Ye Goat-Herd Gods – Ashes Shall Be Made of Them (self-released, 2018)

Good melodic death metal is in painfully short supply these days.  Sure, there are a small handful of stalwart bands that continue to soldier on, but to say that the subgenre could stand to be infused with some fresh blood is an understatement.  Fortunately, Ye Goat-Herd Gods have emerged from the frozen Canadian wastes to rescue us from the dearth of new and interesting melodeath sounds with their mighty second album, Ashes Shall Be Made of Them.

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The Black Sorcery – …And the Beast Spake Death from Above (Hammer of Damnation, 2018)

Hailing from Edmonton Alberta, Canada, The Black Sorcery play a pummeling brand of bestial black death metal that keeps with their home country’s unrivaled tradition of bringing the pain when it comes to the style (see also: Blasphemy, Revenge, Conqueror, etc), yet they also do a great deal to differentiate themselves from the hordes of bands that owe their careers to the seemingly bottomless well of inspiration that is Fallen Angel of Doom.

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Weapon – Embers and Revelations (Relapse, 2012)

To listen to the three full length albums Weapon have released since 2009 is to witness a band searching for their sound.  This is not meant as a knock on the Canadian quartet, in fact quite to the contrary; bands are supposed to evolve and grow from album to album.  This fact is often lost in the context of death and black metal, where more often than not a lazy “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” attitude prevails.  Weapon spit blood and fire in the face of that attitude; they’re ambitious, dedicated craftsmen with world domination on their minds.  Embers and Revelations, the latest in that aforementioned trio of albums, is the band’s most complete and commanding work to date, a work that sees Weapon finding that sweet spot between death metal’s pulverizing violence and black metal’s Luciferian spitefulness; harnessing it to create something totally their own.
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Revenge – Scum.Collapse.Eradication (Nuclear War Now!, 2012)

It’s been four long years since we last heard from Canadian filth purveyors Revenge, but I can assure you that the aptly titled Scum.Collapse.Eradication was more than worth the wait.  No other band on the planet is capable of harnessing hatred and scorn into a chaotic yet controlled whirlwind of pure electric death the way the duo of drummer/vocalist J. Read and guitarist/bassist Chris Ross (aka Vermin) do on Revenge’s fourth full length.  Even though the band’s basic approach on Scum.Collapse.Eradication differs in only the most subtle of ways from that of previous outings, the fact remains that Revenge are so goddamn good at what they do that their return to the frontlines of the war metal battleground is always a welcome one.
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