Welcome to December nerds! This edition includes the return of a divisive death metal outfit, the death metal return of a death metal outfit, some bands that aren't at all death metal outfits, and more outfits! To the metals…
The Faceless – In Becoming A Ghost
Genre: Technical death metal/progressive
Origin: Los Angeles, California
It's been five years since Michael Keene has dropped a new Faceless record, and that half-decade has unfortunately been full of drama. Regardless of that side of the band, In Becoming A Ghost is a rather enjoyable techy record with plenty of elements of what makes the band special. Those holding out for the return of the death metal side of the band may be disappointed. This is easily their most experimental and proggy effort yet. Michael has a full review here.
Glassjaw – Material Control
Origin: Long Island, New York
Label: Century Media/Glassjaw
Over the last fifteen years Glassjaw has released a trio of EPs, but for one reason or another a full-length just hasn't happened until now. Half the band has departed (twice) since Worship and Tribute, so that could be why, but whatever. I don't know too much about the band, to be honest. They sorta sound like Deftones to me, or they sound a lot like a band that would be big in 2002. That era seems to be in a resurgence right now. So this feels like a good time to plop Material Control.
Intervals – The Way Forward
Genre: Instrumental progressive metal
Origin: Toronto, Ontario
Aaron Marshall has returned with another record of superb guitar wanking. Song writing is stellar once more and melodies are unbelievably catchy. Fans of The Shape of Colour will likely enjoy the record, as it feels like a natural progression from then.
Jess And The Ancient Ones – The Horse And Other Weird Tales
Genre: Psychedelic rock
Origin: Kuopio, Finland
Fans hoping for something a bit more grounded, or something with a classic vibe should look no further than the new Jess And The Ancient Ones. These folks are likely time travelers from the 60's since that's really the only way to explain their dead on recreation of the psych scene from then. A great record for fans of Janis Joplin if she did an album with Ghost.
Morbid Angel – Kingdoms Disdained
Genre: Death metal
Origin: Tampa, Florida
Label: Silver Linings
Remember when Morbid Angel released that mess of an album Illud Divinum Insanus and became a St. Anger-era Metallica punchline? This album is complete retribution for that time. This is a death metal masterclass.
Operation: Mindcrime – The New Reality
Genre: Progressive rock
Origin: Seattle, Washington
Geoff Tate and his band that isn't Queensryche (but used to also be "Queensryche") have returned with their third album in as many years. I'd say it ranks where one might expect it to considering where Tate is at in his career. Elements of what makes him a progressive metal icon are still there, but some moments are a little shaky. I admire how prolific he's been though.
Also dropping today
Deinonychus – Ode To Act Of Murder, Dystopia And Suicide (My Kingdom) – Black metal/doom
Demons – Embrace Wolf (Spartan) – Rock
Drakonis – The Great Miasma (Hostile) – death/black metal
Eisley/Goldy – Blood, Guts and Games (Frontiers) – Heavy metal
Godflesh – Streetcleaner Live At Roadburn 2011 (Roadburn) – Industrial/experimental
Husbandry – Bad Weeds Never Die EP (Aqualamb) – Post-hardcore
Jono – Life (Frontiers) – Progressive rock
Leviathan – The First Sublevel Of Suicide (Ascension Monuments) – Black metal
Mausoleum – Cadaveric Displays From The Funeral (HPGD) – Death metal
Pretty Boy Floyd – Public Enemies (Frontiers) – Glam
Subrosa – Subdued Live At Roadburn (Roadburn) – Doom/sludge
Warrior Soul – Back On The Lash (Livewire/Cargo) – Glam