Last year (and the year before), I got way too busy with this thing called life and ignored this other thing called metal. As a result, I missed out on a lot of quality music.

I am here to rectify the error of my ways, month by month. Hopefully.

Here are the January 2011 releases that got under my skin, burrowed their way into my brain, made my ears bleed, or simply tickled my unmentionables:


These are the keepers. I expect to spin these throughout the year and longer.

CavusFester and Putrefy

Finnish black metallers get their Gogoroth on in a big way. Raw, bass heavy, pile driving black metal that pits them alongside such modern-day luminaries as Horned Almighty, while simultaneously resurrecting the almighty Bathory. With real songs, too! Bonus.

Desultory – Counting Our Scars

Swedish melodeath act reunites after 14-year absence to pummel your senses with precision riffing and to soothe your savageness with slow-paced churners. The opening strains of “In A Cage” will sear a hole into your cerebral cortex and implant itself there for the reminder of your abysmal lifetime.

Dragged Into SunlightHatred for Mankind

2009 re-release of these Liverpool-based blackened doomsters is the pinnacle of slit-your-wrists metal once helmed by Anaal Nathrakh. Throw in some Coffinworm, eyehategod, and samples of real serial killers (okay, I know Charles Manson was NOT a serial killer!) and you have the makings of one seriously dark motherfucking album.

Horned AlmightyNecro Spirituals

This one fucked my face off. See my preview here.

InquisitionOminous Doctrines of the Perpetual Mystical Macrocosm

Some of you are simply going to HATE this one because of the strangled frog vox of lead garbler Dagon, but if you can imagine a full-length’s worth of Celtic Frost’s Martin Eric Ain’s vocal-led “A Dying God Coming Into Human Flesh” from their brilliant 2006 release, Monotheist, but thrashier and blastier, you may get an idea what Inquisition bring to the table. And I love the guitar tone throughout the entire record.

The Order of Apollyon The Flesh

I know it only seems as if all the good releases last month featured some permutation of black metal. Well, here’s one more featuring members of Cradle Of Filth, Aborted, Aosoth, and Akercocke. This British black metal supergroup combines militaristic blast beats, dark ambient passages, and enough hatred-filled riffs to satisfy anyone worried about the “super group” tag. A bit shoddy production keeps this one from being supreme.

Rhapsody of FireThe Cold Embrace of Fear

I despise Power Metal with a passion, hated The Lord of the Rings trilogy, and actually sleep with a grown woman. Despite falling completely out of the demographic for a band such as Italy’s Rhapsody of Fire, there’s something about this EP that just simply entertains me. Of course, using the famed horror icon Christopher Lee as one of the voice actors helps me swallow the considerable-sized cheese a tad easier. Musically, ROF displays excellent guitar slinging, strong lead vocals backed with fun gang vox, and something inexplicable that sucks me in. Of course, I’ll probably hate this a month from now.

SodomIn War and Pieces

Back in the day when I used to smoke cigarettes and drink caffeine, there was something special about my ritualistic morning bowel movement. It was a reliable release that left me fulfilled when I was done. Such is a Sodom record for a thrash aficionado. You know exactly what you are going to get, how it will make you feel, and you look forward to the next one with a certain sense of confident detachment. Sodom is the AC/DC of thrash. They do what they do and they do it damn well. Pummel, thrash, gang vox, the works. Damn good stuff, plus several live tracks of Sodom classics recorded at Wacken in 2007.

Tuck From Hell Thrashing

Re-thrash gets a lot of hate at Metalsucks and I don’t agree with the criticism. One band that may change the attitude around here is Sweden’s Tuck from Hell. I love this album! Take the best parts of the Bay Area second and third tier thrash acts such as Vio-Lence, Forbidden, Testament, and Exodus, stir in a little Texan metal ala Pantera, splash some old Evildead and Razor, and mix in some inane lyrics about BBQ, disco, and headbanging and you have an energetic insta-thrash classic that will get heads a bangin’ plenty.

UlcerateThe Destroyers of All

Kiwi death/drone trio pulverizes senses without guitar solos, but with moody textures, killer drumming, and instru-metal passages that make the Neur-Isis Peliclones shit their nests. And you heard it here, absolutely free. Damn, Axl and Vince fucking rule!


Good points throughout the record, but not enough to make we want to revisit it.

Acid Witch – Stoned; Astral DoorsTestament of Rock: The Best of Astral Doors; Black Witchery – Inferno of Sacred Destruction; Demonic Resurrection The Return to Darkness; Eastern FrontBlood on Snow; Grand Magus – Hammer of the North; Grave Desecrator – Insult; Kryoburn – Three Years Eclipsed; Lifelover Konkurs; The Meads of Asphodel – The Murder of Jesus the Jew; Nidingr – Wolf Father; Obsidian – Point of Infinity; Times of Grace – The Hymn of a Broken Man; Stratovarius – Elysium; Woebegone ObscuredDeathstination.


Not even worth selling on eBay. Do people still do that?

Anal Cunt – Fuckin’ A; Architects UK – The Here and Now; Avantasia – Angel of Babylon; Farewell to Freeway – Filthy Habits; Ghost – Opus Eponymous; Mitochondrion – Parasignosis; Motorhead – The World is Yours; The Shadow Theory – Behind the Black Veil; Silent Stream of Godless Elegy – Návaz; Theatres Des Vampires – Moonlight Waltz.


Was not able to get my grubby little hands on these platters.

Attackhead – Voices in the Dark; Bruce Lamont – Feral Songs for the Epic Decline; Coldsnap – Perfection; Defiled – In Crisis; Mass – ’84 Unchained; Mass – Fighter; Moonreich – Loi Martiale; Nadirath – Nihilistic Stench; Psycho – Pain Addict Pigs; Secret Sphere – The Scent of Human Desire; Skin Culture – The Earth Spits; Until Your Heart Stops – Errors; The Very End – Mercy and Misery; Volture – Shocking Its Prey; VYGR – Hypersleep.


Horned Almighty Necro Spirituals

“Black metal for metalheads who don’t like black metal.” – Me


Tuck From Hell – Thrashing

Get drunk, punch people, and piss off your neighbors.


GhostOpus Eponymous

This will probably become my Let the Right One In moment for metal. I also write for the horror film website Bloody and everyone and their mother over there loves the Swedish vampire flick, including most of the readers. I, however, found it dreadfully dull. Almost like a hipster horror film, as in “if you don’t dig this film then you know nothing about horror” type vibe that surrounds it. Well, I’ve never been one to do what others tell me. Subsequently, that is exactly how I feel about this Ghost record. It’s dull, pretentious, and so far from metal as to be ridiculous. Oh, I get the whole Blue Oyster Cult vibe, but if I wanted BOC, I’d buy a BOC record. But BOC never did it for me, and Ghost definitely will never do it for me. Uh oh, I hope they don’t cast a spell on me!


Let’s see if they make the final cut.

Horned Almighty – Necro Spirituals

Tuck From Hell Thrashing


Metal Releases Listened to – 35

Bleeders – 10 (zero from the U.S. of A.)

Meh’ers – 15

Blowers – 10

Top 15’ers – 2

**Some of these releases are possibly late 2010 sets, first-time U.S. releases, or sneak peeks of upcoming albums.**


Corey Mitchell is a best-selling author of several true crime books.

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