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The best new metal albums you can buy this week

Wintersun, Sun Of The Sleepless and Tau Cross are among the best new metal album releases you can pick up this week

Wintersun - The Forest Seasons

"The four songs (named after the seasons) average 13 minutes long, and each carries its own flavour. Interestingly, it’s a heavier and less flowery affair than, for example, Time I – indeed, The Forest That Weeps (Summer) even enters Primordial-esque territories. The blacker take arguably pushes the music closer to extreme territories, which strangely suits them."

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Sun Of The Sleepless - To The Elements

"A solo venture by Ulf Theodor Schwadorf of German neo-folk duo Empyrium, Sun Of The Sleepless first appeared in the 90s, though there hasn’t been a huge amount of activity until now, this being the project’s first full-length. The increased efforts were justified, though. To The Elements is a slow-growing gem that plays it relatively straight in terms of Northern European second wave black metal, with plenty of 90s overtones and emotion within the compositions."

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Tau Cross - Pillar Of Fire

"When Amebix frontman Rob ‘The Baron’ Miller joined forces with Voivod drummer Away, expectations were high. The band’s self-titled debut duly delivered the goods, with nods to both men’s bands and plenty of muscular metal oomph ensuring that Tau Cross sounded relevant and just a little dangerous. Second crack, Pillar Of Fire, is a more adventurous affair, veering from the expected four-to-the-floor chugging to the title track’s acoustic reverie, but the band’s fiery spirit remains resolute."

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Decrepit Birth - Axis Mundi

"Full of plenty of fretboard wizardry, album number four features nine original tracks, plus three fun and faithful covers, including a strong rendition of the Sepultura classic, Desperate Cry. At times crushingly heavy (Transcendental Paradox) and others almost cosmic (the organs and guttural vocals on Spirit Guide make for a powerful one-two punch) Axis Mundi is packed with inventive, virtuoso guitar playing – Mirror Of Humanity features a solo Steve Vai would be proud of – that showcases their versatility."

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GlerAkur - The Mountains Are Beautiful Now

"The debut of Elvar Geir Sævarsson’s alias GlerAkur was written as a soundtrack for a play about Icelandic outlaws, Fjalla-Eyvindur & Halla. Now, his multi-layered, atmospheric and spacious soundscapes are the perfect soundtrack to evoke images of glaciers and snow-clad sceneries. But while the first two songs feature impressive build-ups, beautiful ambient vibes and sludgy heaviness, the middle part sounds like one gigantic interlude and reminds you that these songs weren’t created to stand alone but to accompany a play."

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