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THE WEEKLY INJECTION: New Releases Out Today – 9/4

I hope you've all enjoyed your Labor Day weekend (I don't really care), but it's time to get back into the swing of things with some new music. We've got one outstanding release from the veteran, punk-proggy thrashers in Propagandhi, an endlessly eccentric work of… eccentricity from Arkhamin Kirjasto (damn that long and difficult band name), and some time-portals in musical form by Orchid and Grave Digger. Here are all the new releases out today:

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PropagandhiFailed States

THE WEEKLY INJECTION: New Releases Out Today – 9/4Genre: Progressive Thrash/Crossover/Punk
Country: Canada
Label: Epitaph Records
Listen: "Duplicate Keys Icaro (An Interim Report)"

Propagandhi are a band with a long and storied history; a staple of the underground, activism-oriented punk scene, their immensely influential career spanning over 20 years. And while I'm not familiar with Propagandhi's back catalog, it seems that most fans are in agreement: these dudes just keep getting better. Hard to argue that point, as Failed States is an incredible and masterful work of art on all levels. The combination of genres above doesn't quite do the album justice; really, the only thing "punk" about this are the lyrics and the vocals. But while past works may not have belonged on a metal site, Failed States certainly does; we've got a progressive/melodic/riff-centric piece of music, transitioning seamlessly between traditional thrash riffs, beautiful open chords, slithering prog-metal runs, and a myriad of technical sections that wouldn't sound out of place on a Dream Theater record. And seemingly in spite of all this frenetic riffage, the album still manages to conjure up some deep and contemplative atmosphere, saturated in melancholy; never upbeat, or bouncy, or juvenile, but rather a dark and introspective and deeply emotional journey; an album that, in its own way, reflects the majesty and expansiveness of its cover art. Failed States took me completely by surprise; it's not something I would normally enjoy or that I even expected to enjoy. But this is a metal record through and through, and the thought and passion that went into it is evident from the first note to the last. Quite frankly one of the most interesting things I've heard all year. Highly recommended.

OrchidHeretic EP

THE WEEKLY INJECTION: New Releases Out Today – 9/4Genre: Doom/Retro/Traditional
Country: United States
Label: Nuclear Blast
Listen: "Heretic"

Orchid are one of the many bands who share a similar goal; play enough retro music to create a rip in the space time continuum, laugh maniacally as we all spiral back into the 70's, invent metal before Sabbath does. But I'm being unfair; Orchid do have some things going for them, and while many elements of their sound are tediously familiar (fuzzy tone, organ parts, "evil" notes, occultism) it's hard to deny their ability to write a catchy song. Their vocalist isn't too shabby either, with most of the songs centered around his gritty, soaring vocals, seemingly an amalgamation of every doom/stoner/retro vocalist who ever lived. Orchid aren't reinventing the wheel (one could argue that they're trying to uninvent it) but you could certainly do worse; this is for those of you who are just looking for some straight up, no-frills classic metal to blast while you get high with your friends in a basement filled with lava lamps and black lights and bell bottoms.

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Arkhamin KirjastoTorches Ablaze

THE WEEKLY INJECTION: New Releases Out Today – 9/4Genre: Experimental Rock/Atmospheric/Death n' Roll
Country: Finland
Label: Ektro Records
Listen: "The Cult Of No Return"

Metal Archives tells me that this band (I refuse, out of laziness, to type the name) is part of the "new wave of Finnish heavy metal." It's personally my first time hearing of such a movement, but my general reaction to Torches Ablaze went something like "what the fuck is this!?" And I mean that in the best possible way, because I was instantly intrigued. As for what it actually is? Well, I'm still not sure, but here's what we've got; the vocals are deep gutturals (of the Dethklok variety), but the music is straight up rock n' roll with a hint of old-school thrash, which is then paired with the type of commercial goth and gloom found in every band ever featured on the Bam Margera show, which is then all tied together by Septic Flesh-esque, Lovecraftian-inspired themes and atmospherics. What the fuck are you still reading this for? Go see for yourself. I'm not making this up, I swear.

Grave DiggerClash Of The Gods

THE WEEKLY INJECTION: New Releases Out Today – 9/4Genre: Heavy Metal
Country: Germany
Label: Napalm Records
Listen: "Home At Last"

Many of you are probably already familiar with Grave Digger, who have been pumping out heavy/power metal with that unmistakable German flair since 1982. With song titles like "Metal Will Never Die," this is the type of macho shit that will have Manowar fans stripping down to leotards in no time. The vocals are unique in the sense that they're seemingly anti-power metal, instead staying in low registers, filled with grit and moving along at a slow, choppy pace. These are laid over the top of the same kind of "metal in our blood!" riffs that we've seen repeated time and time again since Judas Priest. I know I review at least one of these types every week, and I usually say the same thing (tired of hearing this shit) but there is obviously still a market for it. So if you're into this sort of entertainment metal, a) I'm assuming you've already been blasting this for weeks, and b) if you haven't, you should check it out.

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More Releases:

Ad Patres – Scorn Aesthetics (Kaotoxin)
Devil – Magister Mundi Xum/The Noble Savage Re-Release (Soulseller)
Inimical Drive – Sound The Sirens EP (Authentik)
Judas Priest – Screaming For Vengeance 30th Anniversary Edition (Epic)
Kamikaze Kings – The Law (Limited Access)
Masachist – Scorned (Selfmadegod)
Swallow The Sun – Emerald Forest And the Blackbird (Spinefarm)
Sylencer – A Lethal Dose Of Truth (Sylencer)
Tarja – Act I (Armoury)
Vesen – This Time It's Personal (Soulseller)
Winters – Berlin Occult Bureau (Van)

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