Bitesize Recap - January Edition
Welcome to a new year and the first edition of Bite Size Recap, a monthly recap of releases that we just never got around to reviewing. This will feature brief reviews of various albums, with no score since they're all albums that definitely need to be heard. Where possible, the Bandcamp for the album will be shared to make it easier for you to pick up and where it's not, well, have a YouTube video.
Crypt of Ice
Century Media Records
January 8th, 2021
The year started off with one of the best old school death metal records we will likely see in 2021. Taking hints from Morbid Angel and Obituary, Frozen Soul’s Crypt of Ice is a well paced album from front to back. Tracks like “Wraith of Death”, “Encased In Ice”, and “Crypt of Ice” which led the promotion for this record have set an incredible standard for what to expect. “Beat to Dust” stands as easily the hardest hitting song on this album though, being one of the slowest at points, but also one of the most aggressive.
January 9th, 2021
Summoner, a new death metal band out of Oakland, California, released what is likely the most brutal release of the month. Spanning all of 11 minutes, the Summoner Demo is a fast, hard hitting , and claustrophobic release. With absolutely no room to breathe and take everything in, this is a release that will certainly take multiple listens to properly understand everything that is happening.
An Unexpecting Reality
Closed Casket Activities
January 13th, 2021
This was not only a surprise release, but a surprising album. Composed of two parts, the first third of the album (which is every song up to the last one) is pure death-grind in its glory that you would expect from Gatecreeper. The last track though, which is 11 minutes long on its own, takes a completely unexpected turn. “Emptiness” is a droning, doom metal crossed with old school death metal track that puts the majority of doom bands to shame. Honestly, “Emptiness” alone is more than enough reason for any death metal fan to check out An Unexpecting Reality.
Sentient Ruin Laboratories
January 15th, 2021
Raw, ambient, and dissonant. Easily the three best words to describe the new Aberration release. Much like most raw death metal, this is one for the most experienced listeners. The production may not all be there, the instrumentals are a bit hard to pick apart, but this is one for any Void Rot or Artificial Brain fans. It drones in parts, it’s aggressive in others, and all around, Aberration has so much to offer. Once you get used to the production quality, picking apart everything happening in this release is a real treat. Stick with it if you’re into the dissonant death metal tone. Plus, it was released on my birthday so bonus points for that.
Everlasting Spew Records
January 15th, 2021
Everlasting Spew Records have quickly become one of the essential labels for death metal. They prove this time and time again with the roster they bolster, and Fractal Generator is no difference to this rule. Macrocosmos is a straight to the point death metal records with some sci-fi infusion, just to keep it interesting and different. Taking some heavy influence from the likes of Morbid Angel, and Aeon, tracks like "Shadows of Infinity" and "Primordial" are likely to keep you coming back for more.
A Blueprint For Annihilation
Rising Nemesis Records
January 22nd, 2021
This is absolutely stomping deathcore. Plagueborne came out of nowhere and into the hearts of death metal fans the world around. A Blueprint For Annihilation stands as a blueprint to the standard of deathcore this year and a benchmark that all other albums will be held to. Plus, purple and pissed off sharks just work so well on album covers.
As the Flame Withers
January 25th, 2021
Black metal pioneers George Zacharopoulos, and Dimitris Patsouris (aka Jim Mutilator), known for their work on the early Rotting Christ albums, are together again. The duo’s new band, Yoth Iria, launched its debut album, As the Flame Withers, this month. As the Flame Withers sees the team pick up from right where they left off, releasing heavily melodic black metal, with burst of pure blast beats, like the introduction to “The Red Crown Turns Black”.
Forbidden Pathways To Ancient Wisdom
Nihilistic Noise Propaganda
January 28th, 2021
Old school, raw and aggressive Black Metal. Silvanthrone presents a release to put the likes of Emperor, Taake, or even Mayhem to shame. When done right, especially with the raw tone, these albums are a real spectacle. While the production may be on the cheaper side, everything from the consistent blasts and tremolo picking, to the scream of the vocalist is as clear as possible. Silvanthrone has managed to make a must have for any black metal fan.
Too Mean To Die
Nuclear Blast Records
January 29th, 2021
Accept return with their 16th studio album. Not only has this band been around for nearly 50 years at this point, but they've managed to continue to build on everything they've done with each album. Too Mean To Die is no exception to this rule, as Martin Motnik joins the fold in place of original bassist Peter Baltes. Expect to see more from this German powerhouse, but for now they drop yet another anthem of an album.
January 29th, 2021
Everyone's worst nightmare is trying to tell their friends about this band, you can't even suggest their albums because of the titles. At least Šahrartu is a bit easier to spell, but these death metal hard hitters need to be delved into by fans of extreme metal far and wide. Eximperituserqethhzebibšiptugakkathšulweliarzaxułum's new album is no exception to their unwritten rule of jump in, dominate, and back out. This is a relentless and brutal album, with a huge amount of replayability.