Picks: Dragonlord, Anaal Nathrakh, The Black Queen

This week’s trio of recommendations are an eclectic bunch. We’ve got a couple of albums from musicians better known for their work in Testament and The Dillinger Escape Plan than these current projects, and a range that spans from extreme Brummie noise to silky SoCal synth.

Eric Peterson/Universal Music

Eric Peterson enjoys a good deal of reverence in the world of metal, thrashing as he does in his legendary band, Testament. Dragonlord, a side project that brings black metal to the Bay Area, is plenty different. Dominion is album number three and it does my favourite trick: blackened metal with thrash in its soul. It can’t help itself. The winning formula here is black metal spirit, riffs for days and lead guitar that simply can’t be ignored. I like it.

Anaal Nathrakh
A New Kind Of Horror
Metal Blade Records

A New Kind Of Horror is batshit crazy. Of course it is. I’ve been immersed in the Anaal Nathrakh back catalogue ever since ‘Forward!’ was released as the new album’s lead single, and the quality remains consistent throughout. Sure enough, album number ten continues that thanks to a breathless, frantic assault that melds a million influences and even whacks in a little King Diamond for good measure. The aforementioned single, ‘Obscene As Cancer’ and ‘Mother Of Satan’ are first-weekend highlights, even if some of the band’s more established fans aren’t happy.

The Black Queen
Infinite Games
The Black Queen

Greg Puciato and The Black Queen are already proving to be a challenging and unpredictable outfit. Their second album, Infinite Games, expands upon exactly the themes from the first that I wasn’t expecting. There’s nothing as immediate and soaring as ‘Ice To Never’, ‘The End Where We Start’ or ‘Secret Scream’, yet the sense that this record will be a grower is palpable. It certainly demands more than a handful of listens, but it yields more each time and it’s well worth the effort.

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This Decay Staff