Griftegård – Solemn.Sacred.Severe (2009)

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When I first saw the name of the band I assumed they played Black Metal or something related to BM, but to my surprise this relatively new Swedish band plays Doom Metal in the vein of Candlemass and While Heaven Wept.

“Solemn.Sacred.Sever” is the debut full length album from this band, and to be their debut release is pretty solid, but it does not have a single gram of originality in it. And while their particular style is not 100% to my liking, they still manage to pull of an album that I would not mind listening from start to finish.

The Ruins Of Beverast – Foul Semen Of A Sheltered Elite (2009)

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The Ruins Of Beverast is a one man project from the drummer of the defunct band Nagelfar. The ‘band’ brings us a very dense sounding and highly enjoyable Black Metal album that features a wide variety of elements that make this release a very different one from the piles of BM albums that are released every month.

“Foul Semen Of A Sheltered Elite” features 10 tracks of sickness that will keep the listeners on the edge of their seats. The music ranges from ambient-like passages to blast-beat sections in a very well arranged manner. It never becomes dull or boring for the whole duration of this journey into darkness.

Bleeding Fist – Bestial Kruzifiz666ion (2009)

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With the moniker of “True Slovenian Black Metal” stamped on the CD I figured this band would play something a little more… organized. While the brutality and speed is undeniable in this release, sometimes it just feels that they are just banging at their instruments with no coherence behind them.

That being said, there are plenty of ‘trashy’ sounding BM riffs here and the intensity of the guitars is pretty good. The drumming is very bestial and sounds like a demon with 4 arms and 4 legs is playing the drums at some points, it’s also sometimes very random sounding and it makes me wonder if they can play the same song twice without making a mistake.

Azaghal – Teraphim (2009)

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If I’m ever looking for a brutal and raw Black Metal album, I always turn back to my Azaghal and Horna albums, since they are the true embodiment of this genre. Azaghal returns after one year of releasing “Omega” and the still bring their A game to the table.

The only change that Azaghal has suffered is the very light use of synth in their last two albums, and in “Teraphim” this element makes me like this album even better. This being said, do not expect Dimmu Borgir style synths or anything like that, just small hints to complement a song.

Marduk – Wormwood (2009)

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“Wormwood” is probably one of the most expected Black Metal releases of 2009 and it fully delivers what is expected from Marduk. The album features Black Metal at its most refined state, blasting away since the first song and never letting go.

Marduk’s status as BM legends has been earned by constantly releasing quality albums since their debut album “Dark Endless” back in 92, the band has constantly been evolving refining their style to its current state.

Dethklok – The Dethalbum II (2009)

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With the release of the “The Dethalbum” the fictional band Dethklok managed to sell 34,000 copies of this album on the first week, making the album the highest charting Death Metal album in history (in the USA). After selling over 300,000 copies of that album Dethklok has the mission of trying to surpass that feat, and I think it can be done, since “The Dethalbum II” is even better than the first one.

While most people that watch the TV show Metalocalypse have listened to a most of the songs for brief minutes, you still need to hear the entire song to fully enjoy the brilliance behind them. Technically Brendon Small has managed to create another brilliant album that features witty and catchy tunes.

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