3. Poseidon – Prologue
East London’s Poseidon kept the dials tuned resolutely to melancholic on Prologue, their leviathan 4-track debut which formed the first part of what will be called The Medius Chronicle.
Yielding billowing walls of fuzz, mournful wrenching guitar lines and (on the opener) a stirring vocal performance that starts off as Ozzy and finishes in anguished black metal yelps, Poseidon conjured pictures of desolate shores and doomed ships, swallowed by icy black seas amidst broiling unpredictability!
Prologue was a melancholic, gloomy ride for the most part and you shouldn’t expect any of the snappy songwriting tics of modern metal. But, as with the best of atmospheric music, it’s less about the individual song and more about adventurous spirit and immersive atmosphere…..and that’s exactly what Poseidon gave us on this doom metal opus.
2. King Leviathan – Paean Heretica
Fuck us sideways with the devil’s three-pronged pitchfork if this dirty old slab of extremity wasn’t one of the finest releases of 2017, debut or otherwise!
Black metal, death metal, thrash, everything was accounted for, and it all flowed seamlessly, with King Leviathan traversing sub-genres with ease to deliver an extreme metal classic in the making.
At the heart of Paean Heretica lay an astute understanding of what makes an extreme metal band rise to the top. From a sense of mystery, grandeur and unpredictability to the use of dark, twisted imagery and the kind of sweeping songwriting that demands full attention, King Leviathan have it all….and the cult is growing. Theirs is a march into oblivion and they’re taking us along for the road, one disciple at a time.
These “devout worshippers of sorrow, violence and speed” may have been operating for a relatively short time but they are fast making a name for themselves and Paean Heretica, for a debut album, proved to be a work of near genius.
Children of leviathan take heed, your time has come….worship the NEW gods of extreme metal!
1. Helpless – Debt
An exhausting 10 song expedition into destructive dissonance, Helpless’ Debt – the debut album from these UK grinders – was a savage stab of brutality; personified by high-octane blasts of short, sharp, sonically devastating songwriting.
Taking the more ferocious moments of Cult Leader, the “turn-on-a-dime musical dexterity of Breather Resist” (nicked from the press release but its too accurate to fuck with) and more than a smidgen of Napalm Death, Helpless delivered a sonic maelstrom that eclipsed most of what was considered ‘extreme’ in 2017!
Despite Debt‘s brief 21 minutes and 40 seconds runtime, Helpless had plenty to say and their smart, aggressive, whip-crack barrage of sound was positively apocalyptic…..and also terrifyingly apt considering today’s political and social climate!
It had been a long time since an album from a UK band had hit as hard as this. In fact, Debt was so corrosively impressive we likend it to the groundbreaking albums delivered by Botch (We Are The Romans) and Converge (Jane Doe). Too far? Take a listen and see if you disagree.
Helpless arrived fully formed, fully fucked off and ready for the fight…..how’s that for this year’s greatest UK metal debut!
Did we forget your favourite UK metal debut of 2017? First, may we offer our sincerest apologies. Second, pop it in the comments below and we’ll discuss our shortcomings in a fair and mature manner!