TMO Albums Of The Month – February 2019

February may be the shortest month, but we were far from short on incredible releases.

Overkill – The Wings Of War
by Larry Best

Very few things in life are constant and eternal. There’s death, corruption, taxes, re-runs of Friends – and Overkill. They are probably my favourite band of all time, and thus I should be incredibly critical. But I can’t help it if the Jersey Devils keep cranking out gem after gem! Go buy The Wings Of War. The addition of ex-Shadows Fall drummer Jason Bittner has definitely had an impact on the amount of groove on this record. It’s balls-to-the-wall thrash metal, but with a heavy dose of groove that only Blitz and co. do this well.

A Novelist – Folie
by George Dan

Their independently released second album is as expressive and cohesive as technical music gets. Add the jazz influences, the use of saxophones, and a mind-bending concept and you’ve got one of the most unique records in the field.

Beast In Black – From Hell With Love
by Kane Paul Gagenparry

The Beast’s sophomore album stands far above anything that Anton Kabanen has produced thus far. They’ve taken their former 80s influence and brought it to the forefront, shamelessly blending it into their heavy metal foundation. The result is a synth-heavy, melody-driven, cheese-oozing pump up record that takes the title of a true champion. 

Candlemass – The Door To Doom
by Jamie Cansdale

The return of Johan Längquist as vocalist has only worked wonders for the Swedish legends. His performance on 12th album The Door to Doom is nothing short of powerful. His pipes have aged with an otherworldly wisdom and he projects those lyrics like some wizard casting all manor of spells. On top of that, the band pull of an excellent arsenal of riffs, leads, and solos, executing a return to form after years away from the studio. It’s Candlemass doing what Candlemass do best, what more could anyone want?

Saor – Forgotten Paths
by Nathan Hare

Is it any surprise the new Saor is excellent, considering how great 2016’s Guardians was? Everything that made that album so wonderful is also present on Forgotten Paths – the seamless integration of folk into atmospheric black metal, dynamic songs, and beautiful, haunting melodies.

Blackdeath – Phantasmhassgorie
by Shawn Miller

Russia’s Blackdeath continue at full strength with Phantasmhassgorie, album number nine since renaming their project in 1998 (then known as Black Draugwath and Draugwath prior). Taking the frenetic precision of 2015’s Gift and merging with the off the wall schizophrenic tendencies of 2013’s Phobos, their newest offering sees this Russian trio at their strongest to date. Challenging rhythms, pulsing bass, chaotic percussion, and razor sharp tremolo riffs highlight vicious, acerbic vocals and dark, hateful atmospherics. Continuing to be the apex of the Russian black metal scene, Blackdeath show no signs of slowing down.

Rotting Christ – The Heretics
by Alex Melzer

The Greek black metallers have long transcended the placative shock factor of their name and their latest effort The Heretics manages to continue the band’s long-standing tradition of fusing melodic black metal with plenty of atmosphere, yet at the same time does not just rely on the tried and tested formula. Sacrificing some intricacy in the riff department for an increase in atmosphere ultimately pays off, with the extensive (yet never overdone) use of choirs being the most prominent factor, The Heretics is maybe the most cohesive and dense album that Rotting Christ have created yet and for sure another highlight in their already illustrious back catalogue

Yerûšelem – The Sublime
by Giannis Panitsas

A slab of industrial pulses, ferocious beats and shrill guitars with a dose of clean vocals, drawing influence from Blut Aus Nord’s Cosmosophy, Yerûšelem’s debut is yet another twist in Vindsval’s discography, as it breaks into familiar territory but with a brand new perspective.

Booze Control – Forgotten Lands
by Dave Hodges

A surprising improvement over and above their previous efforts, Forgotten Lands takes Booze Control’s knack for writing catchy riffs to the next level whilst adding depth and variety to their songwriting.

Herman Frank – Fight The Fear
by Johnathan Smith

Like a fine wine, old school heavy metal only gets better with age, as do those who create it if German metal veteran Herman Frank is any indication. Following a brilliant 3 album stint with the reformed Accept and a strong showing with his own solo project a couple years ago in “The Devil Rides Out”, the man who helped give us “Balls To The Wall” has managed another brilliant showing with smoky, Coverdale-inspired vocalist Rick Altzi at the helm and all the heaviness a good old fashioned metallic assault with a modern production can provide. As he approaches the ripe age of 70, Frank proves that you’re never too old to crank the decibels into the stratosphere.

Can Bardd – The Last Rain
by Andrei Dan

With a sublime blend between atmospheric folk music, raw black metal and epic melodies, Can Bardd’s sophomore effort brings five tracks of peace and joy as well as energy and aggression. With less than a year from the debut album release, The Last Rain is an undeniable improvement in sound mixing as well as songwriting cohesion, delivering a much more genuine, enjoyable and complete listening experience.

Rhapsody Of Fire – The Eighth Mountain
by Alberto Mancini

Changing lineups is something potentially lethal for a band, especially when it comes to being still capable of writing quality albums. Despite having lost all its original members but one, Rhapsody of Fire deliver once again, providing a solid, enjoyable, exciting work of power metal that won’t fail in satisfying the taste of both long-time fans and new listeners willing to experience the thrill these Italian metallers are still capable of conveying.

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