As promised, here’s the rest of my favorite releases which aren’t ranked in a particular order, but which I believe to be more than worth your attention. That’s not all! I thought we missed some beautiful records last year by omitting EP’s from the list, which is why I have decided to correct that mistake. It’s been one hell of a ride listening to all that fantastic music, and it’s my honor to be able to bring it to you, if you haven’t discovered it by yourself already.
Takafumi Matsubara – Strange, Beautiful and Fast
Strange, beautiful and fast is exactly what this record is. ‘SB&F‘ is the creation of legendary grindcore guitarist Takafumi Matsubara (Gridlink) who, despite suffering a brain infarction and going through intense rehabilitation, managed to put together this masterpiece with a few other all-star musicians from the scene. You’ve got Alan Dublin (Gnaw) or Champ Morgan (Kill the Client) on vocal duties, or Dylan Walker (Full of Hell) and Hiroyuki Uno (Black Ganion) on drums, and many, many more performers on this record, that is testament to creative friendship and unity.
Full of Hell – Weeping Choir
‘Weeping Choir‘ is Full of Hell‘s stunning follow-up to the critically acclaimed ‘Trumpeting Ecstasy‘. The Maryland grindcore/noise quartet have put out another records full of… Madness. Hah! Gotya. Jokes aside, the record really is a madhouse. Alternating rhythms, unpredictable hooks, extremely fast tracks, mind-numbingly slow ones and noisy breaks are only a few examples of what make this album so good. Personally, my favorite song is the unforgettable ‘Armory of Obsidian Glass‘ on which Lingua Ignota delivers a very eerie vocal performance.
Blood Incantation – Hidden History of the Human Race
How could I not include this unbelievable work of death metal art? The Pink Floyd of death metal, Blood Incantation put out another mindbogglingly genius record. We often praise death metal for its charming ugliness -, but this is different. It’s unique. ‘Hidden History of the Human Race‘ is a beautiful and psychedelic experience. If you’re looking for added value, look no further. Check out my man Maxen’s review here.
Besta – Eterno Rancor
I was lucky to catch these Portugese grinders at Masters of Grind last month. They played a fast-paced grindcore set with next to no breaks, flinging one song after the other at our faces. For some reason the audience was asleep – present company excluded. Strange, seeing how the festival is named. It goes to show that the genre still isn’t for everyone. Like Besta‘s set, ‘Eterno Rancor‘ is furiously dry grind the likes of Gadget or Rotten Sound, only it comes from a country where the people have actually seen the sun. Oh, and it’s all sung in Portugese!
Deserted Fear – Drowned by Humanity
One of this year’s most promising bands! ‘Drowned by Humanity‘ is Deserted Fear‘s ticket to the mainstream scene. And they deserve it. I urge you to give this record a spin if you’re into groovy and melodic death metal. Their guitar work is so catchy, you’ll find yourself humming the riffs long after you’re done listening. This record was released back in February but I am still unable to skip a single song off it whenever they pop up in my playlist.
Ringworm – Death Becomes my Voice
I’d never heard of Ringworm up until now, and I just don’t know why. I guess you can’t know all bands out there, but when I see how many releases they have to their name, I am amazed they never popped up in my playlists before. Never mind that. I have thoroughly blasted their latest record to make up for it. ‘Death Becomes my Voice‘ is a top-shelf d-beat/hardcore/grindcore record which every fan of the genre should add to their collection.
Corrosive – Nourished by Blood
What you have here is a fantastic groovy death metal record from German five-piece Corrosive. ‘Nourished by Blood‘ is an album that I discovered completely by accident. It’s got some surprising hooks, which you ought to find most headbangable. Definitely keep an ear out for one of the most fun death metal covers I’ve heard in a long time: Ray Parker Jr.‘s ‘Ghostbusters‘.
Slipknot – We Are Not Your Kind
I’ll always have a soft spot for the Iowa nine. I adored ‘.5: The Gray Chapter‘ back in 2014. I thought it undid some of the damage caused by the utter disappointment that was ‘All Hope is Gone‘. Their fifth marked a happy return to the melodic grooves found on ‘Vol. 3: The Subliminal Verses‘ and the grit from ‘Iowa‘. It seems The Knot are staying the course with an album that corrects the cohesion issues that were admittedly present on ‘.5‘. Although some criticize ‘We Are Not Your Kind’ for containing too many soft songs that break the pace, I found them to be perfectly in line with its vision.
Soulmass – The Weakness of Virtue
Metalheads and gamers, unite! Soulmass is back to recount the tales of Lordran, Drangleic and Lothric. Hmm… Hmmm? Never played Dark Souls, have you? No matter. You may not be a Soulsborne fanatic like me, but you’re still a metalhead and you’re in luck. ‘The Weakness of Virtue‘ is a melodic, old school-sounding doomy record that is sure to please any death metal fan. An excellent record to put on when resting at a bonfire.
Paganizer – The Tower of the Morbid
With ‘The Tower of the Morbid‘ Swedish four-piece Paganizer have not only released a really cool old school melodeath record, which will for the most part evoke the 90s scene, but they have managed to give it a considerable touch of modern groove.
This list continues on page 4.