[Click on band name for samples and more info]
Goatwhore - Constricting Rage Of The Merciless (Metal Blade)
Pretty standard fare from the New Orleans quartet on their 6th album. They haven’t changed up their sound much over the years, but they had a pretty strong sound to begin with. Fast paced blackened thrash with snarled vocals is the name of the game with Goatwhore and that’s pretty much what you can expect album after album. This one is a bit more interesting than some of the back catalog, so there is that, but don’t expect anything new.
Mortals - Cursed To See the Future (Relapse)
The Brooklyn trio has moved away from their hardcore/sludge roots into more of a blackened doom territory on their 2nd album. There is still plenty of sludge to be found, but the pace is slowed down a bit and the vocals are in that raspy black metal range, which suits the music just fine. For what it’s worth, I was surprised to find out that the vocalist is female (as are the other members). This second album is definitely a huge step forward for these ladies.
Vintersorg - Naturbål (Napalm)
The Swedish duo returns with their 9th album, delving back into the world of folk/Viking metal after a slight deviation into prog metal territory. The folk meolidies are pretty standard, but the black metal elements really set this album above the folk metal pack. Intricate arrangements, raspy vocals and shredding riffs dominate much of the album. The entire thing is performed in Swedish, so I'm not sure what kind of theme is present, but I'm digging it regardless. If you're already into folk metal, this album won't disappoint.
Wolvhammer - Clawing Into Black Sun (Profound Lore)
The trio from Minneapolis serves up a delicious platter of blackened sludge with a side of doom on their 3rd full-length release. Aside from some interlude parts, the album is fairly unrelenting in its heaviness. The doom riffs really set this one apart from the typical played-out sludge sound. The shouted vocals are both intelligible and intelligent, which is a nice change of pace. If you’re just looking for heavy fucking riffs and misanthropy this week, this is your best bet.