It’s only February, which means most labels are just starting to trickle out what will eventually become an unstoppable avalanche of new releases. Not so for Nuclear War Now! Productions; the California-based label is in the process of unleashing a fifty megaton payload of heavy hitters that are poised to set the bar for underground black and death metal for the remainder of 2018. Read on for THKD’s breakdown of this quartet of poser-slaughtering platters…
Back in my high school days, I ran a Dungeons & Dragons campaign for a small group of friends (because being obsessed with heavy metal, pro wrestling and Star Wars just wasn’t quite nerdy enough). I wish I had known about legendary Austrian black metal duo Summoning back then, because they would’ve made one hell of a soundtrack for those late night RPG sessions. Listening to their latest album, With Doom We Come, takes me back to those days of planning out adventures for those intrepid make believe heroes, filled as they were with orcs, kobolds and of course the occasional dragon.
When Watain dropped the The Wild Hunt back in 2013, I initially praised the band for their willingness to take chances with their sound. But truth be told, I haven’t felt much of an urge to revisit the album since that time, opting instead to reach for their more immediate, visceral works, such as Casus Luciferi and Sworn to the Dark. In retrospect, The Wild Hunt was a good album and an interesting change of pace, but it lacked the sense of urgency and hunger that characterized the band’s finest work, ultimately making it the weakest entry in their storied catalog.
Ah, the intro. This is the part where most writers attempt to regale you with an account of the myriad ups and downs they experienced throughout the year. However, most writers fail to understand one very important fundamental truth: no one cares. So without further ado and in no particular order, here’s a list of fifteen albums that grabbed a hold of my crank and kept on yankin’ in 2017…
Normally I’m not one to make a big deal out of teaser tracks, but for Texas-based black metallers Nyogthaeblisz, I’m more than willing to make an exception. The band’s current label Hells Headbangers (who seem uh, hell-bent on on defying the metal PC police this year) recently premiered “Ordnance for Adamic Holocaust and Cosmocidal Entropy” from their long awaited debut full length Abrahamic Godhead Besieged by Adversarial Usurpation and from the sound of things, the album will be everything fans have been waiting for.
According to Metal Archives, Grand Belial’s Key’s first full length, Mocking the Philanthropist, was released sometime in 1997 (I’ve been unable to track down an exact date). The Virginia-based band recorded two well-received demos and an EP prior to their debut, but the removal of drummer/vocalist Lord Vlad Luciferian (who would go on to join Ancient) would signal the dawn of the band’s classic era; GBK were about to become one of the most infamous and instantly recognizable bands in US black metal.
Much has been made of the woefully varying results of long-running metal bands deciding to re-record their classic material; let’s be honest, ninety-nine times out of one hundred the results are nothing short of disastrous. Typically, they fail to capture the same magic that made the original recordings such classics to begin with. Rarely do they bring anything new to the table and seem to exist largely to fulfill the artists’ contractual obligations to whatever label happens to be screwing them over at the time.