Sh*t That Comes Out Today: October 2, 2020
One of the best metal albums of the year comes out today: the new Six Feet Under! LOL JK I’m talking about Enslaved. Six Feet Under still suck. But what does Corey Taylor think? I don’t have his new album and I don’t write about things I haven’t heard, so heck if I know! I’m sure it’s the greatest thing since the last Tool record, though.
Honestly, if In Flames had decided to go this direction instead of whatever the hell they did after Clayman, I think I would’ve been okay with it. Like, it’s super cheesy, but at least it’s fun! Their unholy combo of melodeath, symphonic metal, and dance pop definitely won’t be for everyone, sure. They still know how to pen incredibly catchy tunes. I wish they didn’t dip into nu-core bullshit at times, but what can you do? If you need some goofy escapism, Amaranthe manifest your desires here.
Endarkenment (Metal Blade)
That sure is a pig with penises sticking out of its eyes, huh. British provocateurs Anaal Nathrakh make a bold statement with the cover art on their latest, but they honestly don’t really need to. Endarkenment is their strongest effort in years. It’s kinda insane how they manage to make their volatile black/death/power/grind/industrial metal mixture so infectious; they basically take every aspect of those genres I hate and make the result way more than the sum of its parts. I suspect it’s because they don’t sacrifice songwriting at the altar of extremity. In a lot of ways, it reminds me of the orchestrated chaos of Strapping Young Lad — high praise indeed. The perfect soundtrack for the shitshow that is the year 2020.
Death Valley Girls
Under the Spell of Joy (Suicide Squeeze)
Noted music critic Chuck Eddy’s criteria for categorizing a band as metal is if the band would’ve been considered metal at any point in the genre’s history, in which case Death Valley Girls pass with flying colors. Plus they have “death” in their name! Their trippy take on heavy psych involves saxophone, hammond organ, lovely harmonies, and lots and lots of effects, both vocal and guitar — at times it’s reminiscent of Hawkwind if that band was part of the original British Invasion. Wail and gnash your teeth at this inclusion if you want, but you’d be missing some damn fine proto-metal happiness.
It’s Enslaved. These guys have always ruled and will continue to rule until the heat death of the universe. 15 albums in and they’re still putting out impressive, forward-thinking music that never fails to surprise. And, unlike the equally excellent (and unpredictable) Opeth, you can’t accuse them of abandoning metal — no matter how much prog they add to the mixture, the Norwegians never fail to include plenty of headbanging fodder. While it’s relatively short at only 45 minutes, you’ll want to spin it right up again as soon as the last notes fade into the Northern night.
May You Be Held (Thrill Jockey)
If you like a little avant-garde in your heavy music, Sumac will save your quarantine by making you feel like you’re witnessing a post-modern ensemble performance at your local museum of contemporary art. They’re so post-metal that it’s only recognizable as such from an abstract angle. That said, this highly-pedigreed trio (featuring members of Baptists, Russian Circles, and Old Man Gloom) knows how to deconstruct a genre in fascinating ways. It’s not really everyday listening, but if you’re in the mood to stray off the left-hand path, Sumac make for excellent guides.
OTHER SHIT THAT COMES OUT THIS WEEK
Brave the Cold – Scarcity (Mission Two) Listen
Corey Taylor – CMFT (Roadrunner) Listen
DevilDriver – Dealing With Demons I (Napalm) Listen
Ellefson – No Cover (Combat) Listen
The Erkonauts – I Want It to End (independent) Listen
Gorephilia – In the Eye of Nothing (Dark Descent) Listen
Gotthard – Steve Lee – The Eyes Of A Tiger (NB) Listen
Nachtblut – Vanitas (Napalm) Listen
Six Feet Under – Nightmares Of The Decomposed (Metal Blade) Listen