SH*T THAT COMES OUT TODAY – THE OCTOBER 18, 2011 EDITION
New releases from Iced Earth, Insomnium, Electro Quarterstaff, Evile and Puscifer top this week’s list of new face-melters, while a b-sides / re-imaginings compilation from Cradle of Filth might actually be the week’s biggest new record. As usual, all of these are available at Amazon for less than you’ll find them at most other places. We take a look at the above releases and more after the jump:
Alarum – Natural Causes (Willowtip)
Alarum play progressive metal, but their music stands out of the pack from other bands in their genre. They use intricate guitar melodies on top of a riffy base with unique vocals that fall somewhere behind a raspy delivery and singing. The result is a spectacular album that’s captivating and technically impressive.
Cradle Of Filth – Evermore Darkly (Nuclear Blast/Peaceville)
Cradle Of Filth’s latest offering is a collection of older tracks (all from the band’s first four releases) done in an orchestral style, with two new tracks from the Darkly, Darkly, Venus Aversa sessions. Dani Filth has stated the album will include “full soundtrack-quality stuff… with choirs, strings and some narration”. The idea is an interesting take on recycling older material, but this will mostly be a release for hardcore CoF fans.
Electro Quarterstaff – Aykroyd (Willowtip)
Overall, Electro Quarterstaff are a prog-rock band that pull a lot of influence from death metal, and the result is an excellent mixture. The band is all instrumental, and between the frantic drumming and the innovative stringed instrument work (there are three guitars active here), the band crushes while creating dynamic and innovative music at the same time. This is their first release in five years, following 2006’s Gretzky.
Evile – Five Serpent’s Teeth (Earache)
Evile are one of my favorite bands playing retro-thrash out there, and this album will be a killer one for sure. Many of the bands playing in the neo-thrash genre write sub-par music that never really kicks you in the teeth like the style really should, but Evile’s previous records, 2007’s Enter The Grave and 2009’s Infected Nations do just that. This is the band’s second album to be produced by Russ Russell, who has done work with Napalm Death, Dimmu Borgir and The Exploited, among others.
Iced Earth – Dystopia (Century Media)
The first album for the band since the departure of former vocalist Matt Barlow, Dystopia instead features Into Eternity vocalist Stu Block on the mic. Block has an impressive vocal range which will fit in nicely with the band. These guys have been around a long time now (their first release was back in 1991), but Iced Earth still deliver excellent heavy/power metal, and this is definitely one to look at.
Insomnium – One For Sorrow (Century Media)
“Melodic death metal” doesn’t really sum up quite how good this band is… because this music is fucking EPIC. The band’s fifth album delivers the same style the band is known for, but their songwriting talent has expanded in a huge way over their career. The music is aggressive, yet melodic and enthralling in a way that really takes the listener in.
Puscifer – Conditions Of My Parole (Puscifer Entertainment)
Although I’m a big fan of Maynard James Keenan’s work with Tool And A Perfect Circle, I do not enjoy listening to Puscifer. The band’s fourth release has a few preview tracks posted online and nothing really grabbed my attention quite the way Keenan’s other projects have. This album features contributions from former members of Rage Against The Machine, Primus and more, but even the star-studded list of guests doesn’t keep the music from falling flat and boring me.
Smohalla – Resilience (Arx Productions)
Resilience is the French group’s debut full-length, and I am impressed as hell with their preview track. “Le repos du Lezurd” is available to view on Youtube, and it shows a band with a strong penchant for atmospheric and spacey metal done in spectacular form. The group has put out a split and an EP thus far (in addition to a few appearances on tributes to Ulver and Emperor), which makes me excited this is only their first release.
Tsjuder – Legion Helvete (Season Of Mist)
As soon as “The Daemon Throne” kicks in, you know you’re in for some punishing black metal here. The band was formed in 1993/1994 and has released three albums so far. This band is one of the reasons I love writing this column… I’m listening to their older stuff now and I’m going nuts over it. This is black metal, kids, so step right up.