It’s probably a bit silly to be all ridiculously excited about a band based on the strength of one song, but I’m pretty psyched for Christian Mistress‘ debut album Agony & Opium, which comes out later this month on 20 Buck Spin. Ever since I heard “Home in the Sun”, I’ve been looking forward to hearing what else this young band can do. My initial reaction to the song was “Bjork fronting a classic NWOBHM band”, and I still think that is as good a descriptor as any for their rough ‘n’ ready trad-metal sound. I haven’t heard the band’s demo, but if “Home in the Sun” is any indicator, Christian Mistress are going to have one hell of a debut on their hands.
Although, they’re going to have some pretty hefty competition in the traditional metal sweepstakes from Sweden’s Enforcer. The band’s second album Diamonds has more hooks than Orlando Wilson‘s tackle box, just check “Midnight Vice”, “Katana” and my personal favorite and candidate for song of the year, “Running in Menace”. I’ve seen some reviews and such questioning this band’s “trueness”, but give this album a few spins and try to tell me these dudes aren’t as sincere as it gets. Besides, they’ve got the Fenriz seal of approval and that motherfucker is like a true metal bloodhound. Heavy Artillery Records actually offered up Diamonds as a free download for one day only late last month, but if you missed out on that the record is definitely worth a purchase; pure oldschool heavy metal bliss for diehards of the likes of Mercyful Fate and Judas Priest!
On to deathlier things, have you fucking heard Disma yet?! The Jersey-based quintet are OSDM to the bone, a blast of macabre filth straight from the crypt. The band features former Incantation throat Craig Pillard, but that detail only partially betrays Disma’s sound and influences. Sure, they do bear some minor resemblance to John McEntee’s legendary doomed-out death squad, but Disma are their own band. Their three track demo cassette The Vault of Membros displays a knack for varied and catchy songwriting with some ridiculously thick, bulldozing grooves that will rattle your skull into next week. If you don’t have a cassette player, do whatever it takes to dig one up and give this demo a listen. If you’re not inclined to track down a tape deck, all three songs from the demo can be streamed on Disma’s official myspace page (see link above).
Indeed, part of what makes Disma so great is their overall approach. More than likely the band could have landed a record deal based strictly on its member’s extensive death metal resumes. However Disma chose to do things the right way, throwing down with an extremely competent demo to get themselves noticed. The band will also reportedly be releasing a two-song 7-inch prior to their Profound Lore debut. In the digital age there is something refreshing about seeing a band that has actually paid their dues and worked their asses off succeed, instead of getting a record deal based on how many friends they’ve racked up on Myspace.
In an unexpectedly awesome turn of events, NPR is streaming Summit, the new album from Louisiana sludge metallers Thou. Summit is easily the band’s most accomplished album to date, aided by a production scheme that makes the band sound heavy and powerful rather than clattering and somewhat toothless, which was how they sounded to me on their last full length, 2008′s Peasant. According to the band’s label Gilead Media, the stream will only be available until the album’s August 11 street date, so if you want to get a sneak-peak of what is arguably the year’s finest doom/sludge album, get to it now! Expect a full review of Summit coming sooner than later.
Lastly, Earache Records is having a pretty cool Summer sale at their webstore. They’re clearancing out a ton of stuff for ridiculously low prices, some great, some crap, some shit I’ve never heard of. Anyway, the sale allowed me to fill two glaring holes in my collection, as I was able to pick up Left Hand Path and Sleep’s Holy Mountain for a mere $6.66 a pop. I’m not sure how long the sale goes on for, so you might want to head over there asap if you’ve got the ducats to spare.
That’s all I’ve got for this installment of Blitzkrieg. If you’ve got any recommendations of your own or suggestions for things you’d like to see me weigh in on in future installments, leave a comment.