Good morning! I’d like to share with you a couple of records that were re-released in 2021.
In case you missed these the first time around, I’d hate for you to miss them again…
Blind Monarch – What is Imposed Must Be Endured (CD+cassette Black Bow Records, 09 April 2019; 2xLP Dry Cough Records and Heavenly Vault Records, 01 March 2021)
Utbyrd – Varskrik (self-released 01 February 2017; CD+cassette+vinyl Petrichor, 12 March 2021)
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What is Imposed Must Be Endured was the debut release by Sheffielders Blind Monarch, but then this dense, immense work got the double-vinyl treatment back in March, about two years after it had originally appeared.
Inside, we find what could accurately be described as very long-form doom metal, as the one-hour running time is divided into only four songs. The first of these, the delightfully grimly-titled “Suffering Breathes My Name,” starts off fairly quiet and minimal but soon gives way to heavy, doomy sustained chords, and creaky old death-doom-style vocals.
This alternates with some more mid-tempo riffage and gargled, acidic Indian/Lord Mantis-like screaming; the death/doom and black/doom duopoly continues on throughout most of the record — including closing track “Living Altar,” although this one does reintroduce some elements of minimalism, with just a bit of dulcet clean singing, before going full-force back into soul-crushing blackness.
Varskrik was also a debut album, by North-Norwegians Utbyrd in 2017, which Petrichor felt deserved a wider physical release four years later.
Its seven tracks, beginning with the epic (twelve-minute) “Karsten og Draugen,” consist of several metric tons of angry, harsh black metal — set against a fully-orchestrated background composed and performed by Clemens Wijers of Carach Angren. Not just some occasional keyboard chords, but like all the individual string parts, flutes and brass and everything.
That comes coupled with hellish snarled vocals, and sometimes terrifying shrieks and wails, but then also the occasional appearance of clean singing, like in the form of a chorus of dudes singing triumphantly.
Frenzied and chaotic, with whiplash twists and turns, all in all this is some seriously aggressive music. It makes me think of what would happen if someone deleted all the whimsy and fun folk elements from Finntroll. Seriously. Aggressive. Music.
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The Blind Monarch album is still available in its original download/CD version here, while the newer gatefold 2x-vinyl edition can be ordered from Dry Cough right here. Find the Utbyrd release in all formats here (EU) or here (US).