It’s not just rumor that I listen to an asinine amount of music. Previewing almost every single promotional album that comes through the door fits in with my obsessive personality. February 2016 really tested me. No less than one hundred and forty-two albums came through our rotating doors. And one hundred and forty-two is the number of albums I clicked play on to test them and suggest for review. So I’m a bit tired in an auditory sense. But I digress. In today’s post we will run through a bunch of larger releases that I hope no one missed and then feature nine smaller releases that are top notch. February was a great month. And another sign that 2016 is headed in very much the right direction.So there were a ton of releases that I’m not going to bother featuring with a Bandcamp embed because you probably already have them in your collection or are streaming them on a regular basis. For example, Eight Bells added a new member (Rae Amitay) and dropped their audio beauty entitled Landless. We should also mention that Melynda of Eight Bells suffered a broken leg. You can help her out by visintg the band’s GoFundMe Page for medical bills. Huge props to the band for continuing on with the tour like the true metal warriors they are!
Oranssi Pazuzu returned with an even more out there, elongated version of themselves on Värähtelijä. Another album of the year candidate was dropped by Ritual Chamber who followed up his demo with an absolute atomic bomb of an album Obscurations (To Feast on the Seraphim). Andy Marshall of Saor put out his solo work Fuath (gaelic for “hatred”) entitled I; a work of beautiful and traditional atmospheric black metal. Magrudergrind came out of hibernation to release their first full-length in six years II. Power Metal and traditional fans rejoiced as Septagon, featuring Markus Becker of Atlantean Kodex on vocals, released Deadhead Syndicate. And finally, Triumvir Foul finally “officially” released their self-titled debut and Cirith Gorgor returned with their first full-length in five years, Visions of Exalted Lucifer. So that should just about cover the things you likely did not miss. If you did, there are links up in the album titles to reviews and streams.
Now. Aside from those albums there are at least nine other albums that deserve your attention. Full disclosure, those nine albums include a member of the Nine Circles family, Josh Thieler who drums for Slaves BC.
Ravensire – The Cycle Never Ends
“Ravensire has come prepared for war and for the most part ends up victorious. It’s heavily reliant on exceptional guitar work but truthfully this kind of metal absolutely demands it and the band showcases some of the strongest they’ve done. With this level of improvement over their debut the cycle indeed never needs to, nor should, end.” – Josh Stewart
Folteraar – Vertellingen van een donkere eeuw LP
“Overall it sounds shallow… empty. Like my heart, or absence thereof. From start to finish it is just missing the emotions and personality of what make this genre so incredible.” – Corey Butterworth, Literati Overlord
Percussor – Disturbing Reality
“The reality of OSDM remains, as always, untouched: write great riffs and great songs, or be condemned to the graveyard of tepid death metal.” – Angry Metal Guy,
Pogavranjen – Jedva Čekam Da Nikad Ne Umrem
“It seems like once a year an album like this comes along. An album that challenges the listener in the most subtle of ways. A work that is not only progressive but experimental yet so successful that you hardly notice either. For those looking for new directions and exciting takes on a broad range of genres Pogavranjen is a perfect solution.” – Manny-O-War, Minister of Procurement
Dakhma – Astiwihad-Zohr
“At first listen, Astiwihad-Zohr may sound like experimental tripe or noise-for-noise sake, but a careful listen will reveal the intricacy and intensity beneath what the ear initially discerns. The countless minuscule melodies, taken from so many genres from around the world, will startle even the most jaded of metal fans. It’s albums like these that ensure that extreme music continues to remain a viable and creative genre.” – Octavio Ramos, axs
Eucharist – Endarkenment
“If you’re looking for some evil, dark and torturous music Endarkenment will certainly hit the spot. Even the sort of muffled production only enhances the overall aura and tonality of the work. Endarkenment is a great comeback for a band that has been silent for nearly five years and this is hopefully the signal of more to come.” – Manny-O-War, Minister of Procurement
Ecferus – Pangaea
“With Pangaea, Ecferus continue themes of evolution, anthropology and social study in a way that is at once engrossing but at all times captivating. This effort is an overwhelming success due to Alp’s progressive nature and the way in which he very effectively translates this into his chosen story line.” – Josh Stewart
Slaves BC – All is Dust and I am Nothing
“Humanity is garbage and everything is meaningless, but Slaves BC have recorded the perfect album to tide you over until the world collapses in on itself.” – Nathan Sizemore,
Aluk Todolo – Voix
“…each time I listen I’m pulled in a different direction, and each time I hear new detail, new nuance, new shading in what could have been a monochromatic exercise. But then again, maybe this is an exercise after all: an interlocking set of etudes written in a shadow clef; the mapping of an uncharted territory where compasses fail and the cartographer resorts to a dark geometry; the recitation of a story in a language no one speaks for an audience no one remembers.” – Dan Obstkrieg, Your Last Rites
Khtoniik Cerviiks – SeroLogiikal Scars (Vertex of Dementiia)
“It’s safe to say that Khthoniik Cerviiks writes music for the Khthoniik Cerviiks fan. It doesn’t matter to these guys what flies off the shelves at Target. These guys play music to please themselves, and if you’re worth your salt, you’ll know its one hundred percent pure kvlt.” – Al Necro, CVLT Nation
So that just about does it for February 2016. Hope you enjoy checking out all these excellent bands. March is fitting to be a pretty stellar month as well with Inverloch, Ripper, Extermination Temple, Wolvserpent, Gadget, Begrime Exemious, Skáphe, Church of Misery, Skuggsjá, Draugnim, Spazz (re-issues of Sweatin’ to the Oldies and Sweating 3: Skatin’, Satan & Katon), Auroch (vinyl re-issue of From Forgotten Worlds), Veneficium, Boris with Merzbow, K-X-P, Castle Freak, Sacrilegium, Morte Incandascente, Rorcal, Gloria Morti, Cobalt, Ifrinn and so much more.