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!

Top Pick

Moon Unit – Differences in Language and Lifestyle (alt-rock, prog rock)

You can read more of my thoughts about this album in the album premiere and track-by-track breakdown we posted yesterday, but these Croatian prog rockers’ debut quickly went from one of the most perplexing to one of my most played and enjoyed albums of the year.

For those who haven’t taken the plunge yet (and you really should…) imagine Real Thing-era Faith No More by way of Devin Townsend and Dream Theater with extra SNES and hip-hop/nu-metal influences and you’re only begging to get an idea of what this record has in store. Another huge surprise from 2021 and one that continues to grow better and more impressive with each and every listen.

See Also: Desecrator – Summoning (thrash metal); Aussie thrashers bringing the thunder from down under with their best record yet.

Last Week’s Biggest Surprise: Between the Buried and Me – Colors II (progressive metal); I figured BTBAM had completely jumped the shark when they announced Colors II but this record is vibing with me so hard! A perfect mix of their classic style and modern virtuosity that’s genuinely troubling the upper end of my AOTY list.

Josh Bulleid

Best of the Rest

Ambien – Visitations (post-hardcore, post-rock)

Approaching Gold – The Star-Filled Light Inside (prog rock, art rock)

Atra Haeresis – Pretium (blackened death metal)

BLAK – El Tall d’Escil·la (post-rock, neo-classical)

Botanist/Thief – Cicatrix/Diamond Brush (post black metal)

The Bronx – Bronx VI (alt rock, melodic punk)

Bucky. – Bucky. (emoviolence, blackened skramz)

Casketmaker – To Death (deathcore)

Chvrches – Screen Violence (electro pop)

Dead Shape Figure – Refinement of Hatred (symphonic melodeath)

Desecrator – Summoning (thrash metal)

Devoid of Thought – Outer World Graves (progressive death metal, dissonant tech death)

Ex Deo – The Thirteen Years Of Nero (groove death, symphonic death)

Fluisteraars – Gegrepen Door De Geest Der Zielsontluiking (atmospheric black metal)

FOTOCRIME – Heart of Crime (post-punk, darkwave)

james grew – Postscript EP (midwest emo, punk)

Halsey – If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power (electro pop)

Turnstile – Glow On (progressive hardcore)

Headshrinker – Callous Indifference (brutal death metal)

Heathen Rites – Heritage (epic doom)

Hooded Menace – The Tritonus Bell (death-doom)

Hranice Abyss – Aphagy (melodeath, groove metal)

Jinjer – Wallflowers (progressive metlcore, tech metal)

Kat Von D – Love Made Me Do It (electro pop, pop rock)

Kilpréz – Patron Saint of Lost Causes (mathcore, prog metal)

Leprous – Aphelion (progressive metal)

Life Artist – Spirit of the Sea (prog metal)

Lower 13 – Restore the Order (power metalcore)

LowFlyingHawks – FUYU (doomgaze, stoner metal) 

Maze of Terror – Offer to the Fucking Beasts (black thrash, death thrash)

Men I Trust – Untourable Album (chillout, downtempo)

Modern Rites – Monuments (melodic black metal, industrial metal)

Mordant Rapture – Irreverent Opus (symphonic blackened death metal)

Nightmarer – Monolith of Corrosion (dissonant blackened death metal)

Nocturnal – Serpent Death (death thrash)

Our Place of Worship is Silence – Disavowed, and Left Hopeless (prog blackened death)

Oxygen Destroyer – Sinister Monstrosities Spawned By the Unfathomable Ignorance of Humankind (death metal, black thrash)

Phinehas – The Fire Itself (melodic metalcore)

Shihad – Little Demons (alt rock, alt metal)

Spirit Adrift – Forge Your Future (heavy metal)

Sugar Horse – The Live Long After (doomgaze, sludge metal)

Thraxas – Planetary Terrorism (thrash metal, groove thrash)

Thyrfing – Vanagandr (folk metal?)

Toxic Ruin – Nightmare Eclipse (progressive death thrash)

Turnstile – Glow On (progressive hardcore)

Utopia – Stalker (prog metal, tech metal)

Venues – Solace (alt metal, melodic metalcore)

Vilegloom – Suicidal Ideation (downtempo deathcore) 

White Stones – Dancing into Oblivion (progressive death metal)

Wormwitch – Wolf Hex (black metal)

Wormwood – Arkivet (atmospheric black metal)

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