If you happen to be anywhere near a record store today – they’re not exactly easy to find, but whatever – you might want to make sure you have room on your credit card or enough funds in your account, because there is a ton of new stuff out. Or just buy it online. It’s easier anyway.
This is one of the better release days of the year so far, with a plethora of interesting albums in a variety of subgenres, so you can come home with a handful of new discs that sound nothing like each other. There’s death metal, black metal, a really bizarre new record from a legendary band, and one hell of a great album from a punk band that might not even be able to get their album into a lot of stores simply because of their name. There’s a lot to get to, so here are some of what’s available today. There’s got to be something you’ll like from this selection.
Black September hails from Chicago, a city that has given us a ton of great metal bands (Nachtmystium, Pelican, Indian, Yakuza), and their brand of death metal is sort of in the same vein as Bolt Thrower, Discharge, and the band we’ll discuss next, with vocalist Jen McMorrow sounding like a woman unafraid to jam her foot into your chest and keep you writhing on the ground as she demonstrates her guttural dominance. The band’s music is violent and devastating, and Prosthetic is giving their debut “The Forbidden Gates of Beyond” expanded reissue treatment. There’s a lot of death metal out there today, and most of it tends to leave little to no impression, but Black September seriously breaks that trend. I’m excited to hear what they do next, but for now, it’s nice to see their debut full-length will reach the wider audience it deserves.
For more on the band, go here: http://blackseptemberchicago.com/
To buy the album, go here: http://prostheticrecords.com/?p=2696
Veteran death soldiers Arch Enemy are back with their new disc “Khaos Legions,” a tried-and-true rebellious, rise-up collection for which this band is known. You can say this band has had a pretty notable influence on the extreme metal world, as Angela Gossow is one of the first female vocalists to really break out in a male-dominated field and has led to many others finding success (hence, Black September). There aren’t a whole lot of surprises on this record (out on Century Media), their eighth, but those who just want a solid new Arch Enemy record will be wholly satisfied. Pair this with “The Forbidden Gates of Beyond” and you’ll be assaulted by two of death’s scariest, strongest ladies.
For more on the band, go here: http://www.archenemy.net/
To buy the album, go here: http://www.cmdistro.com/
Don’t want to go into too much detail with this next entry, as we’ll have a fuller piece on this later, but Fucked Up return with their new rock opera “David Comes to Life.” Sure, they’re not metal, but they have punk and hardcore roots that has some crossover appeal, and this is their best record hands down. It runs about 80 minutes and is a concept record about love, loss, rebellion, politics and coming of age, and it is chock full of emotion and hook-laden thunder. Plus, burly frontman Damian Abraham looks like a WWE wrestler and sounds like a guy who’s fronted more than one hardcore DIY matinee, so you can’t help but love him and the rest of this alias-adopting gang. Might need to go to an indie record store to find this simply because of the band’s name.
For more on the band, go here: http://lookingforgold.blogspot.com/
To buy the album, go here: https://store.matadorrecords.com/
Another record we’ll examine in greater detail later in the week is the astonishing new slab of tech death from Origin. They moved from Relapse to Nuclear Blast for this one, and despite the lineup shifts, they unleash a mind-melting display on “Entity,” the follow-up to 2008’s “Antithesis” and their fifth full-length overall. The Topeka, Kansas, band long has amassed support from critics and fans alike, and it’s not just because they play like human machines and put together records that are bafflingly frightening technique-wise. It’s also because they write awesome songs that make you want to punch yourself in the face, and “Entity” is no different. I imagine this one’s going to make a lot of metal magazines’ and metal blogs’ best-of lists come December.
For more on the band, go here: http://www.myspace.com/origin
To buy the album, go here: http://store.nuclearblastusa.com/Artist/Origin/11490
The new record from Brooklyn trio Tombs seems like a crucial one for the band. They’ve slowly built a following and certainly have widespread support on the Internet, but it doesn’t seem like they’ve broken out to the masses in the way they should have. If their new record “Path of Totality” doesn’t do the trick, then it just cannot be done, because this is a masterpiece. Their sludgy, hardcore-minded black metal is there in full effect, but it’s their foray into doomier, even dark gothic coloring that really makes this stand out. It sounds like the Mike Hill-led band has been dining heavily on early Celtic Frost when they were writing this album, and it adds yet another element to this already impressive group. Right now, if you buy the album online from their label Relapse, you get a copy of their first full-length “Winter Hours” for free. Can’t beat that package, and if this is your first experience listening to Tombs, get ready to be blown away.
For more on the band, go here: http://www.myspace.com/tombsbklyn
To buy the album, go here: http://shop.relapse.com/store/product.aspx?ProductID=43222
Last but not least … uh, well … is the new record “Illud Divinum Insanus” from legendary Florida death pioneers Morbid Angel, a record that has David Vincent finally returning to the fold for the first time since 1995’s “Domination.” This is one of the most anticipated metal records of 2011, one that has been long awaited and even has become something of a “Chinese Democracy”-style joke, and now that it finally has come to fruition, it has been met with some ridicule. There are electronic elements to the album, almost as if it’s sampling from the ’90s industrial scene, and that has not gone over well with a lot of people. That isn’t what the whole record sounds like, and there are some cuts that are more like the band’s classic days, but it’s a weird album. I won’t say too much more as I’ll let you judge for yourself, but perhaps approach this one with some caution.
For more on the band, go here: http://www.morbidangel.com/
These are just a few things you’ll be able to find, and certainly there are plenty of other records available today that might be more your thing (the debut of Cerebral Bore; the debut of punk-flavored hardcore band Touché Amoré, another record we’ll examine more closely very soon). But what we discussed above are some of the most noteworthy on a day where, if money really did grow on trees, most of us would be rampaging record shops with reckless abandon.