August has provided many a metallic treat, and as you’ll see from the below selection, there’s been a decent amount of quality variety on offer this month too. So let’s get stuck in, as metal won’t listen to itself.
We’ll start with Salvaticus‘ Ordo Naturalis, which is definitely one of my favourite black metal releases so far this year. This album is an atmospheric and emotive journey into blackened soundscapes and intelligent composition. Rich and multifaceted, Orod Naturalis is a superb work of blackened art.
Also a contender in the blackened art awards is Hope Drone‘s Void Lustre, albeit in the post-black category. Atmospheric and lengthy, Void Lustre‘s appeal is wide-ranging and intense, with the album benefiting from a considered approach to harshness and mood. A masterwork.
Eternal Storm‘s Come the Tide is melodic death metal writ large, emboldened by ambition and skilfully directed with obvious talent. The music is textured and epic, and unlike a lot of bands that combine heaviness with melody, Eternal Storm don’t skimp on the brutality. A real journey.
Buried Deep in a Bottomless Grave is the latest and grimmest release from Witch Vomit. Delivering the sort of nasty, ugly death metal that’s steeped in just as much quality as it is filth, Witch Vomit have once again shown the world how hideously destructive they are.
Aviana’s Epicenter impressed me in August. This is the kind of modern metalcore that’s rare to find. It’s brutal and heavy, while also having heart. It’s not afraid to crush and burn, but nor is it afraid to deliver feeling alongside this. The more I listen to this, the more I like it even more.
August saw the release of The Hand of Violence by Bound in Fear. This is a downtempo deathcore album – slow, heavy, and surprisingly atmospheric and emotive. Massive, punishing guitars tell only half the story, as it’s the background ambient parts that really add depth and longevity. Killer vocals too.
Ir by Orm may contain only two songs, but each one is colossal and multifaceted. Lengthy atmospheric black metal like this is a delicacy, and Orm provide a sumptuous feast steeped in darkness and melodic flavour. A finely crafted album to be sure.
I really enjoyed Artificial Void by Unprocessed. Modern progressive metal like this normally leaves me cold due to how sterile and lifeless it usually feels, but this is very different. Boasting an hour of technical music that uses emotion as well as stylistic spectacle to make it’s mark, Artificial Void is a pure winner.
Mors Vincit Omnia is another strong release from black metallers Crimson Moon. With layers of apocalyptic depth and a real talent for the blackened arts, Crimson Moon’s latest full length is richly satisfying and enjoyable. With fiery aggression and malevolent mood, Crimson Moon announce their presence.
Representing blackened doom this august we have The Fifth Alliance with The Depth of Darkness. This blackened doomscape is as compelling as it is powerful. Mixing melodic beauty with abrasive aggression, The Fifth Alliance have produced an album that you’ll keep returning to again and again.
We’ll end this month’s round up with the latest from modern metallers Aktaion. Above Empires is the band’s best work to date, despite how enjoyable their past work undoubtedly was. Lean, stripped down, and passionately hungry, the band’s new album finds Aktaion at the height of their powers. Check it out.