Sh*t That Comes Out Today: August 20, 2021
I’m at Psycho Vegas this week, so come say hi and let me know how much you appreciate the hard work I put into rounding up the latest and greatest new metal releases for you guys! Unless you aren’t vaccinated, in which case stay away.
Between The Buried And Me
Colors II (Sumerian)
Usually the only concept proven by prog metal concept album sequels is that the band should’ve left well enough alone. The first Colors was Between the Buried and Me’s zenith, the one where they finally nailed their genre-juggling tightrope walk and put on a thrilling act of technical mastery. There’s so much to absorb in the second part of the story that it can be overwhelming, but it’s the work of a band with almost 15 years’ more experience under their belt. The constant style-switching keeps things unpredictable, never relying on virtuosity alone to try to keep the listener’s attention. It’s a display of dizzying confidence that never gets lost up its own ass.
Dark Blood Reincarnation System (Hells Headbangers)
Although Bonehunter’s boner-wielding werebear mascot has his flag at half mast on the cover, no need to worry – they haven’t gone soft. With songs named after tabletop RPGs, 90s video games, and classic anime, these Finns lean fully into the stupid. And that’s what makes them rule. Their blackened metalpunk thrashers have only one speed (fast), but they push that pedal to the metal and don’t stop for anything in their path.
Infinite Granite (Sargent House)
For all those trve kvltists who decried Deafheaven as the falsest of the false, on Infinite Granite the band finally says, “so what?” This ride is a real slow dive, if you pick up what I’m dropping. While George Clark hasn’t fully retired his blackened shriek, it’s missing for most of the runtime. And honestly, while the lack of dynamics in the vocals has long been one of my criticisms of the band, this time it’s in the opposite direction – the clean singing could use the occasional roar to liven things up (see: the closing track, “Mombasa,” for how effective the two vocal styles can be when done together). That said, nobody does gorgeous shoegaze riffs quite like them. They still deliver those in spades.
Slain In The Spirit (Candlelight)
Hey, it’s symphonic black metal — wait, come back! While yes, Necronautical’s latest exploration beyond the realms of death has lots of orchestral keyboards, they miraculously don’t slather the production on like mayonnaise in the same way every goddamn sandwich shop does to my hoagies even when I specifically ask for no mayo. Anyway, it’s a fun exercise in keyboard-driven evil; it’s been a few years since we’ve heard from Dimmu Borgir so this’ll do nicely in their stead.
When Their Gods Come For You (Ripple)
A concept album about the capriciousness of divine beings through the ages, what When Their Gods Come for You lacks in sonic originality it makes up for through its novel storyline. You’ve definitely heard the doom here before — hell, Black Sabbath’s first album was fifty years ago and people have been mining their sound since. Still, Witchcryer denounce humanity’s hubris with the kind of passion that helps them stand out.
Wolves in the Throne Room
Primordial Arcana (Relapse)
Into the depths of the Cascadian wilderness once more! For their first album as a permanent three-piece, they did everything themselves (isolation and a pandemic lend themselves to self-production). Not really any big stylistic changes here, as you might glean from the album title – a little more black metal, little less folk than Thrice Woven, but otherwise they continue to prove why they’re the biggest name in USBM. They conjure these evocative songs from some ancient forest spirit; that’s the only explanation I can think of.
OTHER SHIT THAT COMES OUT THIS WEEK
Carcosa – Anthology (Self-Released) Listen
George Lynch – Seamless (Rat Pak) Listen
Sodom – Bombenhagel EP (SPV/Steamhammer) Listen
Ulver – Hexahedron (Live At Henie Onstad Kunstsenter) (House of Mythology) Listen
Warkings – Revolution (Napalm) Listen