Just in case you aren’t familiar with what this post is about, Here’s a whole bunch of super rad metal albums that came out the past couple weeks. Try something new while you fucking cry over a toy store closing.
Conjurer – Mire
Some doom-y, sludge-y, post-y metal from the UK. Nothing here that hasn’t been done before but I must admit the better moments are when they get more aggressive and less doom sounding. There’s a layer of crust punk aggression that make for those standout moments that I think really make this album. It’s getting a lot of praise and it’s easy to see why.
Judas Priest – Firepower
On a bands eighteenth album (eighteenth?!) you’d expect them to be on autopilot or circling the drain of creativity but that’s not how Priest does nineteen. Sure, their sound is well established and this doesn’t veer from the Priest sound history but god damn if it doesn’t sound like they’re just as vital as ever, populating this album entirely of full steam ahead, heavy metal rippers (Not Tim, har har har) that make the band seem more energetic and enthusiastic then the past couple albums. Hell, I’d even go as far as to say it’s the mores Priest like album, and driving metal album they’ve made since Painkiller. It’s no Painkiller and nothing ever should be, but instead of kicking back and putting out some songs that allow them to continue touring, Priest made a fucking kick ass nineteenth album and one that is easily in the higher ranks of their career. Right on Priest, you fucking rule.
Esoctrilihum – Pandaemorthium (Forbidden Formulas to Awaken the Blind Sovereigns of Nothingness)
It’s to the point where I’ll pretty much buy anything from I, Voidhanger Records. They have one of the most unique and creative roster of bands going right now and they deliver consistently great, if not amazing, albums and here we are again with Esoctrilihum, a french one-man metal project. Esoctrilihum dwell in the nightmarish and avant-garde realm of metal, weaving in catastrophic levels of dissonance, technical musicianship and evil heaped on evil. Yet it’s theatrical in it’s revealing of songs and sounds. It’s another one of those “you need to hear it to understand” kind of albums, as there’s a lot to bite down on. If you’re into weird stuff like Portal, Blut Aus Nord, Aevangelist, you’re in the right frame of mind for this. Fucking massive and creatively mesmerizing, I, Voidhanger is on a roll again.
Sojourner – The Shadowed Road
Sojourner blew my fucking brain right out of the folk-ed up, Summoning worshipping waters a couple years ago and I’ve been eager awaiting a follow up. Suffice to say it’s as awesome as I had hoped it would be. Doubling up on the folk elements and moving (mostly) away from the Summoning type epic black metal, Sojourner has a calmer, more contemplative album on their hands this time that veers more into that wide open, grander soundscape area that Saor does so well. The inclusion of the second vocalist and her airy, choral like vocals gives it a more theatrical presence but fucking hell, those massive epic riffs bring it all together. So much melody. So much scope. Fucking epic.
Drudkh – They Often See Dreams About the Spring
Drudkh has been a fucking tear since 2014’s Eastern Frontier in Flames compilation. Between that, the last album and all the splits they’ve never sounded more energized and, well, like Drudkh. The energy and songwriting reminds me a lot of the tone and atmosphere of earlier works like Autumn Aurora, and less “been there done that” that I feel the sometimes fall in to. Whatever spark has them ignited I hope it doesn’t go out.
Horn – Retrograde
Horn is nothing if not consistently awesome. I can’t imagine what it must be like to produce nothing but high level albums, one after another but Horn manages. This one is exactly what Horn does so well, which is folk-influenced, melodic-tinged, nature-oriented black metal, and at thirty minutes this mini-lp or EP (or whatever) packs all Horn has to offer in a tight, direct, awesome package. Fucking fantastic band.
The Crown – Cobra Speed Venom
Man, I really love those two albums from the Crown, Deathrace King and Crowned in Terror but I haven’t had any lofty expectations of the band for a while now, and I think that works for them because this new delivered pretty much what I want from them, which is straight up fun, catchy thrashed up death metal, and that’s what I got. No complaints.
Green Druid – Ashen Blood
More awesome Denver metal. Green Druid seemingly came storming out of nowhere and landed on Earache Records with their doomed up, psychedelic, fuzzed-up, weighty, crusher of a debut album. More good Denver metal is only a good thing and this album is a good one.