In the spirit of the staff suggestions featured in record shops and old-school video stores (RIP), we share our Vault Picks. It’s a chance to venture beyond Indy Metal Vault’s premieres and reviews for a glimpse into other recent releases the staff have been jamming in their secluded lairs. From extreme underground oddities to non-metal recommendations and guilty pleasures, unlock our newest bevy of Vault Picks below.
Released on May 17, 2019
Genre: Post-Exotica, Dub
I was drawn to Tahtib by its artwork and the promise of some experimental electronica, but I didn’t expect…post-exotica? This album lives at the crossroads of “weird” and “relaxing,” and it’s conveyed with extremely crisp and lively electronic instrumentation. Tahtib is delightfully chill with abstract and eclectic variety: Arabic and Italian lyrics overlay library music samples that have been repurposed to build the ambiance. My favorite thing about it is the recurring acoustic drums that sound like they’re from an IDM song, as they skitter like spilled beans between your ears. Even if you’re listening through your laptop speaker, I highly recommend Tahtib; but man, if you’ve got a nice pair of headphones, you really ought to experience it.
Released on May 24th, 2019
Genre: Black Metal
Iceland has been putting out some incredible black metal over the last decade, with bands like Svartidauði, Zhrine, Sinmara, Wormlust, Andavald, and Misþyrming leading the way in the next, more dissonant and atmospheric evolution of the genre. Misþyrming’s second album, Algleymi, is one of my favorite black metal albums of this year (alongside the debut by Andavald). It might not be the most experimental album in the genre, but it delivers with quality songwriting combined with some dark ambient tracks to mix it up without breaking the dark, contemplative mood that makes it so addicting.
Released on May 1, 2019
Genre: Doom Metal
Wolf Blood play doom metal in the loosest sense of the appellation, with plenty of hard rocking riffs and riotous energy to accompany the more traditional, slower moments. II kicks out the jams big style, and every track on this 41-minute opus is filled to the brim with metallic gems and deeply enjoyable tuneage. Spanning everything from the very fast to the very slow, and from the aggressively direct to the atmospherically immersive, II contains a world of entertainment and substance for those who have a taste for doom metal that likes to flirt with other styles and refuses to be any one thing. Wolf Blood should be way, way bigger than they are. All hail!
Hell No Longer Waits
Released May 31st
Genre: Black/Speed Metal
If you’re a fan of fast ‘n’ nasty extreme metal before it splintered into a thousand subgenres, Brazilian instigators Hellish Grave are ready to blast you back to ‘86. When the band’s vocalist is named Hellish Angelcorpse and the intro track is “Transilvanian Nights,” you may guess there’s gonna be some raw speed and moonlit atmosphere. You’re not wrong; Hellish Grave honor the leather-clad history of sinister thrash and primordial black metal, from Sarcófago to Sodom’s witching metal. But it’s Hell No Longer Waits’ cobwebbed theatrics and electric exuberance that truly keeps me grinning as this record’s spinning.