The best new metal albums you can buy this week
It's a big week for cracking new metal album releases! Get your mitts on some of these...
Sikth - The Future In Whose Eyes?
"Within the opening minutes of Vivid it’s clear new vocalist Joe Rosser, who helms guitarist Graham ‘Pin’ Pinney’s excellent Aliases venture, has both the versatility and soaring pipes to trade off Mikee’s scattershot approach. Three tracks give Mikee the chance to indulge in some absorbing poetic excursions that venture down all manner of murky alleyways backed by subtle ambience, meaning there are only nine songs proper, all of which need multiple plays to even begin to decipher the twists and turns, abstract imagery and riveting idiosyncrasies."
Mutoid Man - War Moans
"Initially starting out life as a collaboration between Cave In’s Stephen Brodsky and Converge’s Ben Koller, Mutoid Man have since, well, mutated into something much more permanent and, musically, more frantic. Bigger in terms of ideas, better – in places – than their 2015 debut album, Bleeder, and boasting a host of new, fretboard-bashing riffs, War Moans is a thrillride, and one of the most entertaining records of the year so far."
Wednesday 13 - Condolences
"Now signed to Nuclear Blast, Condolences is the first time Wednesday 13 has committed to making an all-out metal record. What The Night Brings and Cadaverous are both anthemic, squealing Manson-esque club stompers and Wednesday’s nails-down-a-blackboard rasp is suited perfectly to the harsher, b-movie aggression of You Breathe, I Kill and Omen Amen, both his heaviest offerings to date. The album closes on brooding ballad Death Infinity, a ghoulish lament to mortality and death that oozes with dark-hearted ambience."
Vallenfyre - Fear Those Who Fear Him
"Produced under the watchful ears of Converge’s Kurt Ballou, the third Vallenfyre album is an object lesson in ferocity, both in terms of the music itself and the band’s audibly joyous harnessing of death metal’s arcane spirit. Neither a lazy facsimile of old Autopsy and Dismember records nor an outright crustpunk barrage, Ballou’s production finds the sweet spot between old-school grind and new-school crunch, enabling the true power of these magnificently gruesome riffs to emerge."
Elder - Reflections Of A Floating World
"Starry-eyed voyagers, rejoice! These mystical New Englanders have long transcended the sludgy, primordial ooze of Sabbath with their spiralling excursions into druggy realms of hypnotic grooving and spacey experimentalism... Their fourth studio campaign builds upon Lore’s ambition with six expansive tracks that convene power riffs and kaleidoscopic fretwork into a sound that is both crushingly heavy and audaciously melodic."
Endon - Through The Mirror
"Kurt Ballou deserves a lie-down. Converge’s guitarist has outdone himself overseeing Endon’s second LP. This Japanese ‘catastrophic noise-metal’ group benefits from his claustrophobic production job, allowing each member to push the blackened, grind-flecked madness further than ever before."
Volur - Ancestors
"Doom has long been a sturdy subgenre; with the traditional route still being lovingly maintained, it’s freed others to go down the funereal route or combine the base elements with death metal. Völur, however, take their doom in a different direction, forgoing the standard guitars for the inclusion of mournful violin instead."
In Hearts Wake - Ark
"Yet more evidence that there’s something in the Aussie water! Hot on the heels of 2016 collaborative EP Equinox, In Hearts Wake once again combine the heavy with a humanitarian angle on their fourth full-length. The opening, instrumental title track hammers home those underlying themes by kicking off with the sound of waves. It’s clichéd but quickly gives way to the fiery salvo of Passage and Nomad."
Miss May I - Shadows Inside
"Unleashing a riff worthy of Megadeth, Miss May I’s sixth album – their first with Sharptone Records – and their “most honest record” kicks off with the title track, an epic declaration of rising from the flames and striding headfirst into a new era. Dedicated fans will be pleased to know this doesn’t mean a switch in musical direction (they’re not pulling a Suicide Silence, don’t panic) but rather a continuation of the elements they know they’re good at."
Tankard - One Foot In The Grave
"Part of the Big Teutonic 4, the Frankfurt thrashers have delivered their 17th slice of beery metal. At first glance the alcohol references have gone, to be replaced with slightly more classic thrash tropes like religion (Pay To Pray) and politics (Arena Of The True Lies), but dig a little deeper and you notice Secret Order 1516; a reference to the famous German purity laws for beer."
Timeworn - Venomous High
"Peeling back the crust to expose the slime beneath, these Nordic racket-makers’ second full length builds on the d-beat doominess that came with their 2015 debut, Luminescent Wake. Tracks like Ur Syntax and All Chiefs may reek of Mastodon’s Remission, but it’s nuanced; they’ve ripped it apart and pumped it full of proggy portions, sprinkling glacial, high-end picking over Measure Of Gold’s bastard-heavy chug."
A Trust Unclean - Parturition
"With two EPs under their belt the new mini-album from this Oxfordshire quintet showcases a band with a maturity that belies their years. This is punishing, stinging death metal that swings like The Black Dahlia Murder and has a low end that Thy Art Is Murder would be chuffed with. That’s impressive enough for your first go, but where A Trust Unclean really excel is when they add in the weird jingling synths that make a song like Aeon such a disorientating aural headfuck."
Unleash The Archers - Apex
"Fittingly for an album that contains a song called The Matriarch, Unleash the Archers have their own Boudicca in Brittney Slayes. Shooting affirmations into the ether with a triumphant ‘Never die!’ on Awakening or beckoning us to ‘Gather your shields and your swords’ on the ballsy Ten Thousand Against One, she sounds like a heavy metal version of Heart’s Ann Wilson battling against the tempest of thundering drums and gutsy riffs."
Gravetemple - Impassable Fears
"The most feverishly terrifying sounds tend to be spawned in the hideous spaces between ritualistic drone-doom, death-industrial and dark ambient. For every cold-sweat-inducing masterwork there are a dozen turgid dirges, but you can rely on Stephen O’Malley and Attila Csihar. Bonded in Sunn O))) since 2004, they’re seasoned sonic transgressors, and this is Gravetemple’s first studio album since their 2007 debut, so there’s none of the creative diarrhoea afflicting others in this idiom."