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!
Dvne – Etemen Ænka (prog metal, post-metal)
Whelp, I was going to not pick the obvious and write about another album that wasn’t nearly guaranteed to be on everyone’s radar this week, but once I was done my write up, I got the link info to setup my post… and noticed the albums had been pushed back.
So, fuck it, it’s Dvne. It was always going to be Dvne!
Their 2017 release, Asheran, was an explosion of progressive and technical metal that I couldn’t share with enough people. It nearly cracked my top 5 albums, and were I to revisit that list today, I have no doubt it would climb a few spots. For me, they check off a lot of the similar boxes that The Ocean does. The album was sprawling and adventurous, and music complex without being masturbatory, the dynamics between clean singing and growls nailing perfectly that fine balance that heavy music can have with harmonies and melodies.
I’ll be honest, I was a bit worried when I heard their Omega Severer EP last year. I quite liked it, but it inched a little further on the heavy side and didn’t quite nail what I liked about Asheran.
Based on the two singles from Etemen Ænka, I’m less worried. “Towers” especially had everything I hoped from this band. They’re stretching their legs, trying new things. The middle section of the song is near perfect.
I can’t wait for this album! I have trouble putting what I love about these guys into words, but this has been near the top of my most anticipated albums since it was first announced nearly 2 years ago.
Album of the Week & Surprise of the Week: White Void – Anti (heavy metal, proggy ’80s rock)
Dvne – Etemen Ænka
I have heard Etemen Ænka, and can confirm its absolute brilliance. Unlike Remi, Asheran never really grabbed me, but I’ve been hooked on this record since the moment I heard it. Its quite differint in style to Dvne’s previous releases, trading in a lot of the crunchier stoner vibes for more of a post aesthetic. What you’re left with sounds a lot like a mix of Mastodon and a mellower Cult of Luna, with a bit of The Ocean mixed in for good measure. If that doesn’t sound appealing, then you’re probably reading the wrong website. Etemen Ænka is guarenteed to be one of the standout releases of 2021; nothing else released this week even comes close.
ERRA – ERRA (progressive metalcore)
Definitely could have picked Dvne here, but I’ll throw this week’s shout out to ERRA. This band dropped two of my favourite albums in the progressive metalcore genre in the early ’10s so I’ll always have a soft spot for them and don’t feel they get quite enough respect.
While their previous two releases were… Fine, and certainly above average for this subgenre, they just felt like they were missing a bit of a spark that made the first two so infectious. While Jesse Cash’s vocals continue to improve seemingly every album, the songs themselves felt a little bit less ambitious. The contrast between Jesse and new harsh JT Cavey has taken a bit to blossom and with ERRA, it seems we’re really getting the strongest dynamic from them to date, with JT expanding his range even further. More heaviness and energy has been invigorated into their sound, with some deathcore influence and a rare track with no clean vocals.
Still present is their enthusiastic and thoughtful guitar melodies, along with complex enough to be both fun and interesting djent riffs. They’re not revolutionizing their sound, but the more varied tempos and ideas have me hoping for more staying power and a rebound for them.