Fuck on outta here summer! Kind of a slow week but man oh man where there some scorchers this week. Quality not quantity some asshole said once.
Yellow Eyes – Immersion Trench Reverie
I’ve been enjoying Yellow Eyes dissonant and abstract black metal. They’ve always balanced the more abrasive with a more melancholic or ethereal approach that makes their music dismally beautiful. This album swings much more to the dissonant side and I’m not sure if it’s as captivating as their previous albums.
Necrovorous – Plains of Decay
Fairly enjoyable but by the book death metal from Greece. Even when Dark Descent puts out a middle of the road album it’s still a pretty good one.
Wolves in the Throne Room – Thrice Woven
As far as albums I was anticipating the most this year, this was one of the top. It was hard to imagine that this wasn’t going to be good but before the preview tracks started coming out it was a question as to whether or not it would be metal again or another ambient album like Celestite, which I enjoyed but would take black metal Wolves any day of the week over. Sure enough, it’s a return to metal. I wouldn’t say return to their roots (ha ha…) because they’ve always been changing and expanding their sound and Thrice Woven is no different. While still firmly atmospheric and possibly out lasting “Cascadian”, the album is Wolves through and through but more adventurous than they’ve been with metal. There’s the furious layered and ethereal qualities and some more slow, contemplative moments and some more avant-garde-ish, experimental types of musical progression. All of their new tricks are pretty well summed up in the song “The Old Ones Are With Us.” Easily one of the finest tracks the band has ever written.
Wolves return is a welcomed one and this album is another magical one from the band. It’ll easily place in the best of albums for me this year.
Propagandhi – Victory Lap
Propagandhi sent me for spin with their 2012 Failed States album as I remembered them as a goofy, pop, skater punk band from my own skater punk days (90’s cough cough) so when I heard that album and their seriously heavy metal influenced and more sincere and serious sound I couldn’t believe my ears. That album was so excellent and one of the best punk albums I’d heard in a very, very long time. I’ve eagerly been awaiting a follow up and now it’s here with Victory Lap and while it’s not Failed States it’s still fucking awesome. The band has fused in some of their more melodic and pop-centric styles will not getting goofy but still maintaining their harder edge. It works to some degree but the more poppy punky songs really stick out against the harder, politically motivated and more metal driven focus of the sound. Failed States was a triumph, this is a good second place finisher.
Wormwitch – Strike Mortal Soil
I was drawn to this simply because the guitarist is the main dude behind Old Graves, who are fucking phenomenal. This, is nothing like Old Graves, but that’s nothing to hold against them. This is more of a crusted up black and roll, d beat, thrash mash up of intensity. Super fun and catchy. A little of this stuff goes a long way for me but I’m digging on this one quite a bit.
Jag Panzer – The Deviant Chord
Fuck. Yes. This was the power metal album I was fucking waiting for this year. I just new Jag Panzer would deliver, but except for that one album, they usually do. They’re such a well-oiled machine at this point and they’ve perfected their harder-edged old school power metal sound over the years that it’s become a guaranteed sign of quality. Not to mention Harry “The Tyrant” Conklin’s tremendous Dio-snarl like vocals that only get better with time. He’s more subtle on this one and I suspect it’s to differentiate his performances for Satan’s Host (the other amazing Colorado power metal band). Riff city, catchy as fuck, driving, forceful. Fucking Excellent.
Cacophony – Speed Metal Symphony
Bolt Thrower – Those Once Loyal
Shores of Ladon – Eindringling
Drouth – Knives, Labyrinths, Mirrors
Skepticism – Farmakon
Mastodon – Cold Dark Place EP
Saturnus – Martyre
David Bowie – Low
David Bowie – Heroes
While Heaven Wept – Suspended At Aphelion
Walpyrgus – Walpyrgus Nights
Until next time, make mine metal!