Terrorfront: Top 5 of the Month – April Edition

April has not fallen short in the least bit of new music, and that can only mean fresh new reviews are in store for them. As this month draws to a close, new doors are being opened in the live front on behalf of well over half of the bands in this month’s top 5.

Kommandant – “The Draconian Archetype”

As I had previously written about Kommandant’s upcoming tour with Demonical and Horna, these guys have improved musically, taken new directions with their sound and are only getting better as time progresses. As most people would describe their music to be clumped into the “war metal” genre, their music is in fact far from bands in that genre such as Blasphemy, Conqueror, Black Witchery and so on and so forth. Although imagery and aesthetics play a roll in this factor as well, Kommandant’s lyrics revolve solely around strength, honor and discipline (which can also be easily mistaken along the lines of NSBM but to clarify: there is none of that incorporated in this band whatsoever). Regardless of misconceptions and preconceived notions revolving around this band, with their most recent full-length The Draconian Archetype, it falls no short of being one of the best black-death metal albums representing the U.S. forefront. With the departure of their old vocalist who was on their first full-length Stormlegion, he has now been replaced with guitarist M. Kolar who has taken over and has done an impressive job of manipulating the entire musical structure of the band. Although I have given Stormlegion a spin many, many times in the past, The Draconian Archetype has proven to be a big step and improvement for Kommandant’s audio and visual organized chaos. Surely a release that you don’t want to skip out on.

Mgła – “With Hearts Toward None”

I have said this to many people so I must say this here: Poland cannot simply do wrong with their black metal. And when I say that I’m of course referring to uncommercialized and down-to-the-bone black metal. Mgła has never disappointed with their releases and their most recent With Hearts Toward None album is a phenomenal and addictive classic which will only leave you anticipating for even more material. Sometimes I wonder if it is a trickery for these guys to release 5-6 songs per album just as teaser for those of us who want to hear more. I have found myself listening to this album on repeat more than just a few times in the course of these last few weeks, and has even rekindled my appreciation for other Polish bands such as Infernal War (a personal favorite) and Thoth. If you are looking for raw, ugly, and even some would say ‘catchy’ black metal, check out this release along with the rest of Mgła’s discography if you are not familiar with them already.

Anhedonist – “Netherwards”

Anhedonist are a doom metal band hailing from my neck of the woods here in Seattle, and remain as one of my favorite local acts that I am proud to promote and flaunt shamelessly, as their latest album Netherwards is both a phenomenal doom gem and they are absolutely crushing as a live piece. For fans of traditional as well as funeral doom will both appreciate this record, as it covers the basis of both of these sub-genres in noticeable doses. I hate to overuse the word “crushing”, but there cannot be a better word to emphasize on Netherwards in its entirety. In comparison to their previous recordings on demo, this record shows great improvement for Anhedonist as a band and it is apparent that you will hear their name more often and hopefully they will be going places with the kick-start of this release. Doom metal enthusiasts will appreciate this release, even with the elements of death-doom included. Anhedonist will also embark on a West coast tour this upcoming July with Dead Congregation (Greece) and Grave Miasma (UK). More info is available for that can be located on their Facebook page here.

Wolvhammer – “The Obsidian Planes”

Here is a gem that I am really grateful to have discovered, courtesy of Profound Lore Records. I am somewhat of a finicky person when it comes to sludge metal, as it easily falls into different sub-genres of its own and every band has their own way of experimenting and incorporating it into their sound. Wolvhammer’s latest release grabbed my attention upon first listen and from then on I knew it was going to be one of those albums to put on repeat for days on end. The Obsidian Planes is a blackened sludge album that is both catchy and clean-produced, and also pulled off very well. I have yet to hear any of Wolvhammer’s older releases, but the production and musical structures throughout The Obsidian Planes is done in a very flowing and rhythmic pattern from beginning to end, all of which ties the album together really well and makes this an exceptional release.

Kult ov Azazel / Teratism – Split

This is a split which contains 2 different covers of Venom’s “In League With Satan” from both KoA and Teratism, re-done in their own vision and musical interpretations. In this day and age, it is undeniable that many black metal bands of our generation will or have done covers of metal classics of previous eras. I have heard those of all types, those who would have made their masters proud, those who should never make the same mistake again, and the rare few of those who have even exceeded the originals. This release is very interesting to me, as the idea from an outsider’s point does not seem very appealing at first, until a proper listening is actually done. I was very impressed with the results of these two covers of the same song – both completely different in sound in their own unique style and visions. Although it is very to-the-point and contains only two covers on the album, they have simply made it work by the fact that these interpretations differ so much and are both done very well at that! Although I rarely make references to album artwork on here, the art contained both on the cover as well as the layout is fantastic, courtesy of Mark Riddick’s visionaries that have always gone well with Teratism’s own personal concept.

Over and out,
Tracy / www.t-terrorphoto.com

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The Author

T. Terrorist

T. Terrorist

An extreme music photographer, photojournalist and mixed media artist based in Seattle. Capturing the essence of live music from rising artists of the underground since 2006. An eternal devotee to art and die-hard to all things music-related. Correspondence: tterror@cvltnation.com