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THE WEEKLY INJECTION: New Releases Out Today – 7/31

Good reviews all around this week (kind of). But still, my relative good mood aside, we've got some genuinely awesome stuff coming out, from Testament's long-awaited Dark Roots Of Earth, to a potential album-of-the-year-list-candidate in Evoken's Atra Mors. And what better way to send off the month of July than with some brutally soul-crushing doom? In the immortal words of Deckard Cain (a reference I expect all of you to get), "Come, stay awhile and listen!" Here are the new releases for 7/31:

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TestamentDark Roots Of Earth

THE WEEKLY INJECTION: New Releases Out Today – 7/31Genre: Heavy Metal/Thrash
Country: United States
Label: Nuclear Blast
Listen: "Native Blood"

Many people would say that, out of all the classic thrash bands of yesteryear, Testament have aged the best. I wholeheartedly agree. While they may not be putting out any more classic material, they ARE still putting out quality material; each release heavier and more ferocious than the one before. Dark Roots Of Earth is no exception (and check out that fucking artwork!). As expected, Gene Hoglan anchors down this record with his monolithic drum performance, alternating between weighty grooves and furious blast beats, all while Chuck Billy's vitriolic roar cuts through each riff in violent staccato, darkening even the most melodic of choruses. Peterson is still at the top of his riff-writing game, and Skolnick, with his background in all things not-metal, still proves to be the most diverse and interesting lead player in all of the classic thrash bands. For all intents and purposes, this album is even better than The Formation Of Damnation, and while you won't find any revolutionary ideas here, you will most certainly find a solid and enjoyable thrash album that is pure Testament from beginning to end.

NachtmystiumSilencing Machine

THE WEEKLY INJECTION: New Releases Out Today – 7/31Genre: Black Metal/Psychedelic
Country: United States
Label: Century Media
Listen: "Borrowed Hope And Broken Dreams"

I've tried on more than one occasion to understand the lore that surrounds Nachtmystium, given that their combination of bluesy, drug-centric prog-rock and psychedelic black metal has garnered such an insane amount of praise. On some level I "get it"; despite minutes of repetitive and generic black metal, they do occasionally conjure up some very unique and emotional moments. I'm happy to say that Silencing Machine has it's fair share of them. Admittedly, most of the album sees the band struggling to form a coherent bond between the multiple aspects of their music. But to hear them come together; to hear 70's synth work placed alongside 90's black metal in a way that is more than superficial; these are the moments that make the album at least worth a listen.

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EvokenAtra Mors

THE WEEKLY INJECTION: New Releases Out Today – 7/31Genre: Funeral Doom
Country: United States
Label: Profound Lore
Listen: "An Extrinsic Divide"

Atra Mors is incredible. And with a growing list of perfect or near-perfect reviews, it seems like the internet agrees. It is fitting that Profound Lore's 100th release should be one of this magnitude; an otherworldly odyssey through dark waves of shimmering sound; an exploration of spirituality, grief, melancholy; an exercise in abyssal funeral doom that is at once earth-shatteringly violent and transcendentally peaceful. Evoken reach to monumental heights here, utilizing spacey effects and clean guitars, synth work and subtle symphonic arrangements, melodic riffs and breathtaking harmonies, placing them alongside the classic death/doom feel of the early 90's and the bludgeoning force of modern doom. Atra Mors in 2012 is what Loss' Despond was to 2011; a shining highlight and a testament to the visceral power of the genre.

Meek Is MurderAlgorithms (Vinyl)

THE WEEKLY INJECTION: New Releases Out Today – 7/31Genre: Hardcore/Grind/Mathcore
Country: United States
Label: Granite House Records
Listen: "Recursions"

Last year, Meek Is Murder released one hell of an album in Algorithms; a spastic and schizophrenic musical concoction, mind-bending in all senses of the phrase, bursting at the seams with violence and dissonance; what can only be described as the musical embodiment of a Good Will Hunting-level math equation. And with a name like Algorithm, and songs like "Recursions" and "Return Void" and some sort of fractal tree on the cover, this should come as no surprise. Comparisons to Converge are warranted here, as the album was, in fact, recorded by Kurt Ballou; but references to the headiness of The Dillinger Escape Plan or the melodic sensibilities of Between The Buried & Me would be no more out of place. Long story short, Meek Is Murder is re-releasing this amazing piece of work on a sweet looking, clear vinyl; hand-numbered and limited; purchasable here. Check it out, buy some stuff, and support awesome music.

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