I used to love In The Woods… back in the days of Omnio, and also got into the offshoot/successor Green Carnation. It’s been a long time between drinks, I’m going to have to check this new one out!
The new Neurosis album - Fires Within Fires, is pretty incredible.
Yes, yes it is. It has been on constant rotation for me since it came out. The only album that has successfully pulled me away from Neurosis is “Return to Nothing” by the band Source. New band, first album. It really has wormed its way into my head with a really nice proggy blend of bands like Tool, Soen, maybe just a hint of Opeth. This is an edited version of one of their songs, and honestly one of the weakest on the album. Full song is over twice as long.
Meshuggah’s latest dropped this morning. Finally. Fuck, what a wait.
I downloaded it from Amazon.com last night and have heard it several times through already. It could accurately be described as a quite heavy and monstrous album. It’s barren of melody and more or less pummels you with a straight hour of rhythm and crushing low tones. So far I like what I hear, but like most of their work, it will take me a while to fully appreciate the intricacies and nuances of an album like this. But I can already tell it’s a winner.
Here’s a newly released video (Clockworks) from the album (The Violent Sleep of Reason), made available this morning:
I talked a bit about Meshuggah earlier, and you can hear another two tracks from the album here.
Yeah, I’ve also been enjoying that. I’ve spent lots of time in the last few weeks getting acquainted with the back catalogs of Meshuggah, Neurosis, and Opeth because of their new albums.
Here’s another batch of recent highlights of my listening.
Anciients - Voice of the Void
Thy Catafalque - Meta
Sumerlands - Sumerlands
Unfathomable Ruination - Finitude
Bright Curse - Before the Shore
Asphyx - Incoming Death
Sweet, been waiting for these!
I need a reminder service; whenever I read reviews the album is never actually out, so I tend to forget a couple weeks later when it does release.
This is from last year but it’s new to me, and been on near constant rotation since I found it.
Epic pagan/folk/black metal, which sounds kind of like Rotting Christ in their prime (which for me was Theogonia) with Bathory-esque choral and atmospheric touches. Consistently engaging throughout, highly recommended.
Yeah, I have that issue too. I wound up tagging positive reviews in Feedly as I read them, and then every week or two I go back through and add any that are out to a big “to listen” playlist in GPM.
And good call on the Macabre Omen. I liked that last year, though I haven’t listened to it lately.
Oh wow, thanks - it never crossed my mind to use Feedly’s features for some reason! :D
@Thraeg; another one from last year that I’m loving (that you’ve probably heard already). Some solid sorrowful mostly mid-tempo atmospheric black metal. Kind of Wolves in the Throne Room-ish:
Antlers - A Gaze Into the Abyss
https://ntlrs.bandcamp.com/album/a-gaze-into-the-abyss (songs are down the page a bit)
Nice! I hadn’t heard that one, but I’m liking it so far.
Another great set of new releases today:
Khemmis - Hunted: Epic doom. I really liked these guys’ debut last year, and this one seems to be even better on first listen.
Mithras - On Strange Loops: Experimental spacey death metal. Reminds me a bit of a heavier version of Enshine, which I couldn’t be happier about.
Amaranthe - Maximalism: Melodeath meets electro-pop. Fun and catchy, as long as you don’t mind getting sniffed at by dour trve kvlt types. First impression is that it’s a return to form after a bit of a misstep with their 3rd album.
There’s also the final Dillinger Escape Plan album out today, which I gather is a big deal but I haven’t really dug into that group.
I’m sniffing… The rest look good though, except Dillinger which I’m not into either.
Haha, nice! :D
But really, I’m not ‘trve kvlt’, at least I don’t think I am.
I do favour black and death metal with sounds invoking dirty, dark, cold, or suicidal feelings, but I also cycle through phases of listening to predominantly traditional and power metal. Depends on my mood.
With melo-death, I was last in the mood back in the early days of Dark Tranquility and In Flames when they pioneered the genre, but these days it doesn’t do much for me. I think it’s mainly the upbeat pop sound and alternating cringe-worthy croons that I don’t like, which weren’t a big feature way back in my day.
I do love a good trad metal vocalist though, screaming and going through the range to hit high notes gives me chills. In particular Harry ‘The Tyrant’ Conklin and his current work with Satan’s Host. :)
If you haven’t heard any modern Satan’s Host, they’re described as ‘blackened power metal’. The 2011 album By the Hands of the Devil is a good place to start. Giving the album a couple listens any metal head will be hooked.
Thanks, this is a fantastic recommendation! Hadn’t heard of these guys, but two songs in, I’m definitely going to be listening to a lot more. I thought that vocalist sounded familiar, and looking them up, I see it’s the same guy from Jag Panzer – I don’t know their later stuff, but Ample Destruction is an amazing album.
And I completely agree about traditional heavy metal vocals in general. I’m not put off by growls and shrieks, but vocals that have understandable words and a full range of tones can add a lot more to a song for me than the unintelligible blunt instrument vocals in most extreme metal. My gold standard will probably always be Bruce Dickinson, but this year’s highlight so far is Dark Forest, which is way up there on my top albums list for the year. I linked a song a couple months ago, but here’s another one that might be a better vocal showcase (that “Your sooooouul!” gets me every time):
It wasn’t until the last 5 years or so that I got deeper into metal than Iron Maiden, Metallica, and Ozzy, so I missed seeing these subgenres develop organically, and have been trying to make up for lost time.
In terms of melodeath, I’ve enjoyed what I’ve heard from Dark Tranquility and In Flames, but my touchstones are Omnium Gatherum and Amon Amarth.
For black, I’ve never gotten much out of the mainstream Norwegian stuff, but love the more folk-infused side of things (Thrawsunblat, Moonsorrow, Saor, Primordial, Falkenbach, etc.)
Wall of text!
The great thing is they’ve been quite reinvigorated since Conklin re-joined so there are a couple more recent albums there. All the albums prior to 2011 (bar the debut) have a rather generic growling vocalist. Still some decent music though I suppose.
I actually added that Dark Forest album to my GPlay library the other week, just haven’t got around to listening yet. Sounds pretty good, I’ll have to bump it up the queue if you rate it highly! It reminds me a bit of a mellower version of Falconer which are an old fave of mine (Swedish folky power metal).
I do (did?) like Amon Amarth, though they’re a bit boring these last couple of albums. I’d put them in Viking Metal, not melo-death. :) Omnium don’t do much for me.
Moonsorrow I’ve loved long time, Primordial too though not so much the latest one - Gathering Wilderness has always been my fave album of theirs. Falkenbach I haven’t heard in ages but liked. I liked the usual suspects like Ensiferum, Thryfing, Windir, Nokturnal Mortum, Arafel, sort of things on the blacker end of folk/viking scale.
Didn’t really get into Thrawsunblat. Saor I haven’t heard though I read they’re similar to Panopticon who didn’t really do it for me.
I grew up with the Norwegian Black (and the Swedish Death), these days though the best stuff is French. Well, basically I’m referring to Deathspell Omega* and their ‘avante garde’ black metal. :)
Deathspell Omega’s concept trilogy masterwork “Si monvmentvm reqvires, circvmspice” (2004), “Fas – Ite, Maledicti, in Ignem Aeternum” (2007), and “Paracletus” (2010) are I think my current ‘favourite things ever’. All different, all challenging but all highly rewarding (after many listens plumbing their intricacies).
My favourite Death Metal band overall these days, even though their latest album is not the best and there’s been some interesting stuff recently, would still probably be Immolation.
My favourite Metal band, as in they’re not really in a strict sub genre (but they kind of get lumped in death/thrash which I suppose is closer than anything else), would be Deceased. Lyrical themes: Death, Zombies, Horror. They have a great zombie concept album, Fearless Undead Machines :)
*and oh my god by creating that link I see they have a new full-length due in just over two weeks…
Oh yeah, I’m a big Falconer fan, and they’re a great point of comparison for Dark Forest.
Agree about Amon Amarth’s last couple albums. It’s disappointing that the music is still stagnating given that they actually took a pretty substantial turn with the lyrical themes this year, going with pseudo-historical Vikings instead of mythology. But their run from Versus the World through Surtur Rising is pretty great.
Dunno what era of Omnium you tried, but I don’t think they really hit their stride until a few albums in. If you only heard their early stuff and ever want to give them another shot, New World Shadows is definitely the overall high point.
Panopticon didn’t do much for me either, for what it’s worth. They showed up on a bunch of year-end lists last year, but despite giving them a fair shot they just bored me.
I haven’t heard much from those other recommendations, but I’ll definitely be checking them out. Thanks!
Respect your roots.