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

Altarage – Succumb (death metal, black metal)

Altarage return with another dose of their meaty, suffocating, dissonant death metal. While some artists like Ulcerate have given it a more approachable, melodic spin, this is not the case here. Succumb is wall-of-sound levels of dense and noisy, with the drum and guitar onslaught reaching new levels of relentlessness. This is definitely a sort of album I need to be in the mood for, but when I’m craving an ominous roar from the center of the earth level heavy with a bit of a black metal touch akin to Portal, this most certainly will become a go to. That being said, it’s not pure cacophony. There’s still moments where everything come together and slows down for some old-fashioned head-banging heaviness.

The distorted vocals are used fairly sparingly, but they reverberate in the mix perfectly and add to the generally horrifying ambience. Structurally, it shifts between atmospheric layers of atonal riffs and unpredictable rhythms and pulverizing blast beats with a bit of a sense of not knowing where one track ends and the other begins. Yet ultimately it’s the better for it as this is certainly an album meant for a start to finish listen; probably with the lights off, or in a cave.

Last Week’s Best Surprise: Crown – The End of All Things (darkwave, post-metal)

Trent Bos

Crypts of Despair – All Light Swallowed (weird blackened death-doom)

What’s your favourite type of death metal? If you answered “All of them!” then Crypts of Despair are the Band for You!

The Lithuanian outfit perfectly blend elements of at-times thrashy, at-times pulverising blackened death metal, weird dissonant death metal, crushing death doom, sludgy atmosphere and tight technicality—consistently in the space of a single song. We’ve had this promo for a few months now and it’s been in my regular rotation since then. With each and every listen I’m absolutely flawed by how well-constructed and absolutely crushing each and every one of All Light Swallowed’s nine tracks are, firmly cementing it as one of the stand-out underground, extreme metal releases of 2021.

Josh Bulleid

Howling Giant – Alteration (progressive stoner, heavy psych)

Two years ago, Howling Giant pushed the limits of what “their sound” could be with their amazing full length, The Space Between Worlds. They then came back last year with Masamune, their half of the split with Sergeant Thunderhoof, a 20-minute progressive stoner/psych masterpiece!

Alteration, their newest EP, is an all-instrumental continuation of progressive stoner/psych grooves they set out on the split.

The band hosted weekly twitch streams, and between D&D sessions, drum workouts, and cooking segments, they would also stream some of their band practices and have fans chime in on what worked and what didn’t. This EP is a lot of that stuff come to life! While the band continues to work on their next album, this is a taste of their jammier side to tide us all over!

Last Week’s Album(s) of the Week: Two-way tie between my pick from last week (Motorpsycho) and the new The Armed! Both Top 5 contenders for the year at this pace!

Remi

Victory Over the Sun – Nowherer (microtonal black metal)

If you missed our premiere and interview, Victory Over the Sun are back with another excellent display of avant-garde black metal. This time around, Vivian Tylinska embraces microtonality and genre bending to exceptional effect, providing all the dissonance you might expect with plenty of stylistic surprises along the way.

Last Week’s Best Discovery: Kauan – Ice Fleet (progressive post-metal)

Scott

Best of the Rest

Aerosol Jesus – Survive (post-metal, noise rock)

Akiavel – Vae Victis (death metal, melodeath)

Alfa Mist – Bring Backs (jazz fusion, nu-jazz)

Antikaroshi – Extract. Transform. Debase. (post-punk, post-rock)

Archemoron – Flagellum II (black metal, meloback)

Ashen Earth – Oceans Above (death metal, melodeath)

Atlas of Elysian – Through the Threads of Reality (melodic hardcore, spoken word)

Benthos – II (prog metal)

BIG|BRAVE – Vital (drone metal, post-metal)

Black Locvst – Forest (progressive blackened death metal)

Blood Lemon – Blood Lemon (riot grrrl, punk rock)

Body Void – Bury Me Beneath This Rotting Earth (doom, sludge)

Bone Cutter – Bone Cutter (mathcore, metalcore)

Bongzilla – Weedsconsin (stoner metal, sludge)

Людоед – Гибель современного мира (blackened hardcore, black metal)

Capra – In Transmission (hardcore, metalcore)

Cicada the Burrower – Corpseflower (progressive black metal)

Ciccada – Harvest (progressive folk, symphonic prog)

Dead World Reclamation – Aura of Iniquity (tech death, blackened deathcore)

Death Chamber – Experiments in Warfare (death metal)

Desolate Realm – Desolate Realm (doom metal)

Dinosaur Jr. – Sweep It Into Space (alt-rock, indie rock)

Field Music – Flat White Moon (art pop, progressive pop)

Filthy Hippies – Departures (shoegaze, psych-rock)

The Flaming Sideburns – Silver Flames (hard rock, garage rock)

Fog Lake – Tragedy Reel (lo-fi folk, slowcore)

From Sorrow to Serenity – Trifecta (progressive metalcore)

Frozen Crown – Winterbane (power metal)

Gexerott – Hallucinetic Violet Ignition (black metal)

Gimmik – Cloudwalker (ambient electronic, IDM)

Hideous Divinity – LV-426 (epic death metal)

Ice Howl – Ehran’s Quest (stoner metal, heavy metal)

January – Hometown (math rock, nu-prog)

Kero Kero Bonito – Civilisation II (indie pop, synthpop)

Ki Oni – Stay Indoors and Swim (ambient techno, new age)

King Azaz – Forever Green (post-punk, grunge)

Kooley High – Lazy Sunday (southern hip-hop)

Danny Scott Lane – CAPUT (IDM, ambient techno)

Left to Suffer – On Death (deathcore, metalcore)

Left to the Wolves – Inherent Regression (deathcore, death metal)

Mad Daddy – Mad Daddy (punk rock, blues rock)

Malformity – Monumental Ruin (death metal)

The Marigold – Apostate (post-metal, sludge)

Mephobia – Reign of the Degenerates (death metal)

Mitch Murder – Then Again (city pop, synthwave)

Monasteries – Silence (progressive deathcore)

Monobody – Comma (math rock, prog fusion)

Morrigu – In Turbulence (depressive melodeath)

My Burden To Bury – Paradigm City (ambient djent, prog metal)

Neptunian Maximalism – Solar Drone Ceremony (drone metal, avant-garde metal)

Nordgeist – Frostwinter (atmospheric black metal)

Obsolete – Animate/Isolate (weird tech death)

Outline In Color – Imposter Syndrome, Pt. 2 (post-hardcore)

Paysage d’Hiver – Geister (atmospheric black metal, raw black metal)

Plague of the Fallen – Bleeding and Vehement (death metal)

Porter Robinson – Nurture (synthpop, electropop)

Rudimentary Peni – Great War (anarcho-punk, deathrock)

Serpent Sermon – The Saurian Hymns (blackened death metal, symphonic metal)

Silent – Modern Hate (punk, goth rock)

Spectral Lore – Ετερόφωτος (progressive black metal, atmospheric black metal)

Maxwell Sterling – Turn of Phrase (progressive electronic)

Alan Vega – Mutator (synth punk, proto-punk)

Void Vator – Great Fear Rising (heavy metal)

When Waves Collide – Chasm (post-rock, post-hardcore)

Yellow Ostrich – Soft (indie rock, slacker rock)

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