Scalpel – Century in the Boilpit (brutal prog death)
Scalpel just snuck in at the end of last year with this slab of brutality. I’m told Century in the Boilpit sounds a lot like early Mithras. Since I only really know that band from 2016’s On Strange Loops, I couldn’t say. That album was certainly weird but I mainly remember it for its sparse, ethereal aesthetic. Century in the Boilpit on the other hand is cluttered and extremely tangible. Its razor sharp, almost mathcore-esque rhythms are drenched in a layer of grime, reminiscent of early Cannibal Corpse, if their arrangements were as unhinged as their imagry. I guess there's a world where this is the album Gorguts made in 1998 instead of Obscura. In this timeline though, it's an album Scalpel made at the end of 2022 and there really isn't much else like it.
Ὁπλίτης – Ψευδομένη (brutal blackened deathgrind)
Speaking of idiosyncratic albums... What we have here is some extremely brutal black metal with a crossover edge. The band (whose name apparently translates to "Soldier") come from China, but write and record in Greek, just to keep things interesting. I'm told they sound like Serpent Column, but this seems like its on a whole 'nother level of brutality and is grabbing me a lot more than anything I've checked out from those guys. Thanks to Calder for pointing this one out.