Between 2015 and 2017 German trio Zeit carved themselves a niche within the world of extreme metal with three enjoyable – if challenging releases – that fused black metal intensities with an almost industrial abrasiveness. Further releases combined the black metal elements with heavier and doomier riffs, very much showing a band willing to stretch out without any concession to lightening up.
An extreme metal act from Miami, Frank’s Enemy have been making intensive noises since 1992. Often combining grindcore, death metal and doom elements, the band’s sound has never been for the faint of heart. Their 2020 album ‘Abnormalized’ was scheduled for release in September, but as of January 2021, it’s still “under construction” with new tracks being added sporadically via their Bandcamp site.
By fusing a truckload of old-school death metal riffs, a pinch of black metal vocal and the relentlessness of grindcore, US extreme metallers Angelic Desolation create a sound they’ve dubbed “American Razorgrind”. Their third release, the catchily titled ‘Quorum of Unspeakable Curses’ delivers three more relentless slabs of riffery, coupled with the kind of vocal that could clear a room of any listeners not so keen on demonic growls. It doesn’t do much that genre fans won’t have heard before, but between some amazing technical abilities and a lot of force, Angelic Desolation still have plenty to offer the world of extreme metal.
Nuclear Winter isn’t a band, but the work of just one man. Even with the usage of programmed drums throughout his 2020 release ‘StormScapes’, Zimbabwean metal musician Gary Stautmeister creates as much intensity as a full compliment of musicians. He’s also been smart enough to program those drums in such a way that they never grate, or worse, make his recordings sound cheap. By using them in a way that creates a genuine mechanical tension, it gives this EP the kind of edge you’d find from an extreme industrial band, or perhaps a technical death metal act that are over keen on the use of bass drum triggers.
What would happen if you took passages from The Bible and applied them to some of the slowest and heaviest sludge metal riffs ever? Chances are, you’d end up with something so sacriligious, it’d stir up entire American States, amuse teenagers supposedly “going through a phase” and confound a lot of other people…