Sh*t That Comes Out Today: April 30, 2021
The undisputed king of the monsters dominates this week’s crop of new releases, but there’s some other good stuff stomping Tokyo as well!
Beyond the Help of Prayers (Dying Victims)
In hindsight, getting into more underground (i.e. non-radio) metal via bands like Dream Theater, Nightwish, and Children of Bodom makes this kind of raw first wave black metal/thrash stuff seem much fresher to me than it probably actually is. That said, Bunker 66 still strikes up a solidly fun Satanic panic, scratching a bunch of very satisfying itches in its efficient 32-minute runtime. If you like music that sounds exactly like what you’d expect from the cover, you’re in for a treat!
Seeds (Magnetic Eye)
Domkraft’s colorful cover art may trick you into expecting some psychedelic sleaze but the bone cryptid inside the Magic Eye gives you more of an idea what to expect. While they take some space journeys, they’re bad trips, more akin to Mastodon’s terrifying perspective on the endless cosmic void. Thankfully their psychedelic doom is actually that and not a way to trick people into listening to sludge metal when all they really want is to experience the depths of the cosmos without some dude screeching at them. Domkraft’s ship holds together.
Hell Unleashed (Napalm)
Haven’t heard anything from these British retro-thrashers in a while, but it turns out that’s because they haven’t done anything in a while! Their fifth album features a reconfigured line-up (Ol Drake returns, replacing his brother on vocals) and a reconfigured sound. They’ve moved up a decade from their Testament- and Slayer-homage days, now doing more of a groove metal thing. While retro-thrash is now a good decade in the dustbin itself, Evile remain really good at whichever style of metal they choose (even if their constant drawback remains a lack of memorable tunes).
Headbanging to Gojira is its own unique thing — they certainly didn’t invent their time signatures but the way they weaponize them into the heaviest thing this side of a flying blue whale belongs to them and them alone. It’s a multi-part process that really allows you to snap the deepest, most inaccessible parts of your spinal column. That’s a long way of saying to stow your fears. Despite the presence of clean singing (not that Joe Duplantier was ever the guy from Demilich or anything) and didgeridoo, Fortitude still wrecks necks. It’s along the same lines as Magma, sonically and quality-wise, but since that was our top album of last decade that ain’t too shabby!
I don’t hate this but I kinda hate myself for not hating this. How’s that for a pull quote? Those of us who lived through nu-metal the first time are justifiably wary about its resurgence. There’s something to be said about the reptile-brain satisfaction that the music can generate but “I look in the mirror and I hate myself” as the opening lines on your album are no “What is this that stands before me?” CD bargain bins are literally clogged with stuff that sounds exactly like this (see also: the alt-rock revival). That said, Tetrarch eschew the really gross toxicity that unfortunately defined the last go-round of this shit. At least they sound more like Slipknot than Limp Bizkit!
OTHER SHIT THAT COMES OUT TODAY
Animal Schoolbus – Going to Grammy’s House 2021 (Lawnmowerjetpack) Listen
Insane – Victims (Dying Victims) Listen
Lucifuge – Infernal Power (Dying Victims) Listen
Oceans – We Are Not Okay EP (NB) Listen
Oryx – Lamenting a Dead World (Translation Loss) Listen
Steve Von Till – A Deep Voiceless Wilderness (Neurot) Listen
The Undertaking! – Funeral Psalms (Solid State) Listen
Ungfell – Es grauet (Eisenwald) Listen
Vreid – Wild North West (SoM) Listen
Warish – Next to Pay (RidingEasy) Listen