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Sh*t That Comes Out Today: February 12, 2021

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Here are some new metal releases that didn’t see their shadow last week.

Crystal Viper
The Cult (Listenable)

Who loves Lovecraft and epic traditional metal riffs? Better question: who DOESN’T??? Cosmic horror makes for an odd fit for Crystal Viper’s upbeat NWOBHM-influenced sound, but these eldritch songs still make for some fun headbanging fodder. While Marta Gabriel’s vocals may be a sticking point for some (she hits just at the high end of my preferred range), she brings an undeniable passion to the project. If you’re tired of black metal bozos’ monopoly on Mythos-based music, Crystal Viper would like to tell you about their lord and savior Cthulhu.

Grand Cadaver
Madness Comes (Majestic Mountain)

Dudes from/previously from Dark Tranquillity, Katatonia, Treblinka, Mr. Death, and other Swedish death metal institutions join together to really stretch their musical vocabulary and play… Swedish death metal! Mostly feels like old-school heads blowing off steam and playing old-school death metal for the heck of it. They lock into some killer grooves, Stanne gets to really go for the throat with his own throat, nobody’s reinventing the wheel but they may beat somebody to death with one.

The Pretty Reckless
Death By Rock And Roll (Fearless)

This kind of post-post-grunge rock n’ roll revival bands aren’t really my thing — while I don’t doubt their commitment and love of the music, the parts of rock they pull from generally aren’t the parts that appeal to me. If you’re not a grumpy asshole like myself, The Pretty Reckless are about as good as these bands get. They certainly write catchy tunes, and Taylor Momsen’s throaty blues howl stands out. At times they feel like they’re auditioning to do a Bond theme. There are worse ways to die, for sure.

Sirenia
Riddles, Ruins & Revelations (Napalm)

I did a column on this symphonic gothic stuff for years, and frankly burned out on it pretty hard. Damned if one listen to Sirenia’s tenth (?!) studio album didn’t smash right through my carefully-constructed facade of coolness, though. Nothing ground-breaking here — just well-executed cheese that sees bombast as a superlative, not a pejorative.

Swampbeast
Seven Evils Spawned of Seven Heads (Translation Loss)

This is a gnarly effin’ record right here. Like, usually band names aren’t this on-the-nose as to the sound, but Swampbeast’s debut contains all kinds of boggy evil groove. You can practically smell the decay. Even though it’s objectively gross, though, there’s something infectious about the Los Angeles trio’s wall of sound — and you’d be well-advised not to wade into these murky waters with any open wounds.

OTHER SHIT THAT COMES OUT TODAY

Abiotic – Ikigai (The Artisan Era) Listen
Durbin – The Beast Awakens (Frontiers) Listen
Emptiness – Vide (SoM) Listen
Everdawn – Cleopatra (Sensory) Listen
God Is An Astronaut – Ghost Tapes #10 (Napalm) Listen
Immortal Guardian – Psychosomatic (M-Theory) Listen
Joel Hoekstra’s 13 – Running Games (Frontiers) Listen
Love And Death – Perfectly Preserved (Blind Tiger) Listen
Rings of Saturn – Embryonic Anomaly 10th Anniversary Remake (Unique Leader) Listen
Simulacrum – Genesis (Frontiers) Listen

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