Beltfed Weapon – "Darkened Demise"
Fourth in a succession of EPs over the years, Seattle booker-extrordinaire Frank Hetzel’s all-star project Beltfed Weapon returns with more gristle. Flanked by personnel from Morbid Angel (Steve Taylor!), Control Denied, Arch Enemy, Black Label Society, Testament, Into Eternity, and Heathen, their latest EP and title track here Darkened Demise reflects some right-on classic thrash moves. You can check out DJ Jet’s Gimme 5 show (Tuesday, December 27, 5pm ET) for an interview that re-airs on her New Releases show Friday, December 30 at 11am ET.
G.I.S.M. – "Frozen Dirt"
Japan’s G.I.S.M. have long been a band of lore, wildly violent recountings of gigs, unofficial releases and spoken among hushed reverence among metal and hardcore legions (areas they blurred with great effect). Relapse continues their official reissue support with their second LP, 1987’s Military Affairs Neurotic (M.A.N.) a record that demonstrates the weird and otherwordly evolution of a truly unique unit that at this point gravitated into a more metallic sheen, albeit one with puzzling primitivity. Buy Now on Gimme Metal
Faustian – "Communion With Shadows"
Stank-smeared Louisiana death from members of Barghest, Kavyk and others reared its collective head with a self-titled EP out on Black Lion recently, and it ably proves itself as one of the beefier death metal releases of this year. Unholy atmosphere pins itself between hurricane-like passages of tinnitus-inducing guitars, cavernous wails and frenetic drums. Despite tight rhythmic passages, this stuff lumbers and lurches like it’s trying to shake the cobwebs, careening around unwieldy, ready to implode. We welcome the band for their first Gimme DJ takeover January 10, so stay alert. Buy Now on Gimme Metal
Woods Of Desolation – "Falling Tide"
More fruit from Season of Mist’s ongoing Australian assault, Woods of Desolation continue their trek of expanding blackened elements into a gauzy, fuzz-fueled inferno that draws on atmospheric and post-rock elements. After a hefty intro charge, “Falling Tide” recedes into some sweetly symphonic and most certainly blackgaze elements where guitar chords cascade in almost My Bloody Valentine-esque cadence. The LP of the same name has arrived this month, so dig in. Buy Now on Gimme Metal
Ulthar – "Astranumeral Octave Chants"
The blur of Ulthar’s influences remain strong on their twin set of forthcoming LPs Anthronomicon and Helionomicon, the latter of which will serve as a palette of their expansive Avant-leanings. Black metal and dense thrash typify what these guys have done over two past LPs, doused with a liberal dose of the alchemical and mystical. One of their past Gimme DJ specials featured their mic breaks being weird, foggy invocations rather than any Casey Kasem-style back-announce action! They most certainly think outside the box with their craft, and this latest track is no exception.