New Music Mondays: Avatar, Those Damn Crows and More!

Another big week for New Music Mondays, with everything ranging from death metal to country! Check out some great albums with us!

Avatar: Dance Devil Dance

We’ve been looking forward to this album for a while (hence why it ended up on our top upcoming albums of 2023 list), so of course we had to do an in depth review of it! Check it out here!

Those Damn Crows: Inhale/Exhale

This is phenomenal. And yes, I actually said that out loud while listening to it. It’s that good. Possibly the biggest export of the UK underground scene in recent years (they can fight it out with Massive Wagons), the Welsh quintet have worked hard and deserve every single slot and height they’ve reached in the last couple of years. I’ve been a fan of them since their debut album and have seen and heard them get better and better. This album is a step up yet again, as if they weren’t fantastic enough as is.

There isn’t a bad track on it. I use my personal Spotify to check NMM stuff out on (no ads, yey) and usually like any track I want to put on the playlist. 6/10 tracks on the album ended up liked. I LOVE their early 2000s hard rock style, Shinedown/Burn Halo/Black Stone Cherry, on tracks like ‘Takedown’ and ‘Wake Up’. Meanwhile ballads like ‘This Time I’m Ready’ are excellent and fit the rest of the album so well. I could honestly gush about this album all day, and would if I don’t reign myself in quick. 10/10, it’s not even in question. Fucking amazing.

Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs: Land of Sleeper

I know what you’re thinking. Yes, that is a lot of pigs. Stonery, doomy pigs.

In all seriousness, this was awesome. Filled with huge riffs, this is like the bastard child of The Sword, Black Sabbath, Kyuss and, surprisingly, Motorhead. There’s a certain pace and attitude to it all that just screamed Lemmy to me. Tracks like the opener and ‘Mr Medicine’ are personal highlights of mine. As a fan of this band for a while now, this album did not disappoint! If anyone likes sludgy, grungy hard rock, this is definitely the album for you! 8/10

Inhaler: Cuts & Bruises

The Irish indie/pop rock returned with their sophomore album last week. Their last one was an enjoyable affair that topped the UK charts, so I’m curious to check this one out!

While it’s lighter than the vast majority of the music we cover here (and I was close to not covering it), it’s a damn enjoyable album. Tracks like ‘Love Will Get you There’, ‘These are the Days’ and ‘Dublin in Ecstasy’ are highlights of an overall very good collection of songs. There again isn’t especially a bad track on here, though it did get just a little repetitive for me after a while. Though that’s more than likely because I don’t listen to the genre as much as the same sort of pace bores me after more than half an hour. Still though, an impressive, fun album that I’ll definitely be listening to again! 8/10

Winds of Tragedy: Hating Life

This is some heavy shit. Hot off the heels of their last album just eight months ago, the black metal powerhouses are back with their second offering. If any of y’all read this series regularly, you’ll know that Overtone has been my diving in point for black metal, and that it is definitely taking some getting used to. However, it’s clearly happening as I found myself digging this. Not as much as the Avatar or Those Damn Crows albums, don’t get me wrong, but it was definitely listenable, which is a start! I don’t really have specific highlight tracks for this one, but the proggy opener was good fun, as was ‘Wake Me Up From This Act’. So, if you’re into the really heavy stuff, give this a listen! For now, I shall give it a 7/10

Screaming Females: Desire Pathway

The alt rock band are back with their eighth studio album after the biggest gap between releases they’ve have ever had. It definitely maintains the bands punk influences, feeling a perfect blend of 70s, 80s and modern punk and alt rock. Right from the offset when their opening track, ‘Brass Bell’, drops, you can tell exactly what the band are about. Interesting, quirky yet infectiously catchy vocal melodies, some big riffs and some incredibly good guitar and bass playing, maybe a little surprising in the genre. Said opening track is a highlight of the album, alongside songs like ‘So Low’ and ‘Titan’ are definite highlights. 7.5/10, a fun album!

Craig Campbell: The Lost Files: Exhibit A

The country boy returns after a full decade since his last full-length release. It is a return to roots of sorts, too, with Cambell stating ‘My fans fell in love with me when there was steel and fiddle on my records. I truly hate that I got away from that for a bit trying to chase something that wasn’t real’. I have to admit I’m not familiar with any of his work, but it made the album sound promising to me.

The album itself is pretty great, too. The opener, ‘Lot to Live Up To’, is a country rock stomper that fits in well with the heavier side of the genre these days. However, a lot of the rest of the album is a fair bit slower. Tracks like ‘Church Clothes with Mindy Ellis Campbell’ and ‘Night Like Last Night’ are beautiful ballad tracks. However, there’s enough slightly more upbeat, fun tracks to sink your teeth into. ‘Things You Do in a Truck’, ‘Johnny’s Cash’ and ‘Talk Country to Me’ are all massive highlights of the album. My only real critique at all is my usual gripe with country albums, 16 tracks is too long. But it’s 16 good songs, at least! 8.5/10

Siege of Power: This is Tomorrow

The death metal group return with their first new album in five years, and second overall. This is everything you’d expect from an excellent death metal album. From blistering speed to some insane riffing to great harsh vocals, it’s all great. It’s hard to say much else about it as anyone who knows the genre knows exactly what to expect. However, the slightly slower tracks like ‘Scavengers’ and the clean-opening ‘Ghosts of Humanity’ stood out to me as great tracks. 8/10, I will never not love a great death/thrash band!

DUSK: Spectrums

We’ve treated you this week, reviewing not just one but two albums in full! Check out the second, awesome proggy album here.