On this semi-milestone edition of Short Sharp Shock, (25 editions young!), I give you a selection of the hottest metal treats as we slide inevitably into Winter’s embrace. Or something. Listen to the damn tunes.
Style(s): Blackened Crust
Duration: 14 minutes
Release date: November 16, 2018
If you’re unfamiliar with Ancst, then imagine At the Gates if they were corrupted with black metal’s raw intensity and injected with crust’s emotive urgency. Theirs is a savagely melodic assault on the senses, one which is channeled into infectious songs. Ancst’s music is displayed very well on this EP. The CD version of Abolitionists features three extra tracks taken from past split releases, bringing the playing time up to 28 minutes.
Band(s): Warp and Weft
Duration: 20 minutes
Release date: October 5, 2018
Is this an album? An EP? I’ve heard it described as both. Either way, at 20 minutes in length it easily qualifies for inclusion here. The songs are atypically composed and manage to be paradoxically both unfriendly and welcoming at the same time. The guitars and the drums frequently fuse into barbed, angular structures that threaten to puncture your speakers, yet it’s hard to care what damage they may cause when the music is as enjoyable as this is. It shouldn’t be surprising really, as Warp and Weft contain members of the marvelous Morality Crisis. Patience is a definite winner, and I urge you to try out its unusually charismatic charms.
Band(s): Brand of Sacrifice
Title: The Interstice
Duration: 15 minutes
Release date: November 9, 2018
Mechanized modern deathcore meets sitars, harps, lyres, and choirs? Hell yeah! Precise drumming and slamming riffs are combined with the less-standard elements mentioned previously to create short, crushing songs of surprisingly atmospheric and immersive brutality. Catchy and disgustingly heavy, it’s great to hear deathcore when done well, and even greater to hear it when interwoven with some creative and interesting enhancements. Top quality stuff is this.
Band(s): Svarta Sanningar
Title: Kapitel 1
Style(s): Dark Rock
Duration: 21 minutes
Release date: November 30, 2018
Svarta Sanningar is a new band brought to you by the talented singer of Beseech, whose voice acts as a well-performed focal point on this very enjoyable and moreish EP. His vocals are all in Swedish, and the EP seems to have a concept of sorts with a backstory. The music has a rock-based approach to darkly emotive music. Taking in various styles and influences from over the last few decades, (from the 70s onward, really), the songs on this release are compelling examples of how to write well-crafted rock music with a Gothic, gloomy edge. In places, it reminds me of a less-metal blend of Sentenced and Beseech, although with some different textures all of its own too. Much promise is contained in this EP, so make sure you check the band out.
Title: The Book of Suffering – Tome II
Style(s): Death Metal
Duration: 18 minutes
Release date: October 26, 2018
Cryptopsy are back, baby! This well-known death metal band have returned with another four songs of brutally creative chaos and violent mayhem. Featuring songs that are welcomed like old friends before exploding and killing everyone around them, the carnage wrought by these songs is immense. Although Cryptopsy have had a somewhat chequered career, for the last few years they’re firmly on track for the highest of brutal death metal arenas. This latest EP shows that they’re just getting better and better at what they do.