Greetings duelists and welcome back to Flash of the Blade! It’s 2021! Everything is different and yet, the absolute fucking same. 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.

Sword

Marigold KingAll Lies Matter (6:51 of dissonance). What the fuck is this? I wish I knew. On one hand, this is extremely dissonant black metal with a million horns on it. Yes, I said horns. No, not the goat kind; the brass kind. On the other, this is an explicitly anti-fascist/leftist album. And then it’s also this weirdly engaging, extremely avant-garde thing. It’s all of that and more. It’s fucking mental. It goes hard as fuck. It’s this month’s sword because I’m pretty sure I’d implode if I didn’t choose it as such.

Daggers

BeekeeperSlaves to the Nothing (33:05 of thrash-death hotness). Boy, this one just has Flash of the Blade written all over it. On their 2017 release, Beekeeper play a killer sort of death metal that owes its sound to Slayer, Death, and fucking Judas Priest. Yeah, you get the picture: fast riffs, lots of notes, breakneck drums, killer vocals. The good stuff. Spin this one loud (as if you’re allowed to spin anything from Flash of the Blade otherwise. You’re not!)

Cara NeirPhase Out (32:31 of chiptune grind glory). Man, it took me way too long to discover that chiptune and 8-bit work incredibly well with grindcore. I mean sure, we’ve always had Genghis Tron to show us that but it’s way more than just them; there’s a whole excellent scene operating out there. Case in point, Cara Neir’s melodic, progressive grindcore, which works in the electronic influences right into its core. Just listen to that groove on the first track (you’ll know the one) and tell me this doesn’t rule.

Bas Rotten Surge (20:42 of meaty violence). These guys are the real deal; their blend of grindcore, hardcore, and punk will surely send your heart racing and your teeth is soaring as the music punches them out. There’s not much to say about this one, in true Flash of the Blade fashion, other than play it fucking loud and make sure there’s no one you love around. You will get the urge to punch someone’s face in.

Molten ChainsTorment Enshrined (32:09 of weirdo blackened heavy metal). You read that right: blackened heavy metal. I don’t really know what else to call Molten Chains: on one hand, you have those galloping riffs and overall heavy metal vibes. On the other, you have those vocals which are decidedly heavy metal or maybe even epic doom at times for sure, but then, more often then not, they channel this cold, abrasive darkness that can only be described. Whatever, the album fucking rules and it fucking goes and that’s all that matters on Flash of the Blade.

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