Sh*t That Comes Out Today: February 5, 2021
It’s February already! How? As usual, here are some new metal albums for you to enjoy. And it’s another Bandcamp Friday, so feel free to share any surprise drops in the comments below.
Angelus Apatrida (Century Media)
In a lot of ways, it feels like the 80s never ended. Angelus Apatrida back up that belief with their delightfully retro take on thrash metal, mixing in Testament/Megadeth-style virtuosity with crossover insanity. One of those bands that does nothing new but rules nonetheless — sometimes the pure stuff satisfies like nothing else. At the very least, the production is way better than on The Legacy. Can’t wait for quarantine to end so I can (watch other people) get in the pit to these rippers.
The Holy of Holies (Ripple)
Appalooza may seem like a pretty shameless Alice in Chains clone at first listen, and yeah, that’s a lot of what they have going on — but it’s the other elements of their sound that make them notable. And not just grungy influences (like the Weezer vocables in “Distress” below), but weird mathy prog parts that feel reminiscent of someone like their countrymen in Gojira. Throw in some polyrhythmic drumming similar to Soulfly and some killer songs and you get something more than just another band digging up Dirt.
Cult of Luna
The Raging River EP (Red Creek)
I dunno, Cult of Luna are one of those bands that’re difficult for me to write about for some reason — their take on post-metal is so unique that I can’t just fall back on the usual tropes. At forty minutes, this is basically a full-length for anyone else. Mark Lanegan shows up to provide his usual laconic drawl to the Western-feeling “Inside of a Dream,” so that’s different. “Wave after Wave” uses some cool repetitive Krautrock-y drumming. Otherwise, it’s five more great tunes from them for you to enjoy.
Lost Themes III: Alive After Death (Sacred Bones)
I know it’s obvious, but: John Carpenter fucking rules. His movies, his music, his outlook on humanity — hard not to love the guy. His third album of original non-soundtrack material is a big step up after the so-so Lost Themes II. It feels like he and collaborators Cody Carpenter and Daniel Davies got inspired by the horrors of the past five years (the time between albums). Spooky synth-y goodness abounds.
I dunno if it’d be worse to be where that mountain man is coming from or where he’s going. If that’s their formerly-cheery shaman mascot, someone seriously pissed him off. That said, the music isn’t really much of a change from the usual. They’re still one of the premier pagan metal acts, and even if the shine is long gone from that subgenre, that doesn’t mean the primal pleasures don’t still satisfy. There’s even a ska song? I dunno. It’s Korpiklaani, either one (or none) of their albums are enough for you or you need all of them. Whichever camp you fall into, you won’t be disappointed.
The Ruins Of Beverast
The Thule Grimoires (Van)
I wonder if Alexander von Meilenwald has ever considered doing a beer pairing called Ruins of Beverage? At any rate, The Thule Grimoires may be the multi-talented multi-instrumentalist’s gothiest work yet — just check out the Type O Negative color scheme on that cover there. No accident. You know what they say about great tastes tasting great together, though. His cinematic black metal mixes perfectly with Type O’s mascara metal stylings. It’s pretty impressive how he switches up his influences on each successive album and does all of them well. Crack open this book for some bewitching spells.
OTHER SHIT THAT COMES OUT TODAY
Komatsu – Stare into the Dawn (Heavy Psych) Listen
Product of Hate – You Brought this War (POH Metalworks) Listen
Sarin – You Can’t Go Back (Prosthetic) Listen
Todd La Torre – Rejoice In The Suffering (Rat Pak) Listen
Transatlantic – The Absolute Universe (InsideOut) Listen