My most anticipated release of 2021 comes out today – the new Daughtry! Also Carcass, I guess.
Alien Weaponry have built up a lot of buzz, but I just hear all the sub-Sepultura and so-so Soulfly tribal metal acts that proliferated in the wake of those bands’ bloody roots – the Puyas and Ill Ninos of the world. Everything old is nu again, I suppose. I give them lots of credit for standing out by singing in te reo Māori and covering pressing environmental themes in their lyrics, but frankly, the production doesn’t do them any favors. Say what you will about Ross Robinson and his contemporaries, but they made that stuff sound good. This just doesn’t hit with the same impact.
Torn Arteries (NB)
If I thought I could get away with just posting a GIF of Beavis and Butthead thrashing around in their living room for this review, I would. Actually, I probably could, but that would be doing an achievement this monumental a serious disservice. Surgical Steel was my vote for best metal album of last decade (Decibel agreed!), a remarkable comeback record from a band who had already defined multiple genres in their first iteration. Torn Arteries continues in the same vein – but at the same remarkable level of quality. This really has it all: insanely complex riffs, growl-along choruses, wryly funny lyrics, and even a nine minute song that doesn’t feel it. They even named one of the tunes after the best Hammer horror movie! Is it better than its predecessor? Time will tell (my instinct is yes), but at worst it’s just as good – and that’s pretty rarefied air.
Sacrificio (Metal Blade)
Apparently things suck in Chile as well! Criminal document this unfortunate state of affairs on their ninth studio record. Considering their 90s vintage and South American origins, it should not come as much of a surprise that they owe a fairly large debt to Sepultura: bellowing vocals, thrashing guitars, killer groove. Other than some surprisingly deft solos, not much else to say about what’s going on here. Under a pale gray sky, etc.
Employed to Serve
Dig that early ’90s-style tech death/thrash cover art. Looks like it would be on a Watchtower album or something. Employed to Serve employ a variety of musical styles to serve their vision, from groove metal to tech to more modern screamcore, jumping from ornate solos to gang shouts. Thankfully, they tie it all together beautifully. It honestly doesn’t feel like a rehash. Their canny plundering of metal’s history all works together in service of kicking your ass.
OTHER SHIT THAT COMES OUT TODAY
Brainstorm – Wall Of Skulls (AFM) Listen
Charlotte Wessels – Tales From Six Feet Under (Napalm) Listen
Edge Of Paradise – The Unknown (Frontiers) Listen
Insomnium – Argent Moon EP (Century Media) Listen
The Plot In You – Swan Song (Fearless) Listen
Rage – Resurrection Day (SPV) Listen
Sonny Vincent – Snake Pit Therapy (Svart) Listen
Thrice – Horizons/East (Epitaph) Listen
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