Sh*t That Comes Out Today: July 30, 2021
I think we can all agree that “Chunk! No, Captain Chunk!” is one of the very worst band names ever conceived, right?
Leave A Scar (Napalm)
I dunno why metal’s elder statesmen feel the need to constantly reiterate their commitment to rock — we believe you, you’ve been doing it for long enough! Still, Dee Snider’s last solo album felt surprisingly vital, and Leave a Scar continues his post-Twisted Sister reunion hot streak. He’s not fucking around, either — Corpsegrinder even shows up on one track! The nice thing about Snider? He’s not content to rest on his reputation. He’s still determinded to prove his metal credentials, and he most certainly wants to rock.
Celestial Blues (Relapse)
Lots of metal bands feature Satan on their album covers, but how many of them dress up as the Morningstar themselves? Kris Esfandiari produces some of the most devastating music you’ll ever hear, and while her releases as King Woman focus on her words, this isn’t one of those “dark Americana” singer-songwriter records — this is heavy as hell, doom in both sound and intent. The gaping wounds on her back may be makeup but she smears her lifesblood all over the record.
Been a while since we’ve heard from blackgaze pioneers Lantlos — seven years, to be precise. At this point they’re VERY post-black metal to the point where it’s hard to even pinpoint that as one of their formative influences anymore. Instead, Markus Siegenhort leans hard into the feedback-drenched emotional catharses of influences like Hum and Failure with a little bit of Devin Townsend weirdness so you aren’t staring at your shoes the whole time. The songs come in shorter, more discrete forms — usually a positive. In this case it doesn’t let the melodic melancholy drift off into the prettier passages, making it unexpectedly heavier and a little more one-note than its predecessor. It’s far from a dog, though — it’s easy to get sucked into Lantlos’ world.
Opus Ferox – The Great Escape (Vicisolum)
Honestly didn’t know these guys were still around. I dug their ’06 album Destruction Time Again! back in the day but hadn’t heard anything from them since. Turns out they still kick ass! If you aren’t familiar, they play a Finnish take on Dream Theater-type prog metal — wait, come back! They’re much more disciplined, choosing to channel their prodigious talent into more concise songs. New vocalist Jonas Radehorn sang in a Judas Priest covers band, and it’s pretty obvious at times, but his emotive approach to the words really brings them to the next level. I’m certainly glad I rediscovered them.
Swallow The Sun
20 Years Of Gloom, Beauty and Despair – Live In Helsinski (Century Media)
Last year was the twentieth anniversary of Finnish doom destroyers Swallow the Sun, and they planned the corresponding tour accordingly: one acoustic set, one set of fan favorites. They got through ten dates before you-know-what shut everything down. Fortunately, they taped one of the dates, so we get a live album to make up for it. Other than the continued inability for thus of us stateside to see them live, can’t really complain about this package. Band in top form, great setlist — it even delivers everything it promises in the title!
OTHER SHIT THAT COMES OUT TODAY
Axel Rudi Pell – Diamonds Unlocked II (SPV/Steamhammer)
Chunk! No, Captain Chunk! – Gone Are The Good Days (Fearless)
The Five Hundred – A World On Fire (Long Branch)
Geezer Butler – Manipulations Of The Mind – The Complete Collection Box Set (BMG)
The Ghost Inside – Rise From The Ashes: Live At The Shrine (Epitaph)
Hexorcist – Evil Reaping Death (Memento Mori)
Lucer – L.A. Collection (Mighty)
Marta Gabriel – Metal Queens (Listenable)
Praise The Plague – The Obsidian Gate (Lifeforce)
Tragedy – Disco Balls To The Wall (Napalm)