Thantifaxath – Sacred White Noise

Toronto’s Thantifaxath have come through with one of the most ferocious, explosive, and well-recorded black metal records you’re sure to hear this year. There’s a slight prog rock tinge to the songwriting, too.

Relic Point – VIXI

Relic Point’s monstrous new LP VIXI is comprised of an hour of sludgy black metal, with elements of drone and doom thrown in for good measure. The Russian outfit proves itself to be adept at crafting downright monolithic pieces, the first two tracks nearing the 10 minute mark and the last track well breaching it. But the band thankfully offers some variety in that regard (mind you, not at all when it comes to aggression!), packing a huge punch as it mostly operates between the five and six minute range, also throwing in a couple of short droning interludes that also manage to come off abrasively. Check this nasty fucker out above!

Thantifaxath – “The Bright White Light at the End of the Tunnel”

Some insane melodies and guitar tones coming through this new Thantifaxath track titled “The Bright White Light At the End of the Tunnel,” which is from the band’s forthcoming album Sacred White Noise. It’s dropping this April on Dark Descent.

Man, this freakin’ track is just six minutes of straight madness. The manic organs at the beginning; the building guitar leads at the 3-minute mark; the ambient outro. It’s all a trip. I can’t wait to hear this album in full!

Sunn O))) & Ulver – Terrestrials

Sunn O))) & Ulver come together for a collaborative album whose recording process has been ongoing since 2008. Despite the short length of this thing, Terrestrials shows a balanced fusion of each artist’s sound.

Mayhem – “Psywar”

Norwegian black metal titan Mayhem is back with their first new material since 2007′s Ordo Ad Chao and the departure of longtime guitarist Blasphemer. The band will be releasing its currently untitled fifth LP in May, but they have been kind (or perhaps cruel) enough to give us this new single to tide us over.

“Psywar” is as ferocious as anything Mayhem has done in the past. Despite being quite breezy at three-and-a-half minutes long, you’ll be thankful for the brief droney break about halfway through. Attila’s groaning, wretched voice is expectedly just as impressive during these precious slow-downs as it is when Hellhammer, Necrobutcher, and Teloch are playing at breakneck speeds.

Mayhem also continues dealing with challenging themes in their music. From the title of the song, as well as lines like “The battlefield is your mind;” “Psywar” is evidently about mental turmoil to some extent, although turmoil of the physical variety can’t be ruled out. The imagery of this lyric video, including ouroboros and bullets being used as sarcophagi, seems to convey the perpetuity of violence and the impossibility of achieving external or internal peace.

So, Mayhem’s outlook on life is a bleak as ever, thank goodness. ”Psywar” will be released as a limited edition, stand-alone 7″ EP and will have the B-side “From Beyond Event Horizon”, an unreleased track taken from the band’s 2012 Budapest sessions. This is due out on various colored vinyl editions April 25 via Season of Mist.

Behemoth – The Satanist

Polish metal outfit Behemoth releases one of its best albums in years with the Satanist. It’s powerful, immense, and twisted. Oh, and sorta catchy, too.

Behemoth – “Ora Pro Nubis Lucifer” & “Blow Your Trumpets Gabriel”

The two singles to have dropped from Polish death metal quartet Behemoth’s forthcoming concept album The Satanist sound massive and are kind of awe-inspiring. The first, “Ora Pro Nubis Lucifer,” is a straight-up death metal frenzy, whereas the second, “Blow Your Trumpets Gabriel,” is a slower-paced, multi-phased piece complete with grand choral vocals and a brass-infused outro that is in a way quite moving. Stream them above and below, respectively. Brace yourself for The Satanist, due out February 4 via Metal Blade Records.

An Autumn For Crippled Children – Try Not To Destroy Everything You Love

Autumn For Crippled Children’s fourth album sees the band bringing expanded metal instrumentation into some melodic, shoegaze-savvy territory.

Wildernessking – The Devil Within

Some explosive, atmospheric black metal from the previously mentioned Cape Town rock outfit Wildernessking. The Devil Within is their latest EP, and you can stream it via the widget above. Enjoy!

Drudkh/Winterfylleth – Thousands of Moons Ago/The Gates

Check out this interesting split between two black metal powerhouses – Ukraine’s Drudkh and England’s Winterfylleth. Drudkh spends the A-side paying homage to a few acts in the Eastern European underground (Hefeystos, Unclean, and Sacrilegium), and Winterfylleth actually devotes their half to honoring Drudkh frontmen Roman and Thurios, with a nine-minute-long cover of their song “The Gates,” recorded by their Hate Forest side project. You can stream the project in full above via Drudkh’s Bandcamp.