My Dying Bride- The Ghost of Orion (Nuclear Blast Records, March 6)

The masters of Death and Doom are back after a five year hiatus with their 14th installment. Fans rejoiced after this band announced their return after plenty of departures and personal trials, and well this specter exudes all the emotions that one would feel in such situations. 

My Dying Bride begins tugging at our heartstrings, as they normally do, with the melancholic “Your Broken Shore.” If that wasn’t enough “Tired of Tears” will induce..err…allergies. Hell! We were so swayed by these tracks they’re the current hits. The title track is an instrumental piece one can appreciate just like “Your Woven Shore” and will linger in your mind long after it’s over like a pleasant specter. 

The beautiful and haunting vocals of Wardruna’s Linda Fay-Hella shines in the ambient “The Solace.” Her voice also blends in well with the foundation guitarists Andrew Craigh and Neil Blanchett provide. The transition into “The Long Black Land” is so smooth, you won’t even feel it because you’ll be too wrapped up in Fay-Hella’s vocals anyway. Yes, this land is a bit hostile with Andrew Stainthorpe’s growls but he’s always one to soften the blow with his soulful voice. 

This album was a great comeback for the collective and now that they have exorcised their own respective demons, this phantasm will help placate any feelings of unfinished business within their wistful fans. Pre-order your copy here!

6/6, Alive and well!

Sicarius- God of Dead Roots (M- Theory Audio, Feb.28)

The Black Metal hitmen have sharpened their daggers and are thirsty for blood in their sophomore release. Sicarius are not known to play and sing, they wouldn’t be the notorious creed of assassins.There is no rest for the wicked after all, and their level of villainy is amplified to a higher level. 

The quintet weave a smooth theatrical intro in their first track “BIA” which segways into the sweet brutal cacophony we love the most, it’s certainly not DOA. But if you think that Sicarius will fizzle out, well lets just say that they will hear that thought and release the backdraft inducing “Open Fire” and “Scythe Bearers.” “Nekromanteia” offers a relatively slow burning track to savor this return.   

The gods will rejoice with shred masters Grimnir and Merihim and their chill inducing breakdowns. Great examples of these can be heard in  the title track, “Culling the Headless,” “Immortal Plight” and “Pagan Vestige(s)” but are very prevalent throughout the record. 

Great riffs are nothing without a great support, but luckily this was not an issue. Our favorite madman’s, Kurt Karcass, rabid growls, the versatility from Brandon Zackey’s prominent kit, and Carnage’s extruding bass made sure of this. Needless to say, it’s great to have these daggermen back to terrorize us! While follow ups tend to be a hit or miss, God of the Dead Roots flourishes and thrives. This hungry little plant needed heat, and some blood from their fallen enemies, and Sicarius delivered like the great plant daddies that they are. Get yours here!

6/6,   Back in Black   

Midnight- Rebirth By Blasphemy (Jan. 24, metal blade)

The violators released their fourth LP via Metal Blade Records and let’s say that they’re done talking dirty to us and are ready to get filthy and gritty just the way the lord Saitan intended. The record begins with an anthem titled “Fucking Speed and Darkness” and is followed up by the title track and well there you go back in to the pit. I mean who could blame you? Especially when you hear that opening riff from the title track.

“Devil’s Excrement” encompasses Midnight’s trademark and will get your blood boiling and yes it’s as fun as it sounds! “You Can Drag Me To Fire” was a track yours truly enjoyed and is one that allows itself to be savored and swished around just like “Rising Scum.”  

Midnight produces another fun record that will satisfy both yours and the pit’s “ancient hunger.” Sure it’s not like the first two releases where there were plenty of tracks to please us adrenaline, sex crazed, “satanic” hooligans but its a lot more fun when a band plays around and grows and takes a stab at balance. Midnight’s debut record with Metal Blade Records is solid, and exciting, yours truly can’t wait to see them bring some more blasphemy to this legendary label. Get your copy here!

5/ 6,  Pure Blasphemy