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

GraveRipperRadiated Remains (27:37 of radioactive riff bonanza). Honestly, it’s albums like these that I started Flash of the Blade for. That and I wanted a place to swear on the blog and vent my aggression. What better way to vent your aggression with something as fucking punishing as Radiated Remains? This slab of heat and fury is zero frill all trill, in your face, blackened thrash. The guitars are saw blades, the drums are artillery shells, the bass is like buildings collapsing, the vocals are a screaming comet. And can we talk about that fucking cover art? Fuck yes. Play this one loud for me, will you? It screams to be let loose.

Daggers

Immortal WarVoice of Misery (9:03 of punk fury). I’m not this world’s biggest fan of punk but the intersections between it and thrash are impossible to deny and boy do I love me some fucking thrash. On Voice of Misery, Immortal War tow that exact line, infusing their punk beats with a thrashy edge in the form of plenty of feedback on the guitars and an overall heft that’s impossible to deny. It’s an album that seemingly reaches back in time and returns to us the angst of the 80’s, pouring it forth into our ears with hot fury.

XothInterdimensional Invocations (39:10 of death metal adventures). If you’ve asked yourself what Chuck Schuldiner‘s music might sound like today, you’ve probably come to the conclusion that there are many possible paths Death might have taken. But Xoth’s music is definitely one of them, packed with all of the riffs and wacky solos your heart might desire. We’ve written about these guys plenty for the blog but it’s been a while so I thought I’d remind you of how much this album slays. And believe me, it does. That fucking bass tone!

Tyrannus – Demo & S/T EP (31:11 of total, uncompromising onslaught). This one comes to us courtesy of our friends over at the Antifascist Black Metal Network and although Tyrannus make death metal, you can see the overlap. There’s something incredibly caustic about Tyrannus’ brand of psychedelic death metal, delivering their aesthetic and vision with uncompromising pour and dedication to the craft. There’s also plenty of thrash to them, with breakneck riffs and weird solos to set your heart at ease (or at danger?) It also has weird, creepy ambience on it. Long story short, these two albums, re-released in June 2021, are something to behold for yourself. Just make sure you’re sitting down; they pack one hell of a wallop.

Butcher in the FogExonerate Me, Baby (33:25 of thick, aggressive riffs). Oh boy, here comes that stoner shit. But if you think Exonerate Me, Baby is interested in slowing down just because their riffs are fuzzy, you are sorely mistaken. Instead, Butcher in the Fog are hellbent on blending together the sounds of bands like Clutch and High on Fire with, you guessed it, thrash. As a result, this album goes fucking hard, sacrificing nothing in attack and delivery in favor of heft and punch. Anyway it fucking goes, listen to “Swamp of Delusion”.

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