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!
Act of Denial – Negative (melodeath, modern metal)
I’ve been hanging out for this album for so long that I almost completely missed that it was finally coming out. For those unaware, Act of Denial are a modern melodeath supergroup consisting of Soilwork singer Bjorn “Speed” Strid, Testament/ex-Death bassist Steve Di Giorgio, Night Flight Orchestra keyboardist John Lönnmyr, ex-Koziac (me neither…) guitarists Nikola Bartulić and Vojan Koceić, and Septicflesh/ex-Decapitated/living monolith Kerim “Krimh” Lechner behind the kit.
Their sound is pretty similar to what Soilwork have been doing over the past decade or so, but with an added sense of heaviness and aggression that positions it closer to The Ride Majestic and The Panic Broadcast than Verkligheten or NFO. Strid is stellar as always, and Krimh and Di Giorgio definitely make their presence felt, but it’s the relative unknown Bartulić and Koceić who steal the show, consistently dishing out colossal riffs and leads like it’s no big deal. If Soilwork’s mellower, more recent material has left you somewhat cold, then you should definitely fire this one up at the earliest opportunity.
See Also: GosT – Rites of Love and Reverence (synthwave, goth rock); This was going to be my top pick, until I discovered Act of Denial was coming out. Witchcraft-themed, goth-infused, dark synth that firmly establishes GosT at the forefront of synthwave’s broodier second phase.
Fawn Limbs – Darwin Falls (experimental mathgrind)
New scariest album of the year dropped.
The term “soundtrack to the apocalypse” gets thrown around a lot, but sometimes it just fits so right. There is of course some prerequisites to that: it has to convey that aura of unsettling dread, and an atmospheric bleakness, void of joy or optimism. In other words, ever wondered what it would sound like if Godspeed You! Black Emperor wrote a mathcore album? Here ya go.
The return of the vocalist’s grizzly spoken word sections, combined with the addition of an ensemble of string and horn players sees them pushing the limits even further of their densely suffocating blend of mathcore and grind. It’s a harrowing, yet enriching experience if you let it be.
See Also: Diskord – Degenerations (dissonant tech death)