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 June 2016. For this segment, we will be covering the full-length releases that came out in June. June is the first of the two important summer months of the musical year. With this month, hard-hitting releases are expected to appear more frequently. As expected, this June provided a good deal of great albums. 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 consist of albums that I feel are highlights of the previous month. Please note, that this is only my opinion and my opinion only.
To start our journey at number 10, we start in Stockholm, Sweden, with the band Terra Tenebrosa, and their newest album ‘The Reverses’. If you are unfamiliar with Terra Tenebrosa, they are a masters of their own Avant-Garde Metal craft. Blending mainly Post-Metal, Sludge Metal, and Black Metal together, the secretive trio produces a brand of music as captivating, illusive, and mysterious as the band’s imagery. If you like dense, noisy, and claustrophobic metal music, then this is a release you should definitely back. With ‘The Reverses’, Terra Tenebrosa is back, and they have delivered an album that fits well in their discography. Recommended tracks include “Ghost At The End Of The Rope” and “The End Is Mine To Ride”.
For number 9, we head the United States for the debut album of American band, BAT. BAT is a new Heavy/Speed Metal band formed by Municipal Waste’s two guitarists, Ryan Waste and Nick Poulos. The duo is already part of Heavy Metal band Volture with Ryan switching to Bass and with BAT, he tackles vocal duty. On ‘Wings Of Chains’, the band delivers a short but energetic dose of classic sounding traditional Heavy Metal. Catchy riffs and awesome vocals, this album has everything an excellent Heavy Metal album needs. If you are a fan of the old school sound, no matter old or new, give this album a shot, I’m sure it will greatly entertain you. Recommended tracks include “Primitive Age” and “Wings of Chains’.
On the other side of the world in Australia, comes number 8, Sewercide’s debut album, ‘Immortalized In Suffering’. Sewercide mainly broke out in the underground scene with their 2015 EP. ‘Severing The Mortal Cord’. The band plays a very aggressive and energetic style of Death/Thrash Metal that both Death Metal and Thrash Metal fans would enjoy. By taking cues from the old classics of bands like Kreator, Sepultura, Possessed, and Slayer, the band reinvigorates the old hyper-aggressive Thrash Metal with a relatively more modern take. Fantastic records for blazing guitars, excellent drumming, and straight-edge energy. Recommended tracks include “Snares of Carnality” and “Pierced with Sentient Trepidity”.
For number 7, we return to the land of Sweden for Vanhelgd’s fourth album, ‘Temple of Phobos’. Vanhelgd is a Swedish Death Metal band that goes beyond the typical or generic Swedish sound. Even though the band is nine years old, Vanhelgd has slowly crafted their own take on the Swedish sound. On their new album the band begins to explore new experimental ideas incorporating trumpets and female vocals while still maintaining their ominous sound they had on their excellent previous album ‘Relics of Sulphur Salvation’. ‘Temple of Phobos’ is an album that dares to be different and fresh but also maintain a certain level of familiarity; a good album for those who are looking for something with a little more spice. Recommended tracks include “Den Klentrogenes Klagan” and “Rebellion Of The Iniquitous”.
At number 6, we make our first trip to Quebec with the second album of Canadian band Cauchemar, ‘Chapelle Ardente’ which translates to Burning Chapel. Fronted by Annick Giroux, the band plays Heavy/Doom Metal that’s well blended between the two styles which shows in their newest album which is their most mature and developed material yet. Awesome doomy grooves, melodic hooks and riffs, and Annick’s enchanting vocals, the band really brings forth a sound that many Heavy Metal and traditional Doom Metal fans would enjoy. This is a must check out album for Doom Metal fans, especially those who loves an “occult” vibe and female vocals. Recommended tracks include “Étoile d’Argent” and “Funérailles Célestes”.
Heading down south to the United States, we arrive for our number 5, the new album ‘Sky Exile’ from the band Vex. Vex is a Death/Thrash Metal band that has a strong sense of melody. On this album you can definitely expect to find great melodic guitarwork from the two guitarists, Ciaran McCloskey and Mike Day. Properly following up their excellent second album ‘Memorious’, the band delivers a well written Melodic Death Metal record that has fantastic melodies, a bit of folk sensibilities, and filled with energy. This is a Melodic Death Metal record that is not overly sappy, but mature, and can work in melody in their songwriting well without over relying on them. Great for Death Metal fans who wants a good dose of melody in their music. Recommended tracks include “Antithetical Age” and “Dark Skies Painted”.
Arriving on the Eastern Maritime provinces of Canada, we find our number 4, the long awaited second album from Thrawsunblat, ‘Metachthonia’. Formed from the ashes of Woods of Ypres, Thrawsunblat is a folk inspired Black Metal band and with their new album they take a more aggressive and melodic approach on their new album instead of the more atmospheric sound they had on their first. ‘Metachthonia’ is filled with great melodic riffs, excellent vocals, and fantastic drumming that generated a Black Metal record that the album cover perfectly depicts, beautiful and majestic. This is a must listen for Melodic and Folk inspired Black Metal fans. This album also features cellist Raphael Weinroth-Browne (The Visit, Musk Ox, Cholera) who provides a nice dynamic touch. Recommended tracks include “She Who Names the Stars” and “Dead of Winter”.
For number 3, we return to Quebec with the newest album from Forteresse entitled ‘Thèmes Pour La Rébellion’ which translates to Themes for the Rebellion. Forteresse is a Quebec Black Metal powerhouse from the Sepulchral Circle (group of bands and musicians affiliated with Sepulchral Productions) who plays a style of Black Metal that is equally atmospheric and melodic. After five years from their last offering, the band returns with a mighty record that delivers quality Black Metal filled with elongated melodies weaving through the intense but warm walls of sound the band produces. Excellent album, especially for those who are looking for something other than grim coldness in their Black Metal. Recommended tracks include “Là Où Nous Allons” and “Vespérales”.
Staying in French Canada we head to Montreal for our number 2, ‘Hallelujah!’, the new debut album from the Gevurah. Gevurah is a relatively new band on the Quebec Black Metal Scene. The band first caught the underground’s attention with their 2013 debut EP, ‘Necheshirion’ but now with their new album ‘Hallelujah!’, the duo has made it clear that they mean business. The new album is evil, viscous, and focuses more on long dynamic tracks (the closing track is 20 minutes) that knows when to take on different forms and faces. Gevurah takes a variety of influences beyond the Quebec scene as they condense elements from Icelandic, Norwegian, Polish, and French scenes. One of the best Black Metal releases in recent memories; ‘Hallelujah!’ is a must listen record for all Black Metal fans. Recommended tracks include “Dies Irae – Lacrimosa” and “הַלְּלוּיָהּ”.
For our number 1, we return the United States once more with the second album ‘To Starve The Cross’, from Ghoulgotha. Ghoulgotha is a Death/Doom Metal band that dares to explore and embrace dissonance in music. Unlike some other metal bands who focus on technique and speed, this band focuses more on abstract songwriting. Ghoulgotha released ‘The Deathmass Cloak”, a stunning debut album in 2015 which easily became one of the best albums of that year. With their new album ‘To Starve The Cross’, the band delivers another prime cut of meticulously crafted, crushing, and ominous Death/Doom Metal that takes influence from acts like Autopsy, Incantation, and Immolation. Underneath the grimy surface, the beautifully disjointed, dissonant, and deranged music comes out showcasing the true prowess of the band and their capabilities. Ghoulgotha’s ‘To Starve The Cross’, like their previous album, that takes time to digest and the stomach to appreciate the elegant madness that lurks beneath the album’s murky waters. If you think you can tame and dance with this album, give it a try. Otherwise, she’ll just move right through you. Recommended tracks include “The Sulphur Age” and “Wounds Immaculate”.
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.
Cardinals Folly- ‘Holocaust of Ecstasy & Freedom’
Finnish Doom Metal has always been a prominent scene in the genre. Cardinals Folly return with their third album ‘Holocaust of Ecstasy & Freedom’ which continues to build on the music they have provided over their previous two albums. Good riffs, great atmosphere, solid vocals, and horror themes, the band delivers some good Doom Metal that fans of the genre would enjoy.
Front – ‘Iron Overkill’
With a pretty solid demo in 2015, the Finnish Blackened Death/Thrash band Front returns with their debut album ‘Iron Overkill’. They continued to build on what they had and offers a great amount of improvement. Good riffs, drumming, and aggression propels this album with a great driving force that this album takes great advantage of. This is a fun and definitely memorable record that many Death and Thrash metal fans would enjoy.
Grace Disgraced – ‘Lasting Afterdeaths’
I was never particularly a big fan of the progressive era of Death as Human and Symbolic are the only albums of theirs I could listen to. Grace Disgraced here is a Russian female fronted Death Metal band that works with similar ideas on their new album ‘Lasting Afterdeaths’. The band takes a slightly progressive and technical approach and delivers a solid Death Metal record that does not get too carried away. Worthy album to check out and a good sign of potential.
Sheidim – ‘Shrines Of The Void’
Spanish Black/Death Metal outfit Sheidim returns quickly with their debut album ‘Shrines Of The Void’. The band released a solid two track debut EP in 2015 which prompted me to keep an eye on them. Now with their new album, the band delivers a good slab of Black/Death Metal that hits all the spots of aggression, tremolo riffs, blast beats, and harsh vocals. Recommended for fans of the style.
Void Omnia- ‘Dying Light’
Void Omnia is a new five piece Black Metal band from the golden coast of California. I first caught wind of them in 2013 with their solid demo effort and now the band has returned with their debut album ‘Dying Light’. Their new album delivers quality Melodic Black Metal that also has a murky atmosphere and aggression. A good follow up to their demo indeed. Recommended for Black Metal fans who enjoys a well rounded Black Metal sound that provides everything a Black Metal fan needs.