There was nothing but exceptional new metal released this week. We’re fucking spoiled over here while everything else is shit. Jesus sucks, enjoy some metal this weekend.


Soul Dissolution – Stardust
Goddamn, I’m such a sucker for this highly emotional, atmospheric, “depressive” black metal and they etherial, uplifting soundscapes it creates. Soul Dissolution is like that, all the time on this album. It’s large, and melodic, and enchanting. This stuff used to rule my world but I haven’t heard a good one in ages. This is a good one.

Primordial – Exile Amongst the Ruins
For some reason this new Primordial album is getting crazy extreme views, a lot negative claiming it to be a failure. Why this one? Why the bands ninth album from what is considered such a stellar discography? Honestly, I don’t know. It sounds like fucking Primordial to me. They have the long, galloping, sweeping, story driven songs, Alan Averill’s phenomenal vocals are on full display and soul crushingly amazing as always. It’s in line with their past handful of albums. I think we take bands like Primordial for granted because they’re so consistently amazing. This is yet another case of people’s expectations getting to high and, at no fault of the bands, not being met. Hey, there’s a new fucking Primordial out and it’s all the things they do great. It doesn’t have to be their best album. It’s fucking awesome. Primordial rules.

Judicator – The Last Emperor
Judicator flew right in on a golden chariot of power metal awesomeness in 2015 with their magnificently Blind Guardian worshipped album At the Expense of Humanity and I loved every second of it. Now they’ve returned to claim the power metal throne of 2018 and with The Last Emperor they might just do it. Judicator makes no bones about their affection for Blind Guardian, and to my ears, this album they start to meld those influences more as opposed to just praise them. Mostly the Blind Guardian affect is left to the layering of the vocals for that grand power Hansi gets on a Blind Guardian album. Speaking of Hansi, he shows up to do vocals on “Spiritual Treason” and he fits so naturally in it takes a second to realize this isn’t Blind Guardian. Most of the album Judicator goes for the more stripped down, riff driven, speed metal side of US power metal and there’s such glee and ownership of that on this album that it’s hard not to get lost in the power of it all, but they also veer over to the more theatrical, Night at the Opera Blind Guardian style. I know I’ve mentioned Blind Guardian a lot but Judicator aren’t just a clone, they’re doing something with their inspiration that’s similar but fresh all at the same time. Right now, this is the power metal album to beat this year.

Lychgate – The Contagion in Nine Steps
Not content with repeating themselves, Lychgate’s third album The Contagion in Nine Steps sees the band diving into even murkier waters. Building off their last albums dismal black metal meets funeral doom style, Contagion twists and turns and gets down right weird, sounding like the soundtrack to a evil funhouse, but one that exists in some alternate dimension where all the light has been devoured by some malevolent force. Each song is an adventure in creativity and heaviness and a progressive approach to songwriting. No, not progressive like prog. Progressive like forward thinking. Lychgate’s third album now cements them as one of metals most interesting acts.

Vallendusk – Fortress of Primal Grace
God damn this band just keeps getting better and better. While most of the time metal dwells in the dark and miserable (and happily so) it’s easy to forget that metal can be uplifting and soaring and Vallendusk are the epitome of that. Yes, even as an atmospheric black metal band. Vallendusk packs this album, like the previous, full of spiritous riffs, soaring, beautiful, skyward melodies of both crushing power and beautiful tranquility. I’m not saying this is power metal but it has that same “we can take on the world” essence and spirt to it and it’s fucking beautiful. I’m completely enamored with this band and this album. Hail, Vallendusk!

Sentient Horror – The Crypts Below EP
The final song on this New Jersey band’s new EP is a cover of Edge of Sanity’s “Darday” which is probably all you need to know to understand what this band is about. Classic Swedish death metal worship, more specifically Dan Swano Swedish death metal worship, and done exceptionally well. Probably because the man himself, Swano, did the mastering. Sure, it’s nothing new and they do have a more current production sound, but it’s just oh so satisfying.

Until next time, make mine metal…