This edition features some long-waited returns, some album of the year contenders, some supergroups, and more! To the metals…
Clutch – Book Of Bad Decisions
Origin: Germantown, Maryland
This is hands down the best album Clutch has released since Robot Hive/Exodus. This is classic Clutch with some modern flair. It has the From Beale Street To Oblivion swagger paired with the straight up rocking vibes of Earth Rocker.
Downpour – Downpour
Order on Pledge Music
This album has been done and waiting for the right time for quite some time. I'm unsure why now is the time, but it's great to finally hear. For those unfamiliar this is a band that features past and present folks from Shadows Fall, Unearth, and more. It's more melodic than I expected, but I ain't mad about it.
Korpiklaani – Kulkija
Genre: Folk metal
Origin: Lahti, Finland
Label: Nuclear Blast
This marks the tenth album of some good-time folk metal from these Finnish masters of the genre. If you're looking for some violin and/or accordion shredding, look no further. This is some jaunty shit.
Krisiun – Scourge Of The Enthroned
Genre: Death metal
Origin: Ijuí, Brazil
Label: Century Media
Krisiun is sort of the anti-Korpiklaani of this week. This is a no-frills death metal assault, with little to no jauntiness. No accordion either. Maybe next time guys?
Mestis – Eikasia
Genre: Progressive metal
Origin: Los Angeles, California
Javier Reyes is perhaps best knows as the second (git-)fiddle to Tosin Abasi in Animals As Leaders where he already proves himself as no slouch. In Mestis, he is in the driver's seat and I think I prefer this to AAL. It's proggy, rhythmic, and technical still, but there is something different here that just appeals to me a bit more.
Metal Allegiance – Volume II: Power Drunk Majesty
Genre: Groove metal/various
Origin: New York, New York
Label: Nuclear Blast
The supergroup of Mike Portnoy, David Ellefson, Alex Skolnick, and Mark Menghi are back with a new batch of driving metal jams with a fuck-ton of different vocalists. This album features tracks with John Bush (Armored Saint), Floor Jansen (Nightwish), Trevor Strnad (The Black Dahlia Murder), Johan Hegg (Amon Amarth), and more.
Pig Destroyer – Head Cage
Origin: Washington, DC
It's been six long years since Scott Hull and his gang of grindy guys have unleashed mayhem on the world. The wait is finally over and the mayhem is real. They even brought some additional voices this time with appearances from both Katherine Katz and Richard Johnson of Agoraphobic Nosebleed and Dylan Walker of Full of Hell.
Skyharbor – Sunshine Dust
Genre: Progressive metal/djent
Origin: New Delhi, India
Label: eOne Music/Good Fight Music
Skyharbor will likely forever live in the shadow of TesseracT, especially since they were the the band Daniel Tompkins went to when he left TesseracT. Sunshine Dust is the band setting out to prove that they don't necessarily need him to create massive dreamy metal, and they succeed. Eric Emery has been with the band for a bit now, but this is his first album with the band, and he kills it.
Suicidal Tendencies – STill Cyco Punk After All These Years
Origin: Venice Beach, California
Suicidal Tendencies have been around for a while now, and they know what they are about. They are about fun, silly, crossover thrash/punk/whatever. They are a band with a lengthy legacy and a tendency to do whatever the fuck they way. This is evident by the title which is both a reference to the band's own history (the 1993 Still Cyco After All These Years rarity collection) and one of the most infuriating things I've ever had to write (WHY IS THE T IN STILL ALSO CAPITALIZED?!?!).
The White Swan – Touch Taste Destroy
Origin: London, Ontario
The White Swan is the brainchild of ex-Kittie member Mercedes Lander, however this is quite different from her Nu-metal past. Instead you're getting fuzzy riffs, lots of atmosphere, and some general doominess. This EP is the band's third, and like the other two, it should be longer. Where's the album at y'all?
Also dropping today…
Altar Bridge – Live At The Royal Albert Hall (Napalm) – Rock
Ape Machine – Darker Seas (Ripple) – Rock
Arabrot – Who Do You Love (Pelagic) – Noise rock
Archaeobeast – Manifesting The Antichrist (Horror Pain Gore Death Productions) – Death metal
Cauldron – New Gods (The End) – Heavy metal
Counterparts – Private Room EP (Outerloop) – Hardcore
Dead Now – Dead Now (Brutal Panda) – Stoner
Kingcrow – The Persistence (Sensory Records) – Progressive
Infera Bruo – Cerement (Prosthetic) – Progressive black metal
La Chinga – Beyond The Sky (Small Stone) – Hard rock
Manimal – Purgatorio (AFM) – Power metal
Monstrosity – The Passage Of Existence (Metal Blade) – Death metal
Nashville Pussy – Pleased To Eat You (earMusic) – Heavy metal
Owl – Nights In Distortion (Temple Of Tortuous) – Doom/ambient
The Primals – All Love Is True Love (Southern Lord) – Final Fantasy metal
Satan – Cruel Magic (Metal Blade) – Heavy metal
Set Sights – The Heavy Alternative (Tragic Hero Records) – Alt/hardcore
Siege Of Power – Warning Blast (Metal Blade) – Death metal/thrash
Stoned Jesus – Pilgrims (Napalm) – Stoner
The Skull – The Endless Road Turns Dark (Tee Pee Records) – Doom