Yes, I know this could easily do without the cheesy introduction, but I'm feelin' good and I like to hear myself speak. So please, let me welcome you all to the very first installment of The Weekly Injection. Every Tuesday I'll be telling you who's releasing stuff, where it's coming from, what it sounds like, and if you should buy it (of course you should). You can also expect; lots of lists, a ton of info, pretty pictures, and my pretentious opinions. So let's get to it. Here's all the awesome stuff coming out today:
Paradise Lost – Tragic Idol
After their brief but divisive stint as an Electronic/Alt-rock band, the legendary Paradise Lost have spent the last five years trying (successfully, in my opinion) to regain their former glory as the Death/Doom pioneers of old. 2009 saw the release of Faith Divides Us – Death Unites Us, which was received as a critically acclaimed return to form. Now, in 2012, Tragic Idol sees the band picking up exactly where they left off; churning out their classic brand of gruff, riff-centric metal that is at once charmingly depressive, absolutely crushing, and catchy beyond measure. It seems the last five years have been pointing towards this single moment; the culmination of the bands musical rebirth. From what I've heard of the album, one thing can be said for sure: the Paradise Lost of old are officially back.
Genre: Post-Metal/Funeral Doom/Experimental
Country: United States
Label: The End Records
Listen: "Ethereal Dispersal"
Well, this is something that should get any metalhead excited. Sacha Dunable
(Intronaut), Derek Donley (National Sunday Law), Charles Elliot (Abysmal Dawn), and ex-Faceless vocalist Derek Rydquist have come together to form a supergroup of sorts. What type of music, you say? I'm not sure what to call it, but I can promise you that it's a far cry from the super-technical death metal frenzy that you might expect from such a line-up. Bereft is instead specializing in a type of ambient, tripped-out, suffocatingly dense doom metal; a brilliantly layered wall of sound, crawling painfully through cavernous gutterals, funereal melodies, ghostly feedback and crushing distortion. Keep an eye on this band my friends… I guarantee that you'll be seeing them on at least a few year-end lists come December.
Torche – Harmonicraft
One glance at the cover art, you know you're in for some weird shit. Five seconds into the album and you'll begin to wonder if you hit a wrong button. Two songs into the album and you'll be humming along with every note, never mind the fact that the music sounds like some bizarro world version of post-puberty Blink-182; some abominable hybrid of teenie-bopper pop and filthy metallic sludge. I'm still not sure what to make of Harmonicraft. Part of me still refuses to acknowledge that it's even a real thing. But if you've ever wondered what Radio Disney would sound like with a pair of giant, grungy balls and a vintage fuzz pedal; I politely urge you to listen to this.
Genre: Black Metal
Label: Candlelight Records
Listen: "The Storm"
Wodensthrone made some noise in the metal world with their 2009 debut Loss, a maelstrom of atmospheric black metal that borrowed heavily from the nature/folk inspired tradition of bands like Drudkh, Fen, Negură Bunget, and Wolves In The Throne Room. Curse, in comparison, is the sound of a band coming into their own, carving out an identity in a genre already saturated with talent. The music is matured and dynamic, pulling from an even wider spectrum of influences; angular black metal riffs are juxtaposed with ethereal and melodic ones, tortured shrieks follow deep gutterals, folky acoustics climax into savage blast beats. Combine all of that with a beautifully textured production, a massive thematic scope, and an overwhelming sense of majesty, and you've got what will certainly be a highlight of 2012.
Vesperian Sorrow– Stormwinds Of Ages
Genre: Symphonic Black Metal
Country: United States
Listen: "Stormwinds Of Ages"
Vesperian Sorrow are not necessarily revolutionizing any genres, but for a self-funded band they've certainly managed to make a name for themselves. Stormwinds Of Ages is another solid effort within a thoroughly consistent discography; another offering of fantasy-themed, neoclassically tinged and technically precise black metal. Everything you could want from such an album is present here, from grandiose musical themes and sweeping orchestral compositions, to crunchy guitar work and a bevy of rapid-fire drum patterns. Accesible, enjoyable, and recommended.
Unleashed – Odalheim
Swedish Death metal titans Unleashed, most known for writing about Norse
Mythology before it became cool, have returned with another slab of pummeling, straight-up, no-frills death metal. The single "Odalheim" is a pretty good indicator of what you can expect from this album; an amalgamation of thrash, death, and black metal riffage tied together with all the bombast of a pure Viking metal band. At any given moment, the chorus in particular, it seems the band is on the verge of breaking into a triumphant, Amon Amarth-esque, slay our enemies and rape their women type of melodic flourish, but it never quite gets there. Some fans seem to be lamenting the fact that the band has strayed a bit from their pure death metal roots, but as far as I can tell, this a solid release that remains violent and ferocious from beginning to end. At the very least, Odalheim is likely to make you feel like pillaging a helpless community. And what more can you really ask for?
7 Horns 7 Eyes– Throes Of Absolution (Progressive Death Metal)
16– Deep Cuts From Dark Clouds (Sludge)
Mares Of Thrace– The Pilgrimage (Sludge/Post-Metal)
Vorkreist– Sigil Whore Christ (Death/Black Metal)
War Of Ages– Return To Life (Metalcore)
Cripple Bastards– Senza Impronte EP (Grind)