Nefirum - Spring Demo 2013
Hailing from, in their words and not mine, another American armpit, that being Kansas City, I can only say that it does wonders for the musical output. This three song demo is a short, sharp burst of furious black metal, that is in all honesty very good indeed. Thrown to the Wolves and Lost Artifact are truly savage tunes, but still maintain a melodic streak. Rounding up the demo is Primordial Source of Malevolent Quintessence, which is slightly longer but no less furious. Overall, a very impressive demo and I see no reason why we shouldn't hear more from Nefirum in the near future.
Lantern - Below (2013)
Dark Descent Records
Blackened death or Deathened black metal? Whatever way you want to look at it, Finland's Lantern have released a monster for their debut album. It's 40 minutes or so of absolute musical hell, and I mean that in a very positive way. Dark Descent sure know how to pick them, and this sits perfectly alongside excellent releases by the likes of Krypts and Desolate Shrine.
CROWN - Psychurgy (2013)
These two fellas from France are on a mission to crush your very being, and with Psychurgy that have pretty much achieved that. This is a quite phenomenal album that blends behemoth slabs of doom with an electronic twist. Psychurgy is a tormented and despairing hour or so that I just can't get enough of.
Bakken - Death of a Hero (2012)
Northern Ireland's Bakken aren't concerned with the multitude of sub-genres within the world of metal. Instead, they play balls-to-the-wall metal, with no frills. The vocals have a bit of a Hetfield sound to them, and musically they veer towards early Helloween at times, but this is a good to honest metal album that does the trick.
New Keepers of the Water Towers - The Cosmic Child (2013)
Sweden's New Keepers of the Water Towers, aside from having a weird and wonderful name, deliver the goods in spades on The Cosmic Child. If you can imagine Pink Floyd by the way of some psychedelic doom with great guitar-work, you'd be heading down the right path. I, personally, enjoyed the hell out of this album; there's plenty going on and reveals more to the listener on each subsequent listen.
Necrogrinder - The Bunty Man (2013)
With songs such as Suffolkated (which I love, being as I'm from Suffolk), Bummed by the Binmen and Handicap Handjob, you can tell that Necrogrinder are having some fun with their music. However, this is seriously brutal and deathly grindcore that is anything but light-hearted, and a damned good listen it is too. The drums are a blur, the vocals sound like gargling on glass and no song passes the 3 1/2 minute mark, which is positively epic. Buy it, and get destroyed.
Frigoris - Wind (2013)
Hypnotic Dirge Records
The first of three releases this summer by Hypnotic Dirge Records (I'll be covering the other two soon) is Frigoris' album, Wind. This is an epic and atmospheric work of art from these bleak Germans. Haunting melodies blend with harsh rhythms to create a quite wonderful album. Black metal continues to evolve, which might piss of some, and Frigoris do a great job of retaining an old school feel with modern elements. Quite honestly, this is a superb album.
You can buy/listen to these releases at the below links: