The masterful progressive work of Caligula's Horse, the reinvigorated spirit of Winter through Goden and Old Man Gloom's return alongside a healthy dose of black metal, hardcore-infused outbreaks, and noise rock highlight the month of May in heavy metal.
Contributing writer at PopMatters, keeps on rambling about experimental and extreme music also for Invisible Oranges, Cvlt Nation and ScenePointBlank. @theSpyrus
In times of quarantine we listen and we write, so here are 20 extreme (and some experimental) records to spin during these times.
February in heavy music features long-awaited returns from Psychotic Waltz, Envy, and Today Is the Day, along with a healthy dose of black metal and experimental music.
The last month of the 2010s was defined by an explosion of black metal grimness, modern and retro sprinkled with death metal brutality, caustic hardcore and some historic re-releases.
Benjamin John Power of Fuck Buttons fame takes his latest Blanck Mass record, Animated Violence Mild, to the stage, exposing the full blown brutality of his extravagant electronics.
In an age when the personal is political feels as necessary as ever, we identify most with experimenters who transcend the throwing-shit-at-a-wall, banging-on-pots-and-cans approach. These artists occupy the earthly just as much as they occupy the mechanical and the celestial.
For their Double Exposure tour, Chromatics travel through their endless gems in a masterful performance in Manchester.
Black Marble leaves behind the obscure, lo-fi, and dim essence of the past for the brighter, more melodic, synthpoppy Bigger Than Life.
The companion piece to Sunn O)))'s masterful Life Metal completes the most organic and minimal chapter in the drone masters' journey.
Magdalene makes an unpredictable turn wherein FKA twigs traverses an introverted dimension of her vision through a minimalist perspective and a sense of controlled extravagance.
London sonic artist, Klein unleashes a terrifying work of dark experimental music, molded from the debris of her electronic and R&B background and infused with the richness of sonic collage and the free-flowing essence of abstract music.
October is dominated by heavyweight returns from noise rock pioneers Swans and Lightning Bolt, while also filled with the black metal bleakness of Blut Aus Nord and the Great Old Ones, while Vastum continue 20 Buck Spin's death metal master class streak.
By abstracting the sounds and ideas of his earlier work, electronic/hip-hop producer Daedelus has created one of his most challenging works to date with The Bittereinders.
September is filled with exciting heavy releases, most notably the return of post-metal icons Cult of Luna, the sophomore record of post-black metal mavericks White Ward, and the resurrection of experimental proto-black metallers Mortem.
For what is generally considered to be quiet month, the unearthly forces of the underground have produced a surprising amount of excellent works, with death metal and its black/death extension taking the lion's share.
Unconventional rock albums, from poppy sludge outfit Torche, noise rock masters Uzeda and post-hardcore outcasts Cherubs, along with the black metal fury of Falls of Rauros, False, Arkhaik, Celestial Grave and Sanguine Eagle and uncategorized extremists Immortal Bird are among this month's extreme output.
Slough Feg carry on their heavy metal journey while Darkthrone keep digging towards their proto-punk/heavy metal core. Baroness return with their most ambitious work to date, while Pinkish Black continue to explore the endless possibilities of synth driven extreme music.
Joshua Abrams and Natural Information Society return with their new full-length, Mandatory Reality, aptly navigating the space between jazz and experimental music.
Psychedelic rockers Teeth of the Sea lead a fantastic show in support of their latest full-length, Wraith. Alongside them Slow Knife and Trianglecuts fill out the bill in wonderful fashion.