Holy shit it’s been two weeks since my weekly playlist updated and it’s already into July. This crappy year just keeps on marching ahead, starting dumpster fire after dumpster fire in its wake. Good thing we’ve go heavy metal. Here’s a shit ton of it…

NEW JAMS: (Click those fucking titles)

Vintersorg – Till Fjalls del II
I think Vintersorg always puts out solid, engaging music, whether it’s with Borknagar or his namesake band, so I’ll always jump on whatever he’s doing. When I saw that this was a sequel to the first Vintersorg album I was a little taken aback because that implies a “return to form” and Vintersorg is a band that I like their progressions and I wasn’t clamoring for a return to anything. That being said, it’s more a sequel in spirit. Mostly. The music is more folk oriented then normal, with more acoustic passages and more simpler song arrangements like on the first album, but it also keeps the progressive side that current Vintersorg has been showing. To me it’s the best of both worlds: the more direct songwriting and folk influence of the first matched with the growing and explorative sound of later era Vintersorg. I think it’s awesome and a worthy follow up to the first album as well as another awesome Vintersorg album.

Dream Troll – The Knight of Rebellion
Not sure if these guys are taking the piss with their name and imagery, but I wish if they were they’d commit. Or go full in on the ridiculousness that can be power metal. Either way they find themselves somewhere in the middle, and while they have some good songs I think bands like Eternal Champion are doing this style much better.

Weaponizer – Lawless Age
Just fucking solid as fuck black thrash hailing from Denver. Riff after riff of nasty, headbang-able thrashtastic power with black metal to flavor the mix. I’d say it’s more on the thrash side, but that dirty thrash side. Not polished, kind of sleazy. Fucking rad.

Initiated – World on Fire
What happens when you take members from Foreseen, Ranger, and Hooded Menace, throw them together with a nice helping of hard rock, punk, and a healthy dose of early Danzig? You get Initiated and all of it’s fucking glory. If you want hard rock to be nastier, with punk vocals and the infectious swaggering, bluesy guitars of those first couple Danzig records, this is the album for you. I’ll admit this hit me right in the sweet spot and even though it came out at the end of 2016, it would have made my best of list so I’m fucking counting it for 2017. So much goddamn fun.

Infinity – Hybris
This band is killer at making straight forward melodic black metal. Why fuck with a formula that works. Similar to their 2012 album Non De Hac Terra this one will rattle your skulls with melodic riff after riff and assure you’re head is banging the entire time it’s on. Super fun and solid through and through.

The Dopamines – Tales of Interest
Some good pop punk without a sense of pretension, sloppy, straight forward, and catchy as fuck. Not that crappy pop punk that is in Hollywood movies or tv commercials. Good fun, good songs and good times.

Passage – As Darkness Comes
A Canadian melodic doom band that sounds to my ears like Sentenced riffing with some While Heaven Wept epic-ness. Mostly Sentenced though. And I like those goth/doom Sentenced albums so this pleases me.

Orden Ogan – Gunmen
Orden Ogan have a great formula for Euro-centric, German power metal and they do it very well. If you like catchy, singalong, soaring power metal with a rougher edge, Orden Ogan is for you. My personal preference is for their previous album Ravenhead but I think this is almost as solid. Fun, thematic, larger than life, with all members killing it. Good power metal.

Excalion – Dream Alive
More Euro power metal this time from Finland, and can you get more Euro-centric power metal than from Finland? Germany perhaps, but when it comes to the over the top, keyboard and symphony fueled cheesy power metal, the Fins do have a certain flair. Excalion revels in that sort of power metal. Very Stratovarious in nature: huge songs, huge solos, huge vocals, huge scope. Super fucking fun and ridiculous, all the things I love in a power metal album, even if it’s not the most original thing ever.

Tau Cross – Pillar of Fire
If you don’t know, Tau Cross is made up of the Baron from Amebix after they’re last break up, Voivod drummer Away, and Andy Lefton and Jon Misery from crust/metal bads War//Plague and Misery. And they’re fucking awesome like nobody’s business. They’re debut album was fucking stunning and this new one is every bit it’s equal. Full of all the post punk/rock/goth/crust/metal flavor that the band spins in only a way they can, Pillar of Fire adds some great acoustic songs, some more post rock emotion, and more atmosphere to make an album that is truly unique. Nobody sounds like this band. They’re so fucking good.

Seer – Vol. III & IV: Cult of the Void
I remember thinking this Canadian bands previous compilation of their first two demos was promising. Kind of a darker, classic doom vibe with a heavy presence of sludge. Nothing to write home about but fairly satisfying. Enough to intrigue me for their follow up and technically debut album, even though it’s named Vol. III & IV. All that style I previously mentioned got ratcheted up, getting more doom, more sludge, and even more atmospheric. And not in that typical, cobblestone and fog sort of classic doom way. More introspective or dismal, but still with the swagger of sludge. Fairly interesting release with some bangers on it to be sure.

Winds of Leng – Horrid Dominion
Initially I saw a review stating this band was like Dismember meets the Black Dahlia Murder and that gave me pause, but hey, maybe what BDM needs is a good infusion of that classic Swedish death metal sound. And that’s kind of where this band is. A contemporary take on some older styles, but not in that throwback, worship sort of way. More like an infusion of the ideas. For example they’re highly melodic but not falling into the traps of the “melodic” death metal genre. It’s a modern, clean, flawless production courtesy of Mr. Dan Swano so it sounds very new and current but with comforting allusions to older Swedish death and hyper melodic Swedish black metal. So yeah, riff farm, unending fury, and a great example of melding the old with the new. Keeper.

OTHER JAMS:

Death Fortress – Triumph of the Undying
Kreator – Terribly Certainty (Remastered)
Kreator – Extreme Aggression (Remastered)
Deathstrike – Fuckin’ Death
Iron Flame – Lightning Strikes the Crown
Obituary – Obituary
Woman is the Earth – Thaw
Rosetta – A Determinism of Morality
Dead Silent Slumber – Entombed in the Midnight Hour
Helloween – Walls of Jericho
Rotting Christ – Sanctus Diavolos
Mutoid Man – Helium Head
Jenny Owen Youngs – An Unwavering Band of Light
Vintersorg – Till Fjalls
Mutoid Man – Bleeder
Wode – Servants of the Countercosmos
Sarcasm – Within the Sphere of Ethereal Minds
Green Carnation – The Quiet Offspring
Avenger – Fall of Devotion, Wrath and Blasphemy
Blaze of Sorrow – Asri
Walpyrgus – Walpyrgus Nights
Riot – Sons of Society
Horned Almighty – The Devil’s Music – Songs of Death and Damnation
Borknagar – Epic

Until next time, make mine metal!

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