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!
Theon Cross – Intra-I (jazz funk, Afro-jazz)
Why don’t more jazz groups incorporate tuba players (tubists?) into their lineups? I’d never asked myself that question until I discovered Theon Cross through his work with Sons of Kemet and his excellent solo debut Fyah (2019). On this new album, Cross expands beyond his Afro-jazz-funk into the realms of “dub, hip-hop, soca, grime and other sounds connected to the Afro-Caribbean diaspora,” bringing along some guest vocalists for the ride as well.
See Also: Begat the Nephilim – II: The Grand Procession (blackened death metal); I love recommending Granite State death metal, especially when it’s this good. Blackened goodness with melodic and even some symphonic flourishes to round out the proceedings.
Mastodon – Hushed and Grim (stoner rock, sludge)
I know I’ve been picking a lot of bigger releases lately, but even with everything else coming out today, these new Mastodon singles are just too strong to beat. Outside of Once More ‘Round the Sun (2014), all of the band’s releases this past decade have left me pretty cold (and sometimes dark), to the point that the last thing it seems like I would probably want at this point is a Mastodon double album. But between the Remission-style riffing of “Pushing the Tides” to the melancholic melody of “Teardrinker” and prog indulgences of “Sickle and Peace” it seems like they’re once again operating at peak performance, across every aspect of their sound.
See also: Archspire – Bleed The Future (brutal progressive tech death); Unlike Mastodon, I’ve never really been a huge fan of Archspire in the past, but this new album finally has me believing the hype. If you only check out one of the brilliant tech-death albums out this week, make it this instant genre classic.