Rounding up releases from She Said Destroy, Spiritworld, Abyssal, Tchornobog, Thrawsunblat, Black Lava, High Command and plenty more, in addition to our top picks.

2 years ago

Top Picks

Circles – The Stories We Are Afraid Of Vol. 1 (djenty alt metal, Aus prog)

Circles really rounded a corner with 2018's The Last One and the addition of vocalist Ben Rechter. Although it's been a long time coming, that promising album's follow-up is every bit worth the wait. Six-track EP The Stories We Are Afraid Of Vol. 1 is not only another huge step up for the Melbourne trio, but also puts everything else released in this style recently to absolute shame. Fans of Tesseract, Karnivool, Monuments, Caligula's Horse and the like should be checking this out as soon as possible and I, for one, cannot wait for volume two.

Elder – Innate Passage (psychedelic prog metal, prog rock)

Although everyone else raved about it, Elder's foray into more spacious, Hammond-focussed prog rock on 2020's Omens left (and still leaves) me pretty cold. ...which is why I was so pleasently surprised when I was immediately swept up and away in the lush tones of Innate Passage. The classic prog rock leanings are still very much there, but – as its cover suggests – Innate Passage is a much warmer and upbeat affair than its stark predecessor, that reminds me a lot of that brilliant last Intronaut album (released the same year as Omens) that everyone else was less impressed by for some reason... It's not on the same level of genre-defining brilliance as Lore (2015) or Rflections of a Floating World (2017), but Inaate Passage feels like a welcome return from a band who are so clearly the best in their field.

Release Roundup

A La Carte – Soup Dejour (brutal death metal)

Anomaly – Somewhere Within The Pines (melodeath)

Behind Our Reflections – Infinity (tech metal, metalcore)

Beyond Helvete – Anthem of Decay (black metal)

Black Beast – Arctic Darkness (blak metal)

Black Lava – Soul Furnace (progressive blackened death metal)

Black Paisley – Human Nature (hard rock, heavy metal)

Blackrain – Untamed (hard rock, heavy metal)

Carnivora – Petrichor (melodic groove thrash)

Catharsis – High Fells (black metal)

Crown of Ascension – Transmission Errors (noisy black metal)

Dark Matter – The Rectory (hard rock, doom metal)

David Maxim Micic – Bilo IV (prog metal, jazz fusion)

Depressive Witches – Distant Kingdoms (black metal)

Detraktor – Full Body Stomp (thrash)

(echo) – Witness (groovy death doom)

Estrangement – Disfigurementality (sad centaur-core)

Euphrosyne – Keres (post black metal)

Exsanguinate – Subservient to the Cosmic Will (dissonant blackened death metal)

Folly – Oubliette (experimental black metal)

High Command – Eclipse of the Dual Moons (thrash)

Höwler – Descendants Of Evil (thrash)

Hybernus Mortis – The Monoliths Of Cursed Slumber (death doom)

In The Woods… – Diversum (progressive doom metal)

Invalids – Permanence (math rock)

Ironbite – The Great Escape (heavy metal)

Judicator – The Majesty Of Decay (heavy metal, power metal)

Karg – Resignation (post black metal, melodeath)

Katapult – Play Stupid Games, Win Stupid Prizes (melodeath)

The Last Ten Seconds Of Life – Disquisition Of An Execution (deathcore)

Leather – We Are the Chosen (heavy metal)

Love Your Witch – The Endless Rider (sludgy doom prog)

Lower Automation – Strobe Light Shadow Play (post-hardcore)

Lykotonon – Promethean Pathology (industrial black metal)

Mycelium – Mycoticism: Disseminating the Propagules (brutal death metal)

Nømadus – Axis Primordial (groovy prog thrash)

Outer Space Experiment – Frequencies (progressive metal)

Potvor – You Will Never Go Back (blackened sludge, black metal)

Razorblade Messiah – Age of Oppression (thrash)

The Riven – Peace and Conflict (hard rock, doom)

Sahg – Born Demon (heavy metal)

She Said Destroy – Bleeding Fiction II: Child Of Tomorrow (post metal)

Spiritworld – Deathwestern (kentucky fried thrash)

Sword – III (heavy metal, thrash)

Tchornobog/Abyssal – Split (weird blackened death doom)

Thrawsunblat – Excelsior (atmospheric black metal, folk metal)

Vengeur – Par Feu et Par Flammes (goth electronica)

Virgil – Acheron (brutal black metal, deathcore)

Von Doom – Admonitions of Time (prog death)

Witchmaster – Kazn (black thrash, blackened death metal)

Joshua Bulleid

Published 2 years ago