As you probably know, Canada recently held federal elections, the result of which thankfully was the kicking out of office of the conservative party – good riddance Mr Harper, you won’t be missed! To celebrate that occasion, here’s some of the best extreme stuff the country has to offer. It should be noted that despite the fact that Meance Ruine is our favourite bar none among the currently active Canadian bands and Blasphemy arguably the most iconic name from the underground acts, they are (we assume) fairly well known to most of our readers and we therefore opted to write about something else.

Preterite

Few bands will ever be able to claim a first year as impressive as Menace Ruine, with three fucking strong records that hold as well today as they did then. The blackened drones first displayed have since given way to a more minimal and ethereal sound in the latest records on which the singing brilliance of Geneviève Beaulieu has a lot more room to shine and, specially in the latest “Venus Armata”, display just how much she’s grown as a singer since “The Die Is Cast”. However, this growth had been on full display before in Geneviève‘s other project Preterite, whose second record “From The Wells” stands as one of 2013’s finest moments within any genre. One of the first few times I was listening to the record was during train ride in The Netherlands where as usual I had a book with me – either Terry Pratchett or Charles Bukowski, can’t really recall though. Regardless, as I opened it up to resume my reading I became entranced by the sheer beauty coming through my headphones and ended up staring at the flat as hell countryside that lay behind the window. Unbeknownst to me, the book stood open in my hand for the whole trip and goosebumps ensued then as they do now. You know that feeling you have of witnessing someone pouring themselves wholeheartedly into their music, with neither act nor theatrics to shelter and shield their soul? That, in a nutshell, is Preterite. With James Hamilton providing a minimal backdrop of piano, acoustic guitar and the occasional string, Beaulieu‘s singing brings with it an emotional onslaught very few manage to convey – as is often the case with brilliant records, comparing its media projection with that of drastically inferior offerings reveals just how criminally underrated it is, a fact that is as annoying as unsurprising.

Revenge

Ever wondered how much bile and sheer brutality can be put to sound? Revenge, now that’s a perfectly reasonable answer to that sort of inquiry. The spiritual successors of the mighty and equally Canadian Blasphemy and Conqueror have been polluting the airwaves with their putrid and incredibly violent black death for fifteen years now. In a week from now, a new outlet of hate will show itself to the world in the form of “Behold.Total.Rejection”, their first full length since 2012’s “Scum.Collapse.Eradication”. One song from the record has already seen the light of day, “Wolf Slave Protocol (Choose Your Side)”, four minutes of classic Revenge sound which can be streamed above. This, however, will not be their first release of the year. Last April Nuclear War Now! released “Holocaustic Death March To Humanity’s End”, a split with Black Witchery celebrating the fifteenth aniversary of “Hellstorm of Evil Vengeance”, which in 1999 saw the unholy union of Black Witchery and Conqueror. In this celebration, Revenge give us the original “Humanity Noosed” and a cover of Bathory‘s “Equimanthorn” which you can check here.

Akitsa

From the English speaking Alberta from where Revenge are, we now go to the French speaking Montreal, Quebec to give credit to one of the best black punk bands to currently exist, Akitsa. The duo of O.T. and Néant have been crafting their very own take on the genre ever since 1999 with a myriad of releases, a lot of which can be listened to in the band’s bandcamp page. This year they released “Grands Tyrans” (the one embedded above), which we’ve reviewed not too long ago. With sequences like the one comprising of “Le Feu De L’Abîme” and “Naufrage Contemporain”, it’s going to be absolutely no surprise when it graces many a list of the top 2015 records.

Wold

There’s black metal meeting noise and then there’s Wold. The duo now residing in the US has one of the most abrasive takes on both genres that we have knowledge of existing and a perhaps surprising amount of exposure to the world thanks to being signed to Profound Lore Records. From their 2004 demo “Badb” (since re-released by the way more appropriate Crucial Blast) to last year’s lo-fi feast called “Postsocial”, no signs of compromise or toning down the overall harshness have been found. It’s a noisy world that these two have built, one that takes its time to be discovered and its endurance to be survived. Above and for your listening displeasure, we’ve embedded that which still is our favourite from them until this day, 2007’s “Screech Owl”, whose artwork is also worth mentioning simply for being pretty fucking cool.

Iskra

Beautiful folk, black death, black noise and black punk in a text that started with politics. Seems about right to include something with political content, wouldn’t you say? Enter left-wing bringers of  blackened crust Iskra, who claim to have coined the term back in the 90’s, although they now describe themselves as “anarchist metal”. Regardless of how you call their crust-meets-black-metal music, their ideals are quite clearly reflected on the lyrics, which you can check out on their bandcamp page. Given the fact they are putting their anti-capitalistic music out there into a capitalist world, the way they do so is worth noting: everything is up for free download on their website together with a donate button that you can do whatever you want with. Embedded above lies their awesome last offering, “Ruins”, dating from the first day of 2015. Talk about starting the year with a bang.

Sortilegia

Based in Toronto, Ontario, Sortilegia is a recently formed two piece of Russian and Canadian origins. After two average demos, they released their debut LP last year, “Arcane Death Ritual” (embedded above), where the duo displayed a pretty impressive knack for expansive lo-fi black metal – that their drummer is the current live drummer of Norwegian heavyweights of atmospheric black metal Vemod should tell you all you need to know about how good they are. More recently, they released an EP entitled “Ecstasies Of The Sabbath” through Terratur Possessions that’s definitely worth checking out. Since we’re signing out until next week, we’ll just leave you with the title track of the aforementioned EP: