Lots to choose from this month, so narrowing it down to just a handful of releases was not easy…
Let’s start with Realm of Ash & Blood by Solothus. One of two premier death/doom albums released in March, this is a collection of songs that’s just so moreishly addictive it’s a struggle to not listen to it all the time. Crushingly heavy, and boasting morbid atmosphere, this is top stuff.
Wanderers: Astrology of the Nine is a colossal achievement of atmospheric black metal from two of the best one-man acts in the style. Both Spectral Lore and Mare Cognitum are highly accomplished in their own right, but together on this collaborative split they become something even greater. This lengthy album is a highly rewarding experience, one definitely worth taking the time to savour.
Waking further down black metal’s dark paths, and adding what it discovers there to its fiery brand of Swedish-influenced death metal, is Black Tides of Obscurity by Earth Rot. Straining with muscular power and seething with malignant atmosphere, this newest Earth Rot album is brutally sinister, and demonstrates a band unafraid of taking those next steps into the darkness.
Another band completely fearless in the face of change and progression is Wake. Devouring Run is a bold development of the band’s grindcore sound, adding a variety of extreme metal influences to the band’s core aggression to produce an album with an expanded range of textures and hues. Wake’s latest is impressive and extremely enjoyable.
The second of the two premier death/doom albums I mentioned above is The World That Was by Temple of Void. Ably walking the path between death metal and doom metal, while also subtly utilising grunge influences to add extra flavour, Temple of Void’s new opus is hideously satisfying.
The Annex of Ire by Neck of the Woods finds the band at the top of their game. Blending a variety of different styles into their aggressive progressive metal sound, the new songs find the band upgrading themselves all over; bigger, faster, heavier, better. Listen, and be floored.