Hello, Metal Wani readers! It is I, Yidu and today I am bringing you my picks for 10 Metal Albums You Should Listen To for August 2016. For this segment, we will be covering the full length releases that came out in August. August is the month of the year for the late summer music releases and it’s a month that can be filled with late surprises. This August has delivered some fantastic albums Metal Music. Here are some of my favorites. These lists are designed to showcase some new music for our readers and to promote music from the metal underground. Before we start, I want to make it clear that these lists are not “top lists” or “best of lists”. Instead, these lists consists of albums that I feel are highlights of the previous month. Please note, that this is only my opinion and my opinion only.
Starting off with number 10, we have the comeback album ‘Black’ from Swedish Melodic Death Metal veterans, Ablaze My Sorrow. The returning album is their first full length since 2002 and their 4th album in their discography. The band ended on high note of theirs with their 2002 album ‘Anger, Hate and Fury’ so naturally, I was excited, but skeptical, when I heard the band was releasing a new album. Was it going to be a continuation of the sound they established 2002? For the most part, yes. ‘Black’ is an album that demonstrated that Ablaze My Sorrow did not fall behind with the progression of time. The album has the old school Swedish melodic death metal fair with the melodic hooks, drumming, and vocals. Fans of the genre will definitely feel a warm welcome back when listening to this album. Recommended tracks include “When All Is…” and “One Last Sting”.
At number 9, we have the new sophomore record from Australian Thrash Metal band Hellbringer, ‘Awakened From The Abyss’. What a blast to the past this album was. If Slayer continued with their sound they had on ‘Show No Mercy’ and particularly ‘Hell Awaits’, this will be a proper follow up. Hellbringer brings a sharp cut of old school Thrash Metal that does not fall off on the extreme edge while combining some well blended Speed Metal elements. Great vocals and drumming combined with the crunchy and abrasive guitars brings out the best of Thrash Metal of this year. For the old fans of Thrash Metal, this fits perfectly in your collection. For the new fans, this album packs a great punch that pays homage to the glory of old Thrash Metal. Recommended tracks include “Awakened From The Abyss” and “Dark Overseer”.
For number 8, Colombian-American Black Metal veterans Inquisition, returns with their new, 7th, album ‘Bloodshed Across The Empyrean Altar Beyond The Celestial Zenith’. The band’s last album, 2013’s ‘Obscure Verses for the Multiverse’ was a step down compared to their acclaimed 2011 album, ‘Ominous Doctrines of the Perpetual Mystical Macrocosm’. However with their new release, Inquisition comes back and returns with a well balanced medium between their previous two releases. Their new album has the dissonance and slower pacing of their 2013 effort while blending it well with the more forward and aggressive sections of their 2011 album. The band even included some Death Metal elements and Dagon’s vocals have shifted to become a much more integrated part to their music. This is definitely a great well-rounded album to pick up for Black Metal fans (and of course, Inquisition fans). Recommended tracks include “Wings of Anu” and “Power from the Center Black Spiral”.
Temple Nightside is an Australian Black/Death Metal band with members from bands like Ulcerate, Vassafor, Grave Upheaval, and Pestilential Shadows. Their sophomore album ‘The Hecatomb’ is at number 7. As expected from members of these bands, Temple Nightside delivers a slab of suffocating Black/Death Metal with just the right amount of claustrophobic intensity, density, and atmosphere that beckons your ears. The album shifts between aggression and serenity and is not afraid to play off the different sides. The album gives you the room to breathe as it drags you in like the coming tide. If you are a fan of Black or Death Metal, especially the bands coming from Oceana, this is definitely an album for you. Recommended tracks include “Charnel Winds” and “Adrift in Sepulchral Entropy”.
With number 6, we have the final album from UK Doom Metal titans The Wounded Kings, ‘Visions In Bone’. With the recent announcement of their disbandment, the band leaves us with their a final album that ends the band’s career on a high note and sends them off well. ‘Visions In Bone’ is a Doom Metal album that hits all the necessary qualities of great traditional Doom Metal. The guitars bring on the meaty mid tempo and slow riffs, while the vocals provide emotional depth to the music as they gleam over the rest of the band. The band also sprinkles in some nuances in instrumentation using piano and other techniques. Overall, the album is a great piece to add to their discography. Fans of traditional styles of Doom Metal, take note. Recommended tracks include “Kingdom” and “Vanishing Sea”.
Number 5 is the debut self-titled album of new US Doom Metal act Wretch. Wretch is formed by Karl Simon from The Gates of Slumber. Along with fellow bandmates Jerry Paradis (RIP) and Chris Gordon, the members began writing and recording an album as a continuation of what they have done with The Gates of Slumber. Great riffs and vocals are accompanied by nice nostalgia of old traditional Doom Metal which makes for a great album to listen to. For fans of The Gates of Slumber, this album is definitely an album to pick up for all your needs. As for Doom Metal fans, this album is well enough to satisfy the hunger for Doom Metal with a classic Heavy Metal edge. Recommended tracks include “Drown” and “Rest in Peace”.
With number 4, we have the 3rd album from Hong Kong Funeral Doom Metal band Hyponic, ‘前行者’ or ‘Former Monk’. Hyponic has been one of my favorite bands coming out of the Chinese area of the world (PRC, Hong Kong, and Taiwan) and when I found out they have a new album I was naturally quite excited. It’s been 11 years since their magnificent second album and the new album is no doubt a great addition to the band’s discography. On ‘前行者’, Hyponic combines elements from their Funeral Doom Metal masterpiece ‘The Noise of Time’ with Death/Doom elements from their debut album ‘Black Sun’ while adding some new Psychedelic and Atmospheric Doom Metal nuances to their music. ‘前行者’ is dynamic, crushing, tranquil, and perfectly embodies the petrified beauty of Funeral Doom Metal music. Recommended tracks include “前行者” and “飄流”.
The new sophomore album ‘Yodh‘ from American band מזמור, known as Mizmor, is at number 3. Mizmor is the solo project of musician only known as A.L.N. and the project released one of the best Black/Doom Metal albums of recent times. ‘Yodh‘ is a colossal hour of hauntingly amazing Black/Drone/Doom Metal that provides the aggression of Black Metal and the hard hitting Doom Metal blended together with a veil of Drone flavor to spice up the sound. The album knows when to be ferocious, when to be lethargic, and when to be chaotic with the music. The project blends Black and Doom Metal styles together in such a way that it leaves room for experimentation with psychedelic and even cinematic like twists on its atmosphere. This is a great album with many faces that Black Metal fans and fans of harder to digest metal music fans will definitely enjoy. If you want to check out something different in Black Metal, this is definitely album to consider. Recommended tracks include “I. Woe Regains My Substance” and “IV. Inertia, an Ill Compeller”.
‘For This We Fought The Battle of Ages’ is the fourth album from American Doom Metal giants, SubRosa. SubRosa plays a style of Doom Metal that contains Stoner and Sludge Metal elements combined with psychedelic flairs. The band’s unique line up features 3 female vocalist and 2 violinists. On their new album, the band experiments more with the usage of multi-vocal harmonies and violin incorporation. It’s a fantastic album that shows the band reaching for new heights as they get more creative in how they used the individual instruments. The album is beautifully haunting with the twists and turns the vocals, violins, and guitars wring out. From the liquid violins, mystical vocals, and solid guitars, the album showcases why SubRosa is one of the best Doom Metal bands who are way out there doing their own unique musical thing. Recommended tracks include “Killing Rapture” and “Black Majesty”. You can read more about the album with my review here (www.metalwani.com/2016/08/review-subrosa-for-this-we-fought-the-battle-of-ages.html)
Finally at number 1, is one of my most anticipated albums of this year, the debut album ‘Starspawn’ from the band Blood Incantation. Blood Incantation is an American Death Metal band that plays a sound that’s similar to bands like Demilich, Timeghoul, Zealotry, and Chthe’ilist focusing on winding, labyrinth like, brush-stroking Death Metal riffs showcased on top of blazing drums and accompanied by the growls of the underworld. I first caught wind of this band in 2014 with their demo ‘Astral Spells’ and with their 2015 EP ‘Interdimensional Extinction’, I had a feeling that their debut album would be a monster and boy a monster is what this album is. ‘Starspawn’ is a Death Metal album packed with dense riffs that are delivered one after the other in a barrage. The album packs punches and brings talented musicianship to the table. The music hits hard but it’s compositionally smooth. My only gripe with the album is that it could have been a track or two longer but that just shows how amazing this album is. ‘Starspawn’ is definitely one of the best Death Metal albums of recent times and you will be missing out on one of the best extreme metal albums 2016 has to offer if you pass on this one. Get on it. Recommended tracks include “Starspawn”, “Chaosplasm” and the 13-minute behemoth “Vitrification of Blood (Part I)”.
This concludes our journey this month. Here are 5 other albums that did not quite make the list that I want to touch upon. Here are this month’s honorable mentions.
Coma Cluster Void – ‘Mind Cemeteries’
Coma Cluster Void is an international Avant-Garde Technical Death Metal band that blends styles of Progressive/Technical Death Metal bands (think Baring Teeth) with some Mathcore flavor. Their new album ‘Mind Cemeteries’ dishes out bursts of energy with the sporadic guitar styles. Recommended for fans of the two styles.
Forcefield – ‘Emissaries Of Light’
The new album ‘Emissaries Of Light’ by the American Power/Thrash Metal band Forcefield is an album that’s energetic, fun, and brings a driving edge that doesn’t downplay the Thrash Metal edge this band has. Good guitar work and drumming can be expected from this album. Fans of Power Metal, more melodic Thrash Metal, and this fusion style should definitely check this one out.
Spire is an Ambient Black Metal project from Australia and they have recently released their debut album ‘Entropy’. The band delivers an album that captures the cold and grimness of isolation in Black Metal and accompany it with very matching ambient and synth work. Fans of fellow Australian project Midnight Odyssey will definitely enjoy this album. Great album to listen to in the night if you enjoy this kind of Black Metal.
Spirit Adrift- ‘Chained To Oblivion’
‘Chained To Oblivion’ is the debut album from American Doom Metal project Spirit Adrift, consisting of Nate Garrett. The album brings out great riffs that have a Stoner Metal and psychedelic edge to them. The vocals compliment the music well too. Recommended for fans of these styles of Doom Metal.
Uškumgallu – ‘Rotten Limbs In Dreams Of Blood’
Uškumgallu is one of the many new side projects of two members of American Black Metal band Ash Borer. ‘Rotten Limbs In Dreams Of Blood’ is the debut album of this project and it’s a nice slice of Black Metal that doesn’t play around and keeps things strict, well paced, and aggressive. If you like meat and potatoes Black Metal with little salt and pepper, this is a good album for you to check out.