Editor’s note: Yes, it’s that time of the year again! While our own Album of the Year list is already published by the time you read this, we still have a ton of end of year content for you. Over the coming week, we’ll be exploring 2017 in various of ways: through curated summaries for specific genres, editorials on specific phenomena we found interesting and, of course, guest lists! This time around, we have a band who's name should by synonymous with metal's success in 2017: Artificial Brain. Infrared Horizon, their album from this year, is top of the crop in the extremely busy and prolific technical death metal field. With all the releases coming from the sub-genre this year, Artificial Brain still managed to prove they're a cut above the rest, providing an aggressive, abrasive and yet strangely captivating science fiction masterpiece. Their list makes a lot of sense, in that regard. It's chock full of overwhelming and abrasive metal from bands like Aosoth, Thantifaxath and Dying Fetus. But it also includes more beguiling and subtle choices, like Circle or the avant-garde trappings of Fleurety. Thus, you'll just have to check it out for yourself and see what's what for Arti-B in 2017!
Welcome to the latest installment of Kvlt Kolvmn! Another amazing month, another installment attempting to capture it all. Our apologies for most assuredly failing in this regard. Nevertheless, a fairly large amount of black metal blasted through our ear holes since our last installment, and we are here to share our favorites with you. Believe you me, there were some good ones.
Welcome back to Kvlt Kolvmn! Another month, another insane amount of premium black metal. For the second month in a row, Scott is back in the saddle, churning out sterling recommendation after sterling recommendation. Hell is most pleased with his offerings, and all is again right in the black metal world. In a similar fashion to death metal releases in July, I was skeptical regarding how many quality albums we would hear this month. Let's be real: July is relatively awful for new releases across all genres of music, but can be especially brutal for metal. On most fronts, July 2017 proved me wrong by unleashing upon us some excellent black metal records that are not only worthy of a solid listen, but are some of the most accomplished to be released this year. Scott and I are happy to share these records with you, and hope you enjoy them as much as we did. So, without further adieu, into the ninth circle we go.
Some things just go really well together. Ham and cheese. Cookies and milk. Frodo and Samwise. Alcohol and an unusually horrible following morning. The metal world, intent on constantly reinventing and expanding itself, tends to mix differing sounds into new amalgamations of metal mayhem in hopes of finding similarly delightful pairings. Some of these ventures are more successful (Full of Hell and Merzbow) than others (here’s looking at you, Metallica and Lou Reed). But few things pair as well in the metal world as black and death metal. All the key ingredients for hate-filled success are there: unparalleled intensity, blast beats, tremolo insanity, thematic cohesion, and harsh, unrelenting vocal deliveries. With all of these commonalities between the two metal subgenres, you’d think that their fusion would be relatively easy to pull off. Based on a lot of recent death metal releases that incorporate black metal into their sound, however, it would seem that this isn’t always the case or even the norm. Outside of the success of bands such as Behemoth, there are surprisingly few examples of blackened death metal seeping deeply into metal culture. Excommunion is here to change that with their fierce new record, Thronosis.