SH*T THAT COMES OUT TODAY – THE JUNE 7TH, 2011 EDITION
June is going to be a huge month for metal releases and it starts with a bang today, the month’s first Tuesday. New releases by Morbid Angel, Arch Enemy, Job For A Cowboy and Amorphis are the biggest hitters, while new ones from Origin, Engineer, Gigan, Khann and Tombs are sure to put some hair on your chest. And that’s just a small sampling of all that comes out today. Vic Vaughn on each and every one of ’em after the jump.
Amorphis – The Beginning Of Times (Nuclear Blast)
The new album from Amorphis is pretty much what you would expect. Long gone from their days of death metal with a slight melodic tinge, Amorphis have gone completely melodic and atmospheric over the course of their 21 years of existence. The Beginning Of Times is a narrative of Väinämöinen, the band’s iconic Finnish hero. Much in the vein of 2007’s Silent Waters and 2009’s Skyforger, Amorphis deliver their new style as per usual, love it or leave it.
Arch Enemy – Khaos Legions (Century Media)
Ooh, misspelling on purpose! In all seriousness, the twin attack of the Amott brothers is usually music to my ears, although occasionally the band strays from the heights they achieved in Arch Enemy’s back catalog. Michael’s individual success in AE, Spiritual Beggars, Carnage and of course Carcass is a testament to just what he brings to the table of a band filled with gifted players. Their new single, “Yesterday Is Dead And Gone”, though, reminds me of every reason I love and hate the band. When they’re good, they’re awesome. When they’re bad, it’s generic technical death metal or Amott is showing off and not impressing.
Barn Burner – Bangers II: Scum Of The Earth (Metal Blade)
Bangers, released in 2010, was one of my favorite records of that year. Head-nodding, groovy rock and roll, with just enough stoner rock mixed into the palette, made their record a solid listen front to back. A little over a year later, here we have Bangers II. I’ve heard only samples so far, but it looks like we’re just getting a more refined version of the former here. The band is still riffing like mad and having a blast with the music, and that’s exactly what I want from this record. A number one.
Black September – The Forbidden Gates Beyond (Prosthetic)
The debut release from the Chicago death metal act is a decent listen. With a primarily death metal style mixed with elements of black metal, the disc is interesting if not spectacular. For a debut release, though, this is a pretty impressive collection. Look out for these guys in the future. The album was originally released by the band independently and Prosthetic is re-releasing it.
Cerebral Bore – Maniacal Miscreation (Earache)
Pretty boring death metal. The songs never really pick up the pace, the riffs never really do anything special, the vocals never really change from a gore growl we’ve all heard before. Another re-release, as this was released independently and is now being released by Earache. The album follows 2006’s demo The Dead Flesh Architect.
Engineer – Crooked Voices (Black Market Activities)
Crooked Voices finds Engineer continuing in the path they hinted at on 2007’s The Dregs. The post-hardcore group, releasing their third album, have been changing their guitar sound slightly on each record, and here we find only clean tones, played in an aggressive style that fits the powerful, gruff vocal style. Both melodic and intense, Crooked Voices makes for an excellent spin. Stream a track from the record right here on MS.
Falconer – Armod (Metal Blade)
Falconer, traditionally a decent power metal band, have broken away and done something different with Armod. This is definitely still power metal, just with a strong folk influence, which is understandable: several of these songs are traditional Swedish folk tunes, rearranged by the band. The album is a step away for sure, but that doesn’t mean the songs are bad, just different.
Gigan – Quasi-Hallucinogenic Sonic Landscapes (Willowtip)
I first became familiar with Gigan when they went on tour with Origin last summer, and I was pretty fascinated. This is some very bizarre, yet really awesome death metal, with some puzzling and impressive guitar work. Combining prog and death is nothing new for bands in this genre, but the way Gigan play keep it interesting all the way through. QHSL is the band’s second release, following 2008’s The Order Of The False Eye.
Hammerfall – Infected (Nuclear Blast)
As if you have no idea what the new Hammerfall record sounds like. The band holds the keys to power metal, and even though their beloved mascot Hector is absent from the cover (which surprisingly caused a large amount of fans to believe Hammerfall were changing their style), Hammerfall delivers again. Although in recent years their output has been less impressive, Hammerfall are still worth a listen.
Jawbone – Loss Of Innocence 7” (Blood & Ink)
Jawbone, a band from Evansville, Indiana, play metal-inspired hardcore. Unlike a million band that do the same, Jawbone really keep my attention. The tracks streaming on their Myspace show a definite foot in metal, a foot in hardcore and an intensity that makes me want to see these guys live reaaal soon. This release follows their self-released demo.
Job For A Cowboy – Gloom (Metal Blade)
Metalsucks had the distinction of streaming this EP last month, and though I like the direction JFAC is going, I still don’t really care for them. Yes, their sound is progressing, and in fact, their sound has always been progressing and changing, which is admirable. But I just am not that interested in the Gloom EP, although it shows a further move towards straight death metal. The EP, which is four tracks long, follow’s 2009’s full-length Ruination.
Khann – Erode (Black Market Activities)
I had not heard of Khann before this review, but I am a fanatic now. Mixing post-rock, hardcore and elements of prog, Khann are an awesome wrecking machine filled with musical ingenuity. They play music that doesn’t jump around, but knows exactly where to put something different to keep the music from becoming repetitive or dull. This is the band’s second album, following their 2007 debut Tofutopia. Stream a track from the record right here on MS.
Looking For An Answer – Eterno Treblinka (Relapse)
Spain’s Looking For An Answer play some down and dirty death metal mixed with a prominent amount of grind. The band’s song lengths stand between death metal and grind’s play fast or die style, giving sufficient time for the track to find its groove but not stretching it out too long. The title of the album is from a Charles Patterson book about animal rights. This is the band’s third full-length, and follows their split earlier this year with Cripple Bastards.
Morbid Angel – Illid Divinum Insanus (Season Of Mist)
This album has already been discussed numerous times on this site and surely will be for some time after its release date. The album features the return of David Vincent, gone from the band since 1995, and also features Tim Yeung on drums while MA drummer Pete Sandoval recovers from back surgery. The album’s incorporation of an industrial vibe and elements of techno is sure to polarize the metal community, and whether this is a step in the right direction is all up to the listener in the end. Personally, I am not digging this, their first release since 2003’s Heretic.
Origin – Entity (Nuclear Blast)
The return of Origin, whose last release was 2009’s Antithesis, doesn’t really make me excited. Sure, these guys are masters at their craft, but I’ve always lumped Origin into the tech-death group of artists who prefer to show off rather than create concise song structures into their releases. The riffage and technicality are good, and new vocalist Jason Keyser does well enough, but vocals aren’t really what makes you pull out an Origin record.
The Air I Breathe – Great Faith In Fools (Rise Records)
A mix of technical deathcore and extremely melodic (i.e. pop) elements. This does nothing for me, and I won’t be listening to them after this review is done. This is the New Jersey group’s second album, following Anathema.
The Soulless – Isolated (Earache)
The Soulless, formerly known as Ignominious Incarceration, release their first album under their new name, which they changed last year. The band produces ripping cuts of technical and melodic death metal in tracks such as “Earthbound” and “Unaltered”. This is their second album for Earache, following Of Winter Born under their former moniker.
Tombs – Path Of Totality (Relapse)
Tombs’s unique blend of black metal, post rock and other metal forms was a solid entrance for album of the year with 2009’s Winter Hours. Path Of Totality continues in the same vein. Their unique mix of crushing riffs and moody atmospherics creates an album on the same page, albeit with not much difference from their previous record. In this case, I don’t consider that a bad thing at all.
Verah Falls – All Our Yesterdays (Blkheart Group)
Uh, wow, another shitty melodic emo-screamo hard-kee-yore band. It sucks. Ignore it.