This edition includes weird shit, divisive albums, lots of feedback, stuff my cat dislikes, and more! To the metals…
Hooded Menace – Ossuarium Silhouettes Unhallowed
Genre: Death metal/doom
Origin: Joensuu/Helsinki, Finland
Label: Season Of Mist
Something about the named "Hooded Menace" fails to conjure the type of band that Hooded Menace is. I imagine a band that would tour with Emmure rather than an epic, heavy as fuck, doom band. This album is as great as it's title is a pain in the ass to say.
Howling Sycamore – Howling Sycamore
Genre: Progressive metal/avant garde
Origin: San Francisco, California
The Bay Area is famous for lots of hippie shit and thrash, but there's a pretty extensive scene of weirdos. Howling Sycamore can now grace that list. The band features folks from Dangerous Toys, Ephel Duath, and Obscura, which itself is a strange lineup. Together you get an all over the place mix of thrash, progressive, heavy metal, black metal, and even moments of jazz.
In Vain – Currents
Genre: Progressive death metal
Origin: Kristiansand, Norway
Label: Indie Recordings
If you're on the quest for some straight up melo-death (as the cool kids call it), look no further than this new In Vain. You get a little bit of In Mourning, a little bit of In Flames, and others pushed through a more modern filter. What I'm getting at is that all bands that start with "In" should be melodic death metal to some degree.
Machine Head – Catharsis
Genre: Groove metal/thrash
Origin: Oakland, California
Label: Nuclear Blast
You have to admire a band for trying new shit. I really believe that. I respect the effort to grow on this album that Robb Flynn and the gang made, but this will be a divisive record. The deeper cuts are really solid actually. Should be interesting to see where this album sits for the band in a decade or so.
Mammoth Grinder – Cosmic Crypt
Genre: Death metal/hardcore
Origin: Austin, Texas
If you're looking for oddly jaunty rhythms under some of the fuzziest evil shit you've ever heard, I must first point out that you're quest is very strange, but then highlight the latest Mammoth Grinder for you. It's been five years since their last record, so fans should be excited. My cat on the other hand, doesn't seem to care for this. She ran out of the room as soon as the song below started. Michael goes deep into the crypt here.
Orphaned Land – Unsung Prophets and Dead Messiahs
Genre: Progressive folk metal
Origin: Bat-Yam/Petah-Tikva, Israel
Label: Century Media
The long-running Israeli prog metal collective has returned. They, like Mammoth Grinder, have also taken half a decade to drop a new record. Unsung Prophets and Dead Messiahs, like all their albums, is an epic ride and feels like the band carries more weight than ever.
Phil Campbell And The Bastard Sons – The Age Of Absurdity
Genre: Hard rock
Origin: Pontypridd, Wales
Label: Nuclear Blast
I'm happy to see that Phil Campbell is keeping active since Motorhead ended, and doing so in his unmistakable style. The Age Of Absurdity is a fist in the air hard rock record with blues tinged guitar. Would you expect anything else from the man leading the band? I am still sad that he and Mikkey Dee didn't stay together in some form.
Portal – Ion
Genre: Experimental death metal
Origin: Brisbane, Australia
Label: Profound Lore
This is some evil sounding shit. It's almost unsettling because while being evil sounding, it's also weird as fuck. I hear a lot of metal doing this job, so I'm usually able to figure out where a band is going. Every step of this album was unexpected. Consider that an endorsement from me, but the cat seems to hate this one too. Tyler digs it here.
Tribulation – Down Below
Genre: Progressive death/black metal
Origin: Arvika, Sweden
Label: Century Media
This edition is going to end strong with a beloved band here in the Metal Injection news rooms. Tribulation take goth rock, black metal, melodic death metal, and an almost 80's post-rock/pop sound and combine it all into something cool sound that's accessible, yet still challenging. I wouldn't be surprised if this pops up on a number of end of year lists. Frank has a full review here.
Also dropping today…
Accuser – The Mastery (Metal Blade) – Thrash/groove metal
Agrimonia – Awaken (Southern Lord) – Sludge/crust
Ammunition – Ammunition (Frontiers) – Power metal
Anguish – Magna Est Vis Suignah (High Roller) – Doom
Black Moth – Anatomical Venus (Candlelight) – Doom/stoner
Centuries – The Lights of the Earth Are Blinding (Southern Lord) – Hardcore
Dommengang – Love Jail (Thrill Jockey) – Stoner/blues
Frank Hannon – From One Place to Another Vol. 1 (Self) – Rock
John 5 and the Creatures – It's Alive (Self) – Shred
Labyrinth – Return to Live DVD/CD (Frontiers) – Progressive power metal
Loudness – Rise to Glory (earMusic) – Heavy metal
Mike LePond's Silent Assassins – Pawn And Prophecy (Frontiers) – Power metal
New Years Day – Diary Of A Creep EP (Century Media) – Rock/metalcore
Philip H. Anselmo & The Illegals – Choosing Metal Illness as a Virtue (Housecore) – Groove metal/sludge
Slow – V: Oceans (Code666) – Funeral doom
Steve Hackett – Wuthering Nights: Live in Birmingham (InsideOut) – Progressive