Right from the start Massenhinrichtung wage a shrieking d-beat/crust textured black metal that comes at you drunk and swinging to that crusty mosh pit rhythm and guitar tone, and then suddenly swerves into majestic black metal with a nice searing lead toward the end of “The Dark Age Prophet”.

Massenhinrichtung are also masters of the “start-stop-start-stop” rhythm break in the riffs that gives the song an extra pump and roller coaster feel that keeps the anticipation high, but they also have a way of starting out aggressive and then, without slowing momentum, they drift over into a more atmospheric and melodic focus with solid technicality and timing.

Raven Throne (not to be confused with the defunct Canadian Raventhrone) are an obscure black metal find from Belarus that really took me by surprise. At times they are extremely surrene and atmospheric, other times they are a full-on sonic buzzing fallout, then they have moments of melodic black metal with a traditional tint that just works. Songs like “…and the Raven Shade Leads Me” really bring in a feel of Wolves in the Throne Room circa Two Hunters cyclone of speed picking distorted melodies with some majestic spots but never symphonic although the impression the song gives is that of a thick sludgy fog embracing one in total isolation in the twilight. “Nine Days Winter” is a great classic stomping black metal anthem that reminds me a bit of Dissection, especially in the rhythms and the slight death metal and thrash leanings, there’s an unpredictability and fluidity about this song that makes it stand out in an instant.

Regardless of which of the four songs on here I choose, they all are extremely well thought out and composed and they pull from different metal styles like the classic bands did. Raven Throne hit you viciously with a sledgehammer, hypnotize you with melodic breaks and steady pulses of percussion and riffs, and just have something REAL to them that deserves recognition.