(Here’s the second of KevinP’s monthly selection of releases for 2016, naming his Top 5 favorite albums released during February.)
So much for the notion that the beginning and end of the year are slow times for new releases. We have another month stacked with quality through and through. As pleasing as it is to spread the love of great releases to people far and wide, I wouldn’t mind a slight respite during a busy time of the year (I do have other obligations and hobbies). But yeah, #FirstWorldProblem.
5. Entropia – Ufonaut
If you missed our album premiere a few weeks back, consider this your 2nd chance. This Polish band’s sophomore full-length mixes equal parts black metal, prog, post-rock, and maybe even a dash of sludge into one heck of a damn fine package. I even hear a jazzy technicality as well. Yeah. it’s alot of stuff going on, but it meshes together marvelously.
4. Pogavranjen – Jeda Cekam Da Nikad Ne Umrem (Looking Forward to Never Die)
How has this Croatian band been around since 2008, started releasing material in 2010, and I’m just hearing about them now?!?!?! You probably missed it when we had a song from this album buried at the end of an update last month (I did as well, just glad a promo came across my desk). Black metal that is progressive, moody, sometimes a bit psychedelic, lots of times jazzy. While alot of these elements were in the album by the previous band we just talked about, musically it’s quite different. Vocally this has a mix of harsh and clean (almost in the vein of Poland’s Outre). Fantastic.
3. Mussorgski – Creatio Cosmicam Bestiae
Another Polish band (who’s on their third full-length album) and first I’m hearing about them as well. Well, actually it’s not a band per say, but one man. Khorzon, of the black metal band Arkona. And this one really defies genre classification; not sure what to really call it: ambient, industrial, church organ, vocal spoken word/chant, black metal? You tell me, as I’m thoroughly confused. But it’s a fascinating listen and requires multiple play-throughs to really get it.
2. Altarage – NIHL
OK, no more weird stuff (for now), we have an Iron Bonehead release here, kids. New band with only a demo in 2015 under their belt before unleashing this monster of an album. Wet blanket foggy death metal from Spain. A record that will melt your insides. I adore the guitar tone and everything about it. I’d be shocked to hear a more evil and viscous album this entire year!
1. Oranssi Pazuzu – Varahtelija
Okay, there’s simply no excuses for missing this one. I interviewed the band earlier this month:
Andy Synn did a review of their entire discography last week:
Their album in 2013 was met with almost universal praise. It’s psychedelic black metal that doesn’t restrict itself to any particular style or form. Dare I say they have now normalized the idea of being “out there”, as they have struck such a chord of being different and unique, they have been doing it so long, you actually feel comfortable listening to it.
I know I said this about last month’s number one album (by Fifth to Infinity), but you are gonna be hard-pressed come year-end to find many albums that top this.