Here are a handful of full-length releases that fall somewhere in the spectrum of black/speed/punk released over the course of this year. These records are meant to played at high volume as soundtracks to destruction.
Album: Evil Triumphs Again
Label: Hells Headbangers Records
Bonehunter hail from Finland, and they have a hodge-podge of influences combined with asskicking punk rock to fill out. Drawing from many bands including Motorhead, Nunslaughter, and Cult is Alive-era Darkthrone, Evil Triumphs Again is a powerful album that stands alone as an extremely solid track that delivers mean and nasty tracks to blow up in your face. What Bonehunter excels at is tight, evil riffing prominent on tracks like “Acid Fuck” and “Succbus.” The entire album is a punch to the face, beer bottle in hand. If anything the leather clad bear on the cover should be indicative of the quality of this release. It albums like this that deserve less to be fussed over and are more meant to just put on and enjoy, and Bonehunter has powerful enough songwriting to allow that to happen.
Artist: All Hell
Album: The Red Sect
Label: Horror Pain Gore Death Records
All Hell is an American band that takes a more contemplative approach to their black/punk—while there are relentless riffs, they are methodological and more ethereal on The Red Sect. The album feels very ritualistic, which is strange for a punk album yet the riffing style is still there. I’m impressed with the motifs of this album while it still maintained a very aggressive feel on an external level. There are less standout tracks and overall it may not make it into your final year countdown, but if you are interested in Midnight or any black/punk that leans heavily on the side of black metal, it is short and well worth your time.
Album: Straight Metal War
Label: Hells Headbangers Records
Barbatos is a well-known Japanese band headed by Yasuyuki of Abigail fame. Barbatos has always had a blackened flair but in recent years he has moved away from his similarities to Venom and moved akin to a very punky Motorhead. On Straight Metal War we get an awesome combo of speed metal, punk, and straight up rock n’ roll. Although fairly unchallenging to genre norms, Yasuyuki is an extremely competent songwriter and is able to pen some impressive tracks on here. “Goodbye High School Girls,” an extremely infective track that featured previously on a Hells Headbangers compilation, works in perfectly as easily one of the best songs I’ve heard in a while. One doesn’t even need to understand the (currently unknown) lyrics to get the exact feel Yasuyuki is going for. The whole album feels like a rock and roll affair deeply embedded with hedonistic speed metal.
Artist: Morbid Slaughter
Album: A Filthy Orgy of Horror and Death
Label: Boris Records
A Filthy Orgy of Horror and Death comes to us from Peru and produces a very black/thrash approach that’s been grazed by traces of punk and rock. This is easily the least punk album on the list but the feel of the album is overall very tight and punishing, like a punk album should be. Morbid Slaughter clearly takes influence from a band like Gospel of the Horns or Nocturnal. However, Morbid Slaughter is unafraid to take it slow, and like few bands they are able to maintain competent control over a genre that was meant to go as fast as possible. Morbid Slaughter have constructed a competent and contemplative piece of black/thrash that feels like a nice break from relentless high-tempo metal while still scratching the rebellious punk/thrash itch.