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Starkweather / Concealment – Split

For those who like their heavy music genre-blind and forward thinking, this one’s for you.

Erdve – Vaitojimas

Erdve might just be my latest crush because ‘Vaitojimas’ is so utterly crushing.

Phantom Winter – Into Dark Science

Phantom Winter are an incredibly talented band, and ‘Into Black Science’ is a solid album, let me be clear. However, Phantom Winter’s third album doesn’t build on their previous promise.

Ilsa – Corpse Fortress

‘Corpse Fortress’ is an absolute triumph for Ilsa. It’s required listening in 2018 for anybody who claims to like sludge and doom. You’re not going to find too many better examples of it this year.

Wolves in the Throne Room • Aluk Todolo – Heaven, London

WITTR regain their crown as black metal visionaries.

Vampillia • VMO • Ruins Alone

Despite touring with incredible artists . . . and having had albums out on code666, Important and Candlelight Records, Vampillia continue to allude most ears, it seems. If this is you, finish this review and then get hunting some streams online. . . The band were simply staggeringly good.

LENMANIA

A reluctant icon returns.

CHRCH / Fister – Split

This is easily one of the best split releases of 2017, with two bands at the pinnacle of their abilities.

Perturbator • ]HYPNO5E[ • Sleep Token

The epitome of what a fun gig can be. . .

Sutekh Hexen / Hissing – Split

Like those genius chefs of high gastronomy who pair two ingredients that on paper should not work, and yet produce perfection on a plate that has clarity yet depth, the split between Sutekh Hexen and Hissing contrasts but ultimately complements one another to form an essential piece of vinyl.

Gnaw – Cutting Pieces

‘Cutting Pieces’ is an unruly listen, and morphs and mutates out of your peripheral view.

Primitive Man – Caustic

There are so many layers to each track, each riff; yet also a beguiling simplicity. It’s hard to communicate, and it’s the mark of true artistry – to write creatively but without clutter, to capture a moment.

sleepmakeswaves – The Underworld

A band on top of their own world, and of ours.

YLVA – M E T A

A shining beacon of what post-metal can be in 2017.

Unsane

On the day London turns orange, Chris Keith Wright proclaim Unsane the kings of the blood sun. . .

Altarage – Endinghent

‘Endinghent’ is barbarous, callous dissonant and inhuman: an almost perfect death metal gospel.

Celeste – Infidèle(s)

With Infidèle(s) Celeste have cemented themselves as one of the best heavy bands in the world. Domination awaits.

Unru / Tongue – Split

Both bands are on the top of their game right now, which makes a shared release between them all the more exciting. You can feel the ideas and the pure joy of recording and wanting to play live through these two songs. Twenty minutes extremely well spent.

Lento – Fourth (Review + Exclusive Track Premiere)

Instrumental albums of this titanic quality are rare, and should be treasured by all.

Usnea – Portals into Futility

‘Portals of Futility’ is an album of extremes. Usnea have far more in the tank, and – just maybe – a stone cold classic hiding in their future.

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