Leprous - Bilateral

Only five releases today, which is fine, because it’s my birthday and my college started classes back up yesterday. We still have a bunch of stuff coming out this fall to get excited about, but this week is highlighted by releases from Leprous and Atriarch, as well as ICS Vortex’s first solo album. To the reviewing!

Atriarch – Forever The End (Seventh Rule)
The blackened madness with enough dirge to qualify as doom makes Atriarch a great start to this week’s list. The band features bassist Nick Phit, formerly of the phenomenal Graves At Sea. This is the Portland, Oregon band’s first record.

Black Tide – Post Mortem (Interscope)
Oh, Black Tide. Back in 2007, the band blew up after they came from out of nowhere to play the main stage of Ozzfest (to be fair, it was because they couldn’t play the Jagermeister-sponsored second stage, as they were all under 21). A year later, their debut album, Light From Above, was released, and it was somewhat impressive. The band is definitely radio-friendly and groomed to be that way, but you can’t deny the musical ability these guys possess. The leads and tight playing on the record is phenomenal, but the polish and vocal stylings will make this unlistenable to some.

ICS Vortex – Storm Seeker (Century Media)
Norwegian musician ICS Vortex is mostly known for his time in Borknagar and Dimmu Borgir, although he has been active in music since 1991. This is Vortex’s first solo outing, and he draws from all of his past musical ventures in the project. Some of these songs are older, such as lead track “The Blackmobile” which Vortex wrote years ago, and the album features Asgeir Mickelson (Borknagar) on drums and Terje “Cyrus” Anderson (Dimmu Borgir, Suspiria) on guitar.

Leprous – Bilateral (InsideOut / Century Media)
Textured layers of melody and prog stylings make up this release, the band’s third. Leprous weaves intricate passages throughout the record, constantly varying their sound throughout the songs and presenting an overall palette of dynamic, inspired tunes. Think Spock’s Bear/Porcupine Tree meets Opeth meets Isis. This is the band’s first release for InsideOut, a subsidiary of Century Media. Stream album track “Thorn,” featuring Ihsahn on vocals, here.

Minushuman – Bloodthrone (Season Of Mist)
Minushuman, a French conglomeration of many metal styles, release their second album today. The band’s follow-up to 2008’s Watch The World Die sees the band play a style of metal based in thrash, yet sonically distanced quite a bit from it. They incorporate lots of melody into their songs, and the vocals are more in the death metal spectrum. The songs work pretty well, although they are by no means amazing. Overall, the record is a good listen, but this won’t be hitting my top ten of the year.


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