It’s Friday, which means it’s new metal day! Look forward to my usual idiosyncratic recommendations as well as things people actually want to hear about.
Spectres From the Old World (Century Media)
Mad respect to Dark Fortress. They’ve been at this shit since 1994 and they’re still rocking the corpse paint and hissing about demons and stuff. Their melodic take on black metal continues to be a highlight of the second wave, the kvlt darkness never eclipsing the actual songs. While not quite as much a late-career highlight as 2010’s Ylem, the time away (it’s been six years since their last album) did nothing to drive away their vengeful ghosts.
Five Finger Death Punch
F8 (Better Noise)
Does anybody else remember the terrible Kelsey Grammar comedy Down Periscope? There’s a scene in that where they’re supposed to remain totally silent so the enemy submarine can’t locate them on sonar, but then the fat cook lets out a giant fart that echoes through the whole sub. This is kinda like that, only in music form.
I know people come to this site for the atmospheric black metal, and boy do we have a good one for you this week! This Dutch band combines folk-influenced melodies with evil-influenced Blashyrkh worship. As much as the flowers on the cover may have you thinking of Deafheaven, the pastoral fields contrast nicely with the darkness within. Perfect music for relaxing in nature and realizing how insignificant you are.
Fluid Existential Inversions (Metal Blade)
It’s been five long years since Intronaut last blessed us with their twisting take on post/prog-metal, but they’ve returned now — this time with even more prog! The addition of keyboards provides a welcome backdrop to their technical wizardry, making Fluid Existential Inversions a rich audiosensory experience. Intronaut distort reality like no other band. It’s nice to have them back, and even nicer that they’ve pushed themselves even further out from their previous excursions through the multiverse.
The Night Flight Orchestra
Aeromantic (Nuclear Blast)
Anyone who’s ever heard The Night Flight Orchestra has been eagerly awaiting the release of their fifth album. The supergroup (featuring members of Soilwork and Arch Enemy) doesn’t disappoint on Aeromantic — it’s like if Jeff Lynne produced a late-period ABBA album written by virtuosic melodeath musicians, and it is glorious. Hook after hook after hook, with Bjorn “Speed” Strid’s passionate vocals anchoring it all with some real emotional depth. I didn’t think they could top Sometimes the World Ain’t Enough, but they continue flying high with no sign of coming down any time soon.
Today Is The Day
No Good To Anyone (BMG)
Today is the Day’s mastermind, Steve Austin, has been cranking out gnarly noise rock for thirty years now. Song titles on his latest include “No Good to Anyone,” “Burn In Hell,” and “You’re All Gonna Die,” so… apparently he hasn’t mellowed with age. Austin claims this is supposed to be psychedelic, but it’s a bad trip if so. The pounding stoner grooves and neck-straining screaming haven’t lost any of their primal potency, making it a bad trip worth taking.
OTHER SHIT THAT COMES OUT TODAY
Audrey Horne – Waiting for the Night (Napalm) Listen
Beneath The Massacre – Fearmonger (Century Media) Listen
Insect Ark – The Vanishing (Profound Lore) Listen
John Dolmayan – These Grey Men (Self) Listen
Mondo Generator – Shooters Bible (Heavy Psych Sounds) Listen
Neaera – Neaera (Metal Blade) Listen
Nils Patrik Johansson – The Great Conspiracy (Metalville) Listen
Regarde Les Hommes Tomber – Ascension (Season Of Mist) Listen
Shakra – Mad World (AFM) Listen
Tombs – Monarchy of Shadows EP (Season Of Mist) Listen
Wishbone Ash – Coat of Arms (SPV/Steamhammer) Listen
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