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Sh*t That Comes Out This Week: Mar. 13, 2020

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Happy Friday the 13th! Here are some kick-ass new releases to check out when you aren’t watching Jason Lives on repeat instead of interacting with other humans because they are all filthy, disease-ridden vermin.

Ambush
Infidel (High Roller)

Ambush definitely are not fucking around with that album art, huh? This trad metal act leans more towards Judas Priest than Mercyful Fate (check out their tribute to the Metal Gods in the “Hellbiter” video below), so the inverted cross conflagration is a little misleading, but once you hit play you won’t care. I’ll admit that there are a thousand of these bands, but Ambush have a joy to their sound that sets them apart. You’ll be blindsided by their radical rock attack.

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Code Orange
Underneath (Roadrunner)
Read the MetalSucks review

Axl sez: “The biggest (only?) problem with Code Orange to date has been that their songs sometime seem like random collections of riffs in search of a unifying structure; that’s rarely a problem here. Underneath is, from start to finish, the band’s most satisfying release to date. Now let’s hope Code Orange fans are open-minded enough to embrace it.”

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Fotocrime
South of Heaven (Profound Lore)

Ryan Patterson’s post-Coliseum post-punk project Fotocrime impressed with its EPs and debut. Second album South of Heaven shares a name with a rather beloved Slayer record, and while it obviously can’t match that level of musical intensity, the underlying emotions get pretty damn intense. The catchy-as-hell jams harken back to the glory days of Sisters of Mercy and Red Lorry Yellow Lorry drum-machined arena goth. These are dark days, and they require dark music. Fotocrime are here for you.

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Huntsmen
Mandala of Fear (Prosthetic)

One of the more intriguing acts to arise from the prog metal scene in recent years, Huntsmen combine Yes’s pastoral progressive melodies with (early) Baroness sludge stomp. Their second full-length tells the near-future story of a lone soldier encountering the horrors of war over the course of 80 unpredictable minutes. At times the transition between the pretty parts and the brutal bits can feel jarring, but when you really sit down with the record you realize that that’s a deliberate choice: they use the dichotomy to present life in its most peaceful and most devastating.

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Kult of the Wizard
Gold (Self-released)

Royal Thunder and Windhand comparisons seem inevitable for this Minneapolis-based bluesy doom act, especially with Mahle Roth’s throaty howl. Still, something unique glitters in Gold. They know how to guide a descent — while the first half of the album swings hard to draw listeners in, by the end they’re embarking on epic, emotionally-charged dirges (“Into the Void,” while not a Sabbath cover, certainly lives up to its title). Usually I try to dissuade people from joining cults, but the only sacrifice this one requires is

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Vaisseau
Horrors Waiting in Line (Totem Cat)

It’s been a few years since Zombi’s last release, so if you’ve been jonesing for some creepy synth prog jams, Vaisseau got you covered. Like that Pittsburgh-based band, this French duo consists of a keyboardist and drummer. That’s all they need, really. The synths create an enveloping sinister atmosphere that perfectly matches the nightmarish figures on the cover. They embrace the Goblin influence, using it as a basis to paint their own Boschian masterpiece using electronics instead of oils.

OTHER SHIT THAT COMES OUT TODAY

Crimson Shadows – The Resurrection EP (Napalm) Listen
Gotthard – #13 (Nuclear Blast) Listen
Human Impact – Human Impact (Ipecac) Listen
Jonathan Hulten – Chants From Another Place (Kscope) Listen
Lychgate – Also Sprach Futura (Debemur Morti) Listen
Puta Volcano – Amma (The Orchard) Listen
Sicarius – God Of Dead Roots (M-Theory) Listen
Stitched Up Heart – Darkness (Century Media) Listen
The Unity – Pride (SPV/Steamhammer) Listen
Wolf – Feeding the Machine Listen

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