I hope you’re ready for the madness. TEN new albums were released this past weekend. No delays or anything, just ten rock and metal albums that were gifted us. And, as usual, it’s my job to go through them and let you know how good they are. Let’s get on with it, shall we?
Limp Bizkit: Still Sucks
It’s finally here! After YEARS of teasing and at least one other working title (Stampede of the Disco Elephants), the mighty Bizkit have finally released a new album after a decade. You all know I’ll be reviewing this one in full ASAP so I shan’t do much of it here, but if the rest of the album is anything like Dad Vibes, it’ll be awesome.
Black Veil Brides: The Phantom Tomorrow
I have a very love/hate relationship with this band, in that I hate how much I love a few of their tracks. The band generally are fairly meh, in my opinion, but who can’t love ‘In the End’ or ‘Knives and Pens’. I tried to go into this album with an open mind though, and I have to admit I was actually pleasantly surprised. Yes, they have gone a lot more pop-metal than their first couple of records, but that sort of sound is VERY in right now. Plus, there is still some great riffs in here, showing how underrated Jinxx is as a guitarist. Tracks like ‘Scarlet Riot’ and ‘The Wicked One’ are particular highlights, while some of the other tracks are a little too built-around-just-the-chorus for me. 7/10.
Mastadon: Hushed and Grim
Another band I have struggled to get into over the years outside of a few tracks, this is the first attempt at a full album since The Hunter. I unfortunately have to say that after a rocky start, the album doesn’t pick up too much. I know that over their now eight studio albums they have proven themselves to be incredible ‘musicians musicians’, but it just bores me a little. There are some great riffs through most of this, but the vocals do and always have let it down in my ears. Still, I can appreciate their talent and how they are still at the point they are at all these years later. If you want to check out any, go for ‘Pushing the Tides’. 5/10.
Jerry Cantrell: Brighten
Alice in Chains main man Jerry Cantrell returns to solo work for the first time in almost two decades with his latest release. Is it too easy to just say ‘for fans of AIC’? It has a little more of a country swagger to it than his usual grunge sound, and honestly his voice suits it just as well. It’s a country rock album that just so happens to have a non-country voice fronting it, and it’s awesome. If anyone is a fan of either AIC or stuff like Brothers Osbourne or Cadillac Three, you’ll love this. It’s probably a good job I’m not doing a full review of this album as I would gush all over it! 9/10.
Bad Wolves: Dear Monsters
Bad Wolves return with their first new music since their sour split with former singer Tommy Vext with their new singer, Daniel “DL” Laskiewicz. Unfortunately, and maybe it’s just due to the recentness of the change, it doesn’t improve on their music at all. It never sits well with me when a band are WAY more famous for a cover they do than any of their original music, but (I’m sorry to anyone this offends), I can kinda see why. None of it is inherently bad by any stretch, but it suffers from the same issue as BVB, it’s music written around a radio-friendly chorus, meaning that none of the rest of the track matters that much so is just bland. If you’re into big vocal hooks and not much else, you may enjoy it! 4.5/10
Whitechapel have been around for a while now, becoming one of the premier Deathcore bans these days. There has been a lot of hype around their latest release in the leadup, and I can see why. The band have matured and evolved their sound with each of their eight albums, and this release feels like the pinnacle of that evolution. All you have to listen to is ‘Orphan’ to hear the bands range and incredible writing and musicianship. It’s a fantastic listen for any fans of heavy music, said track and the album in general. Other highlights include ‘Lost Boy’ and ‘History is Silent’. 8/10
The War On Drugs: I Don’t Live Here Anymore
Alt/indie band The War on Drugs have been hitting us with their 80s nostalgia style of music for well over a decade now, and it continues with their fifth studio album. Sounding like a combination of Bryan Adams and modern day Kings of Leon. The sort of style/genre does bore me after a while, especially when the whole album is pretty damn slow, but as individual tracks they’re not bad. Not something I would go out of my way to listen to, but great background music! ‘Harmonia’s Dream’ is a particular highlight for me. 5/10
John 5: Sinner
Rob Zombie/ex Marylin Manson axe-man returns with another solo album that shows off just how wasted he is playing industrial music. Yes, he is damn good at playing simple, heavy, power-chord driven riffs, but damn is he a fantastic lead guitarist too that he simply cannot show off in those projects. This album shows that off to a tee right away, too. Just check out the first full length track on the album from down below and tell me it’s not a technical masterclass. I know a fair few people wouldn’t be able to get past the almost solely instrumental album, and it does get a tad repetitive for me by the end, but damn if it isn’t impressive and one of his best albums to date. 7/10
Running Wild: Blood on Blood
German heavy metal ban Running Wild have been going for an impressive 45 years at this point, releasing their 17th studio album this past week. Those facts alone, alongside the fact that they are pretty much the original pirate metal band, should immediately tell you how this album sounds. It all sounds like the last 30 years of Judas Priest, not that that is a bad thing! It’s good old fashioned metal and, outside of the style being done to death long ago, it’s still a really enjoyable listen. Highlights include the opening track and ‘Diamonds and Pearls’. 6.5/10
Small Town Syndrome: It Only Gets Worse
The newest band on our list are Grand Rapids’ newest emerging punk/alt rock trio Small Town Sindrome. I actually managed to have a sit down with an exclusive early access copy of the album and do a full review of it, which you can find here. As you can tell, I loved it, and gave it a solid 8/10, so I would urge anyone into the genre to check it out!
And there we have it folks, a rather mixed bag of quality for this weeks MASSIVE New Music Mondays. Some was awesome, matching some of the best albums of the year in terms of quality, and then some that were more of average quality. Still, I would happily listen to any of the albums again and most likely will in the next few weeks!
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