Behemoth – I Loved You At Your Darkest

Behemoth have always been a band with something to say. How they say it has changed over time, but they have always had a message, a drive, ambition. Be it their rebellion against the conservative Polish culture, frontman Nergal’s battle with leukemia, or institutional religion in general, they’ve always had an edge. With any artist who is quite a ways into their career, they often run the risk of having their reality being overwritten by their aesthetic. Behemoth have always been in charge of their aesthetic. From their fantastic album art and exemplary music videos to their coordinated live performances, their thing has always been “the whole experience”. While this is kind of a genre staple for black metal, few other bands have had the dedication and budget to do it to the extent Behemoth have. All of this is to say that there’s so much going on with Behemoth, so many things riding on every aspect of their work, that it’s surprising nothing has gone wrong yet. Well, enter I Loved You At Your Darkest.

Hey! Listen to Fleshmeadow!

December is a shocking month to release music in. If you’re thinking about doing so, don’t. Most publications have already settled on their end-of-year list, and if they haven’t been published yet they’ll be coming soon. Music journalists are going into shut-down mode as they give themselves some time off and try to recover from the mountain of listening they did in preparation for their end-of-year list. Listeners are on holidays and are enjoying their time off with loved ones. If they’re listening to music it’s going to be their personal favourites and not some new record that’s dropped. What this all means is that albums released in December are likely to get lost, falling into an abyss from which escape is near-impossible even for those with a formidable PR machine behind them. When you’re independent you’ve almost got no chance. That’s my theory for how an album as great as Fleshmeadow’s debut Umbra slipped through the cracks in late 2016 and why they’re still a largely unknown quantity. But we’re trying to fix that because these blackened death metallers are ready to rip your face off.

Imperial Triumphant – Vile Luxury

The fact we’re amid a death metal renaissance has been widely covered over the last several years, and particularly the last few months. Along with our usual monthly praises in Death’s Door, sites like Bandcamp and Toilet ov Hell have recently published odes to the modern crop of death metal ingenuity.…

Bridge Burner – Null Apostle

Anyone who followed metalcore in the mid-to-late-2000s and early 2010s (e.g. me) remembers the movement of bands who declared in unison “we’ve heard some extreme metal and want to be like Converge and Entombed.” Whether their persuasion lied with the black metal, sludge or elsewhere, the key for bands who succeeded (Gaza, Trap Them, etc.)…

Hoth – Astral Necromancy

Concept albums are such a hard thing to follow up. An artist spends so much time developing a universe and playing on themes that it’s often hard to come back from especially if the artist is not known for that kind of songwriting or storytelling. Luckily, that isn’t a problem…

Voidthrone – Kur

What happens every time you try to introduce someone to metal? No matter if you’re playing your favorite record, the craziest thing you’d heard recently, or something a bit more introductory, you’ll inevitably give it to someone who has the same common complaint. “OH, I CAN’T TAKE IT, THERE’S JUST…

Hey! Listen to Sun Speaker!

Sun Speaker are a young band who seem to have successfully cracked the formula for engaging blackened death metal. Their recent release Ov Lustra, released on 4/20 via Subliminal Groove Records (for whom we have a soft spot in our hearts), is packed with great moments of blackened aggression. The basic formula takes the guitar styles of both genres and mashes them together, tremolo picked, frostbitten riffs living right alongside flashy solos, sweep-laden bridges and an overall emphasis on breadth and impact that’s death metal through and through.

Nigredo – Flesh Torn – Spirit Pierced

Not content to assault their listeners from only one direction, the title of the latest offering from Nigredo constructs a thematic duality of body and mind that is fully reflected in the band’s unique combination of visceral, punishing thrash metal and mind-bending, otherworldly blackened influences. The prominent theme of duality…