Sh*t That Comes Out This Week: May 1, 2020
Yeah, I know Bandcamp is doing another “all the money goes to the artists” days today so there’ll probably be some surprise drops, but I’m not psychic, so here are the best new metal releases out of what I knew about prior to this morning.
An Autumn for Crippled Children
All Fell Silent, Everything Went Quiet (Prosthetic)
Do you miss Deafheaven? Not that they’ve gone anywhere, but it’s been a couple years since their last album. An Autumn for Crippled Children have a less catchy sobriquet, but they scratch that similar itch of “black metal screeches over pretty shoegaze instrumentals.” While less ambitious (they avoid the epic compositions Deafheaven run towards), they’re more immediately satisfying — and their emphasis on the synthesizers helps give them their own vibe. Their fifth album is another exemplary exercise in lovely despair.
Cosmic Ritual Supertrip (Heavy Psych)
I know you’re looking at that cover art and going “oh cool, another fucking heavy psych record, isn’t this supposed to be a metal column” — but wait! This actually qualifies. Cosmic Ritual Supertrip is a gnarly burst of doomy stoner nihilism. Serious Monster Magnet/Nebula/Acrimony “bad trip” vibes happening in these nuggets, giving the big rock riffs a nasty edge. Perfect for blasting out your car windows once you’re actually able to drive places again.
V (Century Media)
Havok have good thrash riffs. Riffs are cool. Everybody likes riffs. Without hooks, though, riffs are just… there. There’s a reason Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, and Anthrax are the Big 4, and why Testament and Exodus aren’t: they had more hooks, and better ones. Havok have none, as far as I can tell. Without that element, it’s intellectually impressive but you won’t remember it when it’s done.
Solitude in Madness (NB)
Hey, it’s Vader! They do one thing, they do it really well, and they do it under a half hour. All death metal bands should be this considerate. If you’re looking for something different on their twelfth album, you’ll be disappointed. If you’re looking for ferocious, single-track-mind thrashing, you’ve come to the right place. Did we need a twelfth album of this? Probably not! But here we are, and it’s good.
What is This That Stands Before Me? (Sacred Bones)
We all love Black Sabbath, right? Turns out, so do a lot of really cool bands! These interpretations are less literal than those of the Nativity in Black comps, but also help reveal Sabbath’s range. Molchat Doma make “Heaven and Hell” sound like it was always meant to be Russian darkwave, Thou fill “Supernaut”‘s pressure-sealed helmet with swamp mud, and Hilary Woods and Zola Jesus present haunting takes on “N.I.B.” and “Changes,” respectively. Top it off with Uniform feeding “Symptom of the Universe” through a broken tape machine and you have yourself a tribute album worthy of the band being paid tribute to.
Black Metal (NB)
Ironic title alert! The latest from Witchcraft may as well be a Magnus Pelander solo joint — it’s basically just him and an acoustic guitar. His voice lands somewhere between Eddie Vedder and Ian Anderson, and the tasteful classical guitar work feels almost like if Andres Segovia was Nordic instead of Spanish. Metal dudes going acoustic works sometimes, and Pelander achieves a nice sense of melancholy and menace here — but his plaintive wail will likely be the deciding factor for most people.
OTHER SHIT THAT COMES OUT THIS WEEK
Abrams – Modern Ways (Atypeek) Listen
Aether Realm – Redneck Vikings From Hell (Napalm) Listen
Desert Storm – Omens (APF) Listen
River Cult – Chilling Effect (Tee Pee/Nasoni) Listen
Umbra Vitae – Shadow Of Life (Deathwish) Listen
Witches Hammer – Damnation Is My Salvation (Nuclear War Now!) Listen