Sweet. It’s been almost a month since I’ve posted a “weekly” playlist so clearly I’ve forgotten what weekly means. I assure you I haven’t. All that means is there are more awesome albums to be tallied up and presented to your ears for complete pleasure. So fucking suck it, jerks and get some new music in your crappy lives.

The Armed – Only Love
Despite my love of punk rock, over the past decade or so I have really been keeping up with it all that much, save the bands I’ve always like and a couple new ones here and there, so I don’t really know what the genre is producing that is new and original but The Armed don’t sound like any punk band I’ve heard, and I fucking love that. Equal parts, electronic, bit noise, punk, and grind, this frantic album is a cornucopia of sound for the ear that is equally chaotic and maddening as it is pleasing and melancholic. There’s that same originality and blast of attitude that made me gravitate towards White Lung. Both are unique in completely different ways and The Armed are a shot of awesome I needed in my punk rock arm.

Wolvhammer – The Monuments of Ash & Bone
I feel like I always describe Wolvhammer as blackened sludge and I think they’ve veered more over to the black metal side of things. Maybe with that sludgy guitar tone, and some death metal vibes. I guess the lead singer is now the new singer for Skeletonwitch, which makes sense to me, I’m sure he’ll kill it in that band. Wolvhammer are nothing if not consistent and this is a Wolvhammer album for sure.

Elway – For the Sake of the Bit
I’ve been enjoying how this band grows and matures their pop punk sound in to something more emotional and personal. Plus I’ll always have a soft spot for them for pissing off John Elway.

Frank Turner – Be More Kind
Frank’s last album Positive Songs for Negative People was the first one of his albums I actually didn’t like. It seemed he sacrificed all his clever wordsmith-ing and storytelling for poppier safer waters. It resulted in an album that was instantly forgettable. Now that he’s back with a new one I was hoping he’d have regained some of that fire. Alas, while it’s more political than he’s been, which some might see as a return to form, he’s still coming up short on how creative, and passionate, and unique his lyrics were. So I guess, a mild step up?

Strung Out – Black Out the Sky
I was not expecting an all acoustic album. Acoustic is fine and Strung Out has the song writing chops to make a good transition from punk to acoustic as they’re one of the stronger punk bands in this regard, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t disappointed this wasn’t in their typical sound. Still, Strung Out is always top notch, even stripped down like so.

Hegemone – We Disappear
A striking and ethereal mashup of sludge and black metal elements as told through a post hue. Never veering too far into one style this album is well balanced and engaging all the way through with a lush and vibrant atmosphere without forsaking any heaviness.

Amorphis – Queen of Time
Amorphis is nothing if not consistently solid and while they know their sound and how to utilize it, you shouldn’t expect any great departure from their melodic brand of lightly death-end heavy metal. And that’s 100% ok with me because they do it so well, and maybe on this one, a little better than usually. Just packed to the gills with catchy as fuck songs and guitars, with a slight folk influence there, Amorphis are always on top of their game.

At the Gates – To Drink From the Night Itself
I was one of the few who didn’t cream himself over At the Hates return album from 2014. Those first four albums were the peak of perfection and going out on Slaughter of the Soul is one of the highest marks any death metal band has achieved. So why go on? Even discounting the tremendous anticipation built by following Slaughter I thought the album was weak and mostly just an attempt to cash in on the fame they’ve achieved post Slaughter. With that being said, it’s not a miserable album but it is rather forgettable, where as the first four are not. Now here we are in 2018, two albums deep into their comeback and At the Gates have crafted yet another “ok” album. It’s more in form with their classic sound, I mean, it sounds more like At the Gates than the last album did. Honestly the highlights for me are the bonus tracks where they have alternate versions of two songs but the almighty Rob (the Baron) Miller from Amebix and Tau Cross does the vocals. Again, just kind of an ok, mediocre album from a classic band.

Nocturnal Graves – Titan
Yup. Here’s Nocturnal Graves doing what they do best. Rip-roaring, filthy, black metal flavored with some thrash and a constant state of intensity. They may be going out on a little but of doom branch on this one but it’s subtle and only adds to the overall bombastic nature of this band. Put it on and bang your stupid fucking head because this band fucking slays.

Wilt – Ruin
Super moody, gloomy, and emotive, Canadian black metal. At this point it probably goes without saying it’s atmospheric, and it is, but not as heavily atmospheric as a lot of fellow Canadian black metal bands get. It’s more plodding, more precise in a way. It’s well played and well executed but I was really struck by how clear the vocals were. It’s black metal rasping for sure but they’re highly audible and decipherable. Maybe some post elements here and there as well but overall a solid atmospheric black metal album.

Age of Taurus – The Colony Slain
Epic, British fueled, semi-classical doom very much in the flavor of Pagan Altar. Scratches that doom itch unbelievably.

Panegyrist – Hierurgy
I mean, I’m at the point now where I’m pretty much just buying anything I, Voidhanger Records but out as they’ve easily proven their devotion to releasing only unique, original, and experimental albums is 100% the way to go and it’s a mission statement I can support. Which brings us to Panegyrist, and American band that is throwing in to the Avant-Garde arena with a sound that is black metal, prog, technical death metal, epic power metal, and all around weird and cultish. Like most of the bands on this label, Panegyrist’s eclectic style is engaging and inspired, not over worked or a collage of noise that most bands trying this style out tend to do. Only quality over at I, Voidhanger and Panegyrist proves it once again.

 

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