It was a strong close to the year, though maybe not as I may have expected:
1. Blut Aus Nord–Hallucinogen
Lives up to its name. Truly hypnotic and a worthy successor to the Memoria records, Blut’s finest hour.
I liked what I had heard before, but I fucking loved this. Mid-period Dismember if instead of melodic death metal, it injected a healthy dose of Bolt Thrower. Best surprise–how damn catchy and memorable it is.
3. Blood Incantation–Hidden History of the Human Race
Believe the hype. I didn’t find it as engaging as the absolute top tier of death metal this year, your Tomb Molds and Gatecreepers. But it is worth acknowledging that engagement is not their concern. This is challenging and intricate while still pummeling, and I will gladly keep peeling the levels away.
4. Vastum–Orificial Purge
Equal parts cerebral and primal, Vastum lives in a peculiar murk but is so damn engaging that you will keep wading through.
5. Refused–War Music
Damn, if this wasn’t so close to IT. A true successor to Shape of Punk…But this album always steps back from the brink of true abandon, even at its most frenetic. The urgency is there in the lyrics, but counter to Dennis’ words, the songs don’t ever let the wick burn all the way down to a full explosion.
Do you like Jester Race and The Mind’s Eye? Step right up.
7. Die Choking
Only this low because grind is not my wheelhouse, this album is top quality and I recommend it highly for anyone who gravitates to this genre.
You know what you are going to get with Exhumed. When you want some straightforward, gorey death metal, there is no substitute. But you won’t find yourself returning unless you have that particular itch.
After Malina, anything was likely to be a letdown, but this is an unlistenable vanity outing for the vocalist.