Greetings Avocadians, time for another installment of Heavy Side Up!
There have been a plethora of notable releases since the last Heavy Side Up, and it was exceptionally difficult to narrow it down to just a few featured albums. So instead, I’m gonna take you on a bit of a world tour this week.
Our first stop is New Zealand, where black metal band Sojourner bring you their sophomore album, The Shadowed Road. This is a band that understands just how beautiful metal can be, with the presence of female vocals and a wide array of instruments forging an uplifting undercurrent in a genre that’s usually categorised by its gloominess:
Next, we’re heading to Croatia, with Don’t Pick Your Noise by Them Moose Rush, and that album title should clue you in as to just how bizarre this band is. They play a very proggy and experimental version of hard rock, which has to be heard to really be understood. Metal Injection described it as “an album someone poured out of a blender after mixing Destrage, Sikth, At the Drive-In, and a dash of Primus,” and I’m inclined to agree:
Our last stop on the world tour is the UK, with the excellent band Conjurer. With one just EP to their name prior to this, the band’s debut album, Mire, shows a group of musicians who know how to craft enthralling music. Passionate, unpredictable and absorbing from start to finish, this sludgy doom metal album is sure to make many end-of-year lists:
Also worth noting this week is the new album from British band Turbowolf. One of the more accessible and upbeat bands I’ve highlighted here, their new album, The Free Life, is an absolute blast. The band plays a relentlessly energetic take on stoner rock, and reminds us all just how fun heavy music can be. And lastly, we have Between the Buried and Me, who are practically metal royalty at this point, having released some of the best music in the progressive death metal scene over the past decade and a bit. Their new album, Automata I, is the first of a double album, and sees the band returning to the sound of their Parallax releases. There are unfortunately no Bandcamp streams to embed for these albums, but if you have a Spotify account, you can listen to them here and here, respectively.
Other albums released this week include German heavy metal band Abnormal End, Danish black metal band Afsky, Finnish death/stoner metal band Black Royal, German progressive death metal band Brutal Kraut, Swedish doom metal band Burning Saviours, black metal band Cacotopia, German black metal band Chaos Invocation, Greek alternative metal band Circus Veil, Australian alternative post-hardcore band Colour & Shade, French melodic death metal band The Dawn Razor, hard rock artist Derrick Nunnally, Argentinian thrash/stoner metal band Dirty Room, Australian alternative metal band Down to Size, Ukrainian black metal band Drudkh, French alternative metal band Dusk of Delusion, French post-metal band Eryn Non Dae, Spanish stoner/hard rock band Fuzz Forward, one-man Brazillian black metal act Gray Souvenirs, Australian southern metal band Greystone Canyon, French folk metal band Hantaoma, Brazillian progressive metal artist Harã Lemes, stoner metal band High Gallows, German folk metal band Incantatem, heavy metal band Jessikill, heavy metal legends Judas Priest, Italian hard rock band Killer Boogie, deathcore band Krosis, Swedish hard rock band Leap, Dutch hard rock band Mamilla, industrial metal band Ministry, Alter Bridge frontman Myles Kennedy, German melodic death metal band Myra, Italian extreme metal band Necrodeath, Brazillian melodic black metal band Neros Benedictios, British punk band Nervus, Norwegian hardcore band Ondt Blod, Ukranian melodic death metal band Penetrum, Dutch technical death metal band Pestilence, Italian metalcore band Prospective, one-man progressive hard rock act Quo, Austrian hard rock band Robo Sapiens, Italian heavy metal band Rusted Coins, Danish hard rock band Scandic Tribe, German symphonic metal band Silent Saga, hard rock band Sleep Juliet, post-hardcore band Softspoken, Swiss hard rock band Spice River, French instrumental stoner rock band Stoned Karma, technical death metal band Strychnia, German alternative metal band Surrender the Crown, black/death/doom metal band Swallowed Whole, Norwegian melodic black metal band Sworn, British hard rock band Tax the Heat, Italian doom metal band Towards Atlantis Light, doom/stoner metal band Twisted Tongues, progressive death metal band Unexplainable, Latvian post-metal band Velns Vinu Zin, sludgey queercore act Vile Creature, post-hardcore band Vox Vocis, heavy metal band War of Thrones, stoner/doom metal band The Watchers, French black metal band WYRMS, and Finnish progressive metal band Xenoverse.
There were also new EPs released by French post-hardcore band Apply for a Shore, death metal band Azymyth, Belgian thrash metal/hardcore band Basement Critters, Christian metalcore band Darkness Divided, Danish black metal band Fathoms, black/industrial metal band Fliege, Italian metalcore band A Hero Named Coward, German black metal band Horn, post-hardcore band I Am King, German black metal band Isgalder, Indian blackened death metal band Killibrium, hard rock band Lightning Rules, hardcore punk band Suicidal Tendencies, British sludge metal band Thuum, and heavy metal band Tzimani.
Lastly, I just wanted to highlight a great release from February that only recently landed on my radar: Terrastasis, by the UK-based band WANE. Combining elements of doom metal, sludge metal, post-metal, and even hardcore, the end result is a remarkably unique musical journey that no heavy music fan will want to miss. You can hear the album here (it is also available as a name-your-price download).
So, what have you been rocking out to?
BONUS QUESTION OF THE WEEK: How much international music do you listen to?