Blind Guardian – The God Machine (power metal, thrash)
Blind Guardian are back, with their best album since (at least) 2006’s severely underrated A Twist in The Myth. The God Machine is a huge return to form that trades in the progressive and symphonic experiments of the German titans’ last few releases for the frantic thrash of their early career. This latest release has far more in common with the band’s pre-Imaginations output than anything they’ve put out for the past two-and-a-half decades and they sound all the more re-invigorated for it.
While The God Machine lacks the storytelling scope of Blind Guardian’s classic material, or the massive melodic hooks that I still think make A Twist in The Myth a standout of their career, what they bring in absolute spades are the riffs, which (along with making the new Megadeth record look even more slack by comparison) grant the album an energy and aggression that’s been sorely lacking from their sound over the last decade. The God Machine isn’t another Nightfall in Middle Earth or Imaginations from the Other Side (and certainly no Night at the Opera), but it’s a surprisingly strong and vital offering that reminds people why Blind Guardian are widely considered the best power metal band to ever lay axe to page.
The Callous Daoboys – Celebrity Therapist (mathcore)
One of the most anticipated releases of the year (for mathcore fans at least) is here! The follow-up to 2019’s bonkers Die On Mars takes everything great about that and makes it even better. Tighter production, tighter riffs, more experimentation, this is everything great about mathcore all in one digestible meal-replacement-size energy bar.
Tantalizing chaos abounds. The Callous Daoboys have moved beyond being a mere early-Dillinger-worship clone into a true force of their own. As frantic and unpredictable as their songwriting can be, it still manages to be impressively memorable and oddly sophisticated for a band obsessed with puns. Teeming with eclectic, infectious energy from start to finish, Celebrity Therapist is sure to challenge for the tops of many AOTY lists. Catch them on tour right now with Rolo Tomassi and Cryptodira.
See Also: Sunflo’er – all these darlings and now me (mathcore, southern hardcore)
More mathcore! This time with a good ol’ fashion southern rock ‘n roll twist.
156/Silence – Narrative (hardcore, metalcore)
Aeternam – Heir of the Rising Sun (symphonic blackened death metal)
AetherWave – Malevolance (metalcore, nu-metalcore)
Amongst Liars – Amongst Liars (alt rock)
And Now The Owls Are Smiling – Epitaph (atmospheric black metal)
Andy Gillion – Arcade Metal (instrumental prog metal)
Argash – Unleash (blackened death metal)
Asylum – Tyrannicide (thrash)
Blissing Stratus – Towards The Lonely Wind (blackgaze, post-black)
Canyoneer – You, Only To Scale (prog metal, post-metal)
Carnal Ruin – Soulless I Remain (blackened death metal)
Defacing God – The Resurrection Of Lilith (blackened death, melodeath)
Ensanguinate – Eldritch Anatomy (blackened death thrash)
Ensanguinate – Eldritch Anatomy (death metal)
Feather Mountain – To Exit A Maelstrom (progressive metal)
Gallia – Obscura (symphonic power metal)
Gone Cosmic – Send for a Warning, the Future’s Calling (psychedelic stoner rock)
The Great Conjuration – Heads for the Dead (death metal)
The Hu – Rumble Of Thunder (folk metal)
Humanic – Until the Light Fakes Us (progressive death, tech death)
Imperivm – Ex Mortis Gloria (death metal)
King Buffalo – Regenerator (psychedelic rock)
Kings X – Three Sides of One (hard rock, prog rock)
Life Of Crime – Street Gospel (metallic hardcore, beatdown)
Mantic Ritual – Mantic Ritual (thrash)
Megadeth – The Sick, the Dying… and the Dead! (thrash, xenophobia)
Miss May I – Curse Of Existence (metalcore)
Nidhög – Fjord (melodic black metal, prog black)
Novelists – Deja Vu (pop metalcore)
Oceans Ate Alaska – Disparity (deathcore)
Pilgrim’s Dance – Sonder Inc. (progressive melodeath)
Reincarnated – Of Boötes Void Death Spell (atmospheric death metal, death-doom)