So what dark delights do we have for you this month? Yes, once again it’s time to delve into the best releases that June had to offer, and what a bunch of fine albums we have to share with you this time…
Let’s start things off with one of the more anticipated releases that saw the light of day in June – Desolation by Khemmis. Now here’s an album that has been much written about and much fawned over, and rightly so. Rarely has contemporary doom and classic metal collided in such explosively vibrant ways as it does on Desolation. Put simply, this is an essential listen for any fan of traditional or modern doom or heavy metal.
Staying with the larger releases for our next one, it’s hard not to recommend Viktoria by Marduk for your listening pleasure. This album contains an aggressive 33 minutes of black metal; cold as ice, and brutally effective. Stripped-back to the raw essentials of frozen blast beats, hateful groove, and beautifully destructive melodies, Viktoria is a damn fine album.
It’s seems appropriate that the next release I want to highlight is Hekatomb by Funeral Mist – the man behind this creatively bladed project is also the singer of Marduk, after all. Mixing blackened malevolence with an atypical avant-garde streak, Hekatomb is a wonderfully immersive album that balances savagery with atmospheric darkness. A multifaceted monster.
The next release on the list is the viscerally brutal From the Depths of Flesh by Wombripper. Yes, this is the stuff; gnarly, rabid old-school death metal, played with enthusiasm and skill. This is some of the filthiest Swedish death metal there is, despite it actually originating from Russia. It’s time to unleash the chainsaws.
Back in black metal territories, have you heard Fugue by Moonreich? If you haven’t and you’re a fan of the blackened arts, then I suggest you spend some time with this one. Wide-ranging and ambitious, Fugue channels its warlike tendencies into both traditional and modern blackened fury to great effect. A powerful album of wrathful creativity.
Bridging the divide between black metal and doom, I give you Entrenched in the Faults of the Earth by Barren Altar. Leaning to the blackened side of blackened doom, this is an album that sounds dangerously lethal at the genetic level. Splicing together doom and black metal to create a hybrid style of grim wonders, this is an album that is very easy to play over and over again. Engaging and compelling.
Along similar lines, yet with a different character and personality, is Cinereous Incarnate by the mighty Abstracter. This is a band that seem born to play malignant, nightmarish blackened doom. All of Abstracter’s work so far has been top-drawer stuff, full of harrowing and bleak atmospheres, but Cinereous Incarnate really takes the proverbial biscuit. This is the band’s best work to date.
Down Among the Dead Men’s latest release …And You Will Obey is an unsubtle boot to the face, over and over and over again. The crashing together of crust and death metal has rarely sounded as effective as it does here, and this supergroup have crafted an extremely enjoyable collection of brutal tracks.
The new Yob album – Our Raw Heart – is an immense slab of rich and emotive doom metal. This is music with real soul, and this comes through strongly in the songs on this superlative piece of work. This album, like many great albums, takes the listener on a journey, one that I highly suggest you embark on.
More doom for you now in the shape of 6 Anti-Odes to Life by Doomed. This one man project deals in the most exquisite of death/doom, and 6 Anti-Odes to Life is the artist’s doomiest release yet. Slower and darker than ever, this is a diverse and rich interpretation of all things doom. Shrouded in melancholy and epic in scope, this album is a stunner.
Providing this month’s blackened death metal fix is Heirs of Sisyphus by Gutter Instinct. This is a punishing, crushing piece of work, wreathed in macabre blackened atmosphere and shot through with dark brutality. Morbid and intense, Heirs of Sisyphus sees Gutter Instinct continue down the blackened path, soaking up the darkness and producing an album of real merit and substance.
I leave you with the latest release from Orange Goblin – The Wolf Bites Back. How could I not mention this? The Wolf Bites Back is a top quality album, revealing an invigorated, diverse band that are comfortable with all aspects of their sound, and firmly display what they can do across the breadth of this highly enjoyable release. Stoner metal, hard rock, punk, blues, and a variety of other styles are all thrown into the pot, with a special emphasis on the power of The Riff. Listen to this at full volume.