The best new metal albums you can buy this week
The Acacia Strain, Stone Sour and Cellar Darling are among the best new metal album releases this week
Stone Sour - Hydrograd
"It’s been four years since Stone Sour made what might yet be the band’s defining statement: the sprawling, visceral and cerebral dreamscape better known as the House Of Gold & Bones Part 1 and 2. A lot’s happened since then; guitarist Jim Root went on hiatus and was never invited back, which led to a lot of public acrimony, with Jim accusing the band of abandoning their intrinsic musical mores in favour of “radio play and money”. If nothing else, it must have made the subsequent Slipknot band meetings a knotty proposition."
The Acacia Strain - Gravebloom
"The success of 2014’s Coma Witch was as surprising as it was enjoyable for The Acacia Strain. For a band who deal in guttural levels of sonic brutality to make a dent in the US Billboard Top 40 is some achievement. So you wouldn’t expect them to try any kind of grand reinvention on Gravebloom, and, to be fair, they don’t."
Cellar Darling - This Is The Sound
"This Swiss storytelling trio was conceived following their departure from Eluveitie last year. Granted, some fans may have considered the decision to tread their own path as bold, but adversity has ultimately served as the catalyst behind their debut album’s innate passion and sonic grandiosity."
Ye Banished Privateers - First Night Back In Port
"Ye Banished Privateers have gone full pirate, rallying a crew of 30 folk fanatics who are not averse to dressing like Jack Sparrow (who knew Sweden had so many!). While this isn’t your full-blown boundary-trouncing metal – there’s not an actual riff in sight – their punk ambition is delivered with plenty of high-spirited buccaneering and sordid tales of life at sea brandished against a backdrop of scene-setting sound effects that put you in the heart of the action."
Qrixkuor - Incantations From The Abyss
"Underneath a seemingly impenetrable wall of sound, Qrixkuor’s purposely repetitive and epic structures – their cover of Demoncy’s Winter Bliss is the only song of the five under the nine-minute mark – eventually work in their favour, especially with flashes of putrid doom and some blazing solo works breaking the mould once in a while."
Vintersorg - Till Fjälls Del II
"Prolific multi-instrumentalist Andreas Hedlund has masterminded Sweden’s Vintersorg for over 20 years, this one-time one-man-band maintaining a regular schedule of interesting long-players since 1998 debut Till Fjälls hit a high watermark of melodic black/folk/Viking metal. After dabbling in more cosmic, progressive forms they’ve gradually reintegrated their original blueprint, so much so that Vintersorg – now a three-piece – have happily returned to their much-loved windswept debut to frame their 10th album as a sequel (or, as Andreas puts it, a “lost twin”)."
Weregoat - Pestilential Rites Of Infernal Fornivation
"Portland, Oregon is home to more than vegan food carts, indie bands and punk rock. To balance out all that positive, happy energy they have the likes of Weregoat: grim fiends churning out a hateful, deviant cacophony. Not exactly prolific, their first full album after eight years mines the ancient seams of bestial black and death metal laid down by the likes of Von and Sarcófago, all pneumatic-drill drumming and guttural, deranged shrieks and groans."