KNOCKED LOOSE (Kentucky)
By the Grave
— Fist-forward, direct blistering fun beastly hardcore.
SLEEPING ANCIENT (TX)
A Path Emerges
— Debut of black metal split apart by organic doom and gothic post-metal.
LORD GORE (Portland)
Million Maggot March
— Growling filthy Lord Gore haven't released anything for 15 years, but somehow stay relevant in muscular grind and death.
Desert of Absurdity
— One of my favorites, because so dynamic, so immense, so emotional and all the vocals. Love the plaintive.
TENEBRAE IN PERPETUUM (Italy)
Nero, oscuro concetto di assoluto
— Italian black metal with theatrical electronic blips making this strange and charming.
CRYPT SERMON (Philly)
Christ is Dead
— Soaring melodic vocal and lyric-forward dramatic heavy metal.
PA VESH EN (Belarus)
Wastelands of Plague
— You know you always want to hear your black metal through a wall of corpses 4 feet thick and ears filled with blood? Well here you go.
ETERNAL STORM (Spain)
— A balanced approach of melodic melancholy and death without it being cheesy or overly dramatic.
Ether of the Void
— Look, dudes are hot.
Pirouette Of Hysterics
— Band is done, but offering of melodic black and core with expansive passages of acoustic and atmospheric guitars.