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

Stare – II (14:49 of indigenous, anti-imperial, corrosive black metal). Oh my god, yes yes yes! EP of the year, calling it now. Monstrously corrosive, tinged with just enough doom, featuring guest solos straight from the heyday of heavy metal, non-stop blast-beats, brutal riffs, and all with a big fuck you to white supremacy, imperialism, and the West! Add in a bit of doom metal on some of the transitions, granting the whole thing a dramatic vibe that works really well with all of the aggression and you really can’t get much better. To quote the project itself: “THE IMPERIAL LIFE WILL HANG!”

Daggers

Perennial Quest Perennial Quest (27:34 of unapologetic, ultra-fast power metal). This one’s from 2020 but I never promised you that Flash of the Blade would be fresh just that it would kick your ass. And boy, does this album kick some ass! Think DragonForce but with the slower sections drawing influence from Edguy, and you’ve got the ticket. Perennial Quest is all about thousands of notes, sci-fi guitar tones and concepts, and just constant-go-do-not-brake-for-anyone power metal. Don’t believe me? Just listen to the first track alright? Then you can talk.

Homeboy SandmanAnjelitu (18:47 of pure, spitting, rap fire). The intro to these posts says “fuck genres” and I was not kidding. Anjelitu literally opens with a track titled “Go Hard” and, guess what, it goes fucking hard. I mean, the entire album goes fucking hard. The lyricism is great, the production (courtesy of one Aesop Rock) is stripped bare but all the more powerful it, and the delivery is like molten gold streaming into your ears. A Song of Ice and Fire reference? Sure. Listen to this album, cowards.

Wild ThroneBlood Maker (16:19 of rock n’ roll ferocity). Remember these guys? They’re one of the first bands I wrote about on the blog. These three tracks were later released as part of a full length, before the band disappeared, but I actually prefer them in their condensed form. There’s something about the EP format that really preserves the Mars Volta like energies of this release and its powerful momentum. Long live!

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