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

Timo Ellis – Death Is Everywhere (stoner pop)

Anyone who has been following Timo EllisNetherlands knows well enough that the only thing you know from another album is that it’ll be fuzzy, it’ll be noisy, and be ready for whatever curve ball he’s going to through this time around! I’ve been a fan since 2016’s Audubon landed just outside my Top 10 for the year and has been an album I’ve revisited often since, although his output has certainly kept me in new music since then.

The couple of singles released for this new solo EP have a bit of an Era Vulgaris QOTSA vibe, which is when the band was finding that middle ground between extremely catchy, radio friendly rock, and pushing the limits on what their sound could be.

I’m not 100% sure, because I can’t play anything to save my life, but I get the impression that it’s mostly bass and drums on this album, with maybe some keys/synths here and there. The tone is nuts. Pop hooks buried under layers of fuzz. Vocal harmonies. His ever-present, and very excellent effects layered yell that punches up a chorus! If the second half of the album is as good as what I’ve heard, this will rival Audubon has his best work!

Last Week’s Biggest Surprise & Best Album: Kaupe – Cognitive Dissonance (instrumental prog metal)

Remi

Five the Hierophant – Through Aureate Void (avant-garde sludge metal, doomjazz)

Who knew one of the heaviest albums of the year so far would have so much saxophone? London-based Five The Hierophant follow-up to 2017’s Over Phlegethon is sounding even more ambitious, dark and genre-defying. While admittedly I’ve only had the pleasure of listening to their 12-minute preview single “Leaf in the Current,” a lot can be surmised of the direction the rest of the 5 tracks will take. Densely heavy and sludgy post-metal riffs and drumming that roll along crushing everything beneath them amidst a drone-like atmosphere are flanked by jazzy, improvisational saxophone that sends you on a psychedelic journey into the void. It’s like the candle-lit inner-circle of a venn diagram of Cult of Luna, Oranssi Pazuzu, and The Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble. Throw in some use of experimental instruments like a musical saw, zither, and a wide range of percussion, and you’ve got the prime makings of a bizarrely compelling doomjazz album.

Last Week’s Biggest Surprise: DECOUPLR – Digital Bonfire (trip-hop, neo-soul)

Trent Bos

Kurushimi – Chaos Remains (avant-garde jazz, grindcore)

Naked City is one of those albums you’ll always remember discovering. My friend played me “The James Bond Theme” without context, leaving me on an island to absorb a bastardized version of the film classic. Somehow, the rest of the track list is even more insane, and it’s become one of my favorite avant-garde albums as a result. So when the FFO for Chaos Remains included Naked City along with Painkiller, another personal Zorn favorite I was instantly sold. Having now heard the whole thing, I’m pleased to report that Kurushimi deliver. The band blends grind, free jazz, and noise (rock) to excellent effect, very much in the tradition Zorn laid out but delivered with a more refined, modern flair.

Last Week’s Best Discovery: Ryan Van Haesendonck – Vauville (ambient, field recordings)

Scott

Violblast – Lazarus Abandoned (thrash metal, death metal)

The follow-up to one of the best thrash albums of 2019 doubles down on the more extreme elements of Violblast’s sound, injecting their already potent death-thrash hybrid with some raw black metal energy and accentuated death metal textures. Don’t worry though, riffs and grooves remain aplenty, rendering Lazarus Abandoned another excellent addition to 2021’s already stellar thrash metal line-up.

Josh Bulleid

Best of the Rest

A Winged Victory for the Sullen – Invisible Cities (ambient, contemporary classical)

Altın Gün – Yol (Anatolian rock, synthpop)

Architects – For Those That Wish to Exist (tech metal, alt-rock)

Baläte – El Quemadero (stoner, sludge)

Julien Baker – Little Oblivions (indie folk, indie rock)

Black Sheep Wall – Songs for the Enamel Queen (atmospheric sludge metal, post-metal)

Black Totem – II: Shapeshifting (blackened punk n roll)

Blanck Mass – In Ferneaux (IDM, progressive electronic)

Cancervo – 1 (heavy psych, stoner rock)

Nick Cave & Warren Ellis – Carnage (post-punk, experimental folk)

Cave of Swimmers – Aurora (prog rock, prog metal)

Cloud Nothings – The Shadow I Remember (indie rock, post-hardcore)

Alice Cooper – Detroit Stories (classic rock, hard rock)

Cortege – Chasing Daylight (ambient doom, post-western)

Dead Mammals – Dead Mammals (noise rock, stoner rock)

Deap Vally – Digital Dream (indie rock, garage rock)

Dreamwell – Modern Grotesque (screamo, melodic hardcore)

Epica – Omega (symphonic prog power)

Evergrey – Escape of the Phoenix (heavy metal, melogroove)

Flaming Wreckage – Cathedral of Blood (melodeath, groove thrash)

Flyying Colours – Fantasy Country (psych rock, shoegaze)

Greenmachine – GREENMACHiNE (sludge, punk)

Hidden Intent – Dead End Destiny (thrash)

Holy Monitor – Southern Lights (psych rock, krautrock)

Karmanjakah – A Book About Itself (progressive metalcore, djent)

Kaschalot – Zenith (prog rock, post-rock)

King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – L.W. (psychedelic rock)

Knoll – Interstice (experimental deathgrind)

KRANE – Topik (post-rock, electronic)

Melvins – Working with God (sludge, grunge)

Menahan Street Band – The Exciting Sounds of Menahan Street Band (instrumental funk, soul)

Moonspell – Hermitage (gothic doom)

Mos Generator – The Lantern (progressive stoner rock)

Mountainscape – Acceptance (post-metal)

Mouse on Mars – AAI (IDM, wonky)

Mt. Mountain – Centre (psych rock)

NoFX – Single Album (punk)

Northlane – 5G The Remix EP (nu-metalcore, remixes)

Of Mice & Men – Timeless (melodic metalcore, alt-rock)

Ominous Ruin – Amidst Voices That Echo In Stone (brutal death metal)

Paranorm – Empyrean (progressive blackened thrash)

Vladimír Pavelka – Spomienky (blackened post-metal, blackgaze)

Plankton Wat – Future Times (improvised psych, folk)

Profond Barathre – Tinnitus (instrumental blackened post-metal)

Pulses – Speak Less (prog post-hardcore, math rock)

The Red Step – The Red Step (garage rock, modern rock)

Roosevelt – POLYDANS (synthpop, nu-disco)

Signals of Bedlam – Liar’s Intuition (alt-rock, prog rock)

SINE NOMINE – Per Historia (emoviolence, mathcore)

Sorizon – Thanatos Rising (progressive heavy metal)

Spelljammer – Abyssal Trip (stoner-doom)

Stam1na’s – Novus Ordo Mundi (tech thrash, prog metal)

Sunnata – Burning in Heaven, Melting on Earth (post-metal, doom)

John Tejada – Year of the Living Dead (tech house, minimal techno)

Timelost – Gushing Interest (shoegaze, post-hardcore)

Mia Doi Todd – Music Life (contemporary folk, singer/songwriter)

Van Giersbergen – The Darkest Skies Are the Brightest (folk pop)

Vandemonian – Xenophilia (post-rock, prog rock)

Void Commander – River Lord (stoner rock)

We Were Giants – Article III (metalcore)

Wenches – Effin’ Gnarly (punk rock, hard rock)

Neil Young & Crazy Horse – Way Down in the Rust Bucket (grunge, hard rock)

Adrian Younge – The American Negro (neo-soul, jazz)

Comments