Here are some new metal releases that’ll have you punching the sky (or your friends for not telling you about them earlier).
Punching The Sky (Metal Blade)
New Armored Saint! I wrote about the band at length in an upcoming thing for an unspecified venue, but suffice to say that the LA-based metal legends’ first album in five years will have you doing what the title suggests. Anthems like “Standing on the Shoulder of Giants” and “Do Wrong to None” measure up to classic tunes like “Can U Deliver” and “Reign of Fire.” While it’d be easy to say it sounds like the work of a band half their age, that’s not accurate — it sounds like the work of a band that’s only gotten better with time.
The Secret Teachings (Burning World)
Celestial Seasonings don’t just make great teas, apparently they put out some pretty great melancholic metal as well! Wait, no, the band is Celestial Season, sorry. This Dutch act put out a minor gothic doom classic in 1995 called Solar Lovers, then turned into more of a stoner act and faded into obscurity around the turn of the millennium. Now they’re back with reissues of their classic early material and a brand spanking new record. The intervening years haven’t served to cheer them up any — The Secret Teachings actually harkens back to first album Forever Scarlet Passion and its My Dying Bride/Skepticism-style despair. It’s a real downer, but in that melodic European way you gotta love.
Order Of Magnitude – Empath Live Volume 1 (InsideOut)
Devin Townsend makes some of the most entertaining live documents in metal, mostly because he’s one of the most entertaining live performers in metal. While Order of Magnitude focuses on some of the frothier tracks in his extensive discography (as you might pick up from the vaporwave-y cover art), there’s still enough Hevy Devy in there to provide the necessary dynamics. Townsend’s goofy stage banter alone makes this worthwhile. Plus there’s a cover of “Disco Inferno, and I think we could all use that kind of effervescent fun right now.
Forgotten Days (NB)
Pallbearer execute their unique brand of doom so effortlessly that it’s easy to forget just how damn good they are — until you go listen to just about any other act in the genre. Despite their heavy subject matter and slow trudge, there’s a weightlessness to their sound that other bands lack. Forgotten Days steps back a little from some of the more adventurous ideas on Heartless and dials in on what they do best: emotion-soaked slow-motion doom metal. With more of a focus on tighter songwriting this time around (there are even a couple four-minute songs, like album highlight “Stasis”), this continues their ongoing streak of excellence.
Dissecting Shadows (Epoche)
I’ll cop to giving Rusty Eye’s 2009 full-length Possessor a meh review in Decibel, but I’ve seen them live multiple times and knew they had it in them to deliver something awesome on record. Dissecting Shadows fits the bill nicely. The LA-based trio seems to have embraced their love for classic prog, punk and metal in the interim, and it pays off in spades here. Horror-inspired thrashers like “Can’t Wait to Go To Hell” and “Hellbound Witch” combine campy fun with catchy hooks. Perfect for your socially-distanced Halloween party!
OTHER SHIT THAT COMES OUT THIS WEEK
Big Scenic Nowhere – Lavender Blues EP (Heavy Psych Sounds) Listen
Fever 333 – Wrong Generation EP (Roadrunner/33 Wreckords Crew) Listen
HammerFall – Live! Against The World (Napalm) Listen
Jakko M. Jakszyk – Secrets & Lies (InsideOut) Listen
Leaves Eyes – The Last Viking (AFM) Listen
Mork Gryning – Hinsides Vrede (SoM) Listen
Mors Principium Est – Seven (AFM) Listen
Raging Speedhorn – Hard To Kill (Red Weed) Listen
Saul – Rise As Equals (Spinefarm) Listen
Sevendust – Blood & Stone (Rise) Listen
Solitary – The Truth Behind The Lies (Metalville) Listen
Undeath – Lessons Of A Different Kind (Prosthetic) Listen