When I last listened to Cendra, it was their second album, 666 Bastards, of which I was a fan. The Spaniards are back for some more blackened thrash/punk on their newest album, the appropriately-titled Metal Punk.
Haiduk, hailing from Alberta, Canada, is a one-man blackened death metal act. When he sent me his second album, Demonicon, a concept album about nine demonic entities, I wondered if I was getting into a half-hour of self-indulgent, ham-fisted fuckwittery. Nothing could be further from the truth, because Luka Milojica is quite the talented individual.
So-called "pagan" metal can be a tricky beast. Ranging from dissonant black metal with the thematic lyrics buried under muddy production to blackened folk metal, you never know which you’re getting into until you hit the "Play" button. Fortunately, Spain’s Hordak lean heavily to the latter, which is more up my alley. The band presents their fourth album, Padre, and they pretty much nail it.
Typically when I think of Italian metal, I automatically go to the symphonic power metal put out by the various incarnations of [Luca Turilli’s] Rhapsody [of Fire] with the occasional smattering of death metal. Therefore, it’s a refreshing change of pace for a blackened thrash metal act to come out of Europe’s Boot and prove the Scandinavians and the South Americans don’t have a duopoly on the genre.
Hailing from the Land Down Under (Australia, not Hell), Bloodlust is a two-man side project of the bassist (Specter, a.k.a. James Campbell) and drummer (Disaster, a.k.a. Louis Rando) from the black metal act Mhorgl.
In recent weeks, Iran has been in the U.S. news a lot, but unfortunately it’s not regarding their metal scene. Maybe we can get the left- and right-wingers to at least agree on what constitutes good death metal. Is that too much to ask? Probably. In any case, let’s see how Nex Carnis do with their first full-length, Obscure Visions Of Dark.
Paganus Doctrina formed in the mid-1990s, but went their separate ways before the new millennium. They reformed in 2006, released a split with Morbid Funeral and Necrólisis, and then began work on their debut album, Omnipotense Aeternae Diabolous. Apparently the album was recorded in 2012, but due to various delays, it wasn’t unleashed on the world until 2015. After incubating for three years, did the music age like fine wine… or milk?
When Swedish trio Graveyard After Graveyard had leftover material after releasing their LP Bagged and Dragged to a Fullmoon Burial they decided to release these songs as an EP, Hellhound On My Trail, six months later.
When you mention hardcore/d-beat and/or black metal, one of the last words that typically comes to mind is the word “fun”, but I’m not sure how else to describe the newest full-length from Cendra, entitled 666 Bastards. Despite the raw agression on display here, this music just brings a smile to my face.