Sojourner’s adventurous path to black metal expands, soars on third offering ‘Premonitions’

Photo by Katrina Watt

Taking a sweeping adventure to another place isn’t a bad idea at all with this week drawing to a close and things remaining status quo on the quarantine front. We’ve been trying to push the idea of escapism as being a helpful tool right now, that amid all the darkness and doom we’ve also served you up via the music we cover.

Atmospheric black metal band Sojourner have members spread out over multiple continents, but that distance hasn’t prevented them from making engaged and inventive music that takes folk-based and symphonic elements and bending them to their will. Their latest is “Premonitions,” an eight-track, nearly 57-minute opus that pushes their own boundaries further than ever before, adding plenty of colliding dark and light elements. The band–Emilio Crespo (vocals), Chloe Bray (vocals, guitars, tin whistle/piano), Mike Lamb (guitars, piano, synth/keyboards), Mike Wilson (bass), Riccardo Floridia (drums), and Scotty Lodge handles live bass–started off with Avantegarde Music for their first two records before jumping over the Napalm for this new one, so that should increase the number of people who hear this band and should fall right in with those who feast on their new label’s offerings.

S”The Monolith” starts the record amid keys falling and Bray’s singing unfurling as it takes to the air. The song opens fully by trudging as Crespo’s growls curdle and spread, as classic metal-style guitar work lights up and glows. Bray swings back into the chorus as whistles flutter, beauty and savagery clash, and the song boils out. “Eulogy for the Lost” has a lush start before guitars awaken, and the pace moves along in calculated manner. Growls scar while Bray enrichens the chorus, while woodwinds and keys mix together. Soloing explodes as the plying takes on more texture, and growls punch through, and the guitars rush back and forth over the end. “The Apocalyptic Theater” opens in synth fog as a proggy build takes over, and then things rip open completely, as deep growling and sweeping singing work together. Synth waves crash as the pace gets punchy, and Bray’s voice moves in and gives the ending a boost. “Talas” has keys dripping and Bay’s singing soaring as she takes the bulk of this song that has a murky ballad feel. “I hide in broken towers, but still it knows all that I’ve done,” she admits as the track plays out, and the power later kicks in with Crespo joining on screams. “No, I do not stand alone,” she declares as the song is whisked away by stormy keys.

“Fatal Frame” opens with flutes floating as things slowly bloom before the playing tears open and leaves blistering. This is the most savage cut on the record so far and signals that things get more furious from here. Demonic howls tears through before keys take over again, leading to a final surge that crashes out into calming flutes. “The Deluge” is aptly named as that’s what it feels like with its power coming down on you. Whirring keys give off a castle synth vibe, then the guitars begin to flicker and the playing rains down in glory. Growls smear over the verses, and the chorus is just huge with Bray calling, “These dreams came to nothing, they scatter on the wind”, filling your lungs, and then the pace stamps out again. The fiery assault continues from there as keys crush, and then the song ends in a haze. “Atonement” has flutes calling and synth swimming in dreams before the track gets into full gear. “You are not of this world, I banish you!” Crespo howls as the track keeps gaining intensity and fury. Fires are aggravated further as the growls crush, the keys swell, and the track heads out into the atmosphere. “The Event Horizon” closes the album by punching its way in, letting the leads generate heat and the growls pound flesh. Emotional melodies wrap this track in warmth as synth strings glaze, and then the earth quakes. Rousing clean group calls vibrate behind heavy growls and a charging assault, and then a space storm arrives, dragging everything with it to a world beyond our own.

Sojourner have put a lot of work into their sound and to getting as far as they have through their journey the last five years. “Premonitions” is full-bodied, crushing where it needs to be, oddly beautiful in other spots, and fully an immersive experience. This record is for those with a truly open mind to what they consider heavy, and if you’re up for the trip, you’re going to find a lot that’ll fill your brain and spark your imagination on this powerful record.

For more on the band, go here: https://www.facebook.com/metalsojourner

To buy the album (North America), go here: https://www.napalmrecordsamerica.com/store/

Or here (World): https://napalmrecords.com/

For more on the label, go here: https://label.napalmrecords.com/

Göden continues Winter’s track on expansive storyteller of a doom killer in ‘Beyond Darkness’

Anyone who delved into the Game of Thrones canon knows the saying “winter is coming” holds a lot of weight. But for doom metal fans, the band Winter is something that’s been in the rearview for some time, with their massively influential 1990 debut (and only album) “Into Darkness” hooked generations of listeners and players for years to come. Well, that said, Winter is coming. Kind of.

Göden is the new project from Winter guitarist Stephen Flam, and this band is supposed to be the logical successor to what his original group did on their lone full-length record that’s 30 years old now. Their first record “Beyond Darkness” is a sprawling 19-track, 76-minute album that might sound like a slog on the surface, but it’s definitely a compelling adventure. In between tracks are parts of a story involving three characters: Spacewinds (Flam): NXYTA Goddess of Night (Vas Kallas who handles vocals); and The Prophet of Göden (Tony Pannisi who plays keys and also played in Winter). The music feels a lot like what Winter left behind, only a little grimier and more rugged, which one would expect. It definitely keeps in mind Winter’s lineage and history but also pushes into different, more adventurous terrain not unlike Triptykon from the ashes of Celtic Frost.

“Glowing Red Sun” is a 9:13 instrumental mammoth that opens the record in true gloom and doom style. Noise glimmers as the guitars unearth blood and guts as synth adds a heat wave underneath. Ever so slowly the song bashes and crumbles away, leading to our first storytelling cut “Manifestation I: Tolling Death Bells” where the voice speaks of death bells and Göden lashing out, promising destruction. “Twilight” follows, and we finally get to hear Kallas’ otherworldly growls, which are downright intimidating. The track lurches as Kallas wails, “Forsake me of my sins,” as the doom chars the earth, guitars gush, and she calls, “Blessed be the night.” “Manifestation II: A New Order” has Göden refusing submission, vowing to hold resolve and declaring, “I am Göden!” “Cosmic Blood” follows and mauls right away as organs unload, and Kallas viciously growls, “Saturn is my death, the fist of god.” The soloing burns away corrosively, while the declaration, “You came from nothing,” rings out. “Manifestation III: The Spawn of Malevolence” has Göden vanquishing his creations, the ones who destroyed his dwelling as he notes “their black deeds erased.” “Komm Susser Tod” starts in a synth haze before the tempo pounds away, and Kallas delivers her words in a speak-sing style. The chorus gets muddy and ugly, while the devastating pace feels eerie before viciously fading out. “Genesis Rise” drubs as the growls crawl, and the drums try to kick in your head. “Secrets of the moon, silence of the stars,” Kallas hisses while the playing smudges and layers in added pressure, and the splintering pace refuses to treat your wounds. “Manifestation IV: The Progeny of Göden” has things looking up in the kingdom as strings layer beauty, and unity is the hoped goal for the offspring of the gods.

“Dark Nebula” is thick as tar, slowly unloading its assault on your mind. Kallas speaks wondering, “Are we angels? Are we demons?” a line she belts back in growls later on. The playing shapeshifts and swims in lava before it drops its final deadly hammers. “Manifestation V: The Epoch of Göden” has time passing, synth swirling, and Göden’s reign promising to be forever as we slip into “I Am Immortal” where guitars and the growls scrape along beside. The pace is deliberate while the chorus digs in its claws as spoken lines bubble along with glimmering keys, evil intention, and utter slaughter. “Manifestation VI: The Beginning and the End” is immersed in cosmos as a new era of glory is promised, and the declaration, “Göden is all,” booms. “Ego Eimie Gy” has cool riffs and keys that glisten before sinister speak-singing emerges, and then the vocals turn more to a whisper. The playing floats in the air, through your psyche, and leaves you a mess. “Manifestation VII: Gaia Rejuvenated” has Gaia reborn, verdant beauty flourishing, and crystal waters rushing, and then we’re into “Night” where the sounds carry over, and the assault unfurls. “Dark veil of Hades, drown the shadows,” Kallas commands while the keys coat you in mirth, and things begin to slowly melt. The playing then stretches your muscles to the limits before snapping you back in place. “Manifestation VIII: A New Age” is the final storytelling piece, and we’re in a new age of prosperity, Gaia has reclaimed her place, and all is in order. “Thundering Silence” is anything but as dank guitars and harsh noise rush the gates. A spacey void opens its mouth and begins to swallow you whole while a synth vortex makes its way in, and a strange ambiance takes over and leaves an extended period of strange silence. We end, fittingly, with “Winter.” Makes sense since there was a track “Göden” on Winter’s only record. This is nasty and stormy, with Kallas growling in German, pronouncing it ‘Vinter,” when she spits out the chorus. The playing rattles bones, adding a satisfying final crunch to this resurrection of an album.

Winter’s history and impact on heavy music is undeniable, and Göden is a great next step for the same ideals but carved out of a different side of the glacier. “Beyond Darkness” is a record you want to devour in one sitting, even if that means you’re committing an hour and 15 minutes, because you’ll find the time flies, and the journey was well spent. We are gifted with plenty of doom metal in our lives, but nothing quite like what the originators of Winter can offer.

For more on the band, go here: https://www.facebook.com/GÖDEN.official/

To buy the album, go here: https://svartrecords.com/product/goden-beyond-darkness-album/

For more on the label, go here: https://svartrecords.com/

Auroch channel magic, spiritual tradition into black metal fires with EP ‘Stolen Angelic Tongues’

We’re trying to keep ourselves distracted and entertained over here so there is a little less yelling, “Holy shit, I do not know how to pass the hours if I’m not relentlessly busy, and someone please bring relief!” Yeah, there are worse problems, but your mental state is for real. Take care of it, and take care of you. Where the fuck am I going with this?

Oh, sure, the new Auroch, a release that’s a little different depending on the format you choose. The vinyl version (the one we are discussing today) is called “Stolen Angelic Tongues,” while the CD is “All the Names of the Night,” which includes three extra songs from the band’s past that were only available via vinyl before. So, the whole distraction thing. Having new music from this Canadian death metal powerhouse, the first we’ve gotten in four years (2016’s tremendous “Mute Books” was their last), was enough of a boost for me to give me some perverse happiness for the 18 minutes they offer up on these deadly five tracks. The band—returning vocalist Culain, guitarists Sebastian Montesi and Philip Fiess, bassist Shawn Hache, and drummer Zack Chandler—sounds absolutely channeled on this release, a fire-breathing machine inspired by the magic pasts of the Caribbean and South America which bleeds through on these devastating new songs. It’s a mauler.

“Shattering the Axis Mundi” is a quick intro cut with chants that sound like they’re delivered swing style, pianos dripping, and static building, leading into “Hideous New Gods” that tears open and exposes rotting guts while melodies lap and churn. The shout of “burn!” is followed by soloing ripping out, the band dominating, and everything disappearing into ash. “Carving the Axis Mundi” trudges heavily from the start as the growls bury you, and the guitars carve paths through your mind. Whispers flurry in the air like ghosts while the pace finds a way to hammer even harder, and eventually things turn hypnotic. Vile screams and a speedy assault blend together, while whispers return and trick your mind into accepting this strange new reality. “Coffin Nails” is a total assault with the guitars dive bombing and complete destruction being staged to your horror. The playing is defacing while the growls crush, the soling blazes, and you’re caught up in a suffocating whirlwind that leads to closer “Erecting the Axis Mundi” where noises waft immediately. Throat chants haunt as acoustics push in, making it feel like you’re locked in an ancient tomb where you’re forced to live your days in eternity.

Having Auroch back is a joy, which is a weird thing to say about a band that creates mind-chewing death metal. But OK, look, “Stolen Angelic Tongues” (or “All the Names of the Night”) is a wholly satisfying smaller release that gives you enough to fill up but also leaves you wanting another helping. We don’t deserve Auroch because humanity is garbage, but basking in their devastating glory gives us a little bit of a break from people getting sick and absolute dumb fucks protesting staying healthy.

For more on the band, go here: https://www.facebook.com/aurochmetal

To buy the album, go here: https://www.20buckspin.com/search?type=product&q=auroch

For more on the label, go here: https://www.20buckspin.com/

PICK OF THE WEEK: Ulcerate crush convention, add new color into chaos on grim ‘Stare Into Death…’

If you have a good formula, why screw with it? Why run the risk of going in a different direction or even making some minor tweaks when you already know you have an effective thing on your hands? Easy as that sounds, not all artists operate in that manner, and that can result in boredom if they keep running the same path or wildly unexpected results if they veer.

New Zealand death metal stallions Ulcerate decided to take some different paths on their wild sixth record “Stare Into Death and Be Still,” their first for Debemur Morti after spending time with Relapse. This band already had a reputation for creating mind-bending pieces of work, though as creative as their music always felt, apparently they needed some fresh air. In comes this eight-track, 58-minute beast that, while you’ll definitely acknowledge this is Ulcerate right out of the gates, feels a lot different as well. The melodies enrapture, there are times it feels like they’re playing tricks with your mind, and the utter decimating pace is now and again tempered by different realities that give you a breather, but only until the next wave of chrome lava. The band–vocalist/bassist Paul Kelland, guitarist Michael Hoggard, drummer Jamie Saint Merat—recommit to their creativity and their smoking penchant for delivering bruising music and pump out one of the most original records on a resume full of open mindedness. I’ve already immersed myself in this thing multiple times, and each experience with it is different.

“The Lifeless Advance” punches its way open as spindly guitars open, and deep roars make their way into the mix. Melody bursts and slathers into hell while the drums dust skulls, and cavernous chaos opens and swallows you whole. “Exhale the Ash” begins with an energy surge, and the tempo blasts as the drums climb up and pulverize, and the guitars send body jolts. The growls you can virtually feel in your chest as the leads burst and add different colors, while the bruising floods, and the ends comes in a pit of punishment. The title track just melts open, tearing things limb from limb and entering into a world of madness. Monstrous growls crawl as the pain pours over you, at times feeling warped yet fluid. The playing grows scathing while the track gets more adventurous before everything is swept into oblivion. “There Is No Horizon” has a dark and hazy beginning as it simmers in shadows before tearing its chest wide open and mangling listeners in its gears. Cool guitar work drips through like leaking pipes before the leads explore the atmosphere, and the growls carve a path back to the center. The track begins to smash things all over again before subsiding and giving way to a thick, enveloping fog.

“Inversion” explodes immediately and lands blows as monstrous growls and devastating playing loosen screws. The guitars sting and feel like they’re pulling in alien transmissions while the playing swims inside your head, making you feel disjointed and lost before the back end of the song mashes in your head. “Visceral Ends” starts in a fog of synth weirdness that slowly awakens like sunbeams through the aftermath of destruction. As the song awakens, the growls crush and the guitars chew on frayed nerves before the leads glisten and shimmer. The drums pick up and add to the chaos while moody guitars slur, and we end with a heavy pummeling. “Drawn Into the Next Void” greets you with guitars at the gates following by trudging tempos and a feeling you’re being pulled under. The song has moments of humidity before things cool off after a long storm. But the knife finds its way back in as the growls bubble deeply within the fires, and the return of demanding temperatures finds its way into the void. “Dissolved Orders” is your closer, and it starts with clean notes that help the song slowly flow along until it meets up with a flooding and grisly growls. The pace tends to hypnotize in spots and freezing winds chill your soaked flesh, while heavy growls sound like they’re trying to digest you. The playing then engulfs as you’re stuck knee-deep in a tar pit as cold strains wash over you while the track washes away.

Ulcerate have built a massive reputation and a mighty sound during their nearly two decades together, and had they not tweaked a thing, no question their audience would have devoured “Stare Into Death and Be Still.” But they didn’t do that, did they? Instead, this band opened up and expanded their playbook and delivered one of their most inventive records in some time, which is saying something for a group that already stands alone. This is a massive, deeply destructive record that’ll feel entirely different every time you tear it open.

For more on the band, go here: https://www.facebook.com/ulcerate

To buy the album (North America), go here: https://debemurmorti.aisamerch.com/

Or here (Europe): https://www.debemur-morti.com/en/12-eshop

For more on the label, go here: https://www.debemur-morti.com/en/

Umbra Vitae’s deathly hammering match a chaos-ridden society in decay on debut ‘Shadow of Life’

Things arrive at strange times. I’m not asking you to read back the last couple weeks of this site, but so much music is landing at times where they are needed most. This doesn’t necessarily mean the music will make you feel better, but it comes to us at a time when its digestion will be most meaningful.

New death metal band Umbra Vitae is arriving at one of those opportune times with their debut “Shadow of Life,” which is the translation of their band name. The band itself takes their name from the Georg Heym poem of the same name, and that piece of work that was released posthumously in 1912, envisions a world where destruction is at hand and societies are folding on themselves. Fuck, did you pay attention to the news the past week or so? We’re on the brink, man, and this record puts a lot of that in perspective. Right, the band. You know these people. On vocals is Jacob Bannon, vocalist for Converge and mastermind behind Wear Your Wounds, guitarists Mike McKenzie and Sean Martin (both of Wear Your Wounds), bassist Greg Weeks (The Red Chord), and drummer Jon Rice (Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats), and here, they level you with death metal panic that crushes.

“Decadence Dissolves” is a quick intro where guitars crawl through thick humidity, and then it’s right into “Ethereal Emptiness” that’s a wild assault right away. Bannon’s voice is absolutely unmistakable though a little gruffer than his Converge delivery, as guitars unleash a sludgy fury around him, trampling and defacing before everything mercifully fades so you can breathe for a second. And it’s literally for one second as “Atheist Aesthetic” arrives and hammer away at your wounds. Shrieks and growls combine to amplify the pain as Bannon shouts, “One by one until there is none!” Muddy guitars pick up from there, and shrapnel is tossed dangerously through the air. “Mantra of Madness” is off to the races once it steps in, and the drums open up a massacre that has absolutely no mercy. Like, seriously. It kills. Anyway, the thing keeps ripping shit apart as raspy shouts rain down, the tempo fires up, and the track ends in total destruction. “Fear Is a Fossil” has grime-filled vocals that utterly punish on the verses. The chorus rolls you in a bath of cinders while guitars smear, and the ending adds salt to the punishment you endured.

“Polluted Paradise” is a really quick one where growls and shrieks warp together, and speedy devastation then piles into “Intimate Inferno” that continues to pound the gas pedal through the floor. Manic howls and huge jolts rattle bones before a strange psychedelic section hits and melts minds, and then it’s back into the heart of the inferno with riffs swirling and steady mashing doing their last bits of damage. “Return to Zero” blasts out as rapidly spat vocals shoot sparks, and sinewy guitars begin to flex their muscles. The leads swim through again before the song comes to a crunchy end. “Blood Blossom” lands heavy blows and feels a bit more ominous while thrashing takes over and continues bruising. The track grinds to a brutally slow mashing that sticks around until the pace ignites and ends in fire. The title cut closes and opens with drums assaulting and darker tones mixing into the waters. “We won’t find peace,” Bannon warns before deeper growls enter the picture, and the playing hits on a staggering pace. Screams reach out and soar into space while fluid guitars make their way in and help the track fade out.

Things are collapsing around us, people in our communities are losing their minds, and there isn’t a hope in sight that things will work themselves out. That’s not exactly a plus, mind you, but it should help you digest what Umbra Vitae deliver on “Shadow of Life,” a debut record that wrecks your guts and splits your mind. Yeah, you know the main players here and you know their pasts, but forget all of that and commit to a display that lets out all of its inner turmoil and matches the chaos around you.

For more on the band, go here: https://www.facebook.com/umbravitaeofficial/

To buy the album, go here: https://deathwishinc.com/collections/new

For more on the label, go here: https://deathwishinc.com/

Canadian sludge beasts Resent unload torment and misery into devastating debut ‘Crosshairs’

We’re neck deep in misery right now, so why not dump a ton more hellishness onto that pile and make everyone feel that much worse? Doom metal isn’t exactly the place to go if you want to find solace from the madness because so much of that style of music simmers in chaos. But when everything around you is shit anyway, how badly can you really be hurt?

Coming out of British Columbia are Resent, a band with almost zero public profile, no real lineup that I can decipher, but with a devastating debut record “Crosshairs” that is arriving via a trio of labels. After taking on this six-track, 43-minute bruiser, who cares if we don’t know a lineup or what they did before this or even during this, because this early ’90s-styled sludge doom monster is a massive kick to the face of anyone hoping to find a record to make them feel better. The record laces medical horrors into the body of the songs, and each crevice drips with mud and blood, pretty much trying to clog up your brain and arteries. It’s fascinating how smothering the music is, and despite its utter dismissal of anything uplifting, it’ll fill you with horrors and pain that’ll destroy you existentially.

“Miserable” opens with a clip of a patient screaming that, “It hurts a lot,” over and over as he’s goaded, and then feedback-infested sludge barrels in with a messy fury and vicious growls that take you apart. The pace is mauling and ugly, just landing blow after blow almost as if it’s standing in place, and you keep running into massive shots that ground you. “Degenerate” has noises and voices swirling in the ether before the guitars arrive to bury you in a Sabbath-style hell. The mood is dour as guitars lap up the thick tributaries of blood and filth, while deep growls rip into you like a rusty dagger. A heavy pall hovers over everything while dark waves pummel you into oblivion. “Wallowing in Filth” has a clip of a man talking about seeing people smeared in their own filth, so that should give you a good idea as to where this is headed. Slow driving panic is what ensues as you’re driven to the ground with brute force. Growls hammer while the playing scrapes away at your wounds as noise floods, and the heat swelters all before dumping you into a smothering finish that clouds your insides.

The title track starts with a patient crying about facing a needle as the riffs open up and dump oceans of cement. The playing is heavy and mashing as it circles you and threatens no solace ever. Slurry heaviness pairs with guitars that spurt and lay waste, caving in your chest and skull simultaneously. “Victimized” feels like it’s already destroying you before it really gets under way, as muddy guitars and hoarse growls amplify the misery. There is more trauma from a medical perspective laced into what’s going on, which does no good for anyone’s psyche, as everything comes to a moaning, guttural finish. “Miscarriage” ends the record with groups of people asking, “I am I, who are you?” and then things heat up in a hurry. Growls chew into muscle while the playing turns messy and grimy, and just when things seem they can’t get more monstrous, guitars begin to belch feedback, the pressure becomes unbearable, and the track burns away and out of time.

Feeling good about life is probably something we should forget about for a while, and it’s clear Resent have no hopes for seeking happiness on their stunning first record “Crosshairs.” This is a massive beast scraping across the earth, looking to accumulate bones and bodies as it chews up ground. We don’t know where they’ve been or where they’re going, but we’re willing to follow them into whatever miserable vortex they’re headed as long as the music sounds like this.

For more on the band, go here: https://resent1.bandcamp.com/

To buy the album, go here: https://www.drycoughrecords.com/products

Or here: https://www.facebook.com/nervealtar/

Or here: https://ropeorguillotine.limitedrun.com/store

For more on the label, go here: https://www.drycoughrecords.com/

And here: https://nervealtar.storenvy.com/

And here: https://ropeorguillotine.limitedrun.com/

Sölicitör ramp up classic metal strains, pour glory and fire into pounding ‘Spectral Devastation’

We all had big plans this summer, didn’t we? Lots of stuff going on, places to go, people to be around, whether we like that or not. I had two big metal festivals this year that I was really excited about (three if you count me driving to MDF for one day just to see Dismember), and sadly, all of that has flown out the window for all of us.

I was really looking forward to June’s Metal Immortal Festival here in Pittsburgh, the second installment of the annual event that sadly now will not be happening until 2021 because of this goddamn virus. Not only was I excited about seeing friends and spending money on a bunch of merch, but the lineup was set to be killer. One band on the bill was West Coast-based speed metal pounders Sölicitör, who are getting ready to deliver their furious first full-length “Spectral Devastation,” a huge blast of metal that feels like it emanates from 40 years ago. That’s a good thing. There are a lot of bands delving back into older vibes, but few pull it off in a way that sounds like they actually belong there. Sölicitör pull it off seamlessly on this eight-track, 40-minute album where the band— vocalist Amy Lee Carlson, guitarists Matthew Vogan and Patrick Fry, bassist Damon Cleary-Erickson, drummer Johann Waymire—feels like a group that’s been together far long than their mere two years.

“Blood Revelations” opens the record full steam ahead, galloping through NWOBHM glory, with Carlson wailing about “unholy vengeance and steel.” The soloing screams out, leading into a quick shout-back section that reminds of the “die by my hand” segment of “Creeping Death” (nice touch!) before the guitars go off again. “Betrayer” follows with glorious guitar work, and a simple, yet effective chorus that should jolt live. Riffs hammer as the playing stomps guts, the soloing chars flesh, and the track blasts home. “The Red Queen” has a folk-flavored riff out front before the song takes on a vintage Priest vibe. “She’s a nightmare in disguise,” Carlson warns, before she follows up with, “She’s a killer on the run.” Some of the singing is a little raspy and edgy, which is a cool change of pace, and strong soloing sends huge gusts of wind that rampage the song to its acoustic outro. “Leathür Streets” explodes out of the gates with some killer classic guitar work and another infectious chorus that goes down easy. “I’m going to get you with your back against the wall, Carlson warns amid nasty speed that leaves abrasions.

“Night Vision” lets acoustics set the stage before the power kicks in, and Carlson wails about “evil in the night.” Soloing tears away while the pace steamrolls, slicing and dicing before landing some final fatal blows. “Terminal Race” is crunchy as hell and goes right for the jugular, with Carson declaring, “Metal never dies!” Now that your blood is racing, they follow up with smearing soloing and a back end that tears things apart, ending in a pit of fire. “Spectres of War” has a burly start, punching hard with Carlson commanding, “Soon you’ll be caught in the crossfire!” Sirens go off as the band thrashes mightily as a searing solo erupts, and the track suffocates you in rubble. “Grip of the Fist” closes things out burning in with a powerful attack as the riffs hammer away. “Beware! The iron first!” Carlson wails as the intensity manages to get even more insane, and the track ends in a blaze of glory.

So, the summer may already be ruined and live shows might not be happening, but that doesn’t mean music is dead, and sure as hell metal will survive. Sölicitör aren’t backing down from anything, and their debut “Spectral Devastation” lights up serious fires and injects with power and glory that we all could bask in for a while. I’m excited to one day be able to see this band live and get my ass kicked with metal that pays homage to the roots and blazes trails into the future.

For more on the band, go here: https://www.facebook.com/solicitor.speedmetal/

To buy the album, go here: http://www.cruzdelsurmusic.com/store/

For more on the label, go here: http://www.gatesofhellrecords.com/