Greetings, heavy music aficionados, and welcome to the second installment of Heavy Side Up!
After last week brought us multiple hotly-anticipated albums, this week was considerably more sparse on that front. But there were a few solid releases nonetheless – the featured album of the week being the self-titled debut of Stretch Heart, a one-man progressive/experimental metal act:
While far from the best album of the year, it still makes for a very interesting listen, with its abundance of orchestral elements and frequent forays into other genres. I’d have personally liked a little more oomph in the production value, but as far as debut releases go, Alex Roumanidakis should be very proud of what he’s accomplished here.
Other stand-out releases this week include the debut EP Triage from progressive metalcore band Synovial – nothing particularly groundbreaking, but the musicians definitely have some chops:
Pacifisticuffs, the fourth album by self-proclaimed “swing metal” act Diablo Swing Orchestra:
And In Search of Self-Evidence, the sophomore release from melodic hardcore band Withered Bones:
There were also new albums by melodic death metal band Hate in Hands, Finnish prog metal band Status Minor, avant-garde metal band Cleric, stoner rock band The Atomic Bitchwax, symphonic metal band Coronatus, power metal band Iron Savior, and Christian metal bands War of Ages and Project 86. And as far as EPs go, we had the debuts from alternative metal band Orchards, post-hardcore band Moral Support, and Australian progressive metalcore band Protoform, an EP from death metal band Autopsy, and EPs from long-running German metal acts Atrocity and Schwarzer Engel. Admittedly, I’ve not listened to any of these, so don’t take any of these as recommendations – it’s just a run-down of what came out this week!
There’s also not a whole lot slated for release over the rest of the month, so get your “best of” lists ready, because we’ll likely be doing that for the remaining installments of the month.
So: What have you been listening to this week?