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

Volbeat – Servant of the Mind (heavy metal, satanic psychobilly)

Maybe I just suck now, but after picking Lordi last week and pretty much spamming the new Bad Wolves album all this one, the new Volbeat album is sounding pretty good to me. There’s an argument to be made in the case of the former two artists that whatever quality I’m only now picking up on has always been there and it is rather my tastes that have changed. In the case of Volbeat, however, it seems pretty clear that the perceived increase in quality  is all on them.

The Danish rockabilly-metallers have always had an identifiable Metallica influence to their sound, but (a quick survey of their previous material confirms) they’ve never sounded anywhere near this heavy before. On top of the Black Album-style stomp that’s all over the album, we’re talking straight up Entombed/Dismember/Bloodbath-style buzzsaw death metal riffing on “Becoming”, bonus tracks featuring the vocalist from Jungle Rot, South of Heaven-style atmospherics alongside doomy heavy metal sensibilities and lyrical themes that leaves the record having more in common with Khemmis and mid-period Candlemass than Tiger Army or whoever.

See Also: Arca – kick ii / kick iii / kick iiiikick v (experimental electronic, reggaeton); Arca’s music can be a lot to take in at the best of times, so the prospect of four concurrently released records is quite intimidating. What I’ve found time to listen to so far though sounds pretty promising and well worth checking out, whether you’re in the market gender-bending avant-garde electronica or simply some chill beats to relax/study to.

Best of the Rest

Agony by Default – A Serenade for Eternity (black metal, death metal)

Aquilis – Bellum I (atmospheric black metal)

Arca – KICK ii, KicK iii, kick iiii, & KiCk V (deconstructed club, reggaeton)

Cutterred Flesh – Sharing is Caring (brutal  death, tech death)

Dead Space Chamber Music – The Black Hours (neofolk, ritual ambient)

Death Angel – The Bastard Tracks (thrash)

Dormant Ordeal – The Grand Scheme of Things (blackened death metal, brutal prog death)

EERA – Speak (indie rock, art pop)

Failure – Wild Type Droid (alt-rock, space rock)

Nils Frahm – Old Friends New Friends (ambient, modern classical)

Gas – Der Lange Marsch (ambient)

Genocide Pact – Genocide Pact (death metal)

Heiress – Distant Fires (sludgecore, post-hardcore)

KIRINJI – crepuscular (city pop, sophisti-pop)

Like Pacific – Control My Sanity (pop-punk, alt-rock)

No Rome – It’s All Smiles (dance-pop, alternative r&b)

Of Mice & Men – Echo & Ad Infinitum (metalcore)

Old Sport – Quietly Like The Sky (post-hardcore, screamo)

Penelope Trappes – Mother’s Blood Edition (dark ambient, ethereal wave)

The Physics House Band – Incident on 3rd (prog rock, jazz fusion)

Redemptor – Agonia (prog death, ulcerate-core)

Rival Consoles – Overflow (IDM, microhouse)

So Hideous – None But a Pure Heart Can Sing (post-black metal)

To Forget – Echoes Take Their Place (screamo, post-hardcore)

VHS – I Heard They Suck…Blood (death metal)

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