Artist: Hail of Bullets
Album: On Divine Winds
Label: Metal Blade Records
Genre: Death Metal
Vocalist Martin van Drunen has been in multiple successful bands over the years, Hail of Bullets being the most recent. Hail of Bullets is unique in a sense that they add plenty of melody to their songs, while retaining a classic death metal feel. Martin van Drunen’s growls utter the sounds of soldiers dying in Pacific; there is no voice more perfectly matched for the theme of this album. The album is very simple, yet each song is perfect in its structure and hits you harder than a kamikaze pilot. There isn’t a dull moment throughout the nearly fifty minutes the album endures, and the closing song, “To Bear the Unbearable”, closes the CD in a remarkably well, reminding us of the destructive and sorrowful ending to the war for the Japanese.
Artist: Trash Talk
Album: Eyes & Nines
Label: Trash Talk Collective
One of the current bands to take the West Coast hardcore scene by a stronghold is Trash Talk. They have played numerous times at the venue down the street from my house, but I have yet to see them. However, hearing about them from my friends made me curious, so I checked them out. Eyes & Nines
is the bands second album, and it is pretty straightforward hardcore. With explosive songs and passionate lyrics, Trash Talk prove themselves once again.
Label: Century Media Records
Genre: Folk Metal
Finntroll is often criticized for their cheesiness, but that is one of the things I love about them. So much of metal is focused on being serious that there’s no room for fun. When I’m in the mood for some entertaining metal, I get my prescribed dosage of Finntroll. Although they have changed over the years, now favoring a more epic and sometimes orchestral sound, they still make great music, and Nifelvind
is no exception. Some of the tracks are focused on the metal aspects of their style, while others, like “Under Bergets Rot” utilize their humppa folk influences. Every time I blast this album, images of trolls feeding on Christians appear in my head, and I believe that’s just what Finntroll had in mind for their fans.
Artist: Red Sparowes
Album: The Fear Is Excruciating, But Therein Lies the Answer
Label: Sargent House
This year I wanted to explore different genres, and one that I found myself deeply interested in was post-rock. Thanks to a couple members on here (you probably know who you are), I got into this band. Since then I have been hooked into their long instrumental soundscapes. There’s no real way to explain how they make me feel, but it is sheer beauty. Each song tells a story, but a story of your own; Perhaps a memory will come to you, or a string of ideas. The musicianship in this band is beyond incredible and I honestly feel bad that I am ranking it here at twelve, but there were other albums I spent more time listening to.
Album: Lawless Darkness
Label: Season of Mist Records
Genre: Black Metal
Not many black metal bands can compare to the uncompromisingly Satanic nature of Watain. The evilness of their music and lyrical content interests me, but I can’t quite put a finger on why. It may simply be that sometimes the darker side of things peak my interest, just as some people enjoy slasher movies, despite their stupidity. Watain really go over the top with their Satanic beliefs, but it’s no joke. They’re not a gimmick, as vocalist Erik Danielsson said in an interview. Lawless Darkness
showcases the band in their own light, defining their own sound in today’s black metal scene. Every song stands out on this album, which is hard to find in a black metal record. As another plus, the lyrics are quite interesting in a poetic sense; there is deep thought put into each song and the meaning it is to portray. Listening to this album takes you into the realms of Satan and tells you his stories, and despite the modern production, it gives the perfect mood to satisfy any “trve and kvlt” basement black metal warrior.