Slim but sure pickings for the month of November.
Awe – Privdentia
by Shawn Miller
After their contribution to the brilliant Moerae split earlier in the year, Awe—the mysterious, enigmatic black metal band from Greece—return with their debut Providentia, which features three tracks of thought provoking black metal, filtered through a similar lens used by Deathspell Omega and Blut Aus Nord. Providentia offers fifty-one minutes of bleak, dissonant landscapes and constantly shifting riffing that remains complex and sinister in the same breath. This one takes a few spins to sink in, but it is well worth the journey.
Månegarm – Månegarm
by Alex Melzer
After their last album had been a bit of a diversion, Sweden’s Månegarm are back with one hell of an album that catapults them back into folk/pagan metal Olympus. Månegarm sees a return to the Swedish lyrics and a stronger folk foundation of the band’s earlier material, while maintaining their vocal variability that once more is proving why they are widely regarded as one of the genre’s premier bands. Månegarm strikes a nay-perfect balance between heaviness and melody—making Månegarm anno 2015 a hot contender for imminent year-end lists!
In Malice’s Wake – Light Upon The Wicked
by Joshua Bulleid
Scarping in at the eleventh our of this eleventh and penultimate month of 2015, comes the year’s best and most ferocious thrash outing. Light Upon The Wicked not only continues In Malice’s Wake’s flawless track record, but it is an album that pushes the band’s sound to newer, loftier heights of brutality. The sheer kineticism of the band’s music ensures that Light Upon The Wicked is a rollicking listen from start to finish, and there’s not a single instant that’s not completely enthralling and masterful in its relentless execution.
The Body and Krieg – The Body and Krieg
by Neill Bird
An interesting collaboration to be sure: As a fan of Krieg and their black metal assault it was exciting to see what they could come up with; although, admittedly never being a major fan of The Body there was some hesitation. However, The Body and Krieg has quickly become a highlight of 2015. Expertly paced, dark and just as heavy and suffocating as can be—this record really drains the life out of you. This album rarely lets up, and—between the vocal trade-offs and noise—it just feels so incredibly nihilistic that it teems with the most negative feeling imaginable. The Body and Krieg is truly an incredible listen and one that grows with each spin, despite how unsettling it is.
Magic Circle – Journey Blind
by Evan Mugford
The Bay State’s Magic Circle were one of metal’s best kept secrets in 2013. Delivering a sextet of heavy/doom metal dirges, their eponymously titled full-length debut became for many an instant classic. The band’s anticipated follow-up is Journey Blind, a slightly speedier ode to bands like Black Sabbath, Trouble, and even some Led Zeppelin, and once again the group do not disappoint. Led by the incendiary vocals of Brendan Radigan, Magic Circle have reemerged from the darkness with a record rife with soaring melody and moments of stoned-out head-banging goodness.