Sh*t That Comes Out Today: September 25, 2020
Lots of new releases this week — I guess they’re starting to dump all the stuff that got postponed at the beginning of the year. While the biggest release of the week is the new Deftones, nobody sent me a promo and I never really cared about them anyway. Click on the YouTube link below so we get that sweet, sweet advertising money and can continue bringing you quality content like this, but you’ll have to make your own decision as to the album itself. Meanwhile, here’s some synthwave!
Last Call for All Passengers (Blood Music)
Like a lot of the other darksynthers that have been cranking out sinister synth jams since the beginning (see also: Perturbator, Gost, Carpenter Brut), Dan Terminus wants to spread his fiber optic wings. His fifth album still has the dark/synth-wave undertones, but he works in elements of drum ‘n’ bass, industrial, and other hard-hitting sounds to mix things up — even some literal mixing with breakbeat scratches. As expected from the French futurist, it’s another exhilarating dive into a nightmarish cyberpunk dystopia different enough from our own to count as escapism.
While it shares a name with their first two albums (which are also getting reissued today along with a collection of demos), the first new full-length in 22 years from hard/grindcore legends Dropdead shows a real maturity and variety to the songwriting. No, just kidding, it’s 23 more bursts of articulate rage. The state of politics in the US certainly gives them plenty of fodder to scream about! Like any good HC or grind record, Dropdead get in and out in under half an hour and leave a trail of bodies in their wake.
The Ocean Collective
Phanerozoic II: Mesozoic | Cenozoic (Metal Blade)
Most post-metal bands fall short when it comes to a matter of scale — with such a giant sound, it’s actually possible to go too small. The Ocean Collective (formerly-ish just The Ocean) doesn’t have that problem. Hell, they measure their albums in geological eras. They’ve always had a progressive bent, but the intricacy of the instrumental interplay has been amped up here, allowing for even greater dynamics than on Phanerozoic I. That results in a rare sequel that’s even better than its predecessor. This collective never ceases to impress.
Magick & Mischief (Cruz del Sur)
SpellBook used to called Witch Hazel but apparently there are too many of those already. A lot of natural supplement fans in the metal world, I guess. Anyway, as you can tell from the 70s-tastic cover art, Magick & Mischief comes from a dimension ruled by the Lord Weird Slough Feg. What sets them apart from other retro-minded acts? The songwriting shows some serious ambition, each song containing surprising twists and turns within its classic rock carapace.
When I Die, Will I Get Better? (Translation Loss)
With a name like Svalbard and a skull-centric album cover, you’d be forgiven for your disappointment when you discover this UK-based post-hardcore unit aren’t black metal. They’re actually named after a region in Norway that’s one of the world’s northernmost inhabited areas, and that sense of isolation informs their deeply emotional, heavily political music. While there are definite echoes of Envy and Deafheaven-style blackgaze, something about the personal nature of the music makes it stand out. [Note: the video below was uploaded by their former label, Holy Roar, which they left when it turned out the founder was a serious creep. The link to the Translation Loss ordering page still works, though.]
I’m a sucker for Sisters of Mercy-style arena goth, so when a band with similar theatrical proclivities adopt their dark melodies, I’m on board. Hooded Portlanders Uada worship in the temple of love on their latest, Djinn, and those sinister influences take their epic black metal to the next level of the belfry. It’s a grandiose opus with songs that constantly take twists and turns, especially the near-14 minute “No Place Here.” This is an ambitious effort that rewards the listener’s curiousity with fantastic songwriting and a unique approach to their chosen sound.
MORE SHIT THAT COMES OUT TODAY
Ayreon – Transitus (Music Theories) Listen
Between The Buried And Me – Alaska Vinyl Reissue (Craft) Listen
Chrome Waves – Where We Live (Disorder) Listen
Crystal Spiders – Molt (Ripple) Listen
Death Bells – New Signs of Life (Dais) Listen
Deftones – Ohms (Warner) Listen
Dwarrowdelf – Evenstar (Northern Silence) Listen
Four Stroke Baron – Monoqueen (Prosthetic) Listen
Hexx – Entangled in Sin (High Roller) Listen
Kataklysm – Unconquered (NB) Listen
Lik – Misanthropic Breed (Metal Blade) Listen
Morta Skuld – Suffer For Nothing (Peaceville) Listen
Obsidian Kingdom – Meat Machine (Season Of Mist) Listen
Painted Doll – How To Draw Fire (Tee Pee) Listen
Realize – Machine Violence (Relapse) Listen
Varathron – Glorification Under the Latin Moon (Agonia) Listen
White Dog – White Dog (Rise Above) Listen