Welcome all to this week’s ‘Repeat Offenders’, I’ll be your host today – MJ, I’m usually found hosting the weekly Thrash Bash show every Wednesday from 6PM – 8PM GMT right here on MMH. Setting aside my Thrash-tastic background for a moment, I’ll be selecting five tracks that have been rattling my ear drums over and over recently as we draw a close on the year. Despite the fact I’m sure most of us are celebrating that the miserable year of 2020 is now over, I have provided five broody, mystical and dark tracks for you all to sink your teeth into, check them out!
I have been following Wardruna for quite some time now, from their excellent ‘Runaljod’ album trilogy, to seeing them live at a magical Manchester show and now to here, patiently awaiting the release of their delayed album. This 10-minute epic (a new single of theirs) might be a bit hard for some to digest, particularly newcomers to the band, but I promise if you put aside the time it really is one hell of a mystifying time warp. Beginning with the familiar rumble of thunder and rain and then a slow build into a wonderful chanting chorus, each part holding its out spectral hand for you to follow into the Nordic mists. From here we have a mixture of Wardruna’s most excellent traits, including: masterful song-writing, traditional instruments and truly special vocal performances. Over the course of 10 minutes you are wonderfully swept into a new land of tradition and folklore and mastermind Einar Selvik’s voice mesmerises as always. Grab yourself your favourite set of headphones, pour a horn of mead and immerse yourself in this journey.
It has been 4 long years for me to see what Vektor come up with next after their exquisite 2016 release ‘Terminal Redux’ – one of my favourite thrash records of all time! Their signature, almost slightly digital sounding guitars tear out an opening chug that riles you up well and good. Vektor’s Sci-Fi and prog metal influences continue to burn bright here, with sporadic riffs, pounding and technical rhythms partnered with a harrowing vocal shriek provided by David DiSanto. Go and give this one a listen if you are fan of banging your head and whipping out the air guitar for those tasty riffs as this is a sure winner in those departments. If this track tickles your fancy then go and check out their brilliant ‘Terminal Redux’ from start to finish, it is what I like to call, a “Thrashterpiece”! Keep an eye out for more info on Vektor’s new album in 2021.
Check out the lyric video for ‘Activate’ here:
Moving on to another December release and with another bit of Nordic music, we have Myrkur. Myrkur seems to be following in the footsteps of her 2020 release ‘Folkesange’ – which focused on more of a stripped back, folk/traditional sound and dropped most of the black metal screams and electric guitars. An excellent choice it seems, as this “Dronning Ellisiv” proves to be delightful, melodic and aetherial, almost placing you in an airy dream far away from wherever you may be. Beautiful melodies both on instruments and vocals are the focal point here eventually culminating in a powerful ending chorus. Much like Wardruna, Myrkur has an amazing talent for putting your mind in completely different time and bring the past alive.
I managed to hear bits of Tribulation over the last few years and was always impressed with what I heard – especially their 2018 effort ‘Down Below’ – but it was when I saw them supporting Ghost in Nottingham that solidified my fan status to these gothic heavy rockers. A grizzled and evil voice growls over the melancholic backing, which never fails to produce a pleasantly haunting atmosphere. Guitar work as always is creative and well balanced, with the lead lines dancing frivolously over powerful guttural rhythm chugs and bass guitar. “Hour of the Wolf” is a great sign of things to come for Tribulation with album plans for 2021 and if we get back to a position where we can go to concerts again – please go and check them out, they have a simple but effective set design and tracks full of energy to get you moving… fingers crossed!
Where do I begin with Imperial Triumphant, they came out with possibly my favourite album of 2020 (‘Alphaville’) and generated a lifelong fan in me as I bought t-shirts, patches and vinyl record as I was that impacted by them. I have picked ‘City Swine’ as this is in my opinion one of their most accessible tracks as I’m sure to some their truly magnificent blend of jazz, avant-garde and black metal is something to behold and be a little jarring at first. I highly recommend pushing past some of the initial apprehensions and dive into their music as it is filled with all sorts of intricacies and new level of heavy. ‘City Swine’ features some serious low chugs, blast-beats and some crazy little piano motifs. Oh, and I almost forgot to mention, there is a collaborative drum solo with Tomas Haake of Meshuggah on some Japanese Taiko drums – can you get more metal than that? I doubt it! Do yourself a favour, pick up ‘Alphaville’ right now and enjoy.
Well that is all from me folks, I hope you’ve found something new and exciting here – please let me know over on Twitter: @ThrashBash_MMH! Happy New Year to you all.