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Holy hell, you guys! The metal gods heard my complaining last week. I made the mistake of bitching about not enough notable releases, and this week there are too many to list. Nearly the entire spectrum of the genre we love so much is represented this week. So now, onward to one of the best weeks in metal in quite some time and for quite some time…

Black Sabbath – 13Video thumbnail for youtube video BLACK SABBATH's <em>13</em> Streaming In Full RIGHT NOW! - Metal Injection

Genre: Metal
Origin: Birmingham, England
Label: Vertigo

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I really feel like this album needs 0 explanation, but I'll tease it anyway. 3/4 of the Original lineup put out their first full album in 35 years (Mind you, they out a few songs out in 1998). The band seems like they are trying to recapture the magic of their first three or four albums. Some sludgy songs akin to Masters of Reality, some acoustic breaks like in Vol. 4, some memorable parts that bring Paranoid to mind and even the rain sound effects of their self-titled debut. It’s much better than I was expecting, but Sabbath is my favorite band so I may have a bit of a bias.

The Black Dahlia Murder – EverblackThe Black Dahlia Murder - Everblack

Genre: Melodic Death Metal
Origin: Waterford, Michigan
Label: Metal Blade

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Everblack picks up where Ritual left off. I wouldn’t say that it’s more of the same, but they take what worked and re-gift you what worked in shiny new packages. It is blackened, deathy, a bit chaotic, and a bit melodic. What you’d expect and enjoy from the Waterford boys.

Children of Bodom – Halo of BloodChildren of Bodom Halo of Blood

Genre: Extreme Power Metal
Origin: Espoo, Finland
Label: Nuclear Blast

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Children of Bodom are a band that has been in the need of some musical growth for some time. Relentless Reckless Forever was fine but it reeked of a band may have been stagnating in their own identity. Halo of Blood still retains the melodic thrash aspects that the band is known for, but they showcase moments of trying new things for them. The title-track has a hint of black metal to it, which is refreshing from Alexi Laiho and friends. “Bodom Blue Moon” marks the first time in a decade that I’ve found myself saying, “That’s fucking sick!” both because the song is “sick” and I stopped saying sick about 10 years ago. This is a step in the right direction.

Church of Misery – Thy Kingdom ScumChurch of Misery

Origin: Shinjuku, Japan
Label: Rise Above

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Another week, another seminal stoner metal band dropping a sweet,smokey new record. Low tuned riffages, check. Fuzzy everything, check. While this is the band’s fifth full-length album, this is my introduction to the Japanese quartet. To new ears, the band sounds somewhere between early Clutch and slow Pantera. I’m sure long-time fans will take offence to both comparisons.

Deafheaven – SunbatherDeafheaven - Sunbather

Genre: Post-Black Metal
Origin: San Francisco, California
Label: Sargent House

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I felt like the only person who wasn’t completely on board for Deafheaven’s debut Road To Judah, but I adore Sunbather. However, while it is blackened, Jeremy says it best in his review, “it definitely helps if you're into either the non-metallic strand of post-rock and/or shoegaze in it's original guise as narcotic dream pop”. It’s heavy and beautiful atmospheric, epic black metal. Think Alcest collaborating with Wolves in the Throne Room.

The Devil’s Blood – III: Tabula Rasa or Death and the Seven PillarsThe Devil's Blood

Genre: Psychedelic Rock
Origin: Eindhoven, Netherlands
Label: Metal Blade

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III is the first of what appears to be many post-break up releases from the great female-fronted band. The album’s production is a little rough because the album was finished a while ago and didn’t get the proper polish, I guess. It remains completely listenable though. Actually, the roughness of it gives it that faux vintage sound bands like Uncle Acid and Kadaver kill for. Very cool overall.

Evile – SkullEvile-Skull

Genre: Thrash
Origin: Huddersfield, England
Label: Earache

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It’s a modern thrash release with all you’d expect from such. It’s heavy, fast, guitar-driven, and catchy in the way that only thrash bands are. Clearly influenced by Exodus, early-Metallica, Anthrax, and the likes.

Power Trip – Manifest DecimationVideo thumbnail for youtube video POWER TRIP Prepare To Unleash <em>Manifest Decimation</em> - Metal Injection

Genre: Crossover Thrash
Origin: Dallas, Texas
Label: Southern Lord

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Power Trip is what Evile would be if they had more of a lean towards hardcore, classic production, and a Texan attitude. These guys seem to enjoy early-Slayer, Dark Angel, and Kreator more than the aforementioned UK Thrashers. Sidenote: I saw these guys twice in Austin at SXSW. See them Live if you have a chance.

Scale The Summit – The Migrationscale summit

Genre: Instrumental Progressive Metal
Origin: Houston, Texas
Label: Prosthetic

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My full love letter to this album is hopefully up somewhere on here by now, but in case it’s not or you’d rather get the TLDR version I’ll give you a bite sized review here. It’s guitar mastery without pretension that still gives you room to appreciate the rhythm section. It’s is epic, beautiful and technical, but not for the sake of being technical. The Migration is everything instrumental albums should be.

Also out today

Aborym – Dirty (Agonia)
Arrayan Path – IV: Stigmata (Pitch Black)
Author & Punisher – Women & Children (Seventh Rule)
Behexen – Rituale Satanum Re-Release (Debemur Morti)
Cardinals Folly – Strange Conflicts of the Past (Shadow Kingdom)
Celldweller – Celldweller Re-Release (Celldweller Productions)
Civil War – The Killer Angels (Despotz)
Creations – Unworthy/Humility (Mediaskare)
Dark Buddha Rising – Dakhmandal (Svart)
Drunk Dad – Morbid Reality (Eolian Empire)
Famous Underground – Famous Underground (Dust On The Tracks)
Fejd – Nagelfar (Napalm)
Fin – Fated By Will And Iron (Disorder)
Full Of Hell – Rudiments Of Mutilation (A389)
Haust – No (Fysisk Format)
House Vs. Hurricane – Crooked Teeth (Equal Vision)
Integrity – Suicide Black Snake (Magic Bullet)
Into The Flood – Vices (Century Media)
Johansson & Speckmann – Sulphur Skies (Vic)
Jorn – Traveler (Frontiers)
Lacrimas Profundere – Antiadore (Napalm)
Magnus Karlsson – Freefall (Frontiers)
Master – Unknown Soldier (Vic)
Necronomicon – Rise Of The Elders (Season Of Mist)
Noisem – Agony Defined (A389)
Scum From The Sun – 4 (Avantgarde)
Septicflesh – Esoptron Re-Release (Season Of Mist)
Seth – The Howling Spirit (Season Of Mist)
Summoning – Old Mornings Dawn (Napalm)
Trail Of Tears – Oscillation (Massacre)
Tristania – Darkest White (Napalm)

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