You know the drill by now. A dozen amazing bands releasing new music, and we’re here to check it all out! See what we think below!
Lamb of God: Omens
Lamb of God releasing their ninth studio album makes me feel old. But that’s exactly what they did this last week. I’ve been a fan of the band for over half my life at this point, getting into them from Sacrament. I’ve seen the bands ups and downs and they really seem to be having a bit of a career resurgence recently after some slightly more questionable output in the 2010s. Their previous, self-titled album was fantastic and, honestly, this may one up it to an even higher level.
It takes everything new it seemed to build up well on the previous album, the spoken work/sung stuff and the dynamics with up and downs and tempos, and rolls with it all to new heights. The fact that in 2022 we have a Lamb of God album open with a track that has mostly clean verses is insane, especially when it’s one of the best tracks on the album. If anything it just makes Randy’s screams have even greater impact. And of course, from an instrumental perspective they’re still a metal guitarist and drummers dream band. The talent on display is unbelievable. The riffs are insane and Art Cruz again kills it on the drums.
The singles are of course great, and other tracks like ‘To The Grave’ and ‘September Song’ are also awesome. The whole album is a highlight, however, and hopefully will be the one to finally push LoG through that glass ceiling they seem to hit a while back. 8.5/10
The Cult: Under the Midnight Sun
I’ve never been much of a fan of The Cult. I get and respect the impact they’ve had on modern rock music, but they never did anything for me. This album didn’t change my mind. There wasn’t even a riff like ‘Rise’ or even ‘She Sells Sanctuary’ to keep me interested. There’s very little to this, and as someone who’s not that into Ian Astbury’s vocals, this was a tough listen. Sorry to anyone who I offend with this, but… 3/10
Bush: The Art of Survival
This was heavier than I expected it to be! I haven’t heard much recent Bush stuff, pretty much reserving myself to the phenomenal Sixteen Stone, so this took me a little off guard. In a good way, though!
Of course the vocals are still the melodic, radio-rock style Gavin is known for. However, the riffs are HUGE. Like, de-tuned, ch0nky and almost metal, huge. And on top of that, there’s some genuinely catchy, stadium-filling choruses and melodies on here. ‘Slow Me’ is my favourite track on the album and maybe my favourite track the band has ever put out. Tracks like ‘More Than Machines’ and ‘Human Sand’ are also amazing. They’ve almost added a progg element to their sound, sounding a little like Karnivool and Chevelle.
My only slight issue is that it all sounds just a bit similar. Most of the tracks follow the same sort of formula; slower, stripped-back verses and then the big riff that opened the track comes back for the chorus. At least it made ‘Creatures of the Fire’ feel different and unique, as the it the main exception to the rule. Still though, I’d LOVE to hear this stuff live, I feel like it would be one hell of a show. I need to check out more Bush now! 8/10
Queensrÿche: Digital Noise Alliance
I’m not all too familiar with the band outside of Mindcrime and Empire. However, I have heard that Geoff Tate’s replacement has done wonders for the band, so I’m curious to hear how this sounds!
Sadly, the opening track and biggest single didn’t actually grab my attention. However, the opposite could be said for ‘Chapters’. It’s an incredible catchy track, straddling the line between AOR and even some modern Iron Maiden. I do have to say though, the mixing on the vocals was a bit odd. It felt distant, quieter than it maybe should have been. Tracks like ‘Sicdeth’, ‘Nocturnal Light’ and prog epic ‘Tormentum’ are also highlights of the album.
And I would like to add that it is a good album. I wanted to stress that before I went on to say… it’s a little overdone at this point. I know Queensryche are very much one of the originators of the sound, but there is so much amazing AOR music these days, that I feel like it’s just already been done. I love this sort of music, but bands like Eclipse and Tygers of Pan Tang are just as good, and I am more familiar with their work. So it is definitely a good album full of good tracks, but I didn’t enjoy it as much as their older stuff, or as much as I could have done. Hence why I shall give it a 7/10
Wednesday 13: Horrifier
We had the chance to review this before it’s release. Spoilers, it’s awesome. To find out just how awesome, check out our full review here.
Everette: Kings of the Dairy Queen Parking Lot – Side B
Another album we’ve had the pleasure of reviewing, and another amazing one. Find the review here.
Goatwhore: Angels Hung from the Arches of Heaven
The extreme metal titans returned with their eighth album this last Friday. If you’re a fan of the genre, like I am turning out to be, you’ll love this. Don’t get me wrong, It got a bit much and repetitive by around the halfway mark, but then I also loved the epic, plodding closing tracked. It’s everything you could want from an extreme metal album and certainly had me wanting to mosh! I shan’t pretend to be an expert on these things, but I enjoyed it, so will give it a 6.5/10
Counterparts: A Eulogy for Those Still Here
This feels very much like a Max album. Unfortunately, his uni has kept him too busy to help out this week. Depressing lyrics, heavy, Djenty riffing, solid drums and hardcore, bordering on extreme harsh vocals. I have to say, it’s not for me. I couldn’t really get anything memorable to come away with out of it, I just know the general sound and that it wasn’t for me. While I can appreciate they are all talented players, nothing about this prompted my will for a second listen. Sorry for anyone who is a fan, and I know that they are a pretty big band, but I’mma have too give this a 3.5/10
Barrett Davis: The Ballad of Aesop Fin
The North Carolinan country singer songwriter put out his debut album last week after months of putting out some great singles. It has a real old-school feel to it all and shows off some real talent as far as playing and songwriting is concerned. ‘Carolina Still’ is a personal highlight of the album, showing off Barrett’s impressive vocal range and some great guitar and piano. It almost boarders on easy listening, at times. It’s a good, relaxing album that I’ll definitely be chilling out to a lot in the coming weeks and months. 7/10
Acid Witch: Rot Among Us
This was a whole lot of fun. I don’t know what I was expecting, but it wasn’t this. I was ready for the stoner/doom metal riffing, but the almost Nightmare Before Christmas level of theatrical, extreme vocals over the top I was not. Honestly the duelling vocals and more stage-show style feel always does it for me in tracks, it’s why I love Ice Nine Kills so much.
‘Gather Each Witch’ and ‘Rot Among Us’ are the perfect tracks to open the album on, giving me a complete, great feel for what the band is about. The horror themes, big riffs and fun dynamics are all clear staples of the album. While not all tracks have the play-off style vocals, we still have some on ‘5508 Martin St.’ and ‘Evil Dad’. The later gives me ever so slight ‘Three Little Pigs‘ vibes with the higher vocals. Both tracks are amazing. However, saying that, there isn’t a bad track on this album.
I came into this not expecting to come away with one of my most enjoyable listens of the year, but there we go. It came out at the perfect time of the year but, honestly, I’m going to be listening to this way past Halloween. Great stuff, 9/10
The Scottish rockers are back with maybe their most ambitious release to date. Just listening to opener ‘DEPARTURE’ sets up the epic feel they are going for. ‘TAINTED’ does a great job of continuing that feel and is a fantastic radio-rock track. ‘LASSO’ is another good track, the rapping being an interesting, fun addition. It has elements of Linkin Park and modern BMTH, while being a little lighter and indie/punky than both.
However, while I did enjoy the rest of the album, it only took me 4/5 songs to realise that it’s all going to be rather similar. Tracks like ‘I EXIST’ and ‘KILL IT’ are good and more highlights, but the album suffers from a similar issue and structure to Bush’s. It’s good, but I found myself getting distracted from the exact same formula in every song by the midpoint. It will most likely be more of a solo track album for me as opposed to listening through it front to back again. Because of that I can’t give it tippy top marks, but it still gets a very impressive 8.5/10
This is some of the most epic shit I’ve ever heard. Not many bands could have an epic intro track and then have a mega intro to the first proper song on top of it. And musically it’s like if Dream Theater did power metal. It’s definitely got that epic power/symphonic side to it, but the riffs wouldn’t sound out of place on a Djent album. I love it. The first three tracks are perfect. From a slow, epic intro to a radio track to the first epic prog track across 13 minutes, it’s fantastic. Then you have tracks like ‘Burning Tears’ and ‘Abandon All Hope’ and this is a damn good album. They deserve to be huge, and hopefully this album is the one to do it! 8.5/10