Malicious Intent

5 round-up reviews for albums from 2014 you NEED to check out.

Hey all, CJ here with 5 absolutely essential albums you need to hear. All of these came out quite recently and are worth every bit of your attention.

Panopticon – Roads to the North 

Atmospheric black metal, bluegrass, melodic black metal

Sometimes it feels like there’s too much going on, but I know that’s not really the case. What’s true about this album is that it captures the essence of musicians composing varied pieces of music. It’s a reminder that lots of metal these days has one unifying theme, whilst also brushing up against other genres and influences. There’s nothing necessarily wrong with that, but Panopticon reintroduce a scarcer and more dynamic approach to album writing. They don’t simply brush against different themes, they venture into them wholeheartedly and make you wonder just how many ideas could really fit into one song. Listen more than once, because you’ll discover something new each time. Maybe Colin Marston should just be involved in every band, ever.

My Rating: 4/5

Saor – Aura

Atmospheric black metal, celtic metal, folk metal

A one-man project that’s turned into something much bigger than bedroom recordings. At times, this is just really well-done atmospheric black metal. That leaves whatever remains, which, in this case, is something beautiful and wholly inspiring. This is music for those who don’t want to forget grandiosity; for those who believe that music is foremost of soul and emotion. The entire spectrum is represented, here. Saor have created one of the most alluring arrangements of black metal you’ll ever hear.

My Rating: 4.5/5

Job For A Cowboy – Sun Eater

Technical death metal, progressive metal

And the day did arrive that I gave a JFAC album a near-perfect score. Not to say they weren’t solid before, but damn.

This album has absolutely everything, right down to an obvious and nuanced Gorguts influence. Don’t pass this one up and if you have to, disassociate their previous releases entirely to listen to this objectively. It’s got elements of everything they’ve ever done since the first LP, and then some. Fan of the band or not, this album is a thrill. Seems like everyone came out swinging in 2014.

My Rating: 4.5/5

Anaal Nathrakh – Desideratum

Black metal, grindcore, industrial metal

Their calculated and explosive dynamic makes a startling return, here. I usually enjoy all of their material, but it seems like they rediscovered themselves for this record. One of the few bands that executes the absolute extreme with utmost finesse. You’ll rarely hear a band writing this kind of music who take their craft so seriously.

My Rating: 4/5

Hideous Divinity – Cobra Verde

Technical death metal, brutal death metal

Hard to pass up a band that has ties to former members of Hour of Penance. This is devastating technical death metal that strikes when it counts. Skillful writing, powerful and driven rhythms, tasteful riffing and great leads are all strongly represented, here. The first half of the album is surely better, but on the whole it’s still a successful outing.

My Rating: 4/5

Thanks for reading and I hope you’ve found something new to listen to! You might hear some of these bands on the show from time to time. In case you didn’t know, it runs every Saturday night from 10 p.m. – 12 a.m.  You can tune in at KJHK 90.7 FM or listen online at www.kjhk.org!

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