IN ROTATION: Our most played albums in January 2019


Tune in to Blessed Altar Zine at the beginning of each month for my “Sinday Sermon” from the Pulpit of Deception… Where I’ll reveal my Top 5 Most Played Albums for the previous month! May be a brand new release I haven’t reviewed, an absolute Classic or perhaps that obscure record that hasn’t hit your turntable in ages…

2018 was definitely one for the ages and honestly just keeps revealing more of itself that has certainly kept my attention. With the incredible year ending I was able to give myself a bit of a break from just NEW releases despite some fantastic new albums from bands like Ossuarium, Hecate Enthroned, Woorms, Yatra, Ferndal and Phlebotomized to name a few. Seems like 2019 is going to be another epic year for the genre so prepare to hold on for the ride!

January 2019 Top 5 Most Played Albums

THE CROWN – “Crowned In Terror”
Metal Blade Records – 3984-14394-2
Released: 8 April 2002

The Crown’s third release “Crowned In Terror” was one of those albums that just grabbed me by the throat and has yet to let go! Remarkably fast and melodic at the same time throughout, this is an exquisite album thats superb musicianship and near perfect production has positioned it high upon my favorite albums lists for many years. And although Johan Lindstrand is and has been terrific throughout the bands terrific catalogue which I adore, its the addition of Tomas Lindberg (At The Gates) coupled with the bands crowning performance that sets “Crowned In Terror” apart from the rest. Is also the only album Lindberg would perform on besides one track off of the excellent “Deathrace King”. The layered sound and majestic riffs throughout leave this album near the top of the heap for modern death/thrash metal recordings over the last 25 years. Not a wasted second on this record, so it wont be hard to find your own favorites here.

Perpetual Demise – No Fucking Afterlife…Under the Whip!

Favorite Track: Under the Whip

SULPHUR AEON – “The Scythe Of Cosmic Chaos”
Ván Records – VAN262
Released: 21 December 2018

The third full-length release from Sulphur Aeon is simply their best, which is high praise considering most felt their first two where both innovative and pioneering? Another Lovecraftian release of epic proportions, “The Scythe Of Cosmic Chaos” is as good as it gets for atmospheric death metal! Leaving the listener drowning in a sea of crushing riffs, song structures and the horror fueled atmospheric lyricism throughout; all with a variable vocal delivery…This is one weighty album!
The band really creating their own sound and purpose with dramatic affect; add in Ola Larsson’s incredible artwork and the overall experience is truly sublime. I’ll save most of my words for a review I’m working on, so all I can say is certainly an album you should be consuming if not already doing so. “Yuggothian Spell”, “Sinister Sea Sabbath”, “The Summoning of Nyarlathotep”, “Lungs Into Gills” and the imposing closing track “Thou Shalt Not Speak His Name” are a few of my favorites. But in all reality the entire album is amazing and easily should have been in my Top 10 releases for 2018 had I waited through the entire end of the year to do my list.

Favorite Track: Yuggothian Spell

DESASTER – “Angelwhore”
Metal Blade Records – 3984-1459-2
Released: August 22, 2005

One of my favorite albums in the extremely strong DESASTER catalogue, “Angelwhore” destroys on this classic as these German black thrashers have been so resolute in their pursuit of astonishing raw and aggressive riffs and boy do they always deliver! “Angelwhore” did not disappoint with its quality production, killer riffs and intoxicating performances. Tracks like “The Blessed Pestilence”, “Angelwhore”, “Conqueror’s Supremacy”, “Nihilistic Overture”, “Havoc” and the closing instrumental “Mourning Path” are all quite exhilarating! The band certainly not for the fair-weather metal fan whatsoever, and have always kept an underground appeal throughout their 30 year career. Honesty has always really come to mind here with DESASTER as their brand of extreme metal is brutal and true to form.

Triumph of death! Triumph of death! Triumph of death!

Favorite Track: The Blessed Pestilence

DOWNFALL OF NUR – “Umbras De Barbagia”
Avantgarde Music – AV250
Released: 21 March 2015

I came across this on a recommendation and have just kept playing it over and over. But 2018 was so good that I had ignored some of my favorite and most recent released albums almost all year that weren’t obvious classics or my favorites. So when I finally dug up a vinyl copy, I was immediately drawn back in to “Umbras De Barbagia”. Where Antonio Sanna has created quite an atmospheric black metal project that I highly recommend. Showcasing such a beautiful array of sounds throughout this massive album with its abundance of sorrow, suffering and haunting weight. The fusion of black and folk metal(not too much) will send you right to the forests edge, deliberating how to get lost in its solitude and ominous despair. The album really keeping your attention even in the most lengthy slow burnt sections; completely repetitive, hypnotic and mesmerizing throughout! Even though the tracks here are quite long Downfall of Nur have created riffs that keep both the song and listener engaged and interested, which can be a real challenge in black metal at times. “Umbras De Barbagia” celebrates a forgotten culture of the Nuragic civilization of Sardinia (2nd Century AD) with this magnificent, powerful and truly epic release.

Favorite Track: II – The Golden Age

DEPRAVITY – “Evil Upheaval”
Transcending Obscurity Records – TOR38
Released: April 30, 2018

The followup to their 2016 EP “Reign of the Depraved” doesn’t let up for one-second besides moving on to the next destructive track! Australia’s DEPRAVITY have released a well executed death metal record full of brutality and vicious grooves throughout! Highlights of the album are a plenty with “Manic Onslaught”, “Tormented”, “Repugnant”, “Despondency”“Insanity Reality”, “The Great Divide”, “Victimizer” and “Vile Defloration” all delivering ferocity, energy and intensity from start to finish! Fans of the underground should be rejoicing for “Evil Upheaval” is a well crafted modern death album where terrific riffs blended with well placed tempo changes are the focal points of “Evil Upheaval” along with excellent drumming and the album is not overly produced. There is not much to dislike here as this is an absolute bloodletting of a release you should check out if you haven’t already!

It was like all the forces of hell were unleashed…

Favorite Track: Tormented

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