As I originally wrote this post, it included music from 10 bands. As I explained yesterday, I’m feverishly trying to spread the word about late-breaking new releases before being swallowed up by our year-end LISTMANIA orgy. In order to do that, I throttled my usual wordiness in what I wrote, atypically allowing the music to speak (mainly) for itself. But I still thought that 10 bands might be too much for a single post, so I’ve divided it into two parts. I’ll let Part 2 simmer in the pot for an hour or two and then spring that one on you today as well.
As usual for this series, all the music is charred black to differing degrees. I’m starting with some arguably better-known names and then, especially in Part 2, diving a bit deeper into the well of obscurity.
Song: “Mästarens resa i mörkret”
Release date: December 16
Order link: https://murg.bandcamp.com/album/gudatall
After last year’s stupendous Varg & Björn, Murg are already returning with a new album. I’m going to be a dick and admit that I’ve already heard it. I didn’t expect that it would rival Varg & Björn, coming so soon after that album, but it does. It might even be better, but I’ll need to sit with it some more before attempting to make such a difficult comparison.
Focusing just on the song that’s streaming below, it’s both incendiary and staggeringly bleak. The melodies are intense and completely immersive; they penetrate like knives, and you fall before them.
Song: “Oath Breaker”
Album: In His Majesty’s Infernal Service
Release date: November 25
Order link: http://www.cmdistro.com/b/witchery/?sort=newest&image=large
Galloping black thrash from some old pro’s, with a rhythm section that hits you where you live, killer riffs, and a melody that soars.
Song: “May Her Wrath Be Just”
Album: As Was
Release date: January 13
Country: U.S. (New York)
Order link: https://blackanvil.bandcamp.com
Grim and thundering. It meshes feral vocal savagery and impassioned clean singing with a forlorn yet magisterial melody that gets its hooks in your head. In short order, the song has the capacity to carry you away with its visceral yet atmospheric power.
Song: “Seal Ov the Black Flame”
Release date: November 18
Order link: http://store.witchinghour.pl; https://witchinghourproductions.bandcamp.com/album/legacy
Full stream: http://www.musickmagazine.pl/archiwa/5993
A solemn prelude introduces a song of great drama and majestic sweep. Exalted, triumphant black metal with heart-swelling melodies and head-moving riffs, but still saturated in darkness, and with real flesh-ripping teeth in the vocals. Nine albums into a career that has lasted more than a quarter century, and this band is still firing on all cylinders.
Album: The Biddings of Tyrants
Release date: December 9
Country: U.S. (New England)
Order link: https://invertia.bandcamp.com/album/the-biddings-of-tyrants
A hybrid of black, death, and head-hammering industrial metal that wastes no time wrenching open the spigot on your adrenal glands and then keeps the flood coursing through the bloodstream non-stop. Punchy as hell and highly addictive; the vocals are also ugly as sin, and therefore beautiful.
A second song called “Another Big Brother” can be heard here, where it’s exclusively streaming for now.