It has been a couple of months since we last compiled a list of Crypt’s Must-Own or someone should slap your momma, heavy metal albums that are now out there in the world just waiting for you all to pick them up and cherish them like other people do jewelry or whatever the hell it is that non-metalheads get into. We wouldn’t know here at Metal-O-Mania because we eat sleep and breathe this shit and because of all of these bands we are very excited about the state of things today.
METAL is Back ladies and gentlemen and if our first edition of The Crypt’s Mandatory Metal List didn’t prove it to you, then this one will leave you with zero doubt whatsoever. Although to be fair, the first one really should have done it. Consider that several of the albums we featured the first time around are sitting high atop the rankings for Metal albums of the year in more publications than you can shake a Kardashians ass at. We have even been fortunate enough to have talked with several of those bands and this list is no different because we are in talks with a bunch of these cats as well to talk to them about their part in the re-emergence of the best music this side of Frosty’s snowballs…HEAVY METAL!
We know that day-to-day life can be busy and that most of you are Barbie-Girls living in a Barbie world and just don’t have the time to crawl through hours and hours of music looking for the diamonds amidst the rough, and that is why we have taken it on as OUR JOB to do it for you! I play with more metal on a day to day basis than an Iron-Worker can in a career and I gotta tell ya…I love my fucking job! The struggle is…not so real….but I digress. The result of putting more steel into my skull than a carnival sword-swallower is that it is so very clear that metal music has returned to its roots. We all got sidetracked by that whole Nu-Metal thing…well, I didn’t so much but many did. There was that explosion of Djent driven madness that bordered on not even being songs anymore but rather endless flights of fancy that proved technical skill, but provided very little incentive to keep listening. No, the biggest difference to this metal revival is as simple as it is vital…Song writing has returned. A good strong chorus sandwiched in between flying solos and crunching verses has never stopped being our bread and butter, even if many of us forgot that for a little while.
Bands that were featured in Part One of the Crypt’s Mandatory Metal list like Power Trip, Eyes of the Living, Replacire and Kings Will Fall deliver exactly that and so much more. Solid heavy metal songwriting backed up by the skills to make it smoke your speakers and put your head in that back and forth swing is the stuff that metal dreams are made of, and with those bands and the ones listed below…our dreams are getting better…and in some cases wetter….so peel that sheet off of ya and pay attention gang…because these are all absolutely must-own Metal Albums that you may have missed…And I promise that they kick more ass than an angry Walmart mom….or my names not The Crypt…and I’ve just had that logo stitched into all of my tighty-whiteys…so here we go:
Amken – Theater of the Absurd – Back in 2014, I was fortunate enough to be gifted a copy of an EP from these Greek thrashers called Adrenaline Shot and while it was only 4 songs spanning just under 20 minutes, it was one of those moments where I thought to myself “Holy Shit…It’s Really Happening…Thrash Metal is BACK!”. From that very first listen on, I have been craving a full length release from these guys and it is FINALLY HERE in the form of Theater of the Absurd and it was worth every bit of the wait. From the opening count-into Shattered Sanity, Absurd is fresh and electric and is setting the new bar for the genre. Monster hooks are blended with machine gun riffs that tone Vanias A.’s vocals so fucking perfectly that I literally find myself wanting to send these fuckers thank-you cards. To anyone out there wondering about the state of Thrash Metal, rest assured that Amken is leading the charge to reinvigorate everything that you have ever believed in. YouTube NOW: Amken – Soul’s Crypt
Blackseer – Dawn of Death – Did you know that in Sioux City, Iowa you can visit the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center? Neither did I, and thanks to Blackseer…Who cares anyway, right? Because if you are from that area or plan to make a trip, the real purpose of your journey should be to track these fellas down and bang your heads with the fantastically heavy brand of metal that their debut EP Dawn of Death has to offer. This EP is driven and concise. It is powerful and well structured. It is fucking metal that will grab you by the throat and shake you around so hard you want to take a Dramamine beforehand, especially if you are an old shithead like The Crypt! This is a 5 song release that never lets up or lets the listener down and I implore you to go get your Blackseer today! YouTube NOW: Blackseer – The Covenant of the Damned
Chemicide – The Act of Retaliation – Having been to Costa Rica myself, I can tell you that it is a perfect mixture of pristine beauty and lots of things that can kill you. Well, Chemicide have bottled up that formula and are spicing up a thrash metal revival with it! Originally formed as Conqueror in 2006, Chemicide has put in the work and it shows. The Act of Retaliation is their sophomore output following 2015’s Episodes of Insanity and both are pure Thrash Gold. While it is clear that these guys are influenced by the early era Bay Area days of glory, they have carved out their own sound and aren’t afraid to shred riffs up in a grinder and spin them into your brain making headbanging an almost involuntary reaction. From the opening Book of Lies all the way to Taken by Force, The Act of Retaliation is no fucking act gang, these guys are as real as it gets. Metal-O-Mania will be taking a trip to Costa Rica in the fall and meeting these cats is priority one on the agenda along with spreading our brand! YouTube NOW: Chemicide – Age of Extinction
Deserter – Coils of the Lesser Serpent – Out of Belgium comes a one-two punch in the form of Deserter and their relentless blend of thrash and death metal. Coils is a take-no-prisoners album that never loses the seams that keep a song solid and concise. This one is brand new but will take you back as it as technical as it is powerful and never misses a chance to showcase Neckbreaker’s vocals and the Shred-Factor that Pablo brings with his axe. At exactly 30 minutes of furious fantastic-ness…plug this into your headphones and get your sweat on…Deserter will get you moving for the rest! YouTube Now: Deserter – Urban Gehanna
Dying Fetus – Wrong One to Fuck With – Dying Fetus got everything fucking right on this album. Well, except for one thing and that is they are absolutely the RIGHT ONE to FUCK WITH because you MUST have this Death Metal Gem in your collection by yesterday. Wrong One is so chock full of energy and aggression that it literally bleeds its Seething Disdain for all of humanity right out of your speakers onto that shitty unworthy floor. This album is angry and merciless and stands as a glaring exclamation point on the fact that it is long overdue for Dying Fetus to be ranked among the legends. Formed in 1991 and hailing from my own neck of the woods in Baltimore Maryland, Fetus will be co-headlining the Summer Slaughter Tour with The Black Dahlia Murder and on a ticket filled with heavy hitters from the Death Metal genre, Dying Fetus alone is worth the price of admission. Make sure you get the copy with the bonus track Induce Terror on it for an hour of Death mastery! YouTube Now: Dying Fetus – Fixated on Devastation
Infernäl Mäjesty – No God – Honestly, I almost feel like this one should be a no-brainer for the metal purists among us. These Canadian veterans have been doing it right for an awful long time and while I know many of the metalheads from my circle growing up were fans, I always felt like America was slow to realize just how fantastic Infernäl is. When None Shall Defy came out in ’87, I was already hooked and I firmly believe that this is a band all metalheads should have the entire discography of. With all of that being said, No God is a bit of a new beast for these guys. It is more….well…it is just more…of everything. It is more hooks…it is more heavy ass riffs…it is more political…and it is more satanic all at the same time, but most importantly, it is more crisp and structured than albums past. This is 11 songs and over an hour of thrash meets the ugly side of man and dumps it all on Satan’s doorstep, and it is absolutely stellar! YouTube Now – Infernäl Mäjesty – No God
Municipal Waste – Slime and Punishment – The wait is over. After 5 long years of waiting while Tony Forresta participated in more projects than a college freshman with a Ritalin problem, Slime and Punishment is finally here. When you are addicted to Crossover Thrash metal like I am, there are certain bands that you constantly keep an ear out for when something new will be out from and Municipal Waste is one of those bands for me. Waste ‘em All, Hazardous Mutation, The Art of Partying and Massive Aggression practically carried me through a mostly bleak metal world in the 2000’s and Tony Forresta is bona-fide Crossover royalty in my book as his work with Iron Reagan reigns more supreme than a 2am taco bell intestinal treat. Both catchy and punishing at once, Municipal Wastes no punches and spares no one from the punk-tinged thrash riffs that come in waves for the full 14 songs over 30 minutes of metal mayhem. If a tongue-in-cheek assault of crispy crossover is your idea of a good time like it is mine, then Slime and Punishment is more of a sure thing than a drunken cheerleader sending you duck-faced panty selfies. YouTube NOW: Municipal Waste – Amateur Sketch
Primal Creation – Demockracy – Belgium is getting some love this time around gang because they are just pumping the metal these days! With all of the mixing up of metal genre’s these days, I have to tell you that it is quite refreshing to hear a no-holds-barred thrash metal album from time to time and Demockracy delivers just that. Don’t get me wrong, Koen Mattheeuws isn’t afraid to slip in a death growl, but this album is saturated in brilliant thrash riffs that put Primal Creation in the drivers seat for this Thrash revival we are experiencing. PS…Thank the Metal Gods for that, and thank Primal Creation for Demockracy. This album is a statement of anger against an unjust and corrupt system that knows no borders beyond the need for greed. Perhaps the times themselves have necessitated this return of anti-establishment metal, and it almost makes you hope things stay fucked up so we can be treated to more albums like this one…..almost. YouTube Now – Primal Creation – Cast The First Stone
The Provoked – Society of Shadows – Shadows is a debut EP release from The Provoked and it has literally restored my faith in the fucking world. These young-bucks out of Ontario, Ohio are here to make a statement that a good healthy distrust of the establishment is still the fuel that burns the metal powderkeg and crunching riffs remain the soundtrack of our disgust. Every now and then, you get your ears on something that just screams “These fucking guys get it” and Society is just such a release! In an era where the EP is becoming more and more a missile in the arsenal of metal mavens, The Provoked just sent one out the park with solid song-writing, thoughtful and angry-as-fuck lyrics accompanied by blistering shred-work. Truly a must-buy that has this metalhead very much looking forward to more Provoked in the future! YouTube NOW: The Provoked – Opposition
Reликт (Relict) – Chaos Chamber – Straight out of Moscow, Russia, Relict has just released their first full length album and they did it in English (mostly) and it is fantastic. Relying heavily and surprisingly on a somewhat southern styled groove/thrash saturated feel and technical mastery, Chaos Chamber is a welcomed and unique listen. For the metal purists among you, be cautioned as there are a few songs, most notably Immortal and What Do You Live For that are more hard rock than metal but even those are given their very own crunchy moments to keep the pounding from straying too far. One thing is abundantly clear on this record, and that is these guys have solid song-writing chops and know how to fashion a fucking tune. Can’t wait to see where they go from here. YouTube NOW: Relict – Back to the Roots
River Black – River Black – This is another of the countless projects that Chris Witte, the drummer from Municipal Waste is involved with and the second of which puts him on this list of must own art that the Earth has been gifted here recently. River Black is darker than Municipal Waste and it blends thrash grooves with an almost death-like feel but that just may be the effect of Mike Olender’s (ex Burnt By The Sun, Nora, Endeavor) voice as it belts out at you with hair-raising power! Don’t expect to hear another M.P. album when you put this into your iTunes (which you should be doing now while reading this folks), as this is a different beast and it is here to collect it’s pound of flesh. The only slight comparison that one might make could be song length as River Black smacks you in the face with 12 songs over 35 minutes of raging metal goodness. Make River Black the soundtrack to your summer starting right now! YouTube Now: River Black – Low
Stereo Nasty – Twisting the Blade – This sophomore release from Irish Metal-Heads, Stereo Nasty is as refreshing as it is nostalgic. This one is a real treat for the old school Maiden and Priest fans out there with a touch of Grim Reaper thrown in just to keep you wondering if this is a lost metal Gem from the 80’s or a brand new release. It is brand new and there is just something about it that requires listening to it over and over again. You really have to pick it up and listen to it yourselves to get the full feeling of what Twisting the Blade is putting out there, as the imagery, the sound and the look of these fellas in the band are all throw-backs to a time when the world was Hell Bent for Leather and metal ruled the land…perhaps this album is just what we all needed at exactly the right time. YouTube Now – Stereo Nasty – Kill Or Be Killed
Stormthrash – Systematic Annihilation – Venezuelan thrashers Stormthrash have just released their first full length album and it is a work of Thrash Metal magic. These guys have the formula down pat…Argenis Betancourt provides the thunder on the skins, while Luis Fuentes and Adolfo Llovera blister this entire album with shredding riffs that are sure to whip a Pit into a Monster Fury. In fact, this album begs for a live showing as every single song is extremely well crafted to charge up a crowd like a high-voltage battery hardwired directly to the nads. These guys are so passionate about things that Luis has been hitting on Skully on Facebook the entire time I have been typing up this review. I guess it comes with the territory…I love the album but there are limits man so slow your roll brother! Lol. YouTube Now: Stormthrash – The Art of Destruction
Tankard – One Foot in the Grave – Thrash veterans from Germany are back and dare I say it, One Foot in the Grave may just be their best work yet. That is saying something considering these booze loving metal-hounds have been doing the metal thing for 35 years! With a career spent espousing an almost soap-opera’esque love of all things liquor, one would be mistaking themselves severely to write these fellas off as a joke-band because Tankard has the chops and delivery that demands repeat listens. While much of their lyrical content can be somewhat whimsical, the solos are supreme, the drums are on fire and the vocals are as thrash as a walk through the Bay Area in 1986! One Foot is more diverse than recent albums and tackles several socially conscious issues and may be their least alcohol drenched album to date, but it pays off from start to finish as a rock-solid collection of top-shelf Thrash-Metal! YouTube Now: Tankard – Syrian Nightmare
Warcursed – Stages of Death – Spartan warriors had a term for what they referred to as the privilege of dying in battle…A Beautiful Death. Is it just a coincidence that they too were also Warcursed? Perhaps…Perhaps not. In a concept tried a couple of times before, Warcursed literally attack the seven Stages of Death on their third release with a song given to each stage from Pallor Mortis to Skeletonization and the more I listen, the more I am reminded of the cry of the Spartans. While no one could argue this is not a punishing Death Metal release, it also soars in all of the right places. There is a punishing sorrow that rides just below the brutal current and it takes the entire ride to a whole new level. Dudu Evsb and Richard Senko blend earth-shattering rhythms with solos that are both dark and revitalizing while Marsell Senko just abuses the skins setting the entire tone. This is a superb piece of work from these Brazilians and should not be overlooked! YouTube NOW: Warcursed – Rigor Mortis
Well, there you have it…These are the Crypt’s guaranteed, no-doubt-about-it must own Metal releases that are just a few clicks away from getting so go ahead and open up that other screen and get to ordering them up. Thanks to these bands for the art that keeps us going and thanks to all of you for hanging out with us and reading along. Much love to all of you metalheads out there!
This has been The Crypt’s Mandatory Metal List, Volume 2….Until Next Time…Have a Very Metal Day!!!