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 Picks

Andrew W. K. – God is Partying (heavy metal, party rock)

In one of the more unlikely musical events of 2021, party-rocker Andrew W. K. has gone full Ghost on God Is Partying, and the results fit him to a plain white t(ee). Occult rock anthems like “Everybody Sins” and “Babylon” are front and centre, but God is Partying also manages to refine and incorporate some of the musical theatre aesthetics of 2018’s You’re Not Alone, which work surprisingly well in contrast with the album’s overall darker tone. It might not be everyone’s bowl of punch, but God Is Partying proves, once and for all, that W. K. isn’t just a one-hit-wonder.

Josh Bulleid

Trophy Scars – Astral Pariah (post-hardcore, blues rock)

Do you like concept albums about post-civil war western expansion and vigilante vengeance? What about triumphant comebacks after 7-year hiatuses and novel, unlike anything you’ve heard before genre fusions? Trophy Scars’ Astral Pariah is all of the above. Listen, I know punk and hardcore are well rooted historically in blues, but that distinguishable, blues sound has generally been absent from those genres for some time. After the release of their breakout classic post-hardcore release Alphabet. Alphabets., Trophy Scars have been making an assertive effort to bring back the blues, fusing it with their grizzly Bear Vs. Shark meets weirder Fear Before The March of Flames style post-hardcore in what is truly unlike anything else I’ve heard before.

With Astral Pariah the band have really come into their own, with their darkest and most powerful release to date. The album was born out of a short story, and that concept-based approach lends itself to a seamlessly flowing cinematic experience. Unlike a lot of bands who cite blues in their descriptors, it has become the back-bone of Trophy Scars’ identity.   From the obvious guitar licks, to the acoustic guitar and old-saloon-style piano, it effortlessly transports you into the world they have so efficiently crafted. And by god, I want to hang out there for a while.

See Also: Sadness – Rain Chamber (blackgaze, atmospheric black metal); Esoteric depressive blackgaze kings return with a surprise 3-track, 32-minute release to blissfully sulk in.

Also a great day for tech death with new Inferi and Replicant.

Trent Bos

Further Listening

Aeons – Consequence (progressive metalcore)

Aepoch – Hiraeth (tech death, progressive death metal)

Aborted – ManiaCult (death metal)

Amyl and the Sniffers – Comfort To Me (punk rock)

Aphasia – Rebirth (prog metalcore)

Big Lad – Power Tools (noise rock, breakcore)

Black Mass – Feast at the Forbidden Tree (black thrash)

Chrome Waves – The Rain Will Cleanse (post-metal)

Coyote Man – Relics (instrumental progressive metal)

Sarah Davachi – Antiphonals (ambient, modern classical)

Dawn Fades – Ode (post-metal, blackened doom)

The Death Set – How To Tune A Parrot (punk rock)

Erebor – Inherent Malevolence (progressive death metal)

FM Skyline – Illuminations (chillwave, vaporwave)

Lee Gamble – A Million Pieces Of You (IDM, techno)

God Damn – Raw Coward (noise-rock, grunge)

Hail Spirit Noir – Mannequins (synthwave, synthpop)

Hawkwind – Somnia (psychedelic stoner prog)

Hawthorne Heights – The Rain Just Follows Me (pop-punk, emo-pop)

I Feel Fine – The Cold In Every Shelter (emo)

If Nothing Is – If Nothing Is (prog death metal)

Inferi – Vile Genesis (tech death, melodeath) 

Pokey LaFarge – In the Blossom of Their Shade (ragtime, rock ’n’ roll)

Losing Sight – Fear of Death (metalcore, hardcore)

Low – Hey What (post-industrial, experimental rock)

Machinedrum – Psyconia (UK bass, wonky)

Manic Street Preachers – The Ultra Vivid Lament (pop rock)

Mastiff – Leave Me The Ashes of the Earth (sludgecore)

Maston – Souvenir (psych, jazz)

The Metallica Blacklist (various artists, covers)

Mitochondrial Sun – Bodies And Gold (dark ambient, experimental electronic)

No Coffin – All Life Must End (crossover hardcore)

Anette Olzon – Strong (symphonic metal)

Redemptus – Blackhearted (post-hardcore, post-metal)

Replicant – Malignant Reality (dissonant death metal)

Sawtooth Monk – Goddess Empress (instrumental psych rock, space rock)

School Disco – Head’s Still Here (heavy psych, garage rock)

Seven Spires – Gods Of Debauchery (symphonic metal)

Ballaké Sissoko – A Touma (Mande folk, new age)

Sleigh Bells – Texis (indie pop, alt-rock)

Sneaker Pimps – Squaring the Circle (alternative dance, trip-hop)

Starless – Hope is Leaving You (post-metal, doomgaze)

Sunburster – Sunburster (sludge)

ULTRAMASSIVE – Azimuth (math metal, prog metal)

We Were Promised Jetpacks – Enjoy the View (indie rock, math rock)

Matthew E. White – K Bay (art pop, psychedelic soul)

Zealot R.I.P. – The Extinction of You (raw hardcore, crossover)

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