Editor’s Note: Do you think we “missed” an album this week? Click here.
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!
Ophidian I – Desolate (tech death)
Who says Iceland’s black metal scene is the only game in town? After hearing the lead singles from Desolate, I clearly need to dive into the the death metal offerings from the land of fire and ice. Ophidian I’s take on tech death is melodic, bombastic, and virtuosic, all things I look for in my death metal regardless of subgenre. I’m eager to spin the full album today, as the early returns suggest this could be one of my favorite metal releases of the year.
See Also: The Grasshopper Lies Heavy – A Cult That Worships a God of Death (noise rock, post-hardcore); Noisy, sludgy post-hardcore with menacing band/album names and cover art that looks like The Mars Volta on PCP? Sign me the FUCK up.
See Also : Wavves – Hideaway (power pop, surf rock); My go-to artist for summery, stonery, surfy vibes is back, with a phenomenal cover to boot.
Times of Grace – Songs of Loss and Separation (alt-rock, metalcore)
There are two things you need to know about Songs of Loss and Separation, straight up. First, it’s way better and has more of an individual identity than their first album; second, there is absolutely no reason why this couldn’t or shouldn’t be a Killswitch Engage record.As much as Times of Grace are characterised by a more melancholic and introspective approach, there’s nothing here that would sound particularly out of place under the Killswitch banner—especially when it comes to the singles. Moreover, as much as I adored the last Killswitch Engage album, mixing in some of Times of Grace’s more morose elements into that band’s primary output as well as bringing a bit more of Adam Dutkiewicz and Jesse Leach’s trademark, inspirational fury to Times of Grace would make both albums much more balanced and interesting.Killswitch Engage are almost unparalleled when it comes to what they do, but it’s a shame the members feel the need to put such a tight boundary around what that band can and can’t be, especially when they excel as much in other areas as they do here.
See Also: Wizardthrone – Hypercube Necrodimensions; “extreme wizard metal”, featuring members of Gloryhammer, Aether Realm, and Alestorm, that lives up to its name.