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Turing twenty-five was pretty rough. Becoming "a quarter century old," as everyone liked to remind me, does get you a lot of free drinks though. Needless to say, my head is throbbing and of course it's happening on a week where there is an unbelieveable number of albums worth mentioning. Now, on to the metals as I seek out some hair of the dog…

Asking Alexandria – From Death To DestinyAA

Genre: Metal with Electronic Influences
Origin: York, England
Label: Sumerian

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I've always known this band to be terrible. Somewhere along the way they became a decent band that sounds pretty close to Mercenary in their heyday. Not quite power metal, but it's always trying to soar.

Centuries – Taedium Vitae0001606877_10

Genre: Hardcore
Origin: West Palm, Florida
Label: Southern Lord

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Some record labels wind up having a particular aesthetic with bands they sign. It's not that the bands don't sound the same, but when you hear someone they signed you think, "well of course is (insert label here) band." Southern Lord certainly has this quality to them. Centuries are a hard band to label. Their sound is sort of hardcore, kind of punk, and a bit metal, but they are unmistakably Southern Lord.

Exhumed – NecrocracyExhumed

Genre: Death Metal
Origin: San Jose, California
Label: Relapse

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Exhumed has never been in my wheelhouse, but I get it. Jeremy has a full review here. I'd take his word over my vague description of their mid-tempo groove/death metal thing they've got going on.

Iwrestledabearonce – Late For Nothing1374934609_845443cover

Genre: Experimental Metalcore
Origin: Shreveport, Louisiana
Label: Century Media

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I fucking adore Iwrestledabeardonce. They are chaotic, melodic, female-fronted, and always bouncing from genre to genre. Late For Nothing feels like a more straight forward, or perhaps mature, album than their previous efforts, but this doesn't take away from what makes them great. This marks the debut of Courtney LaPlante as vocalist and she does a stellar job killing the shoes of Krysta Cameron.

James LaBrie – Impermanent ResonanceJames-LaBrie-Impermanent-Resonance

Genre: Progressive
Origin: Toronto, Canada
Label; InsideOut

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It is difficult to take the singer of Dream Theater James LaBrie seriously sometimes. The guy can be so over the top that it's just silly on his DT albums. having said that, his solo stuff is oddly fitting for his love of trying to sound epic. Impermanent Resonance is in line with his last solo album, which had a surprising melodic death metal sound akin to In Flames or Soilwork. To say this is better than Dream Theater would be an insult to their musicianship, but this feels like a better fit for LaBrie.

Last Chance To Reason – Level 3Last-Chance-To-Reason-Level-3

Genre: Progressive Death Metal
Origin: Portland, Maine
Label: Prosthetic

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This album took a few listens for me to appreciate it more. My initial meandering review had me hinting that it was more of the same, but after further exploration this album feels like a proper evolution for the band. A friend called it an almost aquatic sound that the band has adapted into their technical progressive sound. I love it now.

Newsted – Heavy Metal MusicNewsted

Genre: Heavy Metal Music
Origin: Battle Creek, Michigan
Label: Chophouse

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We all know who these fella is. He played bass in the biggest metal band of all time during the peak of popularity. Then he left. Now, Jason Newsted is fronting a surprisingly solid band and this is their debut. my full review is here, which inexplicably ruffled some feathers.

Norma Jean – WrongdoersNorma-Jean-Wrongdoers

Genre: Metalcore
Origin: Douglasville, Georgia
Label: Razor & Tie

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Norma Jean was an important band in the early days of metalcore's popularity about a decade ago. Then, I forgot they existed until their brilliant single "Ahh! Shark Bite! Ahh!" The new album is kinda like that, but longer songs that are probably not as much about sharks.

Orbweaver – Strange Transmissions from the Neuralnomicona2304898581_10

Genre: Experimental Metal
Origin: Miami, Florida
Label: Primitive Violence

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Strange Transmissions has me more excited than most of the other albums dropping this week. It's been a long, long time since I've heard a band this unique. This band has elements of technical death metal, stoner rock, psychedelic, and much more. They like the American version of Sigh without the circus elements.

Revocation – RevocationVideo thumbnail for youtube video REVOCATION Get Fracked On A New Song - Metal Injection

Genre: Tech Death/Thrash
Origin: Boston, Massachusetts
Label: Relapse

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If you have ever had self-esteem tied to your musical abilities, this will be the one to rip it away from you. These guys are better than you, and they prove it in a tasteful way. Great, great thrash/death metal stuff. Fuck it, you know Revocation, and you know they're good. Here's Jeremy's review telling you the same.

Witherscape – The Inheritancewitherscape

Genre: Progressive
Origin: Finspång, Sweden
Label: Century Media

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Dan Swano's track record is pretty impressive. He was the mastermind behind Edge of Sanity, and is the sole founding member of Nightingale. Getting into his production credits would be a post of its own, because he's had a hand in tons of awesome records. Anyway, he teamed up with a mustachioed gent named Ragnar (fucking metal named) for this interesting atmospheric progressive death metal project. It's sort of like Opeth meets Ayreon. Here's our chat with him.

also dropping today…

Arceye – At First Light (Hostile)
Dead In The Dirt – The Blind Hole (Southern Lord)
Deadlock – The Arsonist (Napalm)
The Defiled – Daggers (Nuclear Blast)
Empty Flowers – Five (The Path Less Traveled)
Fueled By Fire – Trapped In Perdition (Noiseart)
Hell Or Highwater – The Other Side EP (Pavement)
Hidden Masters – Of This and Other Worlds (Rise Above)
The Icarus Line – Slave Vows (Agitated)
Impiety – The Impious Crusade EP (Hells Headbangers)
In Silentio Noctis – Disenchant The Hypocrites (My Kingdom)
Lacerated and Carbonized – The Core of Disruption(Mulligore)
Lebensnacht – Syksyn Kuoleminen (Naturmacht)
The Lumberjack Feedback – Hand Of Glory (Kaotoxin)
Mortis Mutilati – Nameless Here For Evermore(Naturmacht)
Night Demon – Night Demon EP (Shadow Kingdom)
Nothnegal – Nothnegal EP (Season Of Mist)
Pillbuster – Pillbuster (Stonerkill)
Powerwolf – Preachers Of The Night (Napalm)
Sinister Realm – World Of Evil (Shadow Kingdom)

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