While not featuring as many big names as the previous couple of weeks, there are still plenty of bands here to sink your teeth into. And it’s definitely a week for the heavy fans out there! Let’s check out all the new music, shall we?
Gaining a lot of popularity over the last few years due to their blend of Indian folk music with a nu-metal sound, Bloodywood released their second album last week, a follow-up to 2017’s pop covers album Anti-Pop Vol. 1. I love their singles over the last couple of years and their covers were a lot o fun, so I’m excited to hear this!
It’s the perfect blend of heaviness, nu-metal inspired rapping, folk elements and occasional subtle comedy. Heck, opening track and lead single ‘Gaddaar’ perfectly encapsulates what the band and album are about, and it’s excellent. Then you have tracks like ‘Aaj’, ‘Dana-Dan’ and the wonderfully heavy ‘Bsdk.exe’ making the album full of highlights. Metal is in a really interesting, healthy place right now with all of these new bands trying to branch out their sound, and I think Bloodywood may take their place towards the front of the pack if this album is anything to go by. 8.5/10
The Birthday Massacre: Fascination
The goth rock band put out their ninth studio album last week, their first in a couple of years. I’ve never really gotten into the scene so have no reference point in terms of their old music. I have to admit, I don’t really get it. It’s like a slightly heavier HIM, and I could never get into HIM growing up either. Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t bad by any stretch, but it’s all rather plodding and repetitive and a little boring. I guess the single ‘Dreams of You’, is a highlight and if you like this sort of music I’m sure you’d find many more as it’s a pretty samey album. But for me, I can’t give it much higher than a 4/10
Midnight Oil: RESIST
Continuing the strange modern tradition of capitalised album titles, the Australian rock band put out their 13th studio album last week. The second since their 2016 reunion, the band definitely give it their all. From the slow-build intro of ‘Rising Seas’ through soft rock tracks like ‘Tarkine’, ‘Nobody’s Child’ and ‘We Are Not Afraid’, the band show off a lot of talent across their 12 tracks. I feel hypocritical because this is also a slow album, but unlike the previous album on this list this one held my attention a lot more and was a LOT more enjoyable. It’s a good mixture of Billy Joel, David Bowie and Elton John and is a damn good album from a band that have been at the game a good long while! 7/10
Immolation: Acts of God
Aaaaand back onto the heaviness. The death metal band are on their 11th studio album and show no signs of slowing down. After a clean (but still menacing) start to the album with the opener, the almost title track bursts in with blisteringly quick drums and guitars and low growled vocals, and the album doesn’t let up from there. It’s a lesson in how to do death metal well, with some great riffs and fun dynamics to show that it isn’t just a wall of sound constantly. ‘An Act of God’ is a definite highlight and the opening riff of ‘Apostle’ is enough to make it onto the playlist on its own merit. A fun death metal album for anyone into that sort of music! 7/10
Sleepwulf: Sunbeams Curl
Psychedelic/doom/stoner rock/metal band Sleepwulf released their sophomore album last week. The band burst straight in with their interesting blend of sounds and styles and dark lyrical content immediately with the aptly titled ‘Satan is King’. It’s like desert rock blended with Black Sabbath and Kyuss. Think The Sword but with less riffs. It is massively enjoyable. It’s lighter than I was expecting but the songwriting is off the charts good. It’s an old-school sound modernised just enough to keep it interesting. Other highlights include ‘Sex Magic Manifestation’, ‘Man in the Mountain’ and ‘Bury Me Backwards’. 8/10
Gtarzee: Nine Tracks
We finish on some more rock. Finnish blues rock, to be exact, with Gtarzee’s debut album. It’s a damn enjoyable album at that, too. From the guitar showcase of the opening track to the opening vocals of ‘Jealousy’, the album starts awesomely. Brian Forth’s vocals sound awesome on the latter track, giving it much more of a glam sound. However, the guest vocalists here do draw attention to the fact that Gtarzee himself doesn’t have the best voice. Sometimes it works, like in another album highlight ‘Sunday Blues’, but other times it doesn’t fit with the music quite as well as Forth’s voice did. Still, it’s a fun album and well worth a listen if you get the chance! 6/10
And there we have it, a surprisingly strong week that I wasn’t expecting going in! Some great albums and as usual some strong metal. Next week, Scorpions!
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