Shit That Comes Out Today




Biggest and best metal release day of 2011 so far? It certainly seems that way. New records from Amon Amarth, Becoming the Archetype, Blackguard, Cavalera Conspiracy — are you kidding me? there’s still more? — Goes Cube, Havok, Mercenary, Obscura and a Between the Buried and Me best-of comp (with a brand new release coming next week!) all officially come out today. If you’re a devoted metalhead with varied tastes you better have saved up, else you’ll be very, very poor come tomorrow.

Vic Vaughn takes a look at all those release — and yes, EVEN MORE — after the break.

Amon Amarth – Surtur Rising (Metal Blade)
At this point in the game if Amon Amarth changed up their blend of punishing death metal, rough growls, and Norse and Viking mythos, fans would be incensed. Amon Amarth know better, and deliver another slab of awesome with Surtur Rising. The band hits the road in April on the “An Evening With Amon Amarth” tour, where the band will perform Surtur in its entirety as well as another set of tunes from their other albums.

Becoming The Archetype – Celestial Completion (Solid State)
I was going to write something unique about Becoming The Archetype, but I couldn’t find a damn thing to point out about the music. BTA play pretty run-of-the-mill metalcore with an air of melody that keeps anything from getting dark or aggressive. The band, a Georgian group, has already released three albums for Solid State, the last one being 2008’s Dichotomy. [Your editors respectfully disagree with Vic Vaughn’s opinion, but he’s entitled to it. Check out their awesome new video here. -Ed.]

Between The Buried And Me – Best Of (Victory)
This collection is the last release from BTBAM on Victory, as the band has signed a new deal with Metal Blade Records. Victory’s last chance to scoop money from the pockets of BTBAM fans includes music from all the band’s releases on Victory, as well as a DVD featuring four music videos and admittedly sweet stereoscopic packaging.

Blackguard – Firefight (Victory)
Blackguard’s third album is also their first for Victory Records after leaving Nuclear Blast last year. Their combination of black metal, folk and death metal produces some amazing results, and the band definitely seems out of place on Victory. Hopefully Firefight impresses like the band’s last record, 2009’s Profugus Mortis.

Bloodiest – Descent (Relapse)
Bruce Lamont is a busy guy. The Chicago musician — a member of Yakuza and Circle of Animals to name a few — already released his solo record, Feral Songs For The Epic Decline, back in February. His new project, Bloodiest, is a seven-piece band writing some music that’s alternately heavy and epic, and very awesome. The group features ex-members of former Chicago bands 90 Day Men and Atombombpocketknife, as well.

Cavalera Conspiracy – Blunt Force Trauma (Roadrunner)
This band just does not do it for me. The Cavalera brothers are not going to replicate their past success in Sepultura. The album features guest vocals on “Lynch Mob” by Roger Miret of Agnostic Front, but even that’s not going to sell me. Max has mentioned in interviews that the record sounds like Slayer meets Minor Threat meets Cavalera Conspiracy… interesting.

Goes Cube – In Tides And Drifts (The End)
2009’s Another Day Has Passed was a solid piece of sludgy mathy rock from Brooklyn-based trio Goes Cube. Following three EPs from the band, the record impressed me even more after seeing them once in 2009 and 2010. Their new record finds Goes Cube replacing longtime bassist Matthew Frey with Matt Tyson, a longtime friend of the band.

Havok – Time Is Up (Candlelight)
Denver thrash monsters Havok are back! Their last album, 2009’s Burn, was the band’s first “major-label” release, which although very awesome, feautured tracks already released on their 2004 EP Thrash Can and their 2007 EP Pwn ‘Em All (which is a re-recording of Thrash Can). So while Burn was an awesome release, sinking your teeth into a fresh album of new material is much more enticing. Havok are at the forefront of the “neo-thrash” revival, and Time Is Up is proof. Stream the entire thing on MetalSucks here.

Ironwill – Unturned (Blood & Ink)
A decent chunk of catchy melodic hardcore. After forming in 2009, Ironwill signed with Blood & Ink records earlier this month to release their proper debut release. The band is from Augusta, Georgia.

Mercenary – Metamorphosis (Prosthetic)
Metamorphosis isn’t just a trick title, as Mercenary have gone through three lineup replacements since their last album, 2008’s Architect of Lies; the Danish band has acquired a new vocalist, keyboardist and drummer on this album. Mercenary are veterans of the style, playing melodic/power metal since 1991. This is their sixth full-length since their debut, 1998’s First Breath.

Obscura – Omnivium (Relapse)
Obscura’s second album Cosmogenesis was one of my favorite metal albums of 2009. Made up of former members of Necrophagist and Pestilence, the band’s technical and melodic blend of metal rips my face off and I expect nothing less from Omnivium. This is the German band’s second release for Relapse Records, not counting the re-release of their 2006 album Retribution.

Of Legends – Stranded (Season Of Mist)
Featuring Periphery drummer Travis Orbin, Stranded is Of Legends’ first album. After listening to the first three tracks on their Myspace, I was kind of at a standstill. When the music is on to something it sounds pretty cool, but when it’s off, it is waaaaaaay off. Overall, this is promising and Of Legends could be onto something, but this record is only sub-par work.

Ten After Two – Truth Is (Rise)
I can’t really say anything about most artists on Rise Records without completely bagging on them. Maybe it’s the vocals, the slick production, the guitars that never step outside the confines established long ago by their genre… I could go on. Ten After Two is forgettable, and I can’t believe this kind of music is still a big thing.

True Widow – As High As The Highest Heavens And From The Center To The Circumference Of The Earth (Kemado)
Although this is undeniably heavy, the debut from Dallas-based True Widow is not a record for the impatient. The band’s press materials call the band “stonegaze”, which is spot-on. Haunting vocals on top of sometimes sludgy, sometimes atmospheric guitar passages make this an intense listen that’s stylistically leagues away from labelmates The Sword or Children.


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