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!

Top Picks

Dawnwalker – Ages (prog metal, post-metal)

Everything about Ages has me stoked, from the Lord of the Rings meets The Wicker Man cover art to excellent lead single “The Wheel.” We’ve been enamored with Dawnwalker’s unique blend of folk, prog, and metal since Human Ruins (2018), and I have every indication that the band will only continue evolving on Ages.

Last Week’s Best Discovery: Craven Faults – Enclosures (progressive electronic, minimal synth)

Scott

Dawnwalker – Ages (prog metal, post-metal)

Sometimes you just need a bit of prog metal on Friday morning! I only discovered these guys earlier this week and they had me excited for their Friday release. Folk-tinged prog and post-metal. I hear some The Ocean in there, mixed with more standard death/black elements.

This isn’t exactly the ballpark that I feel most comfortable talking about, but every year I try to track down a handful of killer death and/or black releases that dip into prog and post enough to grab my attention. I think this will be one of those!

Last Week’s Biggest Surprise: Øresund Space Collective – Four Riders Take Space Mountain (psych rock, jazz fusion)

Remi

Depravity – Grand Malevolence (brutal death metal, tech death)

Depravity‘s debut, Evil Upheaval (2018), was the best Cannibal Corpse album in about a decade and its follow-up is probably the best Nile one in just as long. The Perth act have seriously stepped up both the technicality and brutality for their sophomore release. There’s nothing here the dedicated death metal fan hasn’t heard before, but it’s been a while since they’ve heard it done this well.

Josh Bulleid

Respire – Black Line (blackgaze, screamo)

Despite a surprisingly stacked release day for December, my pick here has to be Respire. With their third full-length Black Line, the Toronto “orchestral blackened post-everything” collective have cemented themselves as one of the important acts right now in blackgaze, post-rock, and screamo. While not pigeon-holing themselves into any of these exclusively, their fusion of catharsis-breeding genres is unlike anything else you’ll hear this year.

Trent Bos

Best of the Rest

The Advent Equation – Remnants of Oblivion (prog metal)

Alpha Male Tea Party – Infinite Stare (prog rock, alt-rock)

Tori Amos – Christmastide (art pop, Christmas music)

Amu Daria – Amu Daria (screamo)

Bantha Rider – Binary Sunset Massacre (stoner-doom)

Becoming the Lion – Unearthly Creature (Reissue) (prog rock, post-rock)

Belted Sweater – I’m Fucking Delightful (synthpunk)

Blackfield – For the Music (prog rock, alt-rock)

Blank Banshee – Gaia (vaporwave, progressive electronic)

Calexico – Seasonal Shift (Americana, alt-country)

Can’t Swim – Someone Who Isn’t Me (emo, alt-rock)

Nick Cave & Nicholas Lens – L.I.T.A.N.I.E.S (art pop, chamber music)

Champagne Colored Cars – Tourism (math rock, Midwest emo)

Com Truise – In Decay, Too (synthpop, chillwave)

Craig Xen – Why (trap, cloud rap)

Cryogeyser – Love is Land (dream pop)

Cryptodira – The Angel of History (dissonant death metal, progressive mathcore)

Deafheaven – 10 Years Gone (blackgaze, post-rock)

Death Cab for Cutie – The Georgia E.P. (indie pop, alt-rock)

Defamed – Aeon (symphonic deathcore)

The Deviant – Rotting Dreams of Carrion (blackened death metal)

Down to Dust – Demonstration (blackened hardcore, post metal)

Ellesmere – Wyrd (symphonic prog)

Ett Dödens Maskineri – Det Svenska Hatet (hardcore, crust punk)

Nils Frahm – Tripping with Nils Frahm (modern classical, ambient)

Frostbitt – Frostbitt (prog metal, djent)

Genus Ordinis Dei – Glare Of Deliverance (symphonic death metal, melodeath)

Geographer – Down and Out In the Garden of Earthly Delights (indie pop)

Godtet – III (jazz fusion, dub)

Goldfinger – Never Look Back (ska punk, pop-punk)

Gone Is Gone – If Everything Happens for a Reason (alt-metal, stoner rock)

Gama Bomb – Sea Savage (thrash, speed metal)

The Glad Husbands – Safe Places (prog rock, mathcore)

The Grand Astoria – From the Great Beyond (prog rock, psych rock)

Grandson – Death of an Optimist (rap metal)

Green Druid – At the Maw of Ruin (stoner doom)

Laura Groves – A Private Road (art pop, dream pop)

Growth – The Smothering Arms of Mercy (dissonant death metal, progressive death metal)

Half Japanese – Crazy Hearts (art punk, indie rock)

HAWK – Tolerance’s Paradox (metalcore)

High Command – Everlasting Torment (crossover thrash, death metal)

Iron Savior – Skycrest (power metal, thrash)

Joan of Arc – Tim Melina Theo Bobby (indie rock, experimental rock)

Khruangbin – LateNightTales (world music)

Lespecial – Ancient Homies (prog rock, math rock)

Magic Dance – Remnants (synthpop)

Mehdi Cee & Reckonize Real – The Antidote Saudade (boom bap, jazz rap)

Mindz Eye – True Blue (hardcore punk)

Misanthropia – Convoy of Sickness (black metal)

Molten Chains – Torment Enshrined (heavy metal, prog metal)

Necromancer – Pattern of Repulse (death thrash)

Persuader – Necromancy (power metal, thrash)

The Pineapple Thief – The Soord Sessions Vol. 4 (alternative prog, acoustic)

Pop Filter – Donkey Gully Road (indie pop)

Poppy – A Very Poppy Christmas (Christmas music, indie pop)

Pothamus – Raya (sludge, post-metal)

Primal Architecture Records – The Waning Daylight (drone, ambient folk)

Profanity – Fragments of Solace (tech death)

Rico Nasty – Nightmare Vacation (trap, bubblegum bass)

Rone – View of a Room (IDM, deep house)

Satorinaut – Exclusive All Inclusive (heavy psych, post-rock)

Sawara – 喪失 (post-rock, spoken word)

Sculptor – Untold Secrets (melodeath, prog metal)

Serpents Oath – Nihil (black metal)

Show Me A Dinosaur – Plantgazer (blackgaze, post-black metal)

Sigur Rós – Odin’s Raven Magic (ambient, modern classical)

Skinshape – Arrogance is the Death of Men (indie rock, psych rock)

Soilwork – A Whisp of the Atlantic (melodeath)

Son Lux – Tomorrows II (art pop, chamber pop)

The Sound That Ends Creation – Merry Christmas, You Filthy Animal (mathcore)

Stone Machine Electric – The Inexplicable Vibrations of Frequencies Within the Cosmic Netherworld (heavy psych, desert rock)

Stranded – Post Meridian (alternative dance, new wave)

SUSS – Promise (Americana, ambient country)

Undergang – Aldrig i livet (death metal)

VRSTY – Cloud City (R&B, metalcore)

Your Old Droog – Dump YOD: Krutoy Edition (east coast hip-hop, boom bap)

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