00:00:00 RLYR – Head Womb (from RLYR)
In case I haven’t made it abundantly clear in the past, RLYR is the absolute fucking best. Each of their previous two records have been all time favorites for me. This new self-titled one on Gilead Media is no different. Trevor de Brauw (Pelican, Chord, Tusk, etc), Steven Hess (Locrian, Cleared, Haptic, etc), and Colin DeKuiper (Bloodiest, founding member of Russian Circles, etc) make the most indescribable metal that will undoubtedly put a smile on your face and get your fists pumping in the air. They just fucking rock.
00:08:04 Silver Knife – Ecomimesis (from Ring)
One of the two tracks from the new single/EP. Excellent black metal from Déhà and 3 others, including N from Laster and Nusquama. I don’t usually pay attention to such short releases (this is only like 13 minutes) but Silver Knife’s debut LP two years ago was incredible, so I’m definitely keeping an eye on whatever they do. As should you.
00:14:48 Ultha – Bathed In Lightning, Bathed In Heat (from All That Has Never Been True)
These dudes have been around forever (aka 7 years) but for some reason I never paid much attention to them. I think that might be because up until this record, I thought they were Ulthar, who I’m not crazy about. But holy shit this record is a year end contender for sure. Premium shrieky vocals seething in a brilliant blaze of blasting and shredding.
00:25:57 Astronoid – Decades (from Radiant Bloom)
Goddamn I love Astronoid. Not nearly getting the attention they deserve. Their bright metal is unrivaled, the peak of beauty in heavy music. Their first record is Top 10 material, their second is like Top 20, and only time will tell what tier this new one lands in but I can assure you it will be holding hands with the forever bests.
00:32:56 Häxenzijrkell – Part 1: Die Entschleierung (from Urgrund)
I knew about their debut from 2020 but never listened to it. Chalk it up to the neverending backlog. But I’m definitely going to have to check it out now because this new one is fuckin gnarly. It opens with this 18-minute burner. It’s really fucking good, a creepy long form psyched out black metal that’s kinda like Cultes Des Ghoules as a jam band.
00:51:14 Rye (Рожь) – Amen (Аминь) (from Amen (Аминь))
I found out about this Russian dude from his full length last year and was immediately hooked. Absolutely huge melodic post-doom.
01:05:29 Cavernlight – The Ashes Of Everything I’ve Failed To Be (from As I Cast Ruin Upon The Lens That Reveals My Every Flaw)
Best blackened doom this side of Mizmor. The new record is way more dynamic than the last, like this track starts out vibing with The Cure a bit before it kicks your face in, and the tremolo riff is so fucking evil.
01:09:35 Unru – Hungersteine (from Die Wiederkehr Des Verdrängten)
My music library says I listened to their first demo back in 2013, but clearly it didn’t stick with me and I haven’t followed them since. Except this new one? Holy shit it’s awesome. Black metal with keyboards and organs and includes Lars Ennsen from Sun Worship and Ultha (see above). It’s dramatic and painful.
01:25:22 Kardashev – Cellar Of Ghosts (from Liminal Rite)
Super weird shoegazey metal that’s as far from shoegaze it could get while still maintaining a thread of connection. This leans heavy on the death metal, though, unlike most metalgaze that’s black metal or post metal.
01:31:49 Sunrise Patriot Motion – Drippings Of God (from Black Fellflower Stream)
The Skarstad brothers, Will & Sam, of Yellow Eyes (and in Will’s case, Ustalost and Sanguine Eagle), created Sunrise Patriot Moon to pursue their love of goth rock. So think Yellow Eyes plus goth rock and you’re in the right ballpark. It’s insane and insanely good. Also, their nearly nonsensical three-word names thing is officially weird. The last two Yellow Eyes records were Rare Field Cieling and Immersion Trench Reverie, which I was willing to let go without mentioning, but now Sunrise Patriot Motion and Black Fellflower Stream? I don’t have any quips or insights, just confusion.
01:36:01 Homeskin – Fixated On An Image (from Fixated On An Image)
The main Cara Neir dude, Garry Brents, has a dizzying amount of side projects, one of the most current being Homeskin (and also Gonemage, seek it out), which is just as nuts as the last two Cara Neir records. Homeskin is experimental black metal in the truest sense. Also, he did a split with Frogoroth, the black metal project with frog vocals, and called it Frogskin so obviously I love him very much.
01:49:39 Olatom Amespïrïa – 2 (from Demo 1)
Debut release from someone involved with the new-to-me Cërcle Mortüaire collective. Blistering black metal with tons of reverb and sick riffs and howling shrieks and everything else I love about black metal. I definitely need to check out the other Cërcle Mortüaire bands now.
01:57:03 Zos – On The Announcer Of Great Events (from The Whole Of The Body I Call Zos)
You can always count on I, Voidhanger to put out the weird shit. I didn’t know about Zos until this new one, experimental doom that’s kinda proggy but definitely all over the place. This track is a pretty decent representation of the rest of the album. Highly recommended.
02:08:48 Gravenchalice – Via Peccatum (from Via Dolorosa)
Good black metal from a band you might not have heard of.
02:17:09 Nocturnal Depression – When My Time Has Come To Die (from When My Time Has Come)
More good black metal from a band you almost certainly have heard of.
02:26:24 Olhava – Mirror (from Reborn)
I really love Olhava. Their 2019 debut of intense atmospheric black metal instantly hooked me and even though they’ve been pretty prolific since then (5 LPs in 4 years), I’ve kept up. Reborn might be my favorite and it’s their longest yet. 4 side-long pieces, one of which is 100% drone but I assure you it’s not a throwaway track (their second full length was entirely ambient, they know what they’re doing). “Mirror” is the opener and it’s fucking glorious. More year end list material.