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.


Empty ThroneGlossolalia (22:53 of riffs, riffs, riffs). Oh boy, we’re starting off strong this time around. Wait, fuck that, we always start strong on Flash of the Blade! We’re off stronger. Strongest. OUGH. Anyway, Empty Throne play the kind of muscular, no holds barred blackened thrash to which I’ve been addicted for the last year or so. In fact, it’s that addiction that made me start Flash of the Blade. This release goes fast, strong, and unrelenting so turn it up loud and get to headbanging.


Wevpon & Turbo Knight & Dimi KayeCybersmith EP (24:44 of future warfare). Yeah, three artists on this one. Problem? Fuck you. This EP goes so fucking hard; it’s as if a cyborg-mecha came back from the future with hardpoints full bristling and waged PURE. AUDIO. WAR. upon your feeble ears. Cybersynth, synthwave, electronic metal, industrial, you name it, this has it and it’s fucking loud. LOUD. Just listen to “Tech Wars”. L O U D.

Knoll Interstice (34:48 of deathgrind brilliance). Holy fuck. Holy fuck. This album is so fast, so oppressive, so heavy, so filled to the core with aggression, dejection, hate, and anger. It’s like a thousand sledgehammers, smashing you in the face in an elegant dance of pain. Wow, that sentence was stupid; this album will make you stupid because your brain will leak out of your ears. All hail the grind.

DEMISERThrough the Gate Eternal (33:57 of skeleton decimating riffs). And I looked unto the people and heard their cries and their cries were “more blackened thrash metal!” And lo, I saw that it was good and gave unto them the fucking riffs from hell. And on the third entry, I did not rest because there’s still one more fucking band in this post but listen to DEMISER first because they fucking rule. The “I” in their name is a scythe. Enough said.

Cat TemperKitty Hate Machine (25:31 of chunky, feline, synth assault). Yeah, another synthwave band. Problem? See above (fuck you). This album is about cats. What’s more metal than cats? Nothing is more metal than cats. Especially when the music about them goes this hard. Kitty HATE Machine and you best run away because this tiger has claws that bite deep.