Upon the rain-soaked tail end of April, May came storming in bring more dismal and dreary weather. Perfect weather for some metal listening. April fucking killed it with new releases and all though today is the first day of May, I’m counting this week’s releases for April. This week wasn’t as prolific as last week but there were still some great music to be sure, including a couple classic bands dropping some awesome new music. So let’s have it then, shall we?

New Music:

Arcturus – Arcturian
As long as there’s new Arcturus in the world, it’s a good thing. While this album doesn’t capture me as much as their first album or The Sham Mirrors it’s still Arcturus and given the credits of the people involved with this album, it’s definitely worth a listen. These guys are on top of their game. Part of me thinks this album is partially only a reason to tour, but the other part of me doesn’t care because it’s fucking awesome.

Baptism – Gloria Tibi Satana
This isn’t really new so much as it’s a new collection of Baptism’s EPs and splits. It sounds like a compilation album with varying quality song to song and the disjointed nature of those types of albums. I wasn’t a fan of his last album but his previous album was awesome and the stuff on here is more in that vain. Hateful, aggressive, melodic at times, Finnish black metal. Good stuff here.

Throes – Disassociation
Some intense, frantic death metal with a bit of an industrial, electronic approach. Not as chaotic as fellow country men Anaal Nathrakh but in the same vein. Pretty good and name your own price on Bandcamp.

Peste Noire – La Chaise-Dyable
This is Peste Noire doing what they do best… weird, French black metal. There’s a good amount of playfulness on this album, marked by traditional, almost gypsy like instrumentation, that ads to the fun of the theatrics that permeates this whole album. I’m never quite sure what I’ll get with a Peste Noire album, and that is what keeps this band exciting to me.

Noisem – Blossoming Decay
A nice, 25 minute, thrash attack. On par with their previous release, if not a little slimmed down with all the fat trimmed.

Djevel – Saa Raa og Kald
I’m not sure this is a “super group” as much as people want to believe it is. The drummer has been in some exceptional black metal bands however. This is solid, old school, Norwegian black metal worship. Nothing earth shattering about it, but a good listen.

Lancer – Second Storm
Some random power metal I stumbled on. The cover is some sort of epic mechanized ostrich. How could I not check this out. Catchy, Euro power metal. Great singalong type power metal.

Cain’s Offering – Stormcrow
I was a big fan of their first album Gather the Faithful from 2009. They take on the classic cheesy Euro power metal and use only the best elements. Considering they’re a mash up of members from Sonata Arctica and Stratovarious, bands who have lost a lot of their charm, they manage to meld only the best aspects of both bands into some top notch power metal. Keep the awesome power metal coming this year!

Kamelot – Haven
It’s hard to replace a lead singer but this is the second Kamelot album with their new singer and to my ears, he sounds almost identical to the previous. If I didn’t know they changed, I probably wouldn’t have even noticed. That being said, I have a weakness for this band. I know, it’s super cheese. So cheesy just looking at it might clog your arteries, but in the land of cheese, the creamiest is king, and Kamelot are that creamy, cheesy taste. Again, they’ve moved from power metal to more symphonic, theatrical metal, and while it’s hard to say they aren’t ever theatrical, this one seems to be less so then most. However, the power metal aspects and “heaviness” are dialed back a bit from their previous album, but that one also went way overboard with the theatrics. All and all, is this album good? Probably not, but I dig it anyways.

Sorrow Plagues – An Eternity of Solitude
Beautiful ambient, atmospheric black metal. Reminds me of last years amazing Woods of Desolation album As the Stars.

Other Jams: 

Napalm Death – Apex Predator-Easy Meat
Hålväg – Hålväg
Boss-De-Nage – All Fours
Manilla Road – The Blessed Curse
Thy Primordial – Pestilence Upon Mankind
Covenant – In Times Before the Light
Thy Primordial – At the World of Untrodden Wonder
Thy Primordial – The Heresy of an Age of Reason
Strung Out – Transmission.Alpha.Delta
Green Death – Manufacturing Evil
Elixir – The Son of Odin
Downfall of Nur – Umbras De Barbagia

Until Next Week…