November was a strong month for metal. Both death metal and doom are well-represented below, but as we’ll see more than just those two genres produced some great records in the past month. November saw a strong showcase for UK talent too, as five of the below bands are all from this country.
We’ll start with Shadow Gripped by Cancer. I must confess that I wasn’t expecting such a high quality old-school death metal album from the return of these UK death metal veterans. Full of classic songs and catchy riffs, Shadow Gripped deserves to be in any metal fan’s collection.
UK band Bast released their debut album Nanoångström in November. This album contains almost an hour of blackened sludge/doom, with memorable depth and dark atmosphere. Rich and textured, Bast have impressed with this slab of immersive doom.
Bismuth, another UK doom group, released The Slow Dying of the Great Barrier Reef in November, and what an album it is. Mainly consisting of one colossally deep song, Bismuth’s atmospheric drone/doom reaches its apex on this latest release of theirs. Emotional and harrowing, this is music to get lost in.
Solitude and Savagery by Barbarian Hermit was another one that surprised me by being even better than I was expecting. My past exposure to the band lead me to believe that their debut album would be a good listen, but Solitude and Savagery has blown me away. This UK stoner/sludge metal band have crafted a very well-written and enjoyable album, and I suggest you check it out.
The last of the UK bands on the list, but by no means the least, are Ohhms. Exist is an individual, uncomfortable second album from Ohhms, with dark, upsetting themes hidden within crushing, yet multifaceted music. Ohhms are definitely one of the rising stars of the UK music scene, and I can’t recommend their compelling and affecting music enough.
From the terrifying depths of the underworld comes the latest monstrosity from Ævangelist. Matricide in the Temple of Omega is nasty, evil, and grim, yet full of substance and depth. Atmospheric blackened death metal is what Ævangelist essentially unleash, and they do it very well indeed.
November also saw the release of The Ocean‘s latest masterpiece – Phanerozoic I: Palaeozoic. This is modern progressive metal at its very finest, showing bold songcraft and exquisite delivery. This utterly compelling album has been on heavy rotation in my playlists ever since its release, and shows no sign of outstaying its welcome yet.
Corpsessed‘s latest album Impetus of Death is a layered, filthily atmospheric nightmare of evil death metal. The band’s impressive songwriting channels fear and terror so well you’ll not want to listen to this with the lights off. Malignant and macabre.
Ukrainian blackened death/doomsters 1914 unveiled their magnum opus in November. The band have been building up to something really special for a few years now, but Blind Leading the Blind really, truly delivers the goods. Stunningly impessive.
Witherfall’s A Prelude to Sorrow caused me to sit up and take notice of what this talented band were doing. This kind of professionally-delivered progressive/melodic metal album is the kind of thing that I rarely get to hear, as a lot of the time with this sort of music something lets me down. There’s nothing like that here though, and A Prelude to Sorrow is highly enjoyable from beginning to end.
I really like Here Is the Blood, which is Unhold‘s latest offering. Crafting together elements of sludge, doom, and post-metal with the skill of artisans, Here Is the Blood is an emotive and affecting listen. This is the kind of album you should take the time with and digest slowly. It’s worth the effort, and is an exceedingly strong album.
We’ll end with the charismatic and individual take on death metal that is Psycroptic‘s As the Kingdom Drowns. Damn this is a good one. Merging a blistering technical delivery with high-impact songs that are as effective as they are memorable, Psycroptic once again forge ahead into their own realms of the extreme metal multiverse, and with each album bring something new and worthwhile into existence.