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Malicious Intent

2015 is upon us and I’ve got some music to share with you guys.

Every year I start a new list. The list is dedicated to the accumulation of artists and their albums, based mostly upon the impression the release leaves behind. How many times am I going to return to that release? What are the deeper implications that this album will have on my life this year? Which music will make me happy, and which will be responsible for getting me through tough times? Lucky for me, metal encompasses so many emotions that the start of a new year means there will be a plethora of new experiences to attach to my life and its various phases. This year there are lots of albums that have the potential to hit me hard, and I’m going to attempt to make those predictions now in addition to mentioning albums I’m already enjoying immensely.

Chapel of Disease – The Mysterious Ways of Repetitive Art (listened)

What’s important about this release is its manifestation of death doom as a trophy of musical wanderlust. You’re going to be scarce in finding something that blends more genres, yet maintains a palpable devotion to its respective sound. This could be the first in a necessary development for death doom metal surfacing beyond 2010.

Ontogeny – Hymns of Ahriman (listened)

I swear if these guys get cleaner production any time soon they’ll gain quite a few fans. Still, this release demonstrates just how important this band and Anomalous are for tech death. Superb writing occurs at every single junction. Masterful, really. Very esoteric and avoids the standard affair.

Napalm Death – Apex Predator – Easy Meat (listened)

I don’t think I have to say much. The grindcore kings return to the fold with their strongest offering since 2005. They never release a bad record, but this one is just good. It’s better than it has to be. These guys have been around since 1981 and they’re still evolving, adapting and reconfiguring how grindcore is done. Bravo.

Between the Buried and Me – TBA (prediction)

Here’s where my predictions begin. I think BTBAM will come out swinging, as always. This time, however, rumors are flying that their sound could shift pretty dramatically. Talk from the band so far has hinted towards “rock opera” and some very odd vocal arrangements. Whether they truly change their sound or not, a bad album from these guys seems impossible.

The Faceless – TBA (prediction)

I’m really interested in hearing where Keene takes his project. And yeah, let’s be honest, it’s his project and always has been. Members have left again, but the album is confirmed so he’s got it figured out. Rumors abound that departed and original vocalist, Demon Carcass, will be returning. Hooray for that and hooray for what will likely be another fantastic prog/tech death album.

The Zenith Passage – TBA (prediction)

So these guys are insane. They have one EP out called ‘Cosmic Dissonance’ and it kicks ass. Very syncopated and calculative tech death, but its essence is carried by chunky rhythms and soaring atmospheres. I can’t wait to hear what they do on a full-length, as the demoed song Simulated Reality has been in my playlist for quite some time now and I’m ready to hear it in context.

Enslaved – In Times (prediction)

Enslaved are one of the most reliable black metal acts around. If you call yourself a metal fan and you aren’t excited for this album…well, I don’t know what to tell you. I saw these guys live not too long ago and the performance was out of this world. I’ll be cruising their discography all over again to prepare for this one.

Ghost Bath – Moonlover (prediction)

Suggested to me by former Malicious Intent host, Wulf, I got a chance to key in on what these guys are up to. Simply put, some serious atmospheric black metal with influence queues similar to Woods of Desolation or Underling. The single, Golden Number, is very promising and has me incredibly stoked to hear what they do on ‘Moonlover’.

There are, of course, so many albums coming out this year and I wish I could cover all potential releases in one post, but that might get rather boring. Until then, we’ll see how my predictions turn out. I’ll certainly welcome any surprises or sleeper releases. Here’s to another great year in metal music!

Want to catch some of this new music? Malicious Intent 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!