This week's new heavy metal releases include poorly/perfectly timed album names, covers, re-recordings, and more!
To the metals…
The Acacia Strain – Slow Decay
Origin: Chicopee, Massachusetts
In a fun move that has been a pain for me as the guy that write this weekly round up, The Acacia Strain have been surprise releasing a series of seven inches all with a single letter. Those letters have been D, E, C, A, & Y, spelling out Decay. Perhaps the fact that they have been doing so SLOWly is why this album is called "Slow Decay"? Probably not. Now the full collection of all those songs, and two more, is upon us and you can enjoy them in an easier to digest heavy as fuck experience.
Bulb – Archives: Volume 5
Origin: Bethesda, Maryland
Label: 3DOT Recordings
Hear it here
Here we are with another trip through the archives with Periphery's Misha Mansoor's Bulb project. Archives: Volume 5, the fourth in the series, includes a Final Fantasy 7 cover, the rather solid track "Füf," and a lot of brief things that mostly come in under three minutes runtime. Like the last few of these Archive releases, this might be something for diehards, but it's still a pretty neat peek into Misha's creative process.
Defeated Sanity – The Sanguinary Impetus
Genre: Progressive/brutal death metal
Origin: Berlin, Germany
Now for some heavy complexity. The Sanguinary Impetus is an absolute flurry of notes and rhythms. Few bands combine brutality and finesse like this.
Haken – Virus
Genre: Progressive metal
Origin: London, England
After numerous delays the wait for Haken's poorly timed/named (or perfectly timed/named?) album Virus is upon us. This wraps up the story started on Vector and includes more on their fan-favorite Cockroach King character. Like all Haken records, this is full or twists and turns, and it's another stellar addition to their already strong catalog. Jordan has a full review here.
In Flames – Clayman 2020
Genre: Melodic death metal
Origin: Gothenburg, Sweden
Label: Nuclear Blast
Wild that it's already been twenty years since In Flames dropped Clayman. To celebrate they are giving it the remaster/remixing treatment, but you're also getting some re-recordings of four songs like the titular track, "Only For the Weak," and others. Remastered releases are not something I usually bother mentioning, but I'm fascinated by the re-recording thing. How are the new versions hitting you?
Let Us Prey – Virtues of the Vicious
Genre: Melodic Death/Power Metal
Origin: Boston, MA
Label: M-Theory Audio
Marc Lopes is the frontman of Ross The Boss' band, but this is him in an entirely different realm. On their debut album Let Us Prey mix power metal and death metal into a sound that's as grand as it is evil. While already a strong album, this also has some guest shredders like Jonathan Donais from Anthrax/Shadows Fall and one of the last performances by Oli Herbert from All That Remains before his passing.
Morse/Portnoy/George – Cov3r To Cov3r
Genre: Hard rock/progressive
Origin: California/New York/Washington
Neal Morse (Spock's Beard), Mike Portnoy (the gong at the end of Haken's "Crystallised") and Randy George (Ajalon) have been working together for a while and this is their third collection of covers. It includes their takes on songs by Jethro Tull, Yes, King Crimson, Tom Petty and more. Additionally, they are also re-releasing the first two collections today, so you can just bury yourself in prog covers.
Valkyrie – Fear
Origin: Harrisonburg, Virginia
On their first album in five years, Valkyrie are all riffs and no bullshit. You're getting harmonized guitars, chilled out jams, and a little bit of a contact high. Fear is a record that should appeal to fans of The Sword, Witchcraft, and the likes.
Also dropping today…
- Ahtme – Mephitic (Unique Leader) – Technical death metal
- Angband – IV (Pure Steel) – Power/progressive metal
- Bedsore – Hypnagogic Hallucinations (20 Buck Spin) – Atmospheric death/black metal
- Blackballed – Elephant In The Room (Metalville) – Hard rock
- Buried Realm – Embodiment of The Divine (Self-released) – Melodic death metal
- Denominate – Isochron (Inverse) – Progressive death metal
- Drops of Heart – Stargazers (Self-released) Melodic death metal
- Empress – Premonition (Self-released) – Stoner/post metal
- Eternity Opens – Anarcho-Death Metal (Self-released) – Progressive
- Gaerea – Limbo (Season Of Mist) – "Cathartic black metal"
- Judicator – Let There Be Nothing (Prosthetic) – Power metal
- Las Historias – Las Historias (Electric Valley Records) – Doom/psychedelic
- Neck Deep – All Distortions Are Intentional (Hopeless) – Pop punk
- Primal Fear – Metal Commando (Nuclear Blast) – Heavy metal
- Omar Rodríguez-López – The Clouds Hill Tapes: Pt. III (Clouds Hill) – Experimental
- Stonebirds – Collapse and Fail (Ripple Music) – Sludge/post-metal
- Texas Murder Crew – Everyone's Last Breath (Comatose Music) – Brutal death metal