Welcome to the latest batch of Metal Morsels – it doesn’t seem that long since we were wrapping up episode thirteen but a stack of great material has been presented to me since then so here we are again! Now please, get stuck in!

Kólga morsels
We get a lot – make that A LOT – of new material sent to us here at Sentinel Daily, and a large proportion of that new material starts to sound a little bit samey after five or six hours at the listening coalface, sifting the gravel for musical nuggets to bring you. You need something as a band that’s going to make you stand out from the crowd – so labelling yourself a ‘Blackened surf rock/nautical horror collective’ is a sure fire way to cut through the static and grab ol’ Mick’s attention! A genius masterstroke in fact!

Luckily, Kólga’s music has enough about it to follow through on the promise of the PR, and they’ve delivered a truly arresting set of choons on new record Black Tides. Second track Squall of Cthulu, which sounds like a wingding mashup of Link Wray, The B-52’s and Venom could just about be the most original thing I’ve heard all year, but the best part of the deal is that the music goes far beyond the gimmick inherent in ‘the concept’; This is genuinely exciting stuff!

Best track Tethis is a nice slab of progressive head music replete with tightly interlocked rhythms and tasteful soloing, but there’s nothing here that could even remotely be described as a weak link and every track has something to offer – this is well worth some investigation, believe me!

Mutilation Barbecue Morsels
Well, after that diversion into left field I think we need to restore the natural order of things with some filthy death metal, and there’s been none filthier on the Stronge death deck this week than Cleveland’s monumentally good Mutilation Barbecue! These blokes have a new album out, Amalgamation of Gore, at the end of the month and blow me if it isn’t some of the most face melting, seismic shifting mayhem I’ve heard in aeons.

Aided by a dry, uber-brutal production and superior performances by all involved, tracks like Hive Mind Homicide are going to put a massive smile on your dial if you’ve ever thought improper things whilst listening to Cannibal Corpse. If you enjoy having your hair singed by what I like to term ‘blast furnace vocalisation’ then MB’s Chris Fredrick would appear to be your man as he delivers a truly awe-inspiring collection of roars, belches and howls for your delectation. It’s easy to slip into hyperbole when talking about music like this, but seriously if Trampled Under 18 Wheels doesn’t goad you into at least some expletive-laden approbation I’d be very surprised – and disappointed, frankly – indeed!

Saturday Night Satan Morsels

Something a bit more restrained now, in the shape of the slinky gothic rock stylings of Saturday Night Satan! Multi instrumentalist Jim Kotsis is joined by vocalist Kate Soulthorn on a set of grooving occult rockers entitled All Things Black that might set your extremities twitching if a more metal version of Jess And The Ancient Ones is something you think you might be in the market for.

Kotsis is also in Greek trad metallers Black Soul Horde, who were reviewed in these very pages by our own Ferry Templeton a few years back, and there’s a definite metallic bounce to the likes of Rule of Fire, which bolsters Soulthorn’s siren song with a nice amount of foot-tapping ballast.

It’s not all headbanging fodder, however; Devil In Disguise has a psych-pop edge that’s hard to resist, pushed forward by propulsive drums and neat guitar harmonies whilst the title track adds a little of Ghost‘s whimsy to the pot. Some of the ideas don’t quite sound fully realised, and at times there is still an air of ‘work in progress’ about some of the tracks here, but overall there’s enough of the good stuff on display – especially from Soulthorn, who oozes quality throughout – to make SNS a name worth keeping an eye on moving forward!

Staying in Europe we head to France, and black metallers Belore. I’ve been really impressed by the sheer amount of high quality BM emerging from France in the last couple of years, and Belore is no exception.

Erring on the folk side of the equation – so much so, in fact that you might find yourself thinking you’ve put a Corrs album on by mistake when Sons of The Sun kicks in – the band (actually just multi instrumentalist/lyricist Aleevok with percussive assistance from Nydvind‘s Charlie Videau) still manage to whip up an epic, heroic feel on their upcoming new album Eastern Tales.

Storm Of An Ancient Age and The Hermit Awakens form the impressive core of the album, both weighing in at over nine minutes in length and both containing more than enough in the way of twists and turns to keep the listener fully occupied. Aleevok proves himself to be a talented player and songsmith throughout, employing melody mercilessly, even in the music’s heaviest moments. The mid section of Storm… is particularly impressive, and is sure to appeal to fans of anyone from Manowar to Bathory with just the right mix of medieval whimsy, folk tweeness and heavy metal bombast.

Closing track The Rise of A Sovereign is a riot of stately melodies, double kick drums and soulful guitar playing, making this one of the best black metal albums I’ve had the good fortune to come across so far in 2024. Bravo, mes amis!

That’s it for this edition – I’ve still got a load of stuff to share with you so Episode Fifteen will be with you all very soon – until then, stay safe and keep banging those heads!