Hello, again my fellow head-banging, chainsaw-gargling, Slayer-yelling, metal-loving peoples. It is that time of the week again where I take your dreary existence on this most loathsome day and fill it with cranium shaking beats that will make even the shyest of people mosh where they stand. I bring you the Heavy Metal Roundup.
With so many new albums coming out every week it is hard to stay on top of all the new music. A lot of the times we fall into this trap of only checking out music from bands we know or love and ignoring the rest. That is where I come in.
Over the weekend I listened to as many new metal albums as I could, and now am going to give you my weekend wrap up on what I thought was some of the best to come out. Because of the Holidays and some technical difficulties, I have missed you the last couple of weeks. Not to worry though, this week’s roundup will feature the best of the best from what was missed and this week. So, without further ado, welcome to the roundup.
Architects – Holy Hell
Architects are a metalcore band from Brighton, England. Formed in 2004 by twin brothers Dan and Tom Searle, the band has gone to put out one EP and eight studio albums. Architects are a band that quickly built a strong fan base early on and never stopped growing. Starting with a sound very similar to The Dillinger Escape Plan, they have over the years evolved into their own unique sound. Their chugging breakdowns and angelic vocals have garnered nothing but respect from the music scene with each album being better than the next.
Holy Hell is the first album the band has released since the tragic passing of founding member Tom Searle in 2016. When asked about the future of the band a few months after Tom’s passing his brother Dan said “We want to carry on, that is important to say, and we will strive to do so, but we will not release any music unless we truly believe that it is something that Tom would have been proud of. Whether or not we can achieve that is something that we will have to discover in time.” Two years later this is what they gave us, and needless to say, Tom would have been proud. The album from start to finish is raw and heavy in both sound and content. This album is one I will be listening to over and over again, and I can only hope it has the same effect on you.
“Death is Not Defeat”
Portrayal of Guilt- Let Pain Be Your Guide
Portrayal of Guilt is a post-hardcore band from Austin, Texas. Formed in 2017, the band has put out one EP and one studio album. Portrayal of Guilt is a band that somehow has achieved a status of being a punk, metal, and a hardcore band all while still not truly belonging to any of these genres. It feels like the band takes these genres, puts them into a pressure cooker, lets it build in pressure until it can’t take any more, and then it explodes leaving nothing but fury, anger, and pain.
Let Pain Be Your Guide does exactly what the name implies. The album takes you on a journey of pain through the eyes of the lead vocalist and the things he has experienced. While covering topics such as corruption in the government, witnessing and experiencing injustices, people leaving your life, and many more he paints this personal picture of pain. In the words of guitarist and lead vocalist Matt King, “This album is a mental journey based on my experiences. I choose to suffer through the pain. This album is a product of this suffering.” Overall, I would say this album is one that is needed now more than ever. The world is an evil and cruel place full of suffering and pain, and nine times out of ten this pain happens to those who don’t deserve it. This album speaks to and for those that are suffering and shows them that it is ok to hurt and not just that it is ok, but how to let that pain be your guide.
“Until We’re Dust”
All That Remains – Victim Of The New Disease
All That Remains is a heavy metal band from Springfield, Massachusetts. Formed in 1998, they have since put out nine studio albums, one live album, and have sold millions of records worldwide. This band is a band that has found great success throughout their career. Touring on everything from The Vans Warped Tour to the legendary Wacken Open Air festival in Germany they have found an undying loyal fanbase. You can find their work on movies, videos games, and even apps. Let me put it like this if you like rock and haven’t heard them you are either living under a rock or a poser.
Victim Of The New Disease described in one word is heavy. This is the heaviest album the band has released since their 2006 album The Fall of Ideals and some are even calling it their best album since then as well. Everything that should be found on a great metal album is here. While there isn’t anything particularly unique about this album that would make me nominate it for album of the year, however, it is a fun listen. An album doesn’t have to be the best to be a good listen. So plug in and enjoy this great album.
Various Artists-Sound of The Raging Steppe
Five Mongolian and Kazakh folk-influenced heavy metal bands from Beijing and Hohhot have come together to bring us this album that tells a tale of untold history. The album was curated by Tengger Cavalry front man Ganganbaigaali, but features his own band along with Suld, Liberation, Sintas, and Nan. The album was released under Tengger X Cavalry Recordings, a record label created by Ganganbaigaali. He says about the album, “If you get in a car and drive north from Beijing for six hours, you will reach the vast grasslands of the nomads. Within those grasslands and even the mainland, there are many amazing metal bands. The purpose of this label is to build platforms for those underground or uprising Asian heavy metal bands.”
Sound of The Raging Steppe is a great album. Each band brings their unique but traditional sound to create this amazing listen. Listeners get a taste of traditional music from the area while blending it with familiar metal elements that we know and love. The progressions and mixes will be new to many ears, but the freshness of the sound will make you eager for more.
“Tenger’s Warrior” by Liberation
“War Horse” by Tengger Cavalry
“Hymn of the Earth” by Tengger Cavalry
Unearth – Extinction(s)
Unearth is an American metalcore band from Boston, Massachusetts. Formed in 1998, they have gone to put out seven studio albums. Unearth is another band that has been around for a while and has cemented themselves in the metal scene. What makes Unearth unique from any other metalcore band is their sound. Taking elements from bands like Metallica and Slayer and mixing it with modern metalcore, they have created this sound that new and old metal fans alike can love.
Extinction(s) is an album as the band put it is “Full of venom toward the wrongs of the world, fighting back against the precarious position civilization is in, determined to effect some kind of change.”, and let me just say you can feel that venom. This album is angry, heavy, and just brutal. While listening I went from enjoying a good album to being mad about the problem, and to finally wanting to be that change. If you like your music heavy and fast, but with a meaning, this is the album for you.
“One with the Sun”
Amon Amarth-The Pursuit of Vikings: 25 Years in the Eye of the Storm
Amon Amarth is a melodic death metal band from Tumba, Sweden that was formed in 1992. They have put out one EP, ten studio albums, one compilation album, one video album, and one live album. The band bases most of its songs lyrics on Norse mythology, the Viking Age, and the pre-Christian world, also known as Viking Metal. Their songs are filled with some of the best guitar shreds, drum beats, and bass lines in the current metal scene. They will make even the most peaceful of people put on full Viking gear and go raid the nearest convenience store.
The Pursuit of Vikings: 25 Years in the Eye of the Storm is a live album that features 30 songs that span Amon Amarth’s career that was played at two of their biggest shows. The album itself has no new content, but that is not what is special about this album. For fans of the band, this was a tribute to them as much as it is a tribute to the band for all the years of sticking with them. For 25 years the band has been around and endured the changing music scene, but they wouldn’t have been able to do that without 25 years of fan support. So whether you have never listened to them or you are a long time fan, go grab your horns, raise them high, and enjoy some of the best.
“Twilight of The Thunder God”
“Raise Your Horns”
“The Pursuit of Vikings”
In all reality, you just need to listen to this whole album.
What was your favorite record this week or maybe there’s one that didn’t make today’s list that came out in weeks past? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.
Till next time “Party On” and remember, “Always be excellent to each other.”