Bewitcher Under the Witching Cross
Was gonna write a blurb, but their tagline is “Heavy Metal at the Speed of Satan,” so thanks Bewitcher for doing my work for me.
Hellripper Black Arts & Alchemy
Need a band to double bill with Bewitcher? Here you go! Sinister, speedy, char-black party time. This one’s an EP, but it can serve as an album if you play it two or three times in a row, which you will.
Possessed Revelations of Oblivion
Possessed’s story of pioneer brilliance to tragedy to torpor to resurgence would be inspiring even if their comeback album were mediocre. Revelations is great. Old school and modern, rooted deep in the style they invented without laurel-resting. Excellent production balances clarity and punch to showcase a record that’s absolutely satisfying.
Smoulder Times of Obscene Evil and Wild Daring
Buckle your hauberk, whet your bodkin points and shoulder your billhook. If you know what any of that means, you need to check out Smoulder, the best new epic doom band in years. Heavy riffs to topple ramparts, songs that flow like druidic chants, and the impassioned vocals of Sarah Kitteringham leading the way like an enchanted lantern.
Spirit Adrift Divided by Darkness
Somebody fell asleep, slumped forward, and pushed the ‘melodic’ and ‘heavy’ sliders all the way up. Those two aren’t supposed to be so tandem. Yet here these elements marry and combust in a dramatic chemical flare of the catchiest, earworm-iest, heaviest metal. With this album more than most, I want to eschew detailed description and just say it’s really, really good. Side note: I caught them live the other day. If you can, do.