"Six Bands You May Not Know, But Should" - July 16th, 2020 Edition

1. Somniate (Pilsen, Czechia, EUR)

Album: The Meyrinkian Slumber

Release Date: June 30th, 2020 (Lavadome Productions)

Genre: Black Metal/Blackened Hardcore

Contemporaries: Calligram, Gehenna, Tides Cult, Serpent Herder

Often straddling the boundary between black metal and blackened hardcore are Pilsen, Czechia’s newfledged quintet Somniate, whose freshman full-length The Meyrinkian Slumber hit the streets late last month. Arriving without so much as a demo or an EP released prior to The Meyrinkian Slumber, Somniate have gone straight for the jugular by putting out this satisfying, six-track debut. While mostly possessing the musical feel and shape of black metal, it is the variety of vocal stylings that gives the cacophony its core-like edge, and more importantly, its own unique flavor. An agreeable and pleasurable listen, even despite the hardcore leanings. Rating: 87 / 100 (B+)

2. Northern Crown (Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA)

Album: In a Pallid Shadow

Release Date: July 3rd, 2020 (Independent)

Genre: Classic/Psychedelic Doom

Contemporaries: Candlemass, Saint Vitus, Taiwaz, Hex A.D.

Bringing the classic feel and majestic habitude of influences such as Deep Purple, Dio, and Candlemass are Florida’s unsigned diamonds in the rough, Northern Crown. Formed in 2013, Northern Crown have recently released their third independent full-length, In a Pallid Shadow, but unless you live somewhere in the Southeast U.S., this fact may have slipped your grasp. But no matter! That’s what Hated One’s “Six Bands” is here for! Specializing in lengthy, epic compositions of psychedelically charged doom, Northern Crown’s In a Pallid Shadow is a sturdy, five track effort that is well worth checking out if you’re at all into the first generation doom sound. Rating: 84 / 100 (B)

3. Saints of Death (Vancouver, British Columbia, CAN)

Album: Ascend to the Throne EP

Release Date: July 10th, 2020 (Head Rattle Productions)

Genre: Blackened Death n’ Groove

Contemporaries: Lamb of God, Degenerate, Fate Unburied, Extraction Point

Containing seven tracks (with an intro) that clock in at around twenty-six minutes are the killer blackened death n’ groove tunes from Vancouver’s Saints of Death that comprise their sophomore EP, Ascend to the Throne, available now from Head Rattle Productions. Although listed as a full-length on some sites out there, seeing as a thirty minute minimum length of play is the usual qualifier for “full-length” status, this recording doesn’t quite make it, but honestly, when the release is replete with this much relatable music, does it really matter? Part death, part groove, and all black metal in imagery and corpse paint, Saints of Death have cooked up a superb blend of multiple influences to create their own batch of metal deliciousness that should be palatable to a great variety of heads. Excellent work. Rating: 97 / 100 (A+)

4. Lantern (Kuopio, Finland, EUR)

Album: Dimensions

Release Date: July 10th, 2020 (Dark Descent Records)

Genre: Blackened Death

Contemporaries: Venomous Skeleton, Gatecreeper, Ritual Dictates, Vastum

Kuopio, Finland’s Lantern may have formed in 2007, yet this blackened death outfit from the glacier-pocked north have remained underground for most of their existence. But with the release of their third full-length album, Dimensions, obscurity for Lantern may become something of a historical footnote. Stygian, menacing, and morose, the six arrangements of Dimensions weave a wicked web of woe through mesmeric repetition and controlled tumultuousness. Although a little let down in the production’s punch and output, Lantern’s Dimensions is still an estimable, praiseworthy addition to this collection of fine acts and albums and should net these Finnish veterans some well-earned new fans. Rating: 85 / 100 (B)

5. Skeleton (Austin, Texas, USA)

Album: Skeleton

Release Date: July 10th, 2020 (20 Buck Spin)

Genre: Blackened Thrash/Black n’ Roll

Contemporaries: Venom A.D., Midnight, Hellripper, All Hell

While certainly not scoring any points in the name originality column, Austin, Texas’s Skeleton more than make up for the banality of their moniker with loads of original, phenomenal black n’ roll satisfaction on their eponymous debut full-length, Skeleton, out now on 20 Buck Spin. Providing even more credence to the horror punk, black n’ roll movement, Skeleton’s distinct take on this emergent subgenre is exemplary. Vicious, addictive, and growing more enjoyable with each passing track, Skeleton’s debut is some hot, hot shit, so get it in your ears ASAP! Rating: 94 / 100 (A)

6. Eremit (Osnabrück, Germany, EUR)

Album: Desert of Ghouls EP

Release Date: July 17th, 2020 (Transcending Obscurity Records)

Genre: Doom/Sludge

Contemporaries: Yob, Indian, Pale Horseman, Shogun

If you’ve been searching high and low for another excellent, sludgy doom act who purvey ample gobs of chewy riffage to masticate, then Germany’s Eremit have got what you need! Overloaded with fuzz, rife with ebbs and flows, and heavier than a cement truck on full, this potent trio from Osnabrück have returned with a new EP, Desert of Ghouls, to follow up their striking (and aptly titled) 2018 debut full-length, Carrier of Weight; and although Desert of Ghouls contains only two tracks, one must remember we are talking full-on doomed sludge here, and that equates to two songs comprising well over twenty minutes of music. Both “Beheading the Innumerous” and “City of Râsh-il-nûm” are remarkably strong compositions that captivate and bewitch listeners through sheer dynamics and an uncompromising commitment to their genre. Consequently, if Eremit isn’t on your radar, it is time to right that wrong. Like now. Rating: 95 / 100 (A)

Thank you for reading another edition of “Six Bands” from Hated One Metal Reviews & Interviews. Be sure to go and support the bands if you’re dug anything you’ve read or heard here today, and stay safe out there, friends and neighbors!\m/


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