Best Albums Releasing Week of 03/01/2024

🌿 = Top recommendation


STRFKR - Parallel Realms
Shoegaze-inspired dance/dream-pop veterans STRFKR release their seventh full length and their fifth on Polyvinyl (a record label I highly recommend). Very dreamy, lush production and tone choices. For fans of Beach House and MGMT.

Mannequin Pussy - I Got Heaven
Noisy rock that is tough to describe. It's got screamy hardcore punk attitude in some tracks, noise vibes, and in 20 seconds can go from an emo throwback sound to garage rock. It will toss you back and forth between mean and serene.

Metal (primarily clean vocals)

None this week

Metal (primarily harsh vocals)

🌿 Misotheist - Vessels by which The Devil is Made Flesh
Satanic black metal from Norway. Sinister and raging but melodic. Gorgeous darkness.

🌿 convulsing - perdurance
Wow, this caught me by surprise. Antifascist metal by Brendan Sloan from Altars (highly recommended death metal band!) that is tough to nail to a particular genre and hard to describe without referring to some sketchy French bands I'd rather not mention. Dissonant, pounding, extremely tight riffing, the perfect matching vocals on top. Tons of space and progression but constantly heavy.

🌿 Devastator - Conjurers of Cruelty
UK black/thrash that stays pretty safely in the genre's sound but is increasingly becoming one of my favorites. They just absolutely nail it on this full-length. Great beefy production, solid black/thrash riffs, and a gritty/growly/raspy vocal that nearly reminds me of Joel Grind. For fans of Hellripper, Midnight, and Wraith!

Volcandra - The Way of Ancients
Melodic black/death from Kentucky. The cover art had me thinking it might be inspired by Diablo II's Act V "Ancients" fight, and it appears that assumption was correct, judging from the other Diablo references found in the lyrics.

Celestial Sword - Nocturnal Divinity
"Vampiric" raw black metal / dungeon synth hybrid from the US. Great use of the raw sound- it's done well to preserve plenty of tone and atmosphere while simultaneously sounding like a cassette you unearthed from a dimly-lit castle dungeon. Not an easily accessible genre for many, but if you get it, you get it.

Cabinet - Hydrosylated Ordination
Continuing with the "inaccessible, niche genre" vibe is this very grimy and noisy death metal. It's "gross" but in the best ways. It's no surprise not all extreme metal fans will be into this, but it works for me somehow. It's a frightening, claustrophobically produced, oppressive atmosphere.

Negative Prayer - Self // Wound
Debut album from this two-person US death/crustpunk band. Features the drummer from Ascended Dead and Funebrarum. Very much a mix of crustpunk and death metal- the rhythms of the former with the vocals of the latter. Great release.

Beenkerver - De Rode Weduwe
One-man melodic black metal from the Netherlands. Icy, foggy, and haunting atmosphere. Great shrieking vocals that are deep in the mix and not too forward. Despairing and melancholic.