Release Day Roundup: 7/14/23

In which I desperately try and claw back my credibility by recommending new releases from Radiant Knife, End Reign, Chamber, Cavalera Conspiracy, Calligram, Aetherian, Evile, Djinn-Ghül, Somniate, Voyager and more. ...only to throw it all away again at the end.

10 months ago

Top Picks

End Reign – The Way Of All Flesh Is Decay (crusty blackened crossover death thrash)

There I was, thinking I was all cool and shit for bringing you a killer debut from some unknown underground extreme metal upstarts with some serious potential. Then I looked at the line-up, and I thought, "Hey, Adam Jarvis, isn't that the guy who plays drums for Pig Destroyer?" Turns out he does indeed, in addition to manning the kit for Misery Index, Lock Up and a bunch of other notable death/grind acts. The rest of the band are no slouches either, with various members having played for the likes of All Out War, Exhumed, Integrity, Ringworm and Bloodlet, among others, making End Reign a semi-supergroup of sorts.

Whatever their pedigree, End Reign mean serious business, variously infusing their vigorous thrash metal base with a veneer of crusty hardcore, menacing black and crunching death metal that manages to keep things fresh while also tappinging into the reptilian roots of everything that makes those genres so appealing in the first place. I'm not going to claim The Way Of All Flesh Is Decay is better than Pig Head Cage (2018) or Howling, For the Nightmare Shall Consume (2017), but I'd probably take it over anything else that the above-mentioned bands have put out over the last half-decade or so.

Chamber – A Love To Kill For (brutal mathcore)

Just when I think I'm over hardcore, Chamber show up and drag me (rather forcefully back in. The Nashville crew practice a brand of brutal math-laden metalcore that isn't at all dissimilar from that perpetuated many of the other seemingly cookie-cutter modern hardcore-based bands that have put me off the genre of late, but there's something about A Love to Kill For that's just doing it for me. If there's anything that sets Chamber apart, it's the added brutality they bring to their sound, which regularly brings to mind the likes of Jesus Piece, Vein and even Code Orange at their most meat-headed, while the mathier side leans toward early Norma Jean or even something of a less-chaotic Sectioned.

Even at only twenty-nine-minutes, A Love to Kill For's first half can gets a bit samey, but the band manage to switch things up before it gets too exhausting. "To Die In the Grip of Poison," which features Boundaries' Matt McDougal, is an obvious stand-out and Kublai Khan's Matt Honeycutt lends a helping hand on later highlight "Devoured". The use of panic chords to invoke an ambulance siren on "Our Beauty Decayed, Nothing Was Left", which introduces the track, is also a nice touch and the album's second-half proves much more memorable and varied following its chaotic opening charge. A Love to Kill For isn't reinventing any wheels, but it goes to show that there's still plenty of fun to be had from chaotic, hulking hardcore when it's done well.

Release Roundup

Aetherian – At Storm’s Edge (melodeath)

AmongRuins – Land of the Black Sun (melodeath)

Ascend The Helix – Spiral Of Reflection (Mike Semesky-core)

Ascendency – A Manifest Of Imperious Destiny (weird black thrash)

Auralayer – Thousand Petals (stoner metal)

Awicha – Drag Them Down from the Sky (black metal)

Baited – Cutting Teeth (hardcore)

Blessed Curse – Pray for Armageddon (death thrash)

Borgarting – Beist (black metal)

Brix’n Mortar – Something Ain’t Right (metalish hardcore punk)

Calligram – Position | Momentum (progressive black metal)

Cathalepsy – Blood and Steel (power metal)

Cavalera [Conspiracy] – Morbid [Re]Visions / Bestial Devastation (death thrash)

Cel Damage – No Volume (power violence, grindcore)

Cerulean – Carrion Angel (blackened dissodeath)

Chris Manning – Reach The Sky (heavy metal)

Crown Magnetar – Everything Bleeds (brutal deathcore)

Cutthroat – Fear By Design (hardcore, metalcore)

A Dark Halo – Omnibus One (modern metal)

Deitus – Irreversible (melodeath doom)

Deny The Fallen – Echo Chamber (heavy metal)

Desekryptor – Vortex Oblivion (death metal)

The Devil's Trade – Vidékek vannak idebenn (post black metal, folk)

Djinn-Ghül – Opulence (You own everything!)

Edenfall – To Gaze Longer at the Earth (symphonic blackened folk metal)

Edge Of Paradise – Hologram (industrial alt metal, nu metal)

Eilene – We Shall Remain (power metal)

Evile – The Unknown (The Black Album, …And Justice for All )

Exsanguination – Burial Rites (death doom)

Genophobic Perversion – Vomit Inducing Sonic Torment (slamming goregrind)

Houston – Relaunch III (AOR)

Human Harvest – Death Storms (death metal)

Inhumed – Feasted Upon Like Carrion (death metal)

LanzerRath – Metagalactic Domination (black metal)

Lesath – A Beautiful Dream (posty blackgaze)

Malacara – Vuelvo a tu camino (heavy metal, thrash)

Moodring – Your Light Fades Away (nu metalcore, alt metal)

Mythos – Battle of Megiddo (groove deathcore)

The Night Eternal – Fatale (heavy metal, doom)

Nuclear Remains – Dawn Of Endless Suffering (brutal death, slam)

The Pit – Of Madness And Evil Whispers (death metal)

Progenitor – Eldritch Supremacy (blackened death metal)

Project Renegade – Ultra Terra (nu metal)

Purtenance – The Rot Within Us (death doom)

PVRIS – Evergreen (alt pop)

Quiet Man – The Starving Man (sludge doom)

Radiant Knife – Pressure (sludge prog)

Ring Van Möbius – Commissioned Works Pt II – Six Drops of Poison (proggy prog rock)

Robledo – Broken Soul (melodic heavy metal)

Scream Maker – Land of Fire (heavy metal)

Sludge Keeper – Slough Of Despair (death metal)

Somniate – We Have Proved Death (backend dissodeath)

Sutekh Hexen and Funerary Call – P:R:I:S:M (evil ambient)

Tailgunner – Guns for Hire (heavy metal)

Thomas Carlsen’s Transmission – A Brave Horizon (heavy metal)

Tormentor – Principles of Oppression (thrash)

Tortuary – Bone Fortress (death metal)

Type A Secretor – Night of the Semen (slam)

Various – Best of Soundgarden Redux (stoner metal)

Various – Superunknown Redux (stoner metal)

Velvet Viper – Nothing Compares To Metal (heavy metal)

Vendetta – Black As Coal (thrash)

Vesthangarth – Ominous Path of Spectral Knowledge (black metal)

Vølus – Oathsworn Vengeance (noisy blackened death metal)

Voyager – Fearless In Love (pop prog)

Winterstorm – Everfrost (power metal)

Yass-Waddah – Lust for Domination (werk.)

Michael Bolton – Spark of Light (easy listening, soul)

I missed this one one when it came out, but given my diatribe on the merits of Michael Bolton by way of a surprisingly solid tribute album last week, I figured it was worth pointing out that we were also graced with a new album from the man him self a couple of weeks back. Spark of Light isn't great and Bolton's once-mighty wail is certainly showing its age, but the album isn't terrible either. I won't be rushing to put this on over Everybody's Crazy (1985) or Soul Provider (1989), but I wouldn't be rushing to turn it off if someone wanted to stick it on in the background either. I understand Bolton's hair metal heyday is long behind him, but it would be pretty cool to see him collaborating with someone like Girish Pradhan rather than the Backstreet Boys b-side-writing dude who shows up here. Oh well, a man can dream...

Joshua Bulleid

Published 10 months ago