Release Day Roundup – 1/22/21
Editor’s Note: Longtime reader Remi VL is a regular guest contributor to our Release Day Roundup posts! He submitted several of the albums listed below. Join his Facebook group for more recommendations.
Each month, we always seem to come to the same conclusion when it comes to our Editors’ Picks column: Friday release days open the floodgates and unleash a seemingly endless stream of quality new music. But while some of our Editors and Contributors sit down gleefully each week to dive into this newly stocked treasure trove, others find themselves drawing a blank at the end of the month due to the breakneck pace needed to keep up to date with what’s been released. Which brings us to this Heavy Blog PSA: a weekly roundup of new albums which pares down the week’s releases to only our highest recommendations. Here you’ll find full album/single streams, pre-order links and, most importantly, a collection of albums that could very well earn a spot on your year-end list. Enjoy!
Cry – 壱 [One] (brutal tech death)
It seems like every year I end up obsessing about a debut record by a death metal band (e.g. Hath or Carnosus) that seems to puts of their more seasoned peers to shame. This year, that album seems to have come early, in the form of Japanese death-dealers Cry‘s outstanding debut record 壱 [One].
While I wouldn’t go as far as to categorise Cry’s sound as “progressive” the quintet take a chaotic, grindcore-influenced approach to tech death that oddly reminds me of a lot of Australian artists, such as A Million Dead Birds Laughing, Psycroptic, King Parrot and even Truth Corroded in their crunchier, thrashier moments – of which there are many. All of this is run through the gritty, brutal tech death filter employed and inspired by the likes of Cryptopsy and Suffocation.
At the moment, it seems to only be available as a US$30 physical import but, if you like what you hear from the preview, you won’t be disappointed with the investment.
Ellende – Triebe (genres)
Ellende write what you could call accessible atmospheric black metal. They take a lot from the post-black and blackgaze side of things, but with a smothering aura of grandiosity that’s typically only found in “trve” black metal. The rhythm guitar work operates in some similar spaces as post-punk, which contrasts uniquely with the ever present soaring tremolos.
While just a three track EP, Ellende traverse a lot of ground in the 10-minute single alone. An extended ambient bridge breaks up the heaviness, with impressive drumming layered to the rear that makes it feel like it’s coming from a marching hoard in the distance. With melodies a plenty and even a guitar solo, this is a black metal band that should appeal to fans of the classics, and newer acts like label mates Harakari For the Sky.
Last Week’s Surprise: Thought Trials – The Hiding Gene (post-rock, post-metal)
Evert Snyman – Hot Mess (desert rock, psych rock)
Evert Snyman who, on top of performing as a solo musician and recording one of the more prolific psych bands this side of King Gizzard, has gone from behind the boards to a full time member of South Africa’s Ruff Majik. He also seems to be a prolific artist in his own right as he’s putting out his second solo album in less than two years.
His first album was on the mellower side of psych rock, dipping its toes into riffier modern rock at times. Based on the singles that have come out, his time with RM seems to have influenced in sound, as the intensity seems to have increased dramatically!
Thankfully, there still seems to be a very strong distinction to make between the two, as Evert never seems to head as far into the stoner/doom/metal territory that Ruff Majik are getting more and more comfortable in!
Last week’s Surprise: Miss Lava – Doom Machine (stoner rock, heavy rock)
Wolfsblut A.D. – Earth After Death (hardcore punk, blackened hardcore)
We have a first in the short history of RDR’s “Top Picks” section! Covers and live albums might not count as “new” releases to some folks, but this one particular caught my eye…and then grabbed me by the throat and pulled me into the pit. With Earth After Death, Kyle Ball (vocalist of blog-favorite death metal band WAKE) spearheads a blackened reinterpretation of The Misfits’ most underrated full-length (in my humble opinion). The hardcore spirit of Earth A.D. is very much alive and well here, with the added heaviness and energy of blackened and crossover thrash, with a little death metal for good measure.
Last Week’s Best Discovery: Apifera – Overstand (jazz fusion, nu-jazz)