Sh*t That Comes Out Today: February 26, 2021
Not much for the past few weeks, and then BAM — everyone decides to put out their big early-year releases on the same day. Enjoy this big ol’ pile of metal.
Über den Sternen (Prophecy)
Empyrium pierce the firmament with their sixth full-length in their 25 year history. After 2014’s more muted comeback release, The Turn of the Tides, they’ve decided to turn the tides once more and bring in some of the black metal elements present in their first couple albums. Not a ton, mind you, but combine that with their knack for bucolic melancholy and you have a fully fleshed-out neofolk neoclassic.
What better genre to explore complex metaphysical concepts than one whose over-the-top emotional delivery is its greatest quality? Nightwish have a lot to answer for. When Epica’s eighth studio album shines (and it frequently does), it’s when the band sticks to more relatable matters. The usual applies here: catchy songs, bombastic to the max, WAY too long. The production is the star — the ProTools files for this must be thousands of layers deep.
Access All Worlds (Metal Blade)
Black metal may have started in the forest but it didn’t really get interesting until it went into space. Iotunn smash together Primordial and Mesarthim into their own celestial mass and proceed to go all Ego the Living Planet on the cosmic bodies around them. I listen to so much shit that it’s hard to get excited when I spin someone new anymore; these guys blew me away.
Working With God (Ipecac)
Every Melvins record is messed-up in its own special way. Melvins 1983 (Buzz Osborne and Mike Dillard from the ’83 iteration of the group, plus Dale Crover, who joined a year later) take a lo-fi approach to some lowbrow material. Hell, they start the thing with a profane take on a Beach Boys classic. There’s no real predicting what you’re gonna get — demented punk, grungy singalongs, queasy Captain Beefheart worship, doo-wop, even something that sounds like White Zombie (“Boy Mike”). It’s pretty sophomoric — appropriate for a throwback to their teenage lineup.
Respect to Moonspell not only for trying new stuff this far into their career, but pulling it off well! Not that they’ve strayed from the dark metal. They’ve just built on their foundation with a bunch of cool proggy stuff and unexpected song structures. Like the figure on the cover, they go their own path. At least this time they don’t fall off a cliff like they have in the past.
Into the Storm (Dying Victims)
The kaiju-fighting cover art, the head-scratching band name, the speed metal madness within — Significant Point could only come from Japan, and they are both beasts from and unleashed in the east. You want metal that’ll make you feel like you can battle a tornado with the sheer power of an electric guitar alone? These guys will take you into the danger zone.
Abyssal Trip (RidingEasy)
I guess Daft Punk’s right robot has decided to take up a new career as an album cover model now that they’re broken up? Anyway, Spelljammer are sludgier than you’d expect from a band named after an 80s DnD space fantasy offshoot. Still, they definitely nail the “space” part, lifting this massive ship out of the muck and sending it on its long, slow voyage through the stars. They somehow avoid hitting any black holes and blowing a tire.
OTHER SHIT THAT COMES OUT TODAY
Alice Cooper – Detroit Stories (earMusic) Listen
Anneke van Giersbergen – The Darkest Skies Are The Brightest (InsideOut) Listen
Architects – For Those That Wish To Exist (Epitaph) Listen
Black Sheep Wall – Songs for the Enamel Queen (Silent Pendulum) Listen
Black Totem – II: Shapeshifting (Svart) Listen
Culted – Nous (SoM) Listen
Einherjer – North Star (Napalm) Listen
Evergrey – Escape Of The Phoenix (AFM) Listen
Karbholz – Kontra (Metalville) Listen
Mephistofeles – A Path Of Black EP (Helter Skelter/Regain) Listen
Of Mice & Men – Timeless EP (SharpTone) Listen
Ominous Ruin – Amidst Voices That Echo In Stone (Willowtip) Listen
Regional Justice Center – Crime and Punishment (Closed Casket Activities) Listen
Summoning The Lich – United In Chaos (Prosthetic) Listen
Terminal Bliss – Brute Err/ata (Relapse) Listen