Greetings duelists and welcome back to Flash of the Blade! Don’t remember what this column is about? Luckily, it’s easy to remind you: this column is about short releases that go hard. Also, swearing. Which genres are included? Fuck genres. If it goes hard and if it goes fast and if it doesn’t waste any time doing either of that, it can end up here. OK? OK. Let’s fucking get to it.


Montagne Black Waterfall (27:07 of dark aggression). This slab of post-metal and post-hardcore combined comes to us from the blood-soaked streets of Paris. Just play the first track, “Mononoké”, and see for yourself what sort of bleak, post-metal sounds temper Montagne’s blistering hardcore riffing. Hint: the slow and massive kind, which somehow makes the album even faster and more abrasive.


Next Life Guru Meditation (27:11 of electronic coercion). Hey, remember Genghis Tron? These guys were first. No, really; these guys basically invented chiptune, being the first band to use chip-generated sounds in their music. Oh, and they also use that to create a mix of grindcore, punk, and hardcore. I for one, welcome our furious AI overlords.

VamacaraMantras for the Manifold (24:38 of trippy, stoner-infused death metal). If you recognize this name, it’s because I’ve recently told you to listen to it. Well, here’s another reminder in case you’ve forgotten. Also yeah, I said stoner-infused death metal. Just listen to it, dolts.

Dance with the DeadBlackout (12:06 of slasher film synthwave). Oh boy, now it’s a party! Dance with the Dead have been my go-to source for cheesy, bouncy, satisfying synthwave for years now and Blackout is their most immediate and straight to the point release yet.

SumerlandsSumerlands (32:08 of American true steel). One of the finest heavy/power metal albums of the last five years. Need I say more? No, I needn’t. Go away.