This edition includes some career spanning live albums, new chapters in storied careers, the madness of Sigh, and more! To the metals…
Amon Amarth – The Pursuit Of Vikings: 25 Years In The Eye Of The Storm DVD/CD
Genre: Melodic death metal
Origin: Stockholm, Stockholm
Label: Metal Blade
Do you like Amon Amarth? Like, REALLY like Amon Amarth? This DVD features thirty (THIRTY!) live tracks from the band spanning their entire career. Let's be honest, for as great as Amon Amarth are, all their songs are similar. That is A LOT of the same thing. However, I'm currently seventeen songs into this, and I'm not sick of it yet. So, they know what I want more than I do, I guess.
Azusa – Heavy Yoke
Origin: Oslo, Norway/Philadelphia, Pennsylvania/Drama, Greece
Label: Solid State/Indie Recordings
It's still weird to be living in a post-Dillinger Escape Plan world, but if albums like this are what we are to expect now, I'm cool with it. Liam from DEP is on bass, but this band is also comprised of Christer and David from Extol, and Eleni from Sea + Air. It is all over the place weaving between chaos and atmosphere. I fucking love it. A surprise album of the year contender for me.
Esben And The Witch – Nowhere
Origin: Brighton, England
Label: Season Of Mist
If you're hoping for some feedback and slow crushing riffs this week, this should scratch that itch. There is very much the vibe of a recent Chelsea Wolfe record to this, which is not a bad thing. That sort of ambient, heavy, goth-ish vibe is just the latest chapter in this ever-evolving band's career.
Sigh – Heir To Despair
Genre: Avant-garde metal
Origin: Tokyo, Japan
Sigh albums are never not crazy. The first time I heard the term "a kitchen sink" album, it was in relation to Sigh. This is another one of those. Unsurprisingly, this album has just about every instrument and genre you could think of. This is my favorite kind of chaos.
Smashing Pumpkins – Shiny And Oh So Bright, Vol. 1/ LP: No Past, No Future, No Sun
Genre: Alternative rock
Origin: Chicago, Illinois
Label: Martha's Music/Napalm
I feel weird loving Smashing Pumpkins again. Billy Corgan has spent years and years putting off a proper reunion and doing weird shit (let's gloss over the Alex Jones appearances and say that I'm referring to his ventures into professional wrestling) . In that time, the output under the Pumpkins banner has been spotty. While still not a proper reunion, James Iha and Jimmy Chamberlin joined with Corgan and long-time member Jeff Schroeder and put out an oddly good album with an unnecessarily long title. Corgan is still a questionable person, but he's a questionable person making good music again.
Nita Strauss – Controlled Chaos
Genre: Shred/hard rock
Origin: Los Angeles, California
Nita Strauss is a fucking badass. She's perhaps best known for her work with The Iron Maidens or as Alice Cooper's guitarist, but this is her first outing with her own material. I've got to say, it kills. Many times these solo guitarist sort of albums are just boring music that someone wanks over, but this album dips into melodic death metal, power metal, metalcore, and other sub-genres and turns out to be a diverse and enjoyable listen.
Anneke van Giersbergen with Residentie Orkest The Hague – Symphonized
Origin: Sint Michielsgestel, Netherlands
To celebrate her twenty-five years in music Anneke van Giersbergen got together with an orchestra and performed some tracks from her time with The Gathering, Vuur, The Gentle Storm, and more. This is a sweeping, epic experience that so just so beautiful. If this was what Anneke decided to do from now on, I'd be very on board.
Also dropping today…
All Hail The Yeti – Highway Crosses (Minus Head) – Southern metal/metalcore
Artillery – The Face of Fear (Metal Blade Records) – Thrash
Atria – New World Nightmare EP (Self-Release) – Melodic metal
Baring Teeth – Transitive Savagery (Translation Loss Records) – Progressive/technical metal
Chrome Division – One Last Ride (Nuclear Blast) – Heavy metal/hard rock
Circuitry – Untouched By Human Hands (Self-Released) – Technical metal
Dead Waves – God of the Wild (Entheon Records) – Post-punk/noise
Deceased – Ghostly White (Hells Headbangers) – Thrash/death metal
Funeral Chic – Superstition (Prosthetic) – Black metal/hardcore
Jonestown – Dyatlov (Long Branch Records) – Groove metal
KOSM – Cosmonaut (Self-Release) – Progressive
Lord Of The Lost – Confession: Live At Christuskirche DVD (Napalm) – Dark rock
Memphis May Fire – Broken (Rise) – Metalcore
portrayal of guilt – Let Pain Be Your Guide (Gilead Media) – Punk
Roadkiller – Roadkiller (Self-released) – Punk/thrash
Skull Pit – Skull Pit (Metal Blade) – Heavy metal
Sobaki Tabaka – XX – XXIV (Wooaaargh) – Experimental
Suidakra – Cimbric Yarns (AFM) – Melodic death metal
Sunflower Dead – Coma (Combat) – Hard rock/alternative metal
Trollwar – Oath of The Storm (Self-Release) – Folk/death metal
Various Artists – Sound Of The Raging Steppe (Tengger X Cavalry) – Nomadic Chinese metal bands
Warkings – Reborn (Napalm) – Metal by dead vikings?