Top 5 Metal Releases of January 2018

In my more recent experience as a young adult, a new year in metal has meant a little to look forward to and a hell of a lot to explore. I was able to check out ample amounts of new releases this past month in my spare time, and yet there were several other great releases, many of which I haven’t gotten around to checking out as of this publication. Thanks, new college semester. In any case and without further ado, here are five of my favourite metal releases from January in no particular order:

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Discordia – Livsvarig nedgangstiden

Genre: Atmospheric Black Metal
Type: Full-Length
Release Date: January 7th, 2018

This album was a very pleasant surprise for me. Though fairly basic in terms of structure and nothing revolutionary, I discovered this record very early in the month by accident, and what a beautiful accident it was. A solid handful of completely instrumental tracks that are both immersive and soothing, I found this was my go-to album for January.

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Moongates Guardian – Leave the Northern Mountains

Genre: Epic/Atmospheric Black Metal
Type: Full-Length
Release Date: January 2nd, 2018

I’m an absolute sucker for atmospheric black metal, particularly when its roots are of epic scope and bear resemblance to legends of this genre, such as a band I’ll talk about in just a little bit. So naturally as soon as I saw this album cover I knew it’d be worth my time to check out, and I surely wasn’t disappointed. With their seventh full-length album since only 2014 (wow!), Moongates Guardian demand your attention with expertly crafted tracks that will take you away. The album also features two cover songs that fit in very well.

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Non Est Deus – The Last Supper

Genre: Black Metal
Type: Full-Length
Release Date: January 11th, 2018

Without a doubt the biggest surprise release of the month for me. Hailing from Germany, Non Est Deus deliver an incredibly impressive debut album. The guitar riffs and vocal work on this record are simply phenomenal, particularly in their seamless transition from track to track which all bear resemblance to one another, yet all manage to find their own unique identity. I suppose it’s also worth mentioning that the album has a light comedic element to it, as seen in the names of the songs and certain sections throughout them. You’ll see what I mean if you decide to give this a listen, which I can’t recommend doing enough.

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Shining – X – Varg utan flock

Genre: Black Metal
Type:
Full-Length
Release Date:
January 5th, 2018

Shining is a band with a bit of history behind them, having been active since 1996. All of their albums have a similar structure, and this one continues to deliver on a solid foundation of black metal. Each track brings a fresh experience and is broken up nicely, allowing listeners the room to breathe with slower sections of music into more abrupt vocals and outstanding guitar work.

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Summoning – With Doom We Come

Genre:
Epic/Atmospheric Black Metal
Type: Full-Length
Release Date: January 5th, 2018

You better believe I was going to address the elephant in the room. I love Summoning, I love what they’ve done for black metal, and I love each new offering they bring to the table. With Doom We Come, as you may have guessed, is no exception. In terms of actual song structure, I’d argue that not a lot has changed here compared to some of their more recent work. If Summoning has taught me anything, it’s that their music—at some point or another—always manages to find my attention. Exploring their albums and perhaps making new discoveries, or rekindling previous ones, is one of the many great appeals of this band for me.

Honourable Mention:

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Starved – Starved

Genre: Depressive Black Metal
Type: Demo
Release Date: January 21st, 2018

One quick mention of this release since I’ve really been enjoying it in recent weeks. A nice batch of depressive black metal tracks that I can only describe as chaotic and downright torture at times, ends in pure bliss and feels like a reward for making it through to the end. With a run time of only 20 minutes, it’s definitely worth one or more listens, if you’re into this kind of thing.

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Hey, thanks a ton for checking this out, and a big thanks to you personally if you’re reading this! This a new project of mine that I’ve been wanting to initiate for a small while as I’ve always been interested in reviewing the music I love. I had a lot of fun writing this and look forward to doing more of these throughout the year, and perhaps years to come. Cheers!

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