Greetings readers, welcome to another installment of Heavy Side Up!
Our featured album of the week is Savages by The Dali Thundering Concept, who hail from Paris. A concept album about the dark places the world is heading, this band manages to blend some utterly jaw-dropping mathcore stylings with deathcore, progressive metal, and even jazz, adding up to one of the most striking releases of the year. If you’re after some inspired ferocious music from a band at the top of their game, look no further:
Our second featured album of the week is JORD, by the Danish blackgaze band MØL. It’s their debut album (though they have multiple EPs to their name), and the band delivers an impressively realised and refined sound. Sure, there are quite a few bands blending black metal and shoegaze at the moment, but MØL manage to make every second of their music vital and effective – providing a remarkable showcase of just what the genre can be:
Next up is Baltimore’s War on Women, a feminist hardcore punk band. They’ve just put out their second full-length album Capture the Flag, and I dare say it’s set to be one of the best punk releases of the year. Their music is energetic and aggressive while possessing a a somewhat more catchy and melodic sound than many of their contemporaries, and their lyrics tackle social issues in a truly confronting and uncompromising way:
And lastly, since I often neglect to highlight EPs, I’d like to take a moment to share Phantasmagoria, the sophomore release from Chicago’s Bind the Sacrifice. This band has a fresh take on deathcore that keeps their songs lively and unpredictable from start to finish. Deathcore’s really been coming into its own as a genre these past few years, and I imagine these guys will be a name to keep an eye on:
There were a few other notable releases this week, too! Other recommended albums include Covenant by German progressive metal band Unprocessed, whose sound is tight, technically proficient and rich in atmosphere. You can hear that album here. Then there’s Awakening Inception, by Canadian technical/progressive death metal band Æpoch, which proves to be a very solid release for the genre thanks to its top-notch musicianship and some interesting production choices. You can check that album out here. And lastly, for those looking for something a little more accessible, it’s Equilibrium, the newest album by Boston-based stoner rock band Gozu. This band can always be counted on to deliver satisfying, adrenaline-fueled hard rock, and this album certainly doesn’t disappoint. You can hear it here.
Here’s the weekly run-down of other artists who released albums this week: French black metal band Ad Hominem, Finnish/Greek gothic doom metal band Aeonian Sorrow, Russian folk metal band Aeterna, Australian thrash metal band After Burner, German ambient black metal band Alrakis, death metal band Angerot, Canadian hard rock band Animal Confession, Australian black metal band Ascensions Fall, Brazillian thrash/death metal band Asmodeus, French death metal band Autokrator, German hard rock band Bonfire, groove metal band Bound by Fate, hard rock/alternative metal band Breaking Benjamin, post-hardcore band Call it Home, metalcore band Capital Vices, melodic death metal band Coiled Around Thy Spine, German death metal band Commander, Singaporean power metal band Coup de Grâce, German gothic metal band Crematory, long-running British punk band The Damned, South Korean metalcore band Day of Mourning, Australian hard rock band Dead City Ruins, French hard rock band The Defigurheads, German melodic death metal band Demorian, New Zealand death metal/deathcore band Depths, parody metal artist Derek Smalls (Harry Shearer’s character from Spinal Tap), thrash metal band Divided Inside, progressive metal band Divine Retribution, Greek power metal band Emerald Sun, Spanish heavy metal band Evil Hunter, German blackened hardcore band Ewig.Endlich., thrash/death metal band Excessum, progressive metal artist Ezra Blumenfeld, Japanese heavy/power metal band Fate Gear, post-hardcore band Fiddlehead, Canadian progressive metal parody act Frank X, glam/hard rock band GlamGlitters, symphonic gothic metal band Graveshadow, punk band GutterLIFE, Norwegian atmospheric black metal band Heiinghund, Canadian doom/sludge metal band Heron, Ukranian avant-garde metal band Hevvn, Norwegian hard rock artist Issa, Hungarian heavy metal band Kalapács, Greek black metal band Karma Violens, German hard rock band Kernkraft, Chastain frontwoman Leather Leone, Spanish symphonic gothic metal band Light Among Shadows, Australian hard rock band The Lockhearts, Brazillian symphonic metal band Lyria, Spanish death metal band MDMA, Italian thrash metal band Mindwars, Argentinian stoner/doom metal band Monje, Bahrainian thrash/death metal band Motör Militia, Italian progressive/alternative metalcore band A Nameless Inertia, melodic death metal band Nekrogoblikon, Australian alternative metal band No Code, black metal band None, one-man German atmospheric black metal act Nurez, Norwegian doom metal band Omit, two-man blackened death metal act Our Place of Worship is Silence, Swedish hard rock band Perfect Plan, hard rock band Radioactive, Russian black metal act Razörschrieck, British stoner rock band Reigning Days, Finnish hard rock band Rust N’ Rage, instrumental post/stoner rock band RLYR, Italian heavy metal band Sacro Ordine dei Cavalieri di Parsifal, alternative metal band Sawyer Path, death metal band Scorched, English thrash/death metal/hardcore band Septic Tank, Canadian progressive death metal band Shape the Above, post-hardcore band Sideshow Cinema, Ukranian hard rock band Sinoptik, death metal band Skeletal Remains, grunge/hard rock band Solarist, Australian garage rock/heavy metal band Stonefield, British black metal band Superterrestrial, Brazillian melodic death metal band Theory, Swedish hard rock band Universe Infinity, Australian death metal band Unravel, Norwegian thrash metal band Vorbid, German hard rock band Vug, Norwegian one-man symphonic black metal act Wallachia, Italian progressive power metal band Walls of Babylon, German melodic metalcore band Watch Them Fade, Norwegian hard rock band Wildnight, Russian atmospheric black metal band Wintaar, British stoner metal band Witch Tripper, and hardcore band Yashira.
And artists who released EPs: Canadian hard rock band The Barrel Rejects, Belarusian one-woman symphonic metal artist Belle Morte, Deathcore band Buried Above Ground, Norwegian black metal band Carpathian Forest, German thrash/heavy metal band Dawn Ahead, deathcore band Dead Crown, Swedish black metal band Deadlife, Italian post/black metal band Dispersion, metalcore band Name the Creature, technical death metal band Orifist, Finnish grindcore band Rotten Sound, alternative metalcore band This Curse, stoner/doom metal band Vitreous Earth, melodic metalcore band Winter’s Gate, and progressive metalcore/deathcore band Worthy of the Crown.
Lastly, I’d just like to highlight a couple of excellent releases from last week that landed on my radar a little too late, both from acts who just happen to hail from Italy. First up is metalcore band Dead Like Juliet. Their debut album, Stranger Shores, may not reinvent the wheel by any means, but this band manages to take their influences and pour them into a rock solid, engaging collection of songs bursting at the seams with passion and energy. You can check that album out here. And the album is INSTAR, by Built-in Obsolescence. Their music blends elements of progressive rock, alternative metal and post-metal to create a very interesting sound – crafting songs that take the listener on a real journey. Give it a listen here!
So, what have you been rocking out to?
BONUS QUESTION OF THE WEEK: Heavy Side Up will be undergoing a redesign next week, to coincide with its 20th installment. Is there anything in particular you’d like to see in Heavy Side Up 2.0?