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!
Coheed and Cambria – Vaxis II: A Window of the Waking Mind (prog metal, pop metal)
I’ve spent the last month rediscovering just how good a band Coheed and Cambria are. When they get it right — like they did from about 2003–2013, Year of the Black Rainbow (2010) inclusive — they really are something to behold. If my passion for the band has waned over the last decade or so, it’s only because their material has as well.
Their last outing, 2018’s Vaxis – Act I: The Heavenly Creatures was a solid enough throwback to Coheed’s classic Good Apollo era, but it felt like a pale imitation of past glories — and was way, way, way too damn long! The long-awaited second Vaxis album couldn’t be further apart from its predecessor. Clocking in at a lean fifty-four minutes (as opposed to Act I’s bloated hour-and-twenty), A Window Of The Waking Mind takes listeners on a journey to many places they have never before visited with the band, or possibly even without them. Almost every track is underpinned by a different genre, with the album overall professing a blend of classic prog rock and modern r&b — autotune and all. And you know what? It works! Somehow it all comes together to deliver the band’s best and most vital albums in over almost a decade.
See Also: Candy – Heaven is Here (industrial hardcore, powerviolence); I’ve criticised bands before for simply jumping on the Code Orange bandwagon, but Candy appear to have struck upon their own unique and often unsettling take on industrial hardcore with their rabid second effort. I also hear there’s some Porcupine band releasing a new album today or something…