ANNIHILATE THIS WEEK hits every Saturday (or nearby) covering important new releases whilst grouping short reviews for albums, EPs and demos selected from the current week’s best. These albums were overlooked for a more detailed review for any number of reasons, I’m either low on time or the music itself doesn’t warrant depth of inquiry or require too-serious engagement. I do my best to cover as much of everything I receive in some form regardless of genre or representation so don’t hesitate to send anything and everything my way: email@example.com
The fifteenth week of 2021 is highlighted by obscure death metal, ripping brutal thrash, thoughtful and epic prog-death, 90’s black metal, funky 70’s prog rock, and slick melodic black metal. Not the best week, not the worst week. If you’re not into the selection this time around, relax! This’ll be back every 7 days with five more new releases from different styles, genres, etc.
The Album of the Week for my own taste is Aggravator‘s ‘Unseen Repulsions‘ [Review], a fine example of classic thrash metal standards met and expanded upon while continuing to veer into the apex brutal thrash/death-thrashing spectrum. I’d probably be speaking just as highly of Spectral Wound‘s ‘A Diabolic Thirst‘ but I am not on the list for that one, from what I’ve heard it is a solid follow-up to the prior album. Montréal based progressive/technical death metal band Intonate will release their high-class sophomore full-length ‘Severed Within‘ and of course it comes highly recommended, a review will pop up later in the week. Not sure if I’ll do a full review for Malum‘s ‘Devil’s Creation‘ just yet, a fine Finnish black metal album with plenty of classic influence but I’m not sure I’ve much to say about it beyond “That cover art rules, that guitar work is hip,” etc. Also: That Ildaruni album I reviewed a month ago was delayed until this Friday, check it out if you like post-’96 Rotting Christ.
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|RELEASE DATE:||April 16th, 2021|
Incarceration are a riff heavy ‘old school’ death metal band with a unique atmospheric “bestial” character. Originally formed by musician Daniel Silva in Manaus (northern Brazil) circa 2010 before eventually relocating to Hamburg, Germany. The big deal thus far in their run has been their 2016 full-length ‘Catharsis’, a brilliant record that fit in quite well with the German death metal of the time, back then I’d compare them to a band like Pyre (Russia). So, it goes without saying that we’ve stumbled upon an elite force here, folks who know a killer death metal riff versus some run of the mill chunking. For ‘Empiricism’ the idea seems to be some conveyance of freedom from forms, to view the self as a limitless being within a dying corporeal form and to explore what ideas they’ve been firing off since ‘Catharsis’. It is a different but similar release for the band for a few key reasons, the first being the recordings took place during isolation from the global pandemic and this meant homebrewed solutions for recordings and production values. I think this actually lends a great deal of power to ‘Empiricism’, the raw and cavernous sound emphasizes the ethereal movements that have increasingly found their way into Incarceration‘s sound, think of Obscure Burial, Vorum and maybe even early Necrovation to start. Otherwise I’d say it is notable this time around that Silva has handed the guitar work over to two new guitarists, the first being a fellow you should recognize from his years in Brazilian thrash metal force Violator, Pedro Capaça and the second being Alex Obscured of Speedwhore. Murky, obscure, feral and nearing the precipice of transcendental forms it’d be fair to say there is some mist to wander through here when getting to the point but I personally love the “live” in studio feeling of the recording and all of the atmospheric movements they’ve sewn into their classic sound. Essential listening for the week.
|ARTIST:||NEIL MERRYWEATHER & THE SPACE RANGERS|
|RELEASE DATE:||April 15th, 2021|
This coming Thursday Regain Records will reissue long out-of-print and heavily bootlegged prime mover albums from Canadian rock legend Neil Merryweather, the one I’m focusing on here is my favorite of his progressive rock edged Space Rangers fare, ‘Kryptonite‘, primarily for its big and brassy heavy rock riffs. Here we find the fellow still retaining the funk and psychedelic blues push of his extensive body of work up to that point but hitting it a bit heavier than 1974’s ‘Space Rangers‘ for the sake of 1975. Think of the headspace in between T. Rex and (the likewise recently reissued) Randy Holden, guitar music with a wild spirit whenever they really get going — The freak out on “Give It Everything We Got” being the perfect example. The album has been remastered and will get a deluxe gatefold LP version along with digipak CD and cassette versions. I figure it is more of a collector’s gig but the remastered sound might make Merryweather‘s bombast appealing to folks discovering the magic of 70’s prog and heavy rock. Since ‘Space Rangers’ is getting the same treatment it’d make sense to grab both, I just heavily prefer this one for “Star Rider”, “You Know Where I’d Rather Be” and the easy anthem “Always Be You”.
|ARTIST:||SHRINE OV ABSURD|
|RELEASE DATE:||April 17th, 2021|
|LABEL(S):||Godz ov War Productions|
‘Monotony’ is the second full-length from black metal musician J.‘s solo project Shrine ov Absurd, a very cleanly presented and straight-forward mid-paced black metal album with a well developed ear for fusing simple hard rock beat-driven pieces alongside atmospheric black metal movements. His style is modern but largely unadorned and this finds the album feeling a bit like Taake one moment and fairly typical atmospheric black/dark metal fare the next. If you’d like something a bit more raw and aggressive his other band Skjult might be more your speed as it was mine when I’d checked it out. The first half of the record is fairly spirited but as the second half approaches the atmoblack leanings begin to stumble into what I’d consider typical territory and there is little to distract from the guitar tone beyond the neatly arranged drums, which I believe are programmed. I understand the irony in finding a concept album titled ‘Monotony’ a bit dull, and perhaps his use of repetition and stark instrumentation is part of that whole idea but in my case it didn’t lend itself well to multiple listens. Again, well made and nicely composed music though it didn’t have the passion I look for in black metal.
|TITLE:||Av Sublim Natur|
|RELEASE DATE:||April 16th, 2021|
Vetter is the catch-all black metal project from Norwegian musician Håvard Tveito who’d originally started the group as a black/folk metal band in the early 2000’s. Tveito is probably best known for his work with prog-art rock group Sonisk Blodbad but in terms of heavy metal he’d been a noted contributor to Folkearth‘s ‘Drakkars in the Mist’ and ‘Songs of Yore’ which for many constitutes some of the better work from the collective; Eh, keeping in mind about thirty people featured each record. Anyhow, none of this really informed what Vetter was on their first full-length back in 2012 or where the project is today with ‘Av Sublim Natur’, though there is considerable parity between the two albums in terms of style. Classic dissonance, lo-fi recording, punk influenced rhythms, and a haunted vision of the natural world as both a marvelous entity and a terrifying destructor. Consider ‘Av Sublim Natur’ as quietly in line with the heavy rock influenced black metal experimentation of Furze, exploring the modern world of ritualistic movement and surreal neo-psych grooves within the context of stomp-footed early second wave black metal. None of this will be clarified by the first ~18 minutes of the album, which is the entirety of the ‘Av Sublim Natur’ EP released late last year with the same cover art. The 2021 ‘Av Sublim Nature’ LP features a full-sized Side B with three additional songs that better unveil this loosened, psychedelic rock influenced side of the band. This is where I’d really connected with the album, the two opening pieces are no less effective but do begin to feel aimless when circling back around for another listen. It all blends together on the full listen, to the point that I would not recommend previewing the record but instead committing to the full listen in one sitting. Also of note is Tveito‘s artwork (he’d also done the cover for ‘Vetterkult’) as entirely fitting for both theme and mood in depiction of a double-edged force of nature.
|RELEASE DATE:||April 16th, 2021|
The beauty of ritualistic psychedelic doom metal is that it does not insist you are in the mood but instead suggests you get in the mood through a pretty low level of engagement. There are ultimately two types of artists in this realm, those who buzz along using admittedly dry repetition to induce a certain bewildered state of mind and those who present a trip meant to follow along with as the need for engagement increases at a reasonable stride. In presentation of their slow-growing yet spiritually intense statement I’d say Superlynx aim for, and ultimately land within, the realm of Year of the Cobra and Windhand at their most intense, presenting shades of occult rock movement rather than full on Zaum-like drones. Style isn’t the most important aspect in their realm, though, as ‘Electric Temple’ is ultimately a practical statement in service of various ‘music as spirituality’ mantra which are inspired by hardships presented in the handful of years since their second album ‘New Moon’. I found this album particularly difficult to review as I’d planned a full-sized take that’d whittled itself down over time, not because the music itself is difficult but there is a bit of a mourning cloud over most of its ten movements that almost begs a sort of testimony from the listener which I’d rather not engage. The droning nature of the first seven or so pieces is also somewhat daunting to pull nuance from beyond key moments on “Moonbather”, the Occultation-esque reveal of “Apocalypse” and the pace-setting title track so, when they break things up with vocals from drummer Ole Teigen on Side B the tone of the album changes, breaking some of my own immersion. Not a major flaw in the whole but a bit of a fork in the river nearby the end. Setting each of Superlynx‘ three records in a row and playing them back to back yields the best results here and this third chapter certainly brings the heaviest mood alongside some of their best riffs.
- AGGRAVATOR – Unseen Repulsions [April 16th, Empire Records]
- MALUM – Devil’s Creation [April 16th, Purity Through Fire]
- INTONATE – Severed Within [April 16th, Willowtip Records]
- ANGRRSTH – Donikad [April 17th, Godz ov War Productions] Premiere 4/13
- MUSTASCH – A Final Warning – Chapter One [April 16th, Tritonus Records]
- TO THE GRAVE – Epilogue [April 16th, Unique Leader]
- WILCZYCA– DrakoNequissime [April 17th, Godz ov War Productions]
- SEVEN DOORS – The Gates of Hell [April 16th, Redefining Darkness Records]
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