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THE WEEKLY INJECTION: New Releases From MISERY SIGNALS, KARNIVOOL, SERJ TANKIAN, and More Out Today – 7/23

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Friday night I had one of the coolest metal moments of my metal nerd life. Summer Slaughter kicked off in San Francisco and The Ocean put out a Facebook post saying you can negotiate with them for some merch and a CD. What do they want in return you ask? Booze. I coordinated with Robin Staps to deliver him a bottle of Jack and two bottles of Coke for a fucking badass shirt and a copy of their latest album, Pelagial. When I got all my swag, I was just in time to meet most of the band at the merch table. The best part of the whole thing was getting a text from Staps that we could be found in front of the venue in his hat and "sunnies."

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Best.

Now on to the metals… 

All Pigs Must Die – Nothing Violates This NatureAll-Pigs-Must-Die-album-cover

Genre: Hardcore
Origin: Boston, Massachusetts
Label: Southern Lord

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This band is chaos. Surprisingly technical chaos with a sludge tinge. All Pigs Must Die are the unholy offspring of The Hope Conspiracy, Converge, and Bloodhorse, and they sound exactly how you’d imagine. That, of course, being pretty great.

Baroness – Live at the Maida Vale EPBaroness

Genre: Progressive Sludge
Origin: Savannah, Georgia
Label: Relapse

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This EP is a small collection of live tracks from Baroness’ BBC session last July and consists entirely of tracks from the band’s latest divisive double-album Yellow & Green. I personally enjoyed the latest album, but those with a love for Red Album and/or Blue Record should be happy to know that the EP is mostly made of “typical” sludge/stoner tunes like “Take My Bones Away” and “ March To The Sea.”

Karnivool – Asymmetry Karnivool Asymmetry
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Genre: Progressive Metal
Origin: Perth, Austrailia
Label: Density

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I find it increasingly hard to describe Karnivool. They have some alternative metal elements with some Tool or Porcupine Tree-like atmosphere, but they are proggy in that weird way that causes you to but Katatonia and Fair To Midland in the same breath. Those looking for guitar acrobatics should look elsewhere though. Asymmetry is very much progressive in that way that isn't strictly determined by technicality. Stream it in full here.

Mammoth Grinder – UnderworldsVideo thumbnail for youtube video Album Review: MAMMOTH GRINDER <em>Underworlds</em> - Metal Injection

Genre: Death Metal
Origin: Austin, Texas
Label: 20 Buck Spin

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I find it pretty great how one never goes, “Really? This is from Austin?” but the city doesn’t have a “sound.” Mammoth Grinder (great name by the way) combines hardcore seamlessly into their death metal assault. These guys are brutal, a little evil, and oh so Texan.

Misery Signals – Absent LightMisery Signals

Genre: Metalcore
Origin: Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Label: Basick

Buy now on MerchNow

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A few years back, the band Misery Signals often came up in conversations I had due to their involvement with Devin Townsend on their last album, Controller. Hearing the band was nothing how I expecting knowing hevydevy had an hand in it, but I was pleasantly surprised. The band was (and still is) technical without being guitar-porn, epic without being silly, and metalcore without being fucking obnoxious. The long-awaited Absent Light is my favorite of theirs thus far.

Morne – Shadowsa0341109716_10

Genre: Sludge/Doom
Origin: Boston, Massachusetts
Label: Profound Lore

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This is some epic sludge. It borders on that whole post-metal scene but doesn’t quite cross that line into Cult of Luna territory. They are like if Agalloch dropped all that folksy bullshit I love so much, and remained really good.

Pyres – Year of Sleepa2641285272_10
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Genre: Stoner/Sludge
Origin: Toronto, Canada
Label: Granite House Records

Buy now on Bandcamp

I find it interesting that Pyres and Baroness  are dropping the same day, because I am at a loss for another band to compare the Canadian quartet on their debut album other than the Georgian band. Hell, this band would have fit right in with the whole Georgia scene, but nope. Fucking Canada, man. Really solid band that will hopefully go places.

Serj Tankian – Jazz-iz Christserj_tankian_jazziz_christ

Genre: Jazz
Origin: Beirut, Lebanon
Label: Serjical Strike

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How does the increasingly prolific System of a Down frontman Serj Tankian follow an orchestral album? With a jazz album, of course! Jazz-iz Christ is actually more of a departure from his Serj sound than I expected. Orca at least had elements of his solo material in the musical decisions, while I wouldn’t have guessed it was him on this if I hadn’t already been informed it was. This album is part lounge, part upbeat danceable stuff, and part Mission Impossible theme. So, you know, it's not System, but it's something.

True Widow – Circumambulationtruewidow

Genre: Stoner
Origin: Dallas, Texas
Label: Relapse

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When you see Relapse as the label behind a band you can guess there is a certain aesthetic you can expect. True Widow’s latest tongue twister of an album, Circumambulation, has the low-tuned stoner sound you’d expect from the label, but the band has a shoegaze twist is so refreshing. The band claims this is their “darkest and poppiest record.” And while new ears (like mine) dig the new stuff, I can see this album leading new listeners who fancy heavier stuff to their older material.

The Winery Dogs – The Winery DogsFolder

Genre: Progressive Rock
Origin: New York, New York
Label: Loud and Proud

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It's that time of year for a new supergroup featuring ex-Dream Theater drum god Mike Portnoy. This round he’s got bassist Billy Sheehan (Mr. Big, Steve Vai) and guitarist/singer Richie Kozten (Solo, Mr. Big also) in tow. All these guys are unbelievable instrumentalists, but the band has a very 80’s rock sound that I have a hard time with once vocals start happening. Kozten has a very Sammy Hagar delivery that is fine in some contexts, but I would rather this record be instrumental. Then again, I might just be holding out for Portnoy to have a project that’s less big rock and more Liquid Tension Trio/Experiment.

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Also dropping today…

All Pigs Must Die – Nothing Violates This Nature (Southern Lord)
American Head Charge – Shoot EP (Self)
Armed For Apocalypse – The Road Will End (Ironclad)
Black Tusk – Tend No Wounds EP (Relapse)
Body Stuff – Body Stuff (The Path Less Traveled)
Counterparts – The Difference Between Hell and Home (Victory)
Dischordia – Project 19 (Rogue)
Fight Or Flight – A Life By Design? (Warner Brothers)
Frostland Darkness – Ad Moriendum Dei Gratia (Inverse)
GrandExit – The Dead Justifies The Means (Lifeforce)
Gyre – Second Circle EP (Monolithic)
Mad Architect – Journey To Madness (Supertzar)
Misery Signals – Absent Light (Basick)
Morne – Shadows (Profound Lore)
Nunslaughter – The Devil's Congeries Vol. 1 (Hells Headbangers)
Old Gods – Stylized Violence (Force Again)
The Pete Flesh Deathtrip – Mortui Vivos Docent (Pulverised)
Phinehas – The Last Word Is Yours To Speak (Red Cord)
Quest Of Aidance – Misanthropic Propaganda (Pulverised)
Shot Down Stay Down – Dodge This (Standby)
Star & Dagger – Tomorrowland Blues (Cauldron 333)
The Tangent – Le Sacre Du Travail (Inside Out)
We Came As Romans – Tracing Back Roots (Equal Vision)

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