New Music Mondays: NOFX, Hammers of Misfortune and More!

Here we are. The last month of 2022. What an insane year it’s been for new music. However, while most bands are winding down for the holidays, there are still a few putting out stuff for us to check out. Let’s look at it!

NOFX: Double Album

At least this is better than their last album. Slightly. And heck, at least it wasn’t an ACTUAL double album, just ten tracks across 27-minutes. Some of it was pretty good. Other tracks… ouch.

The album opens strong enough with ‘Darby Crashing Your Party’ and ‘My Favourite Enemy’. Neither of them quite measure up to peak NOFX, but they’re not bad punk tracks. Plus I have to say, the bass is awesome in both! However, then we reached ‘Don’t Count on Me’ and it’s confused straddling of comedy and depression. A couple of lines got a dry chuckle out of me, but the overall feel and presentation of the song is honest and kinda pretty sad. It feels like Mike on his last legs and, given that the band are calling it quits soon, it just makes the track even more depressing. And not in a good way.

‘Johanna Constant Teen’ was a fun, short burst of punk awesomeness, but honestly the rest of the album from here felt like average at best. Nothing stood out, just as it did something would put me off the track again. I get writing from the heart and all that, but these are tales of a not fun few years being played off as fun, upbeat punk songs. Someone give Mike a call, make sure he’s okay. 4/10

Hammers of Misfortune: Overtaker

I have to admit, it’s odd hearing an extreme metal band with clean vocals. Unfortunately, it results in this sounding pretty messy overall. I’m not sure if my headphones are on the way out, but the production sounded horrible for me. I struggled to hear the vocals, and it felt like everything else was turned up as loud as it possibly could be. As a result, this was a wall of noise, so much so that it was hard to pick out a highlight.

Despite that, at least the band members were clearly talented. There were some fun riffs and, much like other extreme metal bands, the drummer works their ass off to keep the insane pace and kept their beats and fills interesting throughout. There was some fun lead guitar work too on tracks like the title one, which also had a pretty good ominous feel to it at times. It was probably my highlight of the album. There was just so much going on all at once most of the time that it was hard to get through in one sitting. 3.5/10. Sorry, this wasn’t for me.

White Lung: Premonition

I must be in a bad mood this weekend, because this isn’t my sort of thing either. Again, the band were clearly talented, especially the guitarist for some of those prog/math riffs. Everyone else did a good job at their chosen parts, too. It just didn’t do anything for me. Say what you want about me being some easily industry-led shill, but I do like a catchy, anthemic chorus. There wasn’t really one here. It’s like ambient black metal, but without the black metal part. It’s ambient punk/indie rock.

Again, there is nothing wrong with this album. If you’re a technical musician or like that sort of sound you’ll find something to love here. The slower tracks like ‘Under Glass’ were closer to highlights for me. 4.5/10

Destroyer 666: Never Surrender

The Australian thrash/death band are back with their sixth studio album. Being a fan of this band from my later thrash-kid days, it’s nice to hear they’ve very much still got it. This somehow channels early works from Slayer, Death and Venom, blending them all together into one brutal offering. Tracks like the title one, ‘Guillotine’ and the epic closing track, ‘Batavia’s Graveyard’, are all big personal highlights. It’s just a good, classically heavy album, and the band has an extraordinary talent for writing songs. 7.5/10, good stuff!

Check out some more thrashy stuff here.

Despite Exile: Wound

These guys have quietly released one of the best melodic deathcore albums of the year this week. Having never heard of them before this list, they very much have a new fan in me. Whether it’s the balls-to-the-wall aggression of tracks like ‘Sceptre’ or slightly slower epics like the utterly fantastic ‘A Pale Glimmer of Light’, this album is awesome from start to finish. If you’re into the heavier stuff at all, check this out, you will not be disappointed. 8.5/10

Obvurt: Triumph Beyond Adversity

This is straight up death metal, and it’s a lot of fun. It’s a group of insanely talented individuals coming together to make fast, very angry music. If you’re a fan of the genre you’ll know what to expect. Heck, it’s VERY At the Gates, even down to the odd stripped-back, odd, jazzy interlude in the middle of a couple of the tracks. Of course single ‘Invisible Enemy’ is a highlight, but so is the slower, proggy ‘Life and Death’. It shows the band has some depth to their songwriting and that slow build opener is awesome. The whole album is worth a listen, though, but it’s maybe not the best jumping off point for someone looking to get heavy. 7.5/10

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