Another big week for new music in rock and metal, both for younger bands and older ones. 11 albums in total, so let’s not waste time, here they are!
Red Hot Chili Peppers: Unlimited Love
I’m just going to leave a link to my full review of the album here. I hated that I wasn’t a big fan of it , and given that it’s had mixed (at best) reviews, at least I’m not alone. But hell, I don’t want to talk about this album any more, I want something funner. Find the score from the link, but it was not great.
The extreme-prog metal band have been on the roll of their careers the last 15 years or so. Despite forming way back in the late 80s, it wasn’t until 2008s ObZen when it felt like the band truly hit their stride commercially and artistically. The two albums that followed that were also amazing. Does this one live up to them?
After a slow start, we reach the single ‘The Abysmal Eye’ and the album takes off into a gear only few can hit. It’s heavy and crazy proggy while somehow still maintaining an almost Mushroomhead-like catchiness to it all vocally. It’s a good album, but I do have to admit it does get a little repetitive at times. Don’t get me wrong, it was nice to have a reprieve from the brutality momentarily thanks to ‘They Move Below’ (what a track, by the way), but otherwise it’s pretty full on. Still, I cannot complain about having too much of a good thing really, can I? If you are a fan of Machine Head, Parkway Drive, or just general industrial, prog or extreme metal at all, check this out! 9/10
Islander: It’s Not Easy Being Human
The South Carolina alt-metal band has a lot of guests on it. Eight of the 17 tracks on the album has a guest vocalist or band member be a part of it. I’m not sure if that’s cool or overkill or feels cheep and like they couldn’t write a full album by themselves. Especially since tracks like ‘Evil’ and ‘The Outsider’ are just the band on their own and are both awesome tracks. Having said that though, some of the tracks with guests are also fantastic. In particular, ‘Skin Crawl’ with members of Korn, Zao and Living Sacrifice. It somehow sounds like a mixture of all four bands, blending the styles perfectly. The album as a whole is a diverse blend of styles, a melting pot of the early 2000s metal scene, from Linkin Park to Machine Head to Papa Roach to Korn. I love the whole scene they are going for, so the band have definitely gained a new fan in me! It’s maybe a tad bloated at 17 tracks, but it’s worth a listen from front to back, for sure! 8.5/10
Nekrogoblikon: The Fundamental Slimes and Humours
And now it’s time for a band that I don’t really get. I’ve always seen it as a gimmick that’s fun at first but the appeal never lasted too long. After this new album, I still don’t think I get it. I enjoyed it more than everything else I have heard from the band (which admittedly isn’t a lot), but I still don’t think I liked it. There’s some fun, catchy vocal lines and keyboard melodies, and the vocalist that sounds like he’s trying to be Axl Rose has a good voice. If it was just him and the carnival-style metal instrumentation behind it I could at a push enjoy it. But switching between that and the growling goblin and the sheer mess of songwriting each track is, I found myself getting lost and bored easily. ‘This is It’ is kind of a bop, though. I get that a lot of people like it and they aren’t the most serious of bands so maybe I’d appreciate it more live. But for now, 4/10
PUP: THE UNRAVELLING OF PUPTHEBAND
Pathetic Use of Potential, the band, are a fantastic Canadian punk band. Another band I hadn’t even heard of before I’d started doing this NMM, I’m disappointed that I hadn’t found them sooner. This album is amazing. It’s so refreshing to hear bands actually having fun with their music these days, especially when talking about some pretty deep subject matter at times. All of the ‘Four Chords’ parts are hilarious and tracks like ‘Totally Fine’, ‘Robot Writes a Love Song’ and ‘PUPTHEBAND Inc. Is Filing for Bankruptcy’ are all amazing. They can get pretty heavy at times, almost feeling like a punk version of early Biffy. And it all fits so well with the concept of the album. There isn’t a bad track on here and I’ll definitely be listening to it a lot over the coming months! 8.5/10
The Swedish heavy metal band have worked hard since forming in ’95, on their 9th album since the turn of the millennium. Shadowland is exactly what you would expect out of a band heavily inspired by NWOBHM in 2022. It’s a good, fun rock album, but it doesn’t bring anything new to the sub-genre that arguably peaked nearly half a century ago. All the band members are immensely talented at music and songwriting, and tracks like ‘Dust’ and ‘Seek the Silence’ are definite highlights. I simply feel that after so much from Saxon and Priest and Accept over the years that new music like this isn’t too interesting to me. But as I said, I did enjoy the album, and I feel like I would love it live! 5.5/10
Crows: Beware Believers
The sophomore album of fast-rising indie-punk band Crows feels like a big deal for them. Having toured with the likes of Wolf Alice and IDLES before and their first album being well received, this second seemed a little make or break. While I’m not really down with the whole indie scene, it definitely feels like it’s a big deal album for the scene. It’s pretty heavy and dirty, almost transcending the typical genre restraints. It definitely meant I enjoyed it more! The singles from the album are definite highlights, but I managed to listen through this whole thing without getting bored, which is rare for me! 5/10
Carpenter Brut: Leather Terror
I had never heard darksynth before today but came across this album when I was doing my research for this article. It’s pretty fucking heavy. Like, surprisingly so. And I kinda love it. Whenever the guest vocalists come in it feels like it takes away the heaviness a little, but it only drops down to around a BMTH level. If you are into industrial or techno influenced music or not I’d recommend checking this out anyway, it’s a completely different approach to heavy music and is interesting if nothing else. However, I found it damn enjoyable, with highlights including ‘Straight Outta Hell’ and ‘Night Prowler’. 7/10
Satan: Earth Infernal
The Geordie heavy metal band were around during the first surge of NWOBHM and have been on and off again ever since. Their fourth album since their 2011 reunion, Earth Infernal continues the band’s legacy pretty well. Some tracks, like ‘Twelve Infernal Lords’ and ‘Poison Elegy’ were enjoyable and highlights, but as I stated when it came to Wolf, I’ve simply gotten a tad bored of NWOBHM recently. At least new tracks in it, anyway. It’s not a bad album and it’s not like I’d skip a track if it came on or anything, it’s just not something I’d go out of my way to listen to. 5.5/10
Evil Invaders: Shattering Reflection
And finally we end this week on some thrash/heavy metal. The Belgian band have been around since 2007 but this third album may be their best yet. The riffs are fantastic, the vocals powerful, high and impressive and the song writing top notch. ‘In Deepest Black’ is one of the best ballads I’ve heard this year and ‘Eternal Darkness’ is a masterclass in old-school thrash metal the kind I haven’t heard in a long time. It reminds me a lot of Judas Priest’s Painkiller album, and it’s right up my street! Check this out! 8/10
And there we have it! What a week for metal music! As usual join us again next week, this time for nu-metal legends Papa Roach!