A fresh batch of…. Oh, fuck it. Just listen to the music. I have the privilege of thanking a wonderful person for joining the Patreon for the second week in a row! (THIS IS REAL LIFE!). So, many thanks Calder. You're the fucking best.

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1. Negative Plane – "A Work to Stand A Thousand Years," from The Pact (Heavy/Black Metal – Invictus Productions). I guess I got so sidetracked by the fact that this album even exists and how great this single is that I forgot to, you know, actually do the writeup. Negative Plane's 2011 Stained Glass Reverberations is easily one of of the best, most unique black metal of the 2010s, blending an aggressive black metal attack with a very melodic, very off-kilter heavy metal sensibility. Which is another way of saying that Negative Plane succeed in taking some of the cheesiest tendencies in all of metal and miraculously weaves them into musical gold. This first single from their upcoming album continues with that magic-working, adding a very driven, song-oriented focus that takes away some of the distractions of Stained Glass' sound (I mean, I liked it, but whatever). So, a more focused, more direct Negative Plane? Yes please. FFO: Funeral Presence, Departure Chandelier, Sign of Evil.

2. Temple of Void – "Deathtouch," from Summoning The Slayer (Death Doom – Relapse Records). Detroit's finest riff manufacturer's are back with a new label, a new album and a new dose of oppressive melancholy. I loved Lords of Death's crushing songs, I was kind of OK with The World That Was, and there was always that doomy tinge to their sound. But this track is full on My Dying Bride worship, in both writing and sound, and boy am I on board for that shit. Beautiful, dramatic, and can't wait for the rest. FFO: Dream Unending, Paradise Lost, Hooded Menace.

3. Desekryptor – "Serpentine Scourge," from Chasm Of Rot (Death Metal – Blood Harvest Records). Well, this isn't a new release, is it? What it is is the 2017 demo from Indiana outfit Desekryptor. I got here by kind of wondering to myself what was up with the members of the fantastic atmospheric black metal band Antlers as Roots, and found myself knee-deep in filthy riffs. So, no news of Antlers as Roots that I know of (a must-check-out release, btw), but this slap of unholy riffage will do. FFO: Cerebral Rot, Witch Vomit, Dead Congregation.

4. Ultha – "Rats Gorged The Moon​.​.​.​And All Fell Silent," from All That Has Never Been True (Atmospheric Black Metal – Vendetta Records). There was a moment there where it seemed that the fantastic German black metal Ultha was calling it quits. Or, at the very least, seemed very close to do so. I was bummed, because they were one of my favorite bands in that general space, but I said my sorrowful goodbye and moved on. And then they released a show. And then another. And then more murmurings. And then this album, which isn't just another great Ultha release but might just be the best thing they've ever done. Fresh, real, emotional, perfectly written and recorded and just a fucking delight. Do not miss. FFO: Turia, Fluisteraars, Violet Cold.

5. Vasoconstriction – "The Creature," from Vasoconstriction / Bathing in Chunks / Clown, Baby / Ultra Deluxe Split (Grindcore/Hardcore – Independent). Another not-new release, this time a whacky (yup) split from 2021 to which I arrived by wondering about a band with a silly name on a live bill that was packed with bands I love. "What are the odds of me not liking this band I have never heard of?" I asked myself. Well, turns out those odds are zero. Creative, brutal, and pretty. FFO: Karkait, Swarrrm, Internal Rot.

6. Cancelled Earth – Rudiger," from Rudiger (Death Metal – Independent). The one-man wonder that is Cancelled Earth are back with more futurist/industrial/mindfuck death metal. I kind of feel like this is the type of music that separates friend from foe. If you're into this spaced-out, brutal emanation of death that sounds like post-rock Blut aus Nord had a shit baby that spoke an unknown tongue then we can be pals for life. CE can do no wrong in my book, and this is just further proof. FFO: Shit babies.

7. Vimur – "The Greatest Dying," from Transcendental Violence (Black Metal – Boris Records). Here's a little tweet I sent out after listening to the new Vimur promo for once too many times:

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Yes, I was right, wasn't I? Their 2019 masterpiece Triumphant Master of Fates was #6 on my year-end list, and given how fucking awesome (all technical terms, I assure you) Transcendental Violence is, and how better it gets with each listen, there's a good chance you shall be seeing this cheesy/wonderful artwork somewhere this December. If you love too-many-notes metal (explanation here), this is the only record you need. FFO: Emperor, Falls of Rauros, images of space Chnoubis.

8. Wraithlord – ״Blood Spell Balthazar," from Obscurity (Black Metal – Independent). Speaking of black metal bands that made appearances on MM lists, Wraithlord (see 2021 list) return with yet another perfect execution of imperfect black metal. Much like the other members of the select group of perfect imperfect black metal, the Michigan wizard achieves that small miracle of having enough melody and dynamism to make the whole thing feel compelling and, dare I say, beautiful, all while making you feel like you're listening to music made by piles of ashes using ashtrays and dry sticks. Whatever it is "black metal" is supposedly about, I'm pretty sure Wraithlord has it down to a (weird) science. FFO: Lamp of Murmuur, Revenant Marquis, Koldovstvo.

9. Aidan Baker – "CNS," from The Evelyn Tables (Drone/Experimental – Cloudchamber Recordings). There was a whole attack of death metal albums I wanted to talk about, including new stuff from Nightfell, Church of Disgust, and Corpsessed. So, naturally, I chose this droning piece of absolute beauty from Aidan Baker (Nadja). There are many things I wish I could be (rich, talented, just to name a couple) and there are more than a few character traits I wish I had. But one of those is being able to communicate, nay, to enthrall using the least amount of tools and sounds. Which basically means I wish I was Aidan Baker. I know of very few other artists that can manipulate sound as deftly and as elegantly as Baker can, and this track is just one of those instances.  Shut the lights, blow out the candles (for ye medieval folk out there) and give in to pure emotion. FFO: Realizing that the real terror is this shit right here.


ONE: The great thrash/black outfit Svpremacist are reissuing their amazing demos on tape via Ruined Pig. Get it here (email contact).

TWO: Australian wacko death metal act Altars are coming back with a new album, and the teaser will melt your neck. Everlasting Spew are going nuts (also signed Nothingness recently).

THREE: Garry from Cara Neir et al is still murdering the world with his Homeskin project, most recently by offhandedly releasing this perfect set of grindcore jewels.

FOUR: I'm beginning to think I'm just as bad with dealing with good shit as I am with bad shit. In fact, there's a good chance I'm better with the bad shit. What an idiot.

FIVE: I kept passing over this Black Braid track on the Bandcamp page until I finally gave in and discovered atmospheric black metal beauty.

ONE LAST THING, PROMISE: Is the biggest Megadeth-head going to fail to mention this? Nope.

ONE LAST LAST THING, I VOW: Super-depressing funeral doom? In one-man-band form? Check out Talsur.