Andorra is a small European country bordered by Spain and France and well-known to the world as a popular vacation destination. It’s also the birthplace of the monstrously talented NAMI. This relatively young Progressive Metal quintet (mostly unknown to North American audiences) is the creator of one of last year’s most powerful debut albums, Fragile Alignments.

Recently, Napalm Death’s long-time singer Barney Greenway stated that when he joined the band in 1989, he was expecting to get some good years out of the whole experience, but nothing more. Twenty three years have passed since he joined (30 since the band’s creation) and here we are: these heavyweight champions of British Grindcore/Death Metal are still together – Barney included – and producing music as vital and vibrant as three decades ago. Their newest full length, Utilitarian, only confirms that time keeps bringing interesting new flavors to the sound of this hard working band that refuses to just rest under the shadow of its past achievements.

Montreal’s The Great Sabatini is without a doubt, one of the most interesting bands emerging from the Canadian underground. Theirs is a familiar yet distinctive sound that mixes the intoxicating eeriness of Neurosis and Today Is The Day with many other extreme and not-so extreme genres. With several North American tours and three previous releases under their belt, the band’s new recording, Matterhorn, is a six song journey that brings to the table different levels of moods without ever losing sight of the raw aggressiveness that characterizes them.

Florida’s most beloved Metal sons are back with a commanding new album that surely will help this quintet to retain the title of undisputed Kings of American Death Metal. Aptly titled Torture, Cannibal Corpse’s new recording comprises all the classic elements of the band’s musical formula, elevating them to new levels of complexity. Once again produced by the talented Erik Rutan (of the Hate Eternal fame), Torture showcases a very organic and crystal-clear sound that intensifies the band’s natural sonic viciousness.

Through the years, Sigh’s music, although rooted in Black Metal, has gone beyond categorizations. The latest album from these Japanese provocateurs, titled In Somniphobia, is the perfect example of this: a twisted mix of Extreme Metal, Psychedelia, Progressive Rock, Avant-garde music, Electronica, Jazz, Blues and much more. It’s a recording that truly pushes the limits of these genres in unashamed fashion.

From the very beginning of The Day Of The Beast’s new album, it becomes very evident that these Virginians have advanced several steps further, both musically and production-wise, since their 2008 self-titled debut. Accurately titled Relentless Demonic Intrusion, the album is precisely that: a vicious slab of Metal madness with decent production values that mixes raw and honest aggression with Lovecraftian lyrics and other occult subjects.