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!
Dust Moth – Rising // Sailing (post-hardcore, shoegaze)
Seattle’s Dust Moth have a handful of releases under their belt, and apparently, based on my tracking what I listen to kind of obsessively, I listened to their last album once back in 2016. Somehow, it maybe didn’t register with me at all, and the two new singles have me questioning why. They’re excellent!
The pedigree on this band is a little nuts. Just this should have made me pay more attention. Ryan Frederiksen played with These Arms Are Snakes, who formed out of the ashes of Botch, and were one of the most intense and interesting math/core bands of the 2000s.
While he’s no longer in the band, Matt Bayles was originally on keys, and has worked behind the boards with all your favourite bands… Isis, Caspian, Mastodon, Botch, Ken Mode, Pearl Jam, The Fall of Troy, the list goes on.
But the music is excellent! Heavier shoegaze, with a hint of the post-hardcore world that some of the members came from. The love of bands like Hum, Cave In, and Failure shines through, sharing these bands love of heavy riffs, walls of noise, all held together by killer melodies.
Last Week Recap
Album of the Week: Chevelle – Nitatias (alt-metal)
Surprise of the Week: The Red Step – The Red Step (garage rock, post-punk)
Enforced – Kill Grid (crossover thrash)
Enforced were already one of the most exciting new bands on the thrash circuit, and this sophomore effort firmly establishes them at the forefront of the modern thrash scene.
Kill Grid improves in every single way over their already formidable debut, At the Walls (2019). The formula remains Slayer riffs, by way of hardcore grooves. But everything’s just better. The riffs hit harder, the grooves are more infectious and the songs themselves are simply tighter, catchier and more ambitious as well.
Enforced are still a way behind where Power Trip left off, but this is as close as any band has gotten since.
See Slso: Rob Zombie – The Lunar Injection Kool Aid Eclipse Conspiracy (industrial metal, shock rock); Zombie keeps his hot streak going with a heavy, psychedelic record that’s probably his best since 2001’s The Sinister Urge.
Eyehategod – A History of Nomadic Behavior (sludge metal)
For a band I don’t listen to that often, Eyehategod have provided some of my favorite musical memories. I found an OG colored pressing of Confederacy of Ruined Lives at an indie record store in Portland, Maine several years ago, which my friend bought me as a belated Christmas present. He posed with it for an Insta post, only for his ultra-Catholic mom to call him and ask him to ask me to take down that photo so he wouldn’t be seen posing with something to sacrilegious. Good times.
Then, in late 2019, the band headlined a small show with Come to Grief at The Shaskeen in Manchester, New Hampshire. The stage was in a tiny room in the back which remains the smallest space I’ve ever seen a band play. Mike Williams spent most of the set shitting on everyone for standing still, despite the fact it would have been physically impossible for anyone to mosh without spilling many drinks, hitting the soundboard, and/or sending someone toppling over the bar. Good times.
And that’s really what Eyehategod’s music boils down to for me: good times. That might seem weird given the dark, negative imagery that defines their covers and track titles. But when I want some gritty, down-and-dirty, frill-free sludge, there are few bands I can think of who offer a better dose. I expect A History of Nomadic Behavior to continue that tradition.
Last Week’s Best Discovery: Wau Wau Collectif – Yaral Sa Doom (West African Folk)
STORTREGN – Impermanence (blackened melodic tech death)
For whatever reason, this band long flew under my radar. I was surprised to learn they’ve not only been around since 2007, but Impermanence, the new full-length from STORTREGN is actually their sixth full-length. I guess getting picked up by Artisan Era Records has given them that extra reach they’ve needed, but the label is also just a perfect fit for their sound.
The Swiss group play a hybrid of progressive/technical leaning melodic death metal, with touches of black metal. They have plenty of the distinctive melodic-tech death sound their label has grown known for from the likes of Inferi, but with a more majestic European feel. Epic guitar leads and solos that sound forged from a child of Obscura and the Scandinavian melodeath scene sweep in and out, with some of the upbeat energy of a Gorod. The black metal influence comes out most often in sections of blast beats and tremolo riffs, lending back to their melodic black metal roots.
While Impermanence isn’t doing anything groundbreaking for the genre, it’s extremely well-polished all around and sure to appease fans of the rest of the label’s roster, and progressive and technical death metal in general.
Last Week’s Biggest Surprise: Empires of Light – How To Build a Monolith (post-rock, prog post-metal)