Jon Rosenthal, our current weekly Ultimate Metal Review author, is still on the lam after a hotel’s security team beat him senseless for unspecified mischief involving some unwilling participants in the hotel bar. Sadly, Huntress is only releasing one new album this year, so I cannot give them the coveted top spot of our Anticipated Releases list.

I had my own series of Life Events that prevented me from being as thorough as usual, so this week’s list is truncated. Feel free to add stuff in the comments! A few bands, such as Tetragrammacide, have albums out this week, but are too kvlt to provide any previews as of writing. Children of Bodom, Kylesa, and Deafheaven all have new records coming out, but given how much attention they’ll get, we don’t see the need to cover them in depth. File your “Bring back X” comments in the box below.

—Richard Street-Jammer



Satan - Atom By Atom (Listenable Records)
Life Sentence was one of my favorite records of 2013, and a huge comeback for Satan. Every indication is that Atom might be even freaking better. Brian Ross sounds fantastic, the mix and tones sound fantastic. "Fallen Savior" has one of those distinctly NWOBHM main riffs, and ends with a blistering solo. "The Devil’s Infantry" is better still! We’re streaming the whole thing this week.

Death Dealer - Hallowed Ground (Steel Cartel)
Power metal supergroup returns with their second full-length. The debut was spotty; 1/3rd scorchers and 2/3rds solid but unmemorable. "Plan of Attack" is a scorcher: rapid near-thrash riffing, Sean Peck howling and screaming away, and blistering leads. That’s a formula for strong results.


Trivium - Silence In The Snow (Roadrunner Records)
I’ve heard a few songs of this here new Trivium album, and they seem to have fully transitioned into a blend of hard rock and New Wave of American Heavy. And I still don’t like their music! Our editor insists that it’s a really good record. I like Huntress, he likes Nightwish. Who do you trust? [Yep. I like it. So sue me. -Ed.]

Wild Throne - Harvest of Darkness (Roadrunner Records)Our editor, who has some very strange opinions on music, insists that Harvest sounds like Protest the Hero circa Kezia. I can strongly say that I listened to Kezia once years ago, and cannot verify this comparison other than to qualify it with: our editor has some very strange opinions on music.

What this sounds like to me is At The Drive In, but more frantic and explosive, and less willfully weird. There’s also a bit of metal content going on, including some blistering guitar leads, but honestly, it’s a prog-inflected post-hardcore record. It hasn’t connected for me yet.

Of Note

Bloodred Hourglass - Where The Oceans Burn (Spinefarm Records)
Finnish Death/Thrash band return with their second album. Broadly speaking, you know how Bloodred Hourglass sound: that mix of death metal, groove oriented thrash, and melodeath that Scandinavia has in endless supply.

Heron - DYZU (Armus Productions)
This American band play 2nd wave black metal with especially punishing vocals. Not quite as harsh as old Burzum vox, but genuinely difficult to sit through.

Stellar Master Elite - III:Eternalism - The Psychospherical Chapter (Essential Purification Records)
This song is tremolo strumming and slowly shifted chords over midtempo drumming and a limber bassline. It seems like the kind of music that deserves the appellation "depressive black metal". Stellar Master Elite hit the bullseye here, but making an hour and three minutes of similar music which isn’t a chore is a tough task.

Borgne - Règne des morts (Sepulchral Productions)
I recommend skipping to about the 2 minute mark in this track so as to avoid the pointless ambient intro. What comes after is a spectacular, churning blast of black metal.

Warsenal - Barn Burner (Punishment 18 Records)
Barn Burner is these Canadian thrashers’ first album. Per their Facebook page, the band made an artistic choice to record the album live over a 2 day period, Black Sabbath style. It certainly doesn’t sound overproduced, and the bass is much higher in the mix than for other recent retro-thrash recordings. Should be an interesting listen when the full abum is available.

Enbilulugugal - Praise the Fukken Lard!!!! (Enbilulugugal KreationZ)
Reddit users have what they call a Risky Click of the Day, where one clicks a dubious link and hopes for the best. Consider this your Risky Listen of the Day, but make sure you’ve got earbuds or headphones on, because Praise is a claptrap shitcan piece of noise. The riffs are messy and everything is coated with distortion, with random noise, warped snippets of dialogue and samples, and truly tortured vocals poking out of the din.

I actually like it, and therefore I need to rethink my life.

De Profundis - Kingdom of the Blind (Wicker Man Recordings)
De Profundis has always struck me as an inventive, talented band that hasn’t quite managed to stitch their riffs and parts into effective songs. Unfulfilled potential, is what I’m saying. You can be the judge of whether that changes on the new album by clicking here, where the album is streaming in full. After listening to a few songs, I can tell you that De Profundis is (still) less of a black metal band and more of an extreme metal band, writing riffs in any style they please. The album’s third track, "Illumination", even as an Iron Maiden-esque guitar run and some trad metal soloing.

Thaw - St. Phenome Alley (Witching Hour Productions)
Thaw’s tagged on metal-archives as being black metal/ambient/noise, but this new record is mostly ambient and noise. I think it’s really dull. Make up your own mind, because it’s streaming in full at ...