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.
Carnivore (Century Media)
Of all the early-90s acts one would’ve expected to experience a late-period renaissance, Body Count probably wouldn’t even be on the list. Happily, their recent work has been some of their most powerful, vital material. Ice-T and longtime collaborator Ernie C have their ears to the ground — although Carnivore is obviously influenced by 80s/90s rap, hardcore, and thrash, it feels current. Hell, they even enlist Power Trip’s Riley Gale for the anti-police shooting anthem “Point the Finger.” The “Ace of Spades” cover is unnecessary, but still a nice tribute from an unexpected source.
Dance with the Devil (NB)
Here’s a European metal band with a devil and swords on their album cover who really, really like Iron Maiden, Accept, and King Diamond. Not all Swiss bands can be Celtic Frost or Schammasch, I guess. What they lack in innovation, Burning Witches more than make up for in enthusiasm. While Dance with the Devil can get a bit “name the influence” (their all-encompassing metal attack also taps into the speed, NWOBHM, and glam varieties), the quintet knows that it doesn’t matter if you’re derivative; it only matters if you’re having fun.
Among the Lost/Mors Immortalis (Carbonized)
You want some filthy metal of death? Here’s a comp of rising OSDM stars Mortuous’s first two demos from 2009 and 2012. The Among the Lost section actually doesn’t sound too bad for a death metal demo — it’s grimy in all the right ways, but the recording actually has some punch to it. The Mors Immortalis half sounds more like you’d expect. Hey, some people love that tinny tape sound, I’m not judging. The first six songs’ tombstone-smashing goodness make it worthwhile to everyone else.
My Dying Bride
The Ghost of Orion (NB)
The world’s a depressing place, and no one captures the grandeur of desperation architecture quite like My Dying Bride. Their baroque, emotive dirges have darkened the metal scene for three decades now. It’s been five years since we last heard their mournful cry, and those five years have been grim ones for mainman Aaron Stainthorpe. Surprisingly, he’s manifested that pain in some of their prettiest songs yet. The album’s a little on the long side, but otherwise succeeds in crushing listeners’ spirits.
Unfold the God Man (Pelagic)
This one’s basically for my boy Vince. Psychonaut live on The Ocean’s label, and like those progressive/post-metal giants, they know how to wrangle complex technical compositions. These songs hit hard; the band knows the perfect moments to throttle the instrumental wizardry and drop into some Tool-like melancholy or Mastodon-style bulldozing. Bonus points for the didgeridoo on “Celestial Dictator.”
OTHER SHIT THAT COMES OUT THIS WEEK
Allen/Olzon – Worlds Apart (Frontiers) Listen
Crematory – Unbroken (Napalm) Listen
Earth Rot – Black Tides of Obscurity (Season Of Mist) Listen
Harem Scarem – Change The World (Frontiers) Listen
The Neal Morse Band – The Great Adventour: Live in BRNO 2019 (InsideOut) Listen
The New Regime – Heart Mind Body & Soul (Red) Listen
Novena – Eleventh Hour (Frontiers) Listen
Ross The Boss – Born Of Fire (AFM) Listen
Trauma – Ominous Black (Selfmadegod) Listen
Wvrm – Colony Collapse (Prosthetic) Listen
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