If you thought January 2015 was good, then February was even better despite it being a shorter month. We see high profile releases from bands like Ensiferum, Carach Angren, Enforcer and Melechesh, along with the more underground spectrum of the genre such as Acherontas, Death Karma and many more. Here’s our shortlist of the albums of the month for February 2015.
Melechesh – Enki (27/2/2015)
My favourite Melechesh release has always been their 2003 release Sphynx, following which I have lost touch with the Mesopotamian metal band. This year sees the triumphant return of the band, and they prove that their skills are sharper than ever on Enki. Faster, more brutal, yet sticking to the sound that they have created and popularised much earlier in their career. Top that up with the top-notch production of the album, fans of black/thrash with an Eastern vibe will be in for a treat.
Acherontas – Ma IoN (Formulas of Reptilian Unification) (27/2/2015)
Acherontas has always been a rather unique and mysterious entity. Their last album in 2013, Amenti was a black metal release that was shrouded in a mystifying fog, yet it is precisely this emphasis on the atmospheric aspects of the band’s songwriting that enchants and captivates the listener. Ma IoN (Formulas of Reptilian Unification) expands on the sound that one who loves Amenti would already be familiar with. Throughout the record, one finds himself drifting off into a nice, trancelike state, broken by moments of heightened speed and aggression, giving a nice balance of all aspects and elements that make up the black metal genre.
Monsterworks – The Existential Codex (27/2/2015)
The first time I encountered New Zealand’s Monsterworks was on their Man: Instincts and Man:: Intrinsic EPs back in 2012. Not knowing better at that point in time, and being more fascinated by the black and death metal releases from the region back then, I simply dismissed the band. It was not until recently when I decided to listen to the band properly, and started off with their 2014 releases, Overhaul and Universe, that I realised what I had missed out all along. It is really quite hard to categorise the band’s musical style, the closest being a form of progressive metal somewhat similar to Mastodon. The Existential Codex is the band’s latest release, and the band has gone into even more progressive and experimental grounds this time round. For the full impact, remember to get the physical copy of the release which comes with an extra DVD.
Death Karma – The History of Death and Burial Rituals Pt. 1 (13/2/2015)
Featuring almost the complete lineup of Cult of Fire, another band that created quite a stir last year with their Vedic-inspired full length release, Death Karma sees the band exploring a different side of their creativity. While comparisons with Cult of Fire are unavoidable, on The History of Death and Burial Rituals, Death Karma explores the different styles of black metal, from the aggression of Swedish bands like Marduk and Watain to the more atmospheric style of metal noir Quebecois. The “part 1” in the title gives us hope that the band are working on exploring more themes of death and burial rituals, and I for one can’t wait for that to happen.