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!
Ghost Iris – Comatose (djent, prog metal)
Ghost Iris are back baby! In more ways than one! Over their surprisingly prolific six-year career, these Danish djensters have fluctuated between being one of the most promising and most disappointing new(er) bands out there. With their fourth full-length, the band have brought back a lot of the heft and bite that’s been missing since their rather remarkable debut – 2015’s Anecdotes of Science & Soul – and are so, so, so much better for it. Melodies still abound, but this time they’re backed by some serious grooves and they even brought in Chimaira’s Mark Hunter (who sounds absolutely ferocious on pulverising album opener “Desert Dread”) to show they mean business. Comatose is easily the best record Ghost Iris have released to date as well as one the most unexpected and delightful surprises of the year so far. Now… GRANT THEM BLISSFUL ABORTION!!
Night Battles – Year of the No Days (post-punk, doom punk)
I’ve seen the term “doom punk” used a few times over the years, and similarly to post-punk, which it overlaps with a lot, it seem to mean a few different things. Sometimes it’s goth inspired synth-punk, sometimes in a kind of dark, Americana inspired post-punk.
Night Battles falls in the latter. I’ve had their one single, “Hungry Ghost,” on repeat quite a few times since I first heard it, and Year of No Days stands to be a powerful debut if it lives up to how good this one single is. I should really go check out their earlier EPs…
The few other doom punk bands that I can immediately point to, Wailin’ Storms and The Murder City Devils, sounded like they channeled The Gun Club through Sixteen Horsepower, covering The Jesus Lizard. That’s the feel I get from this, and I can’t wait for more!
Last Week’s Album(s) of the Week: Still jumping back and forth between Domkraft – Seeds (stoner-doom) & Last Hyena – How Soon is Mars (math rock, post-rock)
Violet Cold – Empire of Love (blackgaze, post-bacl metal)
Surprise new Violet Cold is always a welcome sight. As is the one-man Azerbaijan project once again using his music for staunch anti-fascism and to show support and solidarity with those who have been vilified and silenced in that area of the world.
The music, of course, is great too. VC continue to evolve their unique spin on the blackgaze/post-black metal genre that often involves liberal, creative use of synths and virtual native folk instruments. The vocals may be the most divisive aspect of this release, at times taking the form of a heavily processed Astronoid-like high pitched clean tone. The back half of the album feels more aligned with his earlier material, but the overall package is the same euphoric and uplifting result from one this genre’s most interesting and consistent artists.
Best of the Rest
A Certain Ratio – ACR:EPA (post-punk, funk)
A Feast For Crows – The Darkest Shade of Light (deathcore, metalcore)
Acid’s Trip – Strings of Soul (hard rock, rock n roll)