Yes, this is my second Quick Album Thoughts post in a row. Again, I haven’t had much time as of late to write as much as I would like to on this blog, but I assure you, there are more writings in the works. I do have things I want to get off my chest, and there is a special post coming in the next couple weeks! It also has to do with albums, but it is definitely NOT a quick album thoughts post… You’ll see. But for now, here are my latest listens for this week. Enjoy!
Renounced: Theories of Despair
If there’s one thing I always appreciate when it comes to albums, it’s thick, bassey production.This album has just that and that’s the first thing I noticed, so this one was already a winner in my eyes (ears?). I’ve already been a fan of these guys since 2014 after hearing their debut The Melancholy We Ache. Great album. These guys hail from the UK and play a heavy. vicious brand of Hardcore. Their first offering was excellent and very reminiscent of early Vision of Disorder, which gets my automatic stamp of approval. This album however, takes things up a notch and takes on an even heavier sound. Guitars, bass and drums became thicker, vocals became deeper, and the production became louder, and it made for an even better output than the last. There really isn’t much else to say about this one. It’s exactly what it’s meant to be, 43 minutes of straight up, hard-hitting no bs UK Hardcore that kicks you in the face from start to finish. As corny as that sounds (I try not to, believe me) it is what it is and it’s great. Highly recommended! Especially if you’re looking for something with a bass kick!
Sodom: Decision Day
I’ve been on a Thrash kick lately. So I decided to take advantage of it and give these next two gems a listen. Starting with this one. Sodom are one of the first bands who come to mind when i’m in a Thrashy mood. I know they released this months ago but I just never got around to listen to it until now. Now, I can’t say this is their best album. Not by a long shot. I also however, wouldn’t call it their worst. This is exactly what you would expect from the likes of Sodom. Heavy, groovy, melodic and harsh as fuck Thrash Metal by one of the legends of the genre. Nothing too different than what you would be used to, though there are 2 songs on here that really stand out. The 2 more mid-paced tracks, Strange Lost World & Belligerence. Two great, epic tracks that had me into them and jamming out from start to finish. Both these songs showcase that the more interesting moments on this album are the slower, groovier moments, while the faster and thrashier moments are honestly kinda generic. Again, this is not a bad album and I would recommend it to fans of Sodom and Thrash. I just wouldn’t call it their best. Stil give a listen though. You may think differently.
Exumer: The Raging Tides
My Thrash kick continues with this one. Now this band I’ve known about for a while, but never bothered to give a shot until now, and i’m glad I did. I can’t say much about this that wasn’t already just said about Sodom. It’s a straight up, in-your-face Thrash album, no more, no less, but it is a really fucking good one and it reminded me a LOT of early Steve Souza era Exodus. Especially vocally. I’m not the biggest enthusiast of the yelling-type vocals, but there are times where certain things that i’m usually not big on just work. Just clicks. This is one of those times. Exumer pulls this vocal style off extremely well with their sound. Again, not the most ‘unique’ of Thrash out there, but this is still a damn good album and I enjoyed the hell out of it. The one track in particular that I enjoyed the most was the STELLAR cover of Pentagram’s Forever My Queen. Best cover I’ve heard in a long time! Superb job. Anyway, I definitely recommend this one to Thrash fiends or to those looking for something different and good. So give this one a listen if interested. It’s easily the better of the two Thrash albums in this post and one of the better Thrash albums all year!
Wędrujący Wiatr: O Turniach, Jeziorach I Nocnych Szlakach
I used to thumb my nose at the nature-themed atmospheric trenches of Black Metal. I just found it boring and not all that interesting. But in recent months, I’ve really warmed up to it and got to understand it more. I know it’s not the type of music that’s supposed to get your adrenaline going and get you uppity. It’s the type of music best listened to sitting down and relaxing that’s supposed to make you feel like you’re walking through an endless forest in the shadowy mountains or whatever the fuck else these pretentious hippie-dippy Tumblr dwelling hacks say this kind of music does to them. Which brings me to this band & album, which I will not even make the attempt to even think of attempting to pronounce the names of. This is a textbook Atmospheric Black Metal album that is without a doubt meant to be listened to while sitting down, which I did while enjoying a nice, big ol’ cup o’ Joe (I’m a coffee enthusiast. Sue me). Now i’m not gonna call this one generic or boring or disappointing or any of those things, because it definitely isn’t. To me, this is just another one of those albums that, while still not bad sonically, it lacks that extra pinch of substance that gets you really into it. It’s one of those albums that just passes by without anything too interesting happening. There are some decent moments, like some pretty interesting instrumental passages, but other than that, it’s predominantly 4 minutes short of an hour of distant, echoey shrieks, hazey blast beats and decent guitar work. Again, this isn’t a bad or terrible album. Just very uninteresting. In my opinion. If you’re into this style of Black Metal or bands similar to Ashbringer or Agaeon, give this a listen. But for me, it came close, but just fell flat. Best way I can put it.
Soulburn: Earthless Pagan Spirit
Now on to what I would call the best album of the week! Holy fuck, this is a good one. I’ve been a fan of Soulburn for a couple years now and really dug their last album The Suffocating Darkness. Really good stuff. This album however, may have made them a favorite of mine in the Black Metal department. This is a fantastic album that would be high up on my year-end list had I had the chance to put it on there. But screw it, honorable mention is good enough. Anyway, I wouldn’t call this album Blackened Thrash or Blackened Death Metal, this is very much a straight Black Metal album that takes hints from Thrash and Death Metal. The song structures range from catchy grooves to blast-beats galore with evil as shit tremolo-riffage, complete with vocals that range from nasty, snarly shrieks to half-growls. Very well done. To top it all off the production is loud but raw and dirty as all hell. Perfect recipe for something I would love! Which it is. I can compare this to the likes of Marduk or Taake or even Watain, but it’s really it’s own style. It has hints of those bands, but at the same time it has it’s own brand of uniqueness. If that makes sense (probably not). Anyway, i’m not gonna ramble on this. It’s a fantastic, raw, loud, dirty, harsh and evil slab of Black Metal, Blackened Death Metal, Blackened Thrash or whatever the fuck you want to call it. Which ever sub-genre they classifies as, Soulburn now have a place on my favorites list. I highly recommend this one to any open-minded fan of Black Metal, modern or old-school. This, I think can be a pleaser for both sides. So if you’re into either or both, check this one out!!
T.O.M.B.: Fury Nocturnus
What do you get when you take the droney, loud, staticy, random and out there, yet stoic and mysterious Industrial Noise stylings of Genocide Organ, Brighter Death Now & Puce Mary and add in some shrieky Black Metal harshness? You get this terrifying piece of maniacal beauty. I was kind of on the fence about listening to this one at first because I just haven’t been in a mood for Harsh Noise or Industrial music in recent months, but then I saw it getting quite a bit of praise by multiple review sites and some people on Twitter and Instagram. So I just said ‘fuck it, why not?’. Well, i’m glad I did. Putting myself through this 44-minute journey of occultic audio-madness was well worth it. This isn’t really an Industrial Black Metal or Harsh Noise Black Metal album like I was sort of expecting, but rather an Industrial Noise album with a hint of Black Metal. Each track is a wall of weird, droning soundscapes under ambient waves of electronic programming and droning instruments, completed by vocals that alternate between manic, incomprehensible yells to harsh shrieks and growls. This is a very strange, but interesting piece of noise art. Pretty much the audio musical equivalent to seeing something strange or even disturbing, like a really fucked up Horror or exploitation film or some sick performance of visual art but not being able too look away. If you’re familiar with this kind of stuff, you’ll know what you’re in for. It will be strange, it will be creepy, it will be nightmare-fuel, but you’ll want more and keep listening until it’s through. I dig it when an album can do that. So I definitely recommend this one to anyone who’s into this insane genre of ‘music’. Which is quite a few people nowadays. Myself included. Give it a listen! Just not in the dark… actually, that’s exactly where you should listen to it.
And that’ll do it for now. Hope this isn’t too shitty of a writing, because it was kinda rushed, but I still hope this sparks at least some interest in any of these albums. If not, hey, I tried. *Shrugs* Again, my next post will be about albums as well, but it will not be a post like this. I’ll keep it a secret for now, but when I do publish it, I just hope you have a good attention span… Oh boy.
Until next time, fuckers.