I know it’s later than I wanted, but I’ve been putting in a ton of time on my campaign setting book, which sadly takes away from a lot of other things, including, from time to time, articles like these when I get to carried away. Regardless, here we have it, still in April, the metal review. This time we have 5 bands: Three black metal with a splash of both Heavy Metal and Death Metal in there.
When it comes to black metal, I’m often left wondering if I am going to end up with bleeding, destroyed ears due to shrieking vocals, or if I am going to enjoy myself. Urfoust does none of the first, and plenty of the second. It’s an atmospheric metal album that really does it right. It’s got good pacing, well-done instrumentals, and the vocals don’t make me want to tear my face off in a rage. It is, however, a bit of that raw and raspy, unproduced sound that a lot of people like that just doesn’t do it for me. Otherwise, it’s a real success, with most tracks being strong.
Suggested Tracks: Doctrine of Spirit Obsession, Trail of Conscience of the Dead
It’s good, but not great, and is just a really solid album. Nothing drives it over the top for me, and I likely won’t reach for it again any time soon.
Here we are, once again having to decide if the metal or the vocals are the most dominating part of the band and albums sound. Here, unlike Urfausts efforts above, the shrieking vocals come in an almost continuous stream, drowning out any joy that I could derive from the definitely well-done metal that sits just beyond the reach of the vocals I just cannot move past.
Recommended Tracks: I assume, if you enjoy this, that tracks 1 and 3 are the best examples. I enjoyed their sound the most.
Woods from Which the Spirits Once so Loudly Howled and
Slaughter of the Medusa
I just can’t get behind this much screaching. Its not my bag, baby, though I really wish they would just stop singing. That way I get the excellent music without the crazy vocal distraction.
Ok. Special Album addition. I was listening to Spectral wound and started really grooving to the atmosphere of the last bit of the album. Turns out, it wasn’t the last bit of the album, but was instead a WHOLE NEW BAND that released an album in 2018 – So I’m adding it. Cosmic Autumn’s self-titled album is excellent. Its Atmospheric Black Metal with minimal vocals, just rocking, cosmic awesome music. I love this album so much. I was 90% through it when I realized this wasn’t Spectral voice playing, so figured I’d add it in, as they deserve some recognition.
Recommended Tracks: Both Indistinct Visions and Realms of Eternal Light are both great.
Two quick things. First, when they were talking about this album, I assumed they meant Maner of Infinite forms. Their title is much cooler. Second, When I looked this band up in Encyclopaedia Metallum and their lyrical themes were Bloodborne and Dark Souls, I was extremely psyched. Instead, I ended up with a band that is less my type, sadly. This is an extremely death metal band with some shrieking, black metal vibes. It has a steady tempo and a deep, reverberating grumble that gives it that distinct death metal sound, but it’s not clear enough for me to really get much out of it, which is a shame, because – as almost always, the music itself is pretty solid.
Recommended songs: Abysswalker and Two Worlds Become one.
Its simply not my type of music. I’m guessing that if you like death metal, this is right in there for you, but its not my death metal.
Gatekeeper – East of Sun
Ho boy. Epic Heavy metal is exactly what this is. Even the album cover is straight out of late 70’s epic fantasy. It starts off with Blade of Cimmeria and takes no breaks. The instruments pound heavy and steady through the entirety of the album, making it worth the listen. There are some extremely excellent portions that I don’t have the musical lexicon to fully explain, but its super fun to listen to. Beyond that, however, the vocals are just a touch on the high side. I know, I’ve been screaming about screeching and screaming for albums now, and I finally find one I like, and yet they are still to high. Its true, and I’m sorry. They are enjoyable most of the time but every once in a while they seem to be on the verge of cracking and shattering into the unlistenable. Still, a good album.
Recommended Tracks: Blade of Cimmeria and Bell of Tarantia
I can’t really argue with Epic Heavy Metal. Its strong throughout most of the album, and I like a lot more of the vocals than I don’t. Its a pounding, epic experience.
Until Next Time!