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Albums That Will #$@&%*! Your Face Off in 2017: Mord’A’Stigmata, Hope

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It’s a new year, and you know what that means — it’s time for MetalSucks’ seventh annual new year preview, Albums That Will #$@&%*! Your Face Off! As with previous years, we won’t be spotlighting all the great releases coming out this year, but, rather, concentrating on lesser-known bands whose new releases might otherwise escape your attention. Look for these posts by assorted MetalSucks staffers throughout the week. We hope you enjoy ‘em!

mordastigmata-hope
Art by Bartek Rogalewicz

Mord’A’Stigmata
Hope (Pagan Records)
February 17

There seems to be a debate as to whether or not Hope, the fourth full-length album from Poland’s Mord’A’Stigmata, is black metal. It’s easy to understand both sides of the argument: these dudes are almost certainly Agalloch fans, and they also definitely owe a debut to their fellow Poles in Behemoth.

But to call Hope “black metal” is somewhat limiting, ’cause it also wouldn’t seem out of place played beside melodeath-doom records by bands like Mar de Grises and Daylight Dies. Hope is one of those “beauty in decay” albums, full of soundscapes that are at once lush and atmospheric, like a mist creeping through a rainforest. The music often feels melancholy and always seems filmic, somehow intimate and immense at once. It’s not murder metal — it’s existential crisis metal. The songs are long — four tracks in forty-four minutes, only one of which is under eleven minutes in length — but not a second feels unnecessary. Hope is majestic and, yes, hopeful. In other words, it is EXACTLY the metal album we need right now.

However you wanna categorize Hope, one thing is for certain: it’s fucking great, and you need to check it out when it’s released later this month. You can stream the title track below. Then pre-order it here or here.

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