Sh*t That Comes Out Today: December 4, 2020
Year’s almost over but there are still metal releases coming. Neither snow nor sleet can stop generic death metal bands!
Sea Savage (Prosthetic)
Gama Bomb are kinda like GWAR but less funny and without the costumes, which I’ll admit does seem to defeat the point. These Irish retro metallers (Accept and Priest make up the intertwining strands of their DNA) at least have a bizarre enough concept about 19th century sailors hunting a yeti. If you can get past the wackiness, their seventh studio album delivers the kind of ridiculous pyrotechnics one would expect given their influences. They certainly commit to the bit.
I don’t normally feature reissues in here, but a lot of people haven’t heard GISM’s classic debut due to sheer availability issues and that’s a goddamn crime. Thanks to the rad folks at Relapse for making this gem of Japanese hardcore available to the masses. It’s so much more than just speed and shouting, though — mutant metal guitar solos and first wave black metal madness abound, along with an utterly chaotic production that layers samples and random vocal utterances over the shredding. You can see why the Napalm Death blokes loved these guys.
A Christmas Carol (NB)
Yeah, it’s a super cheesy power metal band doing a Christmas concept album using traditional Christmas carols as the basis for their songs, but… it’s not bad! These Swedish Helloween fans do an admirable job of transforming the familiar melodies into bombastic metal anthems. Of course it’s silly, but if your significant other only listens to Xmas music for the entire month of December like mine does, at least this makes for a decent compromise.
That cover image sums up 2020, huh? Reverend Bizarre’s Sami Albert “Albert Witchfinder” Hynninen’s one-man doom/drone project Opium Warlords presents listeners with a challenge — long songs, lo-fi production, punishingly slow tempos. Frankly, even with the doom metal trappings, it feels more experimental than anything else. If you can get past the initial learning curve (and a lot of people won’t), this gives you a unique experience for sure.
A Whisp Of The Atlantic EP (NB)
This new EP proves that Bjorn “Speed” Strid and David Andersson’s second-best band is still at the top of its game 25 years in. The 16-minute title track may be the longest melodeath song not done by Edge of Sanity (I haven’t done any research on this so don’t give me shit in the comments), but Andersson’s exceptional songwriting makes it an exciting prog piece — even if it is, as the press material states, pretentious for the group. If you’re not in the mood for that, shorter songs like “Death Diviner” will scratch the Gothenburg itch. This feels more like an essential part of their catalog than a mere throwaway release.
Aldrig I Livet (Dark Descent)
If you want death metal that’s fast, punky, and does not fuck around, Undergang have you covered — in filth. They make Cannibal Corpse seem positively progressive. Although I don’t usually like vox as ghoulish as these, they work with the blunt force trauma approach of the music. Plus, at thirty minutes, it certainly doesn’t wear out its welcome. It’s like life: nasty, brutish, and filled with people belching at you.
OTHER SHIT THAT COMES OUT TODAY
Ad Infinitum – Chapter I Revisited (Napalm) Listen
Cryptodira – Angel Of History (Good Fight) Listen
Deafheaven – 10 Years Gone (Sargent House) Listen
Green Druid – At the Maw of Ruin (Earache) Listen
Iron Mask – Master of Masters (AFM) Listen
Iron Savior – Skycrest (AFM) Listen
Magic Dance – Remnants (Frontiers) Listen
Neal Morse – Live At Morsefest 2018 (Frontiers) Listen
The Pineapple Thief – The Soord Sessions Vol. 4 (Kscope) Listen
Sculptor – Untold Secrets (Frontiers) Listen
Theatre Of Tragedy – Musique 20th Anniversary Edition (AFM) Listen
VRSTY – Cloud City EP (Spinefarm) Listen