[Click on band name for samples and more info]
Aeveron - VVD Destination Annihilation (Battlegod Productions)
This quintet describes their sound as “Melodic Swedish Metal”, even though they actually hail from Germany. If I had to pick a better description, and I feel like I do because I’m an asshole metal blogger, I would go with Blackened Melodic Death Metal. There are definitely touches of Amon Amarth-style riffage and growling, but the atmospheric keyboards and drum patterns lean more towards Black Metal. From what I can gather, there’s only one dude singing, but he’s all over the map in terms of vocal delivery. There’s nothing groundbreaking here, but this is a solid Melodeath release in an otherwise tired, barren wasteland.
Ashbringer - Vacant (Avantgarde)
This is the kind of Black Metal that tickles my fancy. If you’re a BM purist who only wants to hear recycled Darkthrone songs recorded on a Fostex X-14, you probably don’t read my blog anyway, so I’m comfortable recommending the debut album from this Minnesota solo project. This record has atmosphere galore and some more atmosphere on top of that. Tremolo picking, pained vocals, well-placed synths and drums that move the song along instead of blasting away for hours on end. That’s pretty much all I ask for in a new BM release. I hope this dude didn’t blow his whole load on this album, because I’m already eager to hear some more.
Strauss - Luia EP (N/A)
The second EP from this London 5-piece contains some seriously fuzzed out Stoner Metal and some of the heaviest riffs to come out this month. When they’re not blasting out groovy riffs or fuzz-fueled blues, the doom and sludge influences really shine through, keeping these lads out of the tried and true, formulaic Stoner Metal category. Accordingly, this might be one of the few bands ever to be categorized as “stoner” without drawing immediate Kyuss comparisons. With nothing of note on the Doom horizon this week, this one will scratch your itch and pound your skull into submission.