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!
Demons – Privation (noise rock, hardcore)
Norfolk VA’s Demons came out of nowhere for me with their powerful debut full-length, Embrace Wolf, back in 2017. After a handful of singles, their back with Privation! A side/new project fom Mae’s Zach Gehring, Demons is a far cry from the indie pop/emo delivered by his other project.
Walking that line between the North American noise rock sound of bands like Metz and Shellac, while sprinkling in some modern UK post-punk, the whole is an aggressive, angry, and sometimes ugly reflection of the world we live in.
Privation seems to have upped the punk/hardcore side of things too. “Ravage” is a blast of hardcore energy, while “Play Acting Virtue” comes across a little like Converge in the instrumentation. This should be a killer release, based on the three singles I’ve heard till now!
Last Week’s Album of the Week: King Azaz – Forever Green (post-punk, grunge)
Osiris – Meanders a Soul… (progressive symphonic metal, epic blackened death metal)
You and I both know there’s a killer Gojira album out today, so I want my top pick to highlight one of the other outstanding releases from more underground artists being released this week, of which there are many!
The pick of the bunch for me though is Osiris’s long awaited debut album Meanders a Soul… When I say “long-awaited,” I mean really long awaited. This Egyptian two-piece originally formed all the way back in 1996, broke up a few years later, and then reformed in 2014, since when they’ve been carefully crafting this singular record.
It was certainly worth the wait! Meanders a Soul… perfectly pulls together elements from Dimmu Borgir-style symphonic black metal and Enslaved-esue progressiveisms, mixing them with some epic folk-tinged sections that remind me of something like Wintersun or even Wilderun in their more Edge of Sanity-sounding moments, without ever sounding as bright or cheesy as any of those acts can be at times.
Although these guys have essentially been around forever, this album has seemingly come out of nowhere to challenge the best of what 2021 has to offer.
See Also: Screaming Banshee – Pierceive (progressive tech death); late-period Death-style progressive tech death with a bit of a thrasher riffing style than you usually get from this sort of thing. A worthy successor to some of the greatest albums of all time.
SEIN – The Denial of Death (melodic death metal, metallic hardcore)
I was about to pick the dynamic blend of 90’s rock and progressive death metal from Stone Healer (which we premiered earlier this week along-side an interview), but I’ve got to throw a last-minute bone to SEIN with their new EP The Denial of Death.
Frankly, some of the best Slaughter of the Soul era At The Gates worship I’ve ever heard. Twenty-six years gone, they’ve somehow given that style riffage a renewed life that feels rejuvenated and fresh. Now you might be thinking, hey, bringing ATG riffs to metalcore is nothing new and pretty well defined the third-wave American scene.
SEIN on the other hand fuse their melodic sensibilities with the gritty, emotionally-charged ferocity of second-wave metalcore/metallic hardcore bands like Converge. With six unrelenting tracks, these Italians just might be able to make melodic death metal cool again.
Last Week’s Best Surprise: Böira – Cendres ~ Mineral (post-rock)