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.
Oh, this here is our patented Top Albums of 2022 So Far, just like all the other, more “serious” columns. But fuck ’em, says I (yes including the ones I wrote for, Flash of the Blade takes no prisoners). This is the only list you need. The fastest, meanest list. Let’s do it.
Doldrum – The Knocking, Or The Story of the Sound that Preceded Their Disappearance (36:48 of maelstrom black metal). Ever since I first wrote about this album on Flash of the Blade and Kvlt Kolmvn, I have not stopped listening to it at least once every few days. It’s wild. It’s raw. It’s chaotic. It’s a distillation of the power that lurks behind black metal, smashing at its cage to be let loose. And let loose it is.
Bekor Qilish – Throes of Death From the Dreamed Nihilism (28:14 of the void screaming into your ear). Speaking of power let loose, there is something completely unstoppable about Bekor Qilish. It just goes and goes and goes, all the while twisting and turning itself into a beast that cannot be harnessed. If Doldrum is black metal unleashed, then Bekor Qilish is everything I wish every experimental thrash release would be: uncompromising and wholly unique.
Maule – Maule (38:31 of heavy metal agility). Fucking Maule – Maule. Maule Maule Maule. This album made me pick up the heavy metal sword (which is never far from where I lay) and ride forth unto the fields of epicness. This is probably the best take on NWOBHM we’ll get all year; it rocks and also rules.
JOI – Mk1 (19:46 of metallic, charged post-rock). A new entry to the list, not covered before on Flash of the Blade, but boy does this one fucking go. It’s almost entirely driven by a monstrous drum kick, giving the bass guitar the oomph it needs to keep kicking you in the face for the entire of the release. Add in some destructive compositions that you can never quite pin down and you’ve got yourself a doozy of an album that uses what quiet parts it has to set up the noise to be even louder.
Lasiodora – Molt (28:39 of smoky aggression). Probably one of the most underrated releases of 2022, Lasiodora make good on the promise of bands like Wild Throne by pushing their ultra-heavy and aggressive take on progressive stoner to the max, emerging in the spaces of post-hardcore from the same direction that The Mars Volta did. Between screams, shifting instruments, and psychedelic quiet passages, Molt sounds like a stoner band slicing through the fabric of reality, finding a whole new plane of iridescent riffs behind it.