I’m 100% ready for Fall to start. Summer is outstaying it’s welcome and it’s starting to boil my brain away. Bring on the crisp air and hoodies. Fuck pumpkin spice everything and give me some metal for the season!

NEW STUFF: (Click those titles for music, jerks)

Hot Water Music – Light it Up
Not sure how this got by me as Chuck Ragan is one of my favorite musicians but low and behold, there’s new Hot Water Music in the world. I think this is their most diverse sounding album to date as they incorporate more sounds and elements into the mix than ever before. Their rough and tumble, dirtier pop punk sensibility is still at the core but they’ve thrown in some 80’s hardcore vibe, some Replacements new wave punk straight rock attack, even pop-ier punk, and Chuck’s solo, folk/country styled music has seeped into the mix, at least the emotional and structure parts. It’s kind of a mix of everything I love about Chuck Ragan and his music all wrapped up in one album. I still prefer his solo stuff but this one is scratching that itch something fierce.

Verge – The Process of Self-Becoming
Based on how impressive their last album Sex & Violence was hotly anticipating Verge’s new album, their first in six years. Verge bring the esoteric and occult nastiness to black metal and they fucking just slay it. This new one finds the band expanding the sound more, employing some more melodic and stripped down riffing but also embracing a larger sound at the same time. They aren’t afraid to slow down and let things simmer, or to even change things up all together with the large solo parts and the clean vocals they’ve added. This is a different beast than the last album but still undeniably Verge, and with an album about a specific work of Kierkegaard’s, a lot to unpack but it’s a tremendous stand out album.

The Creepshow – Death at My Door
The Creephshow is the last of the psychobilly, horror-punk bands I can tolerate nowadays and while they’ve sort of veered away from the horror punk aspects of things they still have a bit of a pop horror sensibility to them. They aren’t as straight forward as a lot of those bands and not nearly as cookie cutter as that genre is but they have enough of the elements (slap bass, constant “whoa” background vocals) but they get more “groovy” with things, I guess. Maybe a swing vibe. Particularly on the drums. They’re on their third singer now and she fits in with the other two, if not as distinct but still has the chops. Fun, kind of dumb, and short.

Highrider – Roll for Initiative
Well this is a punch right in the awesome sack. Sweden’s Highrider debuts with a thrashed out, punked up, 70’s doom/occult-ed blast of creative fury and unrelenting power. Super eclectic in a way that works and doesn’t clutter itself and an infectious energy that is fully captivating.

Hexx – Wrath of the Reaper
The bands first album in 16 years and it’s a heaping dose of 80’s thrash infused power metal. I know this band flirted with more of a death metal sound in the 90’s but none of that seems to be present here. It’s back to their rougher power metal roots and even though it’s completely nostalgia fueled, it’s kind of fun.

Nocturnes Mist – Diabolical Baptism
Intense, furious, evil Australian black metal. Fairly straight forward and typical of this kind of genre. There seems to be some Watain influence in there and when they get a little more exploratory with their sound that’s when they’re most interesting, I just wish that happened more on this album.

Mastodon – Cold Dark Place EP
Some left over tracks from the last two albums recording sessions. Sounds like Mastodon to me. I don’t get into all the knit picking of their sound and when they were better or what not because I don’t care enough but I do like them casually, and these songs are decent.

Acephalix – Decreation
Pretty much all the dudes from Vastum are in Acephalix pounding out some rough and dirty death metal. Straight to the point, some crusty riffs, nasty sounds and some killer beats, this is a solid death metal album. I may prefer Vastum tot his but it’s all around enjoyable.

OTHER JAMS:

Unaussprechlichen Kulten – Keziah Lilith Medea (Chapter X)
Fungoid Stream – Prehuman Shapes
Vallenfyre – Fear Those Who Fear Him
Memoriam – For the Fallen
Falls of Rauros – Vigilance Perennial
Solitude Aeturnus – Downfall
Pagan Altar – The Room of Shadows
Witherfall – Nocturnes and Requiems
Loss – Horizonless
Overkill – The Grinding Wheel
Eruption – Cloaks of Oblivion
Doom:VS – Earthless
Kreator – Gods of Violence
Wolfbrigade – Run with the Hunted
Progenie Terrestre Pura – oltreLuna
Hot Water Music – Exister
Tehom – The Merciless Light
Falconer – Among Beggars and Thieves

Until next time, make mine metal!

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