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.
This edition focuses on five releases that all bode very well for the future of each respective artist. All five of them show lots of promise, and all five are worthy of future follow up. Which one is your favorite?
Band(s): Cult Burial
Style(s): Post-Black Metal(ish)
Duration: 7 minutes
Release date: January 18, 2020
A single track heralds the first foray into the wider metal landscape of the UK’s Cult Burial. Styled as a mix of death, black, and doom metal, this song is a blackened trip into light-riven shaded darkness.
Atmospheric and layered, while also being harsh and grim, there are a few different things going on in this track. Hints of blackgaze and post-metal can be heard alongside the darker elements of the song. The result is music that takes from multiple genres to create something that’s foul and bleak on one hand, while also being almost hopeful and melodically uplifting on the other.
As opening statements go, this is quite a compelling one.
Band(s): Cam Bird
Title: The Devil’s Hands
Duration: 4 minutes
Release date: February 21, 2020
This song mixes elements of heavy metal and hard rock, resulting in something that benefits from rock’s confident swagger and metal’s weighty heft. It’s sort of a cross between Metallica and Alice in Chains, with a hint of Corrosion of Conformity and Soundgarden. I like this quite a bit.
This track is a decent, well-written tune that’s quite catchy and memorable. If the artist behind Cam Bird can keep this level of quality up for a full album, then we’ll potentially be in for quite a treat.
Band(s): Fragment Soul
Title: A Soul Inhabiting Two Bodies
Style(s): Progressive Melodic Doom
Duration: 13 minutes
Release date: December 17, 2019
Let’s dip back into the end of last year now for this overlooked gem. This track is a mix of expressive, progressive metal and textured melodic doom. Shades of Anathema and Katatonia can be heard, but these are only loose starting points. The music unfolds with gradual progressive splendor and affecting emotive grandeur. Gorgeously delivered and flawlessly handled, this is Grade A material right here. The singer of Draconian guests on the track too, adding her soft, beautiful voice to the mix.
This is an impressive and very well-realized song that speaks highly of the band members’ talents and bodes very well for the future. I demand more of this, that’s for sure!
Title: Missa Pro Defunctis
Style(s): Symphonic Black/Death Metal
Duration: 27 minutes
Release date: March 25, 2020
Symphonic Black/Death Metal is quite the mouthful, but one that’s quite apt in Lamentari’s case. The orchestral grandeur is strong with this one, but then so is the blackened brutality. Imagine a cross between parts of Septic Flesh, Dimmu Borgir, and Therion, and you’ll be on the right lines for what to expect.
Featuring live strings and classical instruments, played by session members, it’s clear a lot of time and effort has gone into this release. It’s not all showy ostentation either, as the songs themselves are well-written and have some meat and substance to them. This is a band that haven’t forgotten the metal part of the symphonic equation.
A very enjoyable release, and makes me want to hear what they do next.
Find out more here.
Band(s): Yoth Iria
Title: Under His Sway
Style(s): Black Metal
Duration: 17 minutes
Release date: January 13, 2020
This is the debut EP from ex-Rotting Christ members and contains a Rotting Christ cover, in addition to two originals. The band play their black metal in the Hellenic style, as would be expected, but they also don’t limit themselves to this completely, (shades of Bathory and Celtic Frost can be heard, for example, as can elements of doom). This is very well-written and performed, and the promise that this EP holds for the future is palpable. There’s a lot of power in these tracks, and hopefully, this will manifest in a future full length, as Under His Sway is something pretty damn nice.
With occult atmosphere and sinister melodies, this release puts Yoth Iria firmly on the map.