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!
Devil Sold His Soul – Loss (post-hardcore, post-metal)
My favourite atmospheric post-hardcore gang return with their first full-length since the wonderful Empire of Light way back in 2012, and with Loss, their first release with Nuclear Blast, it sounds like they’re picking up right where they left off. Well, almost. Not long after that album dropped, the original vocalist Ed Gibbs departed the band and they picked up Paul Green as his replacement. However, back in 2018 Ed rejoined the band and they now operate with two vocalists, both employing a mix of clean and semi-harsh vocals. The two vocalist setup is far from unusual for post-hardcore, but having two clean singers is a fairly unique dynamic which is one of the shining, stand out aspects of Loss. Their slightly different tones and vocal ranges creates an interesting contrast, and both compliment the cathartic, post-rock leaning emotional hardcore the band has always been known for.
With the evolution of their sound, further metal elements such as hints of the blackgaze-hardcore fusion of a Svalbard can be found, as well as some modern metalcore breakdowns akin to an Architects or Northlane. It also has some of their darkest and heaviest moments since their debut EP and full-length which some long-time fans should appreciate. As always with these Brits, it’s a big sound, with big feels.
Last Week’s Best Surprise: Moral Collapse – Moral Collapse (tech death, avant-garde metal)
Hot Breath – Rubbery Lips (garage rock, rock n roll)
Nicke Andersson & The Hellacopters weren’t the first band to smash together high-octane rock n roll, punk rock, and garage rock together, but they came up with a sound that was both proud to show off their influences a bit while at the same time creating a sound that was unmistakably theirs and would be intimidated over and over for the next 25 years!
Hot Breath, like many before them, obviously spent a lot of timing spinning some Hellacopters records and are not shy about it. From the second “Right Time” starts, the riffs don’t stop for the next 30+ minutes! I’ve had the pleasure of sitting of this album for a bit, and to date, it’s the “party rock” album of the year!
Runner-Up: Heavy Feather – Mountain of Sugar (’70s hard rock throwback)
Last Week’s Best Surprise: Mile Marker Zero – Live & Confined (modern rock, progressive rock)
The Lion’s Daughter – Skin Show (spooky post-metal, blackened sludge)
Have these guys always been this post-metally? Maybe it’s just that their previous record, Future Cult (2018), which was my introduction to the band, was a much more experimental (and, I’ll admit, better) album, but Skin Show sounds a lot more ominous and brooding than I remember this band being.
The Lion’s Daughter have always had a horror aesthetic about them (they have an album called Existence is Horror (2016) after all), but Skin Show, with its pervasive John Carpenter-esque synth sections, is a considerably darker sounding record than Future Cult, as reflected in its monochromatic cover art. Speaking of the cover art: Werewolf Hospital! What’s not to love?
See Also: Taylor Swift – Fearless: Taylor’s Version; It’s a love story, baby just say yes!
Last Week’s Most Unforgivably Overlooked Record: Moral Collapse – Moral Collapse; Phenomenal progressive death metal in the vein of mid-period Decapitated, with a menacing Nile-esque undertone and Hannes Grossmann behind the kit. How the hell did we miss this?!?!