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!
The Hyena Kill – A Disconnect (alt-metal, noise rock)
While it hasn’t necessarily taken off in North America, alternative metal has seen a refreshing resurgence in the UK of late. It’s a scene that’s had crossover with both prog metal and math rock in fanbases and gig lineups. A number of bands have given it the loud and charismatic energy that it’s needed, born out of sweaty local pub shows and probably a lot of alcohol. One of those is Manchester’s The Hyena Kill. Returning with their second full-length A Disconnect, they bring a noisy hybrid of some of the casual bravado of a Silverchair, mixed with the artistic aggression of Phoxjaw. Add in the passionate, often Chino-like vocal delivery and you’ve got a potential standout of modern alternative heavy music. Of course check out the new Chevelle dropping today as well for their distinct and often memorable spin on the genre.
Last Week’s Best Surprise: Knoll – Interstice (deathgrind, grindcore)
Nightfall – At Night We Prey (melodeath, thrash)
Apparently this is the tenth album by a band who have been around since the early ’90s, although I’d never heard of them before. They may as well be a brand new band though, not only because this is their first release in eight years, but also because the blistering melodic death metal contained on this album is a world away from the symphonic goth-doom of their early records and whatever 1997’s Lesbian Show was. Nightfall may have kept their goth metal aesthetic in tact, but there’s a punishing, thrash metal basis to At Night We Prey that helps them and their genre sound reinvigorated. Imagine, if you will, a mix of Amon Amarth, Septic Flesh or Dark Tranquility by way of Darkane. Excited yet? It’s the dawn of a new era for the band and they could have hardly put a stronger foot forward.
See Also: Sol Draconi Septem – Hyperion (progressive black metal, Hyperion-core); Epic, folk-tinged, atmospheric black metal with some sexy sax and lyrics based on the Hyperion Cantos thrown in for good measure.
Trigger Cut – ROGO (noise rock, post-punk)
Germany’s Trigger Cut surprised me with their 2019 debut Buster. I won’t lie and admit that I was expecting to hear the punked up metal of Montreal’s Trigger Effect when I first checked them out, but I was pleasantly surprised with the post-punk/noise-metal that I heard instead. In the Venn diagram of influences, some of them might even be similar!
The power trio delivers vocals in a David Yow-esque pained-spoken-word yell style, while the music is a more dissonant Shellac-esque math-rock/post-punk, although offering a more wall of noise feel than the classic Albini-led trio’s nearly minimalist approach. The fourth track, “Oxcart,” even pays tribute to Shellac’s “In A Minute.”
The album has been out for a few days, so I’ve been able to get a couple of spins in, and I haven’t been disappointed yet! UK-Style noisey post-punk is making a strong resurgence of late, but these German guys are paying tribute to the ’90s Chicago sound that bands like METZ and Pissed Jeans had been helping keep alive! Speaking of which… methinks Pissed Jeans are due for another one?!