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ALBUMS THAT WILL F*CK YOUR FACE OFF IN 2010: THE BEST OF THE REST

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Black Breath – TBD (Southern Lord/Hot Mass)

The band released the 12″ debut EP, Razor To Oblivion, on their own awhile back, but Southern Lord deftly scooped up the crusty hardcore/metal quintet and re-released Razor on CD with news that the debut full-length would hit streets early in 2010. If this thing is soaked in beer, angst, and riffs as much as the four-track debut was, you might be able to put away those Municipal Waste records and toss in Black Breath at that kegger.

Oakhelm – Echtra (Forest Moon)

After the Portland paganists’ amazing stellar 2007 album, Betwixt And Between, Oakhelm (featuring members of Fall Of The Bastards, Assück, and Wormwood, among others) are slated to put out another slab of sonic folk-blended black metal later this year on Forest Moon Special Products, home to releases from Crom, Despise You, The Funeral Pyre, and Slough Feg. There’s no saying yet on when to expect it this year, but word on the street is that recording and mixing are finished, so hopefully it’s sooner rather than later.

Through The Eyes Of The Dead – Skepsis (Prosthetic)

After another huge line-up shift following the release of 2007’s Malice – including the lostt of growler Nate Johnson and a seeming plethora of guitarists – Through The Eyes Of The Dead played on a convincing US tour as support in 2008, reassuring their position as a formidable foe in the death metal realm. Newcomer Danny Rodriguez doesn’t get as guttural as Johnson’s unholy growls, instead employing a more Anthony Gunnells-type vocal range, so it should be interesting to see the new crew’s additions to the songwriting prowess of longtimers Nate Ososkie and Justin Longshore.

Gypsyhawk – Gypsyhawk (TBD)

Relatively unknown outside Pasadena, Gypsyhawk features former Skeletonwitch bassist Eric Harris taking up vocal duties as well as the low end, and if the band’s outstanding live shows thus far – and penchant for insanely catchy and solo-slathered songwriting – are any indication of what to expect on the band’s debut EP (they’re wrapping mixing up as I type this), then good things are in store. Picture Thin Lizzy, Deep Purple and Slough Feg jamming over brews and doobs behind a wall of amps and twin guitar leads, and you get the idea. Two rough tracks are up online here.

-BC

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