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Skidmarksman is out again with “family” “stuff” to take care of, so I’m back to inflict my awful taste in music on everyone. Judging by the Anticipated column, this could be one of the best weeks of 2015 for black metal. I looked at the release schedule and got all excited, ready to make the Anticipated column nothing but flashy, high-flying power metal that pisses everyone off, but then… the black metal releases were better. Journalistic integrity, that is what you see on display here.

—Richard Street-Jammer

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Anticipated Releases

Akhlys - The Dreaming (Debemur Morti)

This is Nightbringer’s frontman’s new ‘dark ambient’ project, but the track we’ve got here is a thunderous blast. It’s an edit, so maybe the wind chimes, children’s laughter, and puppy sounds have been removed. But then maybe ambient is meant in the sense of surrounding or encompassing. Now that would make sense, because every listen of this nastiness makes me feel like I’m being transported to someplace unfortunate.

Acid King - Middle Of Nowhere, Center Of Everywhere (Svart)
Excited to be sharing the first Acid King album in a decade. Busse Woods is a bonafide stoner/doom classic of the (almost) naughty-aughties and Middle Of Nowhere Center Of Everywhere is another entry in the slow and twisting veteran’s sound.

Bladecatcher - Obverse EP (EEE)
I only need say one word to convince you to listen to this, but so as to construct an actual blurb, I’ll say it a few times: Demilich.

Demilich Demilich Demilich Demilich Demilich Demilich Demilich Demilich Demilich Demilich Demilich. Too bad Obverse is an EP and about ten minutes long.

Bosse-De-Nage - All Fours (20 Buck Spin, Profound Lore)
I hadn’t listened to Bosse-De-Nage since II came out, so take this with a grain of salt: I remember them being a lot weirder than this. Either way, it’s solid, well-written, slightly odd black metal.

Infernus - Grinding Christian Flesh (Moribound)
Tightly played black/thrash, emphasis on the black, and very mean to the wee Baby Jesus and his followers. Ripping guitar solo too on this track; here’s hoping that’s a feature and not a bonus.

Plage - Den Kristne Stank (Alusia)
Inquisition-esque black metal from Denmark that even has some of the cosmic robot frog croaks!

Wende - Vorspiel einer Philosophie der Zukunft (Moribound)
Black metal that smolders and burns. The label website calls it ‘Burzumic’, which it certainly is in places: those slow, mournful passages with the compelling melodies that a racist numbskull shouldn’t have been able to come up with.

Wovoka - Saros (Battleground)

Post metal that packs a hardcore-derived punch without boring the listener or embarrassing itself. We’re streaming this in full later today, so stay tuned for the goods!

 

OF NOTE

Abyss - Heretical Anatomy (20 Buck Spin)
Fun, crusty death metal made by people who like death metal, for people who like death metal. Did I mention death metal? Death metal!

Anchor - Distance & Devotion (Gaphals)
Hardcore with some melody and a bit of artsiness going on, but it’s neither SoCal Epitaphcore nor whatever punk band Pitchfork is touting at the moment.

At The Dawn - Land In Sight ( Bakerteam)
Europower that, at least on this track, isn’t speeding. Opts instead for piano, synths, and classiness.

Gallows - Desolation Sounds (Bridge Nine)
Yes, this is the same Gallows that released an (apparently) classic debut album, signed to Warner Bros. Records for approximately 5 trillion dollars, and then was dropped after one album on the label. I say apparently because I’ve still never listened to it [It's really fucking good. So are their other two—Ed.]. This is their second album with the singer from, uh, Alexisonfire (if you can believe it, the original singer makes crappy pop-rock now, so in a sense this is a serious upgrade). Desolation Sounds is their fourth album, and it’s not hard to see why a major would court these guys. Yeah, it’s hardcore, but there’s artistry going on, nods to good old rock’n roll, and concessions that not all of a song must be white-knuckled tension. This would be Anticipated were it not for the NME love-fest and the token radio-friendly single.

Jaded Star - Memories From the Future (Sensory)
More classy, laidback Europower.

Lancer - Second Storm (Despotz)
Everyone’s favorite Swedish power metallers with the ostrich mascot are back! “Iwo Jima” is a better song than anything from their debut. The thing about the video, is, uh, what it appears to be an ostrich that represents death which then helps a not-Japanese-looking man commit seppuku.

Magic Kingdom - Savage Requiem (AFM)
If you can’t guess what a metal band called Magic Kingdom sounds like, welcome to the fold, here’s your starter’s pack of Ride The Lightning, Stained Class, and Paranoid.

Obsidian Sea - Dreams, Illusions, Obsessions (Solitude Productions)
Cool doom from Bulgaria with howling vocals and organs.

Outre - Ghost Chants (Godz ov War)
Interesting black metal that eschews melody for impact and groaning sludge/doom references.

Sacred Blood - Argonautica (Pitch Black)
Greek band’s 3rd effort. Their first two were more straightforward than Argonautica is.

Stearica - Fertile (Monotreme)
Instrumental rock. Jazzy in places, plenty of bass, and the drums are turned up. Seriously, dat drumming. If “Delta” is any indication, Stearica have that oh-so-rare gift of being able to write a good riff and then jam on it, rather than running through seven mediocre riffs before getting to the next good part.

Upsilon Acrux - Sun Square Dialect (New Atlantis)
Knotty math/prog rock. Relaxing and fun stuff, actually, but you’ll have to pay attention. No vox on the tracks we heard.

Veld - Daemonic: The Art Of Dantalian (Lacerated Enemy)
By my count, Daemonic is only the 3rd death metal release on this list! The track here runs through many of death metal’s conventions but does so stronger than most. Six months from now, we might look back and say this one should have been up in the Anticipated section...

Wolfpakk - Rise Of The Animal (AFM)
Euro style power metal with a heaping dose of melody and occasional hard rock stylings. You already know whether you like this.

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