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2021's been a fucking great year for metal

Started by The Mollusk, October 17, 2021, 06:46:23 PM

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The Mollusk

Extreme metal is basically the only music I listen to nowadays. Out of politeness to my fiancee I will stick on Slowdive or Modest Mouse when we're at home and cooking together but mmmmhhhehemuahaha soon as I'm out the door for work, first thing of a morning, commuting between property inspections and then all the way home I'm filling my ears with punishing nasty guitars music. I mean I've been a metalhead for 20 years now but this is the strongest obsession I've had with the genre since... maybe ever.

Anyway maybe it's this recent total devouring of metal that's lead me to discover all the fantastic records to come out this year or maybe it actually has been a brilliant year for the stuff. Who the fuck knows but I'm gonna post a load of the stuff here, please join me in listening to and talking about them.

Diskord - Degenerations

Fucking wild Norwegian death metal band whose style is all over the shop, really interesting style of experimentation which sort of reminds me of a more loose Cephalic Carnage. The batshit time sigs and song structures are here but it feels a bit more rooted in trad death metal sound as opposed to CC who are way tighter and cleaner. They clearly have a good sense of humour about their music which blows away any air of pretentiousness - there's quite a prominent use of cowbell which is absolutely bizarre - but this album is still really satisfyingly brutal amidst the weirdness.

The Endless Spiral




Replicant - Malignant Reality

Pummelling death metal with strong hardcore overtones, the drums on this thing are so thick and punchy and the band are not averse to throwing in some simple but extremely effective riffs and beatdown sections, it's refreshingly straightforward at times but utilised to massive effect. The vocalist has got some anguished guttural howl thing going on as well, it's ace.

Chassis of Deceit




Fossilization - He Whose Name Was Long Forgotten

Ah fucks sake it's another death metal band, but hey at least this stuff has a strong stench of soil-caked horrible DOOM hanging off it. Huge sound on this Brazilian band's 24-minute debut release. The bass is immense!

Neanderthal Tombs




Altarage - Succumb

This band is some piece of work, fucking hell. If you're into the sort of discordant wall of horror that bands like Portal have been serving up in recent years, this anonymous lot from Spain will certainly tickle your fancy with their soul-shattering blackened death metal. It's chaotic, it's cavernous, it's terrifying, it rules.

Magno Evento




Alright I don't wanna be death metalling this thread to death. Hope youse enjoy the above. Feel free to recommend some stuff that's not death metal, I need to get into some more sludge/doom shit this year if there's owt going on.

The Mollusk



Just want to give a shout out to this album artwork for the Portrayal of Guilt/Chat Pile split single that came out this year. Only just discovered these two bands (PoG's forthcoming album CHRISTFUCKER sounds like it'll be impressive) but that cover art is incredible.

Noodle Lizard

Here's another banger from this year:

Ad Nauseam - Imperative Imperceptible Impulse - https://youtu.be/ma3cKFX9_0g

I'd heard of them a couple of years back with people saying they were a Deathspell Omega ripoff, and you can hear the similarities in this one a bit, but it's definitely its own thing. I'm struggling to remember the last time I've been physically disoriented by music!

The Diskord album is fun too. It's been a good year for extreme metal.

Dirty Boy

October 17, 2021, 08:55:11 PM #3 Last Edit: October 17, 2021, 09:06:50 PM by Dirty Boy
Enjoying the new Carcass and Full Of Hell albums and the new Sucuumb one is pleasingly brutal, but that's def metul again i think.

A few recent albums i've liked a bunch:
Yautja - The Lurch
More of a sludge and hardcore influence. Amazing drumming. I've seen them compared to early Mastodon, but i haven't heard enough of them to confirm or deny.  Video for The  Weight

Diploid - I Am Yours And I Am Here Again Seriously aggro Aussie Grindcore with noise elements and the occasional bit of low down dooming.

Universally Estranged are good Deathy Thrash with funny splashes of synth
Teeming with That of Unknown Origin
Reared up in Spectral Predation

Cara Neir - Phase Out
One of the oddest metal albums i've heard lately. I don't know, i'm no good as describing these sodding things, give it a listen at least.

I listened to that Replicant album the other week and it didn't really grab me. I'll give it another go at least, also liking the sound of Ad Nauseam, so this threads already good.

If you like Altarage you might go for Ulcerate who deal in a similarly bleak and oppressive wall of grim racket. This will give you the general idea, but i've found it to be something you need to immerse yourself in over the course of an album to get the full effect.

It's not extreme metal, but by way of a palate cleanser, The Body and Big Brave's new collab is some sinister and surprisingly beautiful folkiness that deserves to be snaffled up quick fuckin' sticks.

The Mollusk

Great shouts DB, looking forward to checking out what I've not yet heard from those suggestions.

The Yautja album is fucking great isn't it? I can definitely hear the early Mastodon influence in the guitar tone and the frantic drumming. I'm also getting some great tense nasty noise rock vibes off it, reminds me of stuff like Daughters, Unsane and of course The Jesus Lizard. Very good stuff.

I got into Ulcerate yesterday as it happens. I'm very on the fence about atmospheric death/black metal but when it's done right it's really impressive, and these bald fucks know exactly what they're doing. Enjoyed it a lot.

BeardFaceMan

I really liked Serpent & Spirit by URNE (a great bunch of lads who used to be Hang The Bastard, I think), a kind of very heavy/proggy/almost thrashy/stoner type monstrosity, lovely fucking grub.

chveik

i'm not sure i really like it but this zeuhl metal album by brazilian band Papangu might be of interest to some here

https://papangu.bandcamp.com/album/holoceno

easytarget

Some good big obvious ones : Carcass, Maiden[nb]no, you shut up[/nb], Deafheaven[nb]yeah well they used to be metal[/nb]
Beneath the surface : Employed to Serve, Unto Others, At The Gates

Completely overlooked : Gatecreeper - oh get on this one, bunch of minute long grindcore songs then an 11(?) minute epic - very, very good.

Still not heard the new Wolves in the Throne Room but they generally deliver the things.

I'm seeing Portrayal of Guilt next month. Yeah, look impressed.


The Mollusk

Quote from: chveik on October 18, 2021, 08:14:49 PM
i'm not sure i really like it but this zeuhl metal album by brazilian band Papangu might be of interest to some here

https://papangu.bandcamp.com/album/holoceno

Enjoying this based off the first track, nice one!

Found some great doom/sludge stuff this week so looking forward to getting stuck into that. Will report back with my top findings.

The Mollusk

Quote from: easytarget on October 19, 2021, 06:22:51 AM
At The Gates

Fucking hell, haven't listened to AtG in years. What happened to the dude's voice?! It sounds horrendous!

chutnut

I'm surprised to hear At The Gates are back (haven't really listened to metal for anything other than nostalgic reasons for a long time), just checked out their recent video and agree it sounds horrible, music as well as his voice. With Fear I Kiss The Burning Darkness was one of my favourite albums for a while

Dirty Boy

Quote from: The MolluskFound some great doom/sludge stuff this week so looking forward to getting stuck into that. Will report back with my top findings
I hope Celtic Frost's Monotheist and the Tryptykon albums were on your list. Tom G Warrior knows his onions as far as steamroller of doom riffage goes.

Quote from: easytargetno, you shut up
It might be the fact i'm listening to loads of metal again, but i've recently been rediscovering Maiden (up to Seventh Son at least), who i loved as a kid, but haven't been remotely arsed about for the best part of 30 years. Got drunk and watched  Maiden England the other weekend which was highly enjoyable.

I might even try some of the Bruce reunion albums if i can be bothered.

Agreed about the latest Gatecreeper album (or was it an EP?) as well.

Where do you lot find out about new releases and that? TheQuietus has a good monthly metal roundup that's pretty useful and easy to filter out the stuff you probably won't be interested in. Here's their top 20 albums from last year

The Mollusk

Quote from: Dirty Boy on October 19, 2021, 02:05:42 PM
I hope Celtic Frost's Monotheist and the Tryptykon albums were on your list. Tom G Warrior knows his onions as far as steamroller of doom riffage goes.

Was referring to strictly 2021 releases, mon frere!

QuoteWhere do you lot find out about new releases and that? TheQuietus has a good monthly metal roundup that's pretty useful and easy to filter out the stuff you probably won't be interested in. Here's their top 20 albums from last year

Yeah I use publications like The Quietus and Treble Zine as they're both super reliable. I also follow a handful of great labels like Relapse on Instagram but I hate social media so also have an email account set up specifically for label newsletters which is really helpful! Pings and on-screen notifications about forthcoming releases, keeping it old school.

On the less extreme or obscure end of the spectrum, I'm tumescent with anticipation of Mastodon's new album. Mind you, I've been a fanboy of the 'don forever so I'm like this with all their albums..

Magnum Valentino

Enslaved has a new EP out but it costs more to post from Germany than the record itself, so stream the cunt.

Nasty greasy death-black tar beasts Archgoat are back too, listen til Heavens Ablaze. It's not as well named as "Nuns, Cunts and Darkness" but it's riff city.

And Darkthrone's and Gojira's latest, career highs for both, were my albums of the summer and I feel funny listening to them now it's cold and grey every day.

One for the nerds - LTE3 reunited Mike Portnoy, John Petrucci and Jordan Rudess for the first time properly since Mike left Dream Theater, and with Tony Levin on bass it's been my most listened to record of the year. Heavy enough for this thread but it's a prog album for larks and bobbing your head weirdly more than anything.

Don't anyone talk about that new Fear Factory record but. It was shite

BeardFaceMan

I wouldn't go so far as to say the Fear Factory album was shite, it's just that it was just another Fear Factory album, nothing more, nothing less, so it felt very underwhelming. You could could told me it was an unreleased album they made 20 years ago and I would have believed you. The drama surrounding the album was more interesting than the album itself.

FsF

For fans of black metal (with banjos, violins and all sorts of other stuff added), I cannot recommend Panopticon - ...and Again Into The Light enough. The "band" is comprised of just one very talented bloke in a Kentucky cabin, and adds bluegrassy/folky elements to otherwise pretty brutal metal. Very good!

Dream Theater - A View From The Top Of The World comes out in a couple of days, and the singles certainly sound like modern Dream Theater...

MUCH more interesting is Between The Buried And Me - Colors II which somehow manages to continue their streak of producing fucking phenomenal progressive (death?) metal albums. Fans of the original Colors album will be delighted at all the wee nods and callbacks, whilst still enjoying a wholly new experience.

Tech-deathheads may enjoy Obscura - A Valediction. Musical phenoms Christian Muenzner and Jeroen-Paul Thesseling have re-joined the band for an album that sounds like it'll be much more melodic than their previous output (whilst still being brain-breakingly technical). I absolutely love Thesseling's fretless bass playing, so I'm hoping it'll give him more space to shine!

Noodle Lizard

Quote from: chutnut on October 19, 2021, 12:00:32 PM
I'm surprised to hear At The Gates are back (haven't really listened to metal for anything other than nostalgic reasons for a long time), just checked out their recent video and agree it sounds horrible, music as well as his voice. With Fear I Kiss The Burning Darkness was one of my favourite albums for a while

I saw them live supporting Behemoth (I think) a few years ago and was surprised by how poor they were. I'm not familiar enough with their career to know if it's down to lineup changes or what, but it astonished me that a band who could put out such an influential album with Slaughter of the Soul (quintessential listening for anyone getting into metal) could end up as miserable as that. I couldn't even recognise a lot of the songs I knew until about halfway through them.

Magnum Valentino

Quote from: BeardFaceMan on October 19, 2021, 05:14:28 PM
I wouldn't go so far as to say the Fear Factory album was shite, it's just that it was just another Fear Factory album, nothing more, nothing less, so it felt very underwhelming. You could could told me it was an unreleased album they made 20 years ago and I would have believed you. The drama surrounding the album was more interesting than the album itself.

Each of their good albums sounds completely distinct. It's just the post-reunion stuff that all sounds the same because Dino has been writing everything on his own and has none of Raymond or Christian's input to help make it about more than "riffs and robots".

I'm not having a go at you Beardo, but I think this is a misconception common among people who aren't fans of Fear Factory and they were one of my favourite bands for years and years and the band they were deserves defended.

BeardFaceMan

Quote from: Magnum Valentino on October 19, 2021, 07:21:22 PM
Each of their good albums sounds completely distinct. It's just the post-reunion stuff that all sounds the same because Dino has been writing everything on his own and has none of Raymond or Christian's input to help make it about more than "riffs and robots".

I'm not having a go at you Beardo, but I think this is a misconception common among people who aren't fans of Fear Factory and they were one of my favourite bands for years and years and the band they were deserves defended.

Oh I'm A FF fan, I have a hat and everything, but it's been diminishing returns since Obsolete for me, there's been some good stuff since then but that was the last great album. When I say the new one could have been recorded 20 years ago I mean I'm not hearing anything new, no new ideas or anything, no evolution of any kind, just the same formula yet again.

Magnum Valentino

Quote from: BeardFaceMan on October 19, 2021, 07:32:56 PM
Oh I'm A FF fan, I have a hat and everything, but it's been diminishing returns since Obsolete for me, there's been some good stuff since then but that was the last great album. When I say the new one could have been recorded 20 years ago I mean I'm not hearing anything new, no new ideas or anything, no evolution of any kind, just the same formula yet again.

Digimortal falls within those 20 years and is a perfect example of an FF album that is not formulaic. Have you listened to it recently? It's full of sections with bass only, bass and keys, mid tempo stuff, lots of vocal harmonies, the stuff with the lad from Cypress Hill. It's also heavy as all fuck but let down somewhat by the compression on the sonic side.

Take a track like Back the Fuck Up, or the spooky five-note bass breakdown in Byte Block. The difference in how most of the tracks start and where they end up. It's full of ideas. There's an underlying style there (the synco riffs/feet thing) and the lyrical themes reinforce that, but it's churlish to say Digimortal is of a piece with the formulaic FF of Mechanize onwards. On that new album you can hear the copy paste formula, but on Digimortal, you can hear a band.

IMO, obvz. And I'm glad you have an FF hat :-) you don't meet enough fans and I think they're the single most underated and influential band in modern metal

BeardFaceMan

Quote from: Magnum Valentino on October 19, 2021, 07:55:22 PM
Digimortal falls within those 20 years and is a perfect example of an FF album that is not formulaic. Have you listened to it recently? It's full of sections with bass only, bass and keys, mid tempo stuff, lots of vocal harmonies, the stuff with the lad from Cypress Hill. It's also heavy as all fuck but let down somewhat by the compression on the sonic side.

Take a track like Back the Fuck Up, or the spooky five-note bass breakdown in Byte Block. The difference in how most of the tracks start and where they end up. It's full of ideas. There's an underlying style there (the synco riffs/feet thing) and the lyrical themes reinforce that, but it's churlish to say Digimortal is of a piece with the formulaic FF of Mechanize onwards. On that new album you can hear the copy paste formula, but on Digimortal, you can hear a band.

Digimortal is ok (not listened to it for a good while though) and I generally like the metal stuff Cypress Hill did (didn't Christian play with them for a while?), but Back The Fuck Up is awful, didn't like it all, felt like bandwagon-jumping at the time. That album felt like the last time they tried something different, it didn't quite work, so they went back to the formula.

Quote
IMO, obvz. And I'm glad you have an FF hat :-) you don't meet enough fans and I think they're the single most underated and influential band in modern metal

Whatever you think of FF and their output though, this really can't be stated enough, especially the influential part. The riffing along to the double kick drums, clean vocals and death metal vocals in the same song, their use of remixes and technology, they pioneered a lot of that stuff and they really don't get the credit they deserve. Hell, even the phrase 'nu-metal' is named after them, not that they had anything to do with that genre once it ended up becoming what it did, but still. Just a shame things turned out the way they did for them.

Magnum Valentino

Transgression from 2005 is worth a listen too, just to see what they sound like when really rejecting the FF formula. Not only is there a song written in the style of U2, almost AS U2, there's also a U2 cover before the album ends. It's a weird one, weirdly inappropriate organic production job too. Few other weird tunes on that one.

boki

Quote from: Dirty Boy on October 19, 2021, 02:05:42 PMWhere do you lot find out about new releases and that?
I get a lot of my recs from podcasts these days, mainly Riot Act and Hell Bent For Metal for reviews of newly-released albums (and occasionally EPs), but I've also recently discovered 9Hz, where the two hosts select some filthy new tunes to play to us. On that format, I'm also a big fan of The Independent Music Podcast, which has a broader brief as the name would suggest, but does often feature heavy psych and the odd bit of metal.

JaDanketies

Surprised to see you bunch of lefties haven't recommended post-black Empire of Love by Violet Cold. It's about gay rights!  Definitely an innovative sound, and I thought post-black had been done to death by now. Resulted in very angry people in black metal facebook groups

Lamp of Murmuur - Submission and Slavery - rawer bm sound, but this time with a kind of post-punk bent. This one got popular enough to be controversial among metalheads too

Thou did a Nirvana covers album, black metal Nirvana classics

The Great Harvest of Death - Codex Nero - just some good solid black metal

I saw Dread Sovereign supporting / co-headlining with Winterfylleth a few days ago, they totally fucking killed it. Definitely more on the doomy side. They've got a new album out too which I have not listened to. I saw Dread Sovereign a couple of years back at Damnation, it's got them solidly rockin' guitar bits that wouldn't sound out-of-place on a Pearl Jam record but with a gloomy doomy ambience

Famous Mortimer

Quote from: JaDanketies on October 20, 2021, 11:56:02 AM
Surprised to see you bunch of lefties haven't recommended post-black Empire of Love by Violet Cold. It's about gay rights!  Definitely an innovative sound, and I thought post-black had been done to death by now. Resulted in very angry people in black metal facebook groups
Sounds like a bang-on main person, but...I just popped the first track on (from the link you shared) and it sounds like three genres being played at the same time - like GYBE and screamo and someone doing black metal riffs off to the side. Maybe I'll warm to it, but it's an odd listen.

JaDanketies

October 20, 2021, 01:49:27 PM #26 Last Edit: October 20, 2021, 02:04:17 PM by JaDanketies
Quote from: Famous Mortimer on October 20, 2021, 01:42:14 PM
Sounds like a bang-on main person, but...I just popped the first track on (from the link you shared) and it sounds like three genres being played at the same time - like GYBE and screamo and someone doing black metal riffs off to the side.

That is a far review. There's some even weirder musical elements later on. Should've posted the link to bandcamp rather than a rando blog.

Here's a Dread Sovereign album from 2021. They definitely played songs from this the other day. The guys are from Primordial and he's still doing the Primordial voice, but it's a totally different genre. Still works.

Really though every year has been a shit year for metal since about 2014 imho; we need more kids to listen to it. Nobody's ever gonna get as big as Carcass or Napalm Death ever again at this rate

The Mollusk

ALRIGHT MY STONER/DOOM/SLUDGE FANATICS LETS GOOO

LLNN - Unmaker

This band piqued my interest with their 2018 album "Deads" but fuuuck me this new album is something else. The production values and use of ambient sound and distortion - not as an overriding feature but as a natural aid to the colossal weight of the music - is thoroughly impressive. Unmaker, for the most part, is blackened sludge metal that sounds like one long hardcore beatdown section. The screamed vocals are off the charts. This album is brutal but it has such an atmosphere and sense of space to it. I'm reminded of bands like Old Man Gloom and Harvey Milk in their use of noise and distortion to sonically push otherwise run-of-the-mill sludge metal standards further into the sonic crust of the earth without compromising it or becoming lo-fi. What's especially great is that, structurally, it's quite a simplistic record, but it's so artfully crafted that it's gripping from start to finish. These guys really know what they're doing.

Desecrator (feat. Matt McGachy of Cryptopsy)




Body Void - Bury Me Beneath This Rotting Earth

Another colossally heavy album here. In a way it's not too dissimilar from the LLNN album - simple structures, tortured scream vocals, and a keen ear for distorted, grinding background noise - it's just that this album is half the speed and pure fucking doom. All four tracks hit the 13-minute mark and again it's the production value here which helps push the repetition into more sonically engaging territory. The tracks do escalate really satisfyingly, though; I love the way "Laying Down in a Forest Fire" slowly builds up from the doomy mire into a sludge metal blast as the tempo and the noise gradually ramp up with it, and the blastbeat reprieve in the middle of "Wound" is one of a handful of tactics deftly applied to make this smarter than the average doom record.

Laying Down in a Forest Fire




Domkraft - Seeds

In a world of diluted, derivative and totally unimaginative stoner metal (anyone heard the Bongzilla comeback album yet? Fucking hell) it feels appropriate to utilise this meme here:



This album is so satisfying, especially if you're in the minority camp of me and me alone who thinks good stoner metal is so hard to come by that even Sleep's "The Sciences" was unnecessary and honestly boring. Not only are Domkraft churning out sweltering hot riffs and almost Maiden-esque soaring top-of-the-mountain vocals with superb proficiency here, they're also pushing them out into expansive psychedelic space rock territory by way of thunderous rolling drum grooves and reverb-soaked lead guitar excursions.

The album art is fucking terrible though. Please try to look past that.

Seeds




Emma Ruth Rundle & Thou - The Helm of Sorrow

I like Thou a lot but I'm ashamed to say I only got around to checking out their 2020 collaboration with Emma Ruth Rundle just this week. I'd had a smoke and was on my way to see The Thing at the cinema so I was really in the mood for some doomy atmospherics and the album, "May Our Chambers Be Full", coupled with its 2021 follow-up EP "The Helm of Sorrow" fit the bill perfectly. I'm not really a massive fan of goth music but ERR and Thou come together brilliantly here, inspired heavily by 90s Seattle grunge but bolstered with resplendent goth majesty and crushing downtuned sludge riffs. It's measured and balanced wonderfully, it will wash over you and cleanse you, and when it wants to, it'll push down on you like a fucking massive dog, fearsome but beautiful. It's one of the most towering and beautiful metal projects I've heard in a long time.

The Helm of Sorrow - Full EP stream (Just listen to the whole thing, it's fantastic. The last song is a Cranberries cover!)




Honourable mention goes to Divide & Dissolve - Gas Lit, since I'm all about their message and what they're doing, and the sax/noise stuff surrounding the big heavy doom sections is great, but the production - is it intentional to create texture? - doesn't do enough for me. It sounds crappy. I'm sure all their acclaim as a phenomenal live act is deserved, but on record that impact is sadly lost.

I'm afraid your opinion about The Sciences is incorrect.

The Mollusk

It's one of many things that sound excellent live but I have absolutely no need for on my stereo, just feels pointless. But I've seen a comment online from someone saying the Domkraft album is the best thing since "The Sciences" so hopefully that'll appease your RAGING WRATH, Pooman. Give the above track a spin lad, tell me what you think.