Editor’s Note: Longtime reader Remi VL is a regular guest contributor to our Release Day Roundup posts! He submitted several of the albums listed below. Join his Facebook group for more recommendations.
Each month, we always seem to come to the same conclusion when it comes to our Editors’ Picks column: Friday release days open the floodgates and unleash a seemingly endless stream of quality new music. But while some of our Editors and Contributors sit down gleefully each week to dive into this newly stocked treasure trove, others find themselves drawing a blank at the end of the month due to the breakneck pace needed to keep up to date with what’s been released. Which brings us to this Heavy Blog PSA: a weekly roundup of new albums which pares down the week’s releases to only our highest recommendations. Here you’ll find full album/single streams, pre-order links and, most importantly, a collection of albums that could very well earn a spot on your year-end list. Enjoy!
Eternal Champion – Ravening Iron (heavy metal)
Turbo-charged heavy metal from members of Summerlands,Power Trip, and Iron Age. Does what it says in the tin and does it damn well. (Thanks to Nate for pointing this one out!)
Light Field Reverie – Another World (prog metal, gothic doom)
From the bones of gothic-death-doom group Draconian and atmospheric black metal project Sojourner, beams the debut full-length from Light Field Reverie. Molding their respective bands sounds into a more progressive post-metal shape, Another World is equally powerful and refreshing.
Onségen Ensemble – Fear (prog rock, psych rock)
Finland’s Onségen Ensemble put out Duel in 2018, which I felt had the band on the cusp of something amazing. Heavy psych, space rock, jazz, world music all blended together excellently, but the album would sometimes meander and lose focus. I feel like Fear is going to push them over to the completely amazing. The few singles I’ve heard, “Non-Returner” and “Stellar,” hint at a larger than ever sound, with their myriad of influences coming together in a more focused way. Where Duel sometimes felt like they built their songs around their influences, these give me the impression that they’ve let themselves be guided by them, with the end product being something that is completely their own!
Last week’s biggest surprise: The Bluechips – Say Goodbye
The Suitcase Junket – The End Is New (electric blues, indie folk)
I became an instant fan of The Suitcase Junket from the moment I saw Matt Lorenz open for Lake Street Dive a few years ago. His one-man band approach to gritty, Dylan-esque electric blues is refreshing yet familiar, like your quirky friend who always carried a guitar with him in high school. After seeing him in a New Hampshire field for a (masked, socially distant) concert this fall, I’m even more eager to hear what his new material will have to offer.
Best of the Rest
Æolian – The Negationist (melodeath, melodic black metal)
Alpha Hopper – Alpha Hex Index (hardcore punk, noise rock)
Alustrium – Insurmountable (melodeath, progressive death metal)
Avandra – Skylighting (prog metal, prog rock)
Badge Époque Ensemble – Self Help (jazz-funk, spiritual jazz)