TMO Albums of the Month: March, 2016.

 

TMO Albums of the Month - March1

Some mammoth offerings from the month of metal madness that was March.

 

Cobalt – Slow Forever
by Nathan Hare

Cobalt Slow Forever cover

There was a lot of excitement and hype from me personally with the new Cobalt album. I’ve loved all the prior albums as well as Man’s Gin and Recluse for that matter. While it took a few listens of Slow Forever to kind of “get past” Phil’s absence from the vocal department, Charlie Fell made a wonderful replacement. The album is less black metal but more entrancing and manages to be just as dark as anything the band has done prior. Wunder and Fell make for a great duo on what’s possibly the best album I’ve heard this far in 2016.

 

 

Phazam – Scornful Of Icons
by Nathan Hare

scornful-of-icons

Phazm’s first album in eight years, Scornful of Icons, is a change in direction for the band. Muted, but not entirely absent, are the band’s death ‘n’ roll influences—Phazam is now a more straightforward death metal band with some eerily awesome croaking vocals on the album’s choruses. More importantly, the album has plenty of solid death metal cuts. Riffs, choruses, melodies, percussion-everything on Scornful of Icons is rock solid.

 

Vredehammer – Violator
by Joshua Bulleid

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(Artillery’s utterly fantastic Penalty By Perception may have edged Violator a late run for its money, but since that record only came out in the last week of the month and I’ve spent a lot more of my March being blown away by what Vredehammer have to offer, we’re gonna stick with it.)

Vredehammer’s phenomenal blend of thrash and black metal elements is utterly propellant; driving Violator through the listeners’ skull—in the most pleasurable way imaginable, of course. The band’s previous outing, Vinteroffer (2014), was nothing to be sneezed at, but the enhanced drive and layered, Naglfar-ian textures and Satyrcon-esque scatterings that populate Violator which see these bombastic Norwegians—lead by ex-Allfader axeman Per Valla—more-than-coming into their own. Although it might have flown in somewhat under the radar, Violator is a blackened thrash affair not to be missed.

 

Blood Ceremony – Lord of Misrule
By Ailo Ravna
Lord of Misrule
Rising above the crop of recent throwback occult rock groups, Toronto’s Blood Ceremony return with what could be their finest hour. Lord of Misrule is alluringly psychedelic, deviously bacchanalian and bloody catchy as hell. With a sound rooted in the ’70’s, Lord of Misrule nevertheless pushes Blood Ceremony’s theatrical approach in new directions, adding a vigorous and timeless spark to their festival of pagan cavorting.

 

Nidhoggr – Ragnarok
By Shawn Miller
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Sometimes the mood calls for no-frills, razor sharp black metal, and Nidhöggr’s debut full length, Ragnarök, easily fulfills that need. Released through a joint effort between Lake of Fire Productions and Craneo Negro Records, the album is full of cold and blustery black metal that owes its lifeblood to second wave. Despite the band’s staunch adherence to that classic Scandinavian sound, Ragnarök sounds fresh and poignant. It’s a much more mature and fulfilling offering than most bands attempting this vicious, no holds barred style of black metal. Despite the aggression and fiery nature of the music, intricate melodies and varying rhythms are woven throughout, offering something more than just the average blasting to death.

 

Zun – Burial Sunrise
By Jamie Casndale

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Records like this seem to come but once in a lifetime these days. Not only is Burial Sunrise a grand collaboration with some of the finest musicians the desert rock scene has to offer; it is a rich tapestry of gliding guitars, grooving basslines and hypnotic vocals painting the sky with all the colors of the universe that allows you to sit back with your eyes closed and let the music take you to places far beyond the realms of consciousness.  The way the album shifts from John Garcia to Sera Timms and back again is nothing short of beautiful as they bring different auras to the table yet complement each other effortlessly. Gary Arce has proven here that he is the undisputed godfather of the scene, and Burial Sunrise will be one of his crowning achievements. Pure sonic bliss.

This time last year:
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1 I got onto this deign before Heavy Blog Is Heavy started using it, so I’m gonna stick with it. You should still read their posts and listen to their podcast though; they’re quite good.

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