Greetings duelists and welcome back to Flash of the Blade! It’s 2022! Everything is different and yet, the absolute fucking same. Those who are killing us and destroying the planet have names and addresses and the solution to their tyranny is simple. 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

Doldrum The Knocking, Or The Story of the Sound that Preceded Their Disappearance (36:48 of unbridled black metal). Yes, I also wrote about this album for Kvlt Kolvmn. Sue me. It’s so good that I have to write about it here as well. Besides, it’s truly unstoppable, wild, and emotional energy is premium Flash of the Blade material, grabbing you by the throat and taking you on a ride filled with horror, revelation, and violence.

Daggers

Bekor QilishThroes of Death From the Dreamed Nihilism (28:14 of universe-altering experimentation). I wrote about this album elsewhere as well but could not, under the law of duelists, not include it here. It is so violent, aggressive, explosive, and completely and utterly unpredictable that it’s inclusion here was pre-ordained by fate or the death of some eldritch god. It’s probably the most “out there” album you’ll hear all year, especially in the realms of albums that do both that and also melt your face off.

NullingrootsRenditions of Past and Present (20:46 of moving black metal). One of the most underrated projects in black metal returns with a re-recording of an older track, turning it into an even more fantastic piece of music with the addition of vocals. If you want a masterclass in how to make moving, atmospheric black metal without being boring and completely reliant on tropes, check this release out. It will show you that and more.

Michel AnoiaNervures (27:13 of crushing grindcore). If you like your grindcore full-bodied, industrially-tinged, and chaotic as all hell, then look no further than this release. It’s probably one of the loudest records I’ve heard all year, and am likely to hear in what’s left of it, and it utilizes that volume with exact precision. Maximizing aggression and overwhelmingly assault, Nervures is a tough listen but one that scratches that self-destructive, burn-everything-down itch like no other album from the last few months.