Welcome to another installment of Heavy Side Up!
Hegemone – We Disappear
Four years after a considerably strong debut album, Poland’s Hegemone return with an even more confident and refined sound. The band’s take on blackened post-metal is now more ambitious than ever – dense and layered, engulfing the listener in the crushing weight of its mournful fury – this definitely isn’t an album to be missed.
Abraham – Look, Here Comes the Dark!
Swiss band Abraham have been making a name for themselves in the post-metal scene for a while now thanks to their unique sound, which sees some generous dollops of sludge mixed in with traces of post-rock and post-hardcore. But their newest release – an almost 2 hour long post-apocalyptic concept album – may be their most ambitious outing yet, and is sure to top many end-of-year lists.
Lou Quinse – Lo Sabbat
One of the most unusual metal releases I’ve heard in quite a while, Italian experimental metal band Lou Quinse describe their most recent offering as “twelve tunes from various local repertoires, reinterpreted in an eclectic extreme metal style,” and it must be heard to be truly understood. If you’re after a unique – and gleefully abrasive – cultural experience, look no further, for this album’s a wonderfully weird delight.
Icarus – Azathoth
Multi-instrumentalist Taylor Aguirre recently released his second album under his moniker Icarus, and it’s a rock solid collection of instrumental numbers. Icarus doesn’t seek to reinvent the wheel, but by cherry-picking the strongest elements of his progressive metal contemporaries and weaving them together into seven engaging and absorbing tracks, he’s created an album that manages to hold its own and then some.
Hailing from France, this progressive metal quintet have put out one hell of a debut album, seamlessly transitioning from relentless bursts of ferocity into atmospheric passages with the occasional foray into jazz fusion.
Five albums into their career, and London’s De Profundis have released what may very well be their magnum opus. A technical death metal album that doesn’t miss a beat, this is what it sounds like when a group of immensely talented musicians at the top of their game gel together perfectly.
Artists who released new albums this week:
Belgian deathcore band 6 Days of Justice, Russian death metal band Aborted Fetus, French progressive metal band Ackeron, Austrian black metal band Asphagor, Swiss post-hardcore band The Atlas Frame, progressive metalcore band Auras in Allies, Argentinian power metal band Azeroth, heavy metal supergroup Bad Wolves, experimental doom/sludge metal duo The Body, sludge/doom metal band Body Void, progressive metalcore band By the Thousands, Icelandic melodic death metal band Carnivore, doom metal band CHRCH, Finnish progressive death metal band Circenses, Swedish thrash metal band Defiatory, Paraguayan metalcore band Destruye Todo Imperio, symphonic death metal band Divine Insanity, British hard rock band Doomsday Outlaw, heavy metal band Dust, Finnish hard rock band Egokills, Swedish melodic death metal band Engel, British doom metal band Eye of Solitude, Chinese death metal band Facelift Deformation, Taiwanese death metal band Fatuous Rump, metalcore band A Few Left, death metal band Flesh Hoarder, Swedish symphonic metal band Follow the Cypher, Swiss folk metal band Forge, French melodic death metal band Fractal Gates, British progressive doom metal band Garganjua, German atmospheric black metal duo Glaciär, Ukranian metalcore band Heartprints, Italian groove metal band Hellucination, one-man instrumental progressive metal act Icarus, Italian melodic death metal band In My Ashes, Norwegian heavy metal band Intercepting Force, hard rock artist Jizzy Pearl, German stoner rock band Knust, German symphonic metal artist Lea Ciara Czullay, Spanish heavy/power metal band Lords of Black, progressive metal band Meddlesum, Spanish alternative stoner rock band Mirloblanco, British stoner/hard rock band The Miser, progressive/power metal band Moonlight Prophecy, stoner/hard rock band Mos Generator, Swedish hard rock band Nomy, Latvian instrumental progressive/post-metal band Nuvo, doom metal/progressive rock band Old Man Wizard, British hard rock band Praying Mantis, heavy metal band Primal Waters, black metal duo Pulsar Colony, hard rock band RSO, Italian stoner metal band Satori Junk, Brazillian progressive black metal band Sculpture, British stoner metal band Sergeant Thunderhoof, alternative metal band Sevendust, progressive deathcore band Shores of Leine, melodic death metal band Short Fuse, Czech folk metal band Silent Stream of Godless Elegy, death metal band Skinless, post-hardcore band Slow Mass, Spanish gothic metal band Son of Sorrow, Dutch hard rock band Souls of Deaf, punk band Strung Out, British heavy metal band Toledo Steel, heavy power/speed metal band Trauma, Canadian sludge metal band Tunguska Mammoth, British hard rock band Vega, British melodic death metal band VoyD, German hard rock band Willow Child, Kazakhstani groove metal band ZaRRaZa.
Artists who released new EPs this week:
Black metal band Cemetery Lights, German alternative metalcore band Heruin, Greek gothic metal band Lachrymose, Russian black/folk metal band Mushussu, Welsh post-hardcore band A Night Like This, Australian hardcore band The Patient, Dutch hardcore/sludge metal band Probation, dark metal band Raven Black, Australian metalcore band Silence the Unknown, Australian progressive black metal band Vyruden, Swedish atmospheric black metal band Wintercold, deathcore band Within the Giant’s Reach.
Released last month, the debut album from Virginia-based mathcore band Black Matter Device is an absolute triumph. Having crafted an experimental collection of songs that pay homage to the genre’s past while giving us a glimpse at just what its future holds, this band is as inventive as they are ferocious, and definitely a name to look out for in future.
Pennsylvania’s Anabiosis released their debut album last week to minimal fanfare, which is unfortunate as they’ve produced some top quality instrumental metal. Sometimes proggy, sometimes spacey, it hits the sweet spot between melodic and abrasive which only a collection of truly skilled musicians can pull off.
Kverlertak – Kverlertak
Recently I’ve been reacquainting myself with this brilliant Norwegian band’s work, and not only does their self-titled debut hold up magnificently, but to this day I’ve still not heard anything quite like it. Blending hardcore punk with black metal and old-school heavy metal (in addition to some detectable influence from multiple other genres), Kvelertak are practically a genre in and of themselves. People have labelled Kvelertak everything from “blackcore” to “black ‘n roll,” but I’m inclined to call them something along the lines of “party metal,” if only for how relentlessly fun their music is. If you’ve never experienced the infectious energy of this remarkably unique band before, rectify that immediately.
Are there any artists/bands whose work you consider impossible to categorize (and if so, what would be your best summary of their sound)?