Metal in April: Kaatayra, Shards of Humanity, Forheksa

It’s a busy time so updates are slow but there were a number of releases in April that I want to talk about. Last month held a lot of surprises worth words and attention that seemingly came out of nowhere. This selection offers genre-defying one-man bands, naturalist black metal and revivalist death thrash. You shouldn’t miss out on any of these albums.

Kaatayra – Só quem viu o relâmpago à sua direita sabe

Kaatayra is a one-man black metal project from Brazil. Só quem… is the band’s third album in two years and an unusual take on black metal that much too rarely makes an appearance. The guitars on this album are entirely acoustic, resulting in a mellow and naturalistic sound reminiscent of Botanist’s more recent output. The sprawling compositions draw from south-american folk music and blend them into the acoustic black metal approach. Só quem viu o relâmpago à sua direita sabe is a gentle and folky approach to black metal that is not a gimmick but an avenue to new ways of expression in the genre.

Shards of Humanity – Cold Logic

Cold Logic is the second album by Memphis-based Shards of Humanity. Inexplicably, this album is receiving much less attention than it deserves despite being a killer death thrash release. With lots of guitar magic and unrelenting blasts, Cold Logic presents melodic and technical thrash. The album’s 33 minute runtime is a gauntlet of material that is both nostalgic and competently goes its own way. Not to forget the spot-on production job that has just the right mix of dirt, punch and clarity. A much needed reminder of what death thrash can do. More of this!

Forheksa – Black Blood of Stars

Forheksa is an experimental metal project released through german Kammer Records. Some may know sole member Fyrnd for his work in Fyrnask and according to the Bandcamp page of Kammer Records, he also participates in Monarkh and ALT LYSET TIL VERDEN. Black Blood of Stars is the project’s debut and a bleak experience that defies classification. While the music might inspire Neurosis comparisons neither post-metal nor atmospheric sludge metal can contain the project’s sound in full.

Forheksa tag their music as apocalyptic rock, atmospheric black metal, ritual noise and dark ambient which is about as close as you can get to defining their sound. From tribal drums and introspective moments to washed out veils of guitars and drums that shroud the haunting vocal performances. Black Blood of Stars unites the spiritual and the astral, nature and space. Though textures are the focus of the music, the album mix could do with a bit more clarity. Regardless, Black Blood of Stars is an expertly crafted debut that you shouldn’t pass up.

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