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Album Reviews Reviews Short Sharp Shock

Short Sharp Shock #42: The Sound of Uplifting Joy

Welcome to the latest edition of Short Sharp Shock, where we take a look at some of the shorter metal releases that are out there.

Today we’ve got some sterling releases to get you through the hard, unfair, increasingly thankless task of just existing. Life getting you down? Wrap your ears around some of these…

Sleepwalker - YusBand(s): 夢遊病者 (Sleepwalker)
Title: Ѫ (Yus)
Style(s): Psychedelic Black Metal
Duration: 13 minutes
Release date: April 19, 2019

Guaranteed to make you feel better is Ѫ. Honest.

I suppose you’d call this an experimental/psychedelic black metal release, although to be honest, that doesn’t really describe this too adequately in many ways, and certainly doesn’t prepare you for what you’ll find within. 夢遊病者 are an atypical conglomerate, and their music follows from this.

Each of these tracks is a journey through realms that are either hazy and lost in introspection or are torturous and sinister. The psychedelia is thick, the experimental flavor strong, and the songs unusual. The black metal is either subtle, and not in-your-face, or so face-meltingly vicious you’re screaming for mercy.

Ѫ is not for the uninitiated, but for those that crave new experiences in worlds largely unexplored, then this is for you.

Morderca - DemoBand(s): Morderca
Title: Demo
Style(s): Death Metal
Duration: 12 minutes
Release date: April 14, 2019

This new Polish band offer us ugly death metal with some added crust, and it sounds pretty damn good. This demo has plenty of thick and beefy riffs, with an equally suitable amount of belligerent shouted growls and pounding drums. There’s also the occasional melodic flourish thrown in too.

The crust and death metal elements appear to feed off each other, cannibalizing themselves in the name of the meaty metallic feast that the demo provides. The band pay homage to their punk roots with a ripping Siekiera cover, while the remaining four originals mix this hardcore fury with controlled Swedish-esque death metal barbarity.

Highly promising, and quite effective.

High Priest - SanctumBand(s): High Priest
Title: Sanctum
Style(s): Doom Metal
Duration: 21 minutes
Release date: April 19, 2019

Sanctum mixes classic doom metal with heavy metal, hard rock, stoner, and grunge elements. Although this sounds very old-school, High Priest’s music is actually a clever synthesis of old and new. The songs on this EP take from both traditional and contemporary versions of the aforementioned styles and use them to craft songs that sound both cutting edge and timeless.

Wow, what a find! The relatively unassuming and simple cover does nothing to really prepare you for how good these songs are. Play this at full volume and get ready to not only worship The Riff but also get lost in the singer’s warm, emotive voice.

Accidents - VemödalenBand(s): Accidents
Title: Vemödalen
Style(s): Alternative Rock
Duration: 18 minutes
Release date: December 24, 2018

This UK band have a restrained, considered approach to the music. Drawing in influences from alternative, progressive, and post-rock, these four tracks demonstrate a band using their not-inconsiderable songwriting skill to craft highly emotive and engaging songs. Each track here offers something different, all based loosely around a laid-back, progressive/post-rock style that feels as sublime as it does gratifying.

This really is very good. If you’re looking for a high-quality contemporary post-rock album, then look no further, Accidents have you covered.

Vader - Thy MessengerBand(s): Vader
Title: Thy Messenger
Style(s): Death Metal
Duration: 13 minutes
Release date: May 31, 2019

The Polish death/thrash metal veterans return with a new EP, and it’s hard to resist anything that Vader do. Whetting our appetites for a new album to be unleashed in late 2019, this blistering release has everything turned up to eleven.

We get five tracks in total. “Grand Deceiver” is two minutes of fury and intensity, showing once again that Vader always deliver the goods. “Litany” is a reworking of the title track from the album of the same name, and apparently a harbinger of things to come from a live perspective. “Emptiness” starts with a ripping guitar solo, and embraces the groovier thrash side of the band’s sound. “Despair” lasts barely over a minute and its hardcore thrash/death metal assault leaves lasting scars. It ends with a Judas Priest cover – “Steeler” – and then it’s all over.

Vader rule.

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