Release Day Roundup: 2/24/23

Rounding up releases from To the Grave, Host, Hypno5e, Hundred Reasons, Insomnium, Venemous Concept and more.

a year ago

Top Picks

To The Grave – Director’s Cuts (deathcore)

In the longstanding tradition of Carcass and Cattle Decapitation, the volitile vegans in To the Grave turn the everyday atrocities of the meat industry back upon humanity in order to bring you some of the gnarliest and most extreme metal their genre has to offer.

You can certainly hear the influence of modern deathcore titans like Lorna Shore and Thy Art is Murder on To the Grave's sound, but there's something refreshing about the Sydney slaughteresrs' more straightforward approach to the genre. Despite its gory imagery, Director's Cuts is as pristine as they come when it comes to the production. The songwriting itself, however, throws back (and down!) to the days when deathcore was all about being as ignorantly extreme as posible and getting as many bodies moving as possible while you're at it. There's a touch of early Sumeriancore about the album as well, that's sure to have genre fans old and new bouncing along.

Host – IX (goth rock, new wave)

Paradise Lost's much maligned Depeche Mode-aping Host (1999) somehow becomming one of the most influential and forward-thinking albums of its generation is one of the more surprising about turns in extreme metal. Having said that, its reappraisal is much deserved. Host was never that bad to begin with and is still leagues ahead of most modern efforts by the glut of sudden synth and new-wave appreciating extrem metal acts that have flooded the scene over the last half-decade.

IX goes one better, delivering a tighter collection of songs bolstered by a modern production that makes sure the songs hit harder while also accentuating their inherent gloom. The only thing really holding IX back is that it's not actually a Paradise Lost record. They're a band I've always loved, but they've lost me bit with their recent return to their doomier and gloomier roots, at the cost of the compelling, goth and electronic undertones that made their mid-period output so distinctibve and satisfying. There's no real reason for this not to be a Paradise Lost record, other than the backlash the original Host received, and by distancing themselves from this style in favour of protecting their more doom-oriented modern image doesn't seem like the kind of move worthy of the once bold band that made that album in the first place.

It's great to hear vocalist Nick Holmes and guitarist Greg Mackintosh dabbling in that sound again, but it would be great to hear the rest of the band there alongside them. At thirty-nine minutes, IX also seems somewhat slight and a touch monotonous. Blending these songs in with a bit mor eof the traditional Paradise Lost sound might have made for something truly special but, whether or not Holmes and Macintosh bring some of the synths back with them, or forge further on their own, IX certainly shows they have it in them.

Release Roundup

Adversor – Portrait Of A Wasteland (melodeath, thrash)

Air Raid – Fatal Encounter (heavy metal, hard rock)

Alborn – Push (heavy metal, alt metal)

Algiers – Shook (post-punk, neo-soul)

Anatomy Of Habit – Black Openings (post doom)

Ascension – Under The Veil Of Madness (power metal)

Azaghal – Alttarimme on Luista Tehty (black metal)

Big|Brave – Nature Morte (noisy post rock)

Bodyfarm – Ultimate Abomination (death metal, thrash)

Bræ – Av Vålnader Bortom Allt (atmospheric black metal)

Burn The Ocean – Modern Ruins (alt rock)

Ciemra – The Tread Of Darkness (black metal)

Coffinborn – Cadaveric Retribution (death doom)

Conjureth – The Parasitic Chambers (brutal death metal)

Connor Patrick Rogers – Deliverance (symphonic shred)

Crown of Madness – Elemental Binding (death metal, dissodeath)

Crowning + Eyelet – Split (screamo, emoviolence)

Dark Embrace – Dark Heavy Metal (heavy metal, melodeath)

Death Pill – Death Pill (punk, crossover)

The Design Abstract – Transhuman Ascendant (progressive metal)

Dope – Blood Money Part Zer0 (industrial nu metal)

Eldkling – The End of Eternity (progressive metal, power metal)

Enemy Of Reality – Where Truth May Lie (symphonic metal)

Erase Theory – Erase Theory (Letlive Park)

FesterDecay – Reality Rotten To The Core (brutal death metal, goregrind)

Godsmack – Lighting Up The Sky (alt rock, alt metal)

Gorillaz – Cracker Island (electropop, synthpop)

Hammerhedd – Nonetheless (baby Gojira)

Heidevolk – Wederkeer (folk, metal?)

Hundred Reasons – Glorious Sunset (alt rock)

Hurricane of Saturn – φnx (prog rock?)

Hypno5e – Sheol (progressive metal, post metal)

Insomnium – Anno 1696 (melodeath)

Iron Curtain – Metal Gladiator (speed metal, thrash)

Kauan – ATM Revised (post-rock, neofolk, doom metal)

Le Mur – Caelum Invictus (alt rock, post-hardcore)

Lovebites – Judgement Day (power metal)

Mattachine x Mikau – Eject Modernity, Erase Tradition (metalcore, cybergrind)

Megaton Sword – Might & Power (heavy metal, trad metal)

Merlock – Onward Strides Colossus (stoner sludge)

Methchrist – Pestilential Warfare of the Black Flame (black metal)

Model/Actriz – Dogsbody (noise rock, dance punk)

Morwinyon – Wastelands (atmospheric black metal, post-black)

Naut – Hunt (goth rock)

No Spill Blood – Eye Of Night (progressive black metal)

Oerheks – Landschapsanachronismen (atmospheric black metal)

Old Audrey’s Funeral – Old Audrey’s Funeral (doom metal)

Omega Infinity – The Anticurrent (weird black metal)

Ontborg – Following the Steps of Damnation (blackened melodeath)

Pist – The Bleak Unrest (groove thrash, crust)

Sarcoptes – Prayers to Oblivion (black metal)

7 H.Target – Yantra Creating (brutal death metal, slam)

Shame – Food For Worms (indie rock, art punk)

Slakter – Warmageddon (thrash)

Sleep Terror – Railroad to Dystopia (progressive death metal, experimental, country western)

Snow Ghosts – The Fell (trip-hop, art pop)

Stoner – Boogie To Baja (stoner rock)

Svraoz – Sacraments of Evil (black thrash)

They Grieve – To Which I Bore Witness (atmospheric sludge metal)

Total Hate – Marching Towards Humanicide (black metal, blackened thrash)

Total Hate – Marching Towards Humanicide (black metal)

Úkryt – 1897 (black metal)

Upcdownc – Duel (post-metal, sludge metal)

Venomous Concept – The Good Ship Lollipop (sludgecore, alt rock)

Wanderer – Indulgence of the Unreal (blackened hardcore, sludge grind)

Wretched Fate – Carnal Heresy (death metal)

Joshua Bulleid

Published a year ago