Release Day Roundup: 07/28/23

Marking history with new releases from Mutoid Man, Sevendust, Homeboy Sandman, Fleshvessel, Bloodmouth, Lokust, Nuclear Power Trio, Astralborne, and the first ever bad b-side collection from Carly Rae Jepsen, among others.

10 months ago

Top pick

Lokust – Infidel (proggish groove thrash)

It can be hard to discern what's worth listening to when trawling through the Heavy Blog inbox. From bands allegedly "unleashing" all sorts of unlikely things to "highly-anticipated" debut albums from tiny underground bands no-one has ever heard of. Artists and promoters try all sorts of attention-grabbing strategies, when the truth is that the best way of catching our ear is to clearly state the name of the band and album along with a semi-detailed genre description and/or the names of a few other artists the band sound similar to or whose fans would probably enjoy their music. Which is to say that when the promo for Lokust's Infidel came through with the simple tag of "FFO Lamb of God, Sylosis, Gojira, etc..." I couldn't press play quickly enough.

Of course, it also helps when bands can actually back such lofty comparisons up, which Lokust certainly do here. While it's the specificity of Sylosis that had me genuinely intrigued, it's the oft-bandied-about labels of Lamb of God and Gojira that best describe the sound of the fresh-faced UK outfit. Tracks like "Parasitic" (below) sound about as close to a genuine cross between those two modern metal titans as you could possibly get outside of a genuine collaboration and, while Lokust might not score highly on originality, that they can hold their own against such a lofty benchmark is a worthy feat on its own. If I had to add a third point of reference, I'd go with NWOAHM champions Chimaira, whose bulldozing rhythmic style can be heard all over this album. Moreover, either Anders Fridén shows up on "Guiltless" or vocalist Alex da Costa is every bit as good at imitating the In Flames frontman as he is at laying down the Duplantier-esque echoes he duets with, although there are a few other Jonathan Davis-sounding sections that crop up here and there as well, so who know. Tracks like "War of Opposites" and "Jinn" also reminds me a lot of Meshiaak at their best, for what it's worth.

At times the comparisons can sit a little too close for comfort, but if Infidel came from any of the bands listed above it would likely be praised as one of the best and most vital records of their career. It'll be interesting to see if Lokust can carve out more of an individual identity on future releases, but sometimes it's enough just to hear the things you love pulled off with the degree of quality and enthusiasm that made you fall for them in the first place.

Release Roundup

Abstract Void – Forever (blackgaze, synthwave)

Aleister Cowboy – Relentless Repugnance (nu-ish death metal)

Alghol – Night Eternal (blackened death metal)

Ar’lyxkq’wr – R’ynn’wr(yx) (mashed keyboard-core)

Arch Echo – Final Pitch (nu-prog, djent)

Artanor – In Servitude Of Darkness (black metal)

Ashtar – Wandering Through Time (blackened doom)

Astralborne – Across the Aeons (melodic death metal)

Atonement – Sadistic Invaders (black thrash)

Awful Noise – A Peaceful Death With Pretty Flowers (deathgrind)

Bear The Mammoth – Purple Haus (post-taxonomy core)

Black Sorcery – Deciphering Torment Through Malediction (black metal)

Blackning – Awakening Rage (groovy death thrash)

Blasphemous Fire – Beneath The Darkness (blackened death metal)

Bloodmouth – Carnist Industrial Complex (deathgrind)

Carly Rae Jepsen – The Loveliest Time (pop, not good)

Chaos Altar – Where the Ashes Now Reign (black metal)

Cold Soul – Coldness Condition (melodeath)

Contrarian – Demos & Oddities 1995-1999 (prog death)

Dalisay – The Tragedy of The Immaculate and The Leper (blackened death metal)

Dead Fields Of Woolwich – Dead Fields Of Woolwich (gothic doom)

Dead Heat – Endless Torment (crossover death thrash)

Decoherence – Order (weird industrial black metal)

Dev Crawford – Punishment Essay Volume III (alt rock, prog metal)

Dissonant Seepage – The Darkness Will Swallow You Whole (brutal tech-death, slam)

Eave – Fervor (atmospheric black metal, blackgaze)

Eternal Rot – Moribound (sludgy gurgle-core)

Eyemaster – Conjuration of Flesh (death doom)

Fleshless Entity – Unborn Rising (blackened death metal)

Fleshvessel – Yearning: Promethean Fates Sealed (progressive death metal, avant-garde)

Flight – Echoes of Journeys Past (retro metal)

Formless Oedon – Streams Of Rot (disso-death doom)

From Ashes To New – Blackout (melodic nu-metalcore)

Geres – Idle Worship (atmo-prog?)

Girlschool – WTFortyfive? (heavy metal)

The Glorious Dead – Cemetery Paths (blackened death metal)

The Gorge – Mechanical Fiction (posty sludge prog)

Hell’s Coronation – Transgression Of A Necromantical Darkness (blackened doom)

Homeboy Sandman – Rich (abstract hip-hop)

James Rivera’s Metal Wave – New Wave Gone Metal (absolutely not.)

Jesus Wept/Trocar – White Room Torture (Carcass-core)

Jukebox Monkey – Smiles Becoming Teeth (got snarls in his mouth!)

Kampfeswut – Die R​ü​ckkehr des Barden (blck metal)

L.A. Project – Electric Life (heavy metal)

Lowlife – Leader Of A New Generation (hardcore, crossover)

Machinations of Fate – Celestial Prophecies (melodeath)

Mairu – Sol Cultus (post doom)

Mutoid Man – Mutants (skronky sludge-core)

Nekrotisk – Apraxia II: The Forlorn Continuum (brutal blackened death metal)

Nuclear Power Trio – Wet Ass Plutonium (prog shred)

Organ Dealer – The Weight of Being (grindcore, deathgrind)

Panzerchrist – Last Of A Kind (blackened death metal)

Porta Nigra – Welltende (weird black metal, blackened death)

Raze – Pyrography (alt rock/metal)

Return To Dust – The Black Road (extremely post grunge)

Sadistic Vision – Destroyer of All Dreams (death metal)

Saul – This Is It… The End Of Everything (melodic butt metal)

Seal Fur Peeling – Daggers Predacious (melodeath)

Sevendust – Truth Killer (melodic alt metal)

Signs of the Swarm – Amongst the Low & Empty (deathcore)

SOG – Man Demonic (thrash)

Sore Dream x Hisham Akira Baroocha – Sore Dream x Hisham Akira Baroocha (noisy industrial)

Spectre – Lonesome Gambler (retro metal)

Starer – Wind, Breeze, or Breath (post black metal)

Street Soldier – Original Murda Material (hardcore)

The Sun’s Journey Through The Night – Worldless (posty black metal)

Sznur – Ludzina (blackend death metal)

TakaLaiton – Mindfection (death metal)

Teloch Vovin/Viserion – The Iron Age of Kali Yuga (blackened death metal)

Thedus – Hypnosis (death sludge)

Thra – Forged In Chaotic Spew (death metal)

Tongues – Forml​ø​se Stjerner (weird black metal)

Urbain – A Soul Purged (black doom)

Vinsta – Freiweitn (prog death, Opeth)

Welmoed – Ask & Embla (blackened prog gaze?)

Wyrgher – Panspermic Warlords (weird disso-death)

Joshua Bulleid

Published 10 months ago