Greetings duelists and welcome back to Flash of the Blade! It’s 2021! Everything is different and yet, the absolute fucking same. A monster looms and that monster is called capitalism and if we don’t get out our fucking swords, it will swallow us whole. 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

Pupil SlicerMirrors (37:44 of chaotic mathcore madness). I mean, they’re called fucking Pupil Slicer, aren’t they? What more do you need to know? Maybe that none other than master duelist Pedram Valiani (Frontierer, Sectioned) himself did the mixing and mastering on this one? Or that they have some absolute kick-ass lyrics about rebellion and freedom? Fuck yeah. Spin it loud.

Daggers

SectionedOutlier (23:22 of dark madness). Yeah, OK, see, I know that everyone knows about Sectioned by now, seeing as the above-mentioned Pedram is spearheading a whole fucking musical movement. But back in the day, we at Heavy Blog (if I can boast for just a bit) were waving that Sectioned flag pretty hard. Yeah, I’m a hipster, fucking sue me. But first, play this early Sectioned shit and find out why we were pushing this stuff to begin with.

EnforcedKill Grid (exactly 41 minutes of unrelenting riffs). I’m pretty sure that if I hadn’t included this album in this edition of Flash of the Blade, a mysterious swordsman from beyond time would appear to decapitate me. The riffs; they go hard. The drums; they smash faces. The vocals; they’re murderous. Listen to this.

ObsoleteAnimate // Isolate (36:35 of technical, face-melting death/thrash). Another no-brainer of an inclusion, in the sense that this album will melt whatever remaining brain cells you still have running in that dusty ol’ can you call your skull. Blistering, complicated, unrelenting death metal with just enough thrash buzz-saw tones to set your bones really ringing. Spin it and spin it and spin it, trying to figure out exactly what’s happening, and don’t stop headbanging for one second.

Steel Bearing Hand Slay In Hell (39:26 of non-stop, demon-slaying riffs). “Oooohhhhh ssshhhiiiittttt” that was my immediate reaction when I saw that a new Steel Bearing Hand album was announced a month or so ago. When it comes to crushing, flaying, burning, scorching riffs, these guys are second to none. Don’t let the (somewhat) long run-time fool you; this album is all meat, no fat. It’s lean, mean, and wants your spleen. Or something, fuck you, listen to this.

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