Indiana death metal/extreme metal band Death On Fire cover a wide musical ground on the follow up to their 2020 long player ‘Ghost Songs’. The ‘Six Foot Box’ EP only features three tracks, but by taking elements of old school thrash metal, a pinch of black metal coldness and broad strokes of doom, the material almost feels as if it crams in a full album’s worth of ideas into a little under fifteen minutes.
In the summer of 2020, thrash/rap metal/crossover legends made their long overdue return with the ‘Violition’ EP. The band’s first new studio release since 1992, at least two of it’s songs were “classic” Mordred, heavy on the riffs, but even bigger on the grooves.
2020 was a busy year for progressive/melodic death metal act Ewigkeit. Their critically acclaimed 2019 album ‘Disclose’ basically set multi-instrumentalist James Fogarty on a roll of creativity and he filled the following year with a wide array of works. The follow up album ‘Scarscape 2.019’ fused Ewigkeit’s distinctive progressive death traits with a science fiction concept that was far less uptight than Arjen Lucassen’s works, before a follow up EP (‘XXIII’) flipped all expectations by dumping the aggression and indulging more of Fogerty’s classic metal influences on a far more melodic disc. He then closed the year by recording some of his angriest sounds to date – material scheduled for release in January ’21 as the ‘Depopulate’ EP.
Back in the early 90s, Mordred attracted a loyal following with their crossover brand of thrash metal. Their second full length album, 1991’s ‘In This Life’ gained very positive reviews and the single ‘Falling Away’ is still guaranteed to awaken some very nostalgic feelings for anyone who happened to be in their late teens or early twenties at the time of its original release. For reasons that still don’t make entire sense, Mordred never became genuinely massive. Sure, they got all the press and worked hard on a string of support slots on great metal bills, but they never became truly major players. Perhaps their prominent use of scratching and DJ turntables was something that didn’t sit well with the metal purists, or perhaps it was their injection of funk, but that kind of mixing things up didn’t upset thrash fans when Anthrax dabbled with rap – sometimes very badly. Mordred deserved to at least be as big as Anthrax, but it wasn’t to be, and after the release of a third album in 1994, they split.
An unexpected reunion in 2013 gave the world a couple of successful tours and a digital single, ‘The Baroness’, but it didn’t seem like quite enough and as the years passed, any hopes of more new material felt as if they were fading.
In terms of extreme metal, Dystopia A.D. are a little more interesting than most. The riff-heavy, New Jersey duo are keen to take death and thrash metal sounds into new territory on their current single ‘Plaguebringers’.