Things You Might Have Missed

Whitechapel – The Valley [Things You Might Have Missed 2019]

Whitechapel – The Valley [Things You Might Have Missed 2019]

“Bet you didn’t expect a TYMHM 2019 post just as TYMHM season 2020 begins to pick up, did ya? I also bet you didn’t expect to see AMG’s third- or fourth-best black metal specialist piggybacking aboard a relatively popular deathcore album either. Well, it’s 2020, a year jampacked with surprises. So surprise, motherfucker – the Metal Gods work in mysterious ways.” Time is a fluid construct.

Nachtterror – Judgement [Things You Might Have Missed 2019]

Nachtterror – Judgement [Things You Might Have Missed 2019]

“Earlier this year, I channeled all the might that my status as an exalted AMG writer imbues me with and demanded the promo Maeskyyrn’s Interlude from Hypnotic Dirge (read: I sent a politely-worded email). They obliged and sent not only Maeskyyrn but also Nachtterror. Reviewing schedules being what they are, we couldn’t get to symphonic black metal six-piece Nachtterror‘s record in time for its release. And that is a damn shame because Judgement is a seriously good and incredibly varied slab of metal.” Metal cup runeth over.

Abyssal – A Beacon in the Husk [Things You Might Have Missed 2019]

Abyssal – A Beacon in the Husk [Things You Might Have Missed 2019]

“Dissonant death metal is a polarizing style, one whose purposes are often unclear. While it encompasses a variety of interpretations, its beginnings in Immolation and Demilich can be summed up in its attempted balance of malice and menace. British death metal act Abyssal‘s fourth full-length A Beacon in the Husk is the perfection of this balance: a sunless journey into the depths of the abyss, guided by its philosophical lyricism and patient dynamics.” Void tunes.

Aether – In Embers [Things You Might Have Missed 2019]

Aether – In Embers [Things You Might Have Missed 2019]

Wintersun has long been a favorite of mine. Sure, it’s a band with a whole bunch of frustrations, but Jari Mänepää is a strong composer, and he’s got a cool sound that I can’t help but like. His wild blend of melodeath, power metal, black-tinged folk, and symphonic over-the-top wizardry appeals to me. It’s always a good Time T(w)o listen to well-composed symphonic heavy metal, and this is where the Polish group Aether come in.” Less spa, more metal.

Nocturnal Departure – Cathartic Black Rituals [Things You Might Have Missed 2019]

Nocturnal Departure – Cathartic Black Rituals [Things You Might Have Missed 2019]

“With a purple, black, and white/grey color scheme, Cathartic Black Rituals immediately calls Mayhem’s Live in Leipzig—metal’s best live record—to mind. It screams second wave black metal, and as a fan of that little niche I heeded the call.” Running into the Nocturnal.

Otoboke Beaver – Itekoma Hits [Things You Might Have Missed 2019]

Otoboke Beaver – Itekoma Hits [Things You Might Have Missed 2019]

“As long as it’s good, gives us reviewers joyous vibes, and is kinda sorta somewhat within proximity of our wheelhouse, we’ll give it a fair shake and coverage. Kyoto’s Otoboke Beaver‘s debut full-length, Itekoma Hits, is several miles away from our particular wheelhouse, but we see them, cheerfully smiling and waving while screaming, delivering some absolutely apeshit bonkers music that veers from pop-punk to hardcore to surf music to practically everywhere else and in-between.” It’s not metal, but then again, neither are you.

Hwwauoch – Into the Labyrinth of Consciousness [Things You Might Have Missed 2019]

Hwwauoch – Into the Labyrinth of Consciousness [Things You Might Have Missed 2019]

“I’m beginning to see a trend as 2019 draws to a close: I like me some weird-ass black metal. And, boy howdy, has 2019 has been a weird-ass year for it. Prolifically, having released a new album from each of its equally weird-ass projects by means of several record labels, the Prava Kollektiv has released quality atmospheric black metal en masse: the frostbitten cosmic stylings of stalwart Arkhtinn, the dark ambient maws of the appropriately named Voidsphere, the eerie and empty musings of Mahr, and the hellish and malevolent tones of newcomer Pharmakeia. But the subject of today’s tragically overlooked album is the latest thing your cat typed walking across the keyboard: Hwwauoch.” Say again?