You know what? I didn't hate it. I told the Durfette as I headed out that I was going running just to quiet the nagging voice in my head suggesting I go for a run, and I wasn't joking. I honestly thought I would get into it, ask myself what I was thinking, grumble about how stupid running is and how dumb I am for doing it, and then head home, satisfied that I wouldn't have to hear my inner voice suggest running for another year. Instead, I found myself actively enjoying myself, getting into a groove of pace and taking joy in just zoning out. I would do it again, even. Really, my only complaint is that we live in a very hilly neighborhood, and some of those hills are steep. Those I didn't enjoy so much. Did I walk up a few of them? Of course I did. But I jogged on the flat ground, and it was great. I ran two miles, and was sweaty and breathing heavy in the cold air, and all I could think about was doing it again. Which was completely unexpected, and not as unwelcome as I thought it would be.
This week brought four new albums, and one returning favorite. Onward!
Humanity's Last Breath - Välde
I'd been seeing this album being celebrated across the internet, so I figured I'd give it a go. Good decision, me! Välde is an impressive slab of spacey, blackened death metal that is only frustrating because the explosion of "cosmic death metal" means I have to use the adjective of "spacey," because I would normally use cosmic, but now that means something different. Blogger problems, man. Humanity's Last Breath is the latest in a never ending series of bands that have put out a whole bunch of albums without ever catching my attention until they put out one that does, and then I feel bad for missing out on so much music and make resolutions to listen to more music and end up writing a weekly post about the more music I'm listening to. Anyway, Välde is very good, and you should listen to it, as it's out now.
Speaking of bands that have been around for awhile that I'm just now stumbling upon, here's Seide, who evidently has been around since 2007. Boy, I'm really bad at this. Auakistla is a swell blend of blackened death thrash that has some very rock-oriented progressions and tendencies, making it a lot more catchy and hummable than I was anticipating. Usually, something that worms its way into my ear like this would be an unnecessary distraction during leg day... and it was, but what's a few missed sets in the grand scheme of things? Auakistla is out now.
Pan-Amerikan Native Front - Little Turtle's War
We need more albums about imperialist whitey's getting fucked up by indigenous people, if only because it's nice to imagine an alternate history where colonialism fails and capitalism doesn't become the dominant malignancy on this planet. As a white man, the knowledge that the world and humanity would almost certainly be better off in this alternate history is enough to make me wish it would have gone down that way, even though it means that I probably wouldn't exist, or at least I would exist in a vastly different state of things. I got way too existentialist during this workout, and my only way out was shaking my head and muttering "Fuckin' Whitey" to my cat as he napped in the corner. Anyway, Little Turtle's War rips, and shame on me for not knowing Pan-Amerikan Native Front before now. The one-man project of Kurator of War, Pan-Amerikan Native Front plays catastrophic black metal that feels simultaneously bombastic and intimate, and while the subject matter is clearly vital to the project, the music speaks for itself in terms of talent and precision. Little Turtle's War is out February 28th.
This. This right here is what I want from my black metal. Cold, unrelenting fury, with juuuuuuust enough atmosphere and melody, and production that doesn't sound like shit. Calvaire checks each and every box I have, and while I sort of stumbled upon this album by accident, I have giddily returned to it multiple times, each time enjoying it more and more. The riffs are killer, the drumming relentless, and song titles like "La Proie du cloître" ("The Prey of the cloister") are insanely metal. This is A++ stuff, and that $30 shipping cost from France may not be enough to dissuade me from picking up the vinyl edition much longer. Sorry Durfette; it had to be done. Calvaire is out now.
Suffering Hour - The Cyclic Reckoning
Yeah, I know, I've done this one already. But I didn't see any promos that really jumped out at me, and The Cyclic Reckoning is just incredible. Album opener "Strongholds of Awakening" is like if Danny Elfman's Men In Black theme was beefed up and intensified to be the score for a new take on Aliens (please no one think we need a new take on Aliens; it's perfect). I'm going to hope that repeats remain pretty rare occurrences here on Durf's Weekly Workout, but as The Cyclic Reckoning is still the best album of 2021, I'm not gonna beat myself up too bad about it. The Cyclic Reckoning is out now; no I will not shut up about it anytime soon.
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