SH*T THAT COMES OUT TODAY – THE SEPTEMBER 27, 2011 EDITION
HUGE drop of new releases this week including much-anticipated new records from Mastodon and Machine Head, as well as a ton of excellent other stuff from Craft, Dead In The Dirt, Landmine Marathon and more. My release reviews are a bit shorter than usual just due to the sheer volume of material coming out this week, but I think I covered most points of interest. Check it out after the jump. On a side note, Metalsucks wants to send a birthday shout-out to Rodney Githens, member of Vertebrae 33 and the artist behind the awesome Metal Suckfest poster. Have a good one, dude.
Beneath Oblivion – From Man To Dust (The Mylene Sheath)
Beneath Oblivion deliver another disc of sludgy doom creeping along at a snail’s pace. This is awesome stuff, even though the songs tend to go a little long and there’s not much dynamic. It’s just dark, sludgy riffs moving ever so slowly across each track. Doom haters need not apply. Read Sammy O’Hagar’s review here.
Brutal Truth – End Time (Relapse)
Grind gods Brutal Truth return with their second album since reuniting in 2006. Their last record, Evolution Through Revolution, was an incredible display of the band’s continued relevance in the grindcore scene, and this album should be no different. 2011 continues to deliver excellent new grindcore.
Craft – Void (Southern Lord)
Swedish black metal band Craft haven’t put out a record since 2005’s Fuck The Universe, after which drummer Daniel was fired from the band. This disc sees the band joined by Dirge Rep (ex-Enslaved and Gorgoroth ) on the kit, and it sounds as if they haven’t lost a step. A well-recorded pummeling blast of pure black metal.
Dead In The Dirt – Fear (Southern Lord)
This is only a 7” EP, but it has ten songs. You get the picture: it’s fast. They utilize sludgy guitar tones to create an intensity to be envied. This is the band’s debut offering, and an incredibly impressive one at that.
Falloch – Where Distant Spirits Remain (Candlelight)
Falloch are a Scottish duo who specialize in atmospheric metal. Incorporating elements of post-rock and black metal, the band can be described as Agalloch, but farther at the edge of the metal landscape. The vocals are sung clean, but the dissonant and bleak guitars preserve the heaviness of the music. This is Falloch’s debut release.
Gameday Regulars – …But It’s Hell In The Hallway (Mightier Than Sword)
Gameday Regulars play a progressive style of punk with anthemic vocals, a chunky punk rock rhythm section and catchy lead guitar work. This is covering ground a lot of bands are already inhabiting, but Gameday Regulars do it very well. This is the debut EP from the group.
Glorior Belli – The Great Southern Darkness (Metal Blade)
Glorior Belli’s fusion of sludge metal grooves onto a black metal template is an awesome marriage of styles done to great effect by the band. The new album, the band’s fifth overall, is streaming in its entirety over at Decibel.
Hatesphere – The Great Bludgeoning (Napalm)
I give a lot of shit to a lot of generic metalcore bands on this site, but Hatesphere are one of the genre’s bands that really do it right. The band gallops along at a steady pace, delivers vocals that sound unique while still being reminiscent of the typical death growl, and the string instruments play at a furious pace with a style that isn’t completely amazing but is captivating enough to keep the music interesting. Hatesphere have been around since 1998, although only “Pepe” Hansen, the band’s lead guitarist, has been around since day one.
Homicidal – State Of Mind! (Eulogy)
Pretty standard stuff here. Homicidal’s debut record is the kind of tough guy metallic hardcore that’s been done a million times before. Which is not to say it’s bad… I can get behind a lot of bands like this, just not all the time. The crew hails from the New York/New Jersey area, which is surprising to absolutely no one.
Hundredth – Let Go (Mediaskare)
This band plays very melodic hardcore, which I admit I usually can’t stand. But after listening to a few preview tracks from the album, I have to say I’m impressed with Hundredth. The music is a cohesive blend of aggression and melody, and even though some elements exist here that turn me off (pretty much most of the standard moves that bands like them employ: clean whiny vocals, etc.), the whole thing works pretty well. The band’s last release was 2010’s When Will We Surrender.
Kyng — Trampled Sun (REALID Records)
The debut release from the southern Cali hard rock trio features two songs, including “Falling Down,” that were mixed by the legendary Mike Watts. I haven’t had a chance to check it out yet, but Axl had very positive things to say about the band back in June, praising “Falling Down” for its “simple, bluesy, catchy-as-flypaper riff.”
Landmine Marathon – Gallows (Prosthetic)
Loud, fast, dirty. This is what Landmine Marathon does, and they do it extremely well. The band has already put out three full-lengths (as well as splits with The Funeral Pyre and Scarecrow) playing their style of dirty powerviolence, which is even more impressive when you discover the band’s vocalist is a woman: Grace Perry. I cannot wait to pick this one up.
Machine Head – Unto The Locust (Roadrunner)
I have never understood why Machine Head are as popular as they are. The band plays a pretty basic metalcore/groove metal mix that’s decent, but never really impresses. The band has been around for a while now (their first album came out in 1994) and their sound has progressed with the years, but the music still doesn’t really do anything for me. This is the band’s follow-up to 2007’s The Blackening. Read Axl’s album review here.
Mastodon – The Hunter (Reprise/Warner Bros.)
Mastodon delve further into prog metal and bring less raw riffage to the table with this, their fifth album. Fans will definitely be split on this album, as the band is leagues away from their earlier material, but the album is impressive in its own right to anyone who appreciates their venture into more progressive territory (me). The album features guest vocals from Neurosis’s Scott Kelly on the track “Spectrelight”, marking the band’s fourth album in a row to feature Kelly.
Maylene & The Sons Of Disaster –IV (Ferret)
While Maylene produce a very polished sound overall, I have always had a thing for their tunes. The band produces overly polished songs that are rock and roll at their core. In the past few years The Sons Of Disaster have streamlined their sound, becoming even more polished and melodic in the process, and while the tunes here aren’t as good as the band’s early output the product still has some luster for this reviewer.
Noothgrush – Live For Nothing (Southern Lord)
This is mostly a collection aimed at new fans of the band, as Noothgrush released quite a bit of their material in limited runs that are near impossible to get now. Live For Nothing collects much of the band’s material through two live sets performed on the radio in 1996 and 1999. This is one of the band’s most widelty distributed releases (if not THE most), so everyone should take a listen to this legendary sludge/stoner metal band.
Nothing Til Blood – Lambs Become Lions (Strike First)
And here we have more standard metalcore. Nothing Til Blood are alright, using some interesting guitar parts along with a solid musical base, but the band isn’t breaking any new ground at all. Hopefully they can become a little more dynamic by the time they write record number two.
Oh, Sleeper – Children Of Fire (Solid State)
This is even worse. Granted, this band shows some promise on some songs, but then you throw in a damn super-processed hyper-nasally chorus. This band brings absolutely nothing to the table for me, and I have absolutely no tolerance for this shit.
Rose Funeral – Gates Of Punishment (Metal Blade)
Remember the Uno incident? I admittedly read about the story and never actually listened to Rose Funeral. Well-done standard death metal is what Rose Funeral are all about, and they do it again on Gates Of Punishment. This is the band’s third full-length.
Rosetta/Junius – split single (Translation Loss)
A teaser of sorts for new records expected by both bands in the near future, this split features a song each from both bands. Rosetta and Junius have a phenomenal track record, with both of them creating some dynamic, soaring post-rock with enough raw energy to keep things interesting. Be on the lookout for Junius’s new record in October and Rosetta’s sometime in 2012.
Rwake – Rest (Relapse)
It’s been a long time coming, but Rwake finally have a new album out. Their last offering was 2007’s Voices Of Omens, a phenomenally sludgy and awesome record. Having already heard this release, I just have one thing to say: BUY. THIS. RECORD. NOW.
Suffokate – Return To Despair (Mediaskare)
Eh. Suffokate are a pretty standard metalcore band with a few interesting musical parts, but this is mostly forgettable. I really can’t find anything else to say about this release.
Textures – Dualism (Nuclear Blast)
Textures are an odd band. They blend sections with elements of death metal, progressive metal and post-rock to create a sound all their own. The result is definitely unique, and in this case the band makes it work. The sound is a little heavier on the symphonic/progressive metal side of things, but they don’t really fall in line with other bands of the same genre from the same continent. The Dutch band is ten years old this year, and this is their fourth album.
The Fucking Wrath – Valley Of The Serpent’s Soul (Tee Pee)
Just listen to the “The Question”, which is posted on Brooklyn Vegan or “Altar Of Lies” over at Decibel: The Fucking Wrath play some seriously heavy boogie-filled stoner metal with traces of thrash and punk rock thrown in, and these preview tracks are a great indicator of Valley Of The Serpent Soul’s quality.
Warbringer – Worlds Torn Asunder (Century Media)
On their third album, Warbringer aren’t going to shift streams in any way: they continue to throw down some retro thrash. The band creates some seriously anthemic and rad thrash, and although this retro thrash movement is getting pretty big (i.e. a lot of shitty bands are jumping on this bandwagon), Warbringer can always be counted on to deliver.