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.


Zeal and Ardor – Wake of a Nation (17:05 of black metal and gospel against racism). Sure, this album has its musically calm moments of it but every second of it a huge middle finger pointed towards white supremacy and police brutality. And when it goes, it fucking goes, the black metal end of the spectrum as blistering as it ever was, maybe even more so. Lastly, if this EP doesn’t make you fucking angry I don’t know what will. Get out your blades, it’s time to kill fascists.


Steel Bearing HandSteel Bearing Hand (32:17 of nothing but the sickest riffs). This one is a bit longer for this column but it just goes so unbelievably fucking hard. Some of the most pissed off, no nonsense, violent blackened thrash I’ve ever heard. Kneel!

ATKAUntitled Album 1 (30:48 of technogrind madness). This album will make you go insane. No, seriously; this is one of the most diverse, scattered, groovy, melodic, abrasive, and mind-bending grind albums I’ve ever heard. It has a bit of everything and somehow pulls it all off. Sheer madness.

VolandVoland 2 (20:18 of epic black metal). Voland 2 is an album dedicated to the October Revolution, released on the 100th year anniversary of that glorious event. It is as epic in scope as the Soviet Union was, boldly painting its black metal in broad strokes and sheer magnificence. Music to shatter capitalism to.

Gatekeeper Grey Maiden (20:22 of swords and sorcery). If you don’t get super hyped when listening to the first track off of this, then I don’t know what the fuck is wrong with you. Some of the best and most to-the-point trad metal out there. Play it fucking loud.