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Sh*t That Comes Out Today: May 8, 2020

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Slow week this week. At least there’s plenty from last week to keep you entertained. At any rate, here’s the most notable of this week’s new releases.

Brant Bjork
Brant Bjork (Heavy Psych)

Former Kyuss drummer Brant Bjork’s output dwarfs that of most mortal men. It’s kinda surprising it took him until his fifteenth solo-ish record to put out a self-titled release. Don’t worry — this isn’t one of those self-titled albums that marks a big departure for his sound. It’s very much in his wheelhouse: laid-back, bluesy stoner jams. If you’ve listened to any of his previous albums, guess what? It’s basically the same. But that’s cool. Nobody scratches this particular itch like Mr. Bjork.

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Goden
Beyond Darkness (Svart)

I try to listen to everything I cover on here, but I gotta draw the line somewhere, and that’s at a 75-minute long death doom record — even if it’s the spiritual successor to Winter’s landmark Into Darkness. Goden are named after a Winter song, the album title is a reference to its predecessor, and original Winter member Stephen Flam filled it with riffs meant for a follow-up Winter record. The first half sounds great, and I suspect the rest follows suit.

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Killswitch Engage
Atonement II: B-Sides for Charity (Metal Blade)

This was a surprise drop for Bandcamp’s fee-free Friday last week, but it comes out on other streaming services today, so why not? Usually there’s a reason outtakes don’t make the cut on an album, but this is KsE we’re talking about. They’re about as tight a songwriting unit as you’ll find in any metal genre. Although the band didn’t feel they fit on Atonement, even their cast-offs put pretty much any other metalcore band’s work to shame, past or present. And it’s for a good cause!

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Sojourner
Premonitions (Napalm)

This reminds me of the Lacuna Coil knockoffs I used to review for my Decibel column mixed with atmospheric black metal, only better. A distinctly melancholy vibe (duh) hovers over the whole thing like that weird space owl on the cover. The traded-off beauty/beast vocals make for a nice change of pace for the atmospheric black metal stuff and the cosmic expansiveness improves the symphonic side. There are also flutes.

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Winterfylleth
The Reckoning Dawn (Candlelight)

Man, lots of long, depressing albums this week. Who says art doesn’t imitate life? Atmospheric black metal with an emphasis on the black metal, Winterfylleth sound like they’re from Norway but actually hail from England. That doesn’t stop them from getting their Viking on: this thing is seriously epic and intense and all those other adjectives. It may have been six years since their last release, but it’s a welcome new dawn from a band at the top of their genre.

OTHER SHIT THAT COMES OUT THIS WEEK

…and Oceans – Cosmic World Mother (SoM) Listen
Axel Rudi Pell – Sign Of The Times (SPV/Steamhammer) Listen
BlackLab – Abyss (New Heavy Sounds) Listen
Cryptex – Once Upon A Time (SPV/Steamhammer) Listen
Destruction – Born To Thrash – Live In Germany (NB) Listen
Forgotten Tomb – Nihilistic Estrangement (Agonia) Listen
Green Carnation – Leaves Of Yesteryear (SoM) Listen
Naglfar – Cerecloth (Century Media) Listen

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