August went and saved the best for last, as summer finally explodes in a fireball of glorious metal and almost-metal. Don’t let the summery sunshine distract you from all the magical, miserable music pouring forth into the world. In truth, none of these albums require an introduction–just buy them. Buy them all.
ALBUM OF THE WEEK (SHOULD RULE HARD)
How is this even possible? Grave are 24 years old. They have exactly one original member. A band’s tenth album should not be their best album, yet here we are. The laws of nature have come unstuck–the sun is a dying firecracker, cats are raping dogs, and Endless Procession of Soulsis one of the best death metal records I’ve heard in forever. I wrote about the album on Friday, and I’m writing about it again because I rarely get this excited about anything. Check out our ongoing exclusive stream if you haven’t already.
Grave – “Passion of the Weak”
MIGHT RULE HARD
First up: Profound Lore recruit Dysrhythmia for a predictably ridiculous assemblage of instrumental shred from Kevin Hufnagel and Colin Marston. Clarity and complexity are the name of the game, making this a rare example of an instrumental record that holds and demands attention.
Eagle Twin are pure Southern Lord: big, bowel-voiding low end and gloomy doom that stretches for miles. For all the big-amp weed riffs on display, there’s a shade of ritualistic sludge ala ’90s Neurosis that creeps in to keep things fun. If that sounds too slow for your blood, steer your ears to grind supergroup Murder Construct. We’ve got guys from Exhumed and Cattle Decapitation tearing through 10 tracks in about 20 minutes, and then in true grindcore fashion, the “experimental” 11th song stretches out for 6 minutes and brings in slow riffs and pianos and all sorts of things that appeal to non-grind folks like me.
And then there’s The Seer, the second post-reunion album from Swans. It’s two hours long, spread across two CDs or three LPs, if you’re into wax. I have not yet heard it straight through, because it’s two hours long, and I am (sadly) only human. Mercy does not live in Michael Gira’s house. But forget all that: Jarboe finally returns for a few tracks. New Swans will never be old Swans, but the fact that Gira is still making vicious, vital music is enough cause for celebration.
Swans – The Seer (8/28) [Buy 2xCD / 3xLP / Special Edition CD / MP3]
Dysrhythmia – “Test of Submission”
Swans – “Mother of the World”
THANK YOU, MAY I HAVE ANOTHER?
What did I miss? There’s a new Katatonia record that sounds a bit neutered to these ears, but might be worth a listen anyway. Ex Deo made a perfectly silly video for the lead track off Caligvla–if you wish Behemoth-sounding death metal had more of a symphonic Euro power metal vibe, you’re in luck. But seriously, what about you? What are you most excited for this week?