Last updated on 10 July 2020
Now, wait a second, what?
It has been a whopping eight months or so since the latest Intermittent Digest released on this blog. In the meantime, we were busy as bees and looked at scores of new records. So, it is high time again to put the proverbial tent around this circus and start to make some sense out of what we found.
At this point in time, we also would have liked to mention the latest record of Batushka. Yet, we got two of them and some awful controversy surrounding the band. Thus, this (or those) record(s) may be for later. Or maybe not.
And as always, here is the official service announcement: This digest is not an official Top 10. But more of a summary of highlights and of exciting things we found so far.
In this light, here’s to the best cuts of the last few months.
Quite often having too many vocalists in one band leads to confusion, not profusion. Like the proverbial tower of Babylon. Not so with Temperance and their 2018 piece Of Jupiter And Moons. This band kinda floated around the RMR orbit for quite a while, but never made it onto the blog. Yet with their new crew members Michele Guiatoli and Alessia Scolletti, the band managed to take their offerings to the next level. Talk about lusty chanting right there, and a quality contribution to Melodic and Power Metal.
We could never quite secure that glowing happiness with the latest blurb of Within Temptation ominously called Resist. But Sharon den Adel‘s solo project My Indigo and its self-named album quite blew us away instead. Of course, this record is far, far away from anything metallic, even proper rock. But the album gorges with personality, passion, a vulnerable authenticity, and a drive for excellence that her ‘official’ gig sadly missed. So, the RMR deck crew vigorously voted to have this album included in our review list. And for good cause. Sadly, this album released early 2018. So, way too late for this year’s top 10. Damn.
Whoever said that Korea is populated by somewhat neurotic youths with pink hair and Gangnam style behavior only? Because we stumbled across Dark Mirror Ov Tragedy and their pretty outstanding Extreme Metal offering The Lord Ov Shadows. And we’re talking real metal that took our office suite by storm. True, they did hunt about the metal countryside for tidbits and probably left no cliché untouched. But the band managed – at the same time – to mix a real tasty metal mojito. One that continues to blast out of our boomboxes to this day.
How they squeeze that kind of metal out of them sad rocks up there in the Faroes I do not know. But Tyr‘s latest record Hel really pushes the Viking Metal genre up a few notches. To the point that Amon Amarth probably will have to rethink their approach and become a tad more authentic. That said, the lusty chanting and free-for-all energy bound in real metal earned Tyr a front seat on the mighty music machine for some time. I wish we had more of that kind of tune.
Heilung are back. And this time with Futha, the successor to Ofnir and its sibling Lifa. Whilst there is certainly nothing new in the make and approach of their brand, we found this new album pretty sturdy and – in a way – much more mature than its older brethren. There is however a tad too much stomping and heavy breathing on this record. Thus, we all hope that they will see the light and get us something much juicier next time, with innovation stamped on it if at all possible. Lest they risk falling by the wayside and disappear into the mud of time. But – in the meantime – the deck crew quite enjoyed Futha, and so should you.
Sometimes you need to reach way back in time to get to the good stuff. Meet Queensrÿche and their iconic 1988 record Operation: Mindcrime. Of course, this is way past the shelf-life of any modern record. But we were blown away by the storyline on a bed of Heavy Metal. A disturbing storyline to boot, and cunningly executed with melody and text. Pretty ahead of their time they were. I remember now.
And we finally found the space cowboys on a rampage again. The long-overdue sequel of Gloryhammer with the cool-sounding name Legends from Beyond the Galactic Terrorvortex hit the galaxy with a vengeance. Albeit at somewhat lower energy levels than their earlier record(s) suggest. But for those fans wanting to ride their laser-damaged unicorns to space, fear not. You will find action galore, and submarine fueled space travel around the galaxy to feed even the greediest of mouths.
After King we were not so sure if Fleshgod Apocalypse would be able to bounce back and attack even stronger than before. But as Fury, its first track, will tell you, Veleno will rearrange your hairdo like a level 6 tornado. And it will not let up until you hit the NDH cover of Rammstein much later in the tracklist. So, if you want to listen to this … thing, strap in and don your crash helmet. Because this is some crazy shit. But it is pretty good crazy shit. And do have a slice of that carnivorous lamb, before it devours you instead.
I knew it. Chrigel Glanzmann could not stay mute and leave Fabienne Erni center stage for too long. So, sure enough, Eluveitie threw Ategnatos on the market not quite two years after its unplugged predecessor made it onto the scene. I had my reservations at first. But it was a good surprise, with surprisingly sturdy tracks that really stick. Typical Eluveitie fare, sure. But the raw power in there really gets to you. And that is what made this all-new record a worthwhile listen.
Who would not at least listen to an album featuring Kobra Paige, right? Just kidding. That Red Cain was able to attract this specific guest contributor speaks to the quality Kindred: Act I brings to the table. The RMR deck crew took a real liking to the rebellious streak and pretty hefty approach to their trade. We have yet to see such a crafty approach in 2019 to concocting a record that you always want more of. The more you listen to it. Strange, ain’t it?
I had my reservations at first about the new record, and we had a lot to say about the earlier album of Aephanemer. So, Prokopton took us somewhat by surprise. And then by storm. Still undeniably the same band, they polished their approach to a point where I was not sure – if it really was the same band at first. This is jolly good Melodic Death Metal, led by a female front. One who can growl about as well as any other of her sisters in crime. All that vocal goodness backed by a pretty cool riff-fest that you need to look for in the Death Metal universe.
Okay, but now is the time to stop the bleeding. Or we will drone on until tomorrow morning, and wear you out with a gazillion more words. As you can see, 2019 already harvested a pretty good crop. And there’s still ways to go until we hit the dead of December.