Don’t Miss This! Vol. 1

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Years from now, metal historians will look back on the year 2014 and be like, “Dude, nice.” The plethora of great music thus far is no secret, from big-name bands down to the most obscure basement projects. The only downside is that there are surely a ton of great albums that slip past your notice. So unless your name is Christian Molenaar and you’ve already heard/played on all of these albums, we’re going to take a look at some stuff that may have flown under your radar.

First off, let’s check out Mamaleek. Here we have an anonymous duo of brothers that create some truly off-the-wall metal that spins into a fantastically bizarre trance around your brain. If you’re a fan of their label mates Botanist and you like to get weird, you’ll love He Never Spoke A Mumblin’ Word, the album they dropped back in July. These guys chug down a jumbled gallon of black metal, avant-garde sensibilities, sludge, and milk, then barf it (in a good way!) all over a canvas of electronic experimentation. Buy the album here and the rest of their albums here.

For our next release, we go to Colorado’s Dark Descent Records for A Plague Through the Heavens, a fantastic split featuring Maveth and Embrace of Thorns that came out in August. If that Mamaleek album stretched your brain to the limit, then this album dropkicks your brain in the face. Featuring 4 tracks from each band, we get an extremely satisfying onslaught of crushingly heavy blackened death metal. Unlike many albums in the same vein, this one manages to hold my interest through its entirety through memorable riffs, varied structure, and crushing vocals. It’s dark, it’s dirty, it’s angry, and I can’t pick a favorite half. Check it!

Uh oh. We’re getting weird again. I’m not going to list all the projects that you may know the Dutch weird metal wizard Mories from, but one of them would be Gnaw Their Tongues, which was featured in one of our longer articles. Today, however, we’re checking out his absolutely crusher of a release through Cloak of Altering. The reach of Mories’ madness knows no bounds, and Plague Beasts from April 2014 is no exception. I absolutely love the diversity of the album, contrary to those imitators that seem to be content with formless and repetitive noise. It’s almost as if the real Cloak of Altering is buried amidst the electronic chaos and agonizing mechanical shrieks, and he’s intentionally testing you to see if you’re worthy (spoiler alert: you’re not). Any time I venture into the territory of Crucial Blast, I feel like 10,000 mad, malevolent eyes are upon me, and roughly 8,000 of those belong to Mories. Dive in here, and be ready to be tested.

Next up, we’re looking at Gridlink. This album gained solid exposure and positive acclaim when it was released in February, but I feel like it sort of came and went in a hurry and I haven’t heard it talked about since. Despite the oddly misleading cover, this is a grindy, spazzy freak-out album that is a lot of fun to listen to. One of my big downfalls with most grindcore albums is that they have a great feel, but the production and songwriting intentionally obscure any hope of something to hang on to. Gridlink find that fantastic balance between true, chaotic grind and varied riffage that actually sets their songs apart. High shrieking vocals dial in the perfect mood, and chaotic but cleanly produced instruments set the spaz factor to 10. Have fun with this one!

For the last push, we’re giving you a chance to hop on the release-date train yourself! That way, you can do what I do and tell all your friends that you knew about it all along. Here we bring you Polish death metal act Calm Hatchery. I’ve only heard a couple songs from Fading Reliefs, but they rule, and the reviews foretell tales of greatness. The track “Illusory World” has all the hard-hitting death metal you want, plus a little more dimension than the last album. A noticeable progression is present from 2010’s Sacrilege of Humanity; they seem to have more of their own ideas flowing into the song’s form. It’s hard to stand out as a Polish death metal band in the shadow of the titans we all associate with the country, but I think these guys are setting themselves firmly in the spotlight of great death metal and memorable song writing. Buy the album tomorrow (9/15)!

What do you think, flushers? We’ll be back another time with more stuff you may have missed!

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