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.
Diploid – I AM YOURS. AND I AM HERE AGAIN (24:56 of raw, grindcore emotionality). “Oh my fucking god” is what I said as the first, feedback-heavy track of Diploid’s latest album blasted my ears for the first time. Devoid of riffs and of much else beyond feedback noise, the first track is all about the vocals and the lyrics. They’re so raw, spat out with the weight of an entire world of pain and anger behind them, that they set an incredibly high bar for the rest of the album. Which, in true Diploid fashion, is fucking smashed in five minute flat. I AM YOURS. AND I AM HERE AGAIN is yet another release from one of Australia’s most slept on bands. Don’t fucking do it! Listen to Diploid!
Razoreater – Purgatory (20:21 of UK death-grind goodness). Bandcamp tag trawling strikes again! Stumbled on these absolute mad lads while perusing my favorite music platform a week or so ago and haven’t looked back since. Thrashy, aggressive, momentous death metal played to the tune of grindcore beats and absolutely filthy tones. You know, the good shit. The “play this fucking loud” shit.
FLUISTERAARS – Gegrepen Door de Geest der Zielsontluiking (35:36 of post-black intensity). FLUISTERAARS have long been one of the best projects in post-black spaces but their latest release is perhaps their most grim and perfected of their illustrious career. The tone on it is absolutely biting, doing away with some of the “softer” elements of previous albums (like the horns on Bloem) to create a truly punishing and harrowing version of their sound. It’s an intense album, with very few breaks allowed to the listener from its harsh soundscapes and atmosphere.
Lo! – The Tongueless (17:12 of post-metal alacrity). Remember these guys? They were one of my first obsessions when I started writing for the blog. They ended up following up on this release with an excellent full length in 2017, but this EP will always have my heart. It’s off-kilter, filled with great vocals and weird, progressive instrumentation that is sure to capture your interest. It just has a vibe that I haven’t really found since.