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Sh*t That Comes Out Today: April 10, 2020

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Everybody still doing okay out there? Still alive and staying indoors? My misanthropy is strong but not to the extent of wanting you guys to die. Stay safe, stay sane, listen to dudes with neck tattoos scream at you. Here’s some of the latest metal-adjacent releases to disinfect your headphones through sheer volume.

Azusa
Loop of Yesterdays (Indie/Solid State)

Post-Extol and Dillinger Escape Planners make a splash with the Fibonacci sequence on the cover of their second album, a perfect distillation of the orchestrated chaos found within. The dichotomy between the math-y Hydra Head parts and the ethereal 4AD indie parts can sometimes be so sharp that it feels like two different songs are playing at once. Fortunately, they’re both great songs! You’ll want to play this one — wait for it — on loop.

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Gaytheist
How Long Have I Been On Fire? (Hex)

If there was ever an album title for our times, it’s this one. Gaytheist posit an alternate reality where AmRep was a pop punk label — hey, has to be better than this reality, right? They combine mathematical bludgeoning with snotty hooks and song titles like “hashbrownsblessed” and “Dropping Shit Loads of Truthbombs Into A Swirling Pool of Knowledge,” and it works surprisingly well. Don’t expect Blink-182-style irrelevant irreverence, though: the lyrics may be humorous but they also confront rightwing hypocrisy head-on, like in the satirical anti-choice anthem “It’s Reigning Men.” Burn baby burn.

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High Priestess
Casting the Circle (Ripple)

Los Angeles trio draw magic circles, conjure a very confused Tony Iommi. Big improvement on their 2018 S/T debut. This time they use space wisely by letting the thaumaturgical waves infuse the air around their leisurely doom riffs. 70s vibes reign supreme, down to the proggy keyboard that provides the glow around their warm vocal harmonies. Who knew Satanic rites could be this pretty? Satanists, I guess.

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Lord Vigo
Danse de noir (High Roller)

Lord Vigo’s influences are truly international: they named themselves after the villain from Ghostbusters II, hail from Germany, dress like bikers from a 70s Britsploitation flick, use cover art inspired by Swiss artist H.R. Giger, and have a sound equal parts Texas and Sweden. This Blade Runner-inspired concept album has its roots in the majestic, keyboard-heavy doom of bands like Solitude Aeturnus and Messiah-era Candlemass. It’s unusual for doom metal dudes to dream of electric sheep, so you gotta respect Lord Vigo for doing something different.

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Nightwish
HVMAN. :||: NATVRE (NB)

The band didn’t supply promos, but I’m actually excited for this one. Nightwish used to be one of my favorite bands before Tarja Turunen left. Floor Jansen, while no Tarja, is a very capable vocalist. Their last album had some decent tunes outside of the ridiculous 23-minute song suite, so as long as they show some restraint this time around — wait, what do you mean it’s a double album? And the second disc is a 30-minute song suite? Well, fuck me then.

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Spell
Opulent Decay (Bad Omen)

Although they started out as a pretty straightforward retro metal act, Spell have since changed up their grimoire to reflect more of a prog/psych mindset. The darkness they summon contains shades of Haunt, Ghost, and Rush, a killer combo if I’ve ever heard one. They creepy vibe and crawling hooks satisfy, even if Cam Mayhem’s vocals fall just short of the challenge. Canadian bands pretty much have the throwback thing on lock, don’t they?

OTHER SHIT THAT COMES OUT THIS WEEK

Ayreon – Electric Castle Live And Other Tales DVD/CD (Music Theories) Listen
Benighted – Obscene Repressed (SoM) Listen
Calligram – The Eye Is The First Circle (Prosthetic) Listen
Dool – Summerland (Prophecy) Listen
Joe Satriani – Shapeshifting (Legacy) Listen
Kingsmen – Revenge, Forgiveness, Recovery (SharpTone) Listen
Kool Keith and Thetan – Space Gortex (Anti-Corporate) Listen
Metal Church – From The Vault (Rat Pak) Listen
Midwife – Forever (The Flenser) Listen
Ritual Dictates – Give in to Despair (Artoffact) Listen
Sparta – Trust The River (Dine Alone) Listen
Witch Taint – Sons Of Midwestern Darkness (Tee Pee) Listen
Wolfheart – Wolves Of Karelia (Napalm) Listen

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