer quantity of great releases, so it took me a lot of time to listen to everything and share my thoughts. I hope you appreciate it.

Let’s not linger and dive straight in!

Krisiun – Scourge of the Enthroned

Krisiun - Scourge of the EnthronedI’m not much into the bands that keep re-recording the same album over and over again throughout the entire career, and, to be honest, Krisiun fits that label pretty well.
Still I can’t help but respect the constant level of brutality and raw energy that are often missing in modern death metal records.

Monstrosity – The Passage of Existence

Monstrosity - The Passage of ExistenceAnd… Here goes another old school death metal records that focuses on heavy riffs and energetic rhythm section.
Monstrosity is not just the ex-band of George “Corpsegrinder” Fischer and Pat O’Brien. It’s a great death metal band, which The Passage of Existence is a reminder of.

Owl – Nights in Distortion

Owl - Nights in DistortionNights in Distortion is the third full-length album of this German band featuring current and ex-members of Valborg.
If you like doom/death (or death/doom, if you prefer) as much as I do, you are sure to enjoy this record that has only one downside – its length. This album is uncharacteristically short – its lasts less than forty minutes.

Satan – Cruel Magic

Satan - Cruel MagicThis album is a real treat for NWOBHM fans. It sounds so delightfully vintage and reminds one of the golden times when the new wave of British heavy metal was just gaining force and the music sounded fresh and exciting.

Vôdûn – Ascend

Vôdûn - AscendWhile I enjoyed the band’s debut album Possession back in 2016, I must say, I like its successor even more.
Vôdûn presents us classy stoner rock with voodoo motives and fronted by Oya, who adds some special flavour to the band’s musical cocktail.

Conan – Existential Void Guardian

Conan - Existential Void GuardianThe Liverpool trio really knows how to take the best from both stoner and doom metal to produce a kind of music that aims to grind you into dust with “heavy as Hell” riffs.
Maybe Existential Void Guardian doesn’t bring anything new to the table, but, when the recipe already works so well, you don’t mind sticking to the familiar taste.

Pantheist – Seeking Infinity

Pantheist - Seeking InfinityPantheist‘s conversion from a funeral doom metal band to a progressive doom metal band was as slow as the band’s music and as inevitable as the planet Earth’s destruction.
Seeking Infinity, the band’s fifth album seems a bit like a compromise between the old sound of O Solitude and Amartia and a new sound so present on the 2011 self-titled record. But it is a kind of compromise that doesn’t sacrifice a bit of musical quality the band is known for.

Freak Kitchen – Confusion to the Enemy

Freak Kitchen - Confusion to the EnemyBeing a big admirer of Mattias Eklundh’s art I couldn’t pass up on the new album of his band.
Confusion to the Enemy follows the general formula of a Freak Kitchen record: it’s an experimental heavy metal with lyrics filled with irony.

Voivod – The Wake

Voivod - The WakeVoivod is a band I always liked, but never really got into. Maybe the band’s sound was a bit too punk for my taste or not progressive enough. I don’t know.
But The Wake is the album that can change the way I see the band.
It sounds more progressive and more… daring, if you will. It’s like listening to all the pieces of some intricate mechanism going into place with a click.

A Forest of Stars – Grave Mounds and Grave Mistakes

A Forest of Stars - Grave Mounds and Grave MistakesThe Gentlemen’s Club of a Forest of Stars opens its doors again for us to enjoy more than an hour of exquisite psychedelia-infused black metal so stylish that it is no wonder that it was created by true English gentlemen… and a lady.

Noekk – Carol Stones and Elder Rock

Noekk - Carol Stones and Elder RockI don’t usually put EPs here in Metal Periscope, but I couldn’t resist on this occasion, because, to be honest, Noekk is a band dear to my heart.
Being a brainchild of Markus Stock and Thomas Helm, it’s no wonder that the band’s music is as emotionally profound as the results of other collaborations of the talented musicians. But, compared to Empyrium or Sun of the Sleepless, the music of Noekk is more on the progressive side of the metal spectrum.

Dir en grey – The Insulated World

Dir en grey - The Insulated WorldDir en grey is one of those bands too hard to put into one specific category. Despite the band’s origin lying in visual kei scene, Dir en grey‘s music is much more than just that.
Whenever they release a new album I always begin listening to it with some degree of anxiety, doubting it will be as good as the previous one.
It was the same case with The Insulated World, because I liked Arche quite a lot and had my doubts about the new album being able to live up to my expectations.
But, in the end, I think that this album is a worthy addition to Dir en grey‘s discography. While it may not be the best album they’ve ever created, but it is definitely a good album that takes some time and several listens to be able to appreciate its quality.

Anaal Nathrakh – A New Kind of Horror

Anaal Nathrakh - A New Kind of HorrorIf there ever was a metal band the music of which deserves to be a horror movie soundtrack, it is definitely Anaal Nathrakh.
Apart from a pretty scary name, the English band offers us a wide variety of instruments of torture, all of them taken straight from the piles labelled “black metal”, “grindcore”, “death metal”, “industrial” and “noise”.
The sheer energy and brutal relentlessness of the music presented on A New Kind of Horror is accentuated by Dave Hunt’s vocals that range from demonic shrieks to guttural growls, from tenor to King Diamond-esque falsetto.
If you like extreme metal even a little bit, you must not let this album pass you by. Is it the best one in the band’s discography? Honestly, I don’t know. But this album is a beast that will make you have nightmares, but you will still keep returning for more.

Vreid – Lifehunger

Vreid - LifehungerThere aren’t that many bands capable of playing the melodic kind of black metal without losing the raw energy of primeval black metal. Vreid is definitely one of those bands, and the seventh full-length album of the Norwegians is a testament of it.

Riverside – Wasteland

Riverside - WastelandWasteland is the first Riverside album as a trio.
The consequences of the tragic death of the guitarist Piotr Grudziński can be felt throughout this record. It is filled with sadness, pain and longing, but there are also some undertones of acceptance.
This is a beautiful, beautiful album, and one of the gems in the band’s discography.

Revocation – The Outer Ones

Revocation - The Outer OnesI admit that I love Lovecraft’s stories, but that’s not the only reason I’ve put this album among the most notable released in September.
I think that the seventh full-length of the Boston quartet may be considered a pinnacle of the band’s career, because this time the band managed to find a truly great balance between the technical and the harsh, brutal sides of its music.

And those was some of the September albums that impressed me the most.

I’ll try to be faster in October, but I make no promises.

As always, enjoy the music, support the artists and… stay metal!

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