May runs a little short on the personal favorites this month. I have three prime choices for you all to check out if you have not already as well as one album from April that I need to thoroughly apologize for forgetting because, for some reason, I left off one of my favorite albums of the year thus far. Maybe it is because May had slim pickings or maybe because there was not a whole lot that immediately resonated with me outside of the featured albums. Nevertheless, enjoy these great releases from this past month!
Back from the presumed dead are Travis Nordahl and El-Ahrairah. They have returned this year with a self-titled, full-length album of nine songs packed with Black Metal packed with a soaring atmosphere and moments of gritty noise. El-Ahrairah is the first release in six years to feature the original lineup of the band as well as a couple new editions. A deeply personal project to the group, it was inspired by paranormal experiences. It is a welcomed return for a powerful underground entity.
Kvelertak – Nattesferd
Norway’s Kvelertak plain and simple makes some of the most fun rock and metal this decade has seen. Nattesferd marks another installation of continuous evolution as musicians and a stronger understanding of their influences. It has everything from Van Halen worship to moments of icy Black Metal and interspersed within these sections are breakneck, groovy riffs that Kvelertak pull off better than just about anyone else.
The planet’s greatest Technical Death Metal force returned to prominence to follow-up their magnificent Colored Sands with a stellar EP entitled Pleiades’ Dust. The EP is one single song that spans roughly 33 minutes. Gorguts forever strives to advance the Death Metal sound and do so with each passing release. Pleiades’ Dust introduces some gloomy ambiance to Luc Lemay’s discography on top of their ever-relentless assault on the senses. It is a bit against the Gorguts grain, but most certainly delightful.
Missing from April:
I inexplicably left out one of my favorite albums from this year last month. How it happened, I do not know. However, to atone, it is highlighted now. The minimalist Tech Death duo of Nick McMaster and Lev Weinstein returned with a sensational album in The Wound and the Bow. It likens to a stripped down Gorguts or Pyrrhon and allows the listener to fully embrace how much influence a bass guitar and drums truly hold in music. McMaster and Weinstein are masters at their respective instruments. Geryon‘s newest effort has an undeniable groove and a near-unmatched complexity that make it very refreshing.