A quiet yet busy week of new music featuring a lot of variety. Let’s dive straight into it all!
The Norwegians are not your typical extreme metal band. Even though the sub-genre is typically one of the most experimental of the heavier side of metal, the band definitely throw a lot of different styles and parts into their music that makes it an interesting listen, at the very listen. Clean vocals contrast incredibly with the screams, slower riffing and even clean guitars against crunchy, heavy, faster distortion.
Their 16th album is no different. I’ve personally always found the genre fascinating and these and Cradle of Filth are always my go-tos with it, so I was hoping for a lot here. It most certainly delivered. Heck, opener ‘Behind the Mirror’ perfectly encapsulates what I am on about, showing off their range of styles and songwriting. And it just continues to get better from there. Single ‘Congelia’ is a proggier masterpiece while other single ‘Kingdom’ has one of my favourite riffs of the year running through it. Meanwhile the sludgy, proggy closing and title track is one of my favourite tracks in the genre, it’s that good.
This is an awesome album. If you are into your heavier or more epic stuff at all, you HAVE to check this out. 9/10
Trench Dogs: Stockholmiana
The Swedish glam-punk band returned with their sophomore album this last Friday. It’s a fun, surprisingly fresh sound, and a fun, enjoyable album. I honestly am struggling to say much about it, the whole album is just solid sleazy rock. None of it stood out above or below the other, it was just all pretty great. Heck, it was SUPER hard to even pick which tracks would end up on our playlist, as I loved them all. I guess you’ll just have to click here to see for yourselves which made the cut…
I feel like I’d absolutely love this band live, and really hope they come to the UK soon. Their songwriting is clearly off the charts and on full display throughout the album. It’s all super catchy and fun an incredible blend of light-hearted and self-loathing-drenched punk. 9/10, this was amazing and I’ll be listening to it a lot in the coming months! However, I have noticed that wine to Trench Dogs is what California is to Red Hot Chili Peppers…
Can’t Swim: Thanks but No Thanks
The post-punk band are on their fourth album already, not bad going for a band just over seven years old. Said forth album is maybe their best yet, in this humble writer’s opinion, too. It’s an incredibly interesting listen, having they typical pop-punk catchy, clean vocals and melodies, while also having a few screams in here and an overall pretty dark feel and tone. Opener ‘Nowhere, Ohio’ is a perfect track in the genre and an amazing way to open the album for newer fans. ‘me vs me vs all of y’all’ and ‘ELIMINATE’ are also highlight tracks (even if the capitalisation throughout was making me uncomfortable). It’s another album without any bad tracks, too. 7.5/10, good stuff!
Blak29: The Waiting
We’ve already reviewed this awesome slab of rock music. Check it out here!
Morgan Wallen: One Thing at a Time
Oh yeah, country time. Firstly, Morgan is clearly trying to kill me. 36 tracks and nearly two hours in length. That’s too long for even a double album, let alone a single one. It’s a MASSIVE issue in country, in my opinion, and this is the worst example I have seen yet. I haven’t even listened to it yet and I can already tell I’m going to get bored within the first ten tracks. There’s no quality control when the album is this long, the weaker songs aren’t cut, it’s just everything thrown in. Don’t get me wrong, in the day and age of individual track streams paying, I get it. But that doesn’t mean I like it.
Now that I’ve finished with my rant… I was right. Tracks like ‘Everything I Love’ and ’98 Braves’ are great, don’t get me wrong. But they’re all pretty similar and after the first 30 minutes I’d had enough. I powered through the album of course, because I had to. ‘In the Bible’ is a good track because it involves HARDY (check out our review of his top album of the year here) so of course it was. ‘Thought You Should Know’ and ‘Money on Me’ are pretty decent ballads. But this could have easily been 20+ tracks shorter. There is a lot of filler when nothing needed filling. 3/10 overall. The tracks I’ve named are good, as are others, but in the grand scheme of things it was not a fun listen.
More prog now, yet a little less heavy this time. I’m very much in two minds with it, though. The heavy riffs and general instrumentation is great. And for the most part the vocals were fine, but the actual melodies themselves generally didn’t do much for me. I know prog is hardly radio friendly, but there was very little along the way of memorable hooks throughout the album.
I actually found my rule for the album pretty quick. If it started steady and got heavy for the chorus, a la ‘The Alphabet of Me’, I’ll love it. However, if it starts heavy and then goes up and down every 30 seconds it doesn’t do much for me. The aforementioned track, though, is by far my favourite on the album. The almost Porcupine Tree-esque stripped back verses contrast perfectly with the massive chorus.
Overall it’s a very up and down for me. I feel like it’ll grow on me with more listens, but for now 6.5/10 sounds about right. It’s more good than bad, but it’s a little up and down.
Tragedy: I Am Woman
We wouldn’t normally review a full-on parody album, but these guys are signed to Napalm, and they’re fucking fantastic, so we’re going to. Disco works surprisingly well when combined with metal music, and this may be some of their best work yet. Their take on Gloria Gaynor’s ‘I Will Survive’ is incredible and has so many different layers to it. Their cover of the James Bond classic ‘Goldfinger’ is awesome, as is ‘Respect’ featuring the insanely talented Marcy Harriell. If you’re a fan of disco, metal or just fun in general, check this out. You will not be disappointed. 9/10
Entheos: Time WIll Take us All
The tech death supergroup are back with their first album in over half a decade, and it’s just as insane as you’d expect it. It’s heavy, chaotic brilliance and it’s so hard to pick just one of two tracks to be a highlight. The opener is incredible, as is ‘I Am the Void’ and slower closer ‘Time Will Take us All’. It’s definitely another album for the heavier fans, but damn, this was good. 8/10