Now Hear This: Trevor Strnad on the best new death metal, black metal and doom
On social media, I follow every band and label I like, so every day it’s like an influx of metal-related info. Once you know a label, you can gauge if they’re gonna put something good out and try their new bands every time. I download stuff to get a taste of what I’m gonna get into, but I still buy a ton of albums. Here’s what I’ve been into recently…
First, I wanna tell you about Worthless. They’re from New Jersey and they put out an album earlier this year called Dark Expressionism. It’s sort of depressive black metal, but more dissonant, so it’s got a sort of Deathspell Omega twist to it. It’s mostly mid-paced, and it has those sort of ‘mile away in a chamber of torture’ vocals. It’s miserable shit, and it’s exactly what it’s meant to be. I got into them from seeing them on a show flyer here in New York.
Next up, we have Rotting Kingdom and an LP called A Deeper Shade Of Sorrow. It’s death/doom, sort of like Decomposed, Temple Of Void or Hooded Menace. It’s kind of majestic, it’s got a bit of My Dying Bride flair to it with some really sorrowful melodies, and maybe a dash of early Paradise Lost too – it would fit right in on Peaceville Records back in the day! I think it stands up with the classics of the genre. Definitely recommended for death/doom guys who like it slow and low, and miserable.
Let’s move on to Plague Years and their album Circle Of Darkness. These guys are crossover thrash, not entirely different from a Power Trip sound. It’s a bit of a retro thing with a huge snare sound, really muscular-sounding and tough. It’s a bit more Slayerized, a bit more evil-sounding with the wailing guitar solos. They got signed to eOne fairly recently and they’re from my hometown of Detroit.
Next up, we’ve got Nite, and their album is called Darkness Silence Mirror Flame. These guys are kind of Judas Priest meets black metal. It’s very traditional in its musicality, but the vocals have a real lo-fi, scary, true black metal vibe. There are times when it reminds me of Tribulation, with that artful vibe, cinematic with lots of dynamics and textural. It’s very cool, it seems to me like a really fresh sound, and I can’t always say that, y’know?
I’ve got one more for ya! The last one is Disembowel. Their album is Echoes Of Terror, and it’s on Maggot Stomp, which is one of my favourite labels right now. These guys are definitely pulling from the Autopsy school, with lots of nasty harmonies that sound like you have food poisoning. It’s all about a creepy atmosphere. You could have heard this 20 years ago, there’s nothing about it that sounds modern. It’s good, gory stuff!
The Black Dahlia Murder’s album Verminous is out now via Metal Blade.
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