Hey 2021….what tasty death metal morsels do you have in store for us this year?!
For starters, here’s the 5 death metal albums you HAD to hear in January 2021….
Altered Dead – Returned to Life (Canada)
Released: January 15th 2021 via Memento Mori
With a sound sludgier than Domination-era Morbid Angel and Autopsy wrestling in tar (in Sweden, surrounded by chainsaws), Altered Dead‘s Returned to Life is as mucky, doomy and as downright dank as that description infers.
Ripe with crushing, crawling, crusty death/doom riffs and crunchy as fuck chainsaw guitars, this relatively straightforward album punishes with its direct approach. A muddier, murkier, more superior combination of old school death (in the style of Swedish legends Grave) and doom you’d be hard pressed to find and Returned to Life easily stacks up against 2021’s other highlight of the year so far, Frozen Soul’s Crypt of Ice. 8/10
Asphyx – Necroceros (Netherlands)
Released: January 22nd 2021 via Century Media Records
Dutch death metal nobility Asphyx return with album number 10 and Necroceros is a sure-fire reminder that OSDM will never, ever die!
Worshippers of Asphyx‘s superlative back catalogue will delight in full-throttle ragers such as opening track “The Sole Cure is Death” – with time seemingly standing still as the band unleash early 90’s death metal riffs backed by Martin van Drunen’s instantly recognisable rasp – but it’s the Bolt Thrower meets Candlemass nature of much of Necroceros which appeals the most; with Asphyx ably dishing out a masterclass in death/doom as if the last 30 years never happened.
Nostalgic, neanderthal and as nasty as fuck! 8/10
Celestial Swarm – Gateways to the Necroverse (Australia/France/United States)
Released: Independently on January 4th 2021
Home to the kind of swarming mass of blackened death metal noise that leaves you questioning the reliability of your own underpants, International collective Celestial Swarm’s debut full length album, Gateways to the Necroverse, is not for the feint of heart but should appeal to those enamoured with the thundering sounds of hellish rage. 7/10
Fractal Generator – Macrocosmos (Canada)
Released: January 15th 2021 via Everlasting Spew Records
Canadian mentalists Fractal Generator have seriously delivered the goods on sophomore album, Macrocosmos.
Here’s the deal. It can be almost impossible to make music as technically adept and sonically devastating as this while remaining both accessible and, most importantly, listenable….but Macrocosmos achieves this with ease!
Without once abandoning death metal’s primal aggression, Fractal Generator managed to construct an intricate work that dodged standard devices while remaining resolutely memorable. 8/10
Frozen Soul – Crypt Of Ice (United States)
Released: January 8th 2021 via Century Media Records
The sound of old-school death metal needn’t be fucked with and Texas’ Frozen Soul are evidently not interested in messing with a winning formula on their outstanding debut full length album, Crypt of Ice. Embracing the overall barbaric simplicity, groove and power of prime early 90’s death metal, Crypt of Ice is purpose built to appeal to fans of Obituary, Grave and Bolt Thrower.
So, throw on something warm and dive in…..the water’s icy! 8/10