Release Day Roundup: 10/27/23

Another stacked release day, featuring new releases from Elm Street, Autopsy, END, Closure In Moscow, Mouth for War, Wayfarer, Poppy, Lowest Creature, King Gizzard, Year of the Knife, DJ Shadow, Taylor Swift, Sweatpants Boner, Neck Cemetery and more!

9 months ago

Top Picks

I'll spare you the treatise on the new old Taylor Swift album this time, for a few reasons: 1) Even I am feeling over-exposed to her at this point, 2) it's not like 1989 (2014) is some kind of overlooked classic like Speak Now (2010) was/is, and 3) It's more or less identical to the original. Instead I have two less-hyped picks from completely opposite ends of the metal spectrum for you to sink your teeth into.

A Flourishing Scourge – Sickened Seed (posty blackened prog metal)

At the extremely proggy end, we have Seattle's A Flourishing Scourge, with their sophomore effort Sickened Seed. I missed these guys first-time around, but having gone back to their self-titled, 2017 debut, I'd say there's been an extreme leap in quality between outings. Not that A Flourishing Scourge was anything to sniff at, but Sickened Seed easily outdoes it in terms of both quality and sheer progressive scope as well. Whereas the band's debut effort stuck more closely to its traditional array of progressive death metal elements, Sickened Seed is a much more blackened affair, often coming across as a continuation of Enslaved's most indulgently progressive albums and there's also a post-metal aspect to this album that often has it leaning more into "progressive post black metal" territory. The albums also regularly touches on brighter progressive mainstays like Steven Wilson, along with more conventional touchstones, such as Opeth and modern disciples like Hath and Wilderun, with the band continuing assert their progressive death metal (and quality control) credentials by enlisting Hannes Grossmann on the drums (who replaces Decrepit Birth's Samus Paulicelli). My reference points might sound all over the place on this one, but this album truly runs the gamut of progressive (and often extravagant) extreme metal, even ending on an Ahab-esque funeral doom note "Stillborn Atrocity". Whether or not Sickened Seed is one of the best albums of 2023, it's easily one of the most impressive, and I'd wager it's the former as well.

Mouth For War – Bleed Yourself (beatdown metalcore)

At the other end, representing white-hot, knuckle-headed hardcore that'll make you want to spin kick your enemies into oblivion, are Colorado crew Mouth For War and their antagonistically titled new album, Bleed Yourself. 2023 has been a year where current hardcore trends have had me feeling feeling of "falling out of love" with the genre, with otherwise well-received records from Jesus Piece, Harms Way and this week's END offering leaving me feeling oppressed and exhausted, rather than exhilarated and uplifted, which is what I go to this genre looking for. Mouth for War buck that trend through two main differences. First, while equally abrasive, their sound also hearkens back to early 2000s metalcore, bringing to mind the likes of hyper-aggressive acts like Hatebreed, First Blood and (especially) unsung favourites Her Nightmare, which is a style that very much speaks to me. Second: DYNAMICS, BABY! While it's true that every song on Bleed Yourself is essentially interchangeable, what matters is that each of those songs contains distinguishable parts and movements. Each is also deployed in a way that uplifts and accentuates the ones that follow, so that both the songs themselves, and the album as a whole, add up to a propulsive and elating experience, that I personally find far more enjoyable.

Release Roundup

Aaron Cravens – Regenerate (shred metalcore)

Aegrus – Invoking The Abysmal Night (black metal)

Akkadian – The Devil Has Evolved (progressive groove death)

Architeuthis/Black Stag Rising – Split (extreme/post dungeon synth?)

Autopsy – Ashes, Organs, Blood and Crypts (death metal)

Bacterial Husk – Anthropogenic Ruin (death metal)

Berserker Legion – Chaos Will Reign (melodeath)

Bonafide – Are You Listening? (AC/DC)

Broder – Skarpretterfossilet (brutal blackened death metal)

Cardinals Folly – Live By The Sword (trad doom)

Cerulean – Carrion Angel (blackened dissodeath)

Closure In Moscow – Soft Hell (progressive indie/alt rock?)

Crowdead – Tearing Your Soul Apart (groove death)

Cursed Disciples – Set To Fail (crossover death metal)

Darkness Is My Canvas – White Noise (heavy metal, trad rock)

Darren Michael Boyd – Hexalogy (melodic shred)

Dead Serenity – When Worlds Turn To Gray (progressive melodeath)

DJ Shadow – Action Adventure ((mostly) instrumental hip-hop, retro pop)

Dokken – Heaven Comes Down (hard rock, heavy metal)

Doro – Conqueress – Forever Strong And Proud (heavy metal)

Duran Duran – Danse Macabre (pop rock, new wave)

Ecocide – Metamorphosis (death metal)

Efraah Enhsikaah – One Thousand Vultures Waiting To Be Fed (black metal)

Ego Planet – Ego Planet (doomy stoner metal)

Elm Street – The Great Tribulation (thrash)


END – Gaping Wounds of Earth (yes, that end)

Endseeker – Global Worming (death metal)

Ershetu – Xibalba (blackened prog doom?)

Eternal Evil – The Gates Beyond Mortality (thrashy black metal)

Farsoth – Morbid Symphonies (crossover death metal)

Flesh of the Stars – Glass Garden (post doom)

Flukt – Omen Ov Darkness (black metal)

Freakshow – So Shall it Be (hard rock, retro rock)

The Gaslight Anthem – History Books (altish indie rock)

Generation Steel – Lionheart (thrashy heavy metal)

Ghosts Of Atlantis – Riddles Of The Sycophants (symphonic blackish death metal)

The Giant Void – Abyssal (prog metal, power thrash)

Glacier Eater – Tempest (blackened melodeath)

Gravesend – Gowanus Death Stomp (death metal)

The Guru Guru – Make (Less) Babies (alt rock, indie)

Hollow Front – The Fear Of Letting Go (modern/melodic metalcore)

Howling Giant – Glass Future (stoner prog)

Ignited – Cradle Of The Wicked (thrash)

Iku-Turso – Ikuinen Kirous (black metal)

Immortal Guardian – Unite And Conquer (extremely cliché power metal)

Impalement – The Dawn Of Blackened Death (black metal)

In This Moment – Godmode (nu goth metal)

Infernalizer – After Dark (goth metal)

King Falcon – King Falcon (altish rock)

KING GIZZARD & THE LIZARD WIZARD – The Silver Cord (electro-prog)

Krâel – Vanitas Vitae (black metal)

La Mer – Tetrahedra (very blackened death metal)

Lake Malice – Post-Genesis (electro metalcore)

Legendry – Time Immortal Wept (power trad)

Lightlorn – At One With The Night Sky (progressive post black metal)

Lowest Creature – Witch Supreme (thrash, crossover)

Lucid Sins – Dancing In The Dark (retro prog)

Luvart – Until the Void (blackish death metal)

Malokarpatan – Vertumnus Caesar (weird black metal)

Mangled Carpenter – Salvation Syndrome (weird death metal)

Mark Tremonti – Christmas Classics New & Old (please stop)*

*You ever seen this guy and Seth Macfarlane in the same room together?

Martyrdoom – As Torment Prevails (I see what they did there)

Mavro Gala – Tenderness (actual post punk)

Mort – Fabulas Vulgaris (Kvelertak-core)

Mort Écarlate – Geuler en for​ê​t​.​.​. (blackish death metal)

The Mountain Goats – Jenny From Thebes (indie rock)

Murderous Ideology – Diabolical Malevolence (y tho?)

Nacarbide – The Identity of Discord (powerful heavy metal)

Nebelkrahe – Ephemer (black metal)

Neck Cemetery – Bring Us the Head (killer band name metal)

NOBRO – Set Your Pussy Free (alt punk)

Noidva – Lappish Shatanism (black metal, melodeath)

Nyos – Waterfall Cave Fantasy, Forever (instrumental math rock/prog)

Of Virtue – Omen (pop metal, crooncore)

Offended – Dreamworld (tradish metal)

Omission – Disciples Of Ravens Vengeance (black thrash)

One Of Nine – Eternal Sorcery (black metal)

Pattern-Seeking Animals – Spooky Action At A Distance (bad prog)

Peine Kapital – Peine Kapital (sludge doom)

Phantom Winter – Her Cold Materials (blackened doom)

The Plague – Erosion Of Gods (death metal)

Poppy – Zig (gothy electropop)

Prospective – Reasons To Leave (modern metalcore)

Psicosfera – Summa Negativa (weird blackened death metal)

Ragana – Desolation’s Flower (doomy black metal)

Raining Nails – Human Deeds (way softer than their name suggests metal)

Ramage Inc – Humanity Has Failed (prog metal, prog death)

Red Reign – Don’t Look Back (heavy metal, hard rock)

Represalia – Contrahechos (death thrash)

Rile – Pessimist (sludge core)

Scorpion Tea – Scorpion Tea (death metal)

Sepulchral Curse – Abhorrent Dimensions (brutal blackened death metal)

Set To Stun – Valkyrie One (proggish post-hardcore)

Shadowspawn – Blasphemica (death metal)

Shotgun Logic – Adaptive Manipulator (speed thrash)

Sky Empire – The Shifting Tectonic Plates Of Power: Part One (prog rock/metal)

Sonus Mortis – Of Red Barren Earth (symphonic blackened death metal)

Sorcerer – Reign Of The Reaper (prog metal, power doom?)

Summoning Death – A Traumatic Night Of The Creeps (death metal)

Suol – Suol (doomy black metal)

Sweatpants Boner – Regurgitation Of Bonerific Cuisine (brutal death, goregrind)

Taking Back Sunday – 152 (post hardcore, emo)

Taylor Swift – 1989 (Taylor’s Version) (pop)

Testimony Of Apocalypse – The Offering (melodeath)

Thanamagus – Lie In Wait (death doom)

Theosophy – Bleeding Wounds of the First and the Last (black metal, melodeath)

Three Eyes Of The Void – The Atheist (blackened folk, prog doom)

Throat – We Must Leave You (goth doom)

Tortuga – Iterations (trad/stoner doom)

Tower Hill – Deathstalker (power metal)

Tumannduumband – Throne Of Grief (sludge doom)

Unhinge – Aggravated Mayhem (crusty death grind)

Violet Blend – Live And True (symphonic nu metal?)

Void of Nothingness – The Rise And Fall Of The Babel Tower (dissonant post black metal?)

Vokonis – Exist Within Light (stoner prog)

VRSTY – Levitate (R’n’B-core)

W.E.B. – Into Hell Fire We Burn (blackened death metal, gothic industrial)

Wargasm – Venom (nu BMTH-core)

Wayfarer – American Gothic (folky black metal)

White Tundra – White Tundra (stoner doom)

Witching – Incendium (melodeath thrash)

Year of the Knife – No Love Lost (crossover death metal)

Yellow Eyes – Master's Murmur (acoustic black metal?)

А за Солнцем Луна… – П​о​г​а​н​к​и [Toadstools] (folky black metal, dungeon synth)

Joshua Bulleid

Published 9 months ago