A vinyl-only reissue of German progressive death/extreme metallersALKALOID’s 2015 debut album, The Malkuth Grimoire , is certainly worth checking out for those who missed it first time around. The original release was the result of a crowdfunder and the money was clearly put to good use judging by the quality of the production: the sound matches the hugely inventive and imaginative songwriting, which belies the ambitions of the musicians involved, these hailing from the ranks of such reputable acts as Obscura, Necrophagist and Dark Fortress. A technical, ever-shifting and surprisingly accessible opus. From one extreme to the other: SATANIC WARMASTER’s We Are The Worms That Crawl On The Broken Wings Of An Angel  is another compelling collection of songs, but for different reasons. Collected from the band’s many non-album releases, this compilation demonstrates the band’s energetic and lo-fi punky/rock’n’rollish black metal, with obvious nods to countrymen Horna and France’s Black Legions collective. NOCTURNAL GRAVES’ Satan’s Cross , originally released a decade ago, is a more cohesive release, its songs demonstrating a particularly single-minded and old-school approach to thrash death metal. But that’s its strength as well as its weakness, because it’s hardly the most imaginative release in the field, the assault not quite rabid enough to bring magic to the somewhat generic riffing. The results are enjoyable but far from mandatory. Much can be said of BATUSHKA’s debut Litourgiya  – the record that launched this mysterious Polish outfit a mere two years ago and helped them become one of the most popular groups in the contemporary BM scene. Is the hype justified? Not quite, but nor is the backlash, and the core songwriting here – though hardly revolutionary – is strong enough that the additions of the orthodox-styled chanting charm, rather than feeling like a gimmick.