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Release Day Roundup: 10/20/23

The Callous Daoboys, Cirith Ungol, Angelus Apatrida, Go Ahead and Die, Ozric Tentacles, Blink-182, Dreamwell, The Amenta, Monosphere, Dream unending, Worm, OWDWYR and more.

8 months ago

Top Picks

OWDWYR – Receptor (technical progressive deathgrind)

Here's a cool, underground pick for you! Receptor is only the debut record from progressive tech-grind upstarts OWDWYR (which I'm told is pronounced aʊ ˈdwɪr/“Ow Dweer”), although it comes across like an almost definitive statement from a much more accomplished band. Although the band hail form California, they primarily remind me of two once-revered Australian acts, who seem to have lost their way in recent years. From one angle, they bring to mind what A Million Dead Birds Laughing might sound like if they'd continued down the prog-grind route, instead of ambling of into less-compelling ambient endeavors. From the other, it invokes what the much-touted The Schoenberg Automaton might have wound up getting into if they'd been able to continue developing their sound. While tech-prog is certainly the centrepiece of OWDWYR's sound, Receptor is also a refreshingly varied affair—openly pulling from jazz fusion guitarists, classical composers and Radiohead in its arrangements, and even verging into early-Meshuggah-esque tech-thrash territory come its conclusion. It's a hell of a start, made all the more exciting because it's just the beginning.

Heads up: we'll also have a (rather excellent) Anatomy Of post about OWDWYR coming in a couple of hours, so stay tuned if you like what you hear.

The Callous Daoboys – God Smiles Upon The Callous Daoboys (melodic? mathcore)

Last year's Celebrity Therapist was one of the most acclaimed albums of 2022. Yet, while I could definitely see the skill and potential that album displayed, I also didn't really connect with it, which I put down to some combination of it not seeming like it was quite the finished product, or frenetic, early-Dillinger Escape Plan-aping mathcore just simply not being for me these days. Flash forward just over a year later and we're greeted by a three-track EP that promises a "seismic shift in sound, direction, and tone" that "showcases what this group is capable of ... while seamlessly transcending genre limitations ... to form their most experimental and exciting work yet." and finally deliver "The Callous Daoboys realized". ...and yeah, they absolutely nailed it.

Even at only three-tracks, God Smiles Upon the Callous Daoboys does away with my prior reservations. This feels like a much more refined and confident release, compared with Celebrity Therapist and the way I've been endlessly spamming its two preview tracks over the last week suggests it is indeed, very much for me. There's a notable shift toward more spacious and melodic songwriting, compared with the dense (if controlled) chaos of their previous releases. Outstanding opener "Pushing the Pink Envelope" boasts an absolute all-timer of a chorus that sounds reminiscent of The Xcerts and rivals them their best while comes across like an actually successful version of whatever they were trying to achieve on their new album. It's made all the more effective though by the delayed gratification induced by the band first running you through some of the most punishingly brutish hardcore of their career so far. "Waco Jesus", meanwhile, revels in the punchiness of "Happiness is Just a Smile"/One of Us is the Killer-era Dillinger, while still bringing the hooks, and "Designer Shroud of Turin" assures longtime fans that the band haven't strayed too far from the path with its Salsa-inflected, nu-jazz assault. If Celebrity Therapist is the Callous Daoboys' Miss Machine, then this EP suggests they likely have an Ire Works or Option Paralysis in their future and I couldn't be more hyped.

Release Roundup

Afterbirth – In But Not Of (brutal death metal)

Aldaaron – Majestic Heights, Melancholic Depths (black metal)

Alto Voltaje – Manifiesto (thrash)

The Amenta – Plague of Locusts (blackened industrial)

Angelus Apatrida – Aftermath (thrash)

Animamortua – Gods Among Us (doomish metal)

Anuseye – Right Place Wrong Time (psychedelic stoner rock)

Appalooza – The Shining Son (sludgy stoner metal)

Archangel – Total Dark Sublime (soft metal)

Asagraum – Veil of Death, Ruptured (black metal)

Askesis – Beyond The Fate Of Death (blackened death metal)

Baring Teeth – The Path Narrows (blackened disso-death)

Battlemaster – Greedgripped & Spellspoilt (black thrash)

Black Void Cult – .​.​.​Even The Stars Have To Die (thrashy symphonic black metal)

Black Wasteland – Time Devours All (trad doom)

Blood Lightning – Blood Lightning (stoner metal/doom)

Bloodred Hourglass – How’s The Heart? (modern melodeath)

Boys Like Girls – Sunday At Foxwoods (pop rock)

Cirith Ungol – Dark Parade (heavy metal)

Conny Ochs – Wahn Und Sinn (doom folk)

Count Witchfinder – Witch Trial (heavy metal, psych doom)

Cronies – L1V3 S1CK0 L0V3 F3ST (alt-sludge/core)

Cryfemal – La Gran Victoria Del Mal (black metal)

Cult Burial – Reverie Of The Malignant (blackened death doom)

Daniele Brusachetto – Bruise A Shadow (alt rock/metal)

Dead Times – Dead Times (blackened industrial, noise)

Death Pose – Midnight Society (hardcore)

December Screams Embers – Spooky Noodle (goth metal)

Derdian – New Era Part IV: Resurgence (power metal)

Diabolic Night – Beneath The Crimson Prophecy (black metal)

Display Of Decay – Vitriol (death metal)

Dog Eat Dog – Free Radicals (nu hardcore)

Domhain – Nimue (post black metal)

Dream Unending / Worm – Starpath (prog doom) 

Dreamwell – In My Saddest Dreams, I Am Beside You (brutal post-hardcore, skramz?)

Duff McKagan – Lighthouse (who even listens to this?)

Edgeflame – In Vaulted Halls Entombed (blackened death metal)

Enigma Ex Machina – Blurring Thoughts, Flawless Lies (doom metal)

Elegy Of Madness – XI (blackened opera doom)

Entierro – The Gates Of Hell (doomish metal)

Forest Swords – Bolted (experimental electronic, ambient dub)

Galloglaigh – Realms Unknown (black metal)

Game Over – Hellframes (heavy metal, thrash)

Glen – I Can See No Evil (indie prog)

GO AHEAD AND DIE – Unhealthy Mechanisms (Cavalera-core)

Helgrindur – Helgrindur (melodeath)

Hippie Death Cult – Helichrysum (stoner doom)

Hold My Own – My Way (hardcore)

The Iron Roses – The Iron Roses (pop punk)

Jason Blake – Radiant Dusk (instrumentalp prog, warr-guitar)

Kardang – Rizky Biznizz (car dudes rock)

Knowing the Future – Damned Miracles (instrumental prog/tech death/thrash)

Knuckle Puck – Losing What We Love (post hardcore, pop-punk)

Lalu – The Fish Who Wanted To Be King (prog rock)

Living Metal – Viviendo el metal (power metal, thrash)

Lunacy – Disconnection (blackish death metal)

Lynch Mob – Babylon (hard rock)

Marchafunebre – Veil Of Death (doom metal)

Marthe – Further In Evil (blackened sludge?)

Monosphere – Sentience (post-metalcore)

Mortajas – Mortajas II (doom)

Night Ranger – 40 Years And A Night With Contemporary Youth Orchestra (orchestral dudes rock)

Occult Hand Order – Silence By The Raging Sea (posty sludge doom)

Ozric Tentacles – Lotus Unfolding (trippy jazz prog)

Paul Lidel’s Scream Therapy – Scream Therapy (hard rock)

Plaguestorm – Empty Eyes (groove melodeath)

Poseydon – Through the Gate of Hatred and Aversion (thrash)

Putrid Torso – Trails Of Hypnotized Human Veins (burtal death metal)

Reckless – Sharp Magick Steel (blackish thrash)

Ribozyme – Celestial Low (altish prog rock)

Rival Sons – Lightbringer (lifeless dad rock)

The Rolling Stones – Hackney Diamonds (Great-grandpa rock

Rozario – To The Gods We Swear (power metal)

Sangdragon – Hierophant (powerful death metal)

Savage – Glory Riders (heavy metal)

Sentenced 2 Die – Parasitic Infection (death metal)

Silva – Forgotten Sanctuary (blackened melodeath)

Slowburn – Fire Starter (speed metal)

Small Leaks Sink Ships – Low Tide (art rock, indie pop)

Solemn Vision – Despite The Rise Of The Sun (blackened death metal)

Somnus Aeternus – A Nightmare Lit By A Dying Star (blackened doom)

Sorry… – Self Inflicted Razor Cutting (dsbm)

The Spacelords – Nectar Of The Gods (stoner doom)

Stagewar – Interlude to Self-Destruction (thrash)

Steel Rhino – In Rhino We Trust (heavy metal)

Stomach – Parasite (sludge doom)

Sulfuric Storm – Hell On Earth (death metal)

Sylvatica – Cadaver Synod (symphonic death, melodeath)

Temperance – Hermitage: Daruma’s Eyes Pt. 2 (progressive power metal)

20 Watt Tombstone – The Chosen Few (sludge rock)

Upon Shadows – Poetica (blackened goth metal)

Vambo – II (doom)

Venomous Echoes – Writhing Tomb Amongst The Stars (dissonant black metal)

Vertebra Atlantis – A Dialogue With The Eeriest Sublime (brutal blackened death metal)

Volkor X – The Loop (synthy post rock/metal)

War Curse – Confession (thrash)

Within Temptation – Bleed Out (symphonic metal)

Without the Sky – Everything Is Fine (black metal, DSBM)

Wratheon – Becoming Nil (thrashy black metal)

Zhiva – Into The Eye Of The Storm (doomy metal)

Joshua Bulleid

Published 8 months ago