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!
Guided By Voices – Styles We Paid For (indie rock, power pop)
You can look at an extensive discography in a couple of ways. On the one hand, picking a starting point among the 30+ albums Guided By Voices have released seems daunting. But after countless times telling myself to finally check them out, I realized there’s no time like the present. Given the punchy lead singles on Styles We Paid For, it looks like I picked a good time to get into one of indie rock’s most prolific bands.
Last Week’s Best Discovery: SUSS – Promise (American primitivism, ambient country)
Khan – Monsoons (prog rock, psych rock)
I’ve been holding off on finalizing my year-end list, waiting for an album like Monsoons to come out! That mid-December surprise that derails all your plans!I had heard their previous album, Vale, when it came out in 2018, and then their 8-bit rendition of it earlier this fall, thinking to myself “oh yeah, I kind of forgot about these guys.” In the world of “FFO Elder,” they clicked a lot of boxes, and did nothing actively wrong, but failed to distinguish themselves as a leader in the genre. Having done away with the vocals, the new single nails the change out of the gate. Moving into more post-rock territory while keeping their progressive stoner/psych sound alive and well, let’s see where else they take us on the other three tracks?
Last Week’s Biggest Surprise: The Glad Husbands – Safe Places (prog rock, mathcore)
Release the Blackness – Tragedy (progressive death metal, groove metal)
Release the Blackness bill themselves as “progressive death metal,” which is accurate as far as their song structures go. However, their textures are pure NWOAHM (get a load of those gang vocals on “Ancestral Inheritance”!). This is an album for fans of Unearth and Lamb of God as much as Carnosus or Rivers of Nihil and the results are absolutely stunning. Easily one of the best and most exciting debut records of 2020.
Yashira – Fail to Be (doom, post-metal)
With their sophomore album Fail to Be, Yashira continue to bleed together the lines of dissonant metalcore with atmospheric sludge metal. It all comes together for a menacingly heavy and in-your-face package. The mathcore influenced riffs and unpredictable yet brief breakdowns are needled into this grandiose Cult of Luna type sludgy post-metal, for a sound that’s oppressive yet uniquely engaging. With guest features from Full of Hell’s Dylan Walker and nods to early Neurosis and the creative vileness of Cult Leader, there’s a lot to latch onto here.
Last Week’s Biggest Surprise: Lespecial – Ancient Homies (prog rock, math rock)